Monday, November 28, 2005

WAHM Diary: Hog Sewage From Factory Farms - Would You Eat It?

WAHM Diary: Hog Sewage From Factory Farms - Would You Eat It?

Urgent Letter From Scientists Calls for Immediate GM Food Ban

An urgent letter went out today from the Institute of Science in Society to several high ranking officials in governments around the world calling for an immediate ban on Gentically Modified (GM) food and feed.

How serious is it?

VERY serious!

If the studies they've referenced come anywhere close to actual consequences on a wider scale, it's very possible a massive amount of damage to public health has already been done, particularly in developed countries such as Canada, USA and the UK to mention a few.

When I discovered on one statistic site that the USA ranks 1st in the entire world for mortality (deaths) from combined immunodeficiencies, and next learned how much GM food is grown and distributed here in the USA, it lends a considerable amount of credence to what ISIS is stating.

The "Emerging Diseases" reports coming out would also appear to support ISIS's theories.

An even bigger threat is currently underway that has been kept quiet -- hushed up by multi-billion-dollar corporations and the politicians who support them -- dropped like a ticking time bomb into rural communities by mega corporations across several countries with the full support of top government officials.

I'll be bringing a Special Report on this subject to you soon.

Stay safe, be well ...and stay tuned!


Thursday, November 24, 2005

Salmonella on the Rise in USA Fresh Produce Owing to Livestock Manure

A new report is out regarding salmonella in fresh produce in the USA:

Last week a University of Minnesota study showed that antibiotics given to livestock can end up in vegetables and pose a health threat to consumers.

The Minnesota study examined the use of animal manure as a fertilizer for vegetable crops.

The new CSPI study indicates produce-related outbreaks tend to be larger than poultry-related outbreaks, and sicken more people, sometimes hundreds at a time, CSPI stated.

Fresh produce triggered 554 outbreaks, sickening 28,315 people. Of those 554 outbreaks, 111 were due to Salmonella. Although poultry has historically been responsible for far more Salmonella infections, produce seems to be catching up, CSPI stated.

From 1990 to 2001 poultry accounted for 121 Salmonella outbreaks and produce accounted for 80. But in 2002 to 2003, produce accounted for 31 Salmonella outbreaks and poultry accounted for 29.

The figures were gathered from CSPI's alert database, which contains information on 4,500 infection outbreaks related to food between 1990 and 2003.

CSPI's database includes only outbreaks where both the food and the pathogen are identified, so its data represents only a fraction of the total burden of foodborne illnesses.

It's just one more nail in the coffin of large livestock factory-style farming, in my personal opinion. Later this month, I'll have a Very Special Report available regarding hog farm factories in general, and one very specific factory currently under construction in Jasper County, Indiana. This is one shocking report you definitely will want to read. Stay tuned!

Source: Fresh produce an increasing source of Salmonella, group says - FoodUSA ProductionDaily 24/11/2005

, , , , , ,

Need for Further Study in Genetically Modified Seeds

After the failure of a stringent risk assessment this month on regarding research to create genetically modified peas that resist insect attack and reduce the use of chemical sprays, it proves once again that extreme care and thorough research should be conducted BEFORE GM seeds flow into the agricultural process.

In regards to the GM pea study, research led by immunologists Dr. Simon Hogan and Professor Paul Foster at the John Curtin School of Medical Research (JCSMR) showed that the GM peas caused an immune response in mice.

What is important to note about this study is that, for years, humans have already been eating beans which also have the same alpha-amylase inhibitor that was to be used in the GM peas, without evidence of an immune response.

Sidenote: Forgive me for being a weee bit skeptical here, but what "evidence" are they referring to in regards to the beans?

On a different note, countries such as Canada, USA and Australia have been very enthusiastic and supportive of embracing GM seeds/crops in agriculture -- maybe too eager?

Perhaps the GM pea risk assessment should be ringing a few cautionary warning bells.

“This work strongly supports the need for case-by-case examination of plants developed using genetic modification and the importance of decision-making based on good science,” said deputy chief of CSIRO Plant Industry, Dr TJ Higgins.

Source: GM pea study discontinued after assessment failure - FoodNavigator/Europe

Nestlé baby milk recall in 4 European countries

Two million litres of baby milk in four European countries were recalled by Nestlé due to a packaging problem.

"The company had originally been informed in September that traces of the chemical IsopropilThioXantone (ITX) had been found in some cartons of its Nidina and Latte Mio brands. Tetra Pak, the container's maker, removed ITX from the cartons in October.

When Italian regulators this week began seizing about 30 million litres of the milk from stores and trucks this week, Nestlé decided to extend its original recall to a wider range of the product in Italy, France, Spain and Portugal."

Apparently, the problem occurred during a "routine" test for other substances by an Italian laboratory. The laboratory found the traces of ITX in the milk products and regulators told Nestlé about the problem. ITX was subsequently discovered to leak from the carton to any fatty products like milk when it is exposed to sunlight's ultraviolet rays. In a press statement, Tetra Pak said it switched its carton printing processes in October once it discovered the problem.

Once again, it brings up my point on the importance of packaging.

Now you see why we use pharmaceutical grade bottles for Goji Juice... This way there is no leaching of plasticizers nor any other potentially harmful toxins into the juice and no loss of nutrients out of the juice (ie such as sun can degrade phytochemicals in some products through glass bottles).

When I say Dr. Mindell is a perfectionist when it comes to the formulation, processing and packaging of all his products, I certainly mean it.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Important New USA Health Legislation

On May 24, 2005, Mr. BROWN of Ohio introduced the following bill -- HR 2562 IH -- to the 109th Congress, first session, which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce:

Short Title- This Act may be cited as the `Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act of 2005'

The bill's intent is, "To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to preserve the effectiveness of medically important antibiotics used in the treatment of human and animal diseases."

There was a very long list of "findings" presented in the act, only a few of which I include here:

- the task force determined that antibiotic resistance is a growing menace to all people and poses a serious threat to public health

- the task force cautioned that if current trends continue, treatments for common infections will become increasingly limited and expensive, and, in some cases, nonexistent

- antibiotic resistance, resulting in a reduced number of effective antibiotics, may significantly impair the ability of the United States to respond to terrorist attacks involving bacterial infections or a large influx of hospitalized patients

- any overuse or misuse of antibiotics contributes to the spread of antibiotic resistance, whether in human medicine or in agriculture

The bill contains far more than just the 4 points above. To read more about the bill, and the New legislation, visit through this link.

Meanwhile, stay safe and be well.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Tainted Meat - Factory Farming

Although I live in "farm country" even I was blissfully unaware of how the process of rearing farm animals in the US has changed dramatically from the family farms of yesteryear. You see, I live in an area where some cattle is actually still grazed, like "the old days" ... where beef is actually beef ...and where I thought pork was actually pork.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered the sickening rise in factory farming in this part of Northern Indiana -- indeed, throughout the USA.

A special town meeting on Monday (Nov 14/2005) truly opened my eyes, and I was shocked, disgusted, even horrified by new discoveries I've made since the meeting while researching the facts not presented by the owners of a proposed new hog factory farm planned for erection on land adjoining one of the most precious wildlife reserves in the USA ...a resting ground for tens of thousands of Sandhill Cranes each year on their annual migratory path.

For starters, here's a few statistics on factory farming I uncovered:

Amount of waste produced annually by US livestock in confinement operations which is not recycled: 1 billion tons

Where feedlot waste often ends up: In our water

Gallons of oil spilled by the Exxon-Valdez: 12 million

Gallons of putrefying hog urine and feces spilled into the New River in North Carolina on June 21, 1995, when a "lagoon" holding 8 acres of hog excrement burst: 25 million

Fish killed as an immediate result: 10-14 million

That's enough to get any environmentalist steaming mad... and yet, it doesn't stop there. The hidden dangers that we all face at the supermarkets each day are far more serious. For example:

Antibiotics administered to people in the US annually to treat diseases: 3 million pounds

Antibiotics administered to livestock in the US annually for purposes other than treating disease: 24.6 million pounds

Antibiotics allowed in cow's milk: 80

Percentage of staphylococci infections resistant to penicillin in 1960: 13%

Percentage of staphylococci infections resistant to penicillin in 1988: 91%

Reason: Breeding of antibiotic resistant bacteria in factory farms due to routine feeding of antibiotics to livestock

Response by entire European Economic Community to routine feeding of antibiotics to livestock: Ban

Response by American meat and pharmaceutical industries to routine feeding of antibiotics to livestock: Full and complete support

Are you getting just a little bit concerned about the meat we're buying yet? Well... it gets worse.

A report by the USDA estimates that 89% of US beef patties contain traces of the deadly E. coli strain. Reuters News Service 8/10/00

US pigs raised in total confinement factories where they never see the light of day until being trucked to slaughter: 65 million (total confinement factories are banned in Britain)

US pigs who have pneumonia at time of slaughter: 70%

Primary source of Campylobacter bacteria: Contaminated chicken flesh

People in the US who become ill with Campylobacter poisoning every day: More than 5,000

American turkeys sufficiently contaminated with Campylobacter to cause illness: 90%

Americans sickened from eating Salmonella-tainted eggs every year: More than 650,000

Americans killed from eating Salmonella-tainted eggs every year: 600

Increase in Salmonella poisoning from raw or undercooked eggs between 1976 and 1986: 600%

90% of US chickens are infected with leukosis -- chicken cancer -- at the time of slaughter.

Average lifespan of a dairy cow - 25 years; average lifespan when on a factory dairy farm - 4 years.

The situation of factory farming is far worse than you might have possibly imagined. EarthSave came out with some alarming news in their article titled -- "Factory Farm Alarm" -- published on their website. Here's a short quote:

Known to scientists as Pfiesteria (feast-eer-ee-ah) piscicida (Latin for "fish killer"), the microscopic organism was demonstrating its propensity for turning rivers and estuaries into death traps for immense schools of fish. Pfiesteria's powerful nerve poison was also being blamed as the likely cause for sickening scores of fishermen, coastal residents and tourists. Pfiesteria leaves fish and people with ugly lesions. Human contact can also result in memory loss, dizziness, fatigue and asthmatic problems.

Seven years after being first identified by North Carolina State University (NCSU) aquatic botanist JoAnn Burkholder, Pfiesteria remains today largely an enigma. What is known, says Burkholder, is that we are dealing with a vicious and mysterious microorganism that can masquerade as a plant, lie dormant for years and undergo at least 24 changes in its life cycle. Pfiesteria is also decidedly predacious, a first among dinoflagellates, the family of typically placid single-cell phytoplankton to which it belongs. Because of its bizarre knack for hunting down fish, some call Pfiesteria the "T-Rex of the dinoflagellates." Others liken its inexplicably aggressive behavior "to grass feeding on sheep."

There's at least one other thing that's well-understood about Pfiesteria: it is most at home and multiplies tremendously in polluted, over-enriched waters.

Burkholder believes that Pfiesteria has always dwelled in coastal North Carolina but that something in the past decade has altered the natural ecology there to foster its growth. In early 1995, Burkholder uncovered what she believed that "something" was. That's when she read 'Boss Hog,' a Pulitzer prize-winning exposé in Raleigh's News and Observer. In just a few short years, the newspaper revealed, a virtual revolution has transpired in eastern North Carolina—where once there were only hog hamlets, now there are pork metropolises disposing of millions of tons of putrid waste. The implications for water quality are mind-boggling.

The first paragraph of 'Boss Hog' made such an impression on Burkholder that she can recite it from memory: 'Imagine a city as big as New York suddenly grafted onto North Carolina's Coastal Plain. Double it. Now imagine that this city has no sewage treatment plants. All the wastes from 15 million people are simply flushed into open pits and sprayed onto fields. Turn those humans into hogs, and you don't have to imagine at all. It's already here.'

And the sad part is, here's a lady steeped in credentials who does her research thoroughly, digs deep into the problem and traces the growing dangers ...and her findings went largely ignored. In fact, her research, her credentials and even her outspokenness were openly challenged by government officials whose job was to safeguard environmental and public health.

For years, these officials, perhaps acting to protect North Carolina's powerful agricultural industry, refused to accept even the existence of Pfiesteria. Yet, about 140 North Carolina physicians petitioned then Vice President Al Gore for federal help in dealing with Pfiesteria.

Even sadder -- those very officials are not protecting an agricultural industry at all... farm factories don't even earn the right to be called farms. Few have even enough experience to be capable of running a real farm -- and animal husbandry, phooey. They only understand mass production, genetic manipulation, drugging animals to keep them barely alive, long enough to reach the slaughterhouses and packing plants in order for the neatly wrapped meat to appear in our own homes. Calling them farms is an insult to true farmers everywhere. By rights, such factories should be bound by industrial laws, not farming regulations, with a responsibility to protect their workers and regulations in place that force them to be accountable for the environmental damages they incur everywhere they spring up.

(And when you find out about the animals that don't make it to the end of the line -- ugh!! -- it's enough to make you swear off meat altogether.)

Meanwhile, back here in a sleepy residential area of Jasper County tucked away in a small section of Indiana, just a few hours drive from Perdu University (one of the largest animal research universities in North America) ...a hog factory farm with 2,496 heads has been approved by the Board of Zoning --- and it's being parked right next to one of the largest game reserves/sandhill crane resting areas in the State.

Why 2,496 head of hogs? Because 2,500 heads would mean they'd have to meet Federal regulations instead of State or County regulations.

How did they slip their foot in the door? By setting up a land deal where they would purchase 20 acres contained inside another 20 acres held by the seller of the land ...but they made a mistake. The land deal didn't go through in time -- and area residents found out... albeit too late to stop the special exception permit, but maybe --- just maybe --- in time to present an appeal case.

Now if they can only afford and hire a competent lawyer.

The deck is stacked against area residents, because many of the lawyers in the region cite "conflict of interest" and are scared to touch the case.

What happens next? Stay safe, be well, don't buy factory farm meat --- and stay tuned as we bring you more on this story...

, , ,
, , ,

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Younger Doctors Better Than Older Doctors?

The New England Journal of Medicine posted a GREAT article today, titled "How'm I Doing?"

One paragraph lept off the page:

"Time-limited certification is now a reality for all boards recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties, and since all boards will be requiring some measurement of performance in practice, more of us are going to get the kind of population-based picture of our practices that I got with my diabetes exercise. Many have greeted the requirement of recertification with skepticism and hostility, offering a variety of arguments against it:
- it's not relevant to my practice;
- it takes too much time and costs too much money;
- I'm a mature professional and don't need anybody looking over my shoulder;
- doctors who are older and perhaps less capable than I are grandfathered in and don't have to do it, so why should I have to?"

Hmmmmmm.... it kind of makes you wonder if those "older doctors" referenced in this article are really as qualified as they need to be in today's world, doesn't it?

Deaths By Food Poisoning

Foodborne disease concerns are on the rise in the EU, ever since one company got shut down after an E. coli outbreak spread to 161 people (affecting mostly school children) ...killing one young boy.

John Tudor & Sons, which supplied schools, retirement homes and retail outlets, has been closed down since the firm's cooked meat products were linked to the E coli 0157 outbreak, which occurred throughout south Wales, most of them at 42 schools.

"The firm, based in Bridgend, South Wales, closed down voluntarily when the food poisoning outbreak occurred. Local officials later issued an emergency notice stopping the company from trading. The company contested the decision and is waiting for a court decision on the matter. Police sealed off the plant on 7 October and launched a criminal investigation into the firm's disinfection procedures and its vacuum packing process at its plant in South Wales." source - FoodProductionDailyEU

The new EU regulations covers controls at all stages of production, processing and distribution. It covers controls on feed and food produced within the EU and that are exported to or imported from outside the bloc.

New rules on imports will require systematic checks of documentation with additional random identity and physical checks for foods and feeds of animal origin, plus imported "high-risk" foods are slated to get the same intense scrutiny.

However, with about 700 unfilled food safety posts in the UK -- even with tougher legislation and random spot-checks, will there be enough Food Safety inspectors to go around?

The tighter control legislation comes at a time when food safety concerns are on the rise throughout the world ...but few general consumers are even aware of these concerns.

For example, in the USA many people might perceive the quality of our food to be quite high -- right? Guess again. According to one source, the death rate extrapolations for USA for food poisoning is estimated at 5,000 per year.

That's 416 deaths per month, 96 per week, 13 per day.