Can Baby Powder Cause Ovarian Cancer? 3 Natural Alternatives If You Don’t Want To Use It Anymore

Do you use baby powder?

Have you thought twice about its safety?

For years, without knowing, and blindly trusting, many of us apply harmful chemicals to our delicate parts, such as our bottoms, feet, armpits, and groin — anywhere that is moist and emits odour. Unfortunately, the talc in baby powder destroys our delicate skin and microbial community and confuses our immune system, sprouting cancer in reproductive organs.

Massive lawsuits were recently awarded to cancer sufferers by Johnson & Johnson, the formulators of baby powder.

On August 21, 2017, a jury in California recently ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million to a woman who says she developed terminal ovarian cancer as a result of using the company’s baby powder. And in February 2016, a Missouri court ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $72 million in damages to the family of Jackie Fox, a woman who died of ovarian cancer.

Both lawsuits said the cancer was linked to their longtime habit of applying baby powder. Two other Missouri court cases against Johnson & Johnson went in favour of the women who sued, leaving the company on the hook for $197 million. And more than 2,500 lawsuits are pending in the state.

Nearly $700 million dollars has been paid out to women who have suffered serious illness and death for simply using something many of us have not been properly informed comes with serious health consequences.  We assume that just because it’s advertised as safe for our babies that it is.

My goal in this article is to give you the full disclosure you haven’t received, and talk about the hero woman of this story who died in the process of getting the truth out.

How Can We Protect Ourselves From This?

  • Let’s distinguish between: What’s proclaimed vs. not disclaimed?
  • When will these lawsuits be enough for us to listen?
  • What to use instead that’s safer and perhaps more effective

The same people who have repeatedly brainwashed us through marketing luxury purses, perfumes, prescriptions, people, and products that poison us more than beautify us, because you’re not enough without them, are the same people who are echoing the same in studies, saying “The research is not enough to prove that talc is toxic enough to cause ovarian cancer.”

Who are these people? The 1% in charge of virtually every message we hear from the skewed media and news, and so-called beauty and health products.

So what’s the problem with talc? 

#1 Let’s Distinguish — Proclaimed vs. Disclaimed

What’s Proclaimed (aka What We’re Told):

Talcum powder is made from talc, a mineral made up mainly of the elements magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. As a powder, it absorbs moisture well and helps cut down on friction, making it useful for keeping skin dry and helping to prevent rashes. It can be found in powdered cosmetics, deodorants, and more. 

What’s Not Proclaimed (aka the Dark Truth About Talc):

Talc is a powdered native hydrous magnesium silicate sometimes containing a small portion of aluminum silicate. Talc can be contaminated with asbestos fibers, posing risks for respiratory toxicity and cancer. Studies by the National Toxicology Panel demonstrated that cosmetic-grade talc free of asbestos is a form of magnesium silicate that also can be toxic and carcinogenic — so much so that it is banned in the EU as well as in Canada, both of whom place much more scrutiny on the ingredients allowed in their food and drug products.

So why are these things not banned in America?

One word: greed.

We’re the lab rats.

Although many attempts have been made by doctors, researchers, and attorneys since the first discovery of its potential threat to our ovaries, J&J still refused to change the formula.

Dr. Daniel Cramer, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, has served as a paid consultant on several ovarian cancer cases against Johnson & Johnson, and published one of the first studies noting an association between talc and ovarian cancer in 1982.  It found a 92% increased risk for ovarian cancer with women who reported genital talc use.

“This story goes back a long, long way, back into the ’70s when people noted that ovarian cancer had many similarities to asbestos exposure,” he says. “Meanwhile another group in England found talc that was deeply embedded in ovaries and said there might be a story here.”

According to the EWG on this site, 23,653 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemical.

In 1993, The United States National Toxicology Program concluded “talc is a carcinogen.” Then, in 1996, the condom industry stopped dusting condoms with talc at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which was the direct result of the scientific concern about the ovarian cancer risk from vaginal exposure to talc.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, also called talc a possible carcinogen in 2010.

In spite of this overwhelming evidence, they continued to aggressively market the powder. The internal documents obtained in the lawsuits reveal the company knew years ago that “Retrospective studies have implicated talc use in the vaginal area with the incidence of ovarian cancer.”

Yet, even after paying over half a billion dollars in lawsuits that Johnson & Johnson baby powder had a direct link to these womens’ cancers, they deny the toxicity of their product and continue to stand behind it.

“Several decades of medical research do not support the hypothesis that use of talcum powder causes ovarian cancer,” said Dr. Hal Lawrence, chief executive officer of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Other Risk Factors of Baby Powder — Hormonal Chaos?

Talc aside, another group of chemicals called Phthalates are commonly found in baby lotions and powders. This class of ingredients, also abundantly formulated in cosmetics, is among 70,000 other registered chemicals that have hormonal effects on the body.

These factors are called xenoestrogens, foreign estrogens that mimic the functions of our natural estrogens. When they enter our body, they attach themselves to our cells’ receptor sites, taking over our naturally produced estrogens’ functions to control growth and development, negatively affecting our breasts, skin, menstruation, and fertility.

Over time, high exposure to these ‘fake estrogens’ can promote unnatural growth in tissues such as fibroids, cysts, tumours and weight gain. It also wreaks havoc on the endocrine system, leaving women with a myriad of hormonal health imbalances, one of the most common conditions I see today in my practice. PMS, heavy bleeding, cancer, PCOS, infertility, acne, mood swings, chronic fatigue, weight gain, and more are all too misunderstood by the medical community and thought to have unknown causes. Research suggests it’s caused by a condition called Estrogen Dominance, however, the result of an accumulation of chemicals in the body. Essentially, all the products we use on a daily basis and the effects of their ingredients stack up over time.

So the next time you read a study that says “not toxic in small doses,” ask yourself how much these small doses of various products add up over years of use.

We’re putting hundreds of different products, full of xenoestrogens, onto our bodies. When applied to the skin, they are far more potent than those ingested orally, because they travel directly to the tissues instead of passing through the liver. So even if talc weren’t the issue, as per Johnson & Johnson’s representatives, perhaps you should consider seeking alternatives due to these negative ramifications.

Studies are now showing that one in two men, and one in three women in this generation are estimated to have cancer, and over 75% of America is now overweight or obese, at least in part because of the hormonal imbalances caused by xenoestrogens, we should all aim to reduce our exposure as much as possible. Read how here.

#2 When Will These Lawsuits Be Enough for Us to Listen?

The Scary Truth:

Johnson & Johnson knew about the risk since the early 1980s, and even before, yet did not protect its customers.

The medical community is nevertheless claiming to ‘not know’ the cause of ovarian cancer — but I beg to differ.  Overwhelming proof shows that for most cancers today, the underlying cause is manmade chemicals, environmental toxins, and in a large proportion of cancers, xenoestrogens.

My question to you is, when will it be enough?

How many kids ‘dying too young’ of cancer need we witness?

How exhausted, hormonally imbalanced, diseased, and infertile do we need to become?

How many lawsuits, how many women have to suffer, how many loved ones die, before we wake up and learn from their losses?

Ms. Echeverria, who was too sick to testify in court, started using Johnson’s baby powder when she was 11 and continued after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007, unaware that some studies had linked talc to cancer, said her lawyer, Mark Robinson. She stopped using it after hearing news reports of a verdict in another lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, he said, and now wanted to warn other women.

“She told me, ‘I’m not doing this for myself,’ ” Mr. Robinson said. “She knows she’s going to die. She’s doing this for other women. She wants to do something good before she leaves.”

And good she did, as a warrior champion of ovaries and baby butts everywhere.

Now let’s talk alternative solutions.

Thankfully, there are plenty of other choices you can use instead that you probably already have in your kitchen!

#3 Three Healthy and Beautifying Alternatives

  1. Baking Soda (aluminum free)
  2. Arrowroot (Paleo baking soda) – comes from plants
  3. Diatomaceous earth – comes from fossilized diatoms, aka algae

Baking Soda?

Sodium Bicarbonate works very effectively to absorb odour. Apply it just as you would baby powder. As with all things, however, you should test out a little at a time to see how your body reacts, especially because these are sensitive areas. Be sure to purchase the kind without aluminum so your heavy metal levels don’t look like the below chart. I test for heavy metal toxicity in my online nutrition company, and often see metals in excess of safe ranges, which negatively impacts our health, causing auto immune disease, neurological damage, and brain disfunction, and has ties to virtually every symptom you can think of.

What Is Arrowroot?

Arrowroot is derived from several tropical South American plants. Tapioca starch is derived from the crushed up pulp of the South American cassava plant, a woody shrub. I bought it long ago to use in my vegan and paleo recipes as alternatives to flour and cornstarch that otherwise are genetically modified and filled with heavy metals, which leech minerals such as zinc, Vitamin C, and iron from our body. Since zinc is perhaps the most important mineral to boost immune health, we want to stay as free from GMO ingredients as possible, to combat cancer.

What Is Diatomaceous Earth?

Diatoms are hard-shelled algae that come from bodies of water and have a high silica content, which makes it good for hair and skin use. It’s been called a miracle dust.

Benefits of Diatomaceous Earth:

  • Better digestive health
  • Healthier colon
  • Better food absorption
  • Clearer skin
  • Healthier hair and nails
  • More energy
  • Lower Candida levels
  • Kills parasites and worms in the body (works for dogs too)

This miracle powder also works as a ‘deodorant’ to decrease odour. You can also use it in hair to ditch dandruff and also sprinkle it into your shoes (instead of talc) for foot fungus.

If you are going to buy it, make sure it’s food grade diatomaceous earth. You can get a huge 10 pound bag for around $20.

Closing Points and Takeaways

It’s our job to pay attention and be mindful of the things we put on, in, and around our body. We must stop assuming that decades old FDA regulations are in place to protect us. It is impossible to test for reactions of not only how one unique person would react to these harsh ingredients, but also how two or thousands of combinations react inside of the body. So it’s on us to research and test ourselves.

I am still surprised to hear how many people don’t realize that what you apply to your skin becomes a part of you, just as any bite of food you take does. Your skin eats too, and these applied toxins become a burden to our organs of elimination.

I’ve worked with thousands of clients and this is the most under-addressed topic, which most don’t consider could have such a drastic impact on health.

You could eat the perfect diet, and have the perfect exercise/yoga/rest routine, but if you’re slathering toxins like talc to your body, your odds of disease, fat, fatigue, and frustration are still very high.

Bottom Line:  If we love on our skin-biome and treat it well, it can keep us energetic and happy, reduce pain and disease, and lessen the signs of aging. The best two ways to do this are to feed our body probiotics (this is the brand I use), and then consume food for these bugs with prebiotics such as leafy greens and fermented foods. I teach this, step by step, in my four-week online program, The Warrior Cleanse.  Then, stop consuming and applying things to the skin and body that destroy the ‘good guys’ within it.

For a great resource on what products are safe to put on your body, check out the free online resource, Environmental Working Group at EWG.org.

For more empowering articles just like this, and how to steer clear of these toxins, check out my website, Facebook page, and Youtube channel for all things hormones/cleansing and fat burning fitness!

Cleanse your Body, Heal your Hormones, Ignite your Life!

 

Are These GMO Meatless Burgers Safe to Eat? The FDA Isn’t Sure

The FDA informed the manufacturer of Impossible Burger – a meat-like burger made using only plants – that it had not yet proven that the product’s key genetically modified (GM) ingredient is safe for consumption. The company, Impossible Foods, decided it knew better and launched the product anyway. [1]

The Impossible Burger is made using a GM form of a protein called soy leghemoglobin (SLH) or “heme,” which comes from the root nodules of soybean plants. An SLH gene is added to a yeast strain that is grown in vats using a fermentation process. Impossible Foods then isolates the heme from the yeast and adds it to the Impossible Burger, giving it a meat-like taste and blood-like red color.

Impossible Foods says on its website that it is “on a mission to make the global food system more sustainable.”

The company claims the Impossible Burger:

“…uses about 75% less water, generates about 87% fewer greenhouse gases and requires around 95% less land than conventional ground beef from cows. It’s produced without hormones, antibiotics, cholesterol or artificial flavors.”

The GMO faux-meat burgers are available at 43 restaurants nationwide, including several burger chains.

Documents obtained by ETC Group and Friends of the Earth U.S. through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) show Impossible Foods submitted an application to the FDA seeking GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status for SLH in 2014. The GRAS notification policy allows food manufacturers to decide for itself, independently of the FDA, whether or not a product is safe.

However, the FDA warned the company that SLH would not meet the basic GRAS status. The documents state:

“FDA believes that the arguments presented, individually and collectively do not establish the safety of SLH for consumption, nor do they point to a general recognition of safety.”

Impossible Foods maintains that its SLH/heme is identical to the SLH already in the food supply, but Impossible Foods had no safety testing data to support that claim, said Michael Hansen, a senior scientist at Consumers Union.

Hansen explained:

“You are taking something that has never been in the food supply before and you come to the FDA, say it is GRAS, and you have no safety data, particularly from feeding studies. Their argument has literally come down to saying this is exactly identical to the heme we’ve always been eating, but it’s not true.

Impossible Foods admitted to the FDA that as much as 1/4 of its heme was composed of 46 “unexpected” additional proteins, however. Not all of these proteins have been identified, and none of them were assessed for safety in the report.

Hansen said:

“It’s only 73% pure, the other 27% is from proteins from the genetically engineered yeast that produces it, and these have an unknown function.”

Impossible Foods decided to say, “Screw the FDA,” and proceeded to start selling the Impossible Burger in 2016.

(Even before the Impossible Burger hit the market, however, there were plenty of unknown ingredients floating around the food system. A 2013 study by the Pew Charitable Trust found that the FDA was oblivious to approximately 1,000 of some 10,000 ingredients used in food, thanks to the FDA’s GRAS system.) [2]

Jim Thomas of ETC Group said:

“The FDA told Impossible Foods that its burger was not going to meet government safety standards, and the company admitted it didn’t know all of its constituents. Yet it sold it anyway to thousands of unwitting consumers. Responsible food companies don’t treat customers this way. Impossible Foods should pull the burgers from the market unless and until safety can be established by the FDA and apologize to those whose safety it may have risked.” [1]

With news of the FDA’s rejection ready to break, Impossible Foods issued a statement August 15, defending the safety of heme, noting that SLH has been declared safe by 2 panels of food safety experts and allergists following “extensive testing.” The company insists these reviews found that heme “has a very low potential for allergenicity.” [3]

Rachel Konrad, a spokeswoman for Impossible Foods, said:

“We respect the role the FDA plays in ensuring the safety of our food supply, and we believe the public wants and deserves transparency and access to any information they need to decide for themselves whether any food they might eat is safe and wholesome.” [2]

Sources:

[1] The Huffington Post

[2] The New York Times

[3] Eater


Storable Food


Scientists Cross Hurdle in Growing Pig Organs for Human Transplant

For many years, some members of the scientific community have been absolutely engrossed in trying to solve one of the biggest health conundrums in the United States: how to get more people to donate their organs. And if that can’t happen on a grand scale, well, scientists are turning to cloned pigs for organs.

In 2016, there were just 33,600 organ transplants, while there were 116,800 patients on transplant waiting lists. Since you can’t force people to become organ donors, scientists figure the only other option is to look elsewhere for organs. Now, through gene-editing and cloned some pigs, scientists have come a step closer to solving the problem, but the process is risky. [1]

You can’t transplant pig organs into humans because the body would assuredly reject them. There is also a concern that pig retroviruses could spread to human cells. With the help of pig cloning and CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology, researchers have been able to solve the latter problem. [2]

The CRISPR-Cas9 is a medical and scientific advancement like no other that holds the potential to eradicate genetic diseases and create transplantable organs for humans. However, the technology is still relatively new and hasn’t been around long enough for scientists to know if gene-editing could cause serious, irreversible damage to animals and the environment.

(One recent study by researchers at Columbia University found that while CRISPR-Cas9 did correct blindness in mice, using the technique also resulted in unintentional mutations in more than 1,000 other genes.)

Humans, Organs, and Pigs

Researchers took cells from the pigs, then snipped the viral DNA from their genomes using CRISPR technology. [1]

Each pig cell was restored to its earliest developmental stage and then placed in an egg, giving it the genetic material to allow the egg to develop into an embryo. The embryos, now genetically identical to the pig that supplied the initial cell, were implanted in sows, who eventually gave birth to the piglets.

Read: Scientists Create Human-Pig Embryo for Transplant Research

Most of the cloned piglets died shortly after birth, but 15 of them lived, and the oldest is now 4 months old. Scientists will monitor the genetically-modified piglets throughout their lives looking for any long-term adverse effects from the procedure.

Pigs are considered one of the “best” viable sources for organ transplants for humans because their organs are similar in size. Studies have looked specifically at the possibility of transplanting swine hearts, kidneys, livers, and lungs into human patients. [2]

Dixon Kaufman, president-elect of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons and a transplant surgeon at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, believes kidneys and pancreases will be the first animal organs to be transplanted into humans.

Humans can live without a pancreas and can survive with only 1 working kidney, so if the body were to reject the organs, someone who needs a kidney could still receive dialysis, and someone who needed a pancreas could still receive insulin. [3]

Read: Mouse Pancreas Grown in GMO Rats Reverses Diabetes in Mice

To many patients facing suffering and death, receiving a genetically-modified pig organ probably doesn’t sound much more life-threatening than not finding a human donor.

But it could be.

Kaufman said:

“The field is inherently sort of risky to begin with, and I think a lot of patients have already processed that. I tell patients in the grand design we were not meant to swap body parts between ourselves.”

The pig experiments were conducted by scientists from eGenesis, a company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is detailed in the journal Science.

Sources:

[1] The New York Times

[2] Reuters

[3] Newsweek


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WIN! Triscuit Now Carries Non-GMO Project Certification

Mondelez International, the parent company of the Triscuit brand, announced August 7, 2017 in a news release that it has switched its entire portfolio to the Non-GMO Verified Certification. The move was made in response to the growing demand from buyers for wholesome food products free of genetically-modified ingredients. [1] [2]

The Non-GMO Project is the #1 leading independent verifier of non-GMO foods in the United States, as well as the only third-party non-GMO verification system in the country. [2]

Kailey Clark, Brand Manager, Triscuit North America, said:

“The Triscuit brand has evolved throughout its 100-plus-year history by delivering what consumers want, whether that’s new flavors; quick, everyday recipe solutions; or now, Non-GMO Project Verified snacking options.

The Non-GMO Project Verified seal is the gold standard. It is the most trusted label among consumers, and we are proud to offer that level of product transparency to Triscuit customers.” [2]

Study: 43% Of Consumers Rank “Non-GMO” Food as “Very Important”

Courtney Pineau, Associate Director of the Non-GMO Project, said:

“We are thrilled Triscuit Crackers has converted its entire portfolio to be made with Non-GMO Project Verified ingredients.

As an organization, we believe that consumers have a right to know what is in their food and have access to non-GMO choices. Triscuit shares that vision, and we are excited to be working with them through this collaboration to continue that commitment.”

Triscuits are made from what the release calls “three simple and authentic ingredients:” wheat, oil, and salt. Mondelez reportedly has worked to source the oil and seasonings used in the snacks that meet the certification. [1] [2]

Non-GMO Project Verified boxes of Triscuits began appearing on store shelves across the country in late July 2017, according to the news release. [1]

The full line of Triscuit Cracker boxes bearing the Non-GMO Project seal is expected to become available by the end of September.

Sources:

[1] Just-Food

[2] Market Insider


Storable Food


Investigation Brews over Insecticide-Tainted Eggs Distributed Throughout U.K.

Eggs contaminated with a potentially harmful insecticide were imported from Europe and have been distributed throughout the United Kingdom and other countries, according to England’s Food Standards Agency (FSA). [1]

The number of eggs containing the insecticide fipronil, used in flea and tick products, is thought to be very small, thank goodness, but grocers in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, and Switzerland have had to pull millions of eggs from store shelves as a precaution.

It is believed that fipronil was used on chickens in Belgium.

The FSA claims the risk to human health is extremely low.

The agency said:

“The number of eggs involved represents about 0.0001% of the eggs imported into the UK each year.

Our risk assessment, based on all the information available, indicates that as part of a normal healthy diet this low level of potential exposure is unlikely to be a risk to public health and there is no need for consumers to be concerned.”

The FSA said that based on the findings of its investigation so far, the affected eggs are no longer available for purchase.

The contamination was kept a secret for weeks and did not trigger the European Union’s (EU) international food safety alert system, allegedly due to a fraud investigation.

Belgium’s agriculture minister said he had ordered the country’s food safety agency to explain why it waited until July 20, 2017 to inform neighboring countries of the problem, when it was aware of the problem back in June.

A criminal investigation has been launched.

Food security expert, professor Chris Elliott, said:

“The report indicated that it (fipronil) should not be used in any food-producing animal of any description, so the Belgian authorities are following a line of investigation to say that there was illegal use… it was actually some serious fraud that was happening somewhere between Belgium and the Netherlands.

All of the information from the food safety authorities right across Europe is that consuming the eggs is not going to endanger anybody’s health.

I’m confident wherever you are in Europe or in the UK, enjoy your eggs.”

Fipronil is considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be moderately toxic to humans. The pesticide can damage the kidneys, liver, and lymph glands, and may cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and eye irritation. [2]

The FSA said on its website:

“The government has already taken action to prevent any risk to UK consumers by adding fipronil to its robust surveillance program in UK farms.

We have no evidence that eggs laid in the UK are contaminated or that fipronil has been used inappropriately in the UK. Eighty-five per cent of the eggs we consume in the UK are laid here.”

Several million hens may need to be killed at 150 companies in Belgium, a Dutch farming company has said. About 300,000 have already been put down. [1]

Sources:

[1] Sky News

[2] Independent


Storable Food


Monsanto Emails Raise More Questions About Collusion and Roundup Safety

On August 2, 2017, documents released as part of a lawsuit against Monsanto raised more questions over whether or not the mammoth biotech company suppressed information about the potentially carcinogenic nature of its Roundup weedkiller and its primary ingredient, glyphosate. [1]

Glyphosate is one of the most widely-used weedkillers in the world and is available for both agricultural and home use.

It came to light in early 2017 that the same EPA official responsible for evaluating the cancer risk associated with glyphosate may have colluded with Monsanto to tilt research on glyphosate in favor of Monsanto’s claim that the chemical is not carcinogenic to humans.

The allegations led the EPA’s inspector general to launch a probe into the matter in May, 2017.

As of August 2, 2017, more than 75 documents containing over 700 pages, including text messages and discussions about payments to scientists, were posted for all the world to see by attorneys who are suing Monsanto on behalf of people who allege Roundup caused them or their loved ones to develop a type of blood cancer known as non-Hodgkin lymphoma. [2]

Read: Widow Sues Monsanto for Husband’s Wrongful Death

More than 100 of the lawsuits have been consolidated in multidistrict litigation in federal court in San Francisco. Similar lawsuits are pending in state courts, including Missouri, Delaware, and Arizona.

The lawyers claim they will send copies of the documents to European authorities, the EPA’s OIG, and to the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA).

The OEHHA is being sued by Monsanto for officially listing glyphosate as a carcinogen under the state’s Proposition 65 law.

According to the newest document leak, Henry I. Miller, an academic and outspoken supporter of genetically modified (GM) crops, asked Monsanto to draft an article for him that all but mirrored one that appeared under his name on Forbes’ website in 2015. [1]

Miller is a notorious American lobbyist who tried to discredit scientists who linked tobacco use with cancer and heart disease to protect the industry.

In the Forbes article, Miller attacked the findings of the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC), a branch of the World Health Organization (WHO), which labeled glyphosate a probable carcinogen in 2015. Several other regulatory bodies have challenged that finding, and Monsanto tried to get the IARC to retract the link to cancer.

The documents show that when Monsanto asked Miller if he would be interested in writing an article on the topic, he responded:

“I would be if I could start from a high-quality draft.”

The article was published under Miller’s name, with the assertion that “opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own,” and with no mention of Monsanto’s involvement in the writing of the piece.

Scott Partridge, vice president of global strategy for Monsanto, defended Miller’s Forbes article by calling it a “collaborative effort, a function of the outrage we were hearing from many people on the attacks on glyphosate.”

Partridge went on:

“This is not a scientific, peer-reviewed journal. It’s an op-ed we collaborated with him on.”

Forbes removed the article from its website on August 2, 2017, and said that it ended its relationship with Miller over the matter.

Mia Carbonell, a Forbes spokesperson, said:

“All contributors to Forbes.com sign a contract requiring them to disclose any potential conflicts of interest and only publish content that is their own original writing. When it came to our attention that Mr. Miller violated these terms, we removed his blog from Forbes.com and ended our relationship with him.”

Even former Monsanto employee John Aquavella appeared to view the “collaborative effort” as dishonest and unethical, writing in a 2015 e-mail to a company executive:

“I can’t be part of deceptive authorship on a presentation or publication.”

He added:

“We call that ghost writing and it is unethical.”

A Monsanto official said Aquavella’s remarks were based on a complete misunderstanding and that the situation had been “worked out.” Aquavella has changed his story, as well, saying in an e-mail to The New York Times that “there was no ghost writing” and that his remarks had actually been about an early draft and a question over authorship that has since been resolved.

The documents also suggest that Monsanto scientists weren’t wholly confident in the safety of glyphosate or the other ingredients in Roundup – at least not confident enough to guarantee Roundup does not cause cancer.

Read: Dangerous Surfactants in Glyphosate Herbicide Slip Passed EU Regulators

In an e-mail dating back to 2001, a company scientist wrote:

“If somebody came to me and said they wanted to test Roundup I know how I would react – with serious concern.”

In 2002, a Monsanto executive wrote in an e-mail:

“What I’ve been hearing from you is that if this continues to be the case with these studies – Glyphosate is OK but the formulated product (and thus the surfactant) does the damage.”

A different Monsanto executive said in a 2003 e-mail:

“You cannot say that Roundup is not a carcinogen … and we have not done the necessary testing on the formulation to make that statement.”

However, she added that “we can make that statement about glyphosate and can infer that there is no reason to believe that Roundup would cause cancer.”

handshake

Additionally, the documents show that A. Wallace Hayes, the former editor of the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, has had a contractual relationship with Monsanto – something which Hayes vehemently denies.

In 2013, while Hayes was still editor, he retracted a crucial study which found that Roundup, and GM corn, could be carcinogenic to rats, causing premature death. Biotech trolls and shills point to this deceptive retraction as proof that any research indicating that glyphosate causes cancer is bunk.

In an interview, Hayes said that he was under no contractual obligation with Monsanto at the time of the study’s retraction, and was paid only after he left the journal.

He explained:

“Monsanto played no role whatsoever in the decision that was made to retract. It was based on input that I got from some very well-respected people, and also my own evaluation.”

Hayes was fired from the journal in 2015, after hundreds of scientists queried the publication to find out why the Roundup study had been retracted, and arguing that it was giving into pressure from the biotech industry.

Sources:

[1] The New York Times

[2] The Huffington Post


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Scientists Use CRISPR to Edit Human Embryos in U.S. for First Time

A group of scientists in Oregon have edited the genes of human embryos for the first time in the United States, using CRISPR-Cas9, a cut-and-paste gene-editing tool. [1]

The experiments were conducted by Shoukhrat Mitalipov and colleagues at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. The single-celled embryos Mitalipov edited were discarded after the experiments to ensure they could not become too developed.

Live Science explains how the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing tool works:

“The CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing system is a simple “cut and replace” method for editing precise spots on the genome. CRISPRS are long stretches of DNA that are recognized by molecular “scissors” called Cas9; by inserting CRISPR DNA near target DNA, scientists can theoretically tell Cas9 to cut anywhere in the genome. Scientists can then swap a replacement gene sequence in the place of the snipped sequence. The replacement sequence then gets automatically incorporated into the genome by natural DNA repair mechanisms.”

Source: Daily Mail

CRISPR was used by scientists in China in 2015 to edit several human embryos that had severe defects. Like the scientists in Oregon, the team in China discarded the embryos before they could become too developed.

The Chinese technique led to genetic changes in a few of the embryos, and in a few cases, CRISPR sometimes snipped out the wrong place in the DNA.

Mitalipov’s experiments were reportedly successful in that they edited far more embryos than scientists did in past research. Additionally, Mitalipov and his colleagues claim they managed to do so without causing as many errors as previous scientists. [2]

Someday – perhaps much sooner than we realize – scientists could use this technique to edit not just the offspring of people with genetic diseases, but their offspring, as well. Theoretically, this could eradicate diseases caused by mutated genes, such as Huntington’s, sickle-cell anemia, Tay-Sachs, and many others.

But it’s risky…

Gene-editing is rife with controversy and ethical concerns. While many say CRISPR-Cas9 will help reduce the occurrence of genetic diseases, Marcy Darnovsky, Executive Director of the Center for Genetics and Society, says there are ways to do that which don’t involve editing the human genome.

“This is just not needed for preventing inheritable disease. There are [other techniques that] can already be used safely to prevent the births of children with serious genetic diseases in almost every case.”

For example, preimplantation diagnosis (PGD) allows parents to screen embryos for certain disease-causing genes before implanting them via in-vitro fertilization (IVF). However, in cases where someone carries 2 copies of a defective gene, PGD won’t work because all their embryos would also carry that gene.

Read: Study: CRISPR Gene-Editing Ignites Tons Of Unintentional Genetic Mutations

Darnovsky is also greatly worried about the safety of CRISPR gene-editing. He said:

“Despite whatever the claims are about safety, [like] no mosaicism, we still don’t know if that would mean it’s safe to create a new human being and anyone who tried it would be taking an enormous and unacceptable risk with that future person’s life.”

Right now, scientists are supposed to focus their efforts on editing disease-causing genes. But CRISPR could potentially open the door to the creation of “designer babies,” in which parents are permitted to edit their children to be better at sports or math, for example, or to be more physically attractive.

Source: Metro news

Darnovsky explained:

“That would be layering new forms of inequality and discrimination onto the ones we already live with.”

He’s not alone in his concerns.

In 2016, the U.S. intelligence community called CRISPR a potential “weapon of mass destruction.” [3]

Sources:

[1] Live Science

[2] Mother Jones

[3] MIT Technology Review

Daily Mail

Metro News


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Did an EPA Official Collude with Monsanto by Tilting Research?

The EPA’s inspector general has launched an investigation into possible collusion between a former high-ranking EPA official and Monsanto, the maker of RoundUp. [1]

The probe was initiated in response to a request from Rep. Ted Lieu, a Democrat from California, for an investigation into whether the EPA official colluded with the biotech giant to tilt research on glyphosate in favor of Monsanto’s claim that the chemical does not cause cancer in humans.

This, despite Monsanto having never conducted carcinogenicity studies on RoundUp.

Source: Zero Hedge

Lieu’s request was based on media reports of documents released as part of a lawsuit against Monsanto alleging that glyphosate is carcinogenic and that the company may have spun research and hired scientists to cover it up.

Read: EPA Official Accused of Helping Monsanto “Kill” Glyphosate-Cancer Link

Inspector General Arthur A. Elkins Jr. wrote in a letter he sent to a lawmaker on 31 May, 2017:

“As you are you aware, there is considerable public interest regarding allegations of such collusion. As a result, I have asked the EPA OIG Office of Investigations to conduct an inquiry into several agency review-related matters.” [1]

The lawsuit-related documents refer to internal Monsanto e-mails that mention Jess Rowland, a former manager in the EPA’s pesticide division.

In a press release, the Center for Biological Diversity, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting endangered species, notes that the documents contain these potentially incriminating revelations:

  • The chair [Rowland] of the EPA’s Cancer Assessment Review Committee on glyphosate was in regular contact with Monsanto, providing insider information that guided Monsanto’s messaging;
  • The chair warned Monsanto that the World Health Organization’s cancer research arm had found glyphosate to be probably carcinogenic months before the 2015 determination became public, allowing the pesticide-maker to mount a public relations attack on the finding;
  • The chair promised to thwart the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ review of glyphosate’s safety, saying that if he was successful he deserved a medal. The department never did review glyphosate’s safety;
  • A Monsanto executive e-mailed other company officials that they could hire academics to put their names on glyphosate research papers written by Monsanto, citing a previous instance where this was done. The referenced paper was used in the EPA pesticide program’s own cancer analysis.
Source: Zero Hedge

It appears that at the time the original e-mail was sent, Monsanto was trying to recruit Rowland to help shut down a review of glyphosate within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry division.

Rowland has since retired after spending 26 years at the agency, and plaintiffs’ lawyers have been deposing him about accusations that Monsanto may have paid him off for his efforts via third parties. [1] [2]

OIG investigators will likely begin interviewing Rowland’s former colleagues and bosses, pulling records and poring through e-mails, according to Michael Hubbard, a retired Special Agent in Charge for the EPA’s criminal investigations division. It’s also likely that investigators at the Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section will be pulled into the mix. Additionally, subpoenas could be granted to allow access to Rowland’s bank records.

Said Hubbard:

“You want to start looking at money trails. Has he benefitted from Monsanto? Was the money changing hands with him or his significant other?” [1]

It wouldn’t be shocking to learn that Monsanto was working with an EPA official to quash damaging research. This is the same company that allegedly has its own department of Internet “trolls” tasked with trashing negative articles and comments about RoundUp.

Monsanto will do anything to cover up the toxic truth about glyphosate. After the IARC declared glyphosate “probably carcinogenic,” the company pressured the WHO agency to reassess the herbicide, and continues to insist that “there is no evidence of carcinogenicity” in RoundUp’s main ingredient.

Sources:

[1] The Huffington Post

[2] Center for Biological Diversity

Images Source:

Zero Hedge


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Your “Organic” Milk may be Produced with Non-Organic Ingredients

DHA Milk made by Horizon, one of the largest organic brands in the U.S., isn’t nearly as “natural” as the company advertises it to be, according to an investigation by The Washington Post. It contains a type of algae, Schizochytrium, which is fed corn syrup. Corn is the #1 crop grown in the United States, and nearly all of it is genetically modified.

Schizochytrium is carefully tended, kept warm, and fed corn syrup, resulting in a substance that resembles corn oil, but has a slightly fishy taste. It is then marketed as the nutritional supplement DHA, and added to millions of cartons of organic Horizon milk.

Horizon uses corn-syrup enriched algal oil to advertise health benefits and charge more for their DHA-enhanced milk than it does for its regular milk.

This raises an important question: Is Horizon DHA milk really “organic”?

Is the Milk Really Organic?

Charlotte Vallaeys, a senior policy analyst at Consumer Reports seems to think not. She said the addition of algal oil defeats the whole purpose of buying and eating organic.

The “All Natural” Scam: How to Shop Healthy for You and Your Family

“We do not think that [the oil] belongs in organic foods. When an organic milk carton says it has higher levels of beneficial nutrients, like omega-3 fats, consumers want that to be the result of good farming practices … not from additives made in a factory.”

Organic food companies desperately want the coveted “USDA Organic” seal on their products, knowing it can easily double the price of an item. But many companies are constantly pushing the USDA’s limits of what can be considered “organic.” Meanwhile, consumer groups want a narrower, “purer,” definition.

According to The Post, USDA officials must have misread federal regulations when they allowed the use of oil and similar additives, at least originally. Algal oil was introduced into milk in 2007. In 2012, the USDA quietly acknowledged that some federal regulations had been “incorrectly interpreted.” Rather than disrupt the market, the agency opted not to reverse course.

That was good news for Horizon.

In a statement, a Horizon spokesperson said:

“Millions of people choose our Horizon Organic milk with DHA Omega-3 for the added benefits DHA Omega-3s are thought to deliver.”

The spokesperson added that the algal oil may improve heart, brain, and eye health.

‘People Buying into a Lie’

Horizon milk is a popular product, with more than 26 million gallons of the milk supplemented with the algal oil sold in the last year – that’s 14% of all organic milk gallons sold. Retail sales of the product topped $250 million in the past year. The Horizon DHA milk typically costs 30 cents more than plain Horizon milk.

However, critics argue that people are buying into a lie, and that supplementing “USDA Organic” products with algal oil is a slap in the face to consumers who expect that organic foods are nature-made and not laboratory-made, and that the nutrients in organic foods and drinks are good enough without additives.

Indeed, recent testing by The Post reveals that milk produced by grass-fed cows – a requirement of organic regulations – contains significantly more Omega-3 fatty acids than conventional milk. [1]

Barry Flamm, former chair of the National Organic Standards Board, which makes recommendations to the USDA, said:

“Additives just don’t have any place in organics at all. You might say additives should be allowed for health reasons, but I never saw an additive that you couldn’t get in real foods.”

Most buyers agree. Past Consumer Reports surveys show 7 out of 10 buyers think the USDA should not permit the use of non-organic ingredients in organic food production unless they are deemed essential.

The Cornucopia Institute, a national food and farm policy watchdog, says on its website that their own researchers had made the discovery that organic food companies were supplementing their products with algal oil. Additionally, the institute says it filed a formal legal complaint, which sparked the story in The Post.

Source:

The Washington Post


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