Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Ben and Jerry - Toxin Free Pioneers

By Jeff

For years, Ben & Jerry (as in ice cream) have helped lead the way in environmental, social and health responsibility. They oppose recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone and their milk suppliers pledge not to use it.

On their website, they have a great multimedia presentation called "From Cow To Cone" that takes you through the entire process from well, cow to cone. Click Here to watch it.

Are Our Children Safe?

By Jeff

This video looks at Monsanto's use of rBST or rBGH in our Milk. These hormones were banned in both Europe and Canada. Dairy producers in the United States continue their use. Harmful? You decide.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Compare and Contrast: Both Sides of the MSG Issue

By Alexandra

MSG Is Safe:

The Elusive Nature of MSG

By Alexandra

At first glance, the substance in the above picture appears to be extra fine white rice. Actually, it is monosodium glutamate, in crystalline form. If asked to describe MSG, a great deal of people (likely a majority) would be unable to accurately say how it looks, smells, and tastes by itself even though millions of pounds per year are added to food consumed in America alone (Hilary, 2007).

Among the toxins used in food, MSG remains, to this day, one of the most elusive. A good reason for this is that manufacturers avidly seek to hide it in their products, either by listing it under misleading names that could stand for just about anything (like "spices" and "natural flavors" -- sound familiar, anyone?) or by not mentioning it at all (Anglesey, 2007).

Unfortunately, it does not suffice to depend upon the integrity of food lables to avoid sources of MSG. To completely ensure that one's food is 100% free of added MSG, one would have to know everything that went into each food product, which entails that he or she would have to grow and make all of his or her foods. Those of you that can not afford to make all your foods by yourselves, hearken and have hope! There are ways by which one can, within a pretty safe margin of error, determine which foods do and do not contain MSG, and, yes, it involves reading labels carefully. Certain food items always contain MSG (such as textured protein), some frequently contain it (e.g. soy protein isolate), and some rarely, if ever, contain added MSG. Plenty of excellent web sources that identify MSG sources exist; Hilary magazine (link provided below) is but one of them. Perhaps one of the very best resources for identifying sources of MSG is Debbie Anglesey's book, Battling the MSG Myth, which contains comprehensive lists identifying MSG-contaminated foods and safe alternatives.

Anglesey, D. B. (2007). Battling the MSG Myth. City and State N/A: Front Porch

Friday, May 25, 2007

Genetically Modified Crops List

By Jeff

Found a great website that lists all of the genetically modified crops allowed in the US food supply. Go Here and scroll down a half page.

Monsanto Pressures Fox News To "Cover Up".

By Jeff

Central to the GM food debate is a company called Monsanto. Monsanto is a multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation responsible for the development and marketing of genetically 'engineered' seeds and bovine growth hormone. Often the center of controversy, Monsanto has been the plaintiff in over 150 patent infringement lawsuits with US farmers in recent years.

In 1997, Fox News caved to pressure from Monsanto to 'suppress' a report on the health hazards associated with Monsanto's bovine growth hormone product Posilac. This video shares the details of that event.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Excitotoxins: A Quick Look

By Jason

Exitotoxin as defined by Wikipedia, "is the pathological process by which nerve cells are damaged and killed by glutamate and similar substances." As well, Exitotoxins much like "glutamate (NMDA receptor and AMPA receptor) become over- activated thus, producing a binding affect along with high levels of glutamate and calcium ions that enter the cell activating enzymes and damaging cell structures such as components of the cytoskeleton, membrane and DNA." The results of are fatal and can lead to traumatic reactions in humans such as stroke's, brain injury and central nervous system diseases (CNS) to name a few.

Diving into an interview with Dr. Russell Blaylock, a neurosurgeon at the Medical University of Mississippi, on Mission Impossible Radio, "a program dedicated to the eradication of aspartame as an additive in food preparation, with hosts Jon Baum and Betty Martini," Dr. Blaylock states that "You're most likely to be exposed to exitotoxins as food additives. One of them that most people are familiar with would be monosodium glutamate or MSG. It occurs in various disguised forms, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, vegetable protein, soy isolate, etc." Dr. Blaylock goes on to list NutraSweet as a source of exitotoxin as well. NutraSweet retains principles of amino acid chains one of which holds the title of phenylalanine acid. Phenylalanine acid "is known to produce seizures and act as a neurotoxin at high levels in the brain." Dr. Blaylock states.

In conclusion the radio interview insists that mothers who feed their children NutraSweet have violent tendencies and that if consumed over large periods of time can become permanent.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Like to read more about GMO's? Check out these links!

Posted By Jason

-Excellent ongoing series from the UK Guardian News…

-United Nations Policies on GMO…

-Controversy regarding GMO’s and aid to Zambia…

-Australian piece on the effect of GMO corn on the Monarch Butterfly…

-Compiled list of Friends of the Earth’s research …

GMO's: Want To Take Action?

By Jeff

If you're interested in helping get the "Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act" passed into law, check out this site. They list 3 basic steps to make a difference and several more grass roots action steps.

If you've thought about getting involved in this movement, this seems like a good resource.

Genetically Modified Foods - Surprising Opinions

By Jeff

One side of the Genetically Modified Foods debate. If true, this is scary:

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

David Icke on Aspartame - Truth or Myth?

By Jeff

Take a look and decide for yourself:

Hormones In Baby Food "To Beat Obesity"

By Jeff

English researchers believe they have found a means to help control obesity by feeding babies a special infant formula containing the hunger-suppressing hormone leptin. Although the research is in the very early stages, animal trials at the Clore Laboratory at the University of Buckingham have found that exposure to leptin in the early phases of life can program the brain to stop over-eating.

Mike Cawthorne, the director of metabolic research, discovered that giving leptin supplements to baby rats helped prevent obesity and even diabetes. Even adult rats remained thin after taking the leptin supplements.

Leptin is naturally produced throughout life, but the amount produced in infancy is thought to establish the body's energy-balance settings for life. It may also determine a person's predisposition to being fat or thin even before they are born. This study is suggesting that giving an extra leptin boost early in life may therefore stop later weight gain.

The most recent study published in the American Journal of Physiology and Chemis-try & Industry magazine, also suggested that giving the hormone to pregnant rats could have a lifelong impact on their offspring.

Professor Cawthorne stated that "The supplemented milks are simply adding back something that was originally present. Breast milk contains leptin and formula feeds don't." This statement is in response to research that suggests the babies who are breast-fed are protected against obesity, while bottle fed babies are more likely to be overweight as adults.

There is a lot of controversy regarding this topic already. There are many who believe that there shouldn't be any artificial interference in the process of infant development, and that parents should teach healthy lifestyles to their children as they grow up.

It will be interesting to see how future research of this kind will affect the science of hormones in foods.


Monday, May 21, 2007

GMO's and You!

By Ashton

Genetically Modified Foods are created by altering the genetic make up of living organisms, including animals, plants, and bacteria. The combining of genes from two or more different organisms to make medicines, vaccines, foods & food ingredients, and feeds & fibers is referred to as Recombinant DNA technology. The United States is the biggest practicer of GM crops. Some view GM crops as superior since they have been altered to become resistant to herbicides and insecticides. Weaker crops, like sweet potatoes for example, can be made resistant to viruses that could potentially wipe out the whole harvest. GM crops can also be altered to increase their vitamin content which proponents argue will help stop chronic malnutrition in third world countries. Supporters of the GMO movement also champion science’s ability to make fish mature faster, make fruit and nut trees that yield earlier, and find plants that produce new plastics. However, critics are quick to point out the downsides of GMO’s, chiefly that we don't know the long term side effects. It is quite possible for new allergies to be unleashed upon an unsuspecting populous or generate long term environmental side effects.

GMO's and the Allergen Concern

By Jason

One of the most often cited concerns when discussing Genetically Modified Organisms is the introduction of new allergens to foods where they previously did not exist. Since the act of gene splicing forms the basis by which Genetically Modified Organisms are produced, new allergens can be triggered or created during this process. Foods are genetically modified by inserting new proteins with desirable traits into the basic DNA structure of an existing food item. This modification process can inadvertently activate dormant allergens or introduce new ones where they did not previously exist.

In the United States, there are currently no regulations requiring producers of Genetically Modified food items to label their product as such. As a result, individuals with existing food allergies can easily (and unknowingly) come into contact with newly activated allergens in foods that they have been enjoying for years. Further, since new allergens can be difficult to detect and identify, future food allergies may be much more difficult to diagnose.

Although food allergies might not be a major concern to the average American, they probably should be. Doctors estimate that more than 12 million Americans suffer from food allergies and many of them are not even aware. Of course, the degree to which a food allergy can affect the individual ranges from mild to fatal. Food allergy symptoms, like lethargy and tightness in the throat, may seem so minor as to go undetected. However, other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting and stomach pain are routinely misdiagnosed. Nearly 90,000 Americans per year are estimated to suffer anaphylactic reactions due to food allergies, the results of which range from mild to life threatening.

The GMO Debate

By Adam

The idea of genetically modifying food is an intriguing one. Imagine the ability to grow a better quality food in a shorter amount of time. By inserting a new gene into a plant it may be altered to take on the characteristics mentioned above. By taking genes from an existing natural plant and inserting them into another existing plant you are able to make a new hybrid.

However, this raises moral questions similar to those associated with the issue of stem cell research. In stem cell research, the overall goal is to help people and make things better. But there are those who swear that things happen for a reason and nature should not be tampered with. As such, certain plants attract certain "pests" but that is the natural way of life. Those plants are supposed to attract those pests. And here in lies the problem; is genetically modifying food ethical?

Many argue that modifying food is not natural. Or that this will make the United States an even more dominant force in the world agricultural business. However, those in favor contend that they are helping the world by providing better food and more of it to those who need it so badly. The bottom line is that both sides are trying to better the world.

Who is right? It is this author's opinion that this is a riddle that
simply does not have an answer.

GMF Pro Sites

GMF Anti Sites