Bono Wants Africa and the EU to Join Forces Against Trump and the US and ‘Take Over the World’

Prior to U2’s latest tour, Bono, U2’s frontman and co-founder, wrote an article in the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine.

by Emma R.

In the article, which basically is a “love letter to the EU”, he is harshly criticising nationalists and “extremists”. And at the same time, he announces that the band will be waving an EU flag at all concerts throughout the tour.

This week he was invited to the European Parliament, where he held a speech and shared his views on world politics.

Alexandros Michailidis / shutterstock.com
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How CAFO Dairies Are Poisoning Hamburgers

Earlier this month, the world’s largest meatpacker, JBS Tolleson, recalled1 more than 6.9 million pounds of raw beef processed in its Arizona facility due to possible contamination with Salmonella enterica of the serotype Newport, a more unusual strain of Salmonella.2 The recalled products were processed between July 26 and September 7, 2018.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), “The products subject to recall bear establishment number ‘EST. 267’ inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to retail locations and institutions nationwide.” In all, the recall affects 49 different JBS product lines, including its grass fed beef sold under the Grass Run Farms name.3

The first reported illness linked to this Salmonella outbreak was reported September 19. Between August 5 and September 6, another 56 individuals in 16 states fell ill from eating the contaminated products. As noted by USDA:4

“Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated product.

The illness usually lasts four to seven days. Most people recover without treatment. In some persons, however, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Older adults, infants and persons with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact their health care provider …

FSIS [U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service] is concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.”

According to former USDA food safety specialist Carl Custer, this is the largest recall of ground beef related to Salmonella contamination ever recorded.5 But just how does the meat of 13,000 animals get contaminated with a pathogen like Salmonella in the first place?

Why Contamination Affects Such Large Amounts of Meat

The answer is quite simple. While many think of a pack of ground beef as being the meat from an individual cow, it’s actually an amalgam of meat from many different cows — a single fast food hamburger can contain meat from more than 1,000 animals,6 and all you need is one sick animal to contaminate nearly unlimited amounts of meat as it all runs through the same processing equipment and gets mixed together in gigantic batches.

It’s also important to realize that contamination is far more common than you might suspect — not just from potentially harmful bacteria but also drugs, including banned ones. As recently reported by Consumer Reports,7 drugs such as ketamine (a hallucinogenic anesthetic), phenylbutazone (an anti-inflammatory pain reliever) and chloramphenicol (a potent and dangerous antibiotic), are all found in the U.S. meat supply.

A recent Environmental Working Group (EWG) analysis of food testing done by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2015 reveals 83 percent of all supermarket meats — including turkey, pork, beef and chicken products — were contaminated with Enterococcus faecalis, i.e., fecal bacteria, and a high percentage had antibiotic-resistant bacteria.8,9

Sixty-two percent of ground beef samples were contaminated with drug-resistant Enterococcus faecalis, 26 percent of which were resistant to tetracyclines. Considering the high contamination rate, the fact that more people aren’t sickened and/or killed on a routine basis is likely a testament to the efficacy of the human immune system.

Dairy Farm Identified as Source of Origin of Salmonella Infection

Knowing that it takes just one sick animal to contaminate enormous amounts of meat, the next question would probably be: Where did the sick animal come from and why was it allowed into the meat supply? According to a report by New Food Economy,10 the outbreak appears to have originated at a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) for dairy cows. Joe Fassler writes:

“That’s important, because dairy cows processed for meat turn out to be a kind of food safety blind spot … [D]airy cows sickened by Salmonella are more likely than healthy ones to be sent to meat plants for slaughter.

Once there, they’re likely to be ground up and used as filler in thousands of pounds of beef, dramatically increasing their risk potential. Perhaps most surprisingly, there’s no system in place to track or disarm this risk.

In fact, thanks to a quirk in food safety law, meatpackers aren’t required to test for Salmonella. And even when it is present, the government can’t really do anything about it — not even if millions of pounds of tainted product are at stake.

While we may never know the exact details of this outbreak, we can look to previous recalls for clues — and established facts point to a massive, ongoing food safety crisis hidden in plain sight.”

Indeed, the Newport serotype of Salmonella implicated in this outbreak is strongly linked to dairy cows.11 They’re a primary carrier of this rarer strain, and as early as 2002 the CDC warned drug-resistant Salmonella Newport in dairy cattle was a growing threat to public health.12 At that time, the agency said S. Newport accounted for about 140,000 cases of salmonellosis each year, or about 10 percent of all cases.

An outbreak of S. Newport in ground beef that occurred between October 2016 and July 2017 has also been traced back to dairy cows.13 “But how does Salmonella Newport get into dairy cows in the first place, and why is that strain so likely to end up in our hamburgers? This part of the story that has to do with biology, economics and regulation — and it’s where things start to get very interesting,” Fassler writes.

Sick Dairy Cows Get Sold for Meat

As explained by Fassler in his New Food Economy article, dairy farming is all about productivity. Each cow must be as productive as possible to make it worth keeping. Once a cow’s ability to produce milk goes down, she will be culled,14 meaning sold for meat. However, while this is standard practice, it’s an unfortunate one that significantly raises public health risks.

The reason why a cow’s milk production goes down is typically due either to old age or illness — including Salmonella infection, and S. Newport infection in particular.

As noted in a promotional pamphlet15 by veterinary drugmaker Zoetis, one of the primary symptoms of subclinical Salmonella infection in cows is a drop in milk production, typically by about 2.5 pounds of milk per day. And, since only low producers are sold for meat, this means the ground beef you buy is far more likely to contain the meat of old or sick cows than healthy ones.

The reason dairy cows are typically used for ground beef specifically is because they’re bred for milking and not for juicy steaks. Hence at least 20 percent of the ground beef on the U.S. market comes from culled dairy cows.16

“In this way, a strange kind of logic plays out across the industry: The sicker an animal is, the more likely it is to enter the food supply. Because when cows stop producing milk for any reason — whether it’s due to age, stress or disease — we usually end up eating them,” Fassler writes.

What’s more, while Salmonella only poses a mild risk in milk, thanks to required pasteurization, meat is not pasteurized in the same manner. Many also enjoy their hamburgers on the rare side, which further magnifies the risk of infection.

Inadequate Sanitation Poses Severe Infection Risk

Unfortunately, infected dairy cow meat can even affect grass fed products, as evidenced in this recall. While CAFO meat really should not be used as filler in certified grass fed products, the infection may still spread via contaminated processing equipment, which by law must take place only once every 24 hours. As noted by Angela Anandappa, founding director of the Alliance for Advanced Sanitation:17

“When you have a six-week window where you have many, many different types of products implicated, it appears to be a sanitation issue. If equipment wasn’t adequately cleaned, Salmonella could have taken up residence. That’s very possible here.”

Safety risks are further magnified by the fact that 80 percent of U.S. beef products are processed by just four slaughtering companies: Tyson Foods, Cargill, JBS USA and National Beef.18,19

With so much meat being processed by so few companies, any given outbreak is capable of affecting enormous amounts of product. As noted by Albert Foer, president of the American Antitrust Institute, “As you become more and more consolidated, with fewer and fewer redundancies, the opportunities for catastrophic breakdowns expand.”20

Salmonella-Tainted Meat Is Not Considered Hazardous to Human Health

Another point of interest is the fact that Salmonella (unlike E. coli) is not considered a hazardous adulterant in meat, and processors are therefore not required to test for it. So, while rigorous cleaning and disinfection of processing equipment combined with testing for Salmonella could prevent many of these kinds of outbreaks, that simply isn’t happening.

The reason for this is because Salmonella is typically destroyed during cooking, so if the raw meat contains the pathogen, it’s not considered hazardous to human health.21

“Even if Salmonella-tainted product actually starts making people sick, the government has no legal recourse to force a company to recall it, or to punish a company for distributing it in the first place,” Fassler notes. Indeed, meat recalls for Salmonella contamination are voluntary, and not required by force of law.

This is in sharp contrast to E. coli, which is legally considered an adulterant and must be tested for. Meat found to be contaminated with E. coli is illegal to sell. As a result, food poisoning resulting from E.coli have dropped by 40 percent since 1994, the year it became an adulterant under the Federal Meat Inspection Act.22

All of these factors are reasons to buy meat certified grass fed by the American Grassfed Association (AGA). By virtue of how the animals are raised, AGA-certified meats are far less likely to be contaminated with hazardous pathogens in the first place. AGA grass fed certification is also the only label able to guarantee that the meat comes from animals that:

  • Have been fed a 100 percent forage diet
  • Have never been confined in a feedlot
  • Have never received antibiotics or hormones
  • Were born and raised on American family farms (a vast majority of the grass fed meats sold in grocery stores are imported, and without COOL labeling, there’s no telling where it came from or what standards were followed)

Two Pending Bills That Could Prevent Food Poisoning Outbreaks

Clearly, there’s plenty of room for improvement when it comes to food safety. At present, there are two pending bills that could help American grass fed farmers and lower the risk of food poisoning that need your support:

The New Markets for State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Act,23,24 introduced by U.S. Sens. Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Angus King (I-ME). This bipartisan bill would allow meat and poultry that have been inspected through state meat and poultry Inspection programs to be sold across state lines.

At present, 27 states have inspection programs certified by FSIS that meet or exceed federal inspection standards, but federal law still does not permit products processed at these facilities to be sold across state lines.

“It makes no sense that a local farmer should have to jump through extra federal hoops to compete … if they have proven the quality of their product at a federally-approved state facility. This commonsense legislation gives our state’s agricultural sector more flexibility to expand its customer base …” King says.25

The Processing Revival and Intrastate Meat Exemption (PRIME) Act,26 which would authorize states to allow sale of custom-slaughtered meat in-state. At present, small livestock producers are forced to drive long distances to have their animals slaughtered at slaughterhouses that meet federal inspection standards.

Small, custom slaughterhouses are not permitted to sell any of their meat. These facilities can only be used by the owner of the animal and their family members, employees, nonpaying guests and customers who have purchased an entire animal prior to slaughter through a share program.

The PRIME Act would allow farmers to sell meat processed at these smaller slaughtering facilities. While critics warn the bill might endanger consumers by permitting the sale of uninspected meat, advocates say it would make sustainably raised local meat far more affordable, as transportation of animals to slaughter is a significant expense when there are so few slaughterhouses available.

USDA meat inspection also has far from a blemish-free history. Meanwhile, sustainably raised grass fed animals are far less prone to disease in the first place, and since the animals would be processed in extremely small batches — perhaps just a few animals per week — any risk of infection would be contained to a very limited number of individuals buying meat from that specific animal.

Buying Organic and Local Is a Matter of Food Safety

As mentioned earlier, one of the best ways to ensure food safety is to shop locally from a farmer you know and trust. Most farmers are happy to answer questions about how they grow and raise their food, and will give you a tour if you ask them.

While many grocery stores now carry organic foods, it’s preferable to source yours from local growers whenever possible, as many organic foods sold in grocery stores are imported.27 If you live in the U.S., the following organizations can help you locate farm-fresh foods:

Demeter USA — Demeter-USA.org provides a directory of certified Biodynamic farms and brands. This directory can also be found on BiodynamicFood.org.

American Grassfed Association (AGA) — The goal of the American Grassfed Association is to promote the grass fed industry through government relations, research, concept marketing and public education.

Their website also allows you to search for AGA approved producers certified according to strict standards that include being raised on a diet of 100 percent forage; raised on pasture and never confined to a feedlot; never treated with antibiotics or hormones; and born and raised on American family farms.

EatWild.com — EatWild.com provides lists of farmers known to produce raw dairy products as well as grass fed beef and other farm-fresh produce (although not all are certified organic). Here you can also find information about local farmers markets, as well as local stores and restaurants that sell grass fed products.

Weston A. Price Foundation — Weston A. Price has local chapters in most states, and many of them are connected with buying clubs in which you can easily purchase organic foods, including grass fed raw dairy products like milk and butter.

Grassfed Exchange — The Grassfed Exchange has a listing of producers selling organic and grass fed meats across the U.S.

Local Harvest — This website will help you find farmers markets, family farms and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area where you can buy produce, grass fed meats and many other goodies.

Farmers Markets — A national listing of farmers markets.

Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals — The Eat Well Guide is a free online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy and eggs from farms, stores, restaurants, inns, hotels and online outlets in the United States and Canada.

Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) — CISA is dedicated to sustaining agriculture and promoting the products of small farms.

The Cornucopia Institute — The Cornucopia Institute maintains web-based tools rating all certified organic brands of eggs, dairy products and other commodities, based on their ethical sourcing and authentic farming practices separating CAFO “organic” production from authentic organic practices.

RealMilk.com — If you’re still unsure of where to find raw milk, check out Raw-Milk-Facts.com and RealMilk.com. They can tell you what the status is for legality in your state, and provide a listing of raw dairy farms in your area. The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund28 also provides a state-by-state review of raw milk laws.29 California residents can also find raw milk retailers using the store locator available at www.OrganicPastures.com.

The 10 Most Hazardous Cosmetic Products

Unfortunately, just because it’s sold over-the-counter does not mean a product is safe for you. In fact, of the nearly 13,000 chemicals used in cosmetics, only 10 percent have been tested for safety. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the authority to regulate ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products, they often do not exercise it.1

Adding insult to injury, the FDA tasks companies manufacturing and marketing cosmetics with ensuring their safety. Not only is this an obvious conflict of interest, but “neither the law nor FDA regulations require specific test to demonstrate the safety of individual products or ingredients.”2

So, while cosmetic companies are responsible for substantiating safety, there are no required tests and the companies do not have to share safety data. In fact, the FDA isn’t even authorized to order recalls of hazardous chemicals from the market.

Cosmetic3 companies may also fall back on a loophole in the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act,4 which allows companies to withhold information relating to “trade secrets,” under which fragrances and flavor ingredients fall.5

Participating with Environmental Defense and other U.S. groups, the Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP) tested personal care products and cleaning products sold at major Canadian retailers in order to identify undisclosed fragrance ingredients.6 A lack of federal regulation in Canada and the U.S. results in an increased risk of exposure to consumers.

Your Right to Know

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a project of the BCPP, is a broad-based national coalition of nonprofit organizations whose mission it is to protect the health of consumers by securing reforms necessary to eliminate dangerous chemicals linked to adverse health effects.7

The research project was triggered by scientific literature and prior product testing indicating chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, endocrine disruption and other adverse effects were used heavily in beauty, personal care and cleaning products.

However, despite research evidence, there continues to be a lack of legislatively mandated labeling requirements, leaving consumers uninformed of the dangers in products they bring into their homes every day. For this test, BCPP and their partners purchased 140 different beauty, personal care and cleaning products for testing.

Of particular concern were products marketed to children, women of color and products marketed by celebrities as “good for the environment” or “green.” One of the more concerning results was that many of the personal care products tested contained more hazardous chemicals than the cleaning products.8

Millions of dollars and countless hours of lobbying have been poured into the industry’s fight against legislatively mandated ingredient disclosure. Fragrance is a big business as they are used in personal care products and cleaning products.

The value of the North American flavor and fragrance market is nearly $6 billion and forecast to reach $7.42 billion by 2020.9

Top 10 Most Hazardous Products Tested

The fragrance industry has nearly 4,000 fragrance chemicals at its disposal, which companies are not mandated to disclose. BCPP hired two independent third-party testing laboratories. The first assessed volatile organic compounds and the other performed two-dimensional gas chromatography on a subset of 32 products, including shampoo, deodorant, multipurpose cleaners and lotions.

There was an average of 136 chemicals in the cleaning products and an average of 146 in personal care products. The team then compared the product name against the type of chemicals triggering hormone disruption, asthma, developmental toxins and cancer.

From this data they ranked the top 10 products with the most hazardous chemicals in terms of the highest number linked to these health effects.10 The products making the top 10 dangerous products directly from the BCPP report were:11

Just for Me Shampoo — A children’s shampoo, from a hair-relaxing kit marketed to kids of color by Strength of Nature.

JLo Glow Perfume — A fine fragrance made by Coty and endorsed by music, television and film icon Jennifer Lopez.

Kaboom with OxiClean Shower Tub & Tile Cleaner — Marketed as a “great cleaner that is safe and friendly to use,” made by Church & Dwight Co.

Olay Luminous Tone Body Lotion — Made by Procter & Gamble and marketed for its antiaging qualities.

Axe Phoenix Body Spray — A body spray made by Unilever and marketed to young men using an overtly sexual ad campaign.

Marc Jacobs Daisy Perfume — Another Coty fragrance carrying the famous designer’s name and using beatific, radiant young girls in its marketing campaigns.

Taylor Swift Wonderstruck Perfume — A Revlon fine fragrance endorsed by the beloved pop country singer Taylor Swift.

Organix (OGX) Shampoo — A Johnson & Johnson product marketed as part of a “green/sustainable” line of products to young women.

Formulation 64-RP — An industrial cleaner and disinfectant used by custodians firefighters and others.

White Linen Perfume — Created by Estée Lauder in 1978, marketed as “a beautiful perfume” for women young and old.

While these were the top 10 products, it is important to remember the team conducted tests on 140 personal care and cleaning products, the lowest of which, yellow soap, had 46 chemicals. Other cleaning products such as Kaboom with OxiClean Shower, Tub and Tile Cleaner had 229. Of the 25 personal care products tested, only three had less than 100 and none had less than 75.

Perfumes Tied to Chronic Disease

Are perfumes really the scent of danger? The Environmental Working Group (EWG) found the most popular perfumes, colognes and body sprays may contain trace amounts of natural essence, but they typically contain dozen or more potentially hazardous chemicals. Some of the synthetic chemicals are derived from petroleum.

In an independent laboratory test, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics12 found 38 secret chemicals in 17 leading fragrances including top offenders from American Eagle, Coco Chanel, Britney Spears and Giorgio Armani. Following an analysis of the data, EWG commented:13

“The average fragrance product tested contained 14 secret chemicals not listed on the label. Among them are chemicals associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions, and many substances that have not been assessed for safety in personal care products.”

Makers of these popular perfumes often use marketing terms such as “floral,” “exotic” or “musky” without disclosing the complex cocktail of synthetic chemicals used to create the scent.

The average fragrance product tested by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics contains 14 chemicals not listed on the label, among those associated with hormone disruption, allergic reactions and substances without safety testing.

Undisclosed ingredients also include chemicals that accumulate in the human tissue, such as diethyl phthalates, found in nearly 97 percent of Americans and linked to sperm damage.

Their report14 also found the FDA was similarly uninformed, as a review of government records revealed a vast majority of the chemicals used in fragrances were not assessed for safety when used in spray-on personal care products.

Phthalates Continue To Be Used in Personal Care Products

However, it isn’t only the undisclosed chemicals under the generic label “fragrance” that are cause for concern. Some chemicals listed included ultraviolet protector chemicals associated with hormone disruption and nearly 24 chemical sensitizers responsible for triggering allergic reactions.

Some manufacturing companies are moving toward restricting or eliminating certain chemicals from fragrances, such as phthalates.15 Although phthalates are only one chemical of concern in fragrances, this is a step in the right direction.

Findings from a multicenter study made a strong correlation between a mother’s exposure to phthalates during pregnancy and changes to the development in a baby boy’s genitals.

Another study at an infertility clinic demonstrated exposure was correlated to DNA damage in sperm and a third study in children aged 4 to 9 linked behavioral problems to higher maternal exposure to low molecular-weight phthalates.16

Adverse Event Reports on the Rise

While FDA regulation is weak at best, it is completely ineffective when adverse effects are not reported. The FDA has an adverse event reporting system containing information on product complaints submitted to the FDA. The database is designed to support safety surveillance programs and includes symptoms, product information and patient outcome.17

The FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) adverse event reporting system was made publicly available in 2016.18 An analysis of events dated between 2004 and 2016, including voluntary submissions by consumers and health care professionals, showed over 5,000 events reported, at an average of 396 events per year.

However, the average number hides a growing trend. For instance, in 2015 there were 706 events reported and in 2016 there were over 1,500. The three most commonly reported products were hair care, skin care and tattoos. The authors of the report suggest more surveillance is needed, saying:19

“Unlike devices, pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements, cosmetic manufacturers have no legal obligation to forward adverse events to the FDA; CFSAN reflects only a small portion of all events. The data suggests that consumers attribute a significant portion of serious health outcomes to cosmetics.”

The spike in adverse effects reported to the FDA in 2016 occurred only after the agency appealed to consumers and physicians to report events related to products manufactured by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioners under the brand name Wen.20

When adverse event complaints are made to a manufacturer they are not legally obligated to pass the reports to the FDA. Following an investigation, the FDA uncovered another 21,000 complaints made to Chaz Dean.21 It is highly likely adverse effects are commonly reported to the manufacturer and not to the FDA, indicating the total numbers in the CFSAN system are underreported.

Avoid These Toxic Chemicals in Your Personal Care Products

Despite over 21,000 consumer complaints to the contrary, Guthy-Renker, WEN’s marketing company, told NPR:22

“We welcome legislative and regulatory efforts to further enhance consumer safety across the cosmetic products industry. However, there is no credible evidence to support the false and misleading claim that WEN products cause hair loss.”

Until control improves over chemicals used in personal care products, safety testing and regulation protecting the consumer, it’s important you read the label on every personal care and cosmetic product you purchase. Here’s a list of some of the more hazardous chemicals found in many personal care products:23,24

Parabens — This chemical, found in deodorants, lotion, hair products and cosmetics, is a hormone disruptor mimicking the action of the female hormone estrogen, which can drive the growth of human breast tumors. A study published in 2012 found parabens from antiperspirants and other cosmetics appear to increase your risk of breast cancer.25

BHA and BHT — These chemicals are used as preservatives in makeup and moisturizers and are suspected endocrine disruptors.26

Synthetic colors — FD&C or D&C are the labels used to represent artificial colors. The letters are preceded by a color and number, such as D&C Red 27. The colors are derived from coal tar or petroleum sources and are suspected carcinogens. They are also linked to ADHD in children.

Fragrance — This is a large category of chemicals protected as proprietary information, and manufacturers do not have to release the chemical cocktails used to produce the scents in fabric sheets, perfumes, shampoos, body washes — anything having an ingredient called “fragrance.”

Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives — While adding formaldehyde is banned as it is a known carcinogen, manufacturers have found other chemicals act as preservatives and release formaldehyde. Chemicals such as quaternium-15, diazolidinyl urea, methenamine and hydantoin are used in a variety of cosmetics and slowly release formaldehyde as they age.

Sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate — These are surfactants found in more than 90 percent of cleaning products and personal care products to make the product foam. They are known to irritate your eyes, skin and lungs and may interact with other chemicals to form nitrosamines, a known carcinogen.

Toluene — Toluene is made from petroleum or coal tar, and found in most synthetic fragrances and nail polish. Chronic exposure is linked to anemia, lowered blood cell count, liver or kidney damage, and may affect a developing fetus.

TriclosanThis antibacterial ingredient found in soaps and other products has been linked to allergies, endocrine disruption, weight gain and inflammatory responses, and may aggravate the growth of liver and kidney tumors.

Propylene glycol — This small organic alcohol is used as a skin conditioning agent and found in moisturizers, sunscreen, conditioners, shampoo and hairspray. It has also been added to medications to help your body absorb the chemicals more quickly and to electronic cigarettes. It is a skin irritant, is toxic to your liver and kidneys, and may produce neurological symptoms.27,28,29

Prevent Exposure by Making Your Own

Your skin is an excellent drug delivery system, so what goes on your body is as important as what goes in your mouth. Chemicals you ingest may be filtered through a health gut microbiome, a protection you don’t get when they are absorbed through your skin.

Consider preventing exposure by making many of your own personal care products at home and consulting the EWG Skin Deep searchable database30 to help you find personal care products free of potentially dangerous chemicals. Products bearing the “USDA 100% Organic” seal are among your safest bets if you want to avoid potentially toxic ingredients.

Seek out recipes to make your own homemade bath and handwashing products that don’t contain additional by-products and preservatives. For instance, coconut oil is a healthy skin moisturizer with natural antibacterial properties. Coconut oil may also be used as a leave in conditioner on your hair — be sure to start with very little.

Consider a 25 percent dilution of apple cider vinegar and water to wash your hair. Spritz your hair with the solution and leave it in for five minutes before thoroughly rinsing. You may have to tweak the dilution for your hair type as apple cider vinegar is a conditioning agent.

Probiotic Wipes Out Dangerous Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

The nearly 100 trillion bacteria living on and in your body perform a wide variety of functions. We have only now come to realize the bacteria must be properly balanced and nourished to maintain good physical and mental health.

Although the Human Genome Project was expected to demonstrate gene-based therapies could rid us of disease, it actually revealed genetic makeup plays a much smaller role than previously imagined. Emerging science also shows your microbiome may be rapidly altered, for better or worse, based on factors such as your diet, lifestyle and chemical exposure.

While this is a double-edged sword, since many modern conveniences are extremely detrimental to gut flora, your diet is likely one of the easiest, fastest and most effective ways to optimize your microbiome. The importance of the bacteria growing in your gut is become increasingly clear as we learn these colonies of microorganisms lend truth to the old adage,1 “you are what you eat.”

Research has demonstrated your gut microbiome plays a significant role in your immune system and in the development of many diseases and health conditions, including obesity and difficulty maintaining weight loss after dieting, depression and multiple sclerosis, just to name a few.

Most recently, a study from National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists and colleagues have demonstrated a balance of beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract may help protect you against antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus.2

Staphylococcus Infections Deadly Worldwide

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium commonly found on the skin and nose, even in healthy people. Although it normally doesn’t cause infections or problems, if it invades your body or colonizes your gut, it can create significant problems. S. aureus has also become antibiotic-resistant, and is a common cause of sepsis.

Staph infections can range from skin infections to endocarditis, a potentially deadly infection attacking your heart muscle. As a result, the symptoms of a staph infection are varied, depending upon the system the bacteria is attacking in your body.3

The emergence of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) began in the 1960s and disseminated globally, quickly becoming a leading cause of bacterial infections, both within the health care system and community settings.4 MRSA is resistant to several antibiotics, including methicillin, penicillin and amoxicillin.

The resistance makes the infection challenging to treat and increases the risk of death when it triggers sepsis. In the U.S., S. aureus is one of the most common triggers for skin infections, including boils, impetigo, abscesses and wound infections.5

Over 95,000 MRSA infections are diagnosed annually, approximately 18,000 of which result in death.6 Nearly 86 percent of all invasive MRSA infections occur in the health care setting.7 Staphylococcus bacteria are also a common trigger for food poisoning.8 Symptoms usually happen within hours of eating the contaminated food, but often disappear quickly after lasting just 12 hours.

However, when S. aureus enters your blood it may trigger septicemia, including fever, low blood pressure and infections in internal organs, bones, muscles and around surgically implanted devices.

Between 2009 and 2014, the average percentage of S. aureus isolates found to be antibiotic-resistant was nearly 20 percent in the U.S.9 In response, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, sponsored by NIH, investigated the potential of Bacillus (beneficial bacteria used in probiotic supplements) protecting against S. aureus.10

Probiotic Kills Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

Bacteria are microscopic, single-celled organisms existing in every environment, both inside and outside of other organisms. Some, like S. aureus, are harmful, but others serve a useful purpose.11 However the proliferation of S. aureus increases your risk of becoming infected with a serious antibiotic-resistant infection.

Unexpectedly, they found Bacillus bacteria prevented S. aureus from growing in the gut and nose of healthy individuals. Bacillus is commonly found in probiotic supplements and may eliminate these bacteria by secreting a compound that blocks a key signaling system known as quorum sensing.12 This signaling mechanism controls the cell’s adaptation to the population density of bacteria.

Different species of bacteria have different signals and sensors, making it possible a substance inhibiting quorum sensing in S. aureus may not affect another bacteria. The bacteria were able to inhibit the specialized system producing molecules known as fengycins.

Using chromatography and mass spectrometry, the scientists identified the fengycins, a class of lipopeptides, as the specific substance inhibiting the sensing system. Fengycins inhibited the growth of S. aureus, including USA300 MRSA, the superbug responsible for most of the life-threatening, community-associated infections in the U.S.13

Bacillus and S. Aureus Were Not Present in the Same Subjects

Researchers first collected and analyzed stool samples from nearly 200 participants in rural areas of Thailand. They hypothesized those living in rural areas would be less exposed to antibiotics or food sterilization than individuals in Western countries.14

An analysis of the samples found 12.5 percent of the subjects had S. aureus in their intestines and 13 percent had the bacteria in their nasal passages. This was striking as it was far lower than the colonization commonly recorded in adults in urban areas, which is 20 percent in the gut and 40 percent in the nose.15

The fecal samples also demonstrated those containing Bacillus did not contain S. aureus and vice versa. The scientists then conducted tests on mice, demonstrating S. aureus bacteria have a specialized system allowing them to colonize within the body. In further experiments using mice, S. aureus was introduced and allowed to colonize in the guts of the rodents.16

They then fed the mice Bacillus subtilis spores once every other day. These rodents were soon free of S. aureus in their gut. The hope is to find a strategy preventing S. aureus from colonizing and thus reducing the potential for staph infections. Some of the current methods for decolonization are controversial as they require considerable amounts of antibiotics and have had limited success.

Michael Otto Ph.D., lead investigator of the study commented:17 “Ultimately, we hope to determine if a simple probiotic regimen can be used to reduce MRSA infection rates in hospitals”

Other Health Benefits of Balanced Gut Microbiome

There are other significant benefits to maintaining a balanced gut microbiome. For instance, scientists in the U.K. took a hard look at the introduction of probiotics to the gut microbiome and found it may help prevent the formation of tumors and even treat existing ones.

In their research,18 they wrote gut bacterial Lactobacillus has the potential for treating colon cancer, the third most common cancer in the U.S. other than skin cancer. Several studies have found factors increasing the incidence of colorectal cancer include lack of exercise, low vegetable and fruit consumption, being overweight or obese and being diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease.

In short, your gut microbiome plays an impressive role in your overall health, including the potential development of colorectal cancer. Researchers have also found differences in gut microbiota between those who suffer from nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and lean individuals.19

Those with NAFLD are more likely to have bacterial overgrowth in the small intestines along with increased intestinal permeability. Although there is no way to change the fact certain foods increase your risk for packing on pounds, bacteria also play a major role in facilitating the process.

Foods known to produce metabolic dysfunction and insulin resistance, such as processed foods, fructose, sugar and artificial sweeteners, also decimate beneficial gut bacteria. This may in fact be a mechanism by which these foods promote obesity.

Other research has found a functional link between certain gut microbiota and the onset of Parkinson’s disease. Their data20 demonstrate specific chemicals produced by certain bacteria will worsen the accumulation of proteins in the brain associated with Parkinson’s disease.

Your Gut Faces Increasing Threats From Environmental Factors Each Year

Your gut microbiome is under continuous attack by environment, diet and lifestyle choices. If gut bacteria become imbalanced, it increases your risk for both chronic and acute illnesses. Some of the factors posing the greatest danger to your gut microbiome include:

Refined sugar, especially processed high-fructose corn syrup

Genetically engineered (GE) foods (extremely abundant in processed foods and beverages)

Agricultural chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides. Glyphosate appears to be among the worst

Conventionally raised meats and other animal products; factory farmed animals are routinely fed low-dose antibiotics and GE livestock feed

Antibiotics (use only if absolutely necessary, and make sure to reseed your gut with fermented foods and/or a good probiotic supplement)

NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) damage cell membranes and disrupt energy production by mitochondria

Proton pump inhibitors (drugs blocking the production of acid in your stomach, typically prescribed for GERD, such as Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium)

Chlorinated and/or fluoridated water

Antibacterial soap

Gluten and/or lectins

Pollution

Stress

Fiber and Fermented Foods Are Critical to Your Gut Health

Scientists now understand your gut plays a crucial role in health and disease processes, actually acting as a second brain. Modifying your gut microbiome is an excellent long-term investment in your health and wellness. The consequences of a poorly developed microbiome can affect your mood, emotions, allergies and more.21

The bacterial diversity in your gut begins at birth (baby is “inoculated” as it moves through the birth canal) and is affected by genetics, whether you’re breast- or bottle-fed, and your immediate environment. Later in life, diversity is affected by your food choices. Nourishing beneficial bacteria is a way to maintain your health and one easy way is by eating traditionally fermented foods.

Ideally, you’ll want to include a variety of fermented foods and beverages as each will inoculate your gut with different microorganisms. There are several you can easily make at home, including fermented vegetables, chutneys, condiments, cultured dairy products such as yogurt, kefir and sour cream, as well as fermented fish, such as mackerel and Swedish gravlax.

Foods containing fiber, such as nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables also help promote better digestive health by feeding your beneficial bacteria. One of the reasons fermented foods are so beneficial is they contain a wide variety of beneficial bacteria.

However, this may not be enough if the rest of your diet is poor. Your gut bacteria are an active and integral part of your body, and as such are vulnerable to your lifestyle choices.

You May Not Be Eating Enough Fiber to Support Your Gut

Eating a lot of processed foods, for instance, compromises your bacteria as processed foods in general destroy healthy microflora and feed harmful bacteria and yeast. Your gut bacteria are also highly sensitive to antibiotics, antibacterial soaps, agricultural chemicals, pollution and chlorinated water.

Since virtually all of us are exposed to these factors, including antibiotics from factory farmed animal products, ensuring your gut bacteria remains balanced must be an ongoing consideration. A high-quality probiotics supplement may be useful in maintaining a well-functioning digestive system if you occasionally stray from your healthy diet or have to take antibiotics.

Gut microbes specializing in fermenting soluble fiber also play an important role in preventing inflammatory disorders as they help to calibrate your immune system.22 The byproducts of this fermentation activity nourish the cells lining your colon and help prevent leaky gut, a condition in which toxins migrate from your gut into your bloodstream, which triggers an inflammatory response.

Although fiber dietary guidelines call for 20 to 30 grams of fiber per day, I believe the ideal amount is much higher, likely twice as high. Eating whole foods, especially vegetables, also naturally provides you with soluble and insoluble fiber to feed the living microorganisms in your gut.

At the Heart of Global Woes, 157 of World’s 200 Richest Entities Are Now Corporations, Not Governments

An ExxonMobil refinery in Baytown, Texas. (Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)

As corporations in the United States and around the world continue to reap record profits thanks to enormous tax cuts, widespread tax avoidance schemes, and business-friendly trade and investment policies, an analysis by Global Justice Now (GJN) published Wednesday found that the world’s most profitable companies are raking in revenue “far in excess of most governments,” giving them unprecendented power to influence policy in their favor and skirt accountability.

Measured by 2017 revenue, 69 of the top 100 economic entities in the world are corporations, GJN found in its report, which was released as part of an effort to pressure the U.K. government to advance a binding United Nations treaty that would hold transnational corporations to account for human rights violations.

“When it comes to the top 200 entities, the gap between corporations and governments gets even more pronounced: 157 are corporations,” GJN notes. “Walmart, Apple, and Shell all accrued more wealth than even fairly rich countries like Russia, Belgium, Sweden.”

In a statement accompanying the striking new figures, GJN director Nick Dearden denounced Britain’s Tory government for eagerly assisting this “rise in corporate power—through tax structures, trade deals, and even aid programs that help big business.”

“The vast wealth and power of corporations is at the heart of so many of the world’s problems—like inequality and climate change,” Dearden noted. “The drive for short-term profits today seems to trump basic human rights for millions of people on the planet. Yet there are very few ways that citizens can hold these corporations to account for their behavior. Rather, through trade and investment deals, it is corporations which are able to demand that governments do their bidding.”

Denouncing powerful governments for “routinely” opposing “the call of developing countries to hold corporations to account for their human rights impacts at the U.N.,” Dearden said his group is “joining campaigns from across the world to tell the British government not to block this international demand for justice.”

Despite continued efforts by the international business lobby to squash them, negotiations on the U.N. Binding Treaty on Human Rights and Transnational Corporations began on Monday in The Hague.

“From a coal mine in Bangladesh that threatens to destroy one of the world’s largest mangrove ecosystems to hundreds of people at risk of displacement from a mega-sugar plantation in Sri Lanka, corporations and big business are often implicated in human rights abuses across Asia” and the world, Friends of the Earth Asia Pacific noted in a blog post on Wednesday, describing the U.N. treaty as a potential “game-changer.”

“Companies are able to evade responsibility by operating between different national jurisdictions and taking advantage of corruption in local legal systems, not to mention the fact that many corporations are richer and more powerful than the states that seek to regulate them,” Friends of the Earth concluded. “We must right this wrong.”

Source: https://www.commondreams.org

Netflix Animation Pushes Pedophilia and Child Pornography

According to Vanity Fair, the child 'frequently masturbates with her favorite childhood toy, a stuffed worm.'

by Caldron Pool

In 2008 an Australian man was convicted of possessing child pornography, fined $3,000 and required to enter a two-year good behavior bond in relation to each offence.

The pornographic content in the man’s possession comprised of a series of cartoons depicting underage characters from The Simpsons engaging in sex acts.

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The leaves of the arrowleaf dock prove useful in treating liver fibrosis

(Natural News) Confronted by the threat of liver fibrosis, Pakistani researchers looked for antioxidant treatments that could amend part of the damage to the liver. They reported that the leaves of the arrowleaf dock (Rumex hastatus) contain compounds that could prevent the onset of the serious condition. Liver fibrosis ensues when the organs sustain damage from toxic…

Top 11 Holistic Healing Practices You Should Try for Good Health

The below holistic healing practices are natural methods of achieving good mental and physical health. Have you tried any of these?

Whether we are familiar with holistic healing or not, for the most part, stable health and well-being are all we want in life. It’s what we wish for our families, and it’s the first thing we are thankful for when things don’t seem to go our way. “At least I have my health,” is something my mother still says when I complain.

The thing is, she’s right. When you have your health, you have everything. A good deal of us prefers to achieve our good health with natural methods, which includes several holistic healing practices, which means that they treat the body as a whole.

Here are 11 holistic healing practices you should try for good health.

1. Acupuncture

Most of us know acupuncture as the Chinese practice of putting needles in your body. That’s exactly what it is. Of course, those specified spikes should be inserted by an acupuncture specialist, and you should not try to insert them yourself.

This holistic practice is used to treatheadaches, relieve stress, improve immunity, ease digestive disorders, help with allergies, and reduce pain in the back, neck, and joints. Acupuncture also promotes mental clarity and increases energy.

2. Balneotherapy

This practice uses bathing in springs as a technique to bring health and wellness to your body, mind, and soul. Mostly, it has been used to treat arthritis, lower back pain, and fibromyalgia. The key thing is the patient must bath in the natural hot springs or similar mineral-rich water.

Baths like this increase circulation, detoxify your body and ease stress, which can cause a myriad of problems.

3. Ayurveda

This is the world’s oldest holistic healing practice, and it is founded on the ideology that wellness and good health come from balancing the spirit, mind, and the body. It started in India more than 3,000 years ago, the goal of this method is to restore the balance between your three doshas, or elements.

This can be done by cleansing or “panchakarma”, blood purification, massage, medical oils, herbs, and laxatives or enemas.

4. Homeopathy

The idea behind this practice is “like cures like” and the practitioners believe that the body has the power to heal itself. It has been used to treat allergies, migraines, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and premenstrual syndrome.

5. Music Therapy

We have another practice that helps with all types of illnesses. Music is an international language that transcends barriers and can do a world of good for those who are suffering from mental or physical disorders.

A music therapist can visit regularly with the patient to create a warm positive atmosphere, which is always a good thing when it comes to the healing process.

6. Chiropractic

Adjusting and aligning your joints and vertebrae is at the basis of this holistic medicine. If you have ever seen a chiropractor, you remember putting your face down into a strange chair/massage table. Then you feel the doctor push and crack your back, which feels weird but good.

When the spinal column gets out of whack, the whole body can suffer.

7. Aromatherapy

The use of essential oils is what this practice deals with. When it comes to these powerful little extracts, they can solve a number of problems. There is an essential oil for stress, one for joint pain, and another to help you focus when you need it.

In fact, there is an essential oil to help with almost anything. Aromatherapypractices utilize inhalation of the scents, topical application with use of carrier oils, and the occasional ingestion to reap these benefits. Essential oils are volatile compounds and should be used correctly.

Be sure to consult a professional before starting an aromatherapy practice.

8. Massage Therapy

Our next holistic healing practice uses the manipulation of your muscles, connective tissues, tendons, and ligaments to bring good health and well-being to the patient. There are rehabilitative massage and relaxation. It increases blood flow as well as lymph circulation.

9. Naturopathy

Just as the name suggests, this practice utilizes natural remedies for everything instead of conventional medicine. Some of the devices they use have already been mentioned here. They include herbal treatments, acupuncture, exercise, and nutrition.

It is a form of holistic healing in that the idea of this practice is to treat the whole person, including their spirit and mind along with the body.

10. Reflexology

This next practice falls under massage but focuses on the feet, hands, and ears. It is built on the belief that certain places in those areas of the body, when the right pressure is applied, can relieve your internal organs of pain, illnesses, and toxins.

There are maps on the internet of the feet the reflexology points on the soles if you would like to try it yourself.

11. Reiki

Our last practice falls under the category of energy healing, but it deserves a slot all its own. Getting its start in Japan, this treatment works on the whole person and focuses primarily on the life force energy using techniques like meditation.

Conclusion

There are so many ways we can treat ourselves without relying solely on conventional medicine. These natural powers have been around much longer and have lasted centuries, which means something on our book.

Have you tried any of the above holistic healing practices? Please share your experiences with us in the comments.

 

Source: https://www.lifeadvancer.com

 

Ex USAF Colonel & Boeing Engineer Explains What Happened During Apollo 13

When it comes to astronauts, it’s amusing how a select few receive media attention, and it’s usually the ones that attempt to debunk the UFO / extraterrestrial phenomena.

On the other hand, we have a plethora of astronauts, perhaps even more than 50 percent of them in the United States, who have told the world that they know for a fact that UFOs are real, and that some of them are piloted by beings from somewhere else in the universe.

Why is it that these astronauts don’t receive much attention, why are their words not taken as credible, and why are astronauts who debunk these claims instantaneously believed? Definitely strange to say the least.

The video below, however, is not from an astronaut, but a testimony from Colonel Ross Dedrickson. His testimony, as well as obituary states:

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