Friday, November 16, 2012

GMO babies now being engineered in labs under guise of preventing incurable disease

Life, whether human or otherwise, is no longer sacred to many of today's scientists, who actually believe that tampering with the genetic blueprints of living beings will somehow improve humanity and create a better world. And this disturbing reality became ever more apparent recently when genetic butchers at Oregon Health & Sciences University (OHSU) announced their discovery of a way to manipulate the DNA of human embryos to obstruct normal gene transfer and create genetically "superior" babies that are supposedly less prone to disease.

According to the Chicago Tribune, these genetically-modified (GM) embryos are not yet intended to actually produce real, living children -- although it is only a matter of time before this nightmare becomes a reality (remember the movie Gattaca?) -- but they will be used in the present to investigate how babies of the future might avoid certain inherited diseases. By combining the genes of one man with those of two women, OHSU researchers claim they have devised a way to effectively replace "defective" genes with normal ones.

There are two types of genes contained in cells -- those found inside the nucleus of cells, which influence visible traits such as eye color and height, and those found outside the nucleus in energy-generating mitochondria, which do not influence visible traits, and are only passed along by the mother rather than the father. It is these exterior genes that OHSU scientists have learned to alter, reprogram, and literally block from being passed down from mother to child, which they claim could one day unveil ways by which inherited diseases might be avoided

Tampering with human genes will likely unleash a Pandora's box of health horrors

But is this genetic manipulation of the human genome safe and ethical? The answer to this, just like to all genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), is a resounding no, as nobody knows for sure what the long-term effects of vandalizing human genes really are until after the irreversible process has been set into motion. And yet this has not stopped OHSU researchers nor their British predecessors who conducted similar experiments back in 2008 from engaging in the abominable practice under the guise of supposedly preventing incurable diseases.

According to reports, the OHSU team that worked on the study, which was published in the journal Nature, is currently trying to gain federal approval to test the development of its GMO babies in actual women rather than in petri dishes, which will take such experiments to a whole new level of reality. It will presumably not be long after, should these "Frankenscientists" receive such approval, before GMO babies are normalized throughout society, and eventually perceived as genetically superior to normal babies with genetic "defects."

British news claims GMO babies are already being manufactured in women

The U.K.'s Daily Mail; however, reported recently that similar GMO babies are already in existence, having been created using similar techniques in women with fertility problems. According to that particular report, at least two babies born using gene-splicing techniques have already been confirmed to possess genes from three different parents, one father and two mothers.

"The fact that the children have inherited the extra genes and incorporated them into their 'germline' means that they will, in turn, be able to pass them on to their own offspring," wrote Michael Hanlon about the issue. "Altering the human germline -- in effect tinkering with the very make-up of our species ... could be used to create new races of humans with extra, desired characteristics such as strength or high intelligence."

Sources for this article include:

http://www.chicagotribune.com

http://www.naturalnews.com

http://www.dailymail.co.uk

Cinnamon Clove Scones with Raisins

Just about every part of the Cinnamon tree  is fragrant. I like using the Cinnamon Bark because it is the most potent and more complex than the Cinnamon Leaf. The common name of Cinnamon can also be Cassia Bark. Cassia is more readily available because it comes from China (meaning cheap cheap cheap). The Cassia Bark tends to be more potent that the Cinnamon Bark. Most of the what we see ground in the U.S. is Cassia Bark. True Cinnamon can actually be hard to find. If the country of origin is from Madagascar or Sri Lanka, then you know you have true Cinnamon. Many parts of the world bar Cassia from being labeled Cinnamon so customers know they are either getting Cassia or the Cinnamon Bark. Cinnamon Bark was discovered by Dutch spice traders in Sri Lanka.  It is a great digestive, high antimicrobial, antiseptic, astringent, and carminative properties.

Clove Bud is another plant where every part is aromatic. We also have Clove Leaf which is not as strong as the Clove Bud. Clove Bud is a native of the Molucca Islands aka Spice Islands. Before indoor plumbing people would carry around spiceballs of an orange or apple with cloves stuck all around.  It helped with the smells when you walked around the streets. Those are still used today to make spiced cider.In the third century BC one of the Han emperors in China ordered all courtesans in his court to place a few clove buds under their tongue to make their breath smell sweet. During the Byzantine time, a vessel of clove was the ultimate gift. The plant was highly coveted by the Dutch and Portuguese. They both tried  to keep it as a monopoly until the French were able to get away with a few seedlings. Clove and Cinnamon are two spices that are potent and need to be used conservatively especially using the essential oil.

Cloves are good to help tame the strong onion scent. Good in meat dishes as well with desserts. True Cinnamon is good in a lot of desserts and a great accompaniment with chocolate. Also good in a variety of meat dishes and gives beans an extra something too.

I thought I would post a recipe that is a great bread dish and good with a stew.

Dry Ingredients
3 1/2 cups flour 1/4 cup for bench flour
1/4 cup of sugar
2 Tbs. of baking powder
1 Tsp. of salt
8 Tbs. of cold butter

Wet Ingredients
1/4 cup of applesauce
1 cup of sour cream
5 drops of cinnamon essential oil
3 drops of clove essential oil
2 egg
1 cup of raisins
2 Tbs. milk

In a medium size bowl add the 3 cups of flour with the other dry ingredients. Stir together.
Cut in pieces of the butter with pastry cutter, fork, or hands until butter resembles peas in the flour mixture.

Combine wet ingredients together in a small mixing bowl. Stir until ingredients are well blended.
Add the wet ingredients a little bit at a time to flour mixture. Combine until it starts to form into a ball. (May not use all the liquid.)

Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Flour hands and knead dough a few times over a floured surface with the bench flour. Do not over work it. Roll out dough 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Use a biscuit cutter or the rim of glass to cut round shapes. Lay on greased baking sheet. Put in preheated oven at 425 degrees. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Makes 16-20 scones.

Happy Cooking!

Source: http://www.gritman.com/blog/cinnamon-clove-scones-with-raisins/

Buttermilk Lemon Verbena Pound Cake

Thinking about trying to make this for the Thanksgiving side buffet table....
~Ky

Lemon Verbena‘s ancient history goes as far back as Druids in religious ceremonies. It was considered the “Herb of Grace.” The name is  derived from ancient Celtic word “fer” meaning to drive away and “faen” for stone, the ability to expel kidney stones. Maximilian of Mexico renamed it Yerba. It is very common for Lemon Verbena to be adulterated with a cheaper lemon oils like Lemon Thyme or Litsea Cubeba. It has a nice lemon floral scent. I needs to be highly diluted if using it in a non-cooking or baking method. Even in baking or cooking one drop will usually do it.

This recipe I used for a light breakfast bread/cake for one of our classes. I used only 1/2 cup of sugar since I did not want it to be overly sweet. If you are using this for a dessert, you can increase the sugar to 1 cup.  The original recipe was created by Carolyn Weil.

For cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1 tsp. of baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, soften
1/2 cup of sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup of buttermilk
1 drop of Lemon Verbena Essential Oil (not fragrance oil)
For Syrup:
Juice of 1 lemon
3 to 4 Tbs. of confectioner’ sugar

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray loaf pan (8x5x3″) with non stick coating.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt until well blended. With an electric mixer or paddle attachment with a standing mix, beat the butter until it’s very pale and little tails have formed. Sprinkle sugar over the butter and beat until slightly fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl well. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until blended before adding the next one.

With the mixer on low, add 1/3 of the flour, mixing until almost combined; then add half the butter milk until just combined. Repeat ending with the flour. Just before all the flour is incorporated, switch to a stiff rubber spatula. Add one drop of Lemon Verbena and complete the mixing of the flour into the batter.

Scrape the batter into into the prepared pan and bake until cake is golden brown and a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs when inserted in the center, 45-50 minutes. Let the cake cool on a baking rack for about 10 minutes. As it cools, stir together the lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl. Carefully invert the loaf pan, tap to release the cake.  Brush the syrup on the cake while it’s still warm. Cool completely on the rack before serving.

Happy Baking!

Source: http://www.gritman.com/blog/buttermilk-lemon-verbena-pound-cake/

Friday, November 02, 2012

Fluoride Content in Black Tea, White Tea, Green Tea, and Oolong Tea

Fluoridated water is already overexposing many of us, so avoiding teas that contain high levels of fluoride in addition is a very good choice. 

Many studies recommend consuming a large quantity of tea daily to see health benefits. However, the quality of the tea may be the most important factor to consider since higher quality, loose leaf tea corresponds to minimizing toxins such as fluoride. Green, black, white and oolong teas naturally have differing levels of fluoride in the leaves.

Fluoride in Tea

As the controversy swells regarding fluoride in drinking water, it's important to look at our diet to minimize other sources of fluoride.
For some tea leaves, the fluoride content is high. The type of tea and quality of tea, however, determine the level of fluoride present. Making a healthier choice in tea will both minimize fluoride intake and maximize overall health benefits.
There are varying levels of fluoride in some popular teas: black tea, white tea, green tea and oolong tea. First you will want to understand the potential dangers of fluoride.

Less Fluoride in Young Tea Leaves

The Camellia sinensis plant is what produces the tea leaves for white, green, black and oolong teas. When this tea plant grows, the roots absorb fluoride from the soil and deposit the majority of it in the leaves.
The tea plant in particular is much more efficient at this process than other plants.
Since older, more mature leaves have had more time for this deposition, they contain up to 20 times more fluoride than younger tea leaves.

Anit-Oxidant EGCG Level in Tea Leaves

The powerful anti-oxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) present in tea is responsible for health benefits such as lowering LDL and has anti-cancer properties.
The level of EGCG decreases in more mature tea leaves, giving us further reason to prefer younger tea leaves.

Fluoride Content in Different Types of Tea

Type of Tea
Age of Tea Leaves
Fluoride Content
Notes
Green tea
mature
high
not allowed to oxidize, preserves flavonoids, catechins and polyphenols associated with health benefits
Black tea
mature
high
leaves oxidize after harvest to create unique flavors
Oolong tea
mature
medium/high
oxidation time between green and black tea to create smooth flavors
White tea
buds and young leaves
low
3x more antioxidants than green or black tea
Herbal tea
herbal tea is not made from a true tea plant
none
made from flowers, roots, herbs, etc.
See Linus Pauling Institute website for more detailed fluoride content of teas.

Quality of Tea and Fluoride Content

Younger tea leaves are used in higher quality teas and contain lower fluoride levels.
See the list from highest quality to lowest quality.
1. Loose leaf tea ~ Best Quality
2. Tea dust (tea bags)
3. Bottled tea (fluoride in water plus flouride in tea)
4. Brick tea (oldest leaves formed into brick shape) ~ Lowest Quality

Fluoride Content in Chinese Green Tea vs Japanese Green Tea

Soil in Japan is naturally lower in fluoride compared to China, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Therefore, Japanese green tea will naturally have lower fluoride levels than Chinese green tea.
WHO lists several areas of the world where high naturally occurring fluoride concentrations affect tea crops and drinking water: India, Sri Lanka, parts of Africa and the Middle East (more information).

So... What is the Healthiest Type of Tea?

We should be limiting our total exposure to fluoride from tea, based on the potential dangers associated with fluoride exposure and the high levels present in many types of tea. At the same time, incorporating benefits from different types of teas provides a wide variety of benefits.
  • White tea is a true tea that contains high antioxidant power and has low fluoride levels, especially in loose-leaf form.
  • Green tea health benefits are well-studied. To incorporate benefits of green tea in the diet, finding a loose leaf option from Japan or a loose leaf option with younger leaves will limit fluoride while providing benefit.
  • Loose-leaf black tea and oolong tea from areas with lower environmental fluoride are best if you prefer black or oolong tea.
  • The fluoride-free options are herbal teas, but then the health benefits from true tea are not felt.
 Source; http://melisann.hubpages.com/

U.K. doctors are putting patients on 'death lists' and denying them treatment

The face of government-run socialized medicine just keeps getting uglier in Britain, where as many as 3,000 doctors are set to place many thousands more patients on so-called "death registers" where they are ultimately denied treatment - all to save a buck.

Or in this case, a pound.

Being placed on the registers means those patients have been singled out "to be allowed to die in comfort rather than be given life-saving treatment in hospital," Britain's Daily Mail reported.

Some 3,000 doctors are expected to draw up lists of patients they expect will die within a year, according to Department of Health data the paper reviewed, noting that the registers were part of an unpublicized program that has been endorsed by government ministers.

Physicians who are general practitioners "have been encouraged to make lists - officially known as End of Life Care Registers - of people they believe are going to die soon and should be helped to do so in comfort," the paper said.

Doctors were asked specifically, according to the report, to pay particular attention to elderly patients who develop signs and symptoms of frailty or deterioration during routine consultations for surgery.

Worse, those who have been identified and put on the registers don't even know about it; the paper said despite the fact that 7,000 patients have been added to the lists, there doesn't appear to be any obligation for physicians to inform their patients of the decision.

So much for the time-honored tradition of a doctor doing no harm.

Do British physicians have crystal balls that can predict the future?

But what to expect, really? This is how a broke, overextended, over-promised 21st century Western-style government solves part of its budget problem: By denying the very benefits taxpayers (who are still paying for them, by the way) were guaranteed, just when they need them most.

Fortunately for English patients, some medical professionals in Britain still have some scruples; they are going public with their concerns (though they were prompted to do so after an earlier Daily Mail report disclosing that the country's National Health System requested doctors to put one in every 100 of their patients on the death registers).

Dr. Peter Saunders, of the Christian Medical Fellowship, warned about drawing up "quotas" for some patients. What, for instance, if they were wrong about the expected "death" timetable?

"We all know that doctors' estimates of patients' life spans can be sometimes accurate but sometimes wildly inaccurate," he said. "A skilled doctor can in the great majority of cases assess when a patient is within a few hours or days of death. However, once we start to talk about weeks or months we know that we can often be right, but equally very badly wrong."

The NHS is apparently pushing for the lists at a time when a cornerstone of the services' "end of life strategy," the Liverpool Care Pathway, "has come under fierce criticism from leading medical figures and families who believe their loved ones have been wrongly picked out in hospitals as dying," said the paper.

Another critic of the Pathway, NHS consultant Prof. Patrick Pullicino, called it a self-fulfilling prophecy and amounts to little more than assisted death.

Lame excuses - 'It does not mean they are automatically' going to die

Guidance for physicians says patients placed on the registers should be asked if they want to die at home instead of in a hospital so NHS can save even more money.

Patients are also being encouraged to create "living wills," which tell doctors to withhold feeding tubes if they become too sick to speak. Such patients are "less likely to be subject to treatments of limited clinical value," physicians have been told.

The end-of-life program director, Prof. Sir Mike Richards, said in the report that the campaign to enlist general practitioners "has reached its midpoint target of 1,000" as of August 2012.

"Patients can be placed on the GP End of Life Care register without their knowledge. However, being on this register purely means they have been identified as needing an end of life care plan," said the Department of Health. "It does not mean they are automatically placed on an end of life pathway. It does not mean they will not receive treatment."

The report said by the end of March, doctors had registers in operation that contained 7,723 names, of which 2,534 were diagnosed with illness other than cancer, while 3,531 patients had agreed to "advanced care planning," which can include agreeing to a living will.

A separate report by the paper said British hospitals spend less to feed patients than is spent by the government to feed prisoners.

Sources:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk

http://www.dailymail.co.uk

http://nation.foxnews.com

Leukemia and Lymphoma linked to Aspartame in new landmark study on humans

As few as one diet soda daily may increase the risk for leukemia in men and women, and for multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma in men, according to new results from the longest-ever running study on aspartame as a carcinogen in humans. Importantly, this is the most comprehensive, long-term study ever completed on this topic, so it holds more weight than other past studies which appeared to show no risk. And disturbingly, it may also open the door for further similar findings on other cancers in future studies.

The most thorough study yet on aspartame - Over two million person-years

For this study, researchers prospectively analyzed data from the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study for a 22-year period. A total of 77,218 women and 47,810 men were included in the analysis, for a total of 2,278,396 person-years of data. Apart from sheer size, what makes this study superior to other past studies is the thoroughness with which aspartame intake was assessed. Every two years, participants were given a detailed dietary questionnaire, and their diets were reassessed every four years. Previous studies which found no link to cancer only ever assessed participants' aspartame intake at one point in time, which could be a major weakness affecting their accuracy.

One diet soda a day increases leukemia, multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphomas

The combined results of this new study showed that just one 12-fl oz. can (355 ml) of diet soda daily leads to:

- 42 percent higher leukemia risk in men and women (pooled analysis)
- 102 percent higher multiple myeloma risk (in men only)
- 31 percent higher non-Hodgkin lymphoma risk (in men only)

These results were based on multi-variable relative risk models, all in comparison to participants who drank no diet soda. It is unknown why only men drinking higher amounts of diet soda showed increased risk for multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Note that diet soda is the largest dietary source of aspartame (by far) in the U.S. Every year, Americans consume about 5,250 tons of aspartame in total, of which about 86 percent (4,500 tons) is found in diet sodas.

Confirmation of previous high quality research on animals

This new study shows the importance of the quality of research. Most of the past studies showing no link between aspartame and cancer have been criticized for being too short in duration and too inaccurate in assessing long-term aspartame intake. This new study solves both of those issues. The fact that it also shows a positive link to cancer should come as no surprise, because a previous best-in-class research study done on animals (900 rats over their entire natural lifetimes) showed strikingly similar results back in 2006: aspartame significantly increased the risk for lymphomas and leukemia in both males and females. More worrying is the follow on mega-study, which started aspartame exposure of the rats at the fetal stage. Increased lymphoma and leukemia risks were confirmed, and this time the female rats also showed significantly increased breast (mammary) cancer rates. This raises a critical question: will future, high-quality studies uncover links to the other cancers in which aspartame has been implicated (brain, breast, prostate, etc.)?

There is now more reason than ever to completely avoid aspartame in our daily diet. For those who are tempted to go back to sugary sodas as a "healthy" alternative, this study had a surprise finding: men consuming one or more sugar-sweetened sodas daily saw a 66 percent increase in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (even worse than for diet soda). Perhaps the healthiest soda is no soda at all.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23097267
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16507461
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17805418

About the author:
Ethan Evers is author of the award-winning medical thriller "The Eden Prescription," in which cutting-edge researchers perfect an effective, all-natural treatment for cancer, only to be hunted down by pharmaceutical interests which will stop at nothing to protect their $80 billion cancer drug cash machine. The Eden Prescription is based on the latest science and draws on real historical events stretching back to the beginning of the "War on Cancer." Ethan has a PhD in Applied Science.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Eating a high-carb diet increases your chances of Alzheimer's, study finds

There are a number of reasons why a high-carb diet is not wise, but new research has added yet another reason why you cut down on the pasta: You are more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease.

A new study that was recently released found that older adults who load up on carbs have close to four times the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment.

Researchers also said that sugars played a role in the development of MCI, which very often serves as a precursor to Alzheimer's, according to study results published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. By comparison, eating additional proteins and some fats can offer protection from MCI, USA Today said, citing the journal.

A team of scientists from Mayo Clinic tracked 1,230 people aged 70-89 and asked if they would provide information on what kinds of foods they at the previous year.

Stopping development of MCI is key

Among the group only the 940 people who showed no appreciable signs of cognitive impairment were asked to return in 15 months for follow-up examination. By the fourth year of the study, 200 of the 940 were beginning to show small signs of cognitive impairment, including problems with memory, judgment, thinking and language.

Lead author Rosebud Roberts, a professor in the department of epidemiology at the clinic, which is located in Rochester, Minn., said not everyone who develops MCI progresses to Alzheimer's disease, which affects some 5.2 million adults around the country. Those numbers are expected to triple by 2050, as Baby Boomers continue to age.

"The research field is trying to find things that can help reduce risk factors for pre-dementia problems," Roberts said, according to USA Today. "If we can stop people from developing MCI, we hope we can stop people from developing dementia. Once you hit the dementia stage, it's irreversible."

Among the foods regarded as complex carbohydrates: rice, pasta, bread and cereals. The digestive system turns them into sugars. Fruits, vegetables and milk products are simple carbs.

"A high-carbohydrate intake could be bad for you because carbohydrates impact your glucose and insulin metabolism," says Roberts. "Sugar fuels the brain, so moderate intake is good. However, high levels of sugar may actually prevent the brain from using the sugar - similar to what we see with Type 2 diabetes."

He said high sugar levels - which are prevalent in high-carb diets - could affect blood vessels in the brain, and might also play a role in the development of beta amyloid plaques, which are proteins that are toxic to brain health and are found in the brains of people who are affected by Alzheimer's. Scientists don't yet know what causes the disease; however, they do suspect a buildup of beta amyloid is a leading cause.

Study offers some hope

Here are some of the study's primary findings:

-- People whose diets were the highest in fat (nuts and healthy oils, for instance) were 42 percent less likely to develop cognitive impairment, while those who had the highest intake of protein (chicken, meat, fish) saw their risk reduced by 21 percent.

-- Many popular diets, including the Mediterranean (fish, protein from poultry and lots of plant-based foods and healthy fats) and Atkins (low-carb diet featuring plenty of meats), make pitches for multiple health benefits that are derived from lowering carb intake, which includes a reduced risk for heart disease, diabetes and improved brain health.

"This (study) is consistent with what we've seen in past published research on how a lower carbohydrate diet can help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's," Colette Heimowitz, vice president of Nutrition and Education for Atkins Nutritionals Inc., told the paper.

While there currently is no treatment for Alzheimer's besides drugs, Roberts said the study at least offers some hope because "it shows a modifiable way we can reduce risk for the disease.

"It is important to eat a balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat," he added.

Sources:

http://www.usatoday.com

http://www.sfgate.com

Criminals planted electronic bugs in Barnes & Noble credit card readers; elaborate scam may have swiped thousands of cards

Advances in financial technology have become a double-edged sword in the 21st century, as it is being used more and more often against the very consumers it was developed to serve.

The latest example originates from major bookseller Barnes & Noble, which warned its customers recently to check their credit and debit card statements after finding out that criminals tampered with the chain's card readers in 63 stores around the country, according to CBS New York.

The report said that only one device in each store was tampered with, which affects fewer than one percent of all card readers in Barnes & Noble stores, according to a company news release.

After discovering the breach, the company says it disconnected all of the devices at its nearly 700 stores. Company officials discovered the tampering Sept. 14. It wasn't clear how many customers were affected.

The company said the FBI asked the chain not to disclose the system breach last month over fears that doing so would compromise the agency's investigation, according to CBS. A separate report by Reuters said the bookseller received so-called "safe harbor" letters from federal prosecutors - letters that "are used infrequently to allow law enforcement agencies to continue investigations secretly," the newswire service said.

'We live in an age of major information release'

Apparently, criminals planted bugs in the devices in order to steal customers' credit card and PIN numbers, Barnes & Noble said, adding that the tampering was a "sophisticated criminal effort."

Barnes & Noble, the nation's biggest bookseller, is currently working with federal law enforcement authorities, as well as banks, payment card brands and issuers, to figure out which customer accounts may have been compromised.

Customers are becoming increasingly leery of the technology. One female customer who was not named told WCBS, the New York City affiliate, that "we live in an age of a major information release and I don't think that any of us are protected against it."

"Credit card companies make an enormous amount of money from people switching over to computerized money and it's their responsibility to figure out how to do it safely but they're so profit-driven that they short cut," she said.

Incredibly, Barnes & Noble insisted its customer database is secure.

But the fact is that no customer databases are secure. The Barnes & Noble hack attack is just "the latest reminder of how crooks can steal consumers' financial information," the Chicago Tribune reported.

Just last year, the paper said, a number of customers of Michaels craft stores in the Chicago area said they also had money stolen from their bank accounts after hacking thieves swiped their debit card information.

Other technologies make consumers vulnerable as well. Consider the emerging use of cell phones as payment devices; while they are convenient, "mobile wallet" technology brings its own unique security concerns, especially given the fact that this part of the technology industry is in its infancy.

Hacker thieves looking for vulnerable targets

In all, nearly half the country's consumers - an astounding 42 percent - reported experiencing credit card fraud in the past five years, up from 32 percent in 2010, according to an October survey conducted by ACI Worldwide, a firm that supplies payment systems, and Aite Group, an advisory and research company.

The big retailers are increasing efforts to stave off hacker-thieves; but as they have, credit card fraudsters have begun targeting individual retail locations, which they believe are softer targets, Dan Glennon, senior vice president of marketing and strategy at Cybera Inc., a Nashville, Tenn.-based firm that sells point-of-sale security solutions to retailers, told the Tribune.

Single locations, as well as smaller retailers in general, are considered to be more vulnerable to hacking because thieves see them as less likely to have sophisticated anti-hacking security systems in place.

Larger retailers tend to have better security or a tech person on site who tracks and manages security profiles, said Glennon.

Vulnerability is the key, say cyber security analysts, and those who are vulnerable will continue to be hit.

Sources:

http://newyork.cbslocal.com

http://www.reuters.com

http://articles.chicagotribune.com

CDC brazenly tries to poison all pregnant women with whooping cough vaccines that we know don't even work

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which makes formal recommendations to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about vaccine guidelines, recently decided that all pregnant women should be vaccinated for whooping cough (pertussis). Defying up-to-date science showing that the vaccine does not even work, ACIP voted 14-0, with one abstention, to make it official U.S. government policy that pregnant women receive the jab, in order to supposedly pass on immunity to their babies.

This sudden policy change follows a similar decision by the U.K.'s National Health Service (NHS) to begin pushing pregnant Britons to get vaccinated for whooping cough as well, which is the only other vaccine besides influenza that health authorities now recommend for pregnant women. It also comes about one year after ACIP made a contradictory recommendation to begin administering the vaccine during pregnancy only to women who had not previously been vaccinated for the disease.

Since very few women -- fewer than three percent -- followed through with the CDC's earlier recommendations, the agency apparently decided to kick things up a gear by recommending that all women, regardless of vaccination status, receive a Tdap booster shot, which contains antigens for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. This recommendation comes despite the fact that the whooping cough vaccine admittedly does not provide lasting protection against the disease.

Whooping cough vaccine loaded with toxic additives that obstruct fetal development

After declaring, without any evidence, that the whooping cough vaccine is "safe" during pregnancy, Dr. Marc Siegel, an associate professor of medicine at New York University (NYU)'s Langone Medical Center, added in a recent announcement that immunity from the vaccine is passed directly from mother to child through her breast milk.

But what else is being passed through this breast milk? According to the prescribing information sheet for the Sanofi Pasteur Tdap vaccine Adacel, the combination jab contains a toxic mixture of formaldehyde, aluminum phosphate, 2-phenoxyethanol, ammonium sulfate, and glutaraldehyde. Likewise, the GlaxoSmithKline Tdap vaccine Boostrix contains a blend of antigens adsorbed onto aluminum salts, as well as the adjuvants aluminum hydroxide and aluminum phosphate.

Formaldehyde, of course, was recently added to the National Toxicology Program (NTP)'s Report on Carcinogens as a known carcinogen, which means it causes cancer. And aluminum adjuvants, as many Natural News readers are already well aware, http://www.naturalnews.com.

Are these the types of ingredients pregnant women should be injecting into themselves while pregnant? Are these the types of ingredients pregnant women should be injecting into themselves at all? It is highly concerning that a CDC panel composed entirely of alleged medical professionals would advise all pregnant women to pump their muscles full of cancer-causing chemicals and aluminum-based adjuvants.

Whooping cough outbreaks affect mostly people that have already been vaccinated

These experts would probably claim that facing the potential side effects of the whooping cough vaccine and its toxic additives is worth the risk to protect children from contracting the disease. But as we have seen throughout the past couple years, the vast majority of those afflicted with whooping cough during recent outbreaks have been individuals that were already vaccinated for whooping cough, which proves the vaccine does not work.

No matter how you look at it, in other words, there is simply no scientific basis for urging pregnant women to get the whooping cough vaccine -- not now, not ever. Such advise is reckless and irresponsible at best, and appears to be nothing more than a product of greed and perhaps even eugenics.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_130634.html

http://www.reuters.com

Friday, October 19, 2012

The U.N. Wants to Regulate and Tax the Internet – Where’s the Outrage from President Obama?


The U.N. wants to regulate and tax our Internet. They say they don’t. The New York Times agrees with the U.N. and thinks claims to the contrary are the stuff of science fiction novels. There is, however, at least one proposal that leaked out which promises to tax U.S. Internet providers.  A meeting to discuss this and other proposals hashed out in secrecy will take place on December 4th.

Countries like Russia, Brazil, Cuba, India, China, Iran and Saudi Arabia have long sought oversight of the Internet.

On December 4th, the International Telecommunications Union, a U.N. specialty organization, will meet in Dubai to renegotiate a 1988 treaty that protected the Internet from economic and technical regulation according to FCC Commissioner, Robert McDowell, who is trying to shed light on the dangers awaiting us in December.

McDowell has said that even a partial list of their proposals should alarm us. They include subjecting cyber security and Internet privacy to the U.N.; allowing foreign companies to charge fees for any Internet traffic; imposing unprecedented regulations and taxes; imposing ITU dominion over world entities, even nonprofits; controlling Internet engineering run by multi-stakeholder entities; regulating international roaming, and that is just the beginning. [WSJ]

The socialist world needs money for their welfare states. They are salivating over the potential fees they could levy on the Internet even though this technique does nothing for promoting economic growth – they don’t get it or they don’t choose to get it.
Google’s CEO Vinton Cerf has said,
The open Internet has never been at higher risk than it is now… A new international battle is brewing — a battle that will determine the future of the Internet.
Recent leaks revealed that a new proposal by the U.N. is for an internet tax on web content providers such as Google, Facebook, Apple, and Netflix. This proposal, which will be discussed in December, was introduced by the European Telecommunications Network Operators Association. [Forbes]

Under this proposal, companies like Apple and Google would be forced to pay heavy fees related to data usage. The U.N. would manage these fees.The U.N. claims they won’t also ask to tax the Internet, though any of the member nations can make that proposal.

The U.S. will have one vote out of 193 and our president is offering no opposition. He has pledged to
 support the open Internet but I don’t know if you want to take that to the bank just yet. Perhaps President Obama subscribes to the New York Times’ view that any talk of a U.N. takeover of the Internet is conspiracy theory nonsense. The Times does admit that big money is at issue but that is pretty much all they admit to.

If the U.N. telecommunications union can regulate and tax Internet providers, that appears to be the beginning of a takeover and it hardly sounds conspiratorial. I can’t think of a good reason to give this level of power to the U.N.

The House recently proposed a bill that would ban taxing the Internet. The bill was primarily meant to bring attention to the upcoming problem.

We could end up with per-click fees for starters. It would close off the Internet to poorer, developing countries.

There is no end if we go down this path, especially since many of the supporters of this are our enemies.

Source: By Sara Noble
http://www.independentsentinel.com/

More drugs may be linked to meningitis outbreak: FDA

(Reuters) - Two other drugs made by the Massachusetts pharmacy at the center of a deadly meningitis outbreak may be linked to the disease, U.S. health regulators said on Monday, potentially widening the scope of the health crisis.

The Food and Drug Administration said it was looking into reports of a patient with possible meningitis who received an injection of a different steroid than the one found to have caused 15 deaths. It also said two transplant patients were infected with the rare fungus linked to the meningitis outbreak after receiving a heart drug also made by the New England Compounding Center (NECC) of Framingham, Massachusetts.

Nine more people have been diagnosed with fungal meningitis linked to possibly tainted vials of the injected steroid methylprednisolone, bringing the number of cases to 212, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A Tennessee woman among these cases filed a lawsuit on Monday against NECC seeking $15 million in damages.

Read more here: http://www.reuters.com

A sip of soda: How soft drinks impact your health


Scientists have come up with a blue strawberry by splicing them with fish genes

Scientists are genetically modifying strawberries in order to allow them to resist freezing temperatures better. They're doing it by artificial transfer of genes from a species of fish called the Arctic Flounder Fish. The Arctic Flounder Fish produces an anti-freeze that allows it to protect himself in freezing waters.

They isolated the gene that produces this anti-freeze and introduced it to the strawberry. The result is a strawberry that looks blue and doesn't turn to mush or degrade after being placed in the freezer. While they're not in production, research is ongoing. Would you eat blue strawberries?

Source: http://buzz.naturalnews.com/000061-food-science-GMO.html

U.S. Congress introduces bill ordering FEMA to conduct 'mass fatality planning

The United States Congress quietly introduced a new piece of legislation ordering the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to begin preparing for mass casualties throughout the country.

House Resolution 6566, also known as the Mass Fatality Planning and Religious Considerations Act, would amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to mandate that FEMA immediately begin conducting "mass fatality planning" in preparation for a major event or series of events that may kill off untold numbers of people.

Introduced by Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Ca.), H.R. 6566 provisions that the Administrator of FEMA -- William Craig Fugate currently holds the Administrator position at FEMA (http://www.fema.gov/leadership/william-craig-fugate) -- provide "guidance and coordination" for dealing with a mass casualty event arising from a natural disaster, terrorist act, or "other man-made disaster."

The bill also ominously sets up the FEMA Administrator as a type of emergency dictator with the power to control how local communities, private businesses, nonprofit organizations, religious organizations, and even individuals prepare for and respond to a mass fatality event.

"Funeral homes, cemeteries, and mortuaries could be overwhelmed should mass fatalities arise from a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other man-made disaster," says the legislation, which also specifies the manner in which people with certain religious affiliations should be buried following their deaths.

You can read the disturbing legislation in full at the following link: http://www.govtrack.us

Is the federal government preparing for a massive false flag event?

Contrary to what is being reported by some sources, H.R. 6566 has not yet been passed by either the House of Representatives nor the Senate, which means it has not yet become law. According to govtrack.us, the bill was referred to a congressional committee on September 28 for consideration, and has yet to be reported on by that committee. (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr6566)

Even so, the bill's introduction is troubling to say the least, especially in light of the federal government's recent purchases of large stocks of hollow-point ammunition (http://www.naturalnews.com/035649_DHS_ammunition_domestic_war.html), meat, emergency supplies, and riot gear.

It seems as though occupiers at all levels of the federal government know something that the rest of us do not know, which would explain their mad rush throughout the past couple of years to pass various "continuity of government" legislation and executive orders, including the more recent National Defense and Authorization Act (NDAA) that provisioned for indefinite detention of American citizens. (http://www.naturalnews.com/NDAA.html)

When put into perspective, all these bills and executive orders point to something massive occurring in the very near future, whether that be a major natural disaster, an economic collapse, a false flag terror attack, or perhaps even World War III. Whatever the case may be, the federal government most certainly appears to be preparing for its own post-disaster survival at the expense of ours.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The farmed seafood you're eating may have been raised on animal feces

More than 85 percent of the seafood consumed by Americans is imported, with much of it coming from China, Vietnam, and various other Asian countries that have a not-so-consistent track record of food safety. And as it turns out, conditions at many of the foreign facilities where imported seafood is processed before getting shipped to the states are so filthy and contaminated that if consumers knew just how bad things really were, they would likely think twice before buying that pack of scallops or shrimp from the grocery store.

As reported by Bloomberg, workers at Ngoc Sinh Seafoods Trading & Processing Export Enterprise in Vietnam were recently seen hauling plastic baskets of shrimp through the company's filthy, trash-ridden, and bug-infested facility. Containers full of the shrimp were loaded up with ice made from questionable, and often contaminated, tap water that the government recommends boiling before use, which has become the norm rather than the exception when it comes to seafood processing.

Many Chinese seafood farmers feed their fish animal waste

Similar unsanitary conditions are common throughout China as well, which is a major exporter of tilapia and scallops. According to Bloomberg, many seafood farmers in China actually feed their fish feces from pigs, geese, and other cattle, even though the practice is extremely unsafe. Not only does this exposure to animal waste tend to make the fish sick, but it also contaminates their water environments with excrement, which is often polluted with harmful bacteria like salmonella.

"Those conditions -- ice made from dirty water, animals near the farms, pigs -- are unacceptable," said Mansour Samadpour, a microbiologist, to Bloomberg Markets magazine about the dirty secrets of the seafood trade. Samadpour's company, IEH Laboratories & Consulting Group, specializes in testing the cleanliness of water for the shellfish farming industry.

Since the seafood industry is relatively cutthroat these days, certain unscrupulous seafood farmers, particularly in Asian countries, are cutting corners to boost profits, which puts consumers at high risk. In the case of Chinese fish farming, many operators have altogether stopped purchasing safer commercial feed, and have instead turned to exclusively feeding their fish potentially deadly animal waste.

"The manure the Chinese use to feed fish is frequently contaminated with microbes and salmonella," says Michael Doyle, Director of the University of Georgia's Center for Food Safety, about the larger problem of China's seafood farming industry.

FDA dropping the ball in protecting Americans against contaminated seafood

And while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is supposed to be in charge of regulating the safety of imported seafood, the agency only inspects about 2.7 percent of all imported food, according to available data. The FDA is apparently too busy raiding raw milk dairy farms and imprisoning innocent farmers to bother with protecting the American public against potentially contaminated seafood.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.bloomberg.com

http://www.fishwatch.gov/farmed_seafood/outside_the_us.htm

http://www.msnbc.msn.com

Ground under Fukushima Unit 4 sinking, structure on verge of complete collapse

Though the mainstream media has long since abandoned the issue, the precarious situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility in Japan is only continuing to worsen, according to a prominent Japanese official. During a recent interview, Mitsuhei Murata, the former Japanese Ambassador to both Switzerland and Senegal, explained that the ground beneath the plant's Unit 4 is gradually sinking, and that the entire structure is very likely on the verge of complete collapse.

This is highly concerning, as Unit 4 currently holds more than 1,500 spent nuclear fuel rods, and a collective 37 million curies of deadly radiation that, if released, could make much of the world completely uninhabitable. As some Natural News readers will recall, Unit 4 contains the infamous elevated cooling pool that was severely damaged following the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that struck on March 11, 2011.

According to the Secretary of former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, the ground beneath Unit 4 has already sunk by about 31.5 inches since the disaster, and this sinking has taken place unevenly. If the ground continues to sink, which it is expected to, or if another earthquake of even as low as a magnitude six occurs in the region, the entire structure could collapse, which would fully drain the cooling pool and cause a catastrophic meltdown.

"If Unit 4 collapses, the worse case scenario will be a meltdown, and a resultant fire in the atmosphere. That will be the most unprecedented crisis that man has ever experienced. Nobody will be able to approach the plants ... as all will have melted down and caused a big fire," said Murata during the interview. "Many scientists say if Unit 4 collapses, not only will Japan lie in ruin, but the entire world will also face serious damages."

Because there are 31 nuclear units of a similar type to Unit 4 in the U.S., the American government has been downplaying the disaster to protect its own reputation, alleges Murata. This is, in fact, the primary reason why so little has been reported on the severity of Fukushima following the disaster. The American empire, in other words, does not want the world, nor the American people, to know that there is the possibility of literally dozens of Fukushima situations occurring on American soil, should the right disaster situations arise.

You can watch the full 3:51 minute translated interview with Murata at the following link:
http://youtu.be/-LCTv65aqgA

Sources for this article include:

http://enenews.com

http://www.naturalnews.com/035789_Fukushima_Cesium-137_Plume-Gate.html

Say goodbye to gluten: Over 200 clinically confirmed reasons to avoid wheat

This title is the same as a recent GreenMedInfo.com. It contains a list of over 200 health problems, with celiac disease at the top and including many more not normally associated with gluten intolerance.

The author and founder of GreenMedInfo.com, Sayer Ji, prefers the term gluten toxicity to gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance... "in order to shift the focus away from the victim back to the aggressor, the gluten itself."

Sayer Ji's GreenMedInfo.com article lists all the disorders linked to gluten. They are hyperlinked to articles and abstracts of clinical studies recorded in MedLine since 1971.

Explaining the attack on wheat and other grains

Negative reports on wheat and other grains have risen considerably in the past decade. The dramatic rise of celiac disease, a chronic gut inflammation that destroys intestinal villi (tiny tubes) responsible for absorbing nutrients, has been a major focus.

The gluten toxicity that brings on Celiac disease and other autoimmune reactions is mostly from peptides contained in gluten known as gliadin proteins, which damage the intestinal tract.

In addition to Celiac disease, which if undetected leads to malnutrition that creates other diseases, gluten toxicity can result in several other manifestations of poor health, including chronic fatigue and mental disorders.

Lectins, sticky proteins common to all plants for self defense, are a prominent feature of wheat germ agglutinin (WGA). In addition to flattening out intestinal villi and causing Celiac, they can penetrate gut linings and create leaky gut.

Once lectins get into the blood stream, they can bind to leptin receptors, blocking the leptin sensitivity that lets you know you've had enough to eat, creating a sluggish metabolism, and disrupting insulin balance. In other words, it leads to obesity and diabetes.

So how did the "staff of life" become a weed of disease?

For starters, wheat is not the same today. It has been hybrid over time to resist fungus, grow more quickly, and be more pliable for industrial bread baking. 50 years or so ago, wheat contained only five percent gluten. Today, it is 50 percent gluten.

The food industry's concern for production efficiency and perception of consumer demands has focused on the bottom line with the usual disregard to the negative health consequences of fellow humans. Breads and other baked goods are hastily produced with additives and short cuts that are actually toxic.

In the UK, some of Europe, and North America, slightly different high speed methods of baking evolved over time. By adding "improvers" with usually toxic additives and mixing the dough violently, loaves of bread could be baked, cooled, and packaged within a few short hours.

Agricultural resources then sped up the hybrid process for wheat to accommodate the baking industry's mechanical requirements of pliable proteins, leading to the 10-fold increase of wheat's gluten since that time.

This situation has permeated almost all nations. There are some exceptions; for instance, most of Europe doesn't permit chemically bleaching flour to produce white bread. They use sunlight to "bleach" wheat.

Having your cake and eating it too

Not all of us are prepared to go strictly Paleo and exclude all grains and legumes. Some of us still prefer not to eat animals, and if the food supply bottom falls out, many aren't ready and able to kill and skin deer or other animals to survive.

Grains such as rice and dried legumes are easy to hoard and use for survival if the store shelves become empty overnight. The common concern for rice and legumes is phytates or phytic acid, which can block minerals from being absorbed in our bodies.

Overnight soaking, a prerequisite for cooking dry beans, has been known to minimize phytates, or phytic acid. Rice can be soaked overnight as well. The process of cooking itself reduces phytic acid.

Using sprouted wheat flour can ameliorate some of WGA's toxicity. Baking with sourdough starters instead of normal baker's yeast can help also, while combining both may be optimum (http://www.foodrenegade.com). It appears Whole Foods bakery does so.

Wheat's gluten toxicity is reduced by sourdough starters properly fermented for 24 hours or more. A University of Alberta Canadian cereal microbiologist, Michael Gaenzle, suggests that sourdough bread, homemade or from a trusted bakery, may be at least a solution for gluten toxicity.

He referred to a study where recovered Celiac patients suffered no consequences from eating fermented (sourdough) wheat bread for two days. Those who ate regularly produced wheat bread did have a relapse.

The demand for continuing at least a partial grain diet safely has inspired one company, Vitamin Research Products to offer a natural supplement called Lectin Lock, which they claim will help reduce WGA gummy lectins.

Chronic health issues may or may not be from WGA toxicity. Katherine Czapp, whose WATF article is linked below, suggests testing for Celiac disease with Enerolab. (https://www.enterolab.com/default.aspx)

26 things to get done before the global debt collapse

The time between today and the day the global debt collapse reaches our shores is finite. The U.S. national debt clock shows a nation spiraling into financial oblivion. When Ron Paul says "Americans should be panicking" over the Fed's new QE unlimited policy of infinite money creation, he was actually holding back. In reality, Americans should have been protesting in the streets... everywhere!

But instead, they're going to deny reality, vote in the upcoming election, and pretend that whoever occupies the Oval Office has both the intention and the power to make any real difference. That belief is delusional, as is the belief that the national debt somehow doesn't really matter.

The delusions are, of course, leading us all directly into a head-on collision with history, where the global debt collapse unfolds at a quickening pace and becomes "real" for hundreds of millions of people in North America who have so far escaped the reality of the financial collapse happening across Europe. Before that day comes, here are 26 things you might want to get done.

26 things to get done before the global debt collapse

See a holistic dentist and get the mercury removed from your mouth.

Buy some hardcopy books so you have something to read when the power grid fails.

Move your money out of the big globalist banks.

Bury your gold and silver. Use an appropriate container to protect from moisture and don't forget to tell someone else where you've buried things, just in case you don't make it.

Get the heck out of the city and learn some country living skills.

Pay off as many assets as you can so you have a clear title to anything you don't want the banks to seize.

Get right with God or whatever spiritual focal point you practice.

Wrap up needed apologies or forgiveness. Don't allow regrets to burden you in a time of crisis.

Make color copies of all your important documents, then store them in a safe place. (BTW, a bank's safe deposit box is NOT a safe place. Those will all be looted.)

Get off prescription meds. Any dependence on prescription drugs is a death wish in a collapse scenario.

Stock up on diatomaceous earth (DE) to protect your garden vegetables. The stuff stores forever.

Stock up on extra glasses or contact lenses if you might need them.

Get fit, you'll need to be more fit if you hope to survive.

Take out some cash and start saving nickels. Why? Because nickels are actually still worth a nickel in terms of what they're physically made of.

Learn to use shortwave radio, or better yet get a radio operator's license.

Learn and practice basic gardening skills.

Learn how to raise chickens, goats or other small animals.

Buy a premium-quality set of basic gardening tools, even if you don't yet garden.

Get training on how to use your firearms. When you really need them, there won't be time to practice. If you want to practice on your own, buy the new book by Joe Nobody, entitled, "The Home Schooled Shootist" and start using it.

If you own rifles, sight them all in and use threadlock on anything that might work itself loose in a firefight. You don't want your gear falling apart when you need it most.

Plant some figs, aloe vera or other low-maintenance food-producing plants. Do it now to give these plants as much time as possible to start producing food.

Stock up on salt, colloidal silver and other hard-to-get items that you'll routinely need.

Spend more time outdoors to get used to sunlight exposure.

Store away an emergency seed kit.

Get a reliable guard dog who can help provide protection for your family and property.

Buy extra pairs of socks. You can never have too many pairs of quality socks. And you absolutely do not want to have to make them yourself later on.

Obviously, this list can go on forever, but these 26 things should be at the top of your "preparedness to-do list." Bang out as many as you can while staying healthy, informed, well stocked and as far away from high density population areas as possible. The cities will suffer the most in almost any conceivable debt collapse scenario, so take advantage of the relative tranquility that exists right now to move out of the city and get squared away out in the country.

Trust me, you'll be glad you did very, very soon. In terms of timelines, many smart people think we are on the verge of a sudden global debt collapse. Others think we're heading into a "slow collapse" that could accelerate over the next 2-3 years. Some people believe a lot is riding on the upcoming election, and what I'm hearing is that if Romney gets elected, many Obama supporters are going to riot in the streets. Whereas if Obama gets re-elected, U.S. business owners may very well revolt against the failed economic policies Obama has so far pursued. Either way, it's not a pretty picture. Either way, you need to get prepared now for the inevitable.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Type 2 diabetes breakthrough: Imbalance in gut bacteria likely cause

We've all heard the news about the enormous, world-wide epidemic of type 2 diabetes. Not only is this form of diabetes (which results from the body's inability to effectively use insulin) soaring among adults, it is now hitting children and teens as well. The World Health Organization (WHO) says the cause is primarily excess body weight and weight physical inactivity.

But breakthrough research just published in the journal Nature strongly indicates another, bottom line cause has been discovered - an imbalance of "good" versus "bad" bacteria in the intestinal tract appears to trigger type 2 diabetes.

Sound familiar? Natural health advocates have long insisted that a healthy digestive tract is crucial to preventing and treating diseases and that making sure there's a healthy balance between the "good" bacteria and the disease-promoting kind is key. In recent years, this concept has been backed up by numerous studies linking the overuse of antibiotics, which wipe out the "good" germs in the gut, to serious ills. Researchers have also found that promoting a healthy internal flora rich in the "good" kind of bacteria is beneficial in a myriad of ways - including boosting the immune system to fight flu and treating Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. And research recently published by Austrian scientists in the Journal of Clinical Investigation suggests an unhealthy balance of gut flora could cause obesity and metabolic syndrome which have long been linked to type 2 diabetes.

"We have demonstrated that people with type 2 diabetes have a high level of pathogens in their intestines," lead researcher for the Nature study, Jun Wang from the University of Copenhagen's Department of Biology and Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, said in a media statement.

The research team pointed out the 1.5 kilograms of bacteria that each of us carries around in our intestines have a huge impact on our well-being. If the equilibrium of what is known as this "microflora" in the gut is disrupted, health can suffer. For their study, the scientists zeroed in on the intestinal bacteria of 345 people from China. The 171 research subjects who had type 2 diabetes were found to have "a more hostile bacterial environment in their intestines" than those not suffering from the disease. The study suggests this kind of out-of-balance gut flora could increase resistance to different medicines as well as likely be the trigger for type 2 diabetes. The scientists identified specific biological indicators in the gut flora that could eventually be used to identify those at risk of type 2 diabetes as well as to diagnose the disease.

"We are going to transplant gut bacteria from people that suffer from type 2 diabetes into mice and examine whether the mice then develop diabetes," another of the lead scientists behind the project, professor Oluf Borbye Pedersen from the University of Copenhagen, stated.

What can you do to keep your internal flora healthy and balanced? For starters, avoid antibiotics as much as possible. Also, eat a healthy diet that includes prebiotics (naturally occurring substances found in thousands of plants species that foster a healthy environment in the colon that's hostile to the "bad" bacteria) and probiotics (the "good" bacteria that is found in fermented foods like kefir, yogurt and sauerkraut that can crowd out bad bacteria and replenish the "good" kind that can be wiped out by antibiotics).

Sources:

http://www.eurekalert.org/emb_releases/2012-09/uoc-gbc092512.php
http://www.eurekalert.org/emb_releases/2012-09/bs-bpa092612.php
http://www.jci.org/articles/view/58109
http://www.naturalnews.com/026265.html
http://www.naturalnews.com/031260_probiotics_Crohns_disease.html

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.
 

Bleaching agent used in foamed plastics like yoga mats and shoe soles found in McDonald's McRib sandwich!

The fact that most fast foods are not a smart, healthy diet choice is well documented by now. Still, it never ceases to amaze us here at Natural News just what kind of harmful garbage fast food companies put in some of their most popular items.

Take the McRib sandwich from McDonald's. Considering its ingredients, it's a good thing that the fast food chain only offers it once in a while.

According to the restaurant's website, here are just three of the 70 chemicals and ingredients the sandwich contains: azodicarbonamide, ammonium sulfate and polysorbate 80.

Chock full of...chemicals

"These components are in small enough quantities to be innocuous. But it's still a little disconcerting to know that, for example, azodicarbonamide, a flour-bleaching agent that is most commonly used in the manufacture of foamed plastics like in gym mats and the soles of shoes, is found in the McRib bun," Time magazine reported, noting that the compound is banned in Europe and Australia as an additive to foods (the U.S., meanwhile, limits it to 45 parts per million in commercial flour products, according to an analysis of laboratory testing).

In fact, the United Kingdom's Health and Safety Executive has classified azodicarbonamide as a "respiratory sensitizer" that can potentially contribute to asthma via exposure on the job.

Why the attention? Because the sandwich has developed a sort of cult-like following since it was first introduced, writes Brad Tuttle at Time's Moneyland.

"Few fast food menu items can say they have their own Facebook page. Then again, few fast food items have experienced the roller coaster-like ups and downs of the McRib," he writes. "First introduced in 1982, the sandwich first disappeared in 1985, but then has periodically resurfaced in McDonald's in the U.S. and abroad. The McRib's cult-like following has generated not only Facebook pages, but McRib Locator websites and a Twitter account."

Perhaps if more Americans actually knew what was in a McRib they would be far less eager to find one. Besides the presence of a plethora of questionable ingredients, the sandwich itself is just over the top in terms of sodium content (980 mg - more than half of the daily recommended allowance) and saturated fat (10 g - not exactly heart-healthy).

Even 'healthy' fast food...isn't

The McRib revelations go hand in hand with earlier field research that has found fast food wanting in terms of providing consumers with a healthy choice - even when the same fast food restaurants are hawking supposedly "healthy" choices.

Again, consider McDonald's. New York Times food writer Mark Bittman wrote that the chain's Fruit & Maple Oatmeal, which was introduced in early 2011, isn't even marginally better for you, in terms of caloric intake, saturated fats, etc., despite being sold as a "bowl full of wholesome."

The oatmeal and McDonald's story broke late last year, when Mickey D's, in its ongoing effort to tell us that it's offering "a selection of balanced choices" ... began to sell the cereal. Yet in typical McDonald's fashion, the company is doing everything it can to turn oatmeal into yet another bad choice. ... A more accurate description than "100 percent natural whole-grain oats," "plump raisins," "sweet cranberries" and "crisp fresh apples" would be "oats, sugar, sweetened dried fruit, cream and 11 weird ingredients you would never keep in your kitchen."

Some people might even justify this by saying that buying the McDonald's version of oatmeal is at least much more convenient than making it at home, but many of those people likely have never made oatmeal at home. Besides, what about the waiting in line and the additional cost?

Other so-called "healthy foods" that are being misrepresented by fast-food chains include:

-- McDonald's Premium Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken (220 cal., 6 g of fat and 5 g of sugar per serving - without the dressing).

-- Jamba Juice's Mango Mantra Light Smoothie (Mango-a-go-go contains 85g of sugar - far above the daily limit of 34g of added sugar for women and 36g for men that is recommended by the American Heart Association).

-- Subway's Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki Sandwich (contains 760 cal. and 2,020 mg of sodium - that's 520 mg more salt than the USDA recommends that children, those with high blood pressure, the elderly and African Americans should consume in an entire day; it also contains 34 grams of sugar, all you should reasonably have in a single day).

Sources:

http://healthland.time.com

http://www.ohsrep.org.au

http://healthland.time.com

Nearly every major drug company convicted of criminal behavior in three-year, $11 billion sweep

Many medical professionals and members of the general public are losing faith in the credibility of the clinical trial and drug approval process, and rightfully so in light of all the corporate corruption and criminal behavior that has recently come to light. Two new papers published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) suggest that drug industry corruption is so pervasive nowadays that even the most rigorously-conducted studies and trials are not being taken seriously by many doctors.

Over the past three years, nearly every major drug company on the planet has been convicted of some kind of criminal behavior, whether it is fudging drug safety data; pushing drugs for off-label uses; bribing doctors and medical professionals to prescribe dangerous drugs; or conducting fraudulent clinical trials. Collectively, these companies have been forced to pay roughly $11 billion in fines for these and other crimes, which have apparently become a normal part of their corporate operating procedures.

"In all, 26 companies, including eight of the 10 top players in the global industry, have been found to be acting dishonestly," writes Jeremy Laurance for the U.K.'s Independent about Big Pharma's culture of corruption. "The scale of the wrongdoing, revealed for the first time, has undermined public and professional trust in the industry and is holding back clinical progress."

Drug giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), for instance, was recently fined $3 billion for bribing doctors, lying to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), illegally marketing and promoting drugs, and falsifying clinical trial data (http://www.naturalnews.com/036417_Glaxo_Merck_fraud.html). Merck, Pfizer, Novartis, and many other major players have also been convicted in recent years of similar wrongdoing, and faced similar fines.

No drug company executives, employees have ever been held personally responsible for criminal behavior

The real shocker in all this; however, is the fact that not a single drug company executive at any of these behemoth organizations has ever been held personally responsible for their companies' crimes. Though millions of people have been injured or killed by these drug companies' illegal activities, the only penalties the industry has ever had to face are relatively measly criminal fines that amount to practically nothing in the greater scheme of things.

According to Kevin Outterson, a lawyer from Boston University, these criminal fines, as large as they might seem to the average person, are a mere fraction of these companies' overall revenues and profits. As we pointed out before, such fines are now considered to be just another "cost of doing business" to many drug companies. As Outterson puts it, these fines will do little, if anything, to actually deter such illegal activity from taking place in the future.

"Companies might well view such fines as a quite small percentage of their global revenue," Outterson is quoted as saying by the Independent. "If so, little has been done to change the system. The government merely recoups a portion of the financial fruit of firms' past misdeeds."

The fat cats that have yet to be personally tried for criminal behavior

The following list of links identifies drug company executives that have never been held personally responsible for corporate crimes:

GlaxoSmithKline:
http://www.gsk.com/about/executivebiographies.htm

Merck & Co.:
http://www.merck.com/about/leadership/executive-committee/home.html

Pfizer:
http://www.pfizer.com

Johnson & Johnson:
http://www.investor.jnj.com/governance/management.cfm

Novartis:
http://www.novartis.com

AstraZeneca:
http://www.astrazeneca.com/About-Us/Board-and-management

Roche:
http://www.roche.com/about_roche/management/executive_committee.htm

Sanofi:
http://www.sanofi.us

Abbott Laboratories:
http://www.abbott.com/news-media/leaders.htm

Bayer:
http://www.bayer.com/en/board-of-management.aspx

Eli Lilly:
http://www.lilly.com/about/executives/Pages/executives.aspx

Bristol-Myers Squibb:
http://www.bms.com/ourcompany/leadership/Pages/senior_management.aspx

Sources for this article include:

http://www.independent.co.uk