Category Archives: Health Alert

Not From Concentrate Orange Juices are Big Fakes

By L.J. Hodek-Creapeau, Managing Editor

Tropicana, the company that has been advertising for years that their o.j is “pure” “all natural” and “freshly made”, is in fact pasteurized, deaerated, stripped of flavor and aroma, stored for long periods of time before being made available to the public, and colored and flavored before being packaged and then shipped all over the country.

In the Lynch vs. Tropicana lawsuit which began in 2011, plaintiffs were suing PepsiCo – owners of Tropicana – for “unjust enrichment; breach of express warranty; numerous violations of New York, New Jersey and Wisconsin laws; punitive damages; injunctive relief and declaratory relief, among other complaints.”

However, you may be surprised to learn that what Tropicana does to make their orange juice is the norm in the food industry. Orange juice not from concentrate is stripped of its oxygen so it can be stored in large vats for up to a year before it is even packaged and shipped to stores. And because it is stripped of it’s oxygen properties, it also loses all of it’s nutritional value and taste. So what do o.j manufacturers do to compensate? They hire chemists to develop chemical flavorings that we have all come to believe is “fresh orange” flavor. Chemical packets are added back to the orange juice, and usually added sugar as well, before it is packaged to add back the flavor and nutrients lost during the deliberate deaeration performed by the storage facilities.

The only way to get truly pure, all natural, fresh orange juice is to squeeze it yourself. The concentrates are actually better for you because they are frozen orange juice and do not go through the pasteurization and deaeration ready-to-pour orange juices do. A fresh orange has a lot less sugar than manufactured orange juices as well.

Another thing you should know about orange juices is that most of them use oranges from countries other than the U.S. Why is this a concern? Because in the past (2012 to be exact) it was found that Minute Maid – which bought oranges from Brazil for their juices – discovered they were getting more than oranges with their fruit. Their orangee contained a fungicide that is approved in Brazil but not by the U.S. Minute Maid (manufactured by Coca Cola) discontinued the practice of using oranges from other countries because of the pesticides and fungicides later found in their orange juices.

Therefore, Orange Juice labeled (and we mean the actual ingredient label not what’s on the front packaging) “from Florida oranges” is much healthier than brands that import who-knows-what from other countries.

Long story short, if you truly want the vitamin C, potassium and flavor of real oranges, you’ll have to eat real oranges.

 

References:
1.) http://naturalsociety.com/tropicana-orange-juice-lawsuits-false-advertising/

New Findings on Mercury Toxins and Risk

by LJ Hodek-Creapeau, Circkles Managing Editor

We’ve published some of this before, but recent new findings show an increased risk of mercury poisoning in our day to day lives. This makes it crucial that we learn how to reduce our risk and alleviate the buildup in our bodies.
Since we are exposed to mercury far more than we should be in everyday life, and recent surprising findings by the NFA show an alarming amount in our environment due to pollution, we should know what will help reduce and eliminate it from our bodies.

“Dome is one of the last untouched islands on Lake George,” says Henry Caldwell, chairman of the Dome Island Committee, which oversees The Nature Conservancy preserve. “It has never been inhabited, and there is no indication it has ever been logged.”

In 2006, however, researchers discovered that some of the island’s songbirds—including red-eyed vireos, black-capped chickadees and song sparrows—have among the highest mercury levels of any upland forest songbirds in the Northeast. That startling news was followed in 2011 by research showing the island’s spiders also had elevated mercury levels.

“We were very surprised,” says Caldwell, whose family has lived in the area for generations.

Dome Island highlights a continuing and growing threat to wildlife: airborne mercury pollution. Coal-fired power plants are the leading sources of mercury in the United States, belching more than 50 tons of the neurotoxin annually. Much of the mercury falls near the source, but some flows into the atmosphere and drifts long distances, falling back to Earth in rain, snow and as dry particulates. This problem of “atmospheric deposition” of mercury is a global dilemma but is particularly acute in the Northeast, which lies downwind of the coal-burning epicenters of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Illinois.

Now, as the United States prepares to implement long-overdue regulations on coal-fired power plants, a flurry of new science shows that atmospheric deposition of mercury is affecting more lands and waters, and harming more wildlife, than previously known. “It has become clear in recent years that no corner of the food web is untouched by mercury,” says Joe Mendelson, NWF’s director of climate and energy policy.

Enacted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in late 2011, the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards Rule requires power plants to reduce their mercury output by 90 percent through 2016. “This is the biggest step the country has ever taken to control our mercury problems,” Mendelson says. “We are finally bringing our power plants into the modern age.”

“Progress on mercury reduction would not have occurred without the many NWF members who took action to help move this issue through some very stormy political waters and who mobilized last year against congressional attacks designed to stop the new rules,” says Jeremy Symons, NWF’s senior vice president for conservation and education.

mercury-symptoms chartOpponents are always trying to stall the new regulations. “Critics will say these regulations will kill jobs and harm the economy,” Mendelson says. “But history shows that just the opposite is true.”

“Regulations work,” adds Rutgers professor Joanna Burger. Since 1971, Burger has been studying heavy metal contamination in common terns in Barneget Bay, New Jersey. Levels of lead and cadmium have declined dramatically in the birds due to federal rules on those toxics, but “mercury levels in the birds have remained the same.”

U.S. regulations alone, however, will not solve the problem. Coal is the cheap fuel of choice for much of the developing world. China is erecting new coal power plants at a rapid pace. Some of the mercury emitted in Asia rises into the atmosphere and feeds a growing global mercury cloud, depositing the neurotoxin in locations where it never was found in the past. Hoping to stem this problem, the United Nations Environment Programme will attempt to ratify an international mercury treaty in 2013.

Mercury, alas, is a coal problem. Burning it fuels a host of environmental ills, from climate change to acid rain, smog and habitat loss, at great cost to human health and wildlife. “The big question is: How do we transition from coal to a power system that utilizes cleaner, renewable sources and technologies?” Mendelson asks. “We have the technology. We need to implement it.” Only then will the Dome Island songbirds be safe.

What You Can Do to Reduce Your Mercury Risk.

Don’t eat fish. Most of us are now aware that fish contain high levels of mercury. Some fish are more contaminated than others; namely any fish that is large and has been living a long time is thus more contaminated that a species of fish that does not live as long such as Tilapia. Tilapia is low in mercury because it matures very quickly and is eaten within a very short amount of time.

There are certain foods that will help the body to chelate (remove) heavy metals such as mercury. It is a very good idea to detox yourself on a regular basis for all the harmful metals and other toxins in our environment that we are exposed to on a daily basis. Some foods known to help the body detox mercury are apples, cilantro, brewer’s yeast and B vitamins. It is also a very good idea that while you are detoxing from heavy metals that you protect your liver by also taking milk thistle herb while detoxing. This is because the detox process causes toxins to be dumped into your bloodstream so your body can remove them via the kidneys and liver. For more information on the correct way to detox, see our article archives or do a search for detoxing.

Resources:
https://www.nwf.org/News-and-Magazines/National-Wildlife/Animals/Archives/2013/Mercury-and-Wildlife.aspx

BPA Free Not Any Better

by LJ Hodek-Creapeau, Circkles Managing Editor

Some pretty big names in the journalism world have circulated studies showing that the BPA alternatives used by manufacturers are in fact just as hazardous as BPA. Big names like CNN who recently published the article; Your “BPA-free” plastic product may be no safer than the product it replaced, based on a new UCLA study that analyzed the impact of a common BPA alternative on zebra fish embryos. The study joins a small but growing group of similar research sounding the alarm about so called “BPA-free” alternatives.

“Our findings are frightening and important,” said senior author and reproductive endocrinologist Nancy Wayne. “Consider it the aquatic version of the canary in the coal mine.”

Time Magazine wrote a similar article, as well as CNN and Mother Jones. It turns out the chemicals used to replace BPA may have nearly the exact impact on the human body — hormone disruption — as BPA, according to a new study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

“According to pretty much all the literature there is on these two substitutes, they are hormonally active in ways similar to BPA – similar mechanisms, similar potencies,” said study author Johanna Rochester, a researcher at the Endocrine Disruption Exchange.

The most common replacement is BPS (Bisphenol S), says Wayne. She and her colleagues exposed zebrafish to low levels of both BPA and BPS, and looked at the impact of the chemicals on genes and brain cells that control reproduction. Zebrafish have often been used to study the impact of plastic additives because their transparent embryos allow scientists to see and monitor cell growth.
Wayne and her colleagues exposed zebrafish to low levels of both BPA and BPS, and looked at the impact of the chemicals on genes and brain cells that control reproduction. “Our research showed that low levels of BPS had a similar impact on the embryo as BPA,” Wayne told CNN. “In the presence of either BPA or BPS, embryonic development was accelerated. Additionally, BPA caused premature birth.”
In addition to the effect on estrogen, the study also found both BPA and BPS affected the thyroid hormone system. “Because of thyroid hormone’s important influence on brain development during gestation,” said Wayne, “our work holds important implications for general embryonic and fetal development, including in humans.”

In a 2013 study, Texas researchers found that as little as one part per trillion of BPS could interfere with the normal functioning of a cell, in some cases leading to cell death. Another study of zebrafish, out of Canada, found BPA accelerated neural cell growth by 180% for fish exposed to extremely low levels; it was even worse for BPS — neural growth exploded 240%. As adults, the fish exposed to both chemicals showed significant signs of hyperactivity.

BPA free canned foodAnother study, this time in rats, found BPS caused heart arrhythmia when given in doses equivalent to those humans usually experience. In a press release, study author Hong-Sheng Wang, said, “Our findings call into question the safety of BPA-free products containing BPS.

“It’s all pointing in the same direction: BPS is not harmless,” said Wayne about the results of her study in connection with prior research. “Consumers should be cautious about the assumption that ‘BPA-free’ means a product is safe.”

“This is a classic case of ‘regrettable substitution’ in which the replacement chemical is as toxic as the chemical it was replacing,” said Sharima Rasanayagam, director of science for the Breast Cancer Fund, which tracks environmental causes of breast cancer.

BPA is still available in many consumer products such as water bottles, food-storage containers and plastic tableware, as well as contact lenses, eyeglass lenses, compact discs, water-supply pipes, and some dental sealants and composites.
According to the Breast Cancer Fund, BPS has been found in “things printed quickly and at high heats,” such as body wash, hair care products, makeup, lotions and toothpaste, as well as some paper products such as flyers, tickets, mailing envelopes, airplane boarding passes and thermal receipts.
The Breast Cancer Fund recommends that consumers wishing to limit exposure to possible toxins in BPA, BPS and other alternatives use glass, stainless steel and food safe ceramic containers for food and water storage. They stress that it’s not safe to microwave in plastic. Other suggestions include using gloves to handle thermal paper receipts, and researching canned goods to find those that no longer use plastic liners.

Know that BPA-free products can still have unhealthy chemicals.
This is the most important thing to know and it’s pretty straightforward: a BPA-free label doesn’t mean a product is free from other harmful chemical compounds that are slightly different but have a different name. Indeed, the BPA-Free Package program, a third-party group that verifies that products don’t have BPA, is halting operations because the certification creates a “false halo of health” given growing evidence of the dangers of BPS and BPF. Still, because products with BPS and BPF behave similarly to products with BPA, you can follow the same rules to avoid the associated hazards that you would use for BPA.

Avoid handling shopping receipts.
Receipts at many grocery stores and retailers are printed on a product known as “thermal” paper. These receipts, once heavy in BPA, are often made with BPS or BPF these days. In some ways, exposure to these compounds in receipts may be riskier than exposure to containers made with the compound. In receipts, BPS and BPF are “free” and can easily migrate from the product to your skin and other surfaces. “If it’s a receipt that I do need, I’ll hold out my bag and ask the person to drop into the bag so I don’t have to touch it,” Watson says.

Drink from steel or glass containers, not plastic ones.
Steel and glass drinking containers are widely available. It makes sense to purchase a few for the house and a few for the office.

Don’t microwave your food in plastic containers.
The heat from the microwave can separate BPA-like compounds from plastic containers, making them easier for the consumer to ingest. If you must use plastic containers, you should avoid the microwave. Ideally, you just store food in ceramic or glass containers in the first place.

Resources:
BPA-free plastic alternatives may not be safe as you think by Sandee LaMotte February 1, 2016 http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/01/health/bpa-free-alternatives-may-not-be-safe/

Is Microwaved Food Bad for You?

Is Microwaved Food Bad for You? We Answer this 26 Year-Old Question.

by L.J. Hodek-Creapeau, Circkles Editor.

In January of this year, Harvard Medical School once again raised the the almost 30 year question we have all been asking: “Is microwaved food bad for us?”

Well, if you go back to the first person who asked that question way back in 1989, Hans Hertel, the answer is a resounding “yes.”

A great many consumers are not even completely clear on how a microwave works, and that is because they have been kept in the dark about it until Hertel’s study, which was squelched by…you guessed it…the microwave manufacturers who issued a gag order to stop him and his colleague from publishing their findings way back in the early 1990s. Anyway, let’s start with how a microwave actually works then describe why it was discovered by Hertel to be bad for our health.

A microwave (and incidentally the sun produces microwaves too, but Hertel addressed why they are different) is a wave of intense energy similar to a radio wave only shorter. Microwaves are more selective, primarily only affecting water and other molecules that are electrically asymmetrical, meaning one end is positively charged and the other negatively charged. Microwaves cause these molecules to vibrate or become agitated which quickly builds up thermal (heat) energy.

The Law Suit that Begged the Question to Hans Hertel:

In early 1991, word leaked out about a lawsuit in Oklahoma involving a woman named Norma Levitt who went into the hospital for simple hip surgery, only to be killed by a blood transfusion when a nurse warmed the blood for her transfusion in a microwave oven. Many people have deduced for years that heating or cooking is all the same and it doesn’t matter what mode of heat technology one uses. However, it is quite apparent that there is more to ‘heating’ with microwaves than we’ve been led to believe.

Blood for transfusions is routinely warmed-but not in microwave ovens! In the case of Mrs Levitt, the microwaving altered the blood and it killed her, which prompted a whole bunch of questions that were quickly hushed up and swept under the public’s rug.

take out or t.v dinnerEnter Hans Hertel:

In the tiny town of Wattenwil, Switzerland there was a man who worked as a food scientist for several years with one of the many major global Swiss food companies. A few years later, he was fired from his job for questioning procedures in processing food because they denatured it. “The world needs our help, he stated.

“We, the scientists, carry the main responsibility for the present unacceptable conditions. It is therefore our job to correct the situation and bring the remedy to the world. I am striving to bring man and techniques back into harmony with nature. We can have wonderful technologies without violating nature.”

The concern was clear: microwave cooking had changed the components so that changes took place in Norma Levitt’s blood; these were not healthy changes but were changes that could cause deterioration in the human systems. Working with Bernard H. Blanc of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the University Institute for Biochemistry, Hertel not only carried out the study, he was one of eight participants. “To control as many variables as possible, we selected eight individuals who were strict macrobiotic diet participants from the Macrobiotic Institute at Kientel, Switzerland,” Hertel explained. “We were all housed in the same hotel environment for eight weeks. There was no smoking, no alcohol and no sex.”

Once the volunteers were isolated at a resort hotel, the test began. Blood samples were taken from every volunteer immediately before eating and then again after consuming milk or vegetables that had been heated in a microwave versus conventional heating methods such as on a stove top.

Lymphocytes (white blood cells) showed a more distinct short-term decrease following the intake of microwaved food than after the intake of stove-top cooked food. This led Hertel to the conclusion that such technically derived energies may, indeed, be passed along to man inductively via consumption of microwaved food. “This process is based on physical principles and has already been confirmed in the literature,” Hertel explained. The apparent additional energy exhibited by the luminescent bacteria was merely extra confirmation.
“There is extensive scientific literature concerning the hazardous effects of direct microwave radiation on living systems,” Hertel continued. “It is astonishing, therefore, to realize how little effort has been made to replace this detrimental technique of microwaves with technology more in accordance with nature. “Technically produced microwaves are based on the principle of alternating current.
“This is contrary to conventional heating of food, in which heat transfers convectionally from without to within. Cooking by microwaves begins within the cells and molecules where water is present and where the energy is transformed into frictional heat.” The question naturally arises: What about microwaves from the sun? Aren’t they harmful? Hertel responded: “The microwaves from the Sun are based on principles of pulsed direct current. These rays create no frictional heat in organic substance.” In addition to violent frictional heat effects (called thermic effects), there are also athermic effects which have hardly ever been taken into account, Hertel added. “These athermic effects are not presently measurable, but they can also deform the structures of molecules and have qualitative consequences.

What Does this Mean in Layman’s Terms?

The weakening of cell membranes by microwaves is used in the field of gene altering technology (GMOs). Because of the force involved, the cells are actually broken, thereby altering the very structure of the cells between the outer and inner sides of the cell membranes. Impaired cells become easy prey for viruses, fungi, stress and other micro-organisms. In other words, altering cells in this way makes them very susceptible to immune diseases, carcinogens and viruses.

The natural repair mechanisms are suppressed, and cells are forced to adapt to a state of energy emergency: they switch from aerobic to anaerobic respiration. Instead of water and carbon dioxide, they produce hydrogen peroxide and carbon monoxide.” It has long been pointed out in literature that any reversal of healthy cell processes causes our cells to revert from a “robust oxidation” to an unhealthy “fermentation”.
The same violent friction and athermic deformations that can occur in our bodies when we are subjected to radar or microwaves, happens to the molecules in the food cooked in a microwave oven. In fact, when anyone microwaves food, the oven exerts a power input of about 1,000 watts or more. This radiation results in destruction and deformation of molecules of food, and in the formation of new compounds (called radiolytic compounds) unknown to man and nature. Some scientists and doctors over the years have stated that microwaves cause carcinogens in the food they heat. It also can cause, at the very least, anemia in anyone who eats them in large volume.

Hertel’s conclusions became even more pronounced during the second month of the study, ” there was a corresponding increase of cholesterol values.” As the test continued, the differences in the blood markers became “statistically significant”. The changes are generally considered to be signs of stress on the body. For example, erythrocytes tended to increase after eating vegetables from the microwave oven. Haemoglobin and both of the mean concentration and content haemoglobin markers also tended to decrease significantly after eating the microwaved substances.

“Leukocytosis (an increase in white blood cells),” Hertel explained, “which cannot be accounted for by normal daily deviations such as following the intake of food, is taken seriously by haematologists. Leukocyte response is especially sensitive to stress. They are often signs of pathogenic effects on the living system, such as poisoning and cell damage. The increase of leukocytes with the microwaved foods was more pronounced than with all the other variants in the study.
Hertel believes his study tends to confirm newer scientific data that suggest cholesterol may rapidly increase in the blood secondary to acute stress. “Also,” he added, “blood cholesterol levels are less influenced by cholesterol content of food than by stress factors. Such stress-causing factors can apparently consist of foods which contain virtually no cholesterol-the microwaved vegetables.”

construction worker with portable microwaveThe Gag Order:

As soon as Hertel and his associate in the study, Blanc, announced their results, a powerful trade organization, the Swiss Association of Dealers for Electroapparatuses for Households and Industry, forced the President of the Court of Seftigen, Kanton Bern, to issue a ‘gag order’ against Hertel and Blanc.
The attack was so threatening that Blanc quickly recanted his support for the study-but it was too late. He had already put into writing his views on the validity of the studies where he concurred with the opinion that microwaved food caused blood abnormalities. Hertel stood his ground, and today is steadfastly demanding his rights to a trial. Preliminary hearings on the matter have been appealed to higher courts, and it’s quite obvious the powers that be do not want a ‘show trial’ to erupt on this issue.

Microwaving Breast Milk:

Heating baby bottles (worse yet, plastic baby bottles) has become a favorite pastime of over-tired parents trying to cut corners and save some sleepless hours, but this practice is now being proven to be just about the worst thing you could ever do to your child. Why are so many kids these days riddled with food allergies, immune disorders, hyper-activity etc.? A look at microwaved baby milk and formula should be one of our number one priorities.

Breast milk can be refrigerated safely for a few days or frozen for up to a month; however, studies have shown that heating the milk well above body temperature can break down not only its antibodies to infectious agents, but also its lysozymes or bacteria-digesting enzymes. Milk heated at a high setting (72°C to 98°C) lost 96 per cent of its immunoglobulin-A antibodies, agents that fend off invading microbes. Even more questionable are the findings that a some loss of anti-infective properties occurs in milk microwaved at a low setting- to just 33.5°C

And…What About Radiation Leaks from Microwave Ovens?

The FDA discontinued field testing them in the early 1980s, in part because of budget cutbacks and in part because few ovens didn’t meet federal safety standards,” says George Kraus of the agency’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. In 2000, Health Canada (the Canadian equivalent of the Department of Health and Human Services) tested 60 new microwave ovens and 103 used ovens. None of the new ones, and only one of the used ones, exceeded Canada’s stringent leakage limits, which are similar to the U.S. limits. The one oven that failed was 23 years old.

Conclusion?

While microwaving foods doesn’t appear to immediately kill a person, scientific research (that is being kept from the public) has proven that long-term ingestion of microwaved foods could indeed lead to the death of a person. That even short term-immediate damage has been detected to blood cells from microwaving and that the consumption of such altered foods does have health ramifications such as anemia and immune system failure, which will indeed cause long term health problems which could in time lead to serious disease and malfunction of the body’s normal immune responses, ability to heal itself and a general weakened state of cells and the structure of blood. Time to go back to the old-fashioned method of using a pot or pan to reheat food.

A Dangerous Product is Just Being Relabeled and Put Back on Shelves.

 (FDA’s third health alert on this product: )

As if misleading labeling practices weren’t commonplace enough, there are product manufacturers such as Riger Naturals S.A who don’t just slightly mislead, but flat-out do their best to flagrantly abuse or ignore FDA rules and regulations to put out dangerous products. The FDA issued a warning on 12/21/2012 for their WOW product which is just a re-labeled version of Reumofan Plus that was flagged by the FDA earlier this year for the same reasons. Distributors are simply re-labeling a product already discovered by the FDA to be harmful without changing it one bit.

Earlier in 2012, FDA twice warned the public about taking Reumofan Plus—marketed as a “natural” dietary supplement for the treatment of many conditions, including arthritis and bone cancer—because, it contains undeclared active ingredients found in prescription drugs that should only be used under the supervision of a health care professional. Brad Pace, regulatory counsel at FDA’s Health Fraud and Consumer Outreach Branch, says some distributors have deliberately put a new label and a new name, WOW, on bottles of Reumofan Plus to deceptively sell remaining supplies. Pace says WOW has been distributed to online retailers and other distributors, as well as directly to consumers. FDA is concerned that other distributors will also put different labels on Reumofan Plus and sell it under other names.

The FDA offers this advice to consumers:

• Do not use any products with “Riger Naturals S.A.” printed on the bottom of the bottle. Reumofan Plus is manufactured in Mexico by Riger Naturals.
• Report any health problems related to these products to FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.

HEALTH ALERT! Aresenic Found in Rice.

HEALTH ALERT! Aresenic Found in Rice.

On Wednesday, September 20,, 2012 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the release of preliminary data to determine the presence of arsenic in rice and rice products. This news has generated concern within the celiac and gluten-intolerant communities as rice is the most common grain used in gluten-free products and individuals following a gluten-free diet are likely to consume more rice-based products than the average American.

Earlier this year, Consumer Reports (CR) tested rice and rice based products and  found measurable amounts of both inorganic arsenic, a known carcinogen, as well as organic  arsenic, less toxic but still of concern, in those samples. This information lead the FDA to undertake its own study sampling significantly more products, and to share the early findings.  While arsenic is found in foods throughout the food chain, in their natural state, or when processed into other products, it is not known where the threshold of safety ends and harm begins.

Though rice isn’t the only dietary source of arsenic—some vegetables, fruits, and even water can harbor it—the Environmental Protection Agency assumes there is actually no “safe” level of exposure to inorganic arsenic.

No federal limit exists for arsenic in most foods, but the standard for drinking water is 10 parts per billion (ppb). Keep in mind: That level is twice the 5 ppb that the EPA originally proposed and that New Jersey actually established. Using the 5-ppb standard in our study, we found that a single serving of some rices could give an average adult almost one and a half times the inorganic arsenic he or she would get from a whole day’s consumption of water, about 1 liter.

We also discovered that some infant rice cereals, which are often a baby’s first solid food, had levels of inorganic arsenic at least five times more than has been found in alternatives such as oatmeal. The EPA and Consumer Reports suggest limiting the consumption of rice products.