Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Ebola scare motivating interest in immune system functioning and alternative therapies

© FP Dominique Faget
SOTT | Oct 22, 2014 | Jeffrey Jaxen

We are witnessing a stunning reversal of events in the face of the present Ebola scare consuming North America. The drum beatings of fear played all to often by the mainstream media have given way to a symphony of personal empowerment, education, and a mass social movement to take back our health freedom.

The threat of Ebola initially grabbed headlines and paralyzed millions who lacked understanding. Answers were sought amidst the fear peddling and confusion yet few were being found. A disheartened population is now storming the 'alternative' media and independent health networks, websites, and radio shows for direction. What they are finding is currently propelling us all into a new, decentralized health paradigm.

To the disbelief of pharmaceutical companies, people across North America are taking the time to understand what their immune system is. They are then shocked to find out that it's weak, damaged, and under attack daily. Like true warriors, most are activated into action and begin researching.

Read more..

Mental Rest and Reflection Boost Learning, Study Suggests

Natural Blaze | Oct 21, 2014

A new study, which may have implications for approaches to education, finds that brain mechanisms engaged when people allow their minds to rest and reflect on things they've learned before may boost later learning.

Scientists have already established that resting the mind, as in daydreaming, helps strengthen memories of events and retention of information. In a new twist, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have shown that the right kind of mental rest, which strengthens and consolidates memories from recent learning tasks, helps boost future learning.  

Image: The patterns of brain activity recorded in this fMRI scanner revealed how mental rest and reflection on past learning activities can boost future learning. Photo credit: Jeff Luci.

The results appear online this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Margaret Schlichting, a graduate student researcher, and Alison Preston, an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience, gave participants in the study two learning tasks in which participants were asked to memorize different series of associated photo pairs. Between the tasks, participants rested and could think about anything they chose, but brain scans found that the ones who used that time to reflect on what they had learned earlier in the day fared better on tests pertaining to what they learned later, especially where small threads of information between the two tasks overlapped. Participants seemed to be making connections that helped them absorb information later on, even if it was only loosely related to something they learned before.

"We've shown for the first time that how the brain processes information during rest can improve future learning," says Preston. "We think replaying memories during rest makes those earlier memories stronger, not just impacting the original content, but impacting the memories to come.

Until now, many scientists assumed that prior memories are more likely to interfere with new learning. This new study shows that at least in some situations, the opposite is true.

"Nothing happens in isolation," says Preston. "When you are learning something new, you bring to mind all of the things you know that are related to that new information. In doing so, you embed the new information into your existing knowledge."

Preston described how this new understanding might help teachers design more effective ways of teaching. Imagine a college professor is teaching students about how neurons communicate in the human brain, a process that shares some common features with an electric power grid. The professor might first cue the students to remember things they learned in a high school physics class about how electricity is conducted by wires.

"A professor might first get them thinking about the properties of electricity," says Preston. "Not necessarily in lecture form, but by asking questions to get students to recall what they already know. Then, the professor might begin the lecture on neuronal communication. By prompting them beforehand, the professor might help them reactivate relevant knowledge and make the new material more digestible for them."

This research was conducted with adult participants. The researchers will next study whether a similar dynamic is at work with children.

This work was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the NSF CAREER Award and the Department of Defense through the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program.

Download the article "Memory reactivation during rest supports upcoming learning of related content" (PNAS Oct. 20, 2014):

The University of Texas at Austin

GMO backlash: Syngenta faces mounting lawsuits over genetically-modified seeds

RIA Novosti / Katerina Sovdagari
RT | Oct 21, 2014

Agribusiness giant Syngenta AG now faces lawsuits from farmers in 11 US states claiming the seed-and-chemical company’s sale of a genetically-engineered variant of corn yet to receive approval in China depressed market prices for the grain.

At issue is Syngenta’s 2009 release and distribution of its MIR162 genetically-modified corn known as Agrisure Viptera, which is engineered to fend off certain insects known to decimate corn crops. While approved for use in the United States, Chinese regulators have yet to sanction the export of Viptera.

Last November, China began rejecting US corn shipments based on the existence of Viptera leading to more than $1 billion in damages for US farmers, plaintiffs in 11 states have alleged in various lawsuits filed in federal courts in recent weeks. RT reported earlier this month on three of these lawsuits against Switzerland-based Syngenta.

Farmers in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi joined the fray last week, as plaintiffs aim to reach class-action status with their combined suits, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Different varieties of wild or experimental peppers
are displayed on a table in a greenhouse, part of a
global center which selects vegetable and fruit seeds,
owned by global Swiss agribusiness Syngenta AG,
in Sarrians, southeastern France
(AFP Photo / Sandra Laffont)
A lawsuit filed in Iowa alleged that the release of Syngenta’s Viptera caused the US-to-China corn export market to fall by 85 percent. "Syngenta's decision to bring Viptera to the market crippled the 2013-14 corn export market to China," plaintiffs in Nebraska stated in their own suit.

Plaintiffs have accused the company of engaging in willful misrepresentation. Syngenta has claimed that "the vast majority of corn produced in the US is used domestically," plaintiffs have alleged, and that exports are not as important, though the US Department of Agriculture says 20 percent of corn produced in the US is exported.

Syngenta has maintained that it is not at fault for the plunge in corn prices, that it has always been open about Viptera’s approval status, and that the Chinese government should not be able to tell US farmers what corn they can grow.

“We continue to believe that [we have] complied with all the laws, rules and regulations of the countries in which we’re selling the product,” John Ramsay, Syngenta’s chief financial officer, said Thursday during a conference call, according to the Wall Street Journal.

John Ramsay, Chief Financial
Officer, of Swiss agrochemicals
group Syngenta

(AFP Photo / Shaun Curry)
Viptera has been sold legally to farmers in the US, Argentina, and Brazil since 2011. The GMO strain of corn is said to heighten protection against the likes of black cutworms and corn earworms.

James Pizzirusso, a partner at Hausfeld LLP, a law firm involved in some of the suits against Syngenta, echoed accusations that the company has not been transparent with Viptera and its status in Beijing.
Syngenta should not have marketed and aggressively promoted Viptera while misrepresenting that Chinese approval was imminent and also downplaying the importance of the Chinese export market,” Pizzirusso said, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In addition to the at least $1 billion in damages, the farmers seek an end of the cultivation and marketing of Viptera.

Though Viptera has been planted on only about three percent of US farm acreage, it is difficult to say for sure "that any shipments of US corn will not be contaminated with trace amounts of MIR162," the Nebraska plaintiffs said in their suit filed earlier this month.

The commingling of corn from various sources at corn distribution centers is “essentially impossible," according to the Iowa complaint, which cited other major grain companies Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill Inc., which do not accept Viptera.

Syngenta has been encouraged by the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) to stop selling Viptera, according to the Iowa claim. The NGFA has estimated that actions taken in China against US corn have caused prices to drop by 11 cents per bushel.

In April, the NGFA, a trade organization for grain elevators, reported that China had barred nearly 1.45 million tons of corn shipments since 2013, resulting in about $427 million in lost sales.

The US Department of Agriculture
building (AFP Photo / Saul Loeb)
In 2011, Syngenta requested in federal court that a grain elevator firm, Bunge North America, remove signs that said it would not accept Viptera-variety corn. The request was denied in 2012.

Yet on Monday, a federal appeals court revived a false advertising claim in Syngenta’s lawsuit against Bunge, sending the claim back to a lower court for review.

The US Department of Agriculture expects 10 states to set records for corn production this year, though high productivity will likely lead to lower prices.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Brilliance of Susan Humphries on The Dangers of Vaccines

Prevent DiseaseTV | Oct 21, 2014

There will come a day when all Doctors will understand that vaccination is based on speculation, opinion, and grand assumptions, not real science. When that day comes, more doctors like Dr. Susan Humphries will speak out on the dangers of Vaccines.

She perfectly sums up the problem with vaccines in a nutshell. Dr Suzanne Humphries, a practicing nephrologist (kidney physician) says the vaccine industry isn't giving people both sides of the story, and parents need to get informed before subjecting their children to vaccines that can potentially cause serious harm or even death.


Low Carb Ketogenic Diet Speeds Weight Loss: Aids Diabetes, Epilepsy and Cancer

Studies show the low-carb, high-fat ketogenic
diet aids weight loss and prevents disease.

The low-carb ketogenic diet accelerates weight loss, and prevents and manages disease, said obesity expert Dr. Tim Noakes, a physician and professor at the University of Cape Town in South Africa.

“The more sick you are, the more ketogenic you need to be,” Noakes told BizNews. “If you just want to lose some weight, or run better, your diet doesn’t have to be ketogenic.”

You don’t have to follow a ketogenic diet, said Dr. Noakes, but reducing carb intake and eating more unprocessed fat is the best chance we have to prevent and manage obesity, diabetes, heart disease, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and cancer.

Renowned cancer scientist Dr. Thomas Seyfried recently told me the ketogenic diet can replace chemotherapy for most cancers.

Dr. Seyfried’s bold, in-your-face statements have ignited a firestorm of controversy in the blogosphere. Prof. Seyfried did not say the ketogenic diet cures cancer, but effectively manages it in a non-toxic, less expensive manner than the current standard of care.

Like Seyfried, Professor Noakes believes it’s time for the medical community to investigate metabolic therapy as an alternative to toxic chemotherapy and radiation.

“We invested billions of dollars into drugs to kill cancer cells,” said Noakes. “The research is driven by scientists who got it wrong, but won’t admit it. They just keep plodding along, trying to cure cancer according to a model that clearly doesn’t work.”

Noakes, author of the Challenging Beliefs, has made headlines in his native South Africa for his no-holds-barred stance against the consumption of refined carbs. It is not saturated fat that’s making us fat and sick, he said. It’s our consumption of a high-carb diet, especially one high in sugar.

Noakes has weathered his share of criticism for trumpeting his LCHF health message, but said scientific evidence is on his side.

It is what top medical scientific minds internationally have been saying for years: Saturated fats are not the healthy bogey we’ve been led to believe they are. They are not behind skyrocketing rates of heart disease and obesity after all.”

Noakes is encouraged that after four decades, mainstream media is finally reversing its position on unprocessed saturated fat. Two weeks ago, Time magazine announced that the 40-year demonization of saturated fat as the cause of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease was based on flawed data, citing a March 2014 Cambridge University study.

Noakes pointed out that no one has ever proven that saturated fat causes heart disease, even though this is a widely held belief.

“It’s a completely unproven hypothesis,” he said. “In fact, no one has ever proven that cholesterol in the blood causes heart disease. It’s an assumption based on epidemiology, and is destroyed in [Nina Teicholz's book] The Big Fat Surprise.”

According to Teicholz, eating too much refined carbs and not enough unprocessed fat is what has led to the tsunami of overweight, diabetic, sick Americans.

Teicholz echoed the sentiments of science journalist Gary Taubes, who has long argued that dietary fat has been wrongly blamed for causing obesity and other diseases. Taubes detailed his research in his No. 1 bestseller, Why We Get Fat.

According to obesity experts, a high-carb diet promotes disease and weight gain by causing pro-inflammatory spikes in blood glucose and blood insulin. By limiting those surges in blood sugar, we dramatically reduce inflammation, which is what fuels disease, they say.

Obesity Experts: Eat Fat and Get Skinny

Dr. Jeff Volek, author of The Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living, told me the LCHF ketogenic diet is beneficial both for elite endurance athletes and the average sedentary individual.

“There are very few people that a ketogenic diet could not help,” said Volek, who has followed the ketogenic diet for the past 20 years.

Research shows LCHF diets like the Atkins and ketogenic diets reduce inflammation and curb depression and bipolar disorder. A ketogenic diet has already proven effective for managing epilepsy-induced seizures, and has been shown to reverse type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Westman, director of the Duke University Obesity Clinic, has helped hundreds of morbidly obese individuals lose thousands of pounds on the ketogenic and Atkins diets. He, too, is pleased that mainstream media is finally debunking the myth that eating fat makes you fat and sick. To the contrary, he said: Eating fat makes you skinny and healthy.

“I tell my patients not to fear the fat,” said Dr. Westman, co-author of A New Atkins for a New You. “Eat lots of fat. There’s no problem with fat. In fact, saturated fat — the fat that we’ve been taught not to eat — raises your good cholesterol best of all the foods you can eat.”

This article was originally published on Examiner. Copyright©2014.

Experts Slam German Report Deeming Monsanto’s RoundUp, Glyphosate ‘Safe’

Natural Society | Oct 20, 2014 | Christina Sarich

© Natural Society
In December 2013, the German authorities completed a Renewal Assessment Report (RAR) for the re-approval of glyphosate in the European Union. According to the German authorities, there were no risks to health, and it was even suggested that the acceptable daily thresholds for long term exposure (ADI) to which consumers could be exposed might be raised. Now, Testbiotech (The Institute for Independent Impact Assessment in Biotechnology) has published a comprehensive report on the latest determination regarding the risk of the herbicide chemical glyphosate and doesn’t agree with German authorities at all. The German report is being called ‘inconclusive’ and untenable.

Glyphosate, if you didn’t already know, is the main ingredient in Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide, RoundUp, though it is also in other chemical companies’ products. According to Friends of the Earth Europe, around 650,000 tonnes of glyphosate products were used in 2011, and since then sales have mounted to an estimated $6.5 billion, far exceeding the value of any other herbicide on the market. Numbers for 2014 have not yet been calculated, but the product is still used heavily, and shows no signs of being de-regulated or slowed in the U.S. or in several countries in Europe.

The main outcomes in the German report were outlined as such:
“Available data do not show that glyphosate is carcinogenic or mutagenic or that glyphosate is toxic to fertility, reproduction or embryonal/foetal development in laboratory animals.

Evaluation of literature however showed that the toxicity of some herbicides containing glyphosate can be higher than just the active ingredient because of co-formulants (added ingredients) such as e.g. tallowamines used as surfactants.

A research project initiated by BfR shows that the active ingredient glyphosate and the co-formulants (added ingredients) do not have a negative effect on the microflora in the rumen of ruminant animals.”
German authorities ridiculously state that glyphosate posed no risk to humans, even though there are multiple studies proving the very opposite. The authorities even suggested  that the acceptable daily threshold for long term exposure (ADI) should be raised. Yes, let’s raise the allowable limits for a chemical concoction that has been shown to cause birth defects, various cancers, and DNA damage, among other things. Where do these people get their ‘authority’ anyhow? They sound like sycophants to the biotech industry to me.

Testbiotech found that the analysis the German’s published completely ignores new scientific evidence and cites evidence from studies published in 2013 and 2014, and argues that the health risks associated with glyphosate require more meticulous inquiry.

Andreas Bauer Panskus, author of the Testbiotech report, states:
“Our analysis shows, firstly, that the report from the German authorities is inconclusive. Recent publications show that so far the risks of glyphosate have been grossly underestimated. This is a huge problem, because residues from spraying are, for example, widely found in all sorts of food and therefore lead to continuous consumer exposure.”
Several studies have also shown a significant effect on the hormonal system in mammals. Yet another recent study explained for the first time that the learning behavior of bees can be affected by glyphosate as well.

All these risks were classified as irrelevant by the German authorities. How can they be so selective when the results to human and animal life, let alone our environment, could be so heavy?

The German glyphosate risk assessment report is currently being considered by the EU Member States and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) with a final decision on a new authorization expected in 2015.
In 2013, an analysis commissioned by Testbiotech showed that transgenic soybeans from Argentina contained glyphosate residue levels five times higher than the valid limit in the EU. But again, the German report calls for increased allowable levels we are exposed to. It gets more insane every day.