Wednesday, July 30, 2014

New Science Destroys the Saturated Fat Myth | Jul 27, 2014 | Dr. Mercola

"Cholesterol Is Not Only Beneficial for Your Body—It's Absolutely Mandatory

About 800,000 Americans die from cardiovascular disease annually. A quarter of these deaths could be prevented through simple lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, and managing insulin and leptin levels.

By reducing your cholesterol, you may actually be increasing your risk for cardiovascular disease. [...]"

The nutritional myth that saturated fat is bad for you continues to fall apart as a steady stream of new books and studies on this topic hit the media. The latest work to challenge the old dogma is a book called The Big Fat Surprise by journalist Nina Teicholz, interviewed above.

Her book comes alongside new research that raises questions about the long-held but false belief that cardiovascular disease is related to fat and cholesterol intake.
Teicholz points out the flaws in the original Ancel Keys study; how saturated fat has been a healthy human staple for thousands of years, and how the low-fat craze has resulted in excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates, which has resulted in increased inflammation and disease.1 Teicholz tells the Wall Street Journal:2
"There has never been solid evidence for the idea that these [saturated] fats cause disease. We only believe this to be the case because nutrition policy has been derailed over the past half-century by a mixture of personal ambition, bad science, politics, and bias."
Read more..

Brazil Farmers Say GMO Corn No Longer Resistant to Bugs

(Photo: Dricker94)
Common Dreams | Jul 29, 2014 | Deirdre Fulton

Farm lobby group calls on Monsanto and other biotech companies to reimburse for additional pesticide treatments

Brazilian farmers say their GMO corn is no longer resistant to pests, Reuters reported Monday.

The Association of Soybean and Corn Producers of the Mato Grosso region said farmers first noticed in March that their genetically modified corn crops were less resistant to the destructive caterpillars that "Bt corn" — which has been genetically modified to produce a toxin that repels certain pests — is supposed to protect against. In turn, farmers have been forced to apply extra coats of insecticides, racking up additional environmental and financial costs.

The association, which goes by the name Aprosoja-MT, is calling on Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, and Dow companies to offer solutions as well as compensate the farmers for their losses. In a release posted to the Aprosoja-MT website, spokesman Ricardo Tomcyzk said farmers spent the equivalent of $54 per hectare to spray extra pesticides, and that the biotech companies promised something they didn't deliver, "i.e. deceptive advertising." (via Google Translate)

But Monsanto, et al are unlikely to accommodate the farmers. According to Reuters, "seed companies say they warned Brazilian farmers to plant part of their corn fields with conventional seeds to prevent bugs from mutating and developing resistance to GMO seeds."

Earlier this year, a similar problem arose in the U.S., when scientists confirmed that corn-destroying rootworms had evolved to be resistant to the GMO corn engineered to kill them.

The industry response to such loss of efficacy is not to encourage biodiversity, but to further modify the organisms, according to the non-profit GM Watch.
The case of Brazil is an example for an overall trend showing that nearly twenty years after the start of commercialization of Bt crops, there are problems in several countries growing this kind of genetically engineered crop. Industry tries to tackle this issue by commercialization of so called "stacked events" that produce several different Bt toxins. The best known example is Monsanto's SmartStax maize that produces six different Bt toxins.
Another unintended outcome is almost certainly an increased use of pesticides, as has already happened in Mato Grosso.

This Is How Doctors Improperly and Unnecessarily Label Millions With High Blood Pressure To Prescribe Medication

© Prevent Disease
Prevent Disease | Jul 29, 2014 | Dave Mihalovic

There are millions of people who are currently being misclassified as having high blood pressure, when in fact findings show that these people are not actually more likely to die prematurely than those with 'normal' blood pressure. In addition, what used to be classified as normal or high-normal blood pressure (a systolic pressure of 120-139 mm Hg and diastolic pressure of 80-89 mm Hg) is now categorized as prehypertension.

It's a little strange. All of a sudden, the experts are telling millions of people who thought they were healthy that they now have this condition called prehypertension.

Under the influence of Pharamaceutical directives, Clinical Medicine has encouraged lowering the norms for high blood pressure to ultimately sell more hypertensive medications which are no better than natural remedies at reducing the mercury. Professor Giuseppe Mancia, Director of Clinical Medicine at Milan-Bicocca University announced that there should be new recommended threshold values for systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and that the standard 140/90 mmHg should be lowered to 130/85 mmHg.

Hypertension expert, J. M. Wright, MD, PhD said this prevailing medical belief is found to be baseless and perhaps even harmful. Whether they have heart disease or not, people with high blood pressure are usually put on multiple drug therapy to reduce their chances of having a heart attack or stroke. A Cochrane review identified the seven trials that had tested this ideal and found that it didn’t hold up to scientific scrutiny. Using drugs to reduce blood pressure lower than the standard target, 140/90 mmHg, did not prolong survival or reduce stroke, heart attack, heart failure or kidney failure.

Other health experts including reputable physicians and medical researchers agree. Many insist that any decrease in the established blood pressure norms are not based on mortality figures and merely a ploy to increase the market for hypertensive drugs and statins. "Normal blood pressure should statistically be in the range of 110/70 mmHg to 130/85 mmHg for the majority of the population," said Clinical Physician Dr. Raj Amarthi.

Taylor and colleagues' article in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, shows that in those under 50, diastolic blood pressure (lowest pressure within the bloodstream, occurring between heart beats i.e. when the heart relaxes) is the more important predictor of mortality, whereas in those over 50, systolic blood pressure (the highest pressure within the bloodstream, occurring during each heart beat i.e. when the heart contracts) is the stronger predictor. The authors argue it is time to consider a new definition of 'normal' blood pressure.

Taylor and colleagues examined the independent contribution of diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and systolic blood pressure (SBP) on mortality, as well as how these relationships might affect the number of Americans currently labeled as having abnormal blood pressure.

The authors looked at data for 13,792 people from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which enrolled participants in 1971-76 and followed them up for two decades -- they studied DBP, SBP and long-term survival data specifically. In order to assess the underlying distribution of untreated blood pressure in American adults by age, Taylor and team also looked at data for 6,672 adults from the first National Health Examination Survey carried out between 1959 and 1962.

They found that in people aged over 50, those with SBPs above 140, independent of DBP, were significantly more likely to die prematurely. In those aged 50 or less, DBPs above 100 were linked to significant increases in premature death. The authors' analysis offers alternative cut-off points for the definition of 'normal'.

Dr. Taylor concludes: "Our findings highlight that the choice of approach used to define normal blood pressure will impact literally millions of Americans. If we cannot reliably see an effect on mortality in a large group of individuals followed for nearly 20 years, should we define the condition as abnormal? We believe considering this kind of approach represents a critical step in ensuring that diagnoses are given only to those with a meaningful elevation in risk, and targeted towards individuals most likely to benefit."

Dave Mihalovic is a Naturopathic Doctor who specializes in vaccine research, cancer prevention and a natural approach to treatment.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

China’s State Media Reveals Unapproved Genetically Modified Rice Is on the Market

Sustainable Pulse | Jul 29, 2014

CCTV, China’s state broadcaster, has discovered genetically modified rice being sold in two southern provinces, the second such allegation it has made in two years at a time when public opinion seems to have hardened against the technology.

An investigative report aired last Saturday said GM rice was found in the market in southern Hubei and Hunan province, where rice remains the staple food. The allegation by the television network has been substantiated by the Beijing Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau after samples taken from the two provinces tested positive for GM traces.

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have stirred an ongoing global debate since their introduction two decades ago. As a deteriorating environment and decreasing arable land continue to threaten the country’s ability to feed the world’s biggest population, China is looking at various measures including GMO technology to cement its agricultural security.

In China, GM technology was named as one of the key projects part of the National Medium and Long-term Science and Technology Development Plan, which runs through 2020, and Beijing has vowed to invest altogether 20 billion Yuan in major GM research.

In a landmark decision to advance GM technology, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture in 2009 granted safety certificates to two strains of GM rice and one GM maize — a move widely interpreted as a signal that the country might soon apply GM technology to its staple food.

But GM rice is an especially sensitive because it is widely consumed in much of southern China and by a vast majority of Han people in the north.

The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture maintains that GM rice is still at a research stage and said any commercialisation of it would be illegal. Despite that, CCTV’s report over the weekend, if proved to be true, would highlight the management hiccups behind a state-backed undertaking that might take years to get public on board.

“I think the [GM] technology has already spread out and once GM products are out, it’s hard to recall them [...] most of the rice in Hunan, Hubei, Anhui and Fujian have been contaminated,” the broadcaster quoted a Shanghai-based rice company executive as saying towards the end of the special report.

China is already the world’s largest importer of GMO soybean, with annual imports accounting for about 60 percent of global traded soybean.

Source: Global Voices

Neonic Insecticides Widespread In Iowa Waters – Study

Image Credit: Jsayre64 | Jul 28, 2014 | Carey Gillam

A class of insecticides popular with corn and soybean farmers in the U.S. Midwest but feared as a factor in the decline of U.S. honey bee colonies and other crop pollinators, has been found to be widespread through rivers and streams in Iowa, according to a government study released on Thursday.

The study, released by the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, marks the first broad-scale investigation of multiple neonicotinoid insecticides in waterways in the Midwestern U.S., and is one of the first conducted within the entire United States, according to the government scientists.

In the report, 79 water samples from across Iowa, the top U.S. corn-producing state, were collected during the 2013 growing season. Researchers said the use of neonicotinoid insecticides has grown in recent years, and they found them to be both “mobile and persistent” with “a strong pulse of neonicotinoids associated with crop planting” in streams.

The researchers said the broad use of the neonicotinoids, “needs to be closely examined in relation to environmental impacts.”

Similar studies by the USGS have found many other types of common agricultural chemicals in stream samples in Iowa, but researchers said there was a “substantially greater neonicotinoid detection frequency” observed in this study compared to historical detections of other insecticides.

Neonicotinoids, also known as neonics, are sold by agrichemical companies to boost yields of staple crops, but are also used widely on annual and perennial plants in lawns and gardens. Neonics, chemically similar to nicotine, are commonly applied to the seeds before they are planted.

As use of the neonics has grown, some scientists have linked the insecticides to large losses in honey bee colonies that are considered critical for the production of many U.S. crops. Honey bees pollinate plants that produce about a quarter of U.S. consumer foods, according to the U.S. government.

Many agrichemical companies, including Bayer, whose neonic products are top sellers around the world, say there are a mix of factors killing off the bees and that neonics are important tools for boosting crop production.

(Reporting by Carey Gillam in Kansas City; editing by Gunna Dickson)

Source: Reuters