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Announcing The Natural Color Coalition

natural color coalition

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2018 was a great year for the fight against artificial dyes. We saw many stores ban products using them and other companies pledge to remove artificial dyes in favor of naturally derived colors. To encourage this movement CFH has launched the Natural Color Coalition to show brands there remains a growing public demand for only natural colors.

With this initiative we are trying a new, positive messaging approach. The negative side-effects of artificial dyes are well-documented and available online with a simple search. But we realized that this has been an ongoing debate throughout the food manufacturing, FDA and public opinion arenas since the 1950’s (earlier, depending on who you ask). The usual strategy – boycotts, petitions demanding action, and articles showing the negative effects – has begun to fall on deaf ears. So our new approach is to show manufacturers that there is still a growing demand for the change, but also that we now have alternatives we can purchase until they make this change. We feature those on the Good Guys pages at www.naturalcolorcoalition.com.

color me with love contest
Color Me with Love

We have also launched a Petition on Change.org to gather signatures as demonstrative proof of this movement towards using only natural colors. To support this petition further we are launching the Color Me with Love video contest which we will deliver to the top-ranking brands from the winning selection, along with the petition signatures. The contest will focus on the public making a 30- to 58-second video message “Love Letter” to their favorite product saying how much better it would be with natural color. Sticking with the positive messaging strategy all submissions must be positive, humorous, ironic or just plain funny. The Contest runs Feb 12 – March 15, 2019, and the winners will be announced March 20, 2019. First Prize is a Surface Pro 6, Second Prize is a $500 Gift Card. FOUR third prize winners will be selected and each will receive a Google Home hub. For more info: www.naturalcolorcoalition.com/contest.

color me with love

Please support these new initiatives by visiting www.naturalcolorcoalition.com. Sign the petition and enter the contest – there is no fee to enter. Our social media for this campaign also provides a good deal of useful information such as products made without artificial dyes, as well as recipes, so check out the social media channels as well.

The Bonvie Blog: Monosodium Glutamate, or MSG

Here’s the best New Year’s resolution you can make

BY LINDA BONVIE

If you made a New Year’s resolution, probably by now the enthusiasm in following this self-improvement ritual has slowly faded into the humdrum of daily life.

But I’m here to help revitalize things. It’s not too late to make one of the best New Year’s resolutions of all. In fact, this idea is one that will benefit the entire family – young, old and in-between.

I’ll cut right to the advantages: Putting this resolve into action can significantly improve your health, especially protect the youngest – and oldest – members of your family from brain damage, get some nasty carcinogens out of your diet, protect your heart and eyes, and help you keep your weight under control. Actually, that’s just the tantalizing top five of the pluses this resolution has to offer.

So, you’re probably wondering what this magic, life-altering secret of staying healthy could be? Well, here it is: Simply keep as much processed free glutamic acid out of your diet as you possibly can.

Not sure what processed free glutamic acid is? Hint — it commonly goes by the acronym “MSG,” a sort of food-additive slang to stand for toxic ingredients added to processed foods to zip up the flavor. But here’s the most frustrating part – while plenty of folks are checking food labels so they can avoid MSG, they won’t find it listed. Sure, monosodium glutamate is required by the FDA to be labeled, but this problem extends way beyond that sole ingredient to over 40 different additives that are routinely dumped into everything from infant formula, to meals for invalids, to protein drinks, to everyday foods literally ranging from soup to nuts.

Industry hype gets hyperactive

During the past year I’ve been noticing a widespread media campaign on all levels, much of which is disseminated by the “International Glutamate (dis)Information Service” that’s laser- focused on convincing you that MSG is totally harmless… and, unbelievably, even beneficial!

This propaganda, appearing on Facebook, in the news, and flowing from press releases, is stunningly similar to a campaign several years ago created and funded by the Corn Refiners Association to try and salvage the image of high fructose corn syrup. The main goal in that marketing mission was twofold: (1) present as gospel-truth “facts” about HFCS that trashed years of scientific findings as to the danger of ingesting free (unbound) fructose, and (2) make anyone who attempted to tell family or friends about the health risks of HFCS seem like a nitwit who doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

Thankfully, the many millions put into that effort by the CRA wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on. Consumers know by now that HFCS is bad news. And food manufacturers know that consumers know.

But with MSG, the situation is a bit more tricky. The monetary stakes are higher, the products that contain processed free glutamic acid are much more numerous, and industry has the full and unbridled support of the FDA.

And it seems that when it comes to “proving” their point, anything goes.

Take, for example, a “study” that came out last year from none other than the prestigious Harvard Medical School and its affiliated hospital, the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Apparently the goal of this absurdity was to generate cool headlines such as “Monosodium glutamate could actually be key to healthy eating.” Yep, that must have been it, as the study wasn’t much to write home about, let alone write a news story about.

It went like this: 35 women wore special glasses that tracked their eye movements as they walked around a buffet table. Half the group had eaten an MSG-spiked soup beforehand, and those women had “more focused gazes during the meal,” and chose foods with “less saturated fats.”

Of course, you could say that’s just plain silly, who would believe such drivel? But the glutamate industry (yes, there is a glutamate industry) has a lot more up its sleeve. And one thing that will help you to avoid being conned by its disinformation is to keep the following six big fat lies you’re going to hear in mind, courtesy of our friends at the Truth in Labeling Campaign:

#1: The glutamate contained in MSG is identical to the glutamate in the human body.

#2: MSG is very well researched and found to be safe.

#3: It must be safe, since the FDA has said so.

#4: MSG has been used for over a century without adverse reactions.

#5: MSG is naturally made, similar to yogurt, vinegar and wine.

#6: Monosodium glutamate occurs naturally in food.

Also remember that it’s not just “some” people who need to dodge these noxious additives. Those who suffer reactions are indeed reacting to a toxic substance, not having an allergy attack, such as a sensitive person would to nuts or milk. The effects of MSG can range from migraines, asthma, skin rashes, irritable bowel, seizures and heart irregularities such as A-fib.

And as for all those names, the aliases that processed free glutamic acid hides under, I’ve listed the top ten below. For the full story, the best place to look is to health freedom fighters, Truth in Labeling Campaign (TLC). (The folks at TLC are excited to unveil a new website this Spring and to continue to update and add to the valuable information and resources we’ve come to expect from these critical allies.)

It would be bad enough if what we were being told by industry and its shills were just half truths. But these are flat-out lies, being told for the purpose of keeping the “glutes,” as TLC calls them, doing business as usual and continuing to poison our food while telling us everything is A-OK.

As Citizens for Health President and Board Chair Jim Turner once remarked about aspartame, another neurotoxic food additive: “The brain you save may be your own.”

Top ten names of ingredients that always contain processed free glutamic acid (Courtesy of the Truth in Labeling Campaign)

  1. Autolyzed yeast
  2. Soy protein
  3. Any “hydrolyzed” protein
  4. Whey protein isolate
  5. Yeast extract
  6. Sodium and calcium caseinate
  7. Textured protein
  8. Anything containing “enzymes”
  9. Soy sauce
  10. Monosodium glutamate (E# 621)

Linda and Bill Bonvie are regular bloggers for Citizens for Health and the co-authors of Badditives: The 13 Most Harmful Food Additives in Your Diet – and How to Avoid Them.

The Bonvie Blog: Flu Vaccination

The flu vaccination: a shot in the dark that misses by a mile

By LINDA BONVIE

By now the flu-shot propaganda machine is in full swing.

The truth is we can’t go anywhere after summer folds its tent without being bombarded with a pitch to get one of these jabs.

So, should you?

Will that needle poke be the extra insurance you need to stay flu-free throughout the holiday season and the winter months ahead?

Before you run out for that shot, however, there are some things you should know – a bit of flu vaccine history that you won’t be hearing from the CDC, the CVS, your local health department and most especially Big Pharma.

To listen to CDC experts talk about it, skipping your yearly influenza vaccine is as risky as crossing the Grand Canyon on a tightrope. And if you’re pregnant, or a bit on the older side, it’s even more dangerous to go flu-shot-free!

But where, exactly, is the “proof” that this mass campaign to get everyone inoculated is keeping us healthy? That’s what a pair of professors – pro-vaccine pediatricians, no less – at the University of Rochester wanted to find out.

Drs. Eric Biondi, and Andrew Aligne (who is also the Director of the Hoekelman Center at the University), took a good long look at the record of flu vaccines over the past century. And what they found is more than enough to give you reason to pause before you roll up your sleeve.

The proof goes ‘poof’

You wouldn’t know it by the big flu-shot push that revs up every year, but the fact that there’s no real proof to support this extensive (and expensive) campaign is out there in peer-reviewed and published data… much of it straight from the CDC itself.

As Drs. Biondi and Aligne relate the facts, in 1960, for the very first time, annual flu shots were recommended by federal health authorities. That was despite having over a decade (starting in the late 1940s) of experience that hadn’t produced a shred of evidence showing that vaccinating the general public for the flu was keeping people healthy or saving lives.

That ‘flu shots for all’ mandate came on the heels of the 1957 Asian flu pandemic, in which millions of doses of vaccines were given in the U.S. – later found to have “no appreciable effect” in stemming the tide of illness or death. The theory back then was that the immunization campaign’s failure was simply a case of “too little, too late.” If more people were vaccinated in a timely way, the idea went, then the shot would surely work better.

But that plan also turned out to be a dud.flu

In 1964 the head epidemiologist at the CDC published a paper in which he “reluctantly concluded that there is little progress to be reported.” Should widespread influenza shots “be continued without better evidence” to justify the cost, he asked?

A few years later in 1968 CDC officials decided to look at the effectiveness of flu vaccines with a gold-standard, randomized double-blind trial. The goal was to find out if all these vaccines now being given out to Americans were indeed saving lives. And, as they wrote, “despite extensive use…” that promise “has never been demonstrated.”

But it was the 1976 “Swine Flu Fiasco” (as it was dubbed by The New York Times), that should have been the swan song for the widespread public acceptance of a yearly flu jab.

Not only didn’t a pandemic materialize, but the shot to prevent it appeared to trigger an epidemic of the paralyzing vaccine side effect known as Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), in which the body attacks its own nerves. (Interestingly, before Pharma would release any vials of flu vaccine that year it demanded that the feds protect drug makers against any claims of adverse reactions from the shots – what’s known today as the Office of Special Masters of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (a.k.a. the “vaccine injury court”).

Another big analysis by the CDC a year later determined that flu-outbreak control had been “generally ineffective.” And in 1995 the FDA took a stab at validating all the hoopla over influenza vaccination. It concluded that there is a “paucity of randomized trials,” and of the existing research, the agency found “serious methodological flaws in many existing flu-vaccine studies.”

Okay, so that was then – the dark ages of medical knowledge. In the more recent past scientists learned how to make a better flu shot, right?

Well, apparently not.

A CDC placebo-controlled trial in 2000 couldn’t find a benefit “in most years” for a shot versus good old placebo. In 2005 the authors of a 33-season study discovered that despite the fact that shots given to seniors had quadrupled, the estimated death rate was “probably very close to what would have occurred had no vaccine been available.”

But it’s obvious that, proof or no proof, not only is this yearly ritual firmly entrenched in mainstream healthcare practices, but any professional who dares to question it is taking a big chance.

Last year, for example, Dr. Daniel Neides, then medical director and chief operating officer of the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute was accused of “fear mongering” and spreading “dangerous information” when he mentioned in his blog that some flu vaccines contain mercury and formaldehyde, which can add up to a “constant toxic burden.”

Needless to say, Dr. Neides is no longer with that organization.

Of course, you could argue that even a smidgen of protection is worthwhile, but that’s another flu-shot theory that doesn’t hold water considering the risks involved, which range from agonizing shoulder pain known as SIRVA (shoulder injuries related to vaccine administration), to allergic reactions, headache, fever and nausea (the last three considered “common side effects” by the CDC).

And along with the “toxic burden” Dr. Neides referred to, you should know that there are more settlements out of the vaccine injury court for flu shots than any other inoculation, with the most reported one being for GBS.

Certainly having the flu is no walk in the park, and yes, it can result in serious, even deadly, complications in some people.

All of which is why keeping your body well-equipped to fight it with proper sleeping habits, a daily dose of vitamin D – along with other immune-boosting supplements, nutrient-dense foods, and frequent hand washing – will do more to keep you flu-free than anything Big Pharma has yet to offer up.


Linda and Bill Bonvie are regular bloggers for Citizens for Health and the co-authors of Badditives: The 13 Most Harmful Food Additives in Your Diet – and How to Avoid Them.

5G Media Advisory: Call to Substantiate Claims of “Safety”

UPDATE: Watch Senator Blumenthal’s press conference on the dangers of 5G: View it here.

As the Senator notes, despite the FCC’s assurances that 5G is “safe,” “We need evidence.” And classified evidence is NOT enough.

CFH and NISLAPP believe the available scientific evidence: The impact will be harmful. “We do not know it is safe” is very different than “It will be harmful and people need to be warned and protected.”

Media Advisory

Senator Blumenthal and Congresswoman Eshoo Press FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr to Disclose Evidence of ‘5G Safety’

Washington, D. C., December 3, 2018:  The National Institute for Science, Law & Public Policy (NISLAPP) applauds Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) for pressing FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, Esq. (Link downloads PDF file) to provide documentation substantiating the Commissioner’s remarks defending ‘5G safety’.

NISLAPP seconds this request.  

Jim Turner, Esq., President of NISLAPP, says:

“NISLAPP considers it a mistake to place new high-frequency radiating antennas in local communities, in very close proximity to homes, office and schools, when no pre-market health testing at scale has been conducted on the effects of the radiation emitted, to our knowledge, and when much safer hard-wired internet access technologies are readily available. We strongly support Senator Blumenthal and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo’s request of FCC Commissioner Carr to provide the documentation evidencing the FCC’s ‘safety determination for 5G’, along with the supporting scientific citations used in making that determination.”

The formal request to Commissioner Carr requesting these documents was announced at a press conference this morning in Hartford. In the letter, (Link downloads PDF file) Blumenthal and Eshoo explained that recently, in a Senate Committee field hearing in South Dakota regarding 5G, Mayor Paul TenHaken of Sioux Falls, SD was looking for “clear direction, talking points, studies that have been done that show that there is no harm to our constituents and to the taxpayers on putting these small cells on towers close to libraries, close to schools, close to their homes.” And that Commissioner Carr responded at the time, saying, “Federal law actually says that state and local governments can’t take [radiofrequency] concerns into account given how much work has gone into this issue at the federal level…Both at the FCC and other expert health agencies in Washington, they stay very much up to speed on these issues and have reached the determination that these are safe.”

Following this exchange, Senator Blumenthal and Congresswoman Eshoo are presently calling on FCC Commissioner Carr to send the following documentation to his office:

  1. The 5G safety determination from FCC and other relevant health agencies to which Commissioner Carr referred during the field hearing.
  2. Current citations for the studies informing that safety determination.

They said his own constituents have similar concerns about 5G, and that they want to provide them with accurate information.5G

Senator Blumenthal and Congresswoman Eshoo said we “are interested in acquainting ourselves with the latest studies evaluating the health effects of high-band frequencies and modulations that would be used in 5G networks.” They noted, “Most of our current regulations regarding radiofrequency safety were adopted in 1996 and have not yet been updated for next generation equipment and devices.” They also mentioned the large U.S. government-funded study by the National Toxicology Program, published this year, using earlier generation technologies (2G and 3G), showed a link between radiofrequency radiation and cancer.

Blumenthal and Eshoo added, “Carriers will also need updated guidelines governing the authorization of devices to be used with 5G,” and “We also believe it is critical for the FCC to act on its March 27, 2013 Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Inquiry to ensure all individuals, and especially those working in close proximity to the hundreds of thousands of small cell facilities to be deployed, are protected from any kind of excess radiofrequency radiation.”

The Communications Workers of America was present at the press conference, as was science writer and expert in electromagnetic fields, B. Blake Levitt. See Levitt’s remarks. (Link downloads PDF file).

The National Institute for Science, Law and Public Policy considers Senator Blumenthal and Congresswoman Eshoo’s line of inquiry about the extent of safety evaluations of next generation 5G radiation to be critically important. Camilla Rees, Senior Policy Advisor to NISLAPP, says, “All Members of Congress, as well as state and local government officials, might consider asking similar questions about the new, different and dangerous fifth generation radiofrequency technologies that the telecom industry intends to deploy widely within our living environments, and about which scientists around the world are warning. (Link downloads PDF file).

International scientists in many countries are calling for a moratorium on 5G until the potential hazards are fully investigated.

Additional Warnings about Radiofrequency (RF) and 5G Health Effects from Scientists

Beatrice Golumb, MD, PhD (Link downloads PDF file), Professor of Medicine, UC San Diego

Martin Pall, PhD (Link downloads PDF file), Professor Emeritus, Washington State University

170 Review Studies on RF Biological Effects prepared by Martin Pall, PhD

NISLAPP Paper Explains the Far Better Alternative to 5G ‘Antenna Densification’

“Re-Inventing Wires: The Future of Landlines and Networks” by Timothy Schoechle, PhD: http://electromagnetichealth.org/electromagnetic-health-blog/wires-long-press-release/

We recommend Members of Congress and state and local government officials seriously evaluate safer alternatives to ‘antenna densification’ and the many angles (Link downloads PDF file) from which 5G distributed antennas are a very serious mistake for the United States.

Levitt – 5G Information Sites for Media (Link downloads PDF file).


Contact:

Jim Turner, Esq., President

National Institute for Science, Law & Public Policy

jim@swankin-turner.com

(202) 255-8040

Camilla Rees, MBA, Senior Policy Advisor

National Institute for Science, Law & Public Policy

crgr@aol.com

917-359-8450

Martin Pall, PhD, Scientific Advisor

National Institute for Science, Law & Public Policy

martin_pall@wsu.edu

(503) 232-3883

Timothy Schoechle, PhD, Senior Research Fellow

National Institute for Science, Law & Public Policy

timothy@schoechle.org

(303) 443-5490 (or Tues/Wed only: 303-818-8760)

 

The Bonvie Blog: Lectin

Have a happy lectin-, gluten-, additive-free Thanksgiving!

By LINDA BONVIE

Let me start by saying that consuming unadulterated food has become increasingly challenging. And as we enter the “eating season” that begins with Thanksgiving, complications can heat up at a rapid pace.

If you’re not careful, a “traditional” Thanksgiving meal can easily become a “chemical feast,” to borrow the title of CFH Chairman Jim Turner’s classic book.chemical feast

Starting with the canned cranberry sauce, which typically contains high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), to the stuffing – loaded with bad oils, MSG and more HFCS – right down to the pumpkin pie, with even more HFCS, genetically-modified ingredients and partially hydrogenated oil in the crust, most Thanksgiving spreads contain more laboratory concoctions than they contain real food.

Even the main event – the turkey – can be a chemically pickled piece of poultry.

Any “self-basting” or “deep basted” bird typically comes loaded with enough added ingredients to preserve it until next Thanksgiving!

But I’m here to make things even more complex for you. That’s right, there are other food matters you may want to consider as you do your shopping for this big day of eating – specifically the hazards of lectin.

‘Plant Predators’

In his top-selling 2017 book, The Plant Paradox, cardiologist Dr. Steven Gundry puts more food restrictions on the table with his theory that lectin, a “common and highly toxic” plant-based protein (which includes gluten), when ingested causes “warfare in our bodies.”

You know all those “healthy” fruits, veggies and grains you’ve been instructed to heap on your plate? Well, according to Dr. Gundry, they’re not “just sitting there accepting their fate as part of your dinner.” These seemingly innocent produce products are taking revenge on us, defending themselves with the use of “toxic chemicals.”

Now, Dr. Gundry isn’t against all of nature’s bounty, saying that eating certain plants is “essential for good health,” and supplies most of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants needed to stay well. He also provides tips on how to make many fruits and veggies less “toxic” (some of which I’ll share with you in a minute), as well as selling a supplement called “Lectin Shield,” designed to block dietary lectins.

The entire idea of being lectin leery, does, of course, have its detractors. The Washington Post called it the “latest pseudoscience diet fad.”

But as a writer and researcher who has focused mainly on the man-made hazards added to foods and beverages, I know that just because something is labeled as natural and untainted by human hands, it doesn’t automatically mean it’s good for you.

And his concept that these noxious proteins are “designed by nature to protect” plants does make sense. I’m sure you’ve had the experience of eating a totally “healthy,” carefully prepared meal only to feel really crappy afterwards. Could the reason be it contained high concentrations of lectin? Maybe.

Dr. Gundry even calls humans “plant predators” – in the same category as the deer who graze in my backyard or the caterpillars who consumed every bit of my garden parsley.

To be sure, there’s a lot more to The Plant Paradox than simply crossing certain high-lectin foods off your shopping list. But if you want to give his basic theory a try, here are some tips from his book to lower lectin levels in your food:

  • Try to eliminate as many fruits and veggies as possible that contain lots of seeds, such as cucumbers, tomatoes and squash, from your diet.lectin
  • Peel your vegetables, as lectins are concentrated in the peels, and seeds of plants.
  • Only buy produce in season, at the “peak of ripeness.”
  • Ditch the whole grains and seeds with hard outer coatings, which “are designed by nature to cause digestive distress.” That includes swapping brown rice with white.

For Thanksgiving, these lectin restrictions would mean nixing the pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, your treasured family recipes for rolls, corn muffins, the green-bean casserole, and even wild rice.

Turkey and all other poultry, according to Dr. Gundry, must be pasture-raised, which is considerably different from just being “free-range.” Grass-fed beef, bison, boar, elk and venison, can also make the grade for your feast, along with plenty of wild-caught seafood and shellfish.

If it sounds like there’s not much left to serve on the side, there’s actually quite a bit, including lots of lettuces, turnips, sea vegetables, parsnips, millet and sweet potatoes – the only potato that makes his “yes please” list.

Actually, I could see this low-lectin feast idea going viral, perhaps with Martha Stewart coming out with a recipe guide on how to prepare some of the more obscure “approved” foods – such as nopales cactus, taro root, sorghum, grouse and pheasant.

And that sounds a whole lot better than some other Thanksgiving ideas from Martha’s collection, most especially the roast capon (with fig-and-pancetta stuffing, no less) – which, put more bluntly, is a castrated rooster!

Of course there’s still a big Thanksgiving dilemma left to solve. And that’s to try and keep the dinner table conversation equally easy to digest!


Linda and Bill Bonvie are regular bloggers for Citizens for Health and the co-authors of Badditives: The 13 Most Harmful Food Additives in Your Diet – and How to Avoid Them.

The Bonvie Blog: The Labeling Trick Only the FDA Could Pull Off

The Labeling Trick Only the FDA Could Pull Off

By LINDA and BILL BONVIE

Ready or not, Halloween is coming around again.

For many, it’s a fun holiday that opens the magic portal to the holiday season. But for others, not so much!

In the UK a recent poll found that 45 percent of Brits consider trick-or-treating an “unwelcome American cultural import.”

No matter how you feel about it, however, like everything else these days Halloween comes with a wide variety of rules and restrictions. That’s right – it’s not the happy-go-lucky boo-fest of years gone by anymore.

For example:

  • In the LA suburb of Walnut, Calif., wearing a “mask or disguise on a public street” is an unlawful activity.
  • If you live in Alabama, dressing up like a minister, nun, priest or any “other member of the clergy” can land you in the county jail forking over up to $500. (So much for that flying nun costume.)
  • Trick-or-treating over the age of 12 is forbidden in Newport News, Va. And even if you’re young enough to walk the streets as a ghost or goblin, you better get home before 8 p.m. or you could be charged with a Class 4 misdemeanor.

But here’s where some rules could really make a difference, and help in your search to find treats to give out to your visiting ghouls and ghosts.

The labeling lingo that’s worse than nothinglabeling

As you probably know by now the FDA’s big makeover of the Nutrition Facts Label (or NFL) – something that had been in the works for ages – was finally rolled out a little over two years ago.

Basically, this “new and improved” method to help consumers more easily select healthy processed foods is a slap in the face to science. But the top travesty of all can be found in the section that tallies up the “sugars” content – most especially the part called “added sugars.”

In that category, every type of caloric sweetener, healthy or otherwise, is considered to be nutritionally the same. Sucrose (a.k.a. sugar of all varieties), fructose, high fructose corn syrup, molasses, maple syrup, honey, and more, are all lumped together and measured in grams on the same line.

In fact, Citizens for Health filed a petition with the FDA over four years ago asking the agency to include not only the name of the added “sugar,” but the amount of processed fructose contained in HFCS, which can range from 42 to a whopping 90 percent.

And recently, the name “glucose-fructose syrup” has been popping up on ingredient labels. What is it? Nothing more than another way to say high fructose corn syrup.

The Corn Refiners have been trying to get away with spiking the fructose content of their laboratory sweetener and changing its name for years. And it looks like they may be succeeding on both counts.

So what does this mean when it comes to picking out Halloween treats?

Well, if you go by the FDA’s fancy new labeling, it could result in not knowing the difference between what’s a good choice and an absolutely frightening one.  

So, here’s what you need to do: Skip the nutrition facts label altogether and go directly to the actual ingredients listing instead. Candy certainly isn’t a health food by any means, but there are plenty of treats on the market that won’t break the bank and contain ingredients that you can feel good about handing out to the neighborhood witches and wizards.

And remember, avoiding HFCS isn’t just something you want to do on Halloween. Time and time again research has found this laboratory sweetener is linked to high cholesterol and triglycerides, obesity, and an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.

And that’s about as scary as it gets.


Linda and Bill Bonvie are regular bloggers for Citizens for Health and the co-authors of Badditives: The 13 Most Harmful Food Additives in Your Diet – and How to Avoid Them.

The Bonvie Blog: FDA Bans Carcinogenic Additives

FDA bans seven cancer-causing food additives. How many more are out there?

After a 30-year hiatus the Delaney Clause makes a return appearance

By LINDA BONVIE

Late last week the FDA announced the ban of seven food additives known to cause cancer.

These consist of a group of tongue-twisting chemicals such as synthetically derived benzophenone, eugenyl methyl ether and one called pulegone. They’re added to beverages, bakery products, cereals, candy, gum and ice cream for a taste of cinnamon and peppermint, a twist of citrus or even the flavor of roasted onions.

These fake flavorings have been used since the 1960s – and they can still be quite legally added for the next two years. Don’t bother checking labels for them, however, as they all fall under the category of “artificial flavors.”

The FDA’s decision to ban them was due to a petition submitted to the agency – as well as a subsequent lawsuit — from 10 public interest organizations, including the Consumers Union, Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

But in a food supply filled to the brim with a mad scientist’s array of extremely dangerous additives (MSG, HFCS and aspartame, to name just three), why was this bunch given the boot? It’s especially intriguing since the FDA said in announcing its decision that the seven “do not pose a risk to public health.”

In an oddly logical turn of regulatory reasoning — despite the agency’s steadfast opinion that these additives are as “low risk” as can be — it said they were being revoked “as a matter of law.”

That law is the Delaney Clause. Added to the Federal Food Drug, and Cosmetic Act in 1958, it states that “no additive shall be deemed to be safe if it is found to induce cancer when ingested by man or animal…”

If you’re not familiar with Delaney it could be because it hasn’t made an appearance since cell phones were as big as a brick, around the late 1980s. And by applying the literal meaning of the law, instead of brushing it aside with what’s known as the “de minimis exception” (which is described as a “trivial” hazard, a lifetime cancer risk less than one-in-a-million), it appears that seven unnecessary and risky food additives will bite the dust at some point in the future.

Of course, the Delaney Clause has been nitpicked for decades as being overly cautious and outdated. And then there’s the argument that we know so much more about what causes cancer these days than we did back in the 1950s.

But that’s not entirely true.

While our medical knowledge bank may have increased since then, still, no one can say with certainty that there’s a magic level at which a carcinogen is somehow safe to consume – especially where kids are concerned.

And anyone who claims they know otherwise is simply making a wild guess.

Remember, these seven chemicals have been hiding in the food supply for decades under the guise of “flavorings.” And there are untold numbers more.

As the Environmental Working Group’s nutritionist Dawn Undurraga says, while this is a “positive step forward,” until the FDA mandates that manufacturers give consumers complete “ingredient disclosure,” we can’t make our own “fully informed decisions” about the foods we buy.

According to the EWG, one of every seven conventional (not organic) food ingredient labels lists “artificial” flavorings, with “natural” flavors being even more popular. And both names will tell you absolutely nothing about what those ingredients may consist of.

It’s a loophole that food manufacturers love. But as for consumers, the only safeguard we have right now is to reject every single product made with these secret ingredients.


Linda and Bill Bonvie are regular bloggers for Citizens for Health and the co-authors of Badditives: The 13 Most Harmful Food Additives in Your Diet – and How to Avoid Them.

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Homeopathy: Preserve Your Health Freedom

It is critical to remain vigilant in order to rebuff efforts to curtail our health freedom. While threats to this freedom are nothing new, we alerted you in June to a very specific threat to homeopathy. The FDA is seeking the authority to ban all homeopathic remedies which are already accepted into the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States. CFH is allied with another consumer-based organization, Americans for Homeopathy Choice (AHC), in an effort to respond to the FDA thoughtfully and proactively. We need you, the consumer voice of the natural health movement, to tell the FDA that we want access to homeopathic services and treatments as part of a full slate of options for maintaining health and wellness.  The FDA can be responsive to what consumers demand, so please share this information with clients, friends and fellow health freedom fighters. Read on for more from AHC.

homeopathy

This is a major announcement and we ask everyone to act ASAP. There are 4 very specific things we need you to do:

    1. Read our Citizen Petition here.
    2. Write a comment to the FDA in support of this petition.  It’s better if you do this in your own words, so we have provided you with an outline to carry this out.  If you can’t write your own, we’d still prefer that you submit something, so we did provide a form letter you can copy/paste and make minor edits.
    3. Send your Representative and Senators two separate messages. First, send them a copy of that letter you wrote the FDA. Then send them a second message using our form letter. Double-dipping like this gets more messages to Capitol Hill, and that way we can really get their attention!
    4. Then spread the word far and wide with anyone concerned about limits to health freedom. Please share on Facebook and any other social media platforms you use. Do whatever you can to help inform others about this important issue.

The Bonvie Blog: Partially Hydrogenated Oils

Partially Hydrogenated Oils Are Now Banned, Right?

Well, Yes — Only Not Quite

By LINDA and BILL BONVIE

They’re supposed to be history by now. We’re talking about the particularly dangerous class of food additives known as partially hydrogenated oils, or PHOs, which are the result of solidifying a vegetable oil by infusing it with hydrogen gas.

Long used to extend the shelf-life of various processed foods, such as baked goods, PHOs were also cutting short the lives of many of those who regularly consumed them, being the primary source of artery-clogging trans fats in our diet (as chronicled in our 2017 book Badditives!).

That’s why the FDA took the most unusual step of ordering them phased out of the food supply by this past June 18, after acknowledging that they were causing an estimated 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths in this country every year. (And that’s just a fraction of the number claimed by the late Dr. Fred Kummerow, the professor of comparative biosciences wHydrogenatedho spent years petitioning the FDA to ban PHOs and lived long enough – to the age of 102 – to see his efforts rewarded.)

The removal of these ingredients from the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) list was quite an achievement in itself – one the FDA noted was a response to both “citizen petitions” and “available scientific evidence and the findings of expert scientific panels establishing the health risks associated with the consumption” of trans fats.

And it came only after considerable resistance from the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), which submitted a petition to the agency in 2015, and an amended version last year, requesting that the food additive regulations be amended to provide for the safe use of PHOs in certain food applications.

The FDA subsequently denied that petition because it “determined that the petitioner did not provide sufficient information for us to conclude that the requested uses of PHOs are safe.”

But that’s not to say that PHOs are now automatically gone from all the products that line supermarket shelves. Because while turning down that last-ditch attempt to keep PHOs from being consigned to the adulterated ingredient graveyard, the agency did see fit to “allow the food industry sufficient time to identify suitable replacement substances.”

So how much time are we talking about? Well, it seems that some of the uses of these altered oils will be permitted until next June 18. Those are the “petitioned uses” for which the FDA acknowledges “that the food industry needs additional time to identify suitable replacement substances” and for which it “has indicated that 12 months could be a reasonable timeframe for reformulation.”

Others, however, the “non-petitioned” ones, will have even longer – until the first of January, 2020. That’s because “FDA understands additional time is needed for products manufactured (domestically and internationally) before June 18, 2018, to work their way through distribution.”

And since during that period, you might still very well end up consuming them and further endangering your heart health, it remains imperative that you check those ingredient lists before buying any processed food products.

And we would hope that’s something you’ll continue to do, even after the last vestiges of PHOs are gone – because there are a whole lot of other “badditives’ remaining in our food supply. We can also only hope that the pro-industry Trump administration doesn’t find a way to modify or reverse this lifesaving regulation while it has us distracted with other issues.

For more on the denial of the GMA’s petition, see https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/05/21/2018-10715/grocery-manufacturers-association-denial-of-food-additive-petition

For more on the FDA’s extension of the compliance period, see https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-05-21/pdf/2018-10714.pdf (Please note, this prompts download of  PDF.)


Linda and Bill Bonvie are regular bloggers for Citizens for Health and the co-authors of Badditives: The 13 Most Harmful Food Additives in Your Diet – and How to Avoid Them.