By Ivory Hecker | 1 September 2019 FOX 26 NEWS — Two mothers who lost their sons in the Santa Fe mass shooting were also in Odessa when the mass shooting happened there Saturday. Pamela Stanich […]
By Tom Luongo | 2 September 2019 GOLD GOATS ‘N GUNS — Germany held the first two of three important state elections over the weekend. And the results were striking. Leading up to the elections polls […]
The looming threat of plastic pollution is undoubtedly one of mankind’s greatest challenges. More than 381 million tons of plastic are produced worldwide each year,1 and plastic is now found in our soil, lakes, rivers and oceans, as well as in the bodies of humans and wildlife.
According to Environmental Health News,2 “Two-thirds of all plastic ever produced remains in the environment,” which helps explain why tap water, bottled water,3 sea salt4 and a variety of seafood5 all come with a “side order” of microplastic.
Remarkably, while most media attention has been focused on plastic pollution in the ocean, estimates suggest four to 23 times greater amounts are released on land than the ocean by way of biosolid fertilizers.6
A primary problem is the fact that plastic can take up to 1,000 years to break down. Researchers estimate a single plastic coffee pod may take up to 500 years, the duration of the Roman Empire.7 As reported by Environmental Health News, there are health risks associated with each phase in the life cycle of plastic:8
- Fossil fuel extraction results in air and water pollution and a number of other direct effects to communities, such as increased traffic and pipeline construction (more than 99% of plastic comes from fossil fuels)
- Refining and producing plastic resins and additives releases cancer-causing compounds and other toxics, some of which “can be difficult to detect” as they “are colorless and tend to have mild-to-no odor”
- Plastic products and packaging, when in the consumer’s hands, lead to inhaled or ingested toxic and/or plastic particles
- Plastic incineration releases toxic compounds
- The degradation of plastic leads to microplastics getting into people, wildlife, soil and water
Nurdles — A key plastic pollutant
As explained in the featured TED-Ed video by Kim Preshoff, a key plastic pollutant you may never have heard of is nurdles — tiny plastic pellets that form the raw material for plastic products of all kinds. Ranging in size from microscopic grains to millimeter-sized pellets, nurdles are now found in lakes, rivers and oceans across the globe.
As noted in the video, they’re unable to biodegrade, allowing them to persist and accumulate in the environment for generations to come. Being raw material, just how do these pellets get into the environment? It turns out there are countless ways for the pellets to escape, and spills have been found to occur throughout the entire manufacturing chain.
While research is limited, one study9 estimates British production companies lose somewhere between 5 billion and 53 billion pellets per year through accidental spills during production, transport, processing and waste management procedures.
Disturbingly, loopholes in wastewater permits have allowed companies to wash these plastic pellets into waterways for years on end.10 In fact, California is the only U.S. state that regulates plastic pellet pollution specifically.11,12 Alas, understaffing means enforcement is lax.
Nurdles are everywhere
As reported by the Environmental Investigation Agency,13 a shipping accident involving two vessels in 2017 resulted in the spillage of 49 metric tons of nurdles (some 3.4 billion individual pellets) into the sea. An estimated 1,243 miles of South African coastline was subsequently coated with plastic pellets.
Similarly, Hong Kong’s Lamma island was inundated with nurdles in 2012 after a typhoon knocked containers off the shipping vessel.14 According to Danish estimates, nurdles are “the second-largest direct source of microplastic pollution to the ocean by weight.”15
Like so much other ocean trash, the nurdles end up congregating in ocean gyres. There are five gyres around the globe, but the primary collection point for nurdles is the Pacific Ocean gyre, colloquially known as the great Pacific garbage patch.16
In addition to their inability to degrade, nurdles (like other microplastics) act like sponges for toxic chemicals.17 Bird, fish, whales and filter feeding marine life all end up eating these toxic nurdles, which look much like floating fish eggs.
Aside from their toxic influence, nurdles and other plastic bits can cause starvation as they build up in the stomach, tricking the animal into thinking it’s full. Needless to say, microplastics and their toxins build up the higher in the food chain you go, as smaller sea life is consumed by larger predators.
Can we end the cycle of plastic pollution?
How can this toxic cycle be broken? As suggested in the featured video, the best solution would be to eliminate plastics altogether, using a combination of recycling and replacing plastics with paper and glass. Unfortunately, the U.S. is going in the opposite direction, with plans to open more than 300 new plastic factories.18
As reported by Quartz,19 oil and gas companies such as Exxon and Shell are shifting toward plastic production as a way to boost growth as natural gas prices decline. A report20 by the Center for International Environmental Law projects production of ethylene and propylene (used in the production of plastic) will grow by 33% to 36% by 2025.
The report21 also notes that China is “investing heavily in plastics infrastructure,” as is Europe and the Middle East, and that “this massive expansion in capacity could lock in plastic production for decades, undermining efforts to reduce consumption and reverse the plastics crisis.”
Royal Dutch Shell is currently building a new plastics factory just north of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. As explained in the Quartz article:22
“The Shell plant will rely on a process known as ‘ethane cracking,’ where ethane gas, once seen as an unusable byproduct of gas extraction, can be molecularly ‘cracked’ — its carbon and hydrogen atoms rearranged — to form ethylene, the main building block of plastic. When completed, the new facility will pump out 1.8 million tons (1.6 metric tons) of plastic each year.”
You’re eating and inhaling plastic every day
The enormity of the microplastic pollution problem is demonstrated by studies showing the average person is ingesting and inhaling plastic particles on a daily basis. Most recently, a study commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund and carried out by University of Newcastle, Australia, found people, on average, consume the equivalent weight of one credit card — about 5 grams — of plastic each week.23
Primary ingestion routes are from water and seafood, according to the report.
Other research by the nonprofit journalism organization Orb Media found major bottled water brands like Evian, Aquafina, Dasani and San Pellegrino contained significant amounts of microplastics.24
Similarly, research published in Environmental Science & Technology suggests people drinking bottled water exclusively may ingest more microplastics than those drinking tap water.25
Other recent research26 suggests the average person inhales 11.3 microscopic pieces of plastic each hour. According to co-author Jes Vollertsen,27 “This is the first evidence of human exposure to microplastic through breathing indoor air.”
Plastic particles identified in indoor air include synthetic fibers such as polyester, polyethylene and nylon, and nonsynthetic particles composed of protein and cellulose.28
As in the environment, plastic does not break down in the human body. Many of the chemicals used in the manufacture of plastics are also known to disrupt embryonic development, dysregulate hormones and gene expression, and cause organ damage. They also have been linked to obesity, heart disease and cancer.
So, while researchers claim the health effects of all this plastic in our diet is still unknown, it seems logical to suspect it can wreak havoc on public health, especially younger people who are exposed right from birth.
As Pete Myers, Ph.D., founder and chief scientist of the nonprofit Environmental Health Sciences and an adjunct professor of chemistry at Carnegie Mellon University told Consumer Reports, “There cannot be no effect.”29 Consumer Report adds:30
“There is evidence,31 at least in animals, that microplastics can cross the hardy membrane protecting the brain from many foreign bodies that get into the bloodstream.
And there’s some evidence that mothers may be able to pass microplastics through the placenta to a developing fetus, according to research that has not yet been published but was presented at a spring conference32 at the Rutgers Center for Urban Environmental Sustainability.
According to Myers, some of these microplastic particles could potentially also leach bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates.
[Jodi] Flaws [Ph.D., associate director of the Interdisciplinary Environmental Toxicology Program at the University of Illinois] says the particles can accumulate PCBs … linked to harmful health effects,33 including various cancers, a weakened immune system, reproductive problems, and more. And once these chemicals are inside of us, even low doses have an effect.”
US plastic pollution just got a whole lot worse
Plastic is considered cheaper and more convenient than conventional alternatives such as glass, but “cheap” is relative. The true cost of single-use plastic on human and environmental health is astronomical, and the burden of that cost is unevenly distributed.
Some of the world’s largest plastic producers often ship their waste to poorer nations for recycling, such as Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam, which have few to no environmental regulations on how that waste is processed and disposed of.
Since 1991, nearly half the world’s plastic waste has been sent to China,34 but as of 2018, China stopped accepting plastic waste imports, saying it no longer wanted to be the “world’s garbage dump.”35 As a result, an estimated 111 million tons of plastic will have nowhere to go by 2030.36
An August 2019 NPR article37 quotes John Caturano, senior sustainability manager for packaging programs at Nestlé Waters North America, “The water bottle has in some ways become the mink coat or the pack of cigarettes. It’s socially not very acceptable to the young folks, and that scares me.”
His comment was delivered during a March 2019 panel meeting between executives from companies making or packaging their products in plastic. The meeting was aimed at figuring out what to do with mounting plastic pollution now that China is no longer accepting U.S. trash.
Can circular economy of plastics save us?
The situation in America is all the more dire due to our failure to implement stronger recycling standards. According to a 2017 analysis,38 a mere 9% of all plastic refuse gets recycled in the U.S. As reported by National Geographic:39
“Mass production of plastics, which began just six decades ago, has accelerated so rapidly that it has created 8.3 billion metric tons — most of it in disposable products that end up as trash …
Of the 8.3 billion metric tons that has been produced, 6.3 billion metric tons has become plastic waste. Of that, only 9 percent has been recycled. The vast majority — 79 percent — is accumulating in landfills or sloughing off in the natural environment as litter. Meaning: At some point, much of it ends up in the oceans, the final sink.”
While some believe the only way out of this plastic pollution conundrum is to eliminate plastic altogether, others are pushing for better recycling. As reported by NPR:40
“‘Circular economy’ is now a catchphrase that some say is a way out of the plastic mess. The idea is essentially this: Society needs plastic, but people need to recycle a lot more of it and use it again and again and again. That will eliminate a lot of waste and cut down on the avalanche of new plastic made every year.”
However, while companies are making progress when it comes to reusing plastic, a drawback is cost. According to TerraCycle, a New Jersey recycling company featured in NPR’s story,41 using recycled plastic can cost three times that of virgin plastic. The U.S. also does not have enough recyclers to keep up with the onslaught — a side effect of decades of outsourcing to China.
Biodegradable products aren’t all they’re cracked up to be
In recent years, many companies have pledged to address plastic waste by transitioning over to more biodegradable products. Unfortunately, we’re now discovering some of these “green” alternatives are anything but. A perfect example of this are the “biodegradable” and “compostable” bowls and takeout containers now offered by a number of restaurants.
Recent testing42 reveals that while these fiber-based bowls are indeed biodegradable, they’re coated with grease-repelling per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances43,44 (PFAS) — highly toxic chemicals associated with immune dysfunction45 and cancer46,47 that never degrade!
Not only can these chemicals migrate from the container into your food, but believing them to be biodegradable and safe, you might also place them in your compost, thus creating a vicious circle where the chemicals contaminate and ruin the compost, which is then mixed into the soil, where they contaminate the food grown in it. Ultimately, the chemicals end up on your plate again, now inside the food.
According to New Food Economy,48 San Francisco is banning bowls manufactured with PFAS as of January 1, 2020, and Washington’s Healthy Food Packaging Act49 — enacted in 2018 — bans all PFAS in paper food packaging, effective 2022.50 A drawback of the Act is that the ban will not take effect until or unless a safer alternative is commercially available.
How to reduce your plastic exposure
It can be extraordinarily difficult to avoid plastic, and it’s probably not possible to avoid all exposure. However, you can certainly minimize your exposure by taking a few common-sense precautions. One basic strategy is to opt for products sold in glass containers rather than plastic whenever possible. Another is to look for plastic-free alternatives to common items such as toys and toothbrushes. Other suggestions offered by Consumer Reports include:51
- Drinking tap water rather than bottled water — As mentioned, bottled water tends to have far higher amounts of plastic debris than tap water. I would add the recommendation to filter your tap water, not only to get rid of potential plastic debris, but also to avoid the many chemical and heavy metal pollutants found in most water supplies.
- Avoid reheating food in plastic containers — Instead, heat your food in a pot on the stove, an oven-safe pan or a glass container if using a microwave.
- Store foods in glass rather than plastic — Consumer Reports specifically warns against using plastic food containers marked with the recycle codes 3, 6 and 7, as these contain phthalates, styrene and bisphenols.
- Ditch processed foods and takeout for fresh food — Most food wrappers and containers, including cans, contain plastic.
- Vacuum regularly — Microplastic and plastic chemicals are found in most household dust, which can end up being either digested or inhaled. Maintaining your home as dust-free as possible is therefore recommended, especially if you have young children that spend a lot of time on the floor. Ideally, use a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention1 calls antibiotic resistance one of the biggest public health challenges of our time. Conservative estimates find at least 2 million are infected and 23,000 die each year with antibiotic resistant bacteria. When a germ develops the ability to withstand drugs designed to kill them, they become antibiotic-resistant2 and are called superbugs.3
Antibiotic resistance happens naturally as bacteria adapt to drugs. Resistance is helped along by the inappropriate use of medications, such as antibiotics for viral infections4 and their use in agriculture.5,6 The World Health Organization7 warns emerging resistance to antibiotics threatens the ability to treat common infections that may result in prolonged illness, disability and death.
Simple medical procedures may become high risk, which means the cost of health care rises. In what researchers believed was the first national estimate8 of the cost for treating antibiotic-resistant infections, they found a national cost of $2.2 billion in 2014, having doubled since 2002.9
Antibiotic resistance is a worldwide crisis10 with the potential to threaten people at any age.11 One bacterium known to be fatal to the elderly and sick is clostridium difficile, or C. diff. In a recent study it was reported that this12 bacterium has become highly adapted to spreading inside hospitals, and they may have found the reason why.
Bacteria and sugar make a deadly combination
A mild to moderate infection with this bacterium affects the gut, causing watery diarrhea for two to three days and mild abdominal cramping and tenderness.13 A severe infection can trigger diarrhea, fever, kidney failure, dehydration and weight loss.14
The bacteria are now able to take advantage of high sugar diets and resist disinfection commonly used in the hospital. In a recent study15 researchers showed how C. diff can exist for long periods of time on disposable equipment and vinyl surfaces, even after having been cleaned with disinfectant.
In one study published in Nature16 it was reported that C. diff has adapted and diverged, and is close to becoming a new bacterial species. Through a large-scale analysis of 906 cultures taken from humans, animals and the environment17 the researchers sequenced the bacterium’s DNA and were able to demonstrate the evolving formation of a new species18 with a change in metabolism and sporulation.19
The new evolution of C. diff is producing spores more resistant to hospital disinfectants that have the capacity to grow in the presence of glucose and fructose. The researchers found the new species in 70% of hospital patient samples taken for the study.
They also found this new species could colonize mice better when the animals’ diet was supplemented with sugar. Analysis found this emerging species made its first appearance 76,000 years ago and has more recently begun to thrive in hospital settings. Senior author Trevor Lawley commented:20
“Our study provides genome and laboratory-based evidence that human lifestyles can drive bacteria to form new species so they can spread more effectively. We show that strains of C. difficile bacteria have continued to evolve in response to modern diets and healthcare systems and reveal that focusing on diet and looking for new disinfectants could help in the fight against this bacteria.”
C. diff is commonly found in the environment
Another author of the paper, Nitin Kumar, Ph.D., a senior bioinformatician at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, told Popular Science:21 “The study shows how the pathogen C. difficile is evolving in response to the Western sugary diet and common hospital disinfectants.”
A New York Post journalist suggests pudding cups and instant mashed potatoes, common fare at hospitals, may be just the food this superbug is looking for.22 According to Harvard Health, C. diff accounts for up to 3% of bacteria in a normal intestinal flora. Although present, it is usually harmless as good bacteria keep it under control.
It turns out that antibiotics have turned this minor player into a major problem.23 Once antibiotics have disrupted the normal flora in your gut, this allows harmful bacteria to thrive, including C. diff. This in turn triggers diarrhea.24
C. diff forms spores that may get into the environment through those who are infected, when they touch surfaces. When others touch the newly-contaminated surfaces and then touch their mouths, the infection spreads.25
Health care workers may also spread the bacteria when their hands are contaminated. Since antibiotics alter the normal flora found in the intestinal tract, and a large number of patients receive antibiotics in health care settings, this can lead to C. diff outbreaks.
Poop pills may help combat an outbreak
C. diff can trigger a life-threatening condition in those who have been on antibiotics or have a compromised immune system. According to the CDC, there are 500,000 C. diff infections each year resulting in 15,000 deaths.26 One treatment methodology is a stool transplant, which has been used throughout history.
Although new to Western medicine, fecal transplants were described as far back as 1,700 years ago by a Chinese researcher who first used what he called “yellow soup” to treat patients with severe diarrhea.27 In World War II, the stools of camels was used to treat bacterial dysentery in German soldiers.
In 1958, the treatment was described in a report for a patient with antibiotic-associated diarrhea. But it was not until 1978 that the value was recognized in the treatment of C. diff.28 The treatment goes under several different names including fecal biotherapy and fecal floral reconstitution.
In the past, colonoscopies have been the most successful way of introducing fecal matter into patients, but a new poop pill-popping protocol may be less invasive while still offering a life-saving option. In a trial at the University of Alberta,29 researchers compared the administration of fecal matter using a capsule or colonoscopy.
All participants in the study had suffered a minimum of three bouts of C. diff. Both groups showed prevention of recurrent infection in 96.2% of the participants.30 While the colonoscopy was invasive, the patient chosen to swallow pills had to down 40 capsules in one sitting.31
Using poop pills is noninvasive, less expensive, free of risks associated with sedation and may be done in the doctor’s office. It is not, however, a treatment method you should experiment with at home. Even under investigational conditions, mistakes can be made.
In June 2019, the FDA released a statement that two immunocompromised adults had received a transplant that unwittingly transmitted a multidrug-resistant organism. At least one of those patients has died.32
Prevention is still the best medicine
To date, the FDA has not approved fecal transplants and continues to monitor the development as it is essential for a healthy donor to be used.33 Open Biome maintains a list of current studies being done on fecal transplants including those to treat C. diff, inflammatory bowel disease, liver disease, obesity and depression.34
The single most effective means to prevent the spread of infection is through hand washing. The CDC35 recommends cleaning your hands to prevent the spread of germs. However, they find on average health care workers do this less than half the time they should.
In one cross-sectional study36 conducted in Nepal to assess the habits of nurses, nursing students, doctors and medical students, the researchers found a significant difference in hand washing both before and after patient care.
After exposure to instruments, blood or bodily fluid, more than 90% washed their hands. However, on average the participants tended to wash their hands selectively.
A second study of hand washing in six intensive care units revealed a high level of variability in adherence to best practices with a compliance rate ranging from 3% to 100%.37 Take care to use proper handwashing techniques to thoroughly clean your hands and reduce the risk of transmitting disease.
A second preventive strategy includes protecting your gut microbiome from the effects of antibiotics. It is important to take antibiotics only when they’re necessary. You should not use them for viral infections, which may contribute to the development of antibiotic resistance.38
Antibiotics have no effect on viruses and you’ll likely get greater relief by using a combination of natural remedies described in my previous article, “Natural Cold Remedies: What Works, What Doesn’t.”
Support strong gut bacteria for good health
Supporting the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut microbiome may affect your mental and physical health. Sugar is one of the most negative culprits because it contributes to a dysfunctional gut microbiome. A study39 published in January 2019, found that sugars affect a regulator of gut colonization for beneficial bacteria.
In essence, glucose and fructose turn off the expression of a protein regulating gut colonization by beneficial microbes. Sugar disrupts the generation of proteins that foster the growth of beneficial bacteria found in lean, healthy individuals.40
Since gut dysfunction may lead to a system-wide inflammatory response, it is important to address the needs of your gut bacteria consistently. As a general rule, once you start healing your gut, you should start feeling better in a couple of weeks to a few months. Discover several strategies to help you get started in my article, “Healthy Gut, Healthy You: A Personalized Plan to Transform Your Health.”
Natural Products Association (NPA) is the largest and oldest trade group in the natural products space,1 whose stated mission is to be2 “the leading voice of the natural products industry” and “to advocate for the rights of consumers to have access to products that will maintain and improve their health and for the rights of retailers and suppliers to sell these products.”
The NPA founded their certification of personal care products in 20083 to set a standard to determine whether a product could rightfully be called “natural.”4 In their announcement of certification of their 700th product in 2011, the NPA revealed 63 companies had certified 472 products and 233 ingredients with their organization. John Gay, executive director at the time, said:5
“In just over three years, NPA has certified more than 700 products and ingredients under the NPA Natural Seal, helping consumers across the nation find natural products at their favorite stores. Both large and small businesses have earned the coveted Natural Seal.”
According to InFocus Marketing,6 their mailing list of members held 5,548 records on August 25, 2019. However, being the largest and oldest does not necessarily mean being the best.
NPA filing bankruptcy but plans restructuring
On August 19, 2019, in the district of Delaware (of Washington, D.C.),7 the Natural Product Association filed chapter 11 bankruptcy, claiming 49 or fewer creditors with estimated assets and liabilities between $1 million and $10 million. The court documents identified Brent Weickert as the primary creditor with an unsecured claim of $780,179.13. Other creditors included:8
DC Arena, Washington D.C. $498,975.00
Parry and Romani Associates,9 a bipartisan lobbying firm, for $100,000
Attorney Lloyd Oppong from Jackson Lewis P.C.10 $11,736.14
Document Managers Digidoc11 $19,620.00
The Keelen Group, LLC12 lobbyists retained by NPA for $40,00013 to which NPA still owes $8,000
Gula Graham,15 fundraising firm $5,000
The NPA listed an additional 13 creditors, including $280.72 to Comcast for cable services. In a report from Reuters,16 the NPA cited six concurrent years of financial loss and arbitration with their past CFO, Brent Weickert, as the reason for filing chapter 11.
The organization opened in 1936 as the American Health Foods Association, but changed its name in 2006 to the Natural Products Association.17 The lawsuit by Weickert was filed in 2015, in which he charged the NPA and its CEO Dan Fabricant with wrongful termination and creating a hostile workplace.18
He alleges that after discussing his concerns with the NPA’s board of directors about how the office was being run, he was abruptly terminated. After Weickert filed his lawsuit,19 the NPA sued board members20 with whom Weickert had communicated, alleging their private conversations undermined the mission of the organization.
In the suit against the board members, NPA alleges Weickert’s job performance had been called into question. Then, Weickert began his discussions with board members, attempting to have Fabricant removed.
The NPA claims that “despite Weickert’s allegations of financial impropriety,” the organization was “on more secure financial footing” through reformation of their dues structure and the addition of 350 new members since April 2014.21 In the chapter 11 filing, the company listed 20 creditors, including five owed more than $10,000.22
Protecting membership a top priority
In a statement about the expected financial restructure the NPA will undergo to continue to serve their membership, Reuters reported that Fabricant called this time a “breathing spell.” He said the group would shift their focus to advocacy and recruiting new members.23 In a statement following the court filing of chapter 11 papers, a company representative said:24
“The filing is expected to have no impact on day to day operations and the important work the NPA pursues on behalf of its over 1,000 members. We are proud to be the oldest and largest non-profit dedicated to the natural products industry and it will be business as usual as we proceed through the financial restructuring, with no changes to our activities, initiatives or interaction with members and government officials.”
During the second and third quarters of 2018, the trade association added 29 new members, including Baxco Pharmaceutical, Biosil Technologies, U.S. Food Manufacturing, Wasserman & Associates and Zade Global.25
Following the recent warning from Amazon that it may have sold fake supplements, the NPA and Fabricant insinuated Amazon could have avoided this situation completely, saying:26
“We met with Amazon over a year ago to encourage their participation in the Supplement Safety and Compliance Initiative, to play a role, industry-wide to establish a system of continuous improvement, that manufacturers and distributors must meet or exceed to be accepted in major retailers.
We’re confident that NPA membership and all of the benefits and information that comes with it could offer Amazon a more streamlined approach to handling bad actors.”
What about genetically engineered ingredients?
According to the NPA natural standard, products must be “based on natural ingredients, safety, responsibility and sustainability.”27 Products under their personal care seal must be made from renewable resources without petroleum compounds. The definitions for natural, safe, responsible and sustainable from their website are:28
“Natural Ingredients — A product labeled ‘natural’ should be made up of only, or at least almost only, natural ingredients and be manufactured with appropriate processes to maintain ingredient purity.
Safety — A product labeled ‘natural’ should avoid any ingredient with a suspected human health risk.
Responsibility — A product labeled ‘natural’ should use no animal testing in its development.
Sustainability — A product labeled ‘natural’ should use biodegradable ingredients and the most environmentally sensitive packaging.”
To assist manufacturers, the NPA published a standard for certification,29 outlining ingredients that are allowed and prohibited as well as other requirements. Some of those requirements include allowing all substances listed as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA, requiring companies to avoid animal testing and requiring they use recyclable and post-consumer recycled content in their packaging.
However, at no point in the 10-page description30 of what is and is not allowed do they address the issue of genetically engineered or modified ingredients. Based on their standards, a product may receive the NPA’s natural certification for personal care products and still have 100% GE ingredients as long as they come from renewable sources and do not contain petroleum products.
This is not a factor the NPA overlooked accidentally in their certification process. In November 2012, California placed Proposition 3731 on a ballot, which would have required labeling of foods made from genetically modified plants or animals and prohibited them marked as “natural.” The initiative failed by a short margin.
Although labeling GE products would benefit consumers, the NPA did not support Proposition 37. John Shaw, CEO of NPA at the time, stated the association did not support state-by-state GE labeling efforts.32 Speaking at the Supply Side West trade show in November 2012, Shaw said proposals in other states for GMO labeling, also prohibiting them marked as natural, would be bad news.33
Is it natural or organic?
Many find labeling between natural products and organic products to be confusing. With little regulation around the term “natural,” manufacturers have found that using the term increases sales without needing to adhere to regulations.
A team of researchers34 from Europe analyzed studies on consumer preferences for product “naturalness,” finding this to be important to consumers. The implications for the food industry are significant as the FDA does not currently regulate the term.
In a survey by Consumer Reports,35 similar results were found. Urvashi Rangen, Ph.D., commented that most consumers appear to believe the term “natural” means more than it does, and when they purchase foods labeled as natural, many think they’re getting the same benefits as those labeled organic. Consumer Reports calls the term “natural,” organic’s imposter.
In late 2015, the FDA requested comments on the use of the term “natural” in food labeling, specifically asking if it was appropriate to define the term and if so, how it should be defined.36 The comment period closed May 10, 2016, after receiving 4,148 responses. Many of those were derogatory in characterization of why the question was being asked in the first place.37
While the FDA struggles with the term “natural,” the U.S. Department of Agriculture38 established a final rule on the definition for “organic” and created the National Organic Program to facilitate products meeting consistent and uniform standards. There is a definite difference between what is natural and what is organic, and NPA is well aware of the definition.
In November 2015, following the FDA’s request for commentary on the term “natural,” NPA announced their support for the term “organic” as meaning non-GMO and they would seek a multitiered approach to what natural may mean in food and product labeling.39
At the same time, representatives from NPA say they support a consumer’s right to be informed of the components in their food and dietary supplements, including GMO-labeling, and that they encourage voluntary labeling while opposing any private enforcement.40 But, while they say they support voluntary labeling, NPA has not yet determined to include this factor in their own certification standards.
Product labeling is important to your decision making
It appears the NPA is splitting hairs, knowing most have difficulty distinguishing the difference between natural and organic, believing natural products may in fact be free of genetically altered sources. Genetically modified organisms have had their genetic material altered using engineering methods to produce something that does not occur in nature.41
Genetically modified foods were initially introduced with purported advantages such as plants developed to resist drought, or those that require significantly less pesticide while purportedly offering increased yields. The EPA refers to GMO foods as having “plant incorporated protectants,” or pesticide substances produced inside the cells after genetic material has been implanted in the seed.42
This means pesticide material is not only applied to the outside of the plant, where it may potentially be washed away, but that it also develops inside the plant where it cannot be removed. Health risks associated with these foods have not been clearly identified and little research has been done relative to the amount of genetically altered food injected into the food supply.43
Glyphosate is one herbicide genetically altered seed is bred to withstand. However, genetically modified tolerant crops have led to an increased use of chemicals to kill weeds that have developed resistance.44 The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the World Health Organization, reclassified glyphosate as probably carcinogenic in 2015.45
The Organic & Natural Health Association46 was developed with the mission of bringing together consumers and corporations to align with regenerative systems in the support of people and the planet. This organization is a product of the growing need for identification and research into healthy food sources.
Their primary guiding principle is transparency, which their members must pledge to maintain throughout the supply chain in the manufacture of their products.47 The organization maintains two areas of research: quality testing48 and nutrient field trials,49 which are performed in partnership with GrassrootsHealth and HRI labs.
The organization is open to consumers, where you may consider helping to make a difference in the quality of food entering the food chain and products used at home. Consider becoming a member50 and supporting an organization that publishes their member directory and whose vision it is to develop a world honoring Earth’s resources and recognizing our shared global future.51
An interesting interview by Laura Eisenhower of Stewart Swerdlow who claims he is the last living survivor of the Montauk Project. While I don’t personally agree with all his opinions on Q, aliens (all demonic) or reincarnation (you only live once) it’s an interesting interview nonetheless. I won’t believe Trump is making the 5G harmless unless I see the 5 year rat studies for myself either! None of us agree with everything anybody says because we are all unique and each one of us has figured out some aspects of the true reality we live in.
Nobody has all the answers except God ultimately. I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers. We have to pray for God to give us wisdom to learn the truth for ourselves. I won’t believe anybody who says the “Blue Avians” or other “aliens” are my friends unless God himself lights up a burning bush and tells me so! Until this happens I will strongly disagree with anybody who says there are any “good” aliens. Joe Jordan (MUFON) has dozens of witnesses who say alien abduction stop in the name of Jesus! Even some of the whistleblowers in the 20 and back secret space program said “aliens” asked them for permission to take them! This is because these aliens are demons and you have free will! All I really need to know is God and Jesus are real and are our only hope. If we stray from God’s Word and believe aliens are here to save us we’re in real trouble!
While I wish Q was true, I will believe Q is real when I see people like Hillary in jail and not until then. He’s certainly an interesting character as is the Montauk Project legend. Swerdlow claims he was one of the “Montauk Boys” which were put under mind control and that less than 1% survived. This interview is far more entertaining than watching the Federal Reserve puppets on Fox News, that’s for sure! I enjoyed the talk about infinite alternate timelines and how the Mandela Effect is bleed through between timelines. Interesting!
I’m posting this x22 video mainly for one reason… he points out the appearance of Q in a satellite image of the rocket explosion in Iran (which DJT Tweeted out) (image in upper left of this post). There is more discussion in the accompanying x22Report article, which some might enjoy exploring.
Published on September 3, 2019
- Rep Omar is feeling the heat.
- Trump knew about the spying back in 2017, he knew the deep state was up to something.
- Lindsey Graham want the entire FISA process transparent so the people can see it all.
- Trump tweeted the people a message, message received, patriots are in control.
All source links to the report can be found on the x22report.com site. (link for this article).
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