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Get The “411” On GMOs This Friday

CFH has designated April 11 as the day to acknowledge how important it is to really know what’s in the foods and beverages we feed to ourselves and our families – and to share the “411”.

Visit our website to check out some of the things you can do to participate in this national day of communal education and acitivism – one of which is to sign our petition to properly label products containing high fructose corn syrup, or HFCS.

In this alert we’d like to re-focus your attention on another category of foods and beverages long overdue for accurate, informative labeling – those that contain genetically modified ingredients, commonly referred to as GMOs. While the push continues nationwide to pass laws requiring the labeling of products containing GMOs, so far it has been unsuccessful.

Commemorate Read Your Labels Day 2014 and make sure this success won’t elude us much longer by learning more about the issue – and sharing what you learn with friends and family.

GMO Mini SummitRecently we told you about the GMO Mini-Summit, a congregation of 20 of the world’s leading experts — such as Jeffrey Smith, Robyn O’Brien and Vandana Shiva — sharing breaking news about the health and environmental effects of GMOs. All the compelling content – including the additional interviews with experts conducted over the five weeks following the Summit – are still available in the Empowerment Package, a digital download of all 9 GMO Summit and all 9 Second Wave Presentations. Get the Empowerment Package, and 50% of the cost will be donated to CFH. Get informed and share it with friends and family, all the while knowing you are also empowering us at CFH to continue our work.

Do You Always Read the Labels on the Products You Buy?

CFH Chairman Jim Turner notes: “The majority of us don’t check the list of ingredients on food package labels. The big food manufacturers are counting on this. If we don’t read or understand the ingredients in their products, they can put pretty much whatever they want to into our food.

“We sponsored the first ‘Read Your Labels Day’ this last April to help Americans to be aware of how many chemicals are used in processed foods and beverages,” Mr. Turner added. “The response was tremendous. We had stories on TV stations around the country, and the news was covered by major grocery publications. Even some of the biggest supermarkets, including Whole Food Markets, hosted ‘Read Your Labels Day’ events in their stores. We’re expecting an even bigger success in 2014.”

What can you do to help make Mr. Turner’s prediction come true?

  1. For years CFH has tirelessly advocated for truth in labeling – re-acquaint yourself with our efforts to inform consumers about what’s really behind the flashy slogans and deceptive packaging. There’s the food coloring carmine, made from ground-up insects. Or the campaign by Mio to convince you that you need a colored stream of artificial ingredients to dress up your drinking water. Or tech and data company Vestcom’s in-store information program “healthyAisles” that does more to obfuscate than to enlighten.
  2. Sign the petition to accurately label products containing the artificial goop high fructose corn syrup, or HFCS.
  3. While you shop, look for the “Top 10 Ingredients to Avoid,” a list of questionable sweeteners, preservatives, and industrial chemical additives, such as HFCS, aspartame, and monosodium glutamate.
  4.  Take photos of products containing these awful ingredients and share them via Twitter, on Facebook, or Instagram (using the hashtag #ReadYourLabels).
  5. And, of course, share the “411” with friends, family, or the person in front of or behind you in the check-out line. An informed consumer is a force to be reckoned with.

Keep an eye out for more on this as “Read Your Labels Day” — April 11, (4/11) nears.

Get Ready for “Read Your Labels Day” 2014

April 11th is that day we hope you’ll join the campaign to “take back our food.” That’s when Citizens for Health will sponsor its second annual Read Your Labels Day—a day set aside for recognizing and exposing the health risks of the toxic additives found in the ingredients of everyday food products.

We invite all our readers to take photos of products containing these awful ingredients and share them on Facebook or Instagram (using the hashtag #ReadYourLabels). And tell your friends – because by “going viral,’ we hope to hold the manufacturers of these adulterated products accountable – and to influence them to start removing these health hazards from the foods we eat and feed our families every day (as the Food and Drug Administration now wants to do with partially hydrogenated oils, which are responsible for just about all the added trans fat in our diet).

Here’s the list of the top 10 food additives to avoid:

  1. High fructose corn syrup
  2. Aspartame
  3. Hydrolyzed protein
  4. Autolyzed yeast
  5. Monososium glutamate
  6. Potassium bromate
  7. Brominated vegetable oil, or BVO
  8. BHA and BHT
  9. Trans fats
  10. Artificial colors

Taking Aim Against Fluoride in Drinking Water

As we mentioned last week, we labeled 2014 as the year to put a dent in water fluoridation. Here’s three more reasons to be concerned about water fluoridation:

  1.  “Fluoride amounts to public murder on a grand scale.” A shocking quote from Dr. Dean Burk, former head of the National Cancer Institute’s Cytochemistry Sector, co-discoverer of biotin and publisher of more than 250 scientific articles. Why was he so concerned about the link between fluoride and cancer? Watch an interview with Dr. Burk here. 
  2. Residents of Bernalillo County, home of Albuquerque, take note: Your Water Utility Authority Board is considering a reversal of a decision from 2011 to stop adding fluoride to drinking water. The move would cost taxpayers $400,000 initially, and $100,000 per year thereafter.
  3. Earlier we mentioned that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) own National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory says that fluoride is a chemical with “substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity”.

The good news is that people all over the world are taking this fight to the grassroots; we here in the U.S. must follow the lead set by nine states proposing anti-fluoridation bills last year.

We encourage you to make an investment in Clearly Filtered, which filters out the majority of fluoride from any water supply, as well as arsenic, chlorine, and other unwanted additives. Take action today; a portion of your purchases made from Clearly Filtered will help us in our fight to remove added fluoride from your drinking water.

Stay tuned for more on this issue, and for how you can add your voice to the chorus calling for an end to forced fluoridation of our drinking water.

Is 2014 the Year to Put a “Dent In” Water Fluoridation?

If you are a regular reader of this blog and a passionate supporter of natural health initiatives, the issue of water fluoridation is probably on your radar. Fluoridation is imposed upon us even while there is substantial evidence supporting its potential negative health effects.

The argument that proponents of fluoridation cite claims that fluoride is necessary for healthy teeth because it repairs and re-mineralizes exposed “dentin”. However, there is significant evidence that it can be detrimental if swallowed daily.

There are reasons to be concerned about water fluoridation:

  • The main chemicals used to fluoridate water are industrial byproducts of the phosphate fertilizer industry and can contain elevated levels of arsenic and lead.
  • Dr. Philippe Grandjean, chair of environmental medicine at the University of Denmark and adjunct professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, shared the results of decades of researching chemicals capable of damaging the developing brain in a paper published earlier this month. On the list with PCBs, toulene and ethanol: fluoride.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) own National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory says that fluoride is a chemical with “substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity”.

The good news is the tide may be starting to turn. Already in 2014 a small community in Florida has gotten the ball rolling by following the lead set by nine states proposing anti-fluoridation bills last year. On January 28 the Wellington Village Council voted 3-2 to end 14 years of fluoridating their water.

It has been said that “it takes a village” – and we applaud the Wellington Village Council for taking the lead on this important issue – but it will take much more to raise awareness across the country. You can do your part by becoming informed and sharing that information with friends and family.

Stay tuned for more on this issue, and for opportunities to take action.

Fukushima Fallout Awareness Network Wishes You a Happy Holiday

FFAN’s Holiday Guide for Safer Food Choices

  1. Donate your time and/or money to FFAN’s crucial effort today!
  2. Sign FFAN’s Food Safety Petition “Say Bye Bye Becquerels! Keep harmful radioactivity out of our children’s food!”
  3. Submit Your Comment to the FDA: Insist they lower the acceptable levels of radioactive contaminants allowable in our food supply.
  4. Write a letter (sample here) to your Representative to demand that FDA do their job to protect our families by monitoring our food supply.
  5. Join FFAN on Facebook to get up-to-date information. Radiation continues to emit from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plants, affecting the global environment and food supply. Education and awareness are key.
  6. Donate $5 to FFAN Today! Help us continue this vital work.

“FFAN is the only group working toward safe food policy in the U.S. due to the ongoing Fukushima catastrophe. Please support their work.” — Peter Montague ontagueontague , Founder & Director of Environmental Research Foundation

Happy Holidays!
http://FFAN.US

FDA Planning to Phase Out Antibiotics in Meat

This morning the FDA announced a plan to phase out the use of some antibiotics in animals used for food to prevent bacteria from becoming increasingly resistant to drugs used to treat humans.

In it’s guidance today, the FDA asked pharmaceutical companies to voluntarily revise labels on antibiotics to remove references to use references in animal production. Additionally, the FDA stated the over-the-counter status of antibiotics will change, meaning only veterinarians will be able to prescribe and provide antibiotics.

Animal pharmaceutical companies must notify the FDA within three months of their plans to adopt the FDA’s new guidelines; companies would have three years to complete a transition.

Read the FDA’s release

High Fructose Corn Syrup is Deemed “The New Trans Fat”

One month ago, the Food and Drug Administration issued a preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils — a major source of trans fat in processed foods — are not longer “generally recognized as safe. Today Citizens for Health issued a press release urging the FDA to grant the same status to high fructose corn syrup.

The topic was covered by BevNet — the beverage industry’s leading source for information. Read their report here

Here is our official statement following the FDA’s decision related to trans fat:

High Fructose Corn Syrup is Deemed “The New Trans Fat”

Researchers Link Questionable Sugar Substitute to Serious Health Risks

WASHINGTON, Dec. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Following the Food & Drug Administration’s recent decision that it no longer considers the man-made additive “partially hydrogenated oils,” (commonly referred to as “trans fat”) safe, consumer groups and independent doctors are now targeting the highly controversial sugar substitute High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) as the most dangerous ingredient in the nation’s food supply.

Jim Turner, who chairs Citizens for Health, a leading consumer awareness group, believes the demise of HFCS will soon follow the fate of trans fat:

  • Both are highly-processed industrial ingredients shrouded in secrecy.
  • Both spent millions on lobbyists, TV ads and highly paid advocates to try and convince consumers that their products are safe.
  • As health concerns escalated, food companies, supermarkets and restaurants voluntarily removed these ingredients.
  • Communities began banning or restricting these ingredients to stem the burgeoning medical costs associated with them.
  • Lawsuits piled up, claiming these ingredients cause serious health damages.

As clinical evidence against HFCS mounts, independent researchers are going on record to alert consumers about its health risks:

  • Obesity expert Dr. Robert H. Lustig stated, “Type 2 diabetes was unheard of in children prior to 1980–when High Fructose Corn Syrup began to be incorporated into processed foods.”
  • Dr. Mark Hyman, Chairman of the Institute for Functional Medicine, said HFCS “is driving most of the epidemic of heart disease, cancers, and diabetes.”
  • Dr. Michael Goran, Director of the Childhood Obesity Research Center, reported that the HFCS found in many soft drinks are at excessive concentrations not Generally Recognized as Safe by the FDA.

Citizens for Health has filed a petition asking the FDA to take action against food and beverage manufacturers that use HFCS concentrations above approved limits, and to require accurate HFCS labeling information.  Concerned consumers are encouraged to visit the Citizens for Health website to submit their comments and sign the petition.

ENSSER Smells a Rat: Research On Rats Fed GMO Corn Retracted

Organization States “Retraction Violates Standards of Good Science” and Suspects “Decision Was a Bow of Science to Industry”

The Elsevier journal Food and Chemical Toxicology has officially retracted a research paper (Séralini et al. 2012 Study) which found severe toxic effects, increased tumor rates and higher mortality in rats fed Monsanto’s genetically modified corn and/or the associated herbicide Roundup.

The European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER) stated:

“The arguments of the journal’s editor for the retraction, however, violate not only the criteria for retraction to which the journal itself subscribes, but any standards of good science. Worse, the names of the reviewers who came to the conclusion that the paper should be retracted, have not been published. Since the retraction is a wish of many people with links to the GM industry, the suspicion arises that it is a bow of science to industry.”

According to ENSSER, this retraction is “a severe blow to the credibility and independence of science, indeed a travesty of science.”

Below is a summary of ENSSER’s comments on the retraction:

  1. Inconclusive results claimed as reason for withdrawl:
    Elsevier, the publisher of Food and Chemical Toxicology, has published a statement saying that the journal’s editor-in-chief, Dr. A. Wallace Hayes, “found no evidence of fraud or intentional misrepresentation of the data”. The statement mentions only a single reason for the retraction, namely that “the results presented (while not incorrect) are inconclusive”.
  2. Séralini paper a chronic toxicity study, not a full-scale carcinogenicity study:
    Séralini and his co-authors did not draw any definitive conclusions in the paper in the first place; they simply reported their observations and phrased their conclusions carefully, cognizant of their uncertainties. This is because the paper is a chronic toxicity study and not a full-scale carcinogenicity study, which would require a higher number of rats. The authors did not intend to look specifically for tumours, but still found increased tumour rates. Secondly, both of Hayes’s arguments (the number of rats and their tumour susceptibility) were considered by the peer reviewers of the journal, who decided they formed no objection to publication. Thirdly, these two arguments have been discussed at length in the journal following the publication of the paper and have been refuted by the authors of the paper and other experts. Higher numbers of animals are only required in this type of safety studies to avoid missing toxic effects (a ‘false negative’ result), but the study found pronounced toxic effects and a first indication of possible carcinogenic effects.
  3. Who did the reevaluation?
    “Even more worrying than the lack of good grounds for the retraction is the fact that the journal’s editor-in-chief has not revealed who the reviewers were who helped him to come to the conclusion that the paper should be retracted; nor has he revealed the criteria and methodology of their reevaluation, which overruled the earlier conclusion of the original peer-review which supported publication.”

In conclusion, ENSSER states:

“In short, the decision to retract Séralini’s paper is a flagrant abuse of science and a blow to its credibility and independence. [ . . ] It will decrease public trust in science. And it will not succeed in eliminating critical independent science from public view and scrutiny. [ . .] Prof. Séralini’s findings stand today more than before, as even this secret review found that there is nothing wrong with either technicalities, conduct or transparency of the data – the foundations on which independent science rests. […]”

This story has been generating a lot of buzz on Twitter as well: