Impact of Food on Mood

•December 4, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Impact of Food on Mood

Research has found that certain foods trigger particular brain chemicals which impact on our emotions for as long as two to three hours. Thus our diet can contribute to feeling positive or negative. Knowing what foods trigger which brain chemicals could help us to manage our feelings better.

Certain brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters are linked to emotions. These neurotransmitters are dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin which are produced in the brain under the influence of elements found in different types of food.

Researcher Judith Wurtman, previously of MIT and author of The Serotonin Power Diet, has researched the influence of food on the production of the neurotransmitters in the brain. Her findings are that feeling alert is caused by the brain producing dopamine and norepinephrine. Feelings of calmness and being positive are associated with serotonin.

Serotonin production is linked to the consumption of carbohydrates. Wurtman’s research found that when carbohydrate consumption stops then the brain stops producing serotonin.

Serotonin helps control the appetite. When serotonin is produced in the brain, then it works on our appetite making us feel full, thus preventing us from overeating. In addition, Wurtman says that serotonin is essential in regulating our moods.

Carbohydrates such as bread, cereal and pasta contribute to producing a temporary increase in serotonin, as well as having a calming effect. On the other hand, protein-rich foods, such as tuna or eggs, contribute to producing dopamine and norepinephrine which increase alertness and concentration. Again the impact is temporary.

Women have less serotonin than men and feel the impact of a low-carb diet much more since it can produce PMS-like symptoms. Wurtman says that eating carbohydrate without protein in certain amounts and at specific times of the day will promote serotonin.

Our brain needs a good supply of nutrients to function normally and when there are deficiencies then a range of conditions emerge impacting on how we feel. While carbohydrates are important for serotonin production, many other nutrients are important for the functioning of the brain and thus their impact on mood.

For example, numerous studies have found that Omega-3 is important in reducing depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, ADD/ADHD, as well as, dementia. A common factor in up to 31% of people with major depression is a deficiency of folate.

Other studies, conducted in the 70’s, associated vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency with a range of moods including, feeling fearful, irritable, depressed, and agitated. (1) Other research has found that a low fat diet can cause depression.

The swing in mood and energy that people sometimes feel throughout the day can be modified by reducing the intake of foods with a high Glycaemic Index (GI). Foods that are typically digested slowly – low GI foods – such as minimally processed grains, legumes, certain fruits and vegetables, have less impact on blood sugar levels than foods with high GI. Low GI foods have less impact because digestion is slower and there is a slower release of blood glucose. High GI foods include processed flour, sugar, doughnuts and corn flakes. The recommendation is to consume low GI foods to reduce the level of blood glucose and thus the swing in mood and energy.

Amanda Geary, author of books on the food/mood connection, discovered the importance of food on mental health while recovering from mental illness. She was inspired to kick-start a project called “Food and Mood Project” in the UK, a web project providing resources for people wanting to improve their mental and emotional health. (2)

Simply reducing or cutting out substances such as salt and sugar, from the diet can eliminate irritability experienced by some people. Geary calls these stressors and also lists alcohol and caffeine as part of this group of substances that we should have less of. Stressors stimulate the body, but very soon they leave us feeling depleted.

With the festive season almost upon us, it is worthwhile considering what we eat if we want to feel happier and calmer. Geary has suggestions for eating during the festive season at


Watch this shocking video about the truth about the cell phone industry.

•December 2, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Watch this shocking video about the truth about the cell phone industry.

Click here

Scroll down a bit and watch the video on cell phones near the bottom.

Fruits and Vegetables Regulate the Cell Cycle to Prevent Cancer

•December 1, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Fruits and Vegetables Regulate the Cell Cycle to Prevent Cancer

It’s amazing that more than 2000 years ago we realized many universal truths, and we did it without the scientific method. One person who really knew what he was talking about was Hippocrates, who said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”.

We lost our common sense for awhile and fell in love with a disease establishment that claimed science was on its side. Apparently we are now coming to earth again in a new age where science and sense meet. Scientists are now explaining the finer points of the truth Hippocrates was trying to tell us — nature has provided us with all the tools we need to stay healthy. An example of this type of research is a study published in the January, 2008 edition of Frontiers in Bioscience that deals with the importance of regulation of the cell cycle in prevention of cancer.

What is the cell cycle?

The growth and maintenance of plants, animals and humans is the result of an ordered series of events which constitute the cell cycle. During this cycle, chromosomes are duplicated and one copy of each duplicated chromosome is transferred from the mother cell to the daughter cell. Proper regulation of this cycle is essential for the normal development of multi-cellular organisms. If control of this cycle is lost for any reason, cancer or other degenerative diseases may be the result.

Successful cell replication depends on two critical processes: the replication of DNA, and mitosis — the nuclear division of the daughter cell from the mother cell. The master controllers of these processes are protein kinases that regulate the proteins involved in this DNA replication and mitosis.

The research

For this study, scientists reviewed the sequence of events that regulate cell cycle progression with an eye towards the check points and mechanisms that cells employ to insure DNA stability during this cell cycle even in the face of genotoxic stress.

They noted that key transitions in the cell cycle are regulated by the activities of the various protein kinase complexes composed of cyclin and cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) molecules. These cyclins are CDK binding partners which are required for kinase activity and are intimately linked to the cell cycle stage. CDK activity can be controlled by other mechanisms, such as the addition of a phosphate group, resulting in deregulation of the cell cycle. This is the process that leads to cancer.

Although diets rich in fruits and vegetables are increasingly being recommended for the prevention of cancer, their active ingredients and mechanisms of action have not been well understood. This research presents evidence that dietary agents identified from fruits and vegetables can act to modulate the effects of deregulated cell cycle checkpoints. It is through this mechanism that cancer may be prevented by dietary choice.

Compounds from fruits and vegetables that appeared particularly noteworthy were apigenin (celery, parsley), curcumin (turmeric), epigallocatechin-3-gallate (green tea), resveratrol (red grapes, peanuts and berries), genistein (soybeans), and silymarin (milk thistle).


Air pollution can lead to lung cancer

•November 30, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Air pollution can lead to lung cancer

By Dr Amit Bhargava

Long-term exposure to the air pollution significantly raises the risk of dying of lung cancer and is about as dangerous as living with a smoker. The risk is from what scientists call combustion-related fine particulate matter — soot emitted by cars and trucks, coal-fired power plants and factories.

Scientists have found that outdoor air pollution and occupational pollution increases the risk of lung cancer Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma.

Outdoor pollution is a collection of many different gases and chemicals. The ones that have the strongest impact on cancer risk are: Nitrogen dioxide, a brownish-yellow gas and airborne particles (also known as particulate matter or PM), that are small enough to be inhaled into the lungs.

Nitrogen dioxide can cause serious damage to our DNA. Vehicle exhaust is the main source of nitrogen dioxide and can account for three quarters of emissions in large cities.

PM consists of a wide variety of different chemicals, such as soot. Some of these can have direct harmful effects, but the main problem comes from other cancer-causing chemicals that stick on their surface. These can then be inhaled into the lungs.

Air and water pollution combined with widespread use of food additives and pesticides made cancer the top killer in India last year, according to a recent government survey.

Cancer topped the list of the 10 most lethal diseases for urban residents last year, followed by cerebrovascular diseases and heart ailments, according to the survey in 30 cities and 78 counties released by the ministry of health.

The main reason behind the rising number of cancer cases is that pollution of the environment, water and air is getting worse day by day.

Many chemical and industrial enterprises are built along rivers so that they can dump the waste into water easily. Excessive use of fertilisers and pesticides also pollute underground water.

The contaminated water has directly affected soil, crops and food. Air pollution is a major cause of lung cancers, as harmful granules enter the lungs and cannot be discharged.

The writer is a senior oncologist at Max Healthcare, New Delhi


Indian forces kill last gunmen in Mumbai

•November 29, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Indian forces kill last gunmen in Mumbai

Mumbai hotel

* Mumbai Terror Attacks Slideshow: Mumbai Terror Attacks
* NY rabbi, wife among dead in Mumbai raid Play Video Video: NY rabbi, wife among dead in Mumbai raid AP
* Commandos enter Mumbai building Play Video Video: Commandos enter Mumbai building BBC

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MUMBAI, India – Indian commandos killed the last remaining gunmen holed up at a luxury Mumbai hotel Saturday, ending a 60-hour rampage through India’s financial capital by suspected Islamic militants that killed 195 people and rocked the nation.

Orange flames and black smoke engulfed the landmark 565-room Taj Mahal hotel after dawn Saturday as Indian forces ended the siege in a hail of gunfire, just hours after elite commandos stormed a Jewish center and found six hostages dead.

“There were three terrorists, we have killed them,” said J.K. Dutt, director general of India’s elite National Security Guard commando unit.

Some 295 people were also wounded in the violence that started when more than a dozen assailants attacked 10 sites across Mumbai on Wednesday night. Fifteen foreigners were among the dead.

Dutt told reporters outside the hotel his forces would continue to search and clear it. A major in the commandos was killed in the final assault, he said.

Some hotel guests were still believed to be in their rooms. “They are still scared, so even when we request them to come out and identify ourselves, they are naturally afraid,” said Dutt.

Outside, anxious relatives stood in groups hoping family members trapped inside would walk out. Many had been keeping a vigil since the attack began.

With the end of one of the most brazen terror attacks in India’s history, attention turned from the military operation to questions of who was behind the attack and the heavy toll on human life.

The bodies of New York Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg and his wife, Rivkah, were found at the Jewish center. Their son, Moshe, who turned 2 on Saturday, was scooped up by an employee Thursday as she fled the building. Two Israelis and another American were also killed in the house, said Rabbi Zalman Schmotkin, a spokesman for the Chabad Lubavitch movement, which ran the center.

Authorities scrambled to identify those responsible for the unprecedented attack, with Indian officials pointing across the border at rival Pakistan, and Pakistani leaders promising to cooperate in the investigation. A team of FBI agents was ordered to fly to India to help investigate.

On Friday, commandos killed the last gunmen inside the luxury Oberoi hotel, where 24 bodies had been found, authorities said. Dozens of people were evacuated from the Oberoi earlier Friday.

The group rescued from the Oberoi, many holding passports, included at least two Americans, a Briton, two Japanese nationals and several Indians. Some carried luggage with Canadian flags. One man in a chef’s uniform was holding a small baby. About 20 airline crew members were freed, including staff from Lufthansa and Air France.

“I’m going home, I’m going to see my wife,” said Mark Abell, with a huge smile on his face after emerging from the hotel. Abell, from Britain, had locked himself in his room during the siege.

As fighting stretched into a fourth day Saturday, the Taj Mahal hotel was wracked by hours of intermittent gunfire and explosions, even though authorities said earlier they cleared it of gunmen.

Indian forces launched grenades and traded gunfire with what authorities believed was one or two militants holed up in the ballroom. What appeared to be a black-clad figure toppled from a first-floor window.

Officials said at least 12 gunmen had been killed and one arrested after the attack that shook the city and the country.

“There is a limit a city can take. This is a very, very different kind of fear. It will be sometime before things get back to normal,” said Ayesha Dar, a 33-year-old homemaker.

In the most dramatic of the counterstrikes Friday morning, masked Indian commandos rappelled from a helicopter to the rooftop of the Chabad Lubavitch Jewish center as snipers laid down cover fire.

For nearly 12 hours, explosions and gunfire erupted from the five-story building as the commandos fought their way downward, while thousands of people gathered behind barricades in the streets to watch.

The assault blew huge holes in the center, and, at one point, Indian forces fired a rocket at the building.

Soon after, elated commandos ran outside with their rifles raised over their heads in a sign of triumph.

But inside the Chabad House was a scene of tragedy.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Israel’s Channel 1 TV that the bodies of three women and three men were found at the center. Some of the victims had been bound, Barak said.

The attackers were well-prepared, apparently scouting some targets ahead of time and carrying large bags of almonds to keep up their energy during a long siege. One backpack found contained 400 rounds of ammunition.

The gunmen moved skillfully through the blood-slickened corridors of the Taj Mahal and Oberoi hotels, switching off lights to confuse the commandos.

Authorities were working to find out who was behind the attacks, claimed by a previously unknown group calling itself the Deccan Mujahideen.

President-elect Barack Obama said he was closely monitoring the situation. “These terrorists who targeted innocent civilians will not defeat India’s great democracy, nor shake the will of a global coalition to defeat them,” he said in a statement.

India’s foreign minister said the blame appeared to point to Pakistan. “According to preliminary information, some elements in Pakistan are responsible for Mumbai terror attacks,” Pranab Mukherjee told reporters.

Jaiprakash Jaiswal, India’s home minister, said a captured gunmen had been identified as a Pakistani.

Pakistani Defense Minister Ahmed Mukhtar denied involvement by his country Friday. “I will say in very categoric terms that Pakistan is not involved in these gory incidents.”

India has been shaken repeatedly by terror attacks blamed on Muslim militants in recent years, but most were bombings striking crowded places: markets, street corners, parks. Mumbai — one of the most populated cities in the world with some 18 million people — was hit by a series of bombings in July 2006 that killed 187 people.

These attacks were more sophisticated — and more brazen.

They began at about 9:20 p.m. with shooters spraying gunfire across the Chhatrapati Shivaji railroad station, one of the world’s busiest terminals. For the next two hours, there was an attack roughly every 15 minutes — the Jewish center, a tourist restaurant, one hotel, then another, and two attacks on hospitals. There were 10 targets in all.


Fighting rages in Mumbai, Pakistani link made

•November 28, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Fighting rages in Mumbai, Pakistani link made
MUMBAI, India (CNN) — Fighting continued to rage at two sites in Mumbai Friday as India again suggested that the terrorists behind the deadly attacks involved “elements in Pakistan.”
An Indian soldier prepares to return fire outside the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai.

An Indian soldier prepares to return fire outside the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai.
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Pakistan, in turn, disputed the claim and offered to send its intelligence chief to assist with the investigation.

By Friday night authorities had cleared the Oberoi Hotel, killing two militants and freeing hundreds of trapped guests.

But standoffs continued at the Taj Mahal Hotel — where one gunmen is still holed up — and the Chabad House, where several Jewish people are reportedly being held hostage by two to three gunmen, police said. Video Watch as blasts hit Taj »

Onlookers and reporters at both sites cowered behind cars as gunmen and police exchanged gunfire and explosions could be heard. An AFP journalist was reportedly injured outside the Taj.

The death toll from Wednesday’s attacks in nine locations was 146, including eight foreigners, with a further 327 injured.Video Watch report about hotel gunmen still fighting »

R.R. Patel, the Maharashtra home minister, said nine gunmen had been killed. Another nine had been captured alive.Video Watch report about Nariman House stormed »

Meanwhile, Pranab Mukherjee, the external affairs minister for Maharashtra state, where Mumbai is located, said the preliminary investigation “indicates that some elements in Pakistan are involved.”

“I can’t tell you the details since the investigation is going on,” he said. “Until the investigation is complete, it will be difficult to say where they came from and how they came.”

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also indicated the gunmen came from Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi, in a telephone call with his Pakistani counterpart Friday.

In response, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said he would send the chief of his country’s intelligence agency to help with the investigation. Video Listen to Israel’s response »

Police said two terrorists were killed in the Oberoi operation and 30 bodies had been recovered. Officers were going from floor to floor checking for more victims.

Relieved guests, many of them foreigners and some children, hugged one another before boarding buses and vans brought in to take them away. Video Watch eyewitness to attack discuss his experience »

The gunmen were young men in their 20s who “obviously had to be trained somewhere,” a member of the Indian navy’s commando unit said Friday.

They fired at guests “with no remorse” and knew the layout of the hotels well enough to “vanish” after confronting security forces, the commando said.

“Not everybody can fire the AK series of weapons, not everybody can throw a grenade like that,” the commando said outside the Taj hotel. “It is obvious that they were trained somewhere.”

The shell-shocked city woke Friday to television images of Indian soldiers rappelling down ropes from military choppers on to the roof of the Nariman House, which houses the Mumbai headquarters of the Chabad community, a Hasidic Jewish movement. Video Watch the commando talk about the attackers »

Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg, the city’s envoy for the Chabad community, and his wife were believed to be inside. A cook at the center, who had barricaded herself in a room, grabbed the couple’s 2-year-old son and escaped with another person, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

The identity of the attackers remained a mystery. Police said they came by boats to the waterfront near the Gateway of India monument and the two hotels. Video Watch Pakistan’s response to attacks »

The Indian navy, stepping up patrols on the country’s western coast after the attack, was questioning the crew of the MV Alpha. Authorities suspect the attacks originated from the ship, which they believe is from Karachi.

Karachi police said they had no evidence the attackers departed from their city.

The Press Trust of India, citing Union Cabinet Minister Kapil Sibal, reported the gunmen had worked for months to prepare, even setting up “control rooms” in the two luxury hotels that were targeted.

Indian authorities said no one had claimed responsibility, although the Deccan Mujahideen took credit in e-mails sent to several Indian news outlets. Video Watch analysis of Mumbai attacks »

Interpol said it would send a delegation to India.

“When such coordinated and planned terrorist attacks are carried out against international targets and when a country’s head of government states there are suspected ‘external linkages’, the police in the country concerned require international assistance,” said Interpol’s Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.


Smoking Linked to Bladder Cancer

•November 27, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Smoking Linked to Bladder Cancer
Smoking strongly increases a person’s risk of developing bladder cancer – a risk that the majority of the population seems to be unaware of, according to a new analysis conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“The general public understands that cigarette smoking can lead to lung cancer, but very few people understand that it also can lead to bladder cancer,” study co-author James E. Montie said.

The researchers compiled data from all studies in the MEDLINE database that had been conducted on the connection between bladder cancer and smoking between 1975 and 2007. The correlation between smoking behavior and bladder cancer risk, they found, was strong. For example, one study found that a person’s risk of developing bladder cancer goes down by 40 percent within the first four years of quitting smoking.

Yet the general population remains unaware of this connection, the researchers also found, as are patients who have been diagnosed with bladder cancer. Only 22 percent of bladder cancer patients surveyed knew that smoking increases the risk of developing the disease.

“A big gap exists between patient knowledge and their actual risk,” co-author Seth A. Strope said. “Our study suggests that physicians must do a much better job of communicating the risk to our patients, and directing them toward smoking cessation programs.”

Bladder cancer is one of the most expensive forms of cancer to treat. In the United States, it is the fourth most common cancer in men in the ninth most common in women, with more than 47,000 new cases diagnosed in men and 16,000 in women each year. The higher prevalence in men is believed to be due to the fact that male sex hormones play a role in the development of the disease.

Other than smoking, risk factors include being African-American or Hispanic and having a family history of the cancer. Exposure to secondhand smoke is also a suspected risk factor.


Top Five Ways to Avoid GMOs in Your Food

•November 26, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Top Five Ways to Avoid GMOs in Your Food

by Dr. Gregory Damato, Ph.D., citizen journalist

(NaturalNews) Recent polls across the world have consistently shown that, if they had a choice, 90% of people would actively seek to avoid GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in their food. The large multinational corporations of the world have gone through extensive measures to ensure the citizens of most nations have no possible way of knowing whether the food they and their children are eating contain contaminants of GMOs. The labelling of GMOs on the packaging of any foods in the US for example, is illegal. For example, if a company like Kellogs decided to include a full disclosure label on their cereal box that stated, “contains genetically modified corn” they could be sued by the manufacturer and then face possible prison time.

This is a very important issue because the democratic process of many nations has been surreptitiously supplanted by the corporatocracy of the seed company juggernauts. America has one of the highest levels of GMOs in their food chain in the western world with up to 85% of its pre-packaged and processed foods coming from genetic engineering. The people have never asked for GMOs- but got them anyway. The people then asked that they be properly labeled so they could avoid them- they were ignored. Therefore, seeing how our health freedom and well-being is consistently under attack from large multi-national corporations only seeking to increase profits at the expense of our health, what are we to do?

What we can do is simply try to avoid the GMO contaminants altogether and be extremely vigilant of how we spend our money and which companies we are choosing to support. Here are five simple and effective ways to decrease your contact with untested, toxic and dangerous GMOs.

1.) Buy Locally Produced Food

For now, GMOs are only used by large multinational corporations who buy direct from large farms. Produce from local mom and pop farmers have yet to become genetically modified. Purchasing locally grown food supports your local farmers and your health. Not to worry about GMO tomatoes and potatoes as they have all been pulled from the market.

2.) Buy Organically Grown Food

For now, the organic certification process is a relatively safe bet to ensure your food is free of GMOs, although this may not be the case in the future. Help support global sustainability by purchasing certified organically grown food.

3.) Avoid the Top Four GMO Crops of Soy, Corn, Canola and Cottonseed

This is a bit tricky as most blended oils in North America contain canola and cottonseed. Whenever you go out to dinner and receive anything fried, you are most likely consuming GMOs from the oil, not to mention transfat. A way around this would be to purchase 100% extra virgin olive oil, but be sure to avoid the term olive oil as most of it is blended with some GMO cottonseed or canola. Unless it specifically states “Non-GMO” or some derivation on the label, it most likely contains GMOs.Likewise, any time you go you consume corn chips, tacos or soy milk, you are eating GMOs, again unless it specifically states Non-GMO or is organic.

4.) Avoid Artificial Additives and Sweeteners

Most of use are aware of the dangers behind the artificial sweetener and excitotoxin, aspartame (known as preservative E951), but may not be aware that it is created using genetic modification. Even the majority of vitamin C (asorbic Acid) and many B vitamins have been created via genetic modification. A Japanese company was forced to pull GMO L-Tryptophan off the market in 1989 after thousands of people became severely ill with many developing an extremely rare blood disorder called, Esinophilia-Myalgia Syndrome (EMS), although the FDA never publicly mentioned that GMO contamination was the true cause of the recall.

5.) Look For the Non-GMO Label

This includes all animals used for food because most are typically fed GMO feed. If it does not state Non-GMO on the label, then email the manufacturer and ask if they use GMO feed. It is best to attempt to contact all of the manufacturers of the foods you generally eat on a daily or even weekly basis and determine whether GMOs ingredients are utilized in the food. You have a fundamental right to know whether the foods you are consuming have been contaminated with GMOs. When in doubt always look for the Non-GMO label, and unfortunately assume that it has been genetically modified unless the opposite have been explicitly stated.



Mobile Phone Use Boosts Cancer Risk by 50 Percent

•November 25, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Mobile Phone Use Boosts Cancer Risk by 50 Percent
Heavy users of mobile phones are 50 percent more likely to develop cancer of the salivary glands, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Tel Aviv University and published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Researchers studied 500 Israelis who had tumors of the salivary gland, and compared their cell phone usage to 1300 Israelis who did not have such tumors. They found that those who use cellular phones several hours per day against the same side of the head had a 50 percent higher tumor risk than those who used phones less frequently.

Rural residents with heavy mobile phone use had an even higher tumor risk, compared with urban users. The researchers speculated that this could be due to the higher radiation dose needed for mobile phones to function in areas with fewer towers.

A number of studies have linked heavy mobile phone use the health problems such as sleep disruption and brain cancer. While the mobile phone industry often says that studies have proved the devices safe, the researchers noted that these studies tend to look only a short-term exposure, whereas radiation-related health problems may often take up to a decade before symptoms develop.

The researchers said that carrying out studies in Israel, where the level of mobile phone use (and thus radiation exposure) is very high, can give insight otherwise only available from a longer-term study.

“Compared to other studies, the amount of exposure to radiofrequency radiation we saw here was much higher,” said lead researcher Siegal Sadetzki. “If you like, you’re seeing what could happen elsewhere ‘speeded-up’ in Israel.”

The researchers also noted that many studies look only for brain tumors, and not other health problems like the one examined in the current study. This could be because cancer of the salivary gland is normally quite rare, accounting, for example, for only 0.23 percent of all cancers diagnosed in the United Kingdom each year.



•November 24, 2008 • Leave a Comment

This summer, Ronald Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, sent a memo to staffers warning them to limit their cell phone use and to use hands-free sets in the wake of “growing evidence that we should reduce exposure” to cell phone radiation. Among the possible consequences: an increased risk of brain cancer.

Five months later, a top official at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) told a congressional panel that published scientific data indicates cell phones are safe.

So what’s the deal? Do cell phones cause cancer—or not?

It depends on whom you ask: Herberman, Robert Hoover, director of NCI’s Epidemiology and Biostatistics Program, and other health officials recently clashed during a hearing before the House Subcommittee on Domestic Policy held to determine whether mobile phones are safe.

“Long term and frequent use of cell phones which receive and emit radio frequency may be associated with an increased risk of brain tumors,” Herberman told lawmakers. “I find the old adage ‘better to be safe than sorry’ to be very apt to this situation.”

Hoover, on the other hand, insisted that the pervasive technology was safe, testifying that “its effect on the body appears to be insufficient to cause genetic damage.”

The debate became so heated at one point that Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D–Ohio), who called the hearing, snapped at Hoover for interrupting David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany, State University of New York, as he argued there was enough evidence to warrant more scrutiny and a government warning of potential damage.

Cell phones use non-ionizing radiation, which differs from the ionizing radiation of x-rays and radioactive material in that it does not have enough energy to knock around—or ionize—electrons or particles in atoms. Cell phone radiation falls into the same band of nonionizing radio frequency as microwaves used to heat or cook food. But Jorn Olsen, chair of epidemiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Public Health says that unlike microwaves, cell phones do not release enough radiation or energy to damage DNA or genetic material, which can lead to cancer.

Recent research suggests, however, that although short-term exposure is harmless, long-term cell phone use may be a different story. Three studies since 1999 indicate that people who have used cell phones for more than a decade may have as much as three times greater risk of developing brain tumors on the side of the head against which they most often hold their phone—an argument for, at the least, shifting ears regularly or, even better, using an earpiece or the speakerphone feature while chatting.

“For people who’ve used their cell phones for more than 10 years and who use their phone on the same side as the tumor, it appears there’s an association,” Lawrie Challis, emeritus physics professor at the University of Nottingham in England and former chairman of the U.K.’s Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research program, told during a recent interview.

Worldwide, one in 29,000 men and one in 38,000 women on average develop brain tumors each year, with people in industrial nations twice as likely as those in developing countries to be diagnosed with one, according to the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France. If cell phone use does, in fact, triple the odds of getting cancer, these stats would suggest that over 60 years a man’s risk of developing a brain tumor from cell phone use increases from 0.206 percent to 0.621 percent, and a woman’s from 0.156 percent to 0.468 percent.

IARC in 2000 launched a study called Interphone, funded by the European Union, the International Union against Cancer and other national and local funding bodies. Interphone compared surveyed cell phone use in 6,420 people with brain tumors to that of 7,658 healthy people in 13 developed countries—Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the U.K.—to try to determine whether people with brain tumors had used their cell phones more than healthy people, an association that might suggest that cell phones caused the tumors.

The results are expected by the end of this year. “The interpretation of the results is not simple because of a number of potential biases which can affect the results,” says project leader Elisabeth Cardis, a professor at the Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology at the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park. “These analyses are complex and have, unfortunately, taken much time.” Among factors that might skew the results: failure of participants—especially those with tumors—to accurately recall exactly how long and often they talk on their cell phones.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average time between first exposure to a cancer-causing agent and clinical recognition of the disease is 15 to 20 years or longer—and cell phone use in the U.S. has only been popular for about a decade. (In 1996 there were 34 million U.S. cell phone users compared with more than 200 million today, according to CTIA–The Wireless Association, a Washington, D.C.–based cell phone industry group.)

Carpenter told the congressional panel that most of the studies that have shown an increased risk are from Scandinavia, where cell phones have been popular since the early 1990s. Herberman added that most of the research showing cell phones are safe is based on surveys of consumers who have used them for less than 10 years.

Despite a dearth of human studies, more than 400 experiments have been done since the early 1970s to determine how cell phone radiation affects animals, cells and DNA. They, too, have produced conflicting results. Some suggest that cell phone radiation damages DNA and/or nerve cells, others do not. At the hearing, Carpenter suggested that cell phones may increase the brain’s production of reactive forms of oxygen called free radicals, which can interact with and damage DNA.

Contradictory findings could be a sign of poor study quality, according to NCI expert Hoover. But Jerry Phillips, a biochemist who performed cell phone research at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’s Pettis VA Medical Center in Loma Linda, Calif., in the 1990s, believes that conflicting results are to be expected given the nature of the radiation being scrutinized.

Phillips says, for instance, that sometimes the body will respond to radiation by initiating a series of intrinsic repair mechanisms designed to fix the harmful effects. In other words, the effects from radiation exposure may be different in different people. And these varied responses may help explain the contradictory results, says Phillips, who is now director of the Science/Health Science Learning Center at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence out there claiming a link between cell phone use and cancer: Keith Black, chairman of neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, says that the brain cancer (malignant glioma) that killed O. J. Simpson’s attorney, Johnnie Cochran, was the result of frequent cell phone use, based on the fact that the tumor developed on the side of the head against which he held his phone. And in May, a week after Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy was diagnosed with a glioma, The EMR Policy Institute, a Marshfield, Vt.–based nonprofit organization that supports research on the effects of electromagnetic radiation, released a statement linking his tumor to heavy cell phone use. But the NCI maintains that there is no definitive evidence that cell phones increase cancer risk.

In other words, the verdict is still out. “We can’t rule out the possibility of risk,” Nottingham’s Challis says. “There hadn’t been as much work in this area as is now demanded.”


Cholesterol Control With The Right Diet

•November 24, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Cholesterol Control With The Right Diet

Cholesterol ControlCholesterol check has become imperative and most ailments are triggered because of it. Developing a healthy lifestyle can bring down its high levels.

How To Keep Cholesterol In Check:

1) Adding whole grains, beans, fiber to the diet can do wonders. Cut out the refined flour and sugar. You may actually lose away some pounds without much effort. Whole grains also help in cutting down the risk of diabetes.

2) Exercising daily is much needed. Brisk walking for twenty minutes too can do wonders. But it should be done regularly without allowing laziness to set in.

3) Eating the right kind of food should also be extended when eating out. Avoid fried foods as much as possible. Instead opt for grilled, roasted or steamed foods. Insist on salad dressings to be served on the side and not mixed with the vegetables. This should be practiced even when you ask for the main course. Ask for the sauces to be served separately. This habit will allow you to keep a check on your calorie content as well as cholesterol. Most sauces contain a lot of sodium which tend to escalate the blood pressure.

4) A stress-filled lifestyle should be discouraged. Taking a stroll at lunch time, watching children play or even gazing at the clear sky can help you relax. Deep breathing exercises should be done regularly to de-stress.

Our well-being lies in our hands. It is rare we understand its importance until we fall prey to some malady. It is important to take precautions so that life becomes easy and enjoyable.


Take a Pill, Skip Chemo

•November 23, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Study: Pill as good as chemo for some patients
(CNN) — A cancer treatment that comes in a pill is as effective as the standard chemotherapy for lung patients who had previously been treated for their cancer, according to a study released Thursday.
The intravenous chemotherapy treatment had more severe side effects than the pill in this study.

The intravenous chemotherapy treatment had more severe side effects than the pill in this study.

Results of a large clinical trial were published in the British medical journal The Lancet.

The trial was designed to compare Iressa, a daily pill, to Taxotere, an IV-chemotherapy drug that’s administered every three weeks.

This international study included more than 1,400 patients for whom standard chemotherapy had been ineffective.

“Iressa and Taxotere have same survival outcomes,” according to Dr. Edward Kim, lead author of the study and assistant professor in M.D. Anderson Cancer Center’s Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology in Houston, Texas.

The study was paid for by the maker of Iressa, AstraZeneca. Kim says the Food and Drug Administration mandated that the pharmaceutical company conduct this clinical trial.

In the study, patients taking Iressa had an average survival of 7.6 months, and 32 percent survived one year, compared with patients getting the chemotherapy drug Taxotere. Their survival was an average of eight months; 34 percent of patients survived one year.

Kim says this is the largest study in lung cancer comparing an oral therapy with chemotherapy.
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Dr. Bruce Johnson, a lung cancer specialist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, who was not involved in this research, says, “this study did what it intended to do in showing equivalency. I can’t imagine any clearer evidence.”

One significant difference between the two drugs is in side effects. Patients taking Iressa mainly experienced skin rashes and/or mild diarrhea. Patients on Taxotere had many more severe side effects, including hair loss, numbness in hands and feet, severe diarrhea, a drop in blood cells and nausea.

Given the difference, “the single pill trumps chemotherapy,” said Dr. Paul Bunn, who heads the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer Research and also was not involved in the clinical trial.

Johnson says that 5 to 10 percent of patients taking Taxotere will drop out every three weeks because of side effects. Kim points out that if the two treatments have the same survival benefit but one has fewer side effects and is easier to take, doctors want their patients to have the option for this treatment.

Currently, no new lung cancer patients can get Iressa, because doctors are no longer allowed to prescribe it.

In 2003, Iressa got fast-track FDA approval as a treatment for patients with non-small-cell lung cancer, specifically for patients in whom standard chemotherapy had failed. The approval was based on two small phase II clinical trials that showed Iressa was able to shrink tumors by about 10 percent, which led the FDA to believe that the drug would lead to a “positive effect on survival or benefits.” More on Iressa from the FDA

When the FDA gives a drug accelerated approval, it requires that the manufacturer continue testing it to determine whether there’s a clinical benefit to the patient. If further studies can’t show this type of benefit, the FDA has the power to withdraw that drug from the market.

But a year later, results were revealed from a larger, phase III clinical trial that compared Iressa with placebo in patients for whom chemotherapy was ineffective.

“Iressa was better but not statistically significant,” said Bunn, who also directs the University of Colorado Cancer Center.
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* Cancer and chemotherapy

Given this information and because another lung cancer pill — Tarceva — had shown a survival benefit, the FDA decided that ” it is not reasonable to start new patients on Iressa.”

Since 2005, the FDA allows only those already getting Iressa prescribed or those enrolled in clinical trials that were under way at the time to continue taking Iressa.

All three lung cancer experts CNN spoke with regularly see patients and have treated them with Iressa or the other available lung cancer drugs. All said they couldn’t predict whether the FDA would allow new patients to be treated with Iressa based on this and other recent studies.

Kim believes that based on this data, Iressa “is a valid treatment option for patients with pretreated non-small lung cancer.”

Both Bunn and Johnson say that more choices in treatment will always benefit the patients.


Children Being Poisoned by Toxic Stew of Cancer Treatment Chemicals

•November 22, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Children Being Poisoned by Toxic Stew of Cancer Treatment Chemicals
By Matías A. Loewy

GRAMADO, Brazil (Reuters Health) – Potentially harmful drug interactions among children being treated for cancer might be far more prevalent than previously thought, new research suggests.

Pharmacist María Elisa Ferreira Dos Santos and colleagues at the Federal University of Río Grande do Sul Hospital in Porto Alegre, Brazil, analyzed 243 randomly selected prescriptions for 115 children treated over a period of 3 months. They were able to track drug interactions using specific software programs.

Each prescription had, on average, five potentially dangerous or therapeutically inadequate drug combinations, the researchers reported here at the XI Brazilian Congress of Pediatric Oncology. Among those patients receiving more than 16 drugs, who accounted for almost a half of the sample studied, the average number of interactions per prescription rose to 7.

More than half of the interactions (53 percent) were considered of moderate severity and 38 percent of these might have eventually caused serious side effects or even life-threatening complications.

Commenting on the findings, Dr. Cláudio Galvão de Castro Jr., pediatric oncologist of the Federal University of Río Grande do Sul and president of the meeting said pharmacists play an “essential” role in monitoring prescriptions and drug-drug interactions in complex diseases.

“They can help improve patient outcomes and reduce the cost of treatments by preventing avoidable complications,” he told Reuters Health.


That’s disgusting: cell phones

•November 21, 2008 • Leave a Comment

That’s disgusting: cell phones

They live in pockets and purses, rest on tables and desks and occasionally end up on well-trodden bar floors. And when cell phones aren’t busy picking up germs from these various locales, they’re glued to our faces—potentially covering us from ear to mouth in bacteria.

“Anything you’re touching or putting near your mouth without regular cleaning would carry germs,” says Susan Egan, associate professor of microbiology. “They could pick up bacteria from anywhere, really.”

According to a study performed at Manchester Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom, the average cell phone is dirtier than a run-of-the-mill toilet seat or the bottom of a shoe. Because cell phones are usually stored in warm, confined places such as a pocket or purse, the accumulated germs can easily breed.

Egan says one way to prevent catching a cold from your cell is to talk-block your friends, as sharing your phone just increases the sources of bacteria and can spread sickness.

“If you don’t share too much, you’d just be giving yourself your own germs over and over again,” Egan says. “That would reduce the risk of catching things.”

If you want to go the extra mile to ensure mobile cleanliness, a company called Wireless Wipes offers antibacterial phone wipes, which cost $2.95 for a pack of 10 at

Cell Phone/Brain Tumor Connection Remains Inconclusive But They Pose Neurological Health Risks

•November 19, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Cell Phone/Brain Tumor Connection Remains Inconclusive But They Pose Neurological Health Risks
There has been much speculation over the last few years about whether cell phones increase the risk of developing a brain tumor. Research has not conclusively answered this question, which has left consumers confused. The majority of studies that have been published in scientific journals do not have sufficient evidence to show that cell phones increase the risk of brain tumors. The problem is that cell phone technology is in its infancy, so none of these studies could analyze long-term risks. This unknown is a particular issue for children, who will face a lifetime of cell phone usage. While the cell phone/brain tumor connection remains inconclusive, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) cautions that cell phones present plenty of other risks to people’s neurological health, as illustrated by these few real-life scenarios:

~A 29-year-old male was talking on his cell phone while on an escalator, fell backwards, and lacerated his head.

~A 25-year-old male was talking on his cell phone and walked into a street sign, lacerating his head.

~A 43-year-old female fell down 13-14 steps while talking on her cell phone, after drinking alcohol. She suffered a neck sprain and contusions to her head, back, shoulder, and leg.

~A 50-year-old female suffered nerve damage which was related to extensive cell phone usage. She felt pain in her fingers and the length of her arm while holding her cell phone, and was diagnosed with cervical radiculopathy.

~A 39-year-old man suffered a head injury after crashing into a tree on his bicycle while texting

~A 16-year-old boy suffered a concussion because he was texting and walked into a telephone pole.

Several studies show cell phones are a leading cause of automobile crashes. It is estimated that drivers distracted by cell phones are four times more likely to be in a motor vehicle accident. The following are some sobering statistics:

~According to a Harvard University study, an estimated 2,600 people die and 12,000 suffer serious to moderate injuries each year in cell phone-related accidents.

~A Canadian study analysis of 26,798 cell phone calls made during the 14-month study period showed that the risk of an automobile accident was four times higher when using a cell phone.

~National statistics indicate that an estimated 50,000 traumatic brain injury-related deaths occur annually in the United States, 25,000-35,000 of which are attributed to motor vehicle accidents.


Mobile Phone Use Disrupts Sleep, Causes Headaches and Confusion

•November 19, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I have experienced this first hand for sure. I would sleep near my cell phone, sometimes even with my cell phone under my pillow and I could never get a good nights’ sleep!

Mobile Phone Use Disrupts Sleep, Causes Headaches and Confusion

mobile phone

(NaturalNews) Extended exposure to the radiation of a mobile phone, even when not in use, can cause headaches and disrupt the body’s ability to enter deep sleep, according to a study conducted by researchers from Wayne State University in the United States and the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, and published in the peer-reviewed online journal Progress in Electromagnetics Research Symposium.

Researchers conducted an experiment on 36 women and 35 men, of whom 22 and 16, respectively, had previously reported symptoms that they blamed on use of mobile phones. The remaining 33 participants had not reported any symptoms.

All participants were screened carefully by doctors to make sure that they had no underlying medical condition that might interfere with the results. They were all recruited specifically for the current study.

During two different sessions, the participants were exposed either to real or sham radiation for three hours, but were not told which they had been exposed to. The radiation was equivalent to that emitted by a mobile phone, giving an average exposure of 1.4 Watts per kilogram. It included simulations of a phone being both in use and inactive but still turned on. Researchers collected data on the participants before, during and after each exposure.

Upon questioning after the exposure, neither the radiation nor the control group was able to guess which group they were in any more accurately than by chance.

Participants took longer to reach stage 3 sleep when exposed to radiation than when exposed to sham radiation, and stayed in stage 4 sleep for a shorter time. These stages of deep sleep are believed to play an important role in helping the body recover from everyday stresses.

Participants who had not previously reported any symptoms were also more likely to report experiencing headaches while being exposed to real radiation than to sham radiation.

Natural News

Listen to Music

•November 18, 2008 • Leave a Comment

NoiseAddicts Readers live longer!

Some say that laughter is the best medicine, and research seems to back this up – studies show that laughing has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system.

As it turns out, Music might be an even better medicine than laughter .

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore have consucted a study which concludes that listening to your favorite music may be good for your cardiovascular system: Music that causes you joy has a positive effect on blood vessel functions.

In the study, participants were allowed to select music which made them feel good and brought them joy. Researchers found a healthy response that matches the response found by an earlier study on laugher. The music caused tissue in the inner lining of blood vessels to or expand which increased blood flow. Conversely, listening to music that was perceived as stressful caused their blood vessels to narrow, producing a potentially unhealthy response that reduces blood flow.

It’s what I’ve been saying all along: listening to good music gives you life, listening to bad music will kill you.

Compared to a control group, the average blood vessel diameter in the arm increased 26 percent after the joyful music phase, while listening to music that caused anxiety narrowed blood vessels by six percent.

“I was impressed with the highly significant differences both before and after listening to joyful music as well as between joyful and anxious music,” said principal investigator Michael Miller, M.D., director of preventive cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

During the 2005 phase of the study, a 19 percent increase in dilation was seens. The relaxation phase increased dilation by 11 percent on average; a number that the investigators determined was not statistically significant.

That physiological impact may also affect the activity of endorphins in the brain. “The emotional component may be an endorphin-mediated effect,” says Dr. Miller. “The active listening to music evokes such raw positive emotions likely in part due to the release of endorphins, part of that mind-heart connection that we yearn to learn so much more about. Needless to say, these results were music to my ears because they signal another preventive strategy that we may incorporate in our daily lives to promote heart health.”

The results were presented presented at the Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association on November 11, 2008, in New Orleans.

So there you have it. Next time you see someone clutching at their chest, forget the difibrulator & throw on some Jimi Hendrix.

Joyful music may promote heart health


Brown clouds making Asian cities ‘dimmer’: UN report

•November 17, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Brown clouds making Asian cities ‘dimmer’: UN report

13 Nov 2008, 2000 hrs IST, PTI

BEIJING: Brown clouds of pollution are hanging over Asia, making “cities from Beijing to New Delhi” darker, melting glaciers in ranges like the

Himalayas faster and turning weather systems more extreme, the UN said on Thursday.

Formed as a result of burning of fossil fuels and biomass, the Atmospheric Brown Clouds (ABCs), made of soot and other manmade particles, are more than three km-thick, said a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

The layer that stretches from the Arabian Peninsula to China and the western Pacific Ocean, are in some cases and regions aggravating the impacts of greenhouse gas-induced climate change, a team of experts drawn from research centres in Asia, including China and India, said.

Globally, however, brown clouds may be countering or “masking” the effects of climate change by between 20 and up to 80 per cent, said the report.

The cloud is having impacts on air quality and agriculture in Asia increasing risks to human health and food production for three billion people.

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director, UNEP, said: “I expect the Atmospheric Brown Cloud to be now firmly on the international community’s radar as a result of today’s report”.

The five regional hotspots for ABCs identified in the report includes the Indo-Gangetic plains in South Asia from the northwest and northeast regions of eastern Pakistan across India to Bangladesh and Myanmar, the UNEP said in a press statement.

New Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai feature in the list of 13 megacities where ABCs are reducing the sunlight hitting the Earth’s surface, making the cities “darker or dimmer”.

A study on mobile phone radiation effects on humans completed: Intriguing observations concerning biological effects – influence on health still ambiguous

•November 15, 2008 • Leave a Comment

A study on mobile phone radiation effects on humans completed: Intriguing observations concerning biological effects – influence on health still ambiguous


A new study completed by the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) on effects of the mobile phone radiation on human skin strengthens the results of the human cell line analyses: living tissue responds to mobile phone radiation. The results were published in the web journal of BMC Genomics on February 11, 2008.

Earlier studies have shown that mobile phone radiation (radiofrequency modulated electromagnetic fields; RF-EMF) alters protein expression and activity in human endothelial cell line.  STUK’s new study is globally unique, because for the first time it has examined whether a local exposure of human skin to RF-EMF will cause changes in protein expression in living people.

In the study, a small area of forearm’s skin in 10 volunteers was exposed to GSM signal for one hour.  After that skin biopsies were collected from exposed and non-exposed areas of skin and all extractable proteins were examined. The analysis of 580 proteins identified 8 proteins that were statistically significantly affected.

”Mobile phone radiation has some biological effect. Even if the changes are small, they still exist”, says Dariusz Leszczynski, Research Professor at STUK.

According to Leszczynski it is much too early to say will these changes induced by the mobile phone radiation have any effect on health.

”The aim of this project was not detecting any possible health effects, but to find out whether living human skin responds to mobile phone radiation and whether proteomics approach is useful in sorting out this issue”, he states.

A more extensive study with 50-100 volunteers is now planned at STUK. If the financing is settled, the study will be launched in 2009.

Funding for the present study was provided by Tekes – Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation and STUK, and it was a part of national HERMO project (Health Risk Assessment of Mobile Communications) finished in September 2007. The entire article Mobile phone radiation might alter protein expression in human skin is available in the BMC Genomics web journal:

Additional information:
Research Professor Dariusz Leszczynski, tel +358 9 759 88 694
Information officer Riikka Laitinen-Sorvari, tel +358 9 759 88 210


People who defend Aspartame as being safe miss some important logic…

•November 14, 2008 • 2 Comments

People who defend Aspartame as being safe miss some important logic…

Here is the Aspartame debate in a nutshell. If you are familiar with the arguments over Aspartame, please continue reading, I think I have found a logical argument that trumps the only argument people have when defending Aspartame.

The evidence for the ‘Aspartame is safe’ side:

Aspartame has been around for almost 30 years, and has been tested independently in hundreds of countries, and every one has found it safe. Science works, Aspartame haters are just conspiracy theorists. You would have to drink 20 cases a day to be in any danger.

The evidence for the ‘Aspartame will kill you’ side:

Well, here is a good article that sums it up nicely. The doctor/author in it says:

I can’t tell you what to think: I can just tell you what I know, and what I recommend to my children.

In 1977, Richard Merrill, who later became dean of the University of Virginia Law School, was the chief counsel of the Food and Drug Administration, and he formally asked the U.S. attorney to convene a grand jury to decide whether or not to indict the producer of aspartame, G.D. Searle, for misrepresenting “findings, concealing material facts and making false statements” in aspartame safety tests.

This is not some left-wing group. This is the actual chief counsel of the FDA asking the U.S. attorney’s office to convene a grand jury. It never happened, because by the time the grand jury was ready to be convened we had a new president. That president was Reagan, and within a month of Reagan taking office, he had a proposal from a guy you might have heard of named Donald Rumsfeld [who was then chief operating officer of Searle].

And Jan. 22, 1981, one day after Reagan’s inauguration — one day — Searle reapplied for FDA approval. Prior to that, every single request for approval was turned down by all the scientists ever looking at the data. That’s a fact. There’s no dispute about that fact. And then, it gets approved May 19, 1981.

Remember what happened with the Reagan revolution? It was: “We need to get the government off our backs.” One of the backs it got off of was suppressing the aspartame industry. Later, many of the people who worked at the FDA to evaluate aspartame ended up going to work for the company producing it.

She then talks about a recent study that shows Aspartame is dangerous. Why would this study be more accurate than the hundreds performed over the years that show Aspartame is safe?

A typical rat study runs two years; that would be getting your rat to about my age: 60. People live now to their 90s. This study started their exposure when they were babies, like what we do now in the United States with aspartame, and let the rats live out their natural lifetimes until they were 3 years old.

And when they did that they found a significant increase in tumors that occurred only in that third year of life. Of course, the European Food Safety Authority, which sounds very independent, says the study is worthless. But I looked up the background on the people involved with the European Food Safety Authority, and many of them work directly for the food industry.

The Ramazzini Foundation, a toxicology institute, which did the study, is not known to be radical. Unlike most other sources of information in toxicology, it’s truly independent. It is not funded by Monsanto. And what they found is that there is significant increase in lymphomas and leukemia, and that the increase comes not from consuming 800 cans of soda a day, but from consuming fairly moderate amounts of aspartame in these animals’ lifetimes. They had 1,800 animals, and some of them were just consuming the equivalent of two cans of soda a day, two yogurts, 10 pieces of chewing gum. And at that level of consumption, there was a significant increase in cancer, and it only showed up in older rats.

This is the point where anyone defending Aspartame says ‘well you can give chocolate to a dog and it will die, testing rats does not prove that it is dangerous to humans’. This is also where people on the other side will usually say just as this author does, that the rats used are actually very close to humans genetically – scientists do not use any old rat, they use a specific rat that most closely matches humans genetically. Still… this could be true, how can we say that something that affects these rats would hurt a human?

This is where my argument comes in, and I wonder why no one ever thinks of it: when we are told Aspartame is safe, it is tested on those very same rats.

Isn’t this odd, and probably cognitive dissonance at work, that people will be quick to point out that testing on rats is not clear proof, and yet we are presented with products every day that are declared ’safe’ because they did not affect these same rats?

The problem is we cannot obviously test anything on humans, so our best alternative is testing on rats.

And here is where the doctor points out the scary part:

We have gone backward since the ’70s. In the ’70s, in the decision on lead in gasoline, the court said we could use experimental evidence that something was a threat to human health in order to prevent harm. The court repeatedly ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency could use theories, models and estimates to prevent harm.

Now, we have to prove that harm has already happened before taking action to prevent additional harm. In the area of cancer this is a travesty, since most cancer in adults takes five, 10, 20 or 30 years [to develop]. It means that we have no opportunity to prevent cancer, because we must prove through human evidence that it’s already happened. I think that is fundamentally wrong public policy. Ninety percent of all claims now for toxic torts are denied.

What the court decisions have done is to make the burden of proof close to impossible when it comes to human harm and environmental contamination.

Is it proof that Aspartame is dangerous? I would say no, but is it worth risking? I was really floored when I saw this article on It says “the Center for Science in the Public Interest gave it their lowest ranking in a review of food additives, quoting animal studies in 1970 and in 2007, which suggest that there is a link between aspartame and cancer.”

I quit drinking diet soda after reading these articles. We need to put the burden of proof on those that want to prove something is safe, not those that are trying to show something is dangerous to our health. If you use the argument that ‘testing on rats does not prove anything’ then no chemical we use or eat has ever been proven to be safe for us. Now if I could only afford organic food…


Mobile phone use ‘raises children’s risk of brain cancer fivefold’ Part 1

•November 13, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Mobile phone use ‘raises children’s risk of brain cancer fivefold’ Part 1

Alarming new research from Sweden on the effects of radiation raises fears that today’s youngsters face an epidemic of the disease in later life
The Swedish research was reported this month at the first international conference on mobile phones and health
Children and teenagers are five times more likely to get brain cancer if they use mobile phones, startling new research indicates.
The study, experts say, raises fears that today’s young people may suffer an “epidemic” of the disease in later life. At least nine out of 10 British 16-year-olds have their own handset, as do more than 40 per cent of primary schoolchildren.
Yet investigating dangers to the young has been omitted from a massive £3.1m British investigation of the risks of cancer from using mobile phones, launched this year, even though the official Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR) Programme – which is conducting it – admits that the issue is of the “highest priority”.
Despite recommendations of an official report that the use of mobiles by children should be “minimised”, the Government has done almost nothing to discourage it.
Last week the European Parliament voted by 522 to 16 to urge ministers across Europe to bring in stricter limits for exposure to radiation from mobile and cordless phones, Wi-fi and other devices, partly because children are especially vulnerable to them. They are more at risk because their brains and nervous systems are still developing and because – since their heads are smaller and their skulls are thinner – the radiation penetrates deeper into their brains.
The Swedish research was reported this month at the first international conference on mobile phones and health.


Diabetes, Social Events, and the Workplace

•November 12, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Diabetes, Social Events, and the Workplace


Plan ahead and you can enjoy parties despite having type 2 diabetes.

You may have diabetes, but you can still have a good time at parties and work functions.

The key is to know how food and drink can affect your blood sugar, and plan accordingly. An occasional sugary dessert won’t necessarily blow your diet. As with anything, moderation is the key.

Weddings, parties, and other social events
When Sue McFadden, 49, goes to a party or restaurant, she skips certain carbohydrate-laden foods, such as bread, potatoes, or pasta, so that she can indulge in others.

“I won’t eat them so I can have the dessert I like. My favorite is tiramisu. I haven’t found a diabetic version of that yet!” says McFadden, an administrative assistant who lives in Drexel Hill, Penn., and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes when she was 41.

Share Your Thoughts

How do you keep from gaining weight or overindulging at parties?
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Blake Holden, 48, is OK with the occasional splurge at a special event and adjusts his insulin to cover sweets or other types of food he doesn’t normally eat.

“I make the decision that I’m going to go, I’m going to eat it, I’m going to take more insulin. And on that day, my blood sugar will be wacky. It’ll be high, it’ll come down,” says Holden, who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. “I do it very rarely. How many weddings or big parties do I go to? Not many.”

He also has found that alcohol can affect his blood sugar in strange ways. “Certain alcohols seem like they stop my blood sugar from rising,” he says.

Alcoholic beverages can be a potential hazard for people with diabetes: Should you or shouldn’t you? You’ll need to know if you have health problems that may worsen with alcohol intake, and how it can affect your blood sugar.


Yacon is definitely the answer to all this.

Health Benefits of Ginger

•November 11, 2008 • Leave a Comment

In Eastern societies, ginger has always been known for its healing powers. Pythagorus was one of its greatest supporters in Ancient Greece. King Henry VIII of England used it to protect against the plague. Though we don’t know for sure if ginger can actually protect you from the plague, we do know that it is beneficial in many other ways.

The American Phytotherapy Research Laboratory in Salt Lake City has conducted a classic study on motion sickness, which may cause you to leave the dramamine on the shelf during your next vacation.

Denmark researchers have discovered that ginger can block the effects of prostaglandins. These are substances that cause inflammation of the blood vessels in the brain, which leads to migraines. Though the results are still experimental, 1/3 teaspoon of fresh of powdered ginger taken when you feel a migraine coming on can help stop pain before it starts. Using the same theory, ginger has been found to produce “marked” relief in arthritis pain. The ginger tea described above or 1/2 teaspoon of ginger is recommended by Danish researchers for arthritis relief.

A researcher at Cornell University Medical College discovered that ginger has an effect on blood clots that is similar to that of aspirin. By the same token, it appears that high cholesterol levels are lowered using the same active ingredient, thromboxane.

When buying ginger, fresh is best! Be sure to avoid ginger with dry, wrinkled, skin, mold or soft spots. African and Indian ginger are the most potent. Grating or using a garlic press will give you the maximum benefit.

Ginger can definitely give you many benefits but more is not always better. An ounce a day should give you all the benefits you will need.


Advice from young investors

•November 10, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Advice from young investors Investor Daily: Amidst market jitters, the under-thirty crowd serves up optimism. By Mina Kimes, reporter Last Updated: November 7, 2008: 7:10 AM ET Solve the financial crisis firstvideo Solve the financial crisis first More Videos Time to buy stocksvideo Time to buy stocks More Videos More from Fortune YouTube goes to the movies GM-Chrysler? Oh, never mind! Obama’s priority: A better TARP FORTUNE 500 Current Issue Subscribe to Fortune NEW YORK (Fortune) — Ah, to be young and invested in a bear market. While older stockholders are panicking as their retirement savings recede faster than their hairlines, dedicated investors in their twenties and early thirties are surprisingly placid about their money, which they don’t plan on extracting for years. Some are even bullish about the current buying situation. “My parents talk about how, when they were in college, certain stocks were so much cheaper,” says Naimish Patel, a 20-year-old who attends the University of Florida. “Now we’re at a generational low – and I personally believe that it’s time to be aggressive.” Patel, who has been managing a small portfolio since he was a 10th grader and uses his excess scholarship money as trading fodder, presides over his school’s investing group. Over the last year, he says, membership has nearly doubled as students gained interest in the market. Dropping prices – a predicament for long-time investors – are attractive to the bold and untested. Time is on their side. Part of that fearlessness stems from a lack of obligations. Cameron Schubert, a 28-year-old student at NYU’s Stern School of Business and a member of the sales and trading club, says he’s willing to take risks because of his age. “If I jump into financials and they blow up, it’s just me,” he says. “But when I have a family, it’ll be different – I can’t just say, ‘Oh well, we’ll eat mac and cheese for the next three years.” Even if you aren’t ready to make the jump to boxed meals, you can still take a few pages from a young stockholder’s book. Because twenty-somethings are uniquely situated psychologically, they’re often less swayed by market panics. That calm, says Will Hepburn, a financial planner at Hepburn Capital, can benefit investors of all stripes. “You can’t undo what happened, but if you have money to invest – now is a good opportunity,” he says. Can you afford to keep your money in the market for another ten years? If so, you should consider the tacks that smart young investors are taking: focusing on long-term returns, buying into low-cost funds, and picking undervalued companies. Try putting yourself in the shoes of a 26 year old – you just might make a mature decision. Stay the course Over the last few months, investors have fled the market in record numbers: TrimTabs, a market research firm, estimates that shareholders pulled $42 billion out of equity funds in October – the second highest outflow ever. But despite such hemorrhaging, the Gen-Y set largely believes in staying put. Much of that bravado stems from a lack of urgency; even if stocks continue to fall, they’re likely to rise again when it’s time to pull them out. “Whether or not riskier stocks pay off, I have a whole life to work,” says Univ. of Florida’s Patel. Ramit Sethi, 26, warns against trying to time the market on his personal finance blog, Sethi says that he hasn’t changed his investing behavior in the past few months. “The immediate reaction should be to do nothing,” he says. According to Sethi, if you’ve been investing youthfully – i.e. in equities – you probably got wrecked this year. But he still encourages his 175,000 monthly readers, who are mostly in their twenties, to continue putting money into their investments. “Stay in the market so you can catch the upside,” he says. Sethi cites a recent study by Dimensional Funds, which shows that if you missed the S&P 500’s 25 best days from 1970 to 2006, your annualized returns would shrink from 11.1% to 7.6%. The blogger advises investors to funnel their money into a lifecycle fund, which is a balanced fund that automatically shifts assets into safe territory as its holder ages. Fidelity and Vanguard both offer the funds, which are sometimes included as 401(k) offerings. A stock-picker’s market Many twenty-somethings are not only holding onto their investments, but also buying into companies that are trading below their value. “Right now, we have an unprecedented opportunity to buy into a market that’s been beaten down,” says Lesley Scorgie, 25. Scorgie, who wrote a book called Rich By Thirty (like Sethi, she knows that the word “rich” is more alluring to her peers than “financially stable”), advocates sectors such as utilities and railroads. Union Pacific, for example, has dipped 19% since August; at $69, it’s hardly dirt-cheap, but it’s a decent buy-in for the profitable company. Like many investors his age, Univ. of Florida’s Patel is drawn to blue chips such as McDonalds, Wal-Mart and Coca Cola. He has faith in the recovery of financials, which he buys through Vanguard’s value ETF, a large cap fund that has sunk 38% in the last year. In the last week and a half, however, the fund – which holds – JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America – has crept up 11% Members of the sales and trading club at Stern are also playing the market – at a recent lunch, they offered picks such as computer seller Dell and steelmaker Nucor. David Paz, 29, is keen on stocks that have demonstrated a capacity to lead recoveries. “Nucor is trading down 70%,” he says. “Steel companies are often the first to go up when there’s a rebound. I looked at the ’91 recession, and they were trading at $5; by ’92, they were at $12.” Cheap equities are alluring to the young (and young at heart), but investors that are nearing retirement should only dip their toe into the market right now, says Hepburn. “It could take ten years to recover, and ten more years to make a decent profit,” he says. “If you’ve got that time, put the pedal to the metal.”

WHO Study Examines Cellphone Risks to Kids

•November 9, 2008 • Leave a Comment

WHO Study Examines Cellphone Risks to Kids

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July 12, 2005
While cellphones are increasingly popular among kids, some scientists worry the devices are a health risk to them. The World Health Organization is completing a massive study to see if there’s a link between cellphone use and brain cancer and other ailments.

Cell Phones and Cancer
Cancer Center Workers Warned about Cell Phone Risks
New Mexico Allergy Sufferers Want Public Wi-Fi Ban
Study Cautions Pregnant Women On Cell Phone Use
Researcher: Cell Phones ‘More Dangerous Than Smoking’
Cell Phones May Provide False Sense Of Security
Study Suggests Cell Phone-Salivary Gland Cancer Link
Scientist Worries WiFi May Harm Children
British Study To Examine Cell Phone-Health Links
Study: Cell Phone Use Not Linked to Cancer Risk
FDA Will Review Cell Phone-Cancer Link
Supreme Court Clears Cell Phone Cancer Suits for Trial
St. Louis Researchers Find Cell Phone Radiation Doesn’t Promote Cancer
Swedish Study Finds No Cell Phone-Cancer Link in First Decade of Use
WHO Study Examines Cellphone Risks to Kids
Judges OKs Cell Phone Safety Case
Cell Phones May Harm Sperm Cells, British Study Finds
Swedish Study Finds Cell Phone-Brain Tumor Link
Firefly Promotes Cell Phone for Kids
Researchers: Cell Phones Pose Cancer Risk for Kids
British Lab Will Study Cell Phone Radiation
Swedish Study Finds Higher Risk in Long-Term Users
Cell Phones Probably Safe: British Study
Court Blocks Cell Phone “Ray Blockers”
Cell Phone Radiation Suit Dismissed
Baltimore attorney Peter Angelos enters cell suit
New Orleans judge lets cell-phone suit stand
Report Finds “Legitimate Questions” About Cell Phone Safety
Doctor Blames Cell Phones for His Brain Tumor
Cell Phone Cancer Link
Readers Report Their Problems
Cell Phone Safety: An Editorial

Cellphones emit electromagnetic radiation and their design requires them to be held close to the user’s head. Scientists are concerned that childrens’ skulls are thinner and their brains are still developing. Therefore, the risk of electromagnetic energy damaging their brains could be greater than the risk for adults.

A Canadian research team contributing to the project has access to the phone records of cancer patients — including some children.

“And if we’re looking at chronic diseases like cancer, because they are exposed at an earlier age, they have a greater opportunity for that effect to manifest itself,” said Daniel Krewski, one of the Canadian researchers, who added there is no evidence so far that kids are at risk.

One reason for the growing concern is that the wireless industry is increasingly targeting children. Already on the market are Hello Kitty phones, offered jointly by Nokia and the character’s creator, Sanrio. Mattel sells a Barbie-branded phone as part of its My Scene line targeting 8- to 14-year-old girls. Verizon Wireless has added Sesame Street and Nickelodeon clips to its V Cast wireless broadband service.

Most prominently, the Walt Disney Co. is teaming up with Sprint to offer wireless phone service with Disney-branded content. The new program, called Disney Mobile, will be offered next year and will target families and the growing number of kids with cellphones.

A Disney spokeswoman said the phones will offer Disney-branded “ring tones, graphics and information,” but she gave few other details about the service.

Children have become a favorite new market for mobile services now that most adults – over 80 percent, by some counts – already own cellphones.

According to NOP World Technology, a consumer research firm based in Manhattan, 40 percent of kids aged 12 to 14 owned cell phones at the end of last year, up from just 13 percent in 2002.

There are ways to reduce the risk of brain damage, said a WHO spokesman.

“With respect to children, WHO recommends that children should use hands-free headsets,” said Mike Repacholi.

While the risk may be slight, the WHO notes that the vast number of cellphone users means that even a slight risk can have a major impact on public health.

Cancer isn’t the only focus of the WHO study, which will also look at conditions like memory loss and other decline in mental functioning. The study is also examining the questions of whether people can safely use cellphones while driving and how much they interfere with medical devices.

From: Consumerism Report

The Hidden Dangers of Cell Phone Radiation

•November 8, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Dr. Carlo’s Continuing Work

Following the loss of his home, Dr. Carlo collaborated with Washington columnist Martin Schram—who in the course of the work did his own research to corroborate Dr. Carlo’s view on things—to write Cell Phones: Invisible Hazards in the Wireless Age (Carroll & Graf, 2001). He wrote his book as what he thought would be a last volley at the cell phone industry.

“I needed to tell the whole story in one place. I didn’t have the resources or the manpower to match what the cell phone industry was doing to try to discredit the work,” says Dr. Carlo. “Based on the book, a number of lawsuits were brought against the industry, and insurance carriers began excluding cell phone-related health risks in their coverage. It created a very difficult situation in the industry and for myself. I was worn out fighting that battle. In 2002, after I’d done my book tour, I just decided to take a break for a couple of years.”

Instead of taking a break, however, Dr. Carlo ended up working behind the scenes, setting up an organization and a registry for the benefit of consumers. It was a creative solution as part of the settlement of a lawsuit brought by a Illinois citizen against the cell phone industry, WTR, and Dr. Carlo personally. The lawsuit alleged that the cell phone industry, WTR, and Dr. Carlo were conspiring to hide the dangers of cell phones. Dr. Carlo was offered a way out of the suit because his book had made it clear he wasn’t on the same page as the industry.

“I wanted to make sure the litigation brought at least some value to consumers. We created the Safe Wireless Initiative ( for disseminating information on the dangers and on prevention, and the Mobile Telephone Health Concerns Registry ( to track information voluntarily provided by cell phone users, particularly those who believe they’re experiencing health effects. Post-market surveillance hadn’t been done before, and the registry does that. It will help direct future research of potential health effects related to cell phone use. In the end, we did the best we could to get some benefit for consumers.”

To repair damage and build the body’s defenses against the onslaught of EMR, supplements—along with dietary changes, stress reduction, weight control and exercise—make you stronger, more balanced, and better able to face the assaults of EMR. Antioxidant supplements that fight free radicals are especially desirable.

Says Dr. Carlo: “You as a human being are put under siege by the electromagnetic soup we’re swimming in, and this isn’t hyperbole, it’s true. When you answer your cell phone, radio signals are around you. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Our general ability to compensate for those insults is becoming compromised by the ever-increasing background of EMR.”

Taking as many precautions as you can goes a long way to reducing the risks. However, Dr. Carlo cautions that there is no silver bullet solution. “It’s a complicated problem, and while we tend to look for a quick fix, there is none here. Over the next decade, I hope we figure out how to change the way signals are transmitted. A thousand years from now we will have evolved, but that’s not helping us now. This will take time, but consumers have to be empowered to help themselves in the interim.”

European Research Confirms Cell Phone Dangers

The industry took its tricks elsewhere—to Europe, which had picked up the ball and began funding independent research to corroborate or confirm the work of Dr. Carlo and his team. The work was completed in mid-2004 and when it was released,12 it not only provided independent scientific corroboration of the work done by Dr. Carlo’s group, but also took the work a step further and showed how the problems were occurring mechanistically. This information formed a biologically plausible hypothesis for how cell phone radiation could be related to so many diseases.

Dr. Carlo noted, “The industry exerted pressure on the scientists who conducted the work, including renowned German scientist Dr. Franz Adlkofer. It first tried to change the conclusions of the work, then to delay its public release. Then Dr. Adlkofer, the lead scientist, was attacked in the media and threatened privately with no more research money, a ruined reputation—similar to what we experienced in the WTR. But this situation attracted the attention of a German documentary filmmaker, who decided to do a film on the cell phone issue.”

It was enough to bring Dr. Carlo into view again, as he was asked to participate. The film, The Boiling Frog Principle, by Klaus Scheidsteger, builds on information from his first film, The Cell Phone War, and will be released in 2007. Its intent is to integrate the latest political and scientific evidence from around the world, and bring forth to consumers important information on cell phone dangers that was previously withheld.

Economic Implications

Currently in the US, there are seven class action lawsuits moving forward against the cell phone industry, says Dr. Carlo, and nine other cases that are personal injury cases brought by people with brain cancer. In the past two years, two workers compensation awards were given to people with brain tumors based on a link between their tumors and their cell phone use in the workplace. Both of these cases occurred in California.

“What we have now is a major litigation burden, a vulnerability the cell phone industry has never before been under,” Dr. Carlo says. “They’re uninsured for these health risk claims and are already positioning themselves for a congressional bailout, like the Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s. They’ll lose a couple of these lawsuits and once they do, there’ll be an onslaught of new litigation against them.”

The country can’t afford for the cell phone industry to go under, Dr. Carlo says, as it would have a disastrous impact on the entire economy—some estimates say over 30% of investment stocks in retirement funds are tied to telecommunications shares. That’s why Congress will figure out a way to bail out the industry.

“The industry thinks they can afford to continue on with this institutional arrogance, endangering millions of men, women and children because, at the end of the day, they believe they’ll not be held accountable. They think they can continue to manipulate consumers.”

A Looming Health Crisis

It’s been nearly 12 years since the WTR was funded. Despite Dr. Carlo’s revealing research and the corroborating research of other scientists from around the world that continue to follow, a search of media reports today on the subject of cell phone dangers tends to suggest one of only two conclusions: There is no risk, or no one has yet proven the risk. That’s at odds with more than 300 studies in the peer-reviewed scientific literature supporting an increased risk of disease. Clearly, something doesn’t add up.

The industry’s manipulation of the media to consider only one study at a time obfuscates the big picture.Individually, there’s little to see. But the depth and breadth of the science that points to the problem, and the compilation of studies, make the future look frightening. Like the September 11 tragedy, where no one in government talked to each other and did not see it coming for lack of a big picture view, the health crisis from cell phone use looms darkly.

“When you put all the science together, we come to the irrefutable conclusion that there’s a major health crisis coming, probably already underway,” warns Dr. Carlo. “Not just cancer, but also learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, autism, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and psychological and behavioral problems—all mediated by the same mechanism. That’s why we’re so worried. Time is running out. When you put the pieces of the puzzle together, it’s such a wide ranging problem. It’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.”

Protecting Yourself

The most effective technique for protecting yourself against the dangers of cell phone radiation is keeping the phone at a distance from the body. Simply using a hands-free headset is a big step. Headsets keep the cell phone’s antenna at a distance of six to seven inches away from the body, thus eliminating near-field exposure. Wired headsets can act as an antenna to draw some ambient EMR, but not much, so using one is still preferable to holding the phone to your head. Wireless headsets should be avoided, as they draw much more far-field EMR.

The safest headsets have hollow air tubes, similar to those used in stethoscopes, instead of wires.They offer protection against both near-field and far-field exposure. If possible, avoid wearing the phone at your waist, which exposes the hip bones to radiation. Eighty percent of red blood cells are formed in the hip bones. There are also newer cell phones available capable of functioning in speaker phone mode. This enables you to talk on the phone while keeping it at a safe distance from your body. If you are able to conduct most of your conversations using a speaker phone, this could enable you to use a cell phone without encountering the intense radiation exposure that occurs when holding it to your ear.

Taken from: Life Extension Magazine

CNN Goes High Tech

•November 7, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Beam me up, Wolf! CNN debuts election-night ‘hologram’

  • Story Highlights
  • CNN “beamed” a correspondent from Chicago to its New York studios Tuesday
  • Jessica Yellin appeared to be standing before anchor Wolf Blitzer, who queried her
  • The trick was done with a round green-screen room and 35 high-def video cameras
  • The never-before-seen image already is being spoofed on the Internet and TV
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By Chris Welch

(CNN) — It was an election night like none other, in every sense of the phrase. In addition to the obvious — the selection of the nation’s first black president — Tuesday night’s coverage on CNN showcased groundbreaking technology.

CNN's Jessica Yellin appears live as a hologram before anchor Wolf Blitzer Tuesday night in New York.

CNN’s Jessica Yellin appears live as a hologram before anchor Wolf Blitzer Tuesday night in New York.

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“I want you to watch what we’re about to do,” CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer told viewers early in the evening’s coverage, “because you’ve never seen anything like this on television.”

And he was right. Cue CNN political correspondent Jessica Yellin.

“Hi Wolf!” said Yellin, waving to Blitzer as she stood a few feet in front of him in the network’s New York City studios. Or at least, that’s the way it appeared at first glance.

In reality, Yellin — a correspondent who had been covering Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign — was at the now president-elect’s mega-rally along the lakefront in Chicago, Illinois, more than 700 miles away from CNN’s Election Center in New York.

It looked like a scene straight out of “Star Wars.” Here was Yellin, partially translucent with a glowing blue haze around her, appearing to materialize in thin air. She even referenced the classic movie on her own, saying, “It’s like I follow in the tradition of Princess Leia. It’s something else.” Video Watch a behind-the-scenes look at CNN’s hologram project »

Jay Leno has poked fun at the hologram, and mash-up spoofs that replace Yellin’s voice with Carrie Fisher’s lines from the movie already are making their way around the Internet.

But the million-dollar question on everyone’s mind now: How’d they do it?

CNN dubbed it a “hologram” — a three-dimensional image that’s been reproduced. And it’s the brainchild of a few people.

“About a dozen years, I’ve been trying to do it,” David Bohrman, CNN’s senior vice president and Washington bureau chief, said to Blitzer on “The Situation Room” on Wednesday. “I’ve basically been a crazy mad scientist trying to get it done.”

The technology involved placing a subject — in this case Yellin, and later in the evening, musical artist — in the middle of a bright-green circular room inside a large tent at Obama’s Grant Park victory celebration.

The subject was then filmed with 35 high-definition video cameras, barely larger than average point-and-shoot cameras, which ringed the wall of the circular room. The video cameras were 6 inches apart and at eye level, 220 degrees around the subject.

Chuck Hurley, the Washington bureau’s senior producer of video and the staffer tapped by Bohrman to manage the execution of the “hologram,” called it simple chroma-key technology that’s been taken “to the Nth degree.” Video Watch the hologram on air »

“Weathermen have been standing in front of green screens for years now, but that’s [with] one camera,” Hurley said. “Now we can do that times 35, so you can send all the way around the subject.”

Hurley said the tiny cameras “talk” to the New York studio’s cameras, meaning that when a New York camera moves, it “tells” the cameras in the tent which direction it’s moving and keeps the subject in the correct proportions.

On Tuesday night, Blitzer could only see Yellin on a TV monitor across the studio. Technicians placed a round piece of red laminate on the studio floor where she was “beamed in” so that Blitzer would know where to look.

The technology in play was originally developed by Israeli-based company SportVU (pronounced “sport view”) as a new way of filming soccer games.

Gal Oz, a SportVU designer who came to the United States to work with CNN on the endeavor, said it was originally designed “to create a matrix effect in sports” — in other words, to provide 360 degrees of perspective for instant replays.

But it hasn’t been used for its intended purpose yet. Instead, for the past three months, the company has been perfecting it for CNN’s election coverage, Oz said. Tuesday night’s live interview of Yellin was essentially the technology’s world debut as well.

Hurley and Oz agree that as good as the image looked on television Tuesday, it can look even more realistic. Hurley said the blue glow around Yellin and was added intentionally to avoid confusion.

“We could have had a much crisper, more realistic shot, almost to the extent where the viewer at home would have had no idea even that the person wasn’t really there,” Hurley said.

“You don’t want to have the effect where it looks so good that for every future live shot, you have people on the blogs saying, ‘Oh they’re not really there–they’re in a studio, faking the moon landing.’ ”

Hurley said considering it was CNN’s first real “test launch” with the high-end gadgetry, they were “beyond thrilled.” That’s not to say there weren’t setbacks.

For all the preparation that went into the tent and green room in Chicago — a location CNN staffers dubbed “Casper” after the friendly cartoon ghost — there was an equally elaborate setup in Phoenix, Arizona, site of John McCain’s election night rally. CNN correspondent Dana Bash was ready there for her turn in the portal as well.

But because the Arizona site didn’t go through as much testing in the final hours, and because the election was called in Obama’s favor earlier in the evening than many expected, Chicago’s “Casper” was the only “hologram’ venue put to use.

Hurley and Oz both said they couldn’t put a price tag on the total cost of such technology. But could this become a staple of future TV news?

“We’ll see. It was a little ornament on the tree,” Bohrman said. “But television evolves, and how we do things evolves, and at some point — maybe it’s five years or 10 years or 20 years down the road — I think there’s going to be a way that television does interviews like this because it allows for a much more intimate possibility for a remote interview.”

The day after her virtual appearance in New York, Yellin said this kind of new technology is what keeps television news entertaining, even when it’s presenting important political stories.

“We do serious journalism, but we also have fun. This is fun. This is about what we can do, about pushing the envelope and pushing the boundaries,” she said. “Someday when this is even more advanced, having a fuller visual field for interview subjects could give viewers even more of a sense of people.”


Now, in hindsight, Yellin only wishes she could have come up with a better “Star Wars” joke.

“I was thinking of making an Obi-Wan Kenobi joke — Obi-Wolf Kenobi,” she said, laughing, “but I couldn’t figure out the pun.”

from: CNN

MSG- revisited

•November 6, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Are you at risk from exposure to MSG?

MSG-sensitivity is a term used by people who react adversely to “monosodium glutamate” and/or any other ingredient that contains processed free glutamic acid (MSG).

As used here, an “adverse reaction” is an unpleasant reaction that can be seen or felt by the affected person or an observer.  Skin rash, nausea, migraine headache, heart irregularities, seizures, and depression are examples of adverse reactions that have been reported following ingestion of MSG. Each is a visible or observable reaction. When caused by MSG, each can be traced back to recent exposure to MSG.

Gross obesity, stunted growth, reproductive disorders, learning disabilities, behavior disorders, and retinal degeneration (possibly leading to blindness) are not classified as “adverse reactions.”  When caused by MSG, their roots lie in the destruction of brain cells, possibly years before gross obesity, stunted growth, reproductive disorders, learning disabilities, behavior disorders, and/or retinal degeneration are first observed.  Research confirming that MSG consumed by laboratory animals causes brain lesions in the area of the hypothalamus has been replicated many times. Similarly, researchers have confirmed that when MSG is consumed by infant animals, neonates, and even fetuses, the brain lesions are followed by neuroendocrine disorders such as obesity, stunted growth, and reproductive disorders. (Research that has claimed to find that MSG is “safe” has always been seriously flawed; and has always been financed, directly or indirectly, by the glutamate industry.)

A third area of concern encompasses a number of pathological conditions such as addiction, stroke, epilepsy, brain trauma, multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain, AIDS dementia, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, and degenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). All are known to be affected by free glutamic acid. Whether ingestion of processed free glutamic acid (MSG) plays a role in causing or exacerbating these conditions is not clear.  Because glutamic acid is involved in all of them, this conglomeration of pathological conditions is often referred to as the glutamate cascade.

The following should help you understand MSG-sensitivity:

Recognizing and/or diagnosing MSG adverse reactions

Pinpointing MSG as a reaction triggerA list of reactions that might be MSG-induced adverse reactions

Letters from people who have identified sensitivities to MSG

Understanding where MSG is hidden

Understanding brain damage and endocrine disorders caused by MSG

Understanding MSG’s link to pathological conditions such as addiction, stroke, epilepsy, brain trauma, multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain, AIDS dementia, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, and degenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

People vary in their reactions to MSG — both in the amount of MSG needed to cause an adverse reaction and in the type of reaction experienced. We know that some people react to what would seem to be incredibly small amounts of MSG, while others react only when they ingest considerably more. We know that MSG can cause the same reactions caused by drugs that affect the nervous system — reactions that are called “side effects” when related to prescription or nonprescription drugs.  But we know very little about the mechanisms that underlie MSG-induced adverse reactions.  For those who are interested, the following may lead to a better understanding of  adverse reactions to MSG: 1) Glutamate receptors (cells that can be stimulated by ingested MSG) exist outside of the brain and central nervous system.  They are referred to as “peripheral receptors.”  Glutamate receptors, which were once thought to be present only in the central nervous system, have been found in the mouth, lungs, intestines, muscle, and other “peripheral” locations. (Gill, S.S., Mueller, R.W., McGuire, P.F., Pulido, O.M. Potential target sites in peripheral tissues for excitatory neuro transmission and excitotoxicity. Toxicologic Pathology 28(2):277-284, 2000.)2) Ingestion of MSG causes adverse reactions in susceptible individuals. Those reactions are diverse, but no more diverse than reactions to other neurotropic drugs such as Valium. The fairly recent discovery of glutamate receptors in many locations outside of the central nervous system suggests that the readily observable toxic effects of MSG, referred to as adverse reactions, are facilitated by glutamate receptors in the mouth, lungs, intestines, and muscle, for example; and that the fate of ingested MSG is not to come to rest in the plasma as elevated plasma glutamate and from there to be excreted by the liver. Rather, it would appear that the fate of ingested MSG is to move with dispatch to any glutamate receptors available to it; and to create an adverse or toxic reaction if any one of those peripheral glutamate receptors is weak, crippled, diseased, or otherwise unhealthy.

3) The adverse effects of MSG ingestion may be cumulative. People have reported eating products containing small amounts of MSG once a week without experiencing reactions, while having reactions when those same products were consumed two or three days in a row.  In one well done 2002 study, no retinal damage was observed when MSG was fed to laboratory animals for a short period of time (a month), but as time during which MSG was fed to those animals increased to 3 months and 6 months, there was observable damage. (Ohguro et al. A high dietary intake of sodium glutamate as flavoring (Ajinomoto) causes gross changes in retinal morphology and function. Experimental Eye Research 75:(3),2002)

4) It has been suggested (possibly by Dr. Russel Blaylock) that while a dose of MSG below a person’s tolerance level may not produce an observable adverse reaction the first time the sub-liminal does of MSG is ingested, it stimulates or damages vulnerable glutamate receptors, making them more sensitive to subsequent ingestion of MSG. That would explain why the same amount of MSG ingested at a later time or on a second day might, that second time, cause an observable MSG-reaction that was not seen before.  Think of a sub-liminal dose of MSG as a drill with a dull bit being used on a piece of hard wood.  The first time the drill is applied, you make a dent in the board you are working on, but you don’t make a hole (a reaction).  The second time the drill is applied, you either make a larger dent or actually make a hole (a reaction).

5) Relevant to the toxic effects of MSG on the elderly (whose weakened blood-brain barriers would be less able to keep excess amounts of MSG from getting into the brain), there is sound science that suggests that the glutamic acid in MSG may act as a “slow neurotoxin,” not resulting in observable damage such as dementia until years after the MSG was ingested.  The work of Dr. Peter Spencer is particularly relevant.   Mercury, for example, is a slow neurotoxin — manifesting its toxic effects years after being ingested. It is entirely possible that the concept of a “slow neurotoxin” may be relevant to the production of human adverse reactions.


Presidential Elections

•November 5, 2008 • Leave a Comment

With everyone’s minds and attention diverted to the US presidential elections, I think I may as well post about it too.  It looks like Obama is in for a relatively easy win.  He’s leading by 102- 49 at the moment.

May the best doer win, and not just the best talker.

For your most updated election news, go to BBC.

Cell Phone Radiation Effects, Brain Tumors and Chidren

•November 4, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Cell Phone Radiation Effects, Brain Tumors and Chidren
With 3 billion cell phone users worldwide and more than 260 million in the United States alone—among them 46% of U.S. children aged 8–12, according to Nielsen Mobile figures released 10 September 2008—human exposure to low-energy radiation in the 800- to 2,000-megahertz range is at an all-time high. The most recent attempt to systematically review the epidemiologic evidence for increased risk of brain tumors related to cell phone use indicates that repercussions from this global experiment are coming to light. In a meta-analysis published in the May 2008 issue of the International Journal of Oncology, Swedish researchers found significant associations between long-term cell phone use and brain tumor risk. In July 2008 market research firm MultiMedia Intelligence reported that more than 16 million U.S. teens use cell phones.

“We found that cell phone use is linked to gliomas [malignant brain tumors] and acoustic neuromas [benign tumors of the brain’s auditory nerve] and are showing up after only ten years,” says lead author Lennart Hardell, an oncologist and cancer epidemiologist at University Hospital in Örebro, Sweden. Specifically, for studies that included at least 10 years of exposure, there was a doubling in the risk of gliomas for ipsilateral (same-side) but not contralateral (opposite-side) exposures to the head (as reflected by which hand the subject typically used to hold his/her cell phone). A 2.4-fold increase in risk was seen for acoustic neuromas due to ipsilateral exposures, whereas no increased risk occurred for meningiomas (tumors that occur in the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord).

from: EMF News Blog

Mobile Phone Radiations. How Much Safe You Are?

•November 3, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Mobile Phone Radiations. How Much Safe You Are?

MEN who talk for hours on their mobile phones could be jeopardising their chance of fathering a child, Australian research suggests.
An experiment on semen revealed evidence of DNA damage after 16 hours of exposure to radiation similar to the output of a mobile phone.
“After 16 hours exposure, there was clear evidence of DNA damage,” Prof Aitken said.
DNA damage in spermatozoa has been associated with decreased fertility, increased risk of miscarriage and various kinds of disease in offspring, including childhood cancer, and a number of neurological disorders such as autism, bipolar disorder and spontaneous schizophrenia.
read more at Australian news
Cellular phones use microwave frequncies. Various bands of frequencies are used depending on the type of service used. For example the GSM phones use the frequencies near 830, 900, 1740 and 1900 MHz. Let us consider only the 900 MHz band for our discussion. This has a quarter wavelength of approximately 7.5 cms. Hence the maximum heating takes place at a distance of 7.5 cms from the antenna. Cell phone users may try to identify the organ which is at this distance from the cell phone antenna and do not be surprised if you find your brains there. Does this imply that the brain would be ’cooked’ during cell phone usage? The answer is partly yes, partly no, partly I dont know. The brain constitues about 70% water, but the resonant frequency of water molecules is at about 2450 MHz and drops rapidly on either sides of this frequency. Hence the heating at cell phone operating frequency is quite less. However the heating of oxygen atoms, which are also present are not less!!! Does it mean the brain will be ’cooked’ slowly?
DO NOT GIVE YOUR CELL PHONE TO BABIES(the absorption rate is higher in children for microwaves).

from: Mission Digital

How Wifi and Electromagnetic fields influence body chemistry

•November 2, 2008 • Leave a Comment

How Wifi and Electromagnetic fields influence body chemistry

The following article by Andrew Goldsworthy, a retired biology professor, was written to help the residents and City Council of Leyland in the UK decide about the installation of a town-wide WIFI network to allow wireless access to the internet.

It explains in laypersons’ terms, how living cells depend heavily on electricity, carried in the form of ions, and how this makes them susceptible to damage by electromagnetic fields without the need to to generate significant heat.

Wifi and Electromagnetic fields

Andrew Goldsworthy. Oct. 2008

We are constantly being misled by elements of the mobile phone and electronics industries (who have huge vested interests in the infrastructure) into believing that the pulsed microwaves used in cell phones and Wifi are harmless. Their sole justification for this is that the radiation is too weak to generate significant heat when they are absorbed by living tissues.

However, they are seemingly oblivious to the fact that living cells depend on electricity and electrically charged atoms and molecules (ions) to maintain their healthy functioning. They can therefore be damaged electrically by electromagnetic radiation that is far too weak to generate significant heat.

For example, our cells use the energy from food to pump ions out of mitochondria (the cells’ power stations). They are then let back in through an ATPase (an enzyme not unlike a molecular water wheel). Each turn of the wheel generates a molecule of ATP, which is the main energy currency of the cell. In effect, an electric current flowing into and out of these tiny structures provides virtually all of our bodily energy.

Some of this ATP is then used to pump ions out of the cell. When they return via special enzymes (called transporters) in the cell membrane, they can carry with them essential nutrients that the cell needs to absorb. So we use electricity to absorb our food too.

Another example is in our nerve and brain cells. They use ATP to pump sodium and potassium ions across their external membranes. Nerve impulses are generated when these ions are suddenly let back again to give sharp spikes of current.
Last but not least, the membranes themselves (which are only two molecules thick!) are held together electrically. They consist mostly of negatively charged molecules bound together by positively charged ions (mostly calcium), which act as a kind of cement.

Unfortunately, weak electromagnetic fields gently tease out some of these calcium ions, which weakens the membranes and makes them more inclined to leak. As a result, our bodies become less efficient at generating energy and our nerve and brain cells are more likely to generate false impulses.

False impulses generated in sensory cells can give symptoms of electrosensitivity, whereas those generated in the brain can affect mental function and may also lead to stress headaches. Even people who do not regard themselves as electrosensitive, frequently get headaches and other unpleasant symptoms when exposed for long periods to the radiation from Wifi, cordless phones and mobile phones.

Other reported effects from prolonged exposure to pulsed microwaves include an increase risk of cancer and a loss of fertility. This seems to be associated with observable damage to cellular DNA, probably as a result of the leakage of digestive enzymes from lysosomes (tiny particles in living cells that digest and recycle waste) whose membranes have been damaged by the radiation.

Pulses carried by microwaves are particularly dangerous. This is because their very short wavelength allows the transmission of pulses with extremely rapid rise and fall times, and it is the rate of change of the fields (rather than their total energy) that does most of the biological damage; it catapults vital calcium ions away from cell membranes, which in turn makes them leak. This leakage can explain the great majority of the observed adverse health effects of prolonged exposure to electromagnetic radiation (for more on this mechanism, together with references, please see The Cell Phone and the Cell: the Role of Calcium PDF).

It is therefore unwise and arguably dangerous to be exposed for long periods to the radiation from Wifi transmitters, cordless phones and mobile phones (especially their base stations, which run 24/7). They should certainly not be deployed in public places until all the risks have been independently evaluated. Any claims that they are harmless because they do not generate significant heat are completely unwarranted.

Andrew Goldsworthy BSc PhD
Lecturer in Biology (retired)
Imperial College London


Can Cell Phones Lead To Cancer?

•November 1, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Scientists Say Precautions Need To Be Taken

POSTED: 4:08 pm EDT October 30, 2008
UPDATED: 9:32 am EDT October 31, 2008
It’s hard to live without a cell phone nowadays, but there are emerging concerns about their safety from scientists who say we need to know if our phones are causing an increase in brain cancer.

Watch: 11 News Reporter Donna Hamilton
10 Cell Phone Precautions

Cell phones allow us to be in constant communication with others 24 hours a day, seven days a week almost anywhere in the world — something that what was once uncommon. But some scientists said they think the devices need a closer look.{
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Dr. Devra Davis is director of the world’s first Center for Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. She said she first became interested in cell phones and cancer after seeing some studies from Scandinavia that showed an increased brain cancer risk for people using cell phones for 10 years or more.”There have been more studies that show no risk. Unfortunately, those studies haven’t looked at cell phone use for 10 years or more,” she said.Davis said it takes 10 years for most brain cancers to develop. Pictures from cell phone companies show the electromagnetic signal goes about two inches into the adult brain — halfway through the brain of a 10-year-old and completely through the brain of a 5-year-old. Yet children are one of the fastest growing markets for cell phones.Davis said children’s’ brains are the most vulnerable.”Many children sleep with them under their pillow on vibrate, so the signal gets right into their head while they’re sleeping,” she said.A September bulletin from the National Cancer Institute said, “Children may be at greater risk of health effects than adults because their nervous systems are still developing at the time of exposure. In addition, young people may accumulate many years of exposure during their lifetimes.”The bulletin said larger studies are needed to answer questions about long-term cell phone use.WBAL TV 11 News contacted CTIA The Wireless Association, who referred questions to the American Cancer Society. On the ACS Web site, it lists cell phones causing cancer as one of their four cancer myths.Even so, Chief Mission Officer Patricia Hoge agreed that the jury is still out.”At this point, anybody’s guess is as good as anybody else’s. But when you look at the science, the science would tell us there’s no evidence at this juncture,” she said.Davis said that’s not the whole story. She said preliminary findings by a well-known epidemiologist in Sweden, where they’ve used cell phones for 20 years, has found something disturbing.”He has told colleagues that he has findings that people who started to use cell phones as teens, by the time they reached their late 20s, had five times more gliomas,” she said, referring to a type of brain cancer.In spite of privacy concerns, scientists have asked for cell phone companies to release their usage records, saying the final answer could be found in a few years.But Davis said there has been no response from the cell phone industry.”The silence has been deafening,” she said.Davis said she believes society cannot wait until there is definitive proof before acting to reduce exposure. The Center for Environmental Oncology has already put out warnings to colleagues, friends and anyone who’s listening.They said that limiting cell phone usage, texting instead of calling, using a headset or the speakerphone or anything that gets the phone away from you is better for your health. Davis said a cell phone is pulling in its maximum signal when you’re in a moving train or car.She said she uses a cell phone, but differently until the brain cancer question is answered.”There are 3 billion cell phone users across the world — half the world using cell phones. Don’t you think we should find out, and soon?” she asked.There is a multinational study being done in Scandinavia and the United Kingdom on the subject that is nearing completion. The Multinational Inter-Phone Study is already showing a significant increased risk of brain cancer in people who used cell phones for 10 or more years.

Economic miracle, environmental disaster

•October 31, 2008 • Leave a Comment

from: CNN

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Economic miracle, environmental disaster

The following is an excerpt from “What Matters,” the latest book by “Day in the Life” series creator David Elliot Cohen. For more information, see

Liu Tianheng, who has stomach cancer, examines his X-ray at the Shenqiu County Hospital.

Liu Tianheng, who has stomach cancer, examines his X-ray at the Shenqiu County Hospital.

Decades of extraordinary growth have catapulted China to the top of the world’s economic charts, earning the admiration of much of the rest of the world.

Indeed, China’s continued economic rise has been one of the few certainties of the 21st century. Increasingly, however, the China story is not one of economic miracle but of environmental disaster.

Worries over air quality at the Beijing Olympics, tainted products and China’s rapidly growing contribution to global climate change have focused international attention on the environmental downside of China’s growth.

At home, the Chinese people watch as environmental degradation and pollution transform their landscape, and in the process endanger their health and future livelihoods.

No one is exempt from the environmental consequences of China’s brand of unfettered economic development, but as Stephen Voss’ pictures so heartbreakingly illuminate, China’s poorest are particularly vulnerable. Hear Voss describe his photos in an audio slideshow »

In China’s cities, merely walking out the front door results in an immediate assault on the senses. The Chinese people complain most often about noise pollution. A cacophony of construction booms and car horns is a permanent fixture of life. The sky is often blanketed in a thick gray haze of pollutants.

The culprits are the ever-present coal-fired power plants and giant heavy-industry complexes that fuel the country’s growth, and more and more the noxious emissions of automobiles.

The Chinese are in the midst of an American-style love affair with private cars. The country is adding 14,000 new cars to its roads every day and is in the process of laying 52,000 miles of new roadways — 10,000 more miles than the entire U.S. interstate highway system. By 2030, China is expected to surpass the United States as the country with the most cars on its roads.

More broadly, Chinese consumption patterns are also following those of the West, despite the warnings of prominent Chinese cultural and environmental leaders. The country’s moneyed city dwellers desire air conditioners, refrigerators and second homes.

Popular leisure activities for the wealthy include carbon-intensive activities such as yachting, golfing and car clubs. In the process, urban residents consume 350 percent more energy than rural Chinese, and more than 70 percent of this energy comes from dirty burning coal. Every seven to 10 days, another coal-fired power plant, big enough to serve all the households in Dallas or San Diego, opens somewhere in China.

The environmental toll is enormous. China has five of the world’s 10 most polluted cities, and on an average day in China’s major cities, 75 percent of the residents are breathing unclean air. The end result: 750,000 Chinese die prematurely every year from air pollution-related respiratory diseases.

For all their wealth, China’s cities have yet to conquer the challenge of clean water. Among all of China’s 660-odd cities, only one small city of 200,000, Lianyuan in Hunan Province, can claim to provide clean drinking water straight from the tap. In the rest of the country — even the country’s capital, Beijing — residents boil their water or buy it in bottles.

Even then, they have no real assurance that the water is safe to drink. And in this desperately water-scarce country, the urban infrastructure does little to conserve. Urban China loses up to 20 percent of its water through leaky pipes. Cities such as Shanghai and Tianjin have sunk six feet over the past decade and a half as precious underground water reserves are drawn down, causing skyscrapers to tilt and encouraging coastal flooding.

Yet tilting skyscrapers are the least of the cities’ concerns. In Beijing, factories, buildings and underground pipelines have all been destroyed by the plundering of underground aquifers and the resultant land subsidence.

The environmental costs levied on China’s 400 million urban residents pale in comparison, however, to those faced by the country’s more than 800 million farmers and other rural residents.

Much of China’s countryside suffers from severe land degradation, the result of centuries of deforestation and poor land management.

Today, China — which is roughly the same size as the United States — is almost one-quarter desert, and the desert is advancing at more than 1,300 square miles, approximately the size of the state of Rhode Island, each year.

Entire villages in China’s north have been lost, submerged in sand by the encroaching desert. The country’s State Forestry Administration estimates that desertification affects 400 million Chinese, many of whom lose the ability to farm their land or graze their animals and join the ranks of the tens of millions of internal environmental refugees, who often migrate to the big cities in search of new homes and jobs.

Rural Chinese must also contend with a dire water situation. The small-scale industries that have sprouted throughout the countryside pollute with impunity.

As Voss’ photographs illustrate, pulp and paper, tanning, chemical and other factories set up shop along the banks of China’s rivers and simply dump their waste into the water. Often the factories are protected by local officials who have a financial stake in their survival. More than a quarter of the water that flows through China’s seven major river systems and their tributaries is unfit even for industry or agriculture, much less human consumption.

The Yellow River, one of the world’s longest, supplies water to more than 150 million people and 15 percent of China’s agricultural land. Yet two-thirds of its water is considered unsafe to drink, and 10 percent is classified as sewage. In 2007, Chinese officials announced that over one-third of the fish species native to the Yellow River had become extinct due to damming or pollution.

Such alarming statistics beget other even more alarming numbers. Nearly 700 million people drink water contaminated with animal and human waste, and according to the country’s Ministry of Water Resources, 190 million Chinese drink water so contaminated that it makes them sick. It doesn’t help that an estimated two-thirds of China’s rural population lacks access to piped water — a development failure that has become one of the leading causes of death among children under the age of five. Local economies also suffer when villagers can’t sell their grain or eat the crops planted along the river because the water is so polluted. As much as 10 percent of China’s farmland is believed to be polluted, and each year 12 million tons of grain are contaminated with heavy metals absorbed from the soil.

China’s environmental challenge moves well beyond simply the problems faced by any society at the height of its industrialization.

The lack of transparency, official accountability and rule of law that defines China’s authoritarian political system makes protecting the environment particularly difficult. Perhaps no project better exemplifies this challenge than the Three Gorges Dam.

After decades of promoting the virtues of the dam — the largest in the world — Chinese officials are only now beginning to acknowledge the dam’s failures. The potentially negative consequences of the dam, including dramatically rising levels of water pollution, deadly landslides, loss of species and relocation of millions of Chinese, were all known to those involved in the planning of the dam for decades, yet open discussion was forbidden.

A journalist, Dai Qing, was imprisoned for 10 months for her efforts to air publicly the dam’s likely costs and benefits. Now that the dam has contributed to the death or homelessness of thousands and there is talk of relocating three to four million more Chinese, the price of silence has become clear. Yet still, the Chinese government refuses a fully honest and open assessment of the situation.

The Chinese people increasingly have little patience for official obfuscation and corruption. Journalists push to report honestly on pollution disasters, and lawyers bravely take cases on behalf of pollution victims.

When confronted with poisoned water and air, sick children, and ruined crops, the Chinese people sometimes simply take to the streets. There are more than 50,000 environmental disputes in China every year. For example, in 2006, the residents of six neighboring villages in the poor interior province of Gansu held repeated protests over a six-month period against zinc and iron smelters that they believed were poisoning them. Fully half of the 4,000 to 5,000 villagers exhibited lead-related illnesses ranging from vitamin D deficiency to neurological problems. In 2007, when local officials in southern China illegally confiscated farmers’ land to construct a power plant, there were violent demonstrations.

In the cities, where education levels are often higher and information flows more freely, Chinese citizens have even begun to protest in advance of a potential environmental threat. In 2007, for example, Beijing residents protested a proposed waste incinerator, and the people of the coastal city of Xiamen marched by the thousands, successfully halting the planned construction of a petrochemical plant near the city center.

As pressure on China’s leaders mounts from below, the rest of the world is also increasingly impatient with the country’s failure to turn its environmental situation around. Pollutants that build up and threaten China’s ecosystem and the health of its people also traverse the Pacific and affect the United States and other countries.

China’s contribution to global climate change will soon dwarf that of the rest of the world. The country already ranks as the world’s largest importer of illegally logged timber and the biggest polluter of the Pacific Ocean.

China’s leaders are well aware of the crisis they confront. The environment has moved to the top of their political agenda, and they have promised increased environmental investment, set impressive targets for reducing pollution and launched grand-scale campaigns to address particularly challenging problems of environmental degradation.

International environmental nongovernmental organizations and their counterparts in China are working aggressively to provide grassroots support for environmental protection. A number of multinational corporations have even adopted environmental protection as an important and integral part of their business ethic in China.

Public pressure from around the world counts in Beijing. Yet the situation continues to deteriorate. Rapid growth remains the priority for many in Beijing, and certainly for most local officials. Hundreds of millions of Chinese still live in relative poverty; per-capita GDP amounts to less than $2,000 annually.

In such an economic environment, the up-front costs of environmental protection can appear daunting, particularly for officials in the less-developed interior of the country with far fewer economic resources. And there are few incentives for local officials to put the environment first.


Moreover, opening the political space to allow for greater citizen involvement in environmental protection — through a free media, unregulated nongovernmental organizations or an independent judiciary — is seen as too politically risky by most Chinese Communist Party officials, whose primary concern is maintaining power.

Yet only this type of fundamental reform of the country’s political economy will yield the environmental improvements the Chinese leaders and people desire. In the meantime, local economies will suffer, people’s health will deteriorate, social unrest will grow and the China story may, in the end, change from economic miracle to environmental collapse.

Radiation Blocking Underwear

•October 30, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Isabodywear underwear – mobile radiation protection down below

Do mobile phones give off harmful radiation? The general consensus is currently no, but no-one is 100 per cent sure. And if you still have worries, you could be a potential customer for Isabodywear anti-radiation underwear.

The futuristic pants are made of silver, which the Swiss firm claims will fend off radiation from your mobile phone – and the associated health problems. Or indeed fertility problems. And just to prove their effectiveness, the company says that any class made within the confines of the underwear will not connect. Thankfully, there isn’t a clip of said test.

Around 4,000 pairs have been made so far, with the first 500 being offered free if you are willing to give them a try and fill in a survey. For the rest of us, these will retail for the equivalent of £12 a pair.

from: Techtv

Stock Market Rebound

•October 29, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Plunge in Consumer Confidence, but the Stock Market Soars

Shoppers wait for a Costco in Mountain View, Calif., to open. Layoffs, plunging home prices and tumbling investments have pushed consumer pessimism to record levels
Shoppers wait for a Costco in Mountain View, Calif., to open. Layoffs, plunging home prices and tumbling investments have pushed consumer pessimism to record levels
Paul Sakuma / AP

Battered by declining equity markets and a gloomy long-term economic forecast, U.S. consumer confidence plummeted to its lowest level on record this month, according to a report released Oct. 28 by the Conference Board, a private research group. According to its consumer confidence index, which had improved in September even amid Lehman Brothers’ collapse and the government’s bailout of insurance titan AIG, consumer sentiment tumbled from 61.4 in September to 38 this month, a nadir for the survey, which was launched in 1967, and its third-largest individual drop.

Ironically, within hours of the bleak consumer-confidence report, the stock market posted its second biggest one-day point gain this month, with the Dow Jones industrial average rising 889 points to close at 9,065. It’s not the first time the two indexes have moved in opposite directions. In fact, a 2002 investment-research study found that low consumer confidence can, at times, be fertile ground for bullish stock-market moves. “At extremes, there does tend to be a negative correlation between consumer confidence and stock prices,” notes money manager Ken Fisher, a co-author of the study.

But don’t close the recession book just yet. While analysts had expected confidence levels to decline given the hammering financial markets have endured in recent weeks, the plunge was 14 points worse than the 52 rating economists foresaw. “Consumers are extremely pessimistic, and a significantly larger proportion than last month foresee business- and labor-market conditions worsening,” says Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board’s Consumer Research Center. “Their earnings outlook, as well as inflation outlook, is also more pessimistic,” she adds, noting that these conditions don’t augur well for retailers, “who are already bracing for what is shaping up to be a very challenging holiday season.”

The report, which surveyed 5,000 households, was stuffed with grim data. The percentage of respondents expecting business conditions to worsen spiked to 37% from 21%, while the proportion of consumers anticipating a tighter job market in the coming months surged from 27% to 42%. Less than 10% of consumers believed business conditions would improve over the next six months. “We’re in uncharted territory,” Sheryl King, a senior U.S. economist at Merrill Lynch, tells TIME.

How bad could it get? King says retailers could be forced to weather a 2.5% to 3% yearly decline in consumer spending — a drop which she says would be the largest since the mid-1970s, when the U.S. was mired in the depths of a recession.

“This is a shock to consumer psychology of a magnitude we haven’t seen in decades,” says Colin McGranahan, a retail analyst at Sanford Bernstein. “Combine that with a loss of confidence that the housing and equity markets can create wealth, and you could see a change in the consumer’s propensity to save. That has very significant consequences for discretionary spending,” particularly during the holiday season, which retailers count on to provide a significant chunk of their annual earnings.

The sharpest confidence drop was found among households earning more than $50,000 per year, McGranahan says, noting that this group tends to have more money tied up in equity markets. “It’s the top wage earners who are feeling this right now,” King says, although “it’s spread into every corner of the country. Nobody really feels safe.”

Among the businesses that could suffer if consumers decide to put away their wallets are high-end retailers who provide discretionary entertainment. “I would be shocked if there were not a decrease. Everything leads us to believe that there will be,” says Liz Neumark, CEO of the New York City–based catering and event-planning company Great Performances, which puts on weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs and other pricey bashes at tony locations like Manhattan’s Plaza Hotel. “I’ve known from the first quarter that Christmas this year was going to be different.” But she’s remaining optimistic. “Wall Street bonuses are off, people are taking hits to their investment accounts, but I don’t think people are going to stop from giving their daughter the wedding of a lifetime,” she says. Perhaps that’s just a glimmer of hope, but then a glimmer is likely all there was behind today’s powerful stock-market rally.

From: Time

76 Ways Sugar Can Ruin Your Health

•October 28, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Contributed by Nancy Appleton, Ph.D
Author of the book Lick The Sugar Habit

In addition to throwing off the body’s homeostasis, excess sugar may result in a number of other significant consequences. The following is a listing of some of sugar’s metabolic consequences from a variety of medical journals and other scientific publications.

  1. Sugar can suppress your immune system and impair your defenses against infectious disease.1,2
  2. Sugar upsets the mineral relationships in your body: causes chromium and copper deficiencies and interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium. 3,4,5,6
  3. Sugar can cause can cause a rapid rise of adrenaline, hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.7,8
  4. Sugar can produce a significant rise in total cholesterol, triglycerides and bad cholesterol and a decrease in good cholesterol.9,10,11,12
  5. Sugar causes a loss of tissue elasticity and function.13
  6. Sugar feeds cancer cells and has been connected with the development of cancer of the breast, ovaries, prostate, rectum, pancreas, biliary tract, lung, gallbladder and stomach.14,15,16,17,18,19,20
  7. Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose and can cause reactive hypoglycemia.21,22
  8. Sugar can weaken eyesight.23
  9. Sugar can cause many problems with the gastrointestinal tract including: an acidic digestive tract, indigestion, malabsorption in patients with functional bowel disease, increased risk of Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.24,25,26,27,28
  10. Sugar can cause premature aging.29
  11. Sugar can lead to alcoholism.30
  12. Sugar can cause your saliva to become acidic, tooth decay, and periodontal disease.31,32,33
  13. Sugar contributes to obesity.34
  14. Sugar can cause autoimmune diseases such as: arthritis, asthma, multiple sclerosis.35,36,37
  15. Sugar greatly assists the uncontrolled growth of Candida Albicans (yeast infections)38
  16. Sugar can cause gallstones.39
  17. Sugar can cause appendicitis.40
  18. Sugar can cause hemorrhoids.41
  19. Sugar can cause varicose veins.42
  20. Sugar can elevate glucose and insulin responses in oral contraceptive users.43
  21. Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.44
  22. Sugar can cause a decrease in your insulin sensitivity thereby causing an abnormally high insulin levels and eventually diabetes.45,46,47
  23. Sugar can lower your Vitamin E levels.48
  24. Sugar can increase your systolic blood pressure.49
  25. Sugar can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children.50
  26. High sugar intake increases advanced glycation end products (AGEs)(Sugar molecules attaching to and thereby damaging proteins in the body).51
  27. Sugar can interfere with your absorption of protein.52
  28. Sugar causes food allergies.53
  29. Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.54
  30. Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.55
  31. Sugar can cause atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.56,57
  32. Sugar can impair the structure of your DNA.58
  33. Sugar can change the structure of protein and cause a permanent alteration of the way the proteins act in your body.59,60
  34. Sugar can make your skin age by changing the structure of collagen.61
  35. Sugar can cause cataracts and nearsightedness.62,63
  36. Sugar can cause emphysema.64
  37. High sugar intake can impair the physiological homeostasis of many systems in your body.65
  38. Sugar lowers the ability of enzymes to function.66
  39. Sugar intake is higher in people with Parkinson’s disease.67
  40. Sugar can increase the size of your liver by making your liver cells divide and it can increase the amount of liver fat.68,69
  41. Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney such as the formation of kidney stones.70,71
  42. Sugar can damage your pancreas.72
  43. Sugar can increase your body’s fluid retention.73
  44. Sugar is enemy #1 of your bowel movement.74
  45. Sugar can compromise the lining of your capillaries.75
  46. Sugar can make your tendons more brittle.76
  47. Sugar can cause headaches, including migraines.77
  48. Sugar can reduce the learning capacity, adversely affect school children’s grades and cause learning disorders.78,79
  49. Sugar can cause an increase in delta, alpha, and theta brain waves which can alter your mind’s ability to think clearly.80
  50. Sugar can cause depression.81
  51. Sugar can increase your risk of gout.82
  52. Sugar can increase your risk of Alzheimer’s disease.83
  53. Sugar can cause hormonal imbalances such as: increasing estrogen in men, exacerbating PMS, and decreasing growth hormone.84,85,86,87
  54. Sugar can lead to dizziness.88
  55. Diets high in sugar will increase free radicals and oxidative stress.89
  56. High sucrose diets of subjects with peripheral vascular disease significantly increases platelet adhesion.90
  57. High sugar consumption of pregnant adolescents can lead to substantial decrease in gestation duration and is associated with a twofold increased risk for delivering a small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infant.91,92
  58. Sugar is an addictive substance.93
  59. Sugar can be intoxicating, similar to alcohol.94
  60. Sugar given to premature babies can affect the amount of carbon dioxide they produce.95
  61. Decrease in sugar intake can increase emotional stability.96
  62. Your body changes sugar into 2 to 5 times more fat in the bloodstream than it does starch.97
  63. The rapid absorption of sugar promotes excessive food intake in obese subjects.98
  64. Sugar can worsen the symptoms of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).99
  65. Sugar adversely affects urinary electrolyte composition.100
  66. Sugar can slow down the ability of your adrenal glands to function.101
  67. Sugar has the potential of inducing abnormal metabolic processes in a normal healthy individual and to promote chronic degenerative diseases.102
  68. I.V.s (intravenous feedings) of sugar water can cut off oxygen to your brain.103
  69. Sugar increases your risk of polio.104
  70. High sugar intake can cause epileptic seizures.105
  71. Sugar causes high blood pressure in obese people.106
  72. In intensive care units: Limiting sugar saves lives.107
  73. Sugar may induce cell death.108
  74. In juvenile rehabilitation camps, when children were put on a low sugar diet, there was a 44 percent drop in antisocial behavior.109
  75. Sugar dehydrates newborns.110
  76. Sugar can cause gum disease.111


Practical Cell Phone Tips for Your Safety

•October 27, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Tips To Minimize The Dangers Of Cellphone Usage
Posted by NDK Team | 12:38 PM | 0 comments »
Tips To Minimize The Dangers Of Cellphone Usage was written by Duncan Kelly from

Tips To Minimize The Dangers Of Cellphone Usage
Cellphone usage worldwide numbers in the billions. If there is a possibility of injury from these devices, then a lot of people will be affected.

A cellphone is actually a radio transmitter and receiver. It sends and recieves radio frequency electromagnetic waves. The received signals are fairly low level, so I will concentrate on the signal transmitted from the cellphone.

Cellphones transmit mainly at frequencies of 900, 1800 and 1900 Megahertz (MHz). A microwave oven cooks food using a frequency of 915 MHz or 2450 MHz. In other words, the food is not fussy about what frequency you use, as long as it’s in that range, say 900 to 2500 MHz. Which means, cellphones use Microwave Oven frequencies.

A microwave oven puts out a power of about 1000 watts, on average. If you put your head in a microwave oven, it will take about an hour to cook to a nice sizzling crisp.

A cellphone transmits at a power of about 3 watts, and it self adjusts it’s power continually to compensate for poor signal paths, up to a maximum of 5 to 7 watts. Not much, but there’s a twist…

A microwave oven spreads it’s radiation over the whole oven cavity, so that the food is cooked uniformly.

A cellphone has a tiny, array antenna, measuring maybe 2 or 3 cm in length, and it’s right next to your ear. So 5 watts of power is radiating into your head into an area of perhaps 3cm by 0.75cm. That’s a lot of power when concentrated in such a small area.

The cellphone manufacturers have said that they have put “shields” into their phones to keep radiation risks to a minimum.

If you turn around while making a call, does the call cut out or the audio disappear at any time? No, it doesn’t. Radio waves, like light waves, travel in a straight line. If your head got in between the cellphone and the cell transmitter tower, then the signal should be blocked (shielded) by the shield in the phone, as the waves can’t bend once they’ve left the phone.

Which means that those microwaves are going through your head, all the time.

Whenever you’re “on the phone,” you are being microwaved just like the roast in your microwave oven.

So What Can You Do?

If you’ve got a handsfree kit, use it if it’s practical. Don’t use bluetooth – it also transmits radiowaves close to your head, albeit at different frequencies.

If your phone has a loudspeaker, switch it on and speak at a distance. The guy on the other side will still hear you perfectly.

Buy phones with a low Specific Absorption Rate (SAR)

Don’t let children make long calls. Their soft skuls are much more affected than the hard heads of adults. (See “The Stewart Report.”)

Swop ears every minute or so, to give your head time to “cool down” on that side.

Don’t hold the phone next to your ear while connecting – this is when it transmits at maximum power.

Avoid making calls in weak reception areas, as the cellphone will boost it’s output power to make sure it stays connected.

Keep your conversations short.

Use SMS’s whenever possible.

Avoid sleeping with a cellphone under your pillow. Cellphones transmit even when you are not using them, exchanging data and checking signal strength, at regular intervals.

Avoid carrying the cellphone close to your body. This applies especially to the breast pocket of people with heart problems.

Use a landline whenever possible.

Many people have proven health problems from cellphone usage, brain tumors being the most common, followed by loss of memory, impaired brain function and other symptons. Usually these symptons take a few years to surface.

By taking the simple precautions listed above, we can actually save our lives. Tell your friends too. There’s a lot of people out there that need to know these facts.

You can thank me later!


Cancer and cellphones: The jury’s still out

•October 26, 2008 • Leave a Comment

From Friday’s Globe and Mail

Almost everyone who uses a cellphone probably has a secret worry: Is it safe to place a small radio transmitter right next to my brain?

The most exhaustive study to date investigating whether mobile phones pose any risk is nearing completion, but the research, under way for almost eight years, may not settle the question.

The study, known as Interphone and organized by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a United Nations watchdog, has investigated rates of four cancers found in the head and neck area in cellphone users from 13 countries, including Canada, for clues on whether the technology is dangerous.

The verdict: There is a hint in the data that cellphones may cause an elevated rate of brain tumours for long-term users of 10 years or more.

But it isn’t clear whether the effect is real or the result of a design flaw in the study.

The researchers – about 50 from the various countries – have been arguing for the past 18 months over what the findings mean and how to explain them to the public. About one-third of the researchers are convinced there is a risk from using cellphones, about one-third give the devices a clean bill of health, and the remainder fall between the opposing camps, according to Louis Slesin, editor of Microwave News, a New York-based publication that tracks research into the biological effects of radio waves.

The study’s lead author, Canadian epidemiologist Elisabeth Cardis, says the researchers have been trying to resolve their differences of interpretation and deal with the complexity of their findings, which are based on the study of about 6,400 cellphone users with cancer. She said the study is almost ready to be submitted to a peer-reviewed science journal, but couldn’t offer a date when it would be made public.

“At this point, I don’t know whether there is a real risk or not,” said Prof. Cardis, who is based at the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona and is an affiliated scientist at the University of Ottawa. “It’s extremely important that we find out … the correct answer, which is why we’ve spent a lot of time [on this] over the last year and a half.”

With an estimated 3.3 billion cellphones in use worldwide, including many owned by teenagers and children – who may be more susceptible to cancer-causing agents – settling whether cellphones are safe has become an urgent public health priority.

But cellphone users can be forgiven for being a tad confused.

In May, the Toronto Public Health department recommended that children, especially preteens, use land lines whenever possible and limit the use of cellphones, contending that the safety of the phones has not been proven.

Yet other respected bodies dismiss such concerns. Health Canada says “there is currently no convincing evidence” cellphones cause serious health effects, such as cancer, according to its Web posting on the issue.

Public attention on the possible cellphone-cancer link also rises when prominent people, such as U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy, are diagnosed with brain tumours. He has a type of cancer that is being investigated in the Interphone study.

With experts so divided, there were hopes the Interphone study would lay the safety debate to rest.

The study, which began in earnest in 2000, is looking at four cancers that could have a connection to cellphones because they are found close to where radio waves from the devices would be absorbed in the body.

They are: glioma, an often fatal type of brain tumour (and the same kind that has stricken Mr. Kennedy); meningioma, a slow-growing, often benign, brain tumour; acoustic neurinoma, a cancer found in the inner-ear area; and salivary gland tumours.

These cancers are uncommon, so if there is any link to cellphones, the number of cases being caused by technology would be low. Breast-cancer incidence, for example, is about 16 times higher than brain tumours among Canadian women.

Because the cancers under investigation are rare, the researchers looked at rates across more than a dozen countries – including Japan, German, Britain and Australia – to get results that offered more chances of finding an effect.

The Canadian arm studied people with the cancers living in the Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver areas.

Those with cancer were compared with controls: people who use the devices but don’t have the disease, to determine whether there was any link.

When the results from the British and Nordic countries were pooled, researchers found “a significantly increased risk” of both glioma and acoustic neurinoma related to mobile phone use on the side of the head where the tumour developed, according to a study update posted on the IARC website earlier this month. The Israeli wing of the study has found a “possible relation” between heavy cellphone use and salivary gland tumours in the parotid gland, it said.

But Prof. Cardis said the risks may be overstated for technical reasons as a result of the study’s design. One problem is that people who have recently been shocked by a cancer diagnosis may not be accurately reporting their cellphone usage. There have also been lower rates of participation in the control group. Both factors might skew the results to make cellphones appear more dangerous.

But raising more potential concern are the Interphone findings that corroborate recent data from Sweden, one of the first countries to adopt cellphones in a big way, in 1981. Researchers there are also finding elevated rates among long- term users – about double for both glioma and acoustic neurinoma after 10 years of use.

A researcher with the Swedish studies, Lennart Hardell, professor of oncology at University Hospital in Orebro, says that in light of his findings, he recommends people “reduce exposure as much as possible – use hands-free” settings on their cellphones.

“The evidence that we have on the phones at this point is worrisome,” says Devra Davis, head of the University of Pittsburgh’s Centre for Environmental Oncology.

But not all experts are as worried.

One of the Canadian Interphone researchers, Daniel Krewski, a professor at the University of Ottawa, doesn’t try to minimize his exposure to cellphones. “I’m personally not taking any extra precautions,” he says.

Because it is now unlikely that Interphone, one of the biggest and most expensive cellphone studies – about $15-million – will settle the safety question, Prof. Davis says there may be an easy way to figure out if there is any hazard: by running a study comparing people’s cellphone billings with their medical records. If industry billing records were made available, then researchers “would have the answer in a few years.”

Radio wave exposure

Cellphones emit a type of energy known as radio-frequency waves.

Up until the development of cellphones, many researchers weren’t worried about them.

They have been considered benign because they are much less powerful than ionizing radiation, the type produced by X-rays: radiation so energy-laden it’s able to break chemical bonds and cause damage to genetic material. Exposure to it is unequivocally linked to cancer.

With radio waves being much less powerful, their worst effect has been the ability to cause things to heat up, much like a very weak microwave oven.

The Canadian regulatory exposure limit to energy from portable radio transmitters in cellphones is a maximum of 1.6 watts per kilogram. It’s equivalent to a small amount of heating that can’t be perceived by those using the devices.But in recent years, there has been mounting evidence that radio waves pack a biological punch.

According to Daniel Krewski of the University of Ottawa, radio-frequency radiation can influence the rate at which elements such as calcium and sodium cross cell membranes. It’s also able to change the production rates of an important enzyme, ODC, or ornithine decarboxylase which is involved in regulating cell growth, among other effects.

But Prof. Krewski says that while biological activity of radio-frequency radiation is now considered proven, it’s “not of known health significance.”

Because the energy of radio waves drops off rapidly with distance, those worried about cellphones can reduce their exposure by using hands-free modes or ear pieces, reducing call lengths or using a land line.

Cellphone towers also give off radio-frequency radiation, but because of their greater distance from people, the exposure is much smaller than transmissions from phones themselves.

Martin Mittelstaedt

Globe and Mail

Vital Earth Statistics

•October 24, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Many foods could be sabotaging your plan for healthy eating
Chemicals create mutations through chromosome damage, interfere with immune system function, and have been shown to cause a multitude of serious health conditions. Even if all of the food additives used in our foods were safe individually, rarely does any processed / convenience food have only one additive in it. And nobody knows the effects of the many different additives when they are assembled together in a single product.  There are literally thousands of various and potentially dangerous combinations.

Have you noticed that the product labels on many foods today seem to be an undecipherable code of scientific mystery words? That’s because more and more manufacturers are opting to use dangerous preservatives, sprays, and chemicals to increase the shelf life of their products and to enhance taste, texture and visual appeal; all at the cost of our nutritional needs.

Many natural ingredients in processed foods are being replaced with their “chemical taste-alikes” to cut costs. So, not only are we bombarded with the toxic chemicals that are in our carpeting, upholstery, cleaning products, etc., we now have to deal with them in the foods we ingest.

Worst Food Additives
Here is a list of some of the worst food additives. Check food labels to make
sure that what you buy does not contain these ingredients.

BHT, legal in the U.S. but banned in England, is associated with liver and kidney damage, behavioral problems, infertility, weakened immune system, birth defects and cancer. |

Artificial coloring – contribute to hyperactivity in children; may contribute to learning and visual disorders, nerve damage; may be carcinogenic.

Aspartame and all artificial sweeteners – may cause central nervous system damage, menstrual difficulties, may affect brain and growth development in unborn fetus.  Dangerous excitotoxins.  Artificial sweeteners: aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal), sucralose (Splenda), neotame, saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low), acesulfame-k )Sunette, Sweet-n-Safe, Sweet One)

Brominated vegetable oil – linked to major organ system damage, birth defects, growth problems; considered unsafe by the FDA, can still lawfully be used unless further action is taken by the FDA . (used in fruit juices to give them a long shelf life)

Carrageenan – stabilizer and thickening agent; linked to toxic hazards, including ulcers and cancer; In addition to suppressing immune function, carrageenan causes intestinal ulcers and inflammatory bowel disease in animals and some research indicates that carrageenan is associated with causing cancer in humans.  (This is what researchers use when they want to create cancer cells for laboratory experiments)

Partially Hydrogenated vegetable oils – associated with heart disease, breast and colon cancer, atherosclerosis, elevated cholesterol, depressed immune system, allergies.

Nitrates – form powerful cancer-causing agents in stomach; can cause death; considered dangerous by FDA but not banned because they prevent botulism.

MSG – may cause headaches, itching, nausea, nervous system and reproductive disorders, high blood pressure; pregnant, lactating mothers, infants, small children should avoid MSG; allergic reactions common; may be hidden in infant formula, low fat milk, candy, chewing gum, drinks, over-the-counter medications.   (MSG – A dangerous excitotoxin)

Neotame – similar to aspartame, but potentially more toxic; awaiting approval.  A dangerous excitotoxin.

Olestra – causes gastrointestinal irritation, reduces carotenoids and fat soluble vitamins in the body.

Potassium bromate – can cause nervous system, kidney disorders, gastrointestinal upset; may be carcinogenic.

Saccharin – delisted as a carcinogen in 1997, however, studies still show that saccharin causes cancer.  A dangerous excitotoxin

Sucralose (Splenda)
Tests reveal it can cause up to 40% shrinkage of the thymus gland.   It also causes swelling of the kidneys and liver, and liver calcification. Splenda has basically been chlorinated.  3 hydroxyl groups (atoms composed of hydrogen and oxygen) are selectively removed and replaced with 3 atoms of chlorine.  The sugar molecule has now been transformed into a chlorocarbon—a chemical agent that has no  place in the  human diet.

Sulfites – destroys vitamin B1; small amounts may cause asthma, anaphylactic shock; dangerous for asthma, allergy sufferers; has caused deaths; banned on fresh fruits and vegetables, except potatoes.

Sweet ‘N Low – contains saccharin.   A dangerous excitotoxin.

If the list of ingredients on a package label is long, there are probably a lot of chemical additives in the product, and you’re risking your health by eating it.

In children, the organs responsible for detoxifying, or removing harmful substances, are not as effective as those of adults.  Unfortunately in many families, children tend to consume more heavily processed foods than adults, (in various snack foods, cookies, cereals, chips, boxed convenience lunches) so these additives have a disproportionately higher impact on them. A parent’s job of providing nutritious foods is made even harder because of the wide array of brightly packaged, tasty, quick and easy foods that are intensely marketed and widely available. Prepared foods and mixes offer convenience, but remember with convenience comes the use of at least some of the 3000 various food additives.

Read Ingredient Labels
Start reading labels, and chose products that are labeled “preservative-free.” Scrutinize convenience, or pre-packaged products that claim “no added preservatives.” They may nevertheless contain ingredients that were already preserved prior to inclusion in the final product. For example, almost all lard, used in baked goods, is treated with BHA or BHT.

Eating healthy may require some lifestyle adjustments. You’ll probably have to shop more often because all-natural foods will spoil sooner. Most foods are not meant to last months and months. Many people erroneously consider it completely normal to keep their pantry shelves and freezers full of a wide array of ready to eat food choices. Just because you’ve always done it this way doesn’t make it the best choice for your family. Fresh food is plentiful in America—do you really need to re-create an unhealthy, mini grocery store in your kitchen for the sake of convenience?

Eliminate Toxins From Your Foods
You can eliminate many of these toxins from your life by changing how you have choose to manage your meals. Make the time to start cooking foods from scratch. Eat raw fruits and veggies instead of processed snack foods. DON’T BUY CONVENIENCE “SIDE-DISH” MIXES! If you want a delicious rice dish—cook rice (preferably brown rice) in some broth and flavor it with seasonings!  Most people don’t believe that it can actually be less expensive to eat more natural, but it’s true. Try it.  Get back to eating the natural foods our bodies were intended to eat.

High doses of sugar, salt, and trans fat, which are cheap fillers in convenience foods, cause cravings because they disrupt the brain’s natural chemical balance. The more processed foods you eat, the more you crave them…and the vicious cycle continues. Natural hunger becomes distorted when the body’s chemical balance is upset. Supplying the necessary substances required for chemical balance is the key to overcoming unhealthy cravings. Adding supplements to your diet can be very effective in both removing toxins as well as helping to restore chemical balances.

It’s absolutely imperative that you try to limit processed and pre-packaged foods, because unless you’re eating organic, you may still be exposed to dangerous toxins on the foods you probably consider to be the most healthy!  Organic packaged and processed foods have little or no added synthetic colors or preservatives, and of course, organic fruits and vegetables are always your best choice.

Non-organic produce is sometimes exposed to various forms of detrimental processes.  For example, sulfur is used to keep dried fruit fresh, formaldehyde is added to disinfect frozen vegetables, and potatoes are coated with maleic hydrazide to inhibit their natural “sprouting” tendencies. Sodium nitrate, a suspected cause of stomach cancer, is used as a preservative for bacon, sausage, ham, and bologna. Even some bagged lettuce is sprayed to extend it’s shelf life.  Do you like ice cream? You have carboxymethylcellulose, to thank for that super creamy, smooth texture. It has produced tumors in 80% of rats injected with this chemical “stabilizer”. Not even bottled fruit juices can escape profit driven chemical interference. Brominated oils are added to bottled juice to maintain a look of freshness even after months of storage. Aluminum compounds, which are added to baking powder, aspirin, antacids, beer, and table salt, have been discovered in high concentrations in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients.

It’s nearly impossible to eat completely “toxin free”, so just do the best you can…
Unfortunately, it’s not realistic to expect to totally eliminate all toxins from the foods we eat…not unless you live apart from normal society and raise all your own food!  But you can at least try to minimize them whenever possible.  About the only time we can consistently assure healthy choices is by the foods we prepare in our homes.

Restaurant food is typically packed with artificial, processed ingredients. Make the meals you prepare at home the one place you know you are doing the right thing for your family.

How can you counteract the damaging effects of preservatives, additives and chemicals?
Many nutrients have the ability to counteract the damaging effects of toxic substances, so one of the best defenses for maintaining good health in our “toxin filled” society is by adding supplements to your daily routine.

Fulvic has the power to attach itself to harmful toxins and flush them from the body. In addition, when you supply your body with proper co-factors, like the ones in Super Multi Liquid Vitamins, you will significantly increase the absorption of the nutrients in your food.

Right now your body’s resources are waging a daily battle against preservatives, additives, toxins, and chemicals. Help protect yourself against disease with products and lifestyle choices that support and enhance natural immune system function to its fullest capacity. With some thoughtful changes you can create lasting health, energy, and well-being for your family.

From: Vital Earth

Marie Curie, Wrong About Radiation

•October 23, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Here is a short interesting video on the dangers of radiation.  Very educational.

Cell Phones and fried brain cells

•October 22, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Cellphone exposure increases brain cancer risk

Washington: Long-term exposure to cellphone may heighten risk of brain tumours, warned a neurosurgeon.

Ron Pawl, a neurosurgeon at Lake Forest Hospital, Illinois has called for collaborative research initiatives to determine whether the link between cell phones and brain cancer is real.

Scientists have long been concerned over the possibility that electro-magnetic fields (ELF) exposure may increase the risk of brain cancers. Until recently, however, research has shown no clear link between cell phone use and brain tumours.

Earlier this year, a Swedish research group published an epidemiologic study suggesting an increased risk of brain cancers (gliomas) as well as acoustic nerve tumours (neuromas) in people using cell phones for 10 years or longer.

Tumours were more likely to develop on the same side as the cell phone was used. Other studies by the same group suggested that the use of wireless handsets in cordless home phones posed the same risk, according to an Elsevier press release.

After reviewing the evidence, one author even suggested that long-term cell phone use is “more dangerous to health than smoking cigarettes”. Other recent commentators have raised similar concerns.

The findings are alarming in light of the exponential growth of cell phones – now including widespread use by children and teenagers. The damaging effects of ELF, if any, might be even greater in the developing brain.

If the link is real, then rates of brain cancers should have increased over the last two decades. Some studies have reported that this is the case, particularly for the most malignant brain cancers. However, other studies have found a stable tumour rate.

“However, the fact that the incidence of gliomas, especially the more malignant varieties, is increasing, warrants action on this issue,” Pawl wrote.

The problem, according to Pawl, is that no other research groups have performed actual studies showing a clear relationship between brain tumours and ELF.

The write-up is scheduled for publication in the November issue of Surgical Neurology.



Calls for More Research into Mobile Phone – Brain Cancer Links

•October 21, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Calls for More Research into Mobile Phone – Brain Cancer Links

­Major research initiatives are needed immediately to assess the possibility that using cellular phones may lead to an increased risk of brain tumors, according to an editorial in the November issue of the journal Surgical Neurology.

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Recent studies have raised concerns that long-term exposure to electromagnetic fields (ELF) from mobile phones can increase the risk of brain cancers and other nervous system tumors, according to the editorial by Dr. Ron Pawl, a neurosurgeon at Lake Forest Hospital, USA. He calls for collaborative research initiatives to determine whether the link between cell phones and brain cancer is real.

Scientists have long been concerned over the possibility that ELF exposure may increase the risk of brain cancers. Until recently, however, research has shown no clear link between cell phone use and brain tumors.

Earlier this year, a Swedish research group published an epidemiologic study suggesting an increased risk of brain cancers (gliomas) as well as acoustic nerve tumors (neuromas) in people using cell phones for ten years or longer. Tumors were more likely to develop on the same side as the cell phone was used. Other studies by the same group suggested that the use of wireless handsets in cordless home phones posed the same risk.

After reviewing the evidence, one author even suggested that long-term cell phone use is “more dangerous to health than smoking cigarettes.” Other recent commentators have raised similar concerns.

The findings are alarming in light of the exponential growth of cell phones—now including widespread use by children and teenagers. The damaging effects of ELF, if any, might be even greater in the developing brain.

If the link is real, then rates of brain cancers should have increased over the last two decades. Some studies have reported that this is the case, particularly for the most malignant brain cancers. However, other studies have found a stable tumor rate.

Some commentators have suggested that apparent increases in the number of brain cancers might reflect the use of sophisticated imaging techniques like computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. “However, the fact that the incidence of gliomas, especially the more malignant varieties, is increasing […] warrants action on this issue,” Dr. Pawl writes.

The problem, according to Dr. Pawl, is that no other research groups have performed actual studies showing a clear relationship between brain tumors and ELF. He calls on scientific societies to play a leading role in designing and conducting studies that will definitively determine the risks of brain cancer associated with ELF exposure, particularly from cell phones. “It seems that a cooperative effort by both the scientific community and state governing bodies will be needed,” writes Dr. Pawl. “Some spearhead is now necessary in view of the magnitude and seriousness of the situation.”

On the web: Surgical Neurology


Packing tips

•October 20, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Something different tonight.  For people like me who travel a lot, this is always useful. I know a lot of people who really don’t know how to pack well it’s pretty crazy.

Packing Tips for the Smart Traveler
Smart Packing
1 | 2 | Next >
With ever-changing airline rules and restrictions, packing can be a nightmare—but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some of the latest techniques for stress-free packing.
By Christine Ajudua, Jessica Shaw, Rima Suqi, Travel+Leisure
[Packing tips (© Davies + Starr) ]
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* See all Travel Tips Articles

How to pack in five easy steps

Our easy-to-follow instructions for organizing your suitcase—and techniques for folding and rolling your clothes for a wrinkle-free arrival.

1. Distribute weight intelligently

Put heavier items on the bottom of your suitcase. This includes shoes (in shoe bags), rolled jeans, and blazers (folded into dry-cleaner bags). Lighter pieces go at the top.

2. Use bags to organize

Ziplocs are great for small accessories and toiletries. If you’re not checking, make sure cosmetics are on the top of your packed suitcase, for easy access as you go through security. To protect undergarments from damage (and prying TSA agents), place them in a lingerie bag.

3. Roll your casual clothes

This approach minimizes creasing and maximizes space. It’s best for lighter-weight pieces—cotton shirts, khakis, jeans—not bulkier items like sweaters (see step 4). Put compactly rolled pieces in organization cubes to create extra room. Roll smaller items (yoga pants, socks) and use them to fill in air holes.

4. Fold sweaters and delicate items

Bulky articles should be folded and placed in compression sacks, like the Spacepak Bags from Flight 001. Delicate pieces can be protected from wrinkles by using tissue paper and dry-cleaner bags. Dress shirts and skirts should be folded and separated by tissue paper.

5. Don’t forget the laundry

Bring a laundry sack (or extra-large Ziploc) and stuff it with a few dryer sheets to keep everything smelling fresh. Put it at the back of the suitcase, so that clean clothes are easily accessible during the trip.


Bees Affected by Cell Phone Use?

•October 19, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Cell Phones May be Wiping out Bees and Affecting Health of Humans
Friday, October 17, 2008 by: Sheryl Walters (see all articles by this author)

Key concepts: Cell phones, Cell phone and Health

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(NaturalNews) Bee colonies are disappearing in worrying numbers across the globe. Beekeepers in America, the UK, Scotland, Germany Switzerland, Spain, Portugal and Greece are all seeing their hives vanish in worrying numbers.

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is when a hive’s inhabitants suddenly disappear, leaving only queens, eggs and a few immature workers. Usually there is an obvious reason for the collapse, such as sickness or a predator attack. However, in this current epidemic, there doesn’t seem to be a straight forward answer.

Furthermore, many of the beekeepers also reported that other bees, animals and moths stayed away from the abandoned nests, which is not what normally happens. This may indicate a very serious problem.

Bees are arguably one of the most essential insects on the human food chain. Most of the world’s crops depend on pollination by bees. They are the main pollinator of hundreds of types of crops, nuts, flowers, vegetables and fruits. The implication of this widespread disappearance is alarming.

Albert Einstein once said that if the bees disappeared, “man would have only four years of life left”.

Possible Reasons for the Dying Bee Populations

There is no conclusive reason that this is happening. Theories include genetically modified foods, pesticides, stress and global warming.

But one of the most popular theories is that electromagnetic radiation given off by cell phones and other hi-tech gadgets is causing this worrying phenomenon. The theory is that radiation interferes with bees’ navigation systems, preventing them from finding their way back to the hive, which is a hallmark trait of bees.

And there is actual evidence to back this up. German research has long shown that bees change their natural patterns of behavior near power lines.

In addition, a study at Landau University has found that bees do not go back to their hives when cell phones are placed nearby. Dr Jochen Kuhn, who carried it out, said this could provide a “hint” to a possible cause.

Cell Phones and Humans

So if mobile phones are causing bees to disappear, what are they doing to our health?
While proof is not absolutely conclusive, there is mounting evidence that cell phones are dangerous to people.

Most research on cancer is still too early to set in stone. But an official Finnish study found that people who used the phones for more than 10 years were 40 per cent more likely to get a brain tumor on the same side as they held the handset.

Swedish research has shown that radiation from cell phones kill off brain cells. This is incredibly worrying, and may be one of the many reasons that dementia is on the rise. Furthermore, we have no idea what will be the fate of all the young people today who are the first generation to have their own cell phones and use them regularly.

Most experts warn that children under eight should not use cells under any circumstances.
Studies in India and the US have shown that men who use cell phones very regularly have reduced sperm counts.

Last but not least, there is actually a new syndrome that is increasingly being seen by doctors which is a sort of texting Repetitive Strain Disorder (RSI) of the thumb.

What Can We Do?

Even if we choose to not have a cell phone ourselves, the cell masts are all around us causing us stress. But choosing to use the land line as much as possible and ensuring that children don’t use them is a good start.

Eating a diet that is seriously high in antioxidants is another huge stride in warding off the affects of cell phones. They are what protect us against cellular damage from all environmental toxins. Raw cacao, pomegranates, blueberries, and broccoli sprouts are some of the most antioxidant rich foods.
Having plenty of plants around is said to soak up radiation in houses.

There are a number of devices out there to that have been said to protect against electromagnetic radiation. These may come in the form of necklaces you can wear and gadgets you stick on your phone. Most of them are not scientifically proven, but many people claim they feel much better when wearing them.


More on foods to avoid

•October 18, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Wednesday, October 15, 2008
12 Food Additives to Avoid like the Plague
1. Sodium Nitrate (also called Sodium Nitrite)

This is a preservative, coloring, and flavoring commonly added to bacon, ham, hot dogs, luncheon meats, smoked fish, and corned beef. Studies have linked eating it to various types of cancer.

2. BHA and BHT

Butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydrozyttoluene are used to preserve common household foods. They are found in cereals, chewing gum, potato chips, and vegetable oils. They are oxidants, which form potentially cancer-causing reactive compounds in your body.

3. Propyl Gallate

Another preservative, often used in conjunction with BHA and BHT. It is sometimes found in meat products, chicken soup base, and chewing gum. Animals studies have suggested that it could be linked to cancer.

4. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

MSG is an amino acid used as a flavor enhancer in soups, salad dressings, chips, frozen entrees, and restaurant food. It can cause headaches and nausea, and animal studies link it to damaged nerve cells in the brains of infant mice.

5. Trans Fats

Trans fats are proven to cause heart disease. Restaurant food, especially fast food chains, often serve foods laden with trans fats.

6. Aspartame

Aspartame, also known by the brand names Nutrasweet and Equal, is a sweetener found in so-called diet foods such as low-calorie desserts, gelatins, drink mixes, and soft drinks. It may cause cancer or neurological problems, such as dizziness or hallucinations. Sorry to break it to you BUT the main ingredient in diet coke is aspartame.

7. Acesulfame-K

This is a relatively new artificial sweetener found in baked goods, chewing gum, and gelatin desserts. There is a general concern that testing on this product has been scant, and some studies show the additive may cause cancer in rats.

8. Food Colorings: Blue 1, 2; Red 3; Green 3; Yellow 6

Five food colorings still on the market are linked with cancer in animal testing. Blue 1 and 2, found in beverages, candy, baked goods and pet food, have been linked to cancer in mice. Red 3, used to dye cherries, fruit cocktail, candy, and baked goods, has been shown to cause thyroid tumors in rats. Green 3, added to candy and beverages, has been linked to bladder cancer. The widely used yellow 6, added to beverages, sausage, gelatin, baked goods, and candy, has been linked to tumors of the adrenal gland and kidney.

9. Olestra

Olestra, a synthetic fat found in some potato chip brands, can cause severe diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and gas. Olestra also inhibits healthy vitamin absorption from fat-soluble carotenoids that are found in fruits and vegetables.

10. Potassium Bromate

Potassium bromate is used as an additive to increase volume in some white flour, breads, and rolls. It is known to cause cancer in animals, and even small amounts in bread can create a risk for humans.

11. White Sugar

Watch out for foods with added sugars, such as baked goods, cereals, crackers, sauces and many other processed foods. It is unsafe for your health, and promotes bad nutrition.

12. Sodium Chloride

A dash of sodium chloride, more commonly known as salt, can bring flavor to your meal. But too much salt can be dangerous for your health, leading to high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure.


6 dangerous food colorings

•October 17, 2008 • Leave a Comment

12 Dangerous Food Additives: The Dirty Dozen Food Additives You Really Need to be Aware Of

In the United States, more than 3,000 substances can be added to foods for the purpose of preservation, coloring, texture, increasing flavor and more. While each of these substances is legal to use (at least here in the States), whether or not they are all something you want to be consuming is another story all together.

The food colorings that make candy pretty colors have been linked to cancer and tumors of the brain, thyroid, adrenal gland and kidney in animal studies.

With any processed food you run the risk of coming across additives, and reading through ingredient labels can be like trying to decode a puzzle.

Of course, eating largely fresh, whole foods is the best way to stay away from unsavory additives, but, assuming you do include some processed foods in your diet, the following additives are ones you surely want to stay away from. Look for them on ingredient labels and if one turns up, take a pass.

Propyl Gallate

This preservative, used to prevent fats and oils from spoiling, might cause cancer. It’s used in vegetable oil, meat products, potato sticks, chicken soup base and chewing gum, and is often used with BHA and BHT (see below).


Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) are used similarly to propyl gallate — to keep fats and oils from going rancid. Used commonly in cereals, chewing gum, vegetable oil and potato chips (and also in some food packaging to preserve freshness), these additives have been found by some studies to cause cancer in rats. If a brand you commonly buy uses these additives, look for a different variety, as not all manufacturers use these preservatives.

Food Additives and Your Brain:
Free e-Book

If you want to know more about the effects of food additives on your brain, check out this FREE 300+-page e-book “Neurotoxicity: Identifying and Controlling Poisons of the Nervous System.”

Some food additives are neurotoxic, which means they’re capable of altering the normal activity of the nervous system — and even killing neurons. Symptoms include:

* Limb weakness or numbness
* Loss of memory, vision, and intellect
* Headache
* Cognitive and behavioral problems
* Sexual dysfunction

See and Download “Neurotoxicity: Identifying and Controlling Poisons of the Nervous System.” Now

Potassium Bromate

This additive is used in breads and rolls to increase the volume and produce a fine crumb structure. Although most bromate breaks down into bromide, which is harmless, the bromate that does remain causes cancer in animals. Bromate has been banned throughout the world, except for in the United States and Japan. In California, a cancer warning would likely be required if it were used, which is why it is rarely used in that state.

Monosodium glutamate (MSG)

MSG is used as a flavor enhancer in many packaged foods, including soups, salad dressings, sausages, hot dogs, canned tuna, potato chips and many more. According to Dr. Russell Blaylock, an author and neurosurgeon, there is a link between sudden cardiac death, particularly in athletes, and excitotoxic damage caused by food additives like MSG and artificial sweeteners. Excitotoxins are, according to Dr. Blaylock, “A group of excitatory amino acids that can cause sensitive neurons to die.”

Many consumers have also personally experienced the ill effects of MSG, which leave them with a headache, nausea or vomiting after eating MSG-containing foods. To find out more about the side effects associated with MSG, as well as a complete list of which foods contain it, see our past article MSG: If it’s Safe: Why do They Disguise it on the Labels?

Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet)

This artificial sweetener is found in Equal and NutraSweet, along with products that contain them (diet sodas and other low-cal and diet foods). This sweetener has been found to cause brain tumors in rats as far back as the 1970s, however a more recent study in 2005 found that even small doses increase the incidence of lymphomas and leukemia in rats, along with brain tumors.

People who are sensitive to aspartame may also suffer from headaches, dizziness and hallucinations after consuming it.


Acesulfame-K is an artificial sweetener that’s about 200 times sweeter than sugar. It’s used in baked goods, chewing gum, gelatin desserts and soft drinks. Two rat studies have found that this substance may cause cancer, and other studies to reliably prove this additive’s safety have not been conducted. Acesulfame-K also breaks down into acetoacetamide, which has been found to affect the thyroid in rats, rabbits and dogs.


Olestra is a fat substitute used in crackers and potato chips, marketed under the brand name Olean. This synthetic fat is not absorbed by the body (instead it goes right through it), so it can cause diarrhea, loose stools, abdominal cramps and flatulence, along with other effects. Further, olestra reduces the body’s ability to absorb beneficial fat-soluble nutrients, including lycopene, lutein and beta-carotene.

Sodium Nitrite (Sodium Nitrate)

Like diet soda? The aspartame that’s used to sweeten it increases lymphomas, leukemia and brain tumors in rats — even in small doses.

Sodium nitrite (or sodium nitrate) is used as a preservative, coloring and flavoring in bacon, ham, hot dogs, luncheon meats, corned beef, smoked fish and other processed meats. These additives can lead to the formation of cancer-causing chemicals called nitrosamines.

Some studies have found a link between consuming cured meats and nitrite and cancer in humans.

Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil

The process used to make hydrogenated vegetable oil (or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil) creates trans fats, which promote heart disease and diabetes. The Institute of Medicine has advised that consumers should eat as little trans fat as possible. You should avoid anything with these ingredients on the label, which includes some margarine, vegetable shortening, crackers, cookies, baked goods, salad dressings, bread and more. It’s used because it reduces cost and increases the shelf life and flavor stability of foods.

Blue 1 and Blue 2

Blue 1, used to color candy, beverages and baked goods, may cause cancer. Blue 2, found in pet food, candy and beverages, has caused brain tumors in mice.

Red 3

This food coloring is used in cherries (in fruit cocktails), baked goods and candy. It causes thyroid tumors in rats, and may cause them in humans as well.

Yellow 6

As the third most often used food coloring, yellow 6 is found in many products, including backed goods, candy, gelatin and sausages. It has been found to cause adrenal gland and kidney tumors, and contains small amounts of many carcinogens.


Aspertame and Sperm Damage

•October 16, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Aspartame and Sperm Damage – Dr. Buttar’s Blog

October 14th, 2008 by Dr. Buttar’s Blogmaster Dr. James Bowen, M.D.

The quantity and quality of human sperm is plunging like a meteor, and with it humanity’s future, announced a conference of 130 scientists in Montreal on Male Mediated Developmental Toxicity. The human race survives only thru it’s genes. Destroy the genes and our race dies? For 20 years scientists have watched sperm counts drop but now “up to 85% of sperm produced by healthy males is DNA-damaged”, said John Aiken, head of biological sciences at Australia’s University of Newcastle. “That’s very unusual,” said Aiken. “If you were to take a rat or a mouse or a rabbit, usually more than 80% of their sperm would be normal … you’re likely to see lots of diseases that are related to poorer semen quality. … Generally speaking everything is bad with the sperm.” Human sperm is much worse than animal sperm. The vast majority of sperm is sluggish, poorly structured, DNA fragmented, producing a lot of cellular waste, free radicals. Birth defects, brain cancer and leukemia in children, infertility, testicular cancer which strikes men in their 30’s are but part of this deadly bouquet of deformities from damaged sperm. Male smokers damage their sperm and may contribute to childhood cancers. “If you are a man and you smoke your semen profile won’t be obviously affected, you’ll still have lots of sperm swimming around and you’ll be fertile. But the DNA in your sperm nucleus will be fragmented.” said Aiken who attributed much of the damage to electromagnetic radiation.

Formaldehyde and methanol, two sperm destroying agents in tobacco, also appear in aspartame/NutraSweet/Equal which also induces deadly chelated aluminum into our bodies along with other heavy metal poison and toxic does of chelated iron leading to hemosiderosis, there to destroy brain cells and our minds with them. Normally we are immune to dietary aluminum but when chelated from aspartame it is carried right into the body through the GI tract, which usually rejects it. This potent chelation effect is born out by first person reports given by Coke and Pepsi employees that both companies, after 50 trouble free years with them, had to abandon the use of stainless steel valve seats in their dispensing machines and go to plastic because the aspartame pop was rapidly corroding the stainless out of functional condition. I’ve personal acquaintance knowledge that university scientists have been fired for merely setting up the procedure to measure the amount of chelated aluminum carried out of the can and into the body. We do have independent confirmation. Consider fillings and calcium in teeth.

Chemical hypersensitivity engendered by NutraSweet makes the damages from toxins like preservatives, perfumes, etc. occur at concentrations millions of times lower than that at which they would even be a nuisance and far worse: i.e. the Persian Gulf Syndrome.

In recent months I’ve found the Internet is being systemically purged of the articles informative of the biochemistry of the cogeners of aspartame. When you meet the Fire ant you’ll understand why. This article will dwell on how the sperm are genetically damaged and impaired in their ability to be winners. It will include, as illustrations, other medical problems and science related to aspartame and its cogeners. This will leave little surprise then, that human sperm quality is on the wane. About !85%! of human spermatozoa produced are now identifiable as genetically damaged. They are sluggish, lack motility and carry fragmented, damaged DNA attributable to chemical, free radical, and EMR exposure from the AC (alternating current) electronic environment humans immerse themselves in such as cell phones. This poor quality of spermatozoa does not bode well for the progeny of such sperm and makes male fertility procedures, such as in vitro fertilization, of questionable wisdom because the only factor, that thus far, significantly tended to lessen damage to progeny is the sperm race to be the first one to get to the ovum and fertilize it. We will go into how the sperm are genetically damaged and impaired in their ability to be winners in the fertility arena, and will include, as illustrations, other medical problems and medical science related to aspartame and its cogeners.

Sucralose or Splenda shouldn’t be used either as its a chlorocarbon like DDT that isn’t even legal in the environment and could hardly be conceived of as being any less damaging to fertility than aspartame. No calorie reduced sweetener is safe. They wouldn’t work if they didn’t potently and extremely rapidly stimulate, excite, and derange the specialized neurons in the tongue to make them report high levels of sugar when none is there. Anything like this is dangerous to you. Moreover, these non-nutritive sweeteners do live up to their promise to be just that, which specifically in the case of NutraSweet, contributes immensely to the resultant damages in the user. For example, the lack of essential co-factors such as niacin, riboflavin, pyridoxine, B12, Vitamin E and Folate lead to the buildup and release of carbon monoxide in oxidation processes of formic acid. If something sounds too good to be true, it not only is not true but, as in the case of Nutrasweet, is a cover for very dangerous lies. High tech does not carry any guarantee whatsoever of safety. The time has long since come that we should, for the sake of our health and of future generations, seek out organically grown, preservative and additive free food. Our governmental protective infrastructure has become so eroded and pretentious if you see natural flavoring on the label of a food container it only means the ingredient so listed is NOT natural and they are NOT going to tell you what the name of the chemical is!

Intelligent? human beings have rapidly declining sperm quality and their offspring are now experiencing childhood brain cancers, childhood leukemia and testicular cancers in their youth. These are just a few of the exemplary damages to the progeny of damaged sperm. Aspartame and some of its many cogeners produce some of the same tissue damaging factors that does EMR; making Aspartame poisoning synergistic with EMR damage. The U.S. government, under industry prompting, allowed our AC electrical conduction system to be set at sixty cycles per second which exposes us in the US to about sixteen times the EMR than if it were set at the far safer fifty cycles per second the European systems use. The basic math of EMR was well known when the regs were enacted. This synergism makes aspartame even more dangerous in the US but it remains hazardous and horribly damaging for everyone everywhere. NO exceptions!

A previous article, “Aspartame Murders Infants”, in violation of Title 18 of the domestic genocide law,, describes the several well identified and distinct tasks human spermatozoa have to excel at if they’re to have any chance to win the race to the ovum and fertilize it. The remarkable increase in dysfunctional spermatozoa, since the advent of aspartame, is readily explained by the known actions of it and its cogeners; (Cogener = all the problematic compounds, radicals, reactions and damages to the human organism that arise from the time aspartame is produced and onwards ad infinitum.) Aspartame damages spermatozoa thru several toxic mechanisms mentioned in this article.

Anti sperm antibodies are a fairly common male fertility problem because the spermatozoa are antigenically distinct from the male who produces them. The spermatozoon is a haploid, having only half of each pair of chromosomes from the male progenitor. Each haploid chromosome is then, in a random distribution, one from either his mother or father, so the antigens produced are distinct from those of the male progenitor. Anything that calls this to the attention of the immune system will engender anti sperm antibodies. Vasectomy sometimes causes anti sperm antibodies because the sperm are impacted in the male genital system. Wives sometimes can become hypersensitized to their husband’s sperm, and the couple thereby rendered infertile. Aspartame’s well-known tendency to produce autoimmunity and hypersensitivity could only anticipate such an autoimmune and hypersensitivity attack on the sperm in the male and afterwards in the female. Production of denatured protein by cross linkage reaction with the endogenous nascent formaldehyde from the obligatory metabolism of methanol makes the aspartame derived nascent formaldehyde a far more potent immunoadjuvent than the exogenous formaldehyde as is commonly used as an adjuvant in vaccines. The generation of endogenous formaldehyde occurs inside the cell in the cytosol and in the mitochondria. So the individual subcellular structures such as mitochrondria are likely to become discrete targets of the ensuing immunoholocaust. Antinuclear antibodies, ANA, as in lupus, etc. were one of the first to be recognized. Anti mitochondrial antibody hepatitis appeared on the scene with the advent of aspartame. (There’s more than one kind of poisonous aspartame!) Fatty degeneration of the liver was renamed steato hepatitis, which now “inexplicably” affects 3% of our adolescent population. Cryptogenic cirrhosis of the liver, long noted to follow is also an anti mitochondrial antibody disease. This does not bode well for the 3% of our youth afflicted with steato hepatitis thanks to the aspartame! Unique to the present epidemic is the horribly synergistic co-epidemic of hemosiderosis; known in and of itself to cause cirrhosis and male impotence.

Mitochondria, their DNA and RNA suffer more extensive damage from the methanol-formaldehyde-formic acid/formate-carbon monoxide toxic axis than other structures because the mitochrondria are the minute furnaces in the cell that, much like a furnace in a house function to protect the cell from the processes of combustion which otherwise would destroy the house. The mitochondria, within their own confines, carry out two intense and dangerous energy production tasks in the oxidative metabolism essential to the production of cellular energy which would and do destroy the cell if they escape the confines of the mitochondria. If not done properly because of RNA, DNA or mitochondrial damage or metabolic insult, they result in the production of dangerous superoxide free radicals that damage the mitochrondria, the DNA and the cell in a vicious circle. The first of these two processes is to break down fats for metabolism into radicals that can be safely and completely burnt for energy such as the one called beta oxidation. The second, controlled combustion, is to harmonize and perform the safe oxidation of these and other substrates via agencies such as the citric acid cycle which yields manageable forms of energy such as that buffered with phosphate in ATP the rest of the cell can then safely utilize. Kind of like your stove safely burning gas to cook your food and make it safe and digestible. When the mitochondrion or its DNA is damaged the cell is functionally impaired by the deranged metabolic processes, and the production of free radicals. If the mitochondria break down and release their enzymes and substrates the cell is doomed to destruction just as a house would be doomed to an explosive decomposition if gas for the stove were allowed to leak into the house and then ignited by a faulty stove. If the mitochondrial DNA/RNA function is impaired a vicious cycle of more metabolic and free radical damage to the DNA is set in motion. On a per mass basis the mitochondria produce many times more nascent formaldehyde from methanol than the cytosol making the damage therefrom far more concentrated in the mitochondria. This correlates well with the epidemic mitochondrial diseases that have more widely manifested themselves with the advent of the aspartame. Cardiomyopathy, cryptogenic cirrhosis of the liver, premature graying, diabetes, and pervasive developmental disorders are some.

The Mt DNA is located within the mitochondria where large amounts of nascent formaldehyde are formed. Nuclear DNA is protected inside the nucleus where no methanol is metabolized to formaldehyde. The Mt DNA lacks the many other protective and repair mechanisms afforded nuclear DNA. The only repair processes for the mitochondrial DNA cross-linked by formaldehyde or fragmented by formate are excisional; simply deleting formaldehyde or fragmented by formate are excisional; simply deleting entire segments that contain damaged areas. This makes the net damage to Mt DNA thousands of times greater than that to nuclear DNA in Aspartame poisoning and it makes Mt DNA damage highly cumulative. It is passed on to subsequent generations of sperm and ova in a random distribution through the maternal line. This is one explanation why some pregnancy losses are attributable only to blighted ova or embryos. The randomness of Mt DNA transmission from mother to ovum explains the pleomorphic problems that may arise in their off spring. The offspring are usually blighted in a random manner, displaying various problems such as pervasive developmental disorders (like autism), myopathies, energy deficient obesity syndromes, progeria, premature graying diabetes, etc. Each may manifest in one child but not others, which in turn, may be dissimilarly effected. Nutrasweet is a cumulative poison in every sense of the word, lifelong.

The accumulation of aspartame cogeners bound to tissue components is another form of accumulation. Other disease processes that yield cumulative damage are the ongoing destruction of tissues that are not replaceable such as neurons, retina and properly oriented myelin sheaths, and the production of various barriers to regeneration such as the Alzheimers plague and the progression of steato hepatitis to cryptogenic cirrhosis because of scarring and inflammation around the hepatic ducts in these young people which leaves no place for properly plumbed hepatocytes to regenerate, leading to a vicious circle of more chemical damage and more inflammation and scarring and tissue disruption. Another example of cumulative toxicity from aspartame, which can only be made far worse by ingesting preservatives and food additives, and exposure to perfumes and other environmental toxins.

The spermatozoa produced by the Aspartame consumer inherit, on a random basis from their progenitor, varying amounts of damaged mitochondria which in turn have their DNA damaged in different segments and to varying extents. This makes the sperm damage that results of pleomorphic manifestation. A spermatozoon receives only about twenty mitochondria as compared to about one hundred thousand in the ovum. In the sperm this leads to a lack of averaging of effect, so only two or three blighted mitochondria would put that spermatozoon out of the race. Since it’s now common only 15% have vigorous motility, the greatly redundant # of sperm is the only factor that may allow for a few to make good attempt at fertilization. This adequacy of Mt DNA doesn’t at all guarantee freedom of induced defect in the nuclear DNA that will be transmitted to the embryo. The spermatic mitochrondria, located in the mid body of the spermatozoa from where the tail is wagged, exist only to provide the energy to wag the tail, propel the spermatozoon, and energize it to enter the ovum. At that point any who have survived the “go to broke effort” are destroyed by the ovum, not having been allowed to contribute any Mt DNA to the embryo. (Who says it’s a man’s world?) Is it any wonder many men are now showing rates of normal sperm motility as low as 15%? The other 85% of spermatozoa carrying so much damaged Mt DNA they can’t even wiggle?

The poisonous sequence resulting from the metabolism of methanol does not end with the cross linking and plasticizing of cellular and tissue components by formaldehyde. DNA and to even a greater extent RNA are damaged by this cross linking and will not replicate nor transmit or share information until repaired. The next toxic step is the metabolism of formaldehyde to formic acid, which then reaches buffered equilibrium with formate in the body. Both are the same toxin. It’s just a matter of the ambient acid/base balance. The two terms, as used herein, mean the same thing. Formate (fire ant sting venom) is a far more potent toxin and chromosomal damaging agent than formaldehyde, and a far more potent venom than scorpion venom. It causes fragmentation of mitochondria. This puts it in the category of a blister agent. This blister agent poison is so severe a hypersensitization agent that sensitized adult humans have died from the sting of a single fire ant only 1/8 long and weighing only a milligram or two. This completely proves and demonstrates the hypersensitization effect of aspartame, which the government forcibly maintains does not occur even as it maintains that chemical hypersensitivity cannot and does not exist; to be enforced at the pain of loss of licensure for any doctor who diagnoses or treats these unfortunates. The Jan 1, 01 issue of Townsend Letter for Doctors records the fascist proclamations of the coalition of chemical and pharmaceutical companies that they now so control the government and medical boards that hey can and will see to the revocation of licensure of any medical doctor who diagnoses or treats for chemical hypersensitivity. This class of toxins are called blister agents as they kill the cells leaving behind only blisters of dead tissue. Fluoride and cyanide share the same toxic mechanism as formate. All three block the action of the cytochrome oxidase enzyme. This paralyzes the mitochondria’s ability to utilize oxygen; much like carbon monoxide blocks the entrance of oxygen into the red cell, suffocating the metabolism. Endogenous carbon monoxide is formed in the metabolism of formate; hemoglobin is denatured to met hemoglobin by methanol; and the basic cytochrome oxidase element of heme is likewise blocked by formate. Since the arrival of NutraSweet the asthma rates in the US are ever on the increase. In the catechism of the axis “hypersensitivity” is a wash your mouth out with soap and lose your medical license type of word due to their perceived need to protect the public from any knowledge of aspartame related problems. You may remember the dark episode in Seattle, when, at the behest of the FDA, a doctor who was treating chemical hypersensitivity and advising his patients in the use of herbal remedies had his office blitzkrieged by federal agents who rush in and held a gun to his head while they ran out his patients, rampaged thru his office and took all his records. Not only is the resultant hypersensitivity rampant, but a second aspartame epidemic among asthmatics is with us. Asthma sufferers are appearing with severe attacks, in respiratory distress, suffocating for lack of oxygen. When the doctor lays stethoscope to chest he finds the patient is moving lots of air. Have his airways closed down? No, his red blood cells are so poisoned by the carbon monoxide, the cyanide like effect of formate on the hemoglobin and the met hemoglobinemia from aspartame that they cannot pick up oxygen and carry it into the body. Of course the asthma itself may also be severely flared; again thanks to aspartame, yielding an especially hellish situation. Due to the strictly enforced catechismal ban on any knowledge of the toxicity of aspartame, the doctor cannot even report a history of the patient’s NutraSweet use, nor factor it into his reasoning and decision making process. While in fact, aspartame is the key element in the whole, entire picture.

The patient whose mind is obtunded by hypoxemia and whose thinking processes are, under the brainwashing influence of aspartame biochemistry will follow without question what the doc prescribes. When the patient is suffocating while moving lots of air the doctor has to deal with a therapeutic conundrum. If the doc believes the stethoscope the patient will appear to be a hyperventilating hypochondriac. The doctors other choice is to ignore his stethoscope and treat the refractory respiratory distress with more vigorous treatment of the asthma. If that involves a pulsed high dose of corticosteroids it will accidentally treat and improve the hypersensitivity. More drastic measures may also accidentally and temporarily separate the patient from his aspartame and result in some real improvement. The real pathophysiology and the real causes will not be directly addressed so the patient is doomed to a despairing cycle of continued aspartame poisoning and will likely consider himself a pulmonary cripple which he need not be at all. He really only needs to get off all aspartame and to take realistic steps to deal with his hypersensitivity and he would be greatly and permanently improved.

Back to the mitochondria: With the action of the cytochrome oxidase enzyme blocked by formate, only a very partial anaerobic metabolism of fats and carbohydrates remains possible. Glycolysis breaks down the carbohydrates to lactic acid and beta oxidation breaks down fats to keto acids. These acids are additive to the acidosis from the formic acid which contributes to the metabolic problem as well as complicating the decompensated respiratory/metabolic state in asthmatics and diabetics. The mitochondrial metabolic processes are the only route to move fat calories out of the cell or out of the body. This mitochondrial deficiency leads directly to steato hepatitis and diet resistant obesity.

Not only is damage to sperm Mt DNA permanent, but, it’s cumulative because it’s perpetuated in subsequent generations of mitochondria in the cell and any spermatozoa it produces. The hypersensitivity likewise will cumulate upon repeated insult and could flare upon exposure to a wide variety of chemicals; creating chronicity of lifelong duration. How cruel. The perfume the lady uses could perpetuate their infertility. Cosmetics commonly use over three hundred chemical carcinogens and over twenty five hundred known chemical toxins. These toxins flare the autoimmune/hypersensitivity reaction from aspartame. Illustrated herein is that the cosmetics industry probably would be little better if the government made a pretense of regulating it as the FDA does with food additives. We simply do not live in the same world we were in before exposed to aspartame. We, not being able to rely on the government nor corporate integrity, must listen very carefully to our bodies and carefully scrutinize what we put into them or upon them and the environment that we place or find ourselves in. The fire ant wields what is arquably the most potent venom of any terrestrial arthropod, formic acid. Exactly the same formic acid that is formed 10% by weight from aspartame in your body. In the fight for clarity of mind on aspartame toxicity the fire ant has triumphed over billions of dollars worth of punditry and thousands of brains a billion times the size of his, hired to engineer the intake of aspartame into the human body. You may have to forget about your medical doctor and listen to the fire ant. Your doc may never come to clarity of mind on aspartame because, in the present medical bureaucracy, he has been made more a high priest than a scientist. Priests may never violate the catechism without a special dispensation. No dispensations are being granted on aspartame. The fire ant, on the other hand, though his brain is outweighed a billion times by each of the thousands of brains arrayed against him, has by a clear simple and universally acknowledge demonstration of scientific fact demonstrated the formate cogener of aspartame can often cause not only a hypersensitivity reaction but such a severe one it can kill you at a dose approximating only 5% of the formate you get from one packet of Equal. Yes the fire ant has demonstrated, repeatedly, it only takes 1/20th the dose of formic acid that you get from a packet of Equal to kill you in a hypersensitivity reaction engendered by similarly small doses of formate. If only the medical profession would allow themselves to acknowledge what they already know. The facts of fire ant venom are well known to your medical doctor and medical regulatory organizations. If they cannot mentally cope with these facts you must step out and help your friends to step out to look out for your own health. If you wish to try and motivate an unreceptive doc to a more comprehending state of mind you may remind him that in the fraternity of medical professionals the pendulum effect is well known. The pendulum of medical regulation can suddenly swing and the profession be told to reverse their treatment methods for any given condition. The pendulum may later then swing back again just as rapidly reversing treatment methods. When was the patient benefited? and when disserviced? I believe the interests of the patient are better serviced and protected in countries like Mexico where prescriptions are not mandatory and the doctor is truly an advisor who may be shunned or ignored if he will not listen to the patient or does not comprehend the needed facts. Because the patient can learn the facts and listen to his own body, which the doc and the bureaucracy often cannot and do not; much less listen to even the patient. The FDA refuses to listen to the reports from damaged parties who incidentally comprise over 80% of all complaints to the FDA since the aspartame was released on them.

The fire ant loudly proclaims: I have for thousands of years disproved all of your ?billions” of punditry because I have repeatedly demonstrated that 1/20th formic acid derived from a single packet of Equal can kill a full grown adult human being from the inherent chemical hypersensitivity formate induces. So pack up your aspartame and your quackwatch punditry and your “billions”, and get the hell out of Dodge! It’s almost High Noon. Thank God for fire ants!

The fire ant has won and the aspartame has to withdraw from the field of reason. The Internet is supposedly an open venue for information, the information highway. After months of searching related topics I can certify I am seeing topic after topic surrounding the methanol – toxic axis being purged from the Internet. The good stuff may only still be found if you have the skills to get it. The excellent articles by and supporting the intelligentsia who altruistically oppose aspartame are being deleted from the search engines leaving only the inane punditry that gives the false appearance of discrediting them and exonerating aspartame. A more modern example of: “burn the books” fascism. Also a disservice to the public are web sites like “Quackwatch” releasing misleading information. A relevant example occurred in the case of the Persian Gulf Syndrome. Only the combat troops came back with the Persian Gulf Syndrome because the Saudis would not allow aspartame in Garrison areas and only the combat units beyond direct control of the Saudi government who were force fed Nutrasweet drinks and came back with the Persian Gulf Syndrome. The troops had been rendered hypersensitive. Military epidemiologists found that Persian Gulf Syndrome was largely chemical hypersensitivity. Oops! After that first landmark article, only the inane punditry cover up line was allowed: Oh, these are just chronic obsessively unhappy people that nothing could make happy and are therefore just not medically treatable because it is all, just in their heads. Thank God for fire ants! They may just well be able to keep these and the many other unfortunates afflicted with chemical hypersensitivity from being thrown on the medical trash heap, as the chemical and pharmaceutical companies would have them to be.

Another example of the ravishing censorship of the search engines to protect methanol is that of when I first located the 24 studies then displayed in Google that reported the production of horrendous birth defects such as micro penis and unclosed skulls in the offspring of mothers exposed to minute doses of methanol in the industrial environment, a couple of days later they were gone when I went back for them on the same engine. I was able to find them again only because having already read the articles, I could pull them up on other included topics. In l990 the windshield washer/defroster fluid in the US was, with no notice to the endangered public, switched from isopropyl alcohol to methyl alcohol. Methanol is by far the most hazardous point of entry on the methanol-formaldehyde-formic acid-carbon monoxide toxic axis. Its incorporation, estherized with other poisons into larger poisons, such as aspartame greatly synergizes its toxicity.

From my many sources of information and my many personal experiences since I started talking about aspartame, I have become of the informed and certain opinion of the evil coverup. The only reason this poisonous aspartame is among us, is to degrade and destroy human beings. No company would ever put it on the market for commercial reasons. They would be sued out of existence in moths except for the protection of the dark side.

Coke and Pepsi thru the venue of the soft drink bottling association in l983 presented a joint position paper to the government giving many good reasons why they would never put aspartame into their products. Searle pharmaceutical in their stock reports just prior to that told their stockholders they would never put aspartame on the market for human consumption because it was clearly too toxic. The Searle family later sold their stock and, en masse, walked out of the company when aspartame was marketed. Coke and Pepsi’s soft drink operations profitability have been marginalized due to the ensuing loss of confidence among the consuming public, and their very corporate survival is questionable because of loss of confidence in their ethics.

An interesting example of how aspartame engendered hypersensitivity can produce atypia and perpetuation of disease processes and syndromes is presented in a previous article on Lyme Disease and Aspartame also on Another extremely informative article on this web site is written by Dr. A. Bal and Dr. Jayshree Barua in the Diabetic Journal of India l995 Vol 35, #4.

The excellent site, deals very graphically and factually with the aspartame problem. Mark Gold puts it down in the form of straight forward scientific evidence clearly presented just as an attorney would give it to a jury. Dr. Hyman Roberts has just released a comprehensive factual textbook on the Aspartame Global plague titled ASPARTAME DISEASE: AN IGNORED EPIDEMIC, or by calling 1 800 814 – 9800. It has a chapter on drug interaction, how to treat the aspartame victim, brain tumors, seizures, lupus, MS and even the legal implications. A recent article by syndicated reporter David L. Dewey exposes the sordid history of this chemical poison, a 24 page document at Neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock, M.D., also wrote an excellent book on aspartame and msg, Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills,

The Trocho study on shows that formaldehyde accumulates in the cells converted from the wood alcohol in aspartame with a great deal of toxicity in the liver and substantial amounts in the kidneys, adipose tissue, retina and brain. When you damage DNA you can destroy the human race. We are now evidencing the beginning of this process as we see DNA damage to human sperm.

James Bowen, M.D.
Permission to Publish (Dr. Bowen’s number can be gotten from Mrs. Martini who can be reached at 770 242-2599)

Taken From: Dr. Bhuttar

Prostate Cancer Screenings Essentially Useless

•June 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Prostate Cancer Screenings Essentially Useless

Regular prostate cancer screening has no effect on the risk of death from the disease, according to a large-scale, long-term study conducted by researchers from the National Cancer Institute and published online in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“There was little or no scientific evidence that it saved lives,” said Otis Brawley, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society.

The prostate specific antigen (PSA) test, which measures blood levels of a protein produced by the prostate gland, has been controversial as a cancer screening test since it first became popular in the 1990s. At the time, Brawley was one of many scientists who raised concern over the usefulness of the test.

“I can say firsthand that some American screening advocates were vicious in their attacks on those who dared question prostate cancer screening,” Brawley said. Some lay and physician advocates had a religious-like fervor for screening.”

In the current study, part of the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial, researchers looked at rates of prostate cancer and prostate cancer death among 76,693 men, half of whom were assigned to undergo PSA screening once per year. The other participants were assigned to continue with regular health care practices and not advised regarding prostate screening. The participants were then followed for seven to 10 years each.

The current results are considered preliminary and the study is still ongoing. By its conclusion, all participants will have been followed for 13 years each.

In the preliminary analysis, the overall rate of prostate cancer death among participants “was very low and did not differ significantly between the two study groups,” the researchers wrote. An independent review committee has endorsed the findings and recommended their publication.

Because most prostate cancers are slow growing, many men may die of other causes without ever experiencing symptoms from an active cancer. Neither the PSA test nor a biopsy, however, is able to determine whether a cancer is slow-growing or aggressive.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has recommended against prostate cancer screening in men above the age of 74.

Sources for this story include:

GM-Soy: Destroy the Earth and Humans for Profit

•May 28, 2009 • Leave a Comment

GM-Soy: Destroy the Earth and Humans for Profit
Genetically modified (GM) soy accounts for 91 percent of soybeans planted in the US and is rapidly growing throughout the world [1]. The dangerous biotech created science behind the introduction of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) is rapidly mounting and can no longer be ignored by scientists or the public. The biotech propaganda of increasing crop yield and ending world hunger have been proven false, and attempts to skew the simple fact that the sole reasoning for the mass introduction of untested, toxic and dangerous GMOs into our plants, soil, animals and genes is to increase profits at any expense for the large multinational biotech companies.

Transgenic or GM soy is created by haphazardly blasting a gene into the soybean that allows the bean to be resistant to the cytotoxic effects of Roundup (glyphosate). Farmers are able to dose their entire soybean fields with glyphosate and only kill the weeds. But, wouldn’t it make sense that if something kills anything (including weeds) it also would be killing human cells? Also, what health effects are evident from consuming soybeans which have been genetically altered with a promoter virus to ensure the gene slips past the immune system of the plant?

Monsanto created Roundup in the 1970’s to kill weeds and has since catapulted this product to be the world’s number one selling herbicide. Before the patent on Roundup was set to expire in 2000, Monsanto needed a surefire way to keep the profits of Roundup from bottoming out. Monsanto quickly began purchasing the majority of the world’s seed companies while simultaneously creating GMOs that farmers needed to sign contractual agreements to only use Roundup. Subsequently, revenue from Roundup never dropped and in fact topped more than $4 billion in 2008, up 59% from 2007 [2].

GM-soy is estimated to be present in up to 70% of all food products found in US supermarkets, including cereals, breads, soymilk, pasta and most meat (as animals are fed GM-soy feed). Although Monsanto has consistently relied on industry-funded data to declare the safety of GM-soy and glyphosate, objective research published in peer-reviewed journals tells another story.

Toxicity of Glyphosate
A recently published study by Italian researchers [3] examined the toxicity of four popular glyphosate based herbicide formulations on human placental cells, kidney cells, embryonic cells and neonate umbilical cord cells and surprisingly found total cell death of each of these cells within 24 hours. The researchers reported several mechanisms by which the herbicides caused the cells to die including: cell membrane rupture and damage, mitochondrial damage and cell asphyxia. Following these findings, the researchers tested G, AMPA and POEA by themselves and concluded that, “It is very clear that if G, POEA, or AMPA has a small toxic effect on embryonic cells alone at low levels, the combination of two of them at the same final concentration is significantly deleterious”.

Although previous researchers have proposed that the supposed “inert ingredients” alter the role of cell membrane disruptors in fish, amphibians, microorganisms [4] and plants [5], independent of G, this study is the first of its kind to report similar findings in human cells. The researchers concluded that, “the proprietary mixtures available on the market could cause cell damage and even death around residual levels to be expected, especially in food and feed derived from R [Roundup] formulation-treated crops” which are pervasive in GM-soya.

Furthermore, a recent study presently being prepared for publication by embryologists and biologists in Argentina found that glyphosate induced malformations in amphibian embryos [6]. Reduced head size, genetic alterations in the central nervous system, an increase in the death of cells that help form the skull, and deformed cartilage were effects that were repeatedly found in the laboratory experiments, said lead researcher, Carrasco. Carrasco explained that in the first phase of the experiment, amphibian embryos were submerged in a solution of herbicide diluted in water in a proportion that was 1,500 times weaker than that used today on genetically modified soybeans. The embryos subsequently suffered head deformations. In the second stage, embryonic cells were injected with glyphosate diluted with water, alone. The deleterious impact was multiplied, showing that the active ingredient accounts for the toxicity, rather than the additives, Carrasco said.

“One should be able to suppose, with certainty, that the same thing that happens to amphibian embryos can happen to humans,” said Carrasco, whose team of specialists in biology, biochemistry and genetics has been working on the study for 15 months. The researchers concluded that, “It is clear that glyphosate is not innocuous and that it does not degrade or break down, but accumulates in cells”.

Dangers of GM-Soy
In addition to the toxicity of glyphosate, several animal studies have found several health issues directly related to the consumption of GM-soybean. Rabbits fed GM-soy were found to have altered enzymatic activity in their livers as well as a higher metabolic activity [7]. Microscopic analyses of the livers of mice fed Roundup Ready soybeans revealed altered gene expression and structural and functional changes [8]. Much of these changes reversed after the mice diet was switched to non-GM soy, indicating that GM soy was the culprit.

Molecular geneticist Michael Antoniou, Ph.D., described that the findings “are not random and must reflect some ‘insult’ on the liver by the GM soy.” Antoniou, who does human gene therapy research in King’s College London, said that although the long-term consequences of the GM soy diet are not known, it “could lead to liver damage and consequently general toxemia” [9].

A study presented in December of 2005 by Dr. Ermakova found that rats fed a GM-soy flour diet had 56 percent of their offspring die at birth compared to only 8 percent in the control group [10]. Ermakova (2005) also reported that, “From the data it is evident, that 36% of the pups from the GM soya group weighed less than 20 g, in comparison with the 6% in the positive control group, and with the 6.7% found in the traditional soya supplemented diet group. Study of pups’ organs mass showed that the organs of small pups from GM group were tiny in comparison with the same of other groups except the brain mass. This fact indicated that the pups from the GM group were the same age as others, but changes were occurred with the development of internal organs” [10]. Furthermore, Ermakova found that the male rats who were fed GM soy had their testicles change color from normal pink to dark blue.

Researchers also found that the cells in the pancreatic cells of mice fed Roundup Ready soy had profound changes and produced significantly less digestive enzymes [11]. Furthermore, mice fed GM soy were found to have altered young sperm [12] and even the embryos of GM fed parent mice had significant changes in their DNA [13]. Clearly, GMOs are either an arrogant blend of controlling life through food or an insidious plot for population control.

1. GMO Compass. USA: Cultivations of GM plants in 2007. 2008 [cited May 21, 2009]; Available from:…
2. Niles, M. Monsanto targets public radio to spread false biotech messages. Online at:; Accessed: May 18, 2009.
3. Benachour, N., Seralini, G.E. Glyphosate formulations induce apoptosis and necrosis in human umbilical, embryonic, and placental cells. Chemical Research in Toxicology, 2009. 22: p. 97-105.
4. Cox, C. & Surgan, M. Unidentified inert ingredients in pesticides: Implications for human and environmental health. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2006. 114: p. 1803-1806.
5. Haefs, R., et al., Studies on a new group of biodegradable surfactants for glyphosate. Pesticide Management in Science, 2006. 58: p. 825-833.
6. Valente, M. Scientists reveal effects of glyphosate. Inter Press Service News Agency. Online at:;
7. R. Tudisco, R., Lombardi, P., Bovera, F., d’Angelo, D., Cutrignelli, M. I., Mastellone, V., Terzi, V., Avallone, L., Infascelli, F. “Genetically Modified Soya Bean in Rabbit Feeding: Detection of DNA Fragments and Evaluation of Metabolic Effects by Enzymatic Analysis,” Animal Science 82 (2006): 193-199.
8. Malatesta, M., et al., Ultrastructural Morphometrical and
Immunocytochemical Analyses of Hepatocyte Nuclei from Mice Fed
on Genetically Modified Soybean. Cell Struct Funct, 2002. 27: p. 173-180.
9. Kohli, A., et al., Molecular characterization of transforming plasmid rearrangements in transgenic rice reveals a recombination hot spot in the CaMV 35S promoter and confirms the predominance of microhomology mediated recombination. Plant Journal, 1999. 17: p. 591-601.
10. Ermakova, I. Influence of genetically modified soya on the birth-weight and survival of rat pups. Presentation at Epigenetics, Transgenic Plants & Risk Assessment, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, December 1, 2005.
11.Vaden, V.S. and U. Melcher, Recombination sites in cauliflower mosaic virus DNAs: Implications for mechanisms of recombination. Virology, 1990. 177: p. 717-726.
12. L. Vecchio, et al, “Ultrastructural Analysis of Testes from Mice Fed on Genetically Modified Soybean,” European Journal ofHistochemistry 48, no. 4 (Oct-Dec 2004): 449-454.
13.Oliveri et al., “Temporary Depression of Transcription in Mouse Pre-implantion Embryos from Mice Fed on Genetically Modified Soybean,” 48th Symposium of the Society for Histochemistry, Lake Maggiore (Italy), September 7-10, 2006.

Study Shows How Traditional Chinese Healing Technique Works

•May 25, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Study Shows How Traditional Chinese Healing Technique Works
When ancient Chinese healing techniques work, Western doctors often assume the benefits must be due to the placebo effect. But researchers at the University of Oregon (UO) have repeatedly documented that a mind-body practice called integrative body-mind training (IBMT), derived from traditional Chinese medicine, has profound beneficial effects on human health. And amazingly, the ancient healing produces measurable physical and mental changes in just five days of practice.

In the l990s, IBMT was first adapted from ancient healing practices in China. Today, thousands of Chinese use IBMT. IBMT avoids struggling with controlling thoughts and relies instead on a state of restful alertness. A calm but focused mind is believed to be achieved through specific IBMT postures, relaxation, a harmonizing of body and mind and balanced breathing. How you do it: an experienced IBMT coach/instructor provides initial directions, breath adjustment guidance and mental imagery techniques while calming music is played in the background.

Research on the technique began at UO in l997 led by visiting UO professor Yi-Yuan Tang and UO psychologist Michael Posner. “Life is full of stress, and people need to learn methods to handle stress and improve their performance,” Dr. Tang said in a media release. “There is physical training but we wanted to see about mental training. This method appears to have benefit for the modern society where the pace is fast.”

The researchers published a study in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) in the late l990s documenting that doing IBMT prior to a mental math test resulted in low levels of the stress hormone cortisol among Chinese students. Moreover, the experimental group showed lower levels of anxiety, depression, anger and fatigue than students using a standard relaxation technique. The investigators also showed that measurable changes in stress reduction and attention occurred after just five days of practicing IBMT.

Dr. Tang and his research team, including UO’s Dr. Posner, wanted to find out how the technique worked so fast and what specifically it might be doing to the brain. Now their new research, just published online ahead of regular publication in PNAS, specifically documents the brain and physiological changes caused by IBMT. The scientists studied and analyzed data from several technologies in two experiments involving 86 undergraduate students at Dalian University of Technology in China, where Dr. Tang is a professor.

For each experiment, the researchers studied participants who had never practiced relaxation techniques or meditation before. Each group received IBMT or general relaxation instruction for 20 minutes each day for five days. Although both groups of research subjects experienced benefits from the training, those in the IBMT group showed dramatic changes that were documented by brain imaging and physiological testing.

Specifically, single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) revealed that IBMT subjects had increased blood flow in the right anterior cingulate cortex, part of the brain linked to self regulation of thought and emotion. Physiological tests also revealed IBMT subjects had lower heart rates and skin conductance responses, increased belly breathing amplitude and decreased chest respiration rates than the relaxation group. These results, the scientists noted in their paper, “reflected less effort exerted by participants and more relaxation of body and calm state of mind.”

Another remarkable physical finding: IBMT subjects had more high-frequency heart-rate variability than their relaxation counterparts. In a statement to the media, the researchers explained this indicated “successful inhibition of sympathetic tone and activation of parasympathetic tone [in the autonomic nervous system].” Sympathetic tone is more active when stressed.

“We were able to show that the training improved the connection between a central nervous system structure, the anterior cingulate, and the parasympathetic part of the autonomic nervous system to help put a person into a more bodily state,” Dr. Posner said in a statement to the media.

For more information:;

Glutamine May Treat Ulcers, Prevent Stomach Cancer

•May 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Glutamine May Treat Ulcers, Prevent Stomach Cancer

It has been two decades since the discovery that many stomach ulcers result from an infection with the bacteria dubbed Helicobacter pylori, or H. pylori for short. Now it is known that about six percent of people in the world carry this infection which is associated not only with ulcers but with stomach cancer. The primary treatment for H. pylori has been antibiotics — but they can cause a host of side effects and, what’s more, the bacteria are quickly becoming resistant to the drugs. But there’s good news: a natural amino acid, glutamine, appears to protect from injury caused by H. pylori and could reduce the risk of gastric cancers associated with the infection, too.

Glutamine is an amino acid found naturally in many foods, including beef, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy products and some fruits and vegetables. L-glutamine, the biologically active isomer of glutamine, is sometimes used in supplement form by body builders to increase their muscle mass. Now new research just reported in the May issue of the Journal of Nutrition concludes glutamine may prove beneficial in offsetting gastric damage caused by H. pylori infection. In fact, the study, which was conducted by scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), suggests glutamine could be a natural alternative to the use of antibiotics now prescribed widely for treating stomach ulcers.

“Our findings suggest that extra glutamine in the diet could protect against gastric damage caused by H. pylori,” senior author Susan Hagen, PhD, Associate Director of Research in the Department of Surgery at BIDMC and Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, said in a statement to the media. “Gastric damage develops when the bacteria weakens the stomach’s protective mucous coating, damages cells and elicits a robust immune response that is ineffective at ridding the infection.” She added that over time, years of infection can cause persistent gastritis and damage to cells in the digestive tract — creating an environment conducive to the development of malignancies.

In earlier research, Dr. Hagen and her research team had shown that glutamine protects against cell death from H. pylori-produced ammonia. “Our work demonstrated that the damaging effects of ammonia on gastric cells could be reversed completely by the administration of L-glutamine,” Dr. Hagen said in the press release. “The amino acid stimulated ammonia detoxification in the stomach — as it does in the liver — so that the effective concentration of ammonia was reduced, thereby blocking cell damage.”

To find out if a similar mechanism could be at work in intact stomachs infected with H. pylori, the researchers divided 105 mice into two groups. One group of lab animals was fed a standardized diet which was 1.9 percent glutamine. The second group ate the same diet plus supplemental L-glutamine that upped the percentage of the animals’ food intake of the amino acid to 6.9 percent. After two weeks, the mice were again divided into two additional groups with one group receiving a fake dose of H. pylori while the other group received a dose of the real bacteria.

The result was four separate mouse groups comprised of an uninfected control group, an uninfected glutamine group, an infected-with-H.-pylori control group, and an uninfected-with-H.-pylori glutamine group. During the next 20 weeks, the scientists took samples of blood and stomach tissues from the animals for analysis. Blood was checked for antibodies to specific types of T-helper immune cells, which mediate the body’s immune system response when there’s an active H. pylori infection. Stomach tissues were also analyzed for signs of damage, the presence of inflammatory substance called cytokines, and for signs of cancerous cells.

The results? Six weeks after infection, the mice had increased levels of three kinds of cytokines that all play an important role in the stomach’s attempt to protect against the damaging effects of an H. pylori infection. In addition, by the 20th week, the researchers found that the H. pylori-infected animals that were fed the L-glutamine diet had far lower levels of inflammation than the mice eating the standard control diet.

“Because many of the stomach pathologies during H. pylori infection (including cancer progression) are linked to high levels of inflammation, this result provides us with preliminary evidence that glutamine supplementation may be an alternative therapy for reducing the severity of infection,” Dr. Hagen said in the statement to the media.

“H. pylori bacteria infect more than half of the world’s population and were recently identified as a Group 1 carcinogen by the World Health Organization,” she stated. “Approximately 5.5 percent of the entire global cancer burden is attributed to H. pylori infection and, worldwide, over 900,000 new cases of gastric cancer develop each year. The possibility that an inexpensive, easy-to-use treatment could be used to modify the damaging effects of H. pylori infection warrants further study in clinical trials.”

For more information:;;

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About the author
Sherry Baker is a widely published writer whose work has appeared in Newsweek, Health, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Yoga Journal, Optometry, Atlanta, Arthritis Today, Natural Healing Newsletter, OMNI, UCLA’s “Healthy Years” newsletter, Mount Sinai School of Medicine’s “Focus on Health Aging” newsletter, the Cleveland Clinic’s “Men’s Health Advisor” newsletter and many others.

Martek Biosciences, Infant Formula and the Toxic Solvent Hexane – a NaturalNews Investigation

•May 23, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Martek Biosciences, Infant Formula and the Toxic Solvent Hexane – a NaturalNews Investigation
In 2003, an explosion occurred downstream from the Martek Biosciences manufacturing facility where hexane is used to extract DHA used in infant formula products. Hexane is a highly explosive chemical, and a Kentucky State Fire Marshal concluded it was the release of hexane from the Martek manufacturing facility that caused the explosion.

As contained in SEC documents on the public record (

COLUMBIA, MD, April 8, 2003 – Martek Biosciences Corporation (Nasdaq: MATK), today announced that it has received a report from the Office of the Kentucky State Fire Marshal that concluded that the explosion that occurred in March, 2003 at a wastewater pretreatment facility in Winchester, KY resulted from the introduction of n-hexane, a class I flammable liquid, into the local sanitary sewer system. The Fire Marshal’s report did not rule out other possible contributors to the explosion.

Martek utilizes n-hexane in its production process at the Company’s plant in Winchester, KY, and the Fire Marshal has concluded that inadvertent discharges of hexane from Martek’s plant had resulted in elevated levels of n-hexane in the sewer system. Martek has taken measures to insure that no further n-hexane is emitted into the sewer system. Production at the facility has not been negatively affected by these events.

In other words, Martek released volumes of hexane that were sufficient to cause an explosion. This brings up the question: What is this company doing with all those explosive chemicals in the first place?

The answer, by the way, is even more incendiary than the chemical itself: They’re making oils for infant formula!

Permission to pollute
Martek is also on the record applying for permission to pollute hexane from the Commonwealth of Kentucky Division of Air Quality. As shown on this Google search of a PDF document (;), Martek agreed to limit hexane emissions to less than 10 tons per year in order to avoid the classification of a “major source” for Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs).

The document also explains how Martek processes DHA using hexane: (bold added)

Soy Protein Used in “Natural” Foods Bathed in Toxic Solvent Hexane

•May 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Soy Protein Used in “Natural” Foods Bathed in Toxic Solvent Hexane
Virtually all “protein bars” on the market today are made with soy protein. Many infant formula products are also made with soy protein, and thousands of vegetarian products (veggie burgers, veggie cheese, “natural” food bars, etc.) are made with soy protein. That soy protein is almost always described as safe and “natural” by the companies using it. But there’s a dirty little secret the soy product industry doesn’t want you to know: Much of the “natural” soy protein used in foods today is bathed in a toxic, explosive chemical solvent known as hexane.

To determine the true extent of this hexane contamination, NaturalNews joined forces with the Cornucopia Institute ( to conduct testing of hexane residues in soy meal and soy grits using FDA-approved and USDA-approved laboratories. The Cornucopia Institute performed the bulk of this effort, and NaturalNews provided funding to help cover laboratory costs.

The results proved to be worrisome: Hexane residues of 21ppm were discovered in soy meal commonly used to produce soy protein for infant formula, protein bars and vegetarian food products.

These laboratory results appear to indicate that consumers who purchase common soy products might be exposing themselves (and their children) to residues of the toxic chemical HEXANE — a neurotoxic substance produced as a byproduct of gasoline refining.

But how dangerous is hexane, exactly? Is it something that could be dangerous at a few parts per million? And which soy-based products on the market right now might be contaminated with hexane?

To answer these questions, NaturalNews looked into public documents surrounding Martek Biosciences Corporation, a company that manufactures DHA for infant formula, using hexane for extraction.

We found disturbing details about Martek, including a documented explosion in the wastewater treatment system downstream from the manufacturing plant. This explosion was caused by hexane pollution.

We also found documents revealing Martek’s application for permission to pollute hexane into the environment, as well as a planned emission cap that would put the company just under the limit for being considered a “major polluter” of Hazardous Air Pollutants.

Additional documents reveal concerning information about the safety of Martek’s oils used in infant formula. All this information is being released in tomorrow’s feature story on NaturalNews, so be sure to check back to read that. The remainder of this story focuses on the use of hexane in soy products.

What you probably never knew about Hexane extraction
To learn more about the use of hexane in the health industry — and in soy products in particular — we turn to the Cornucopia Institute’s recently-published report called Behind the Bean (;)

This report contains some of the most shocking information you’ve probably ever read about the possible dangers of this chemical solvent used in the processing of soy. Here are some highlights of what it explains about hexane: (Quotation marks indicate exact verbiage from the Behind the Bean report.)

Say No to Aspartame and Hello Honey

•May 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Say No to Aspartame and Hello Honey

The GD Searle Corp. is the company that developed a so called “miracle sweetener” called aspartame. Donald Rumsfeld was the leader at that time and later became the United States Secretary of Defense. The FDA refused to approve this best-selling sweetener for 16 years. Aspartame has been linked to brain cancer, depression, memory loss, hearing loss, joint pain, headaches, seizures, vision loss or impaired vision, coma, and cancer. It also appears to worsen or replicate the symptoms MS, fibromyalgia, lupus, ADD, chronic fatigue, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, asthma, coma even death. For years, this company tried to get aspartame approved.

But no one wanted to go near it! In fact, according to a report recently uncovered, the late Dr. M. Adrian Gross, a former senior FDA toxicologist, stated in his testimony before Congress: “Beyond a shadow of a doubt, aspartame triggers brain tumors, and therefore, by allowing aspartame to be placed on the market the FDA has violated the Delaney Amendment, which forbids putting anything in food that is known to cause cancer…And if the FDA itself elects to violate its own law, who is left to protect the health of the public?”

In the early ’80s, Donald Rumsfeld moved into the political world. Very early on he appointed a new FDA commissioner and this appointee approved aspartame. Before long, aspartame was everywhere. Medical authorities estimate that aspartame has brought more complaints to the FDA than any other additive. It’s been responsible for as many as 75% of such complaints to that agency. And, after receiving approximately 10,000 consumer complaints, the FDA compiled a list of 92 symptoms linked to aspartame, which include death. Aspartame attacks your body at the cellular level so it can negate all kinds of medications Americans take, including antidepressants, Coumadin, cardiac drugs, hormones, insulin, vaccines, and many others.

It is a deadly neurotoxic drug masquerading as a harmless additive. Most take it because they think it’s less fattening however…Medical investigator, Dr. H. J. Roberts, concluded that aspartame caused our obesity epidemic. He gives evidence that this sweetener secretly makes you crave carbohydrates which, make you gain weight. It may trigger or over stimulate the stomach’s production of ghrelin, also known as the “hunger hormone.” If this hypothesis turns out to be right, it will help to explain why “diet” sodas haven’t been too helpful in weight reduction. They actually have the opposite effect. Alternatives on the market…

SUGAR: A spoonful once in a while is fine, but in time, too much sugar can lead to diabetes, which will lead to heart disease, renal disease, peripheral vascular disease, diabetic retinitis (blindness), diabetic peripheral neuropathy and the list goes on and on.

SUCRALOSE: A very dangerous new chemical — because in order to make sucralose, chlorine is added to sugar! Ever spilled chlorine bleach on your skin? The Sucralose Toxicity Information Center showed that years of sucralose use can lead to serious compromise of the immune system and neurological disorders.

SACCHARINE: Despite the famous animal studies, we don’t count saccharine as much of a cancer threat to humans, as some of the studies were procedurally flawed. It has an unpleasant aftertaste.

STEVIA: Yes, it’s natural it’s safe. But tastes nothing like sugar.

XYLITOL: Almost gets a perfect score. Natural, tastes like sugar, good for your teeth, doesn’t spike blood sugar. On the down side, it gives some folks diarrhea. The Two Alternatives Are:

Erythritol is an all-natural, no-calorie alternative to sugar. It looks like sugar, feels like sugar, and bakes and tastes like sugar. It doesn’t affect blood sugar or insulin levels, reduces dental plaque and unlike xylitol, has no laxative side-effects. Erythritol is found in nature at low levels in grapes, melons and pears and can be found at higher levels in fermented products like wine. Each day, it is estimated that we consume somewhere between 30 and 100 mg of naturally occurring erythritol in our regular diets. Since the late 1980’s, erythritol has been used as an ingredient in foods and beverages in Japan, and was more recently approved for use in the U.S. and Canada. These approvals were based on extensive scientific studies reviewed by an expert panel of independent doctors and scientists. Is it like Splenda® or Equal No.

Splenda (sucralose) and Equal (aspartame) are not naturally occurring in any plants or fruits. They are produced using a chemical process. And, they are hundreds of times sweeter than sugar so they are blended with dextrose or maltodextrin to reduce the sweetness to closer to an equal weight of sugar. Erythritol occurs naturally and is produced naturally, and is used in its pure form. Because erythritol occurs naturally and is produced naturally, it is very different from sweeteners such as Splenda ® (sucralose) and Equal ® (aspartame) that are artificially produced using a chemical process. How else is it different? Erythritol does not cause undesired gastrointestinal effects under its intended conditions of use.

Based on clinical studies in which erythritol was administered with foods and beverages at daily doses up to 75-80 grams, there are no discernible issues. That means you can have multiple servings of per day and not feel an effect. Compared to the other sweeteners classified as sugar alcohols, erythritol has the highest digestive tolerance, which is 2 to 3 times better compared to xylitol, lactitol, maltitol and isomalt, and 3 to 4 times better compared to sorbitol and mannitol. Randi’s #1 Vote–Raw Organic Honey–In addition to being a concentrated energy source, honey contains a wide array of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and amino acids. Honey contains vitamins, such as vitamin B6, thiamin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid. Essential minerals, such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc are also found in honey. In addition, several different amino acids, the building blocks of protein, have been identified in honey. “Honey also contains several compounds that function as antioxidants one of which is unique to honey called pinocembrin.”

* Increases energy and stamina.
* Increase muscle growth and definition.
* Builds immune system.
* Has antioxidant activity.
* Enhances sexuality.
* Smoothes wrinkles.

For a quick source of energy and to reap the benefits of honey’s healthful properties, make honey part of your daily diet along with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Use honey to sweeten your oatmeal or drizzle it over a grapefruit half. I have found a couple of good suppliers out on the web that promote natural processes, meaning no sugar water, no antibiotics etc. To receive a list of great companies please contact the author on the New Age of Beauty website.

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