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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Boost Immunity with Four Natural Foods and Supplements

(www.borganic.org) Far from images of hand sanitizer and face masks, real protection from modern disease and illness happens from the inside out. Building a strong immune system is one of the most important steps in preventing the spread of modern illness. The best way to improve your immunity is through natural foods and supplements like these:

Vitamin D

An important regulator in immune response, vitamin D is a key factor in maintaining strong immunity. The properties of vitamin D activate the body's natural defense against pathogens and viruses, triggering the proper response when the body is exposed to a harmful microorganism.

Natural food sources for vitamin D include egg yolk, Atlantic herring, shrimp and other types of seafood. However, vitamin D supplementation is generally recommended in addition to a healthy diet. Ideally you should supplement with a source like fermented cod liver oil, which is a highly concentrated source of natural vitamin D. Otherwise, a high-quality vitamin D3 supplement is the next best choice.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains important fatty acids, like lauric acid, which are used by the body to manufacture specialized antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral substances. Coconut oil is such a ready source of these valuable nutrients; it should be included in the diet of anyone with the goal of improving their immunity. Extra virgin coconut oil is unrefined and will retain the most natural benefits. You can also include foods like unsweetened dried coconut or coconut milk to access these important fatty acids.


The essential role of probiotics in the body is only beginning to surface in the scientific community. However, many traditional cultures valued probiotic foods because they instinctively understood the importance of maintaining healthy gut flora with these foods. It is said that 70 percent of the immune system is based in the gut, so it makes sense to include probiotics as a top immunity booster.

One 2009 study showed a statically significant improvement in immunity in those who supplemented with a probiotic compared to a placebo. Many individuals have noticed similar benefits on their own when they began taking a probiotic supplement or began including more probiotic foods in their diet.

Probiotic foods include naturally lacto-fermented vegetables and fruits (such as sauerkraut) and cultured dairy products such as kefir and yogurt. In addition, probiotic supplements are often recommended because the modern diet and lifestyle is especially destructive to gut flora. A quality probiotic supplement will contain at least several strains of probiotics and no less than 10 billion CFU (Colony Forming Units) per gram.

Olive Leaf Extract

The active component in olive leaf extract is oleuropein, which is converted to elolenic acid in the body. This in turn heightens immunity and enables the body to destroy viruses, pathogenic bacteria, and fungi. Olive leaf extract is even considered a natural antibiotic by many alternative health enthusiasts. For the best results, find olive leaf extract that has been standardized to at least 10 percent oleuropein, and preferably closer to 20 percent.

For More Information:







Elizabeth Walling

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Maca: Peruvian Superfood is Excellent for Libido and Nutrition

(www.borganic.org) There are many plants and herbs that are able to affect libido in both men and women. However some of those plants, such as yohimbe, have negative side effects such as raising the heart rate and increasing blood pressure. Thanks to recent research done on a Peruvian plant, we now have a safe alternative for increasing libido and sexual function in men and women. During our rediscovery of this superfood, we find maca to be packed full of nutrition and a great alternative for libido enhancement.

Maca has been grown and cultivated in the Peruvian Andes of South America for nearly 2,600 years. Maca is grown for its root, and is a member of the cruciferous family of plants. Maca closely resembles a radish in shape, yet is slightly larger in size. Maca is grown in an altitude of 9,000 to 14,000 feet above sea level. This makes maca the highest altitude crop on earth.

Traditional Andean shamans used maca to increase fertility in both animals and humans. Shortly after the Spanish conquest, the Spanish noticed their livestock were doing poorly in the desolate highlands. Andean natives suggested that both the Spanish and their livestock consume maca. Apparently the results were remarkable since some of the first written Spanish records of the Andes were on the subject of maca.

Dr. Gloria Chacon de Popovici published her first study of maca's effect on animal fertility in 1961. Her research determined that maca increases fertility in rats, dogs, guinea pigs, rams, cows, and humans. She suggests that maca has been shown to act on the hypothalamus, pituitary glands, and the adrenals. She theorized that by activating these areas in our endocrine system maca is then able to increase libido, energy, and vitality. The activation of these systems allows us to produce higher levels of testosterone, progesterone, and DHEA. In turn this is also beneficial for the balancing of hormones in both men and women.

While Dr. Chacon was doing her research and feeding maca powder to rats, she discovered that male rats had increased sperm counts and motility rates, and the female rats showed multiple egg follicle maturation. The effects were shown within seventy-two hours upon feeding the rats maca. The effects on humans are similar. This research indicates that maca is a superfood capable of increasing fertility and can be extremely useful for those trying to conceive a child. Maca has also been shown to help women produce more breast milk after pregnancy.

Maca is also an adaptogen. Adaptogens help our bodies to adapt to stress. It is well known that the stresses of life have a serious effect on libido in both men and women.

Nutritional Profile
Maca powder is approximately 10 percent protein. The protein in maca contains twenty amino acids and seven of the eight essential amino acids. Although not a complete protein, maca is an excellent source of hormone precursors and amino acids.

Maca has a lipid content of about 2.2 percent which includes linolenic acid, palmitic acid, and oleic acid. Maca is also a good source of sterols. Sterols have been shown to have immune enhancing properties.

Maca is rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sulfur, sodium, and iron. Maca is also a great source of the trace minerals zinc, copper, selenium, iodine, bismuth, manganese, silicon, and tin.

Maca also contains vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin C, and vitamin E.

Maca is truly a power packed superfood that is beneficial for both libido and nutrition. In order to achieve best results, consume between 2 to 6 tablespoons of maca powder daily.





Superfoods: The Food And Medicine Of The Future, By David Wolfe, Pub 2009

By Brett Brown
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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sara Lee accused of greenwashing marketing hype with its "EcoGrain" bread

(www.Borganic.org) The Sara Lee company stands accused today of engaging in blatant greenwashing through its highly misleading marketing of its new "EcoGrain" bread.

The Cornucopia institute has released news describing how this product line by Sara Lee is made with "toxic agrochemicals" even though it's being marketed as better than organic.

The full statement from the Cornucopia Institute follows (www.Cornucopia.org)

Sara Lee greenwashing reaches new lows with EcoGrain bread

With the growing success of organics, and increasing consumer interest in buying foods that were grown on sustainable farms without toxic chemicals, Sara Lee Corporation has launched, with much fanfare, a marketing campaign for its Earthgrains bread, chock-full of environmental-friendly catchphrases.

Sara Lee claims that "Eco-Grain™," an ingredient actually used in small proportions in its Earthgrains brand breads, is more sustainable than organic grain. What has been described as a "crass and exploitive marketing ploy" has angered many in the organic community.

"Corporations like Sara Lee clearly want to profit from consumers' interest in ecological and healthy food production. But unlike organic companies, Sara Lee is doing practically nothing to ensure its ingredients are truly ecologically produced," said Charlotte Vallaeys, a Food and Farm Policy Analyst at The Cornucopia Institute, a Wisconsin-based organic industry watchdog. "It's a crass example of a corporation trying to capitalize on the valuable market cachet of organic, while intentionally misleading consumers -- without making any meaningful commitment to protect the environment or produce safer and more nutritious food."

Not exactly organic

The Cornucopia Institute, a farm policy research group, points out that the farmers who grow Eco-Grain differ very little from most conventional grain producers who use petroleum-based fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides, and have little in common with certified organic farmers.

The one attribute that Sara Lee uses to differentiate Eco-Grain production is that the farmers, although they use chemical fertilizers, incorporate technology that has reduced fertilizer usage by 15%. In contrast, as mandated by federal law, organic farmers are required by law to reduce their synthetic fertilizer use by 100%.

Organic farmers use natural fertilizers, compost and crop rotations to enrich the long-term health of the soil, without damaging the environment or potentially contaminating the food produced.

However, Cornucopia's Vallaeys points out that, "Even if their new fancy wheat were truly superior, each Earthgrains 24 ounce loaf contains only 20% flour from Eco-Grain, with the remainder of the bread's wheat coming from regular, conventional wheat. The total reduction in chemical fertilizer use in a loaf of EarthGrains bread therefore amounts to a meager 3%."

"Even though they've done a countrywide media rollout, including underwriting spots on National Public Radio, Sara Lee is, in essence, playing a shell game," said Mark A. Kastel, Codirector at The Cornucopia Institute. "Even as they had the audacity to promote a bread with just 20% of their 'value added' wheat, the rest of their product line has 0% content of the Eco-Grain. If advertising executives could be charged with malpractice, this would be a major felony," Kastel said.

By Mike Adams
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Monday, February 22, 2010

U.S. government wants farmers to spread toxic powder from coal plant scrubbers on their food crop fields

(www.borganic.org) The federal government is pushing farmers to use a toxic byproduct of the coal burning industry to fertilize and loosen the soil in their crop fields. Initiated under the Bush administration as a beneficial use for the substance, efforts by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continue to advocate for the widespread use of synthetic gypsum in agriculture.

Called flue gas desulfurization gypsum, or FGD gypsum, this synthetic powder is produced by coal plant "scrubbers" that remove sulfur dioxide from plant emissions. Sulfur dioxide is the chemical that causes acid rain to occur. FGD gypsum is a white, powdery substance that some believe will help to enrich crop field soil.

The current administration has been pushing for the agricultural use of FGD gypsum despite the fact that it is known to contain toxic heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and arsenic. According to the EPA, the mercury contained in FGD gypsum does not affect plants and runoff into water supplies at "significant" levels. As far as the other heavy metals are concerned, the EPA is holding to the mantra that the levels are minute, contending that using in in crop fields is perfectly safe.

Last year, a coal ash pond just outside of Knoxville, Tennessee, spilled, flooding about 300 acres of land with ash and killing many fish in the area. The spill damaged many homes as well and cleanup costs are expected to be upwards of $1 billion. This catastrophe has prompted the EPA to draft regulations on how to handle toxic coal waste safely.

The EPA would not comment, however, about its support for FGD gypsum in agricultural use in light of the spill and the damage it caused. If the waste from coal plants is toxic and must be dealt with in a manner that keeps it contained, many are wondering why the EPA would promote the same waste for use on crops.

In 2001, the USDA partnered with the EPA to promote FGD gypsum use. Since that time, the amount of the substance used by farmers on their fields has triple. According to the American Coal Ash Association (ACAA), nearly 280,000 tons of the byproduct was spread on fields last year.

Thomas Adams, executive director of the ACAA indicated that almost nine million tons of the roughly 18 million tons of FGD gypsum produced last year was used to make drywall. He believes that finding new ways to recycle the substance is preferable to dumping it in landfills.

Sources for this story include: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dy...

By Ethan A. Huff
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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Organic chickens are genetically different from conventional chickens

(www.Borganic.org) Researchers from the Netherlands have found that organically fed chickens develop different genes than their conventionally fed counterparts. The result is that the genes responsible for creating cholesterol have a higher expression in organically fed chickens, yet these birds do not have elevated blood cholesterol levels.

Commissioned by the Louis Bolk Institute in Driebergen, the study compared two groups of chickens from two generations that were each fed the exact same things with the exception of one group receiving organic feed and the other conventional feed. Upon completion, scientists took RNA samples from all the chickens' intestines in order to compare and contrast gene expression.

Researchers were surprised to discover that simple differences in cultivation methods can have such a drastic outcome in how chickens process their food and express it in their genes. Dr. Astrid de Greeff from Livestock Research and her colleagues came to find that 49 genes ended up regulating differently in the organic group.

Seven of the different genes are involved in cholesterol biosynthesis. Since cholesterol is necessary for the production of hormones and is a building block for many other substances, it is unclear to exactly what extent conventional feed is negatively affecting chickens. What is clear, though, is that feeding chickens organically is even more important than previously thought.

Amazingly, the research did not even involve genetically modified feed which carries potentially worse effects; all such gene differences occurred only because one group of food was grown organically, meaning it was free from pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Scientifically demonstrable differences in gene expression should cause consumers to think twice before purchasing conventionally raised chicken.

According to a 2006 Consumer Reports study, chicken is one of the most important products to purchase organic. Organic chicken does not contain the toxic hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides that commercially raised birds do. According to the report, even low levels of artificial hormones can increase one's risk of developing cancer. Commercial chicken may also be tainted with toxic heavy metals.

Pasture raised, organically fed chickens that are free to peck at grass and bugs are the best birds to buy as their meat will be leaner and more flavorful. Pasture raised chicken meat has a healthier composition that is higher in vitamins, minerals, and omega 3 fatty acids than its conventional counterpart. Pasture raised chickens also naturally produce rich, healthy eggs that are unmatched by anything sold at the grocery store.


Organic feed influences gene expression in chickens - PhysOrg.com

Organic Feed Shown to Affect Genes in Chickens - Popular Science

Benefits of Organic Chicken - LiveStrong.com

By Ethan Huff
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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Help Now and Say No to Genetically Modified Alfalfa

(www.Borganic.org) In 2006, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved Monsanto's genetically modified (GM), "Roundup Ready" alfalfa without conducting a proper Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The Center for Food Safety (CFS) and The Cornucopia Institute jointly filed a lawsuit against the USDA decision, requesting that GE alfalfa be prohibited until an EIS was conducted. The lawsuit was won and the USDA eventually produced the report; however, the agency seems to be ignoring all the potential risks and is set to approve GE alfalfa anyway.

Alfalfa is a fundamental source of feed for both organic and non-organic livestock. It is also the fourth most widely grown crop in the U.S. It is concentrated primarily in the Pacific Northwest and Canada where it grows best.

Alfalfa is also a perennial crop and, if approved for genetic modification and release, would be the first in its category. Perennial plants grow continually, lasting throughout the year and persisting indefinitely depending on weather conditions. The negative impact of releasing GE perennials is speculated to be severe due to their natural growth tendencies.

If planted, fragments of GE alfalfa will eventually escape and contaminate nearby fields with pollen, spawning a host of new GE alfalfa plants all over the place where they should not be. Since alfalfa is open-pollinated by bees, which can travel upwards of six miles from their home, widespread biological contamination is sure to take place.

Controlling the growth, pollination, and proliferation patterns of GE crops is simply impossible; there is no way to protect non-GE plants and fields from being contaminated with patented DNA by natural forces and insect life.

GE crops are also known to foster pesticide-induced bacteria and "superweeds" that end up plaguing fields. Each year, superweeds become more virulent as they grow increasingly resistant to pesticides and herbicides that are designed to protect GE crops from infestation. Harmful bacteria colonies also infiltrate the root systems of GE plants, disrupting delicate soil compositions and wreaking havoc within the natural ecosystem.

According to experts, the entire $25 billion organic industry is at risk from GE alfalfa. If not stopped, the entire alfalfa industry will take a huge hit in and of itself. Because farmers will no longer be able to ensure the integrity of their alfalfa crops, they could potentially lose all export contracts with countries that oppose genetic modification. In time, all alfalfa besides Monsanto's GE variety could become extinct.

The USDA is receiving public comments concerning Monsanto's GE alfalfa until February 16. Comments can be submitted online at the U.S. Government Regulations input page.

Written correspondence can be submitted to:
Docket No. APHIS-2007-0044
Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD
APHIS, Station 3A-03.8
4700 River Road Unit 118
Riverdale, MD 20737-1238

Please be sure to include Docket No. APHIS-2007-0044 at the top of all written or electronic comments so the agency will know to which issue they apply.


ACTION ALERT: Genetically Modified Alfalfa Threatens Organic Agriculture - The Cornucopia Institute

Speak Out on Genetically Engineered Alfalfa - Organic Valley Cooperative

Glyphosate-Tolerant Alfalfa Events J101 and J163: Request for Nonregulated Status - USDA

By Ethan Huff
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Monday, February 15, 2010

Vital Pollinating Bees Need Protection

(www.Borganic.org) Honeybees provide us with around a third of our food through the simple act of pollinating fruits, berries, nuts, and vegetables. Agriculture has become so dependent on pollinating honeybees that continued precipitous decline in bee populations threatens much of what we eat and drink.

We face the prospect of a world with scarcer and therefore pricier coffee and orange juice for our breakfast and with fewer apples, oranges, lemons, berries, peaches, cherries, melons, nuts, squash, beans, and yes, honey. The prime pollinator of all these crops and more, the Western honeybee, is annually responsible for around $15 billion US dollars in food crop value from 130 food crops.

Around five years ago, honeybee populations started plummeting in North America. Suddenly, between 2005 and 2006, there was a sharp and catastrophic collapse of bee colonies in dozens of countries simultaneously. This was unlike anything seen before, even by the most experienced beekeepers.

In the USA, approximately one third of all hives have collapsed over the last two years. These losses constitute around 800,000 colonies in 2007 and a staggering 1 million colonies in 2008. Various causes have been mooted, and now neonicotinoid (nicotine-based) chemicals are under the spotlight.

In 2004, France banned the best selling pesticide imidacloprid. In 2008, Germany suspended the registration for eight pesticide seed treatment products used on canola and corn. The European Parliament voted late in 2009 for tougher controls on bee-toxic chemicals.

Movement to stem drastic honeybee population declines in North America has been much slower. For years, neonicotinoids have been sprayed onto corn. Now huge agribusiness corporations have acquired patents to coat their proprietary corn seeds with these neonicotinoids. These "neonics" are extremely persistent. They enter the plant and are present in pollen and on droplets of water on leaves.

Now, in light of the mounting evidence that new seed chemical coatings are deadly to bees, Sierra Club has been urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban their use until it obtains scientific evidence that sublethal effects do not cause harm to America's honeybees.

A new documentary called Nicotine Bees was filmed across the US, in Germany, in Canada, and in India. It seems to implicate neonicotinoids as the most important factor in the bee die-offs, and the Sierra Club is urging the American public to view Nicotine Bees. They suggest showing the 45-minute film in schools and at organizational meetings.

Beekeeper Kim Flottum concludes, "It is obvious that bees and nicotine don't mix anywhere on the map. You can be pretty well assured that if honey bees are at risk, so are all the rest of the pollinators out there. All of them."

Another documentary film, The Vanishing of the Bees, warns that if pollinated crops are less available, our diets will consist more and more of rice, wheat, soybeans, and corn (all largely self- or wind-pollinated). Interestingly, these are the main crops that agribusiness has huge financial stakes in.

As gardeners and farmers, we can help the honeybee. Apart from working to ban indiscriminate spraying of pesticides, we can plant native flowers, trees and shrubs that are bee-friendly on our land. We can learn about beekeeping and set up hives in our own backyards. We can grow, buy and eat food that supports local, organic and small-scale farming practices and producers that are pesticide-free. When we look after the honeybee, we also look after ourselves.


By Peter Finch
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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Heal yourself in 15 days (part seven)

(www.Borganic.org) This article continues with part seven of our 15-day "Heal Yourself" series. It begins with the idea of observing the poor health of the mainstream crowd: Do you want to be as diseased as they are? If so, simply do what they do!

Let's face it: The "mainstream consumer" isn't very healthy. People who follow mainstream health information from the mainstream media are the most diseased people of all. They eat processed junk foods, they take lots of dangerous pharmaceuticals, they routinely get vaccinated and they completely fail to protect their health with nutritional supplements, superfoods or fresh living foods.

These are the people supporting the pharmaceutical industry, the cancer industry, the diabetes industry and the heart disease industry. Through their suffering and death, they keep the medical system alive and profitable. And if you want to be healthy, these are precisely the people you need to reject in order to be safe and healthy yourself.

Don't follow the crowd off the edge of the cliff

The mainstream crowd, you see, isn't very well informed when it comes to health. Crowd psychology tells us that people tend to follow whatever the crowd is doing for no reason other than the fact the crowd is doing it. The human mind figures, "Well, if the crowd is doing that, there must be a good reason for it," and so people just go along with practically anything as long the crowd supports it.

This is how people end up drinking sugary sodas, eating at fast food restaurants, drinking pasteurized milk and living on processed junk foods. This is how they end up eating microwaveable popcorn, or drinking diet sodas or consuming "processed cheese food."

This is what causes people to get vaccines that they don't need or take dangerous prescription medications that might harm them (or kill them). Crowds as a whole aren't very intelligent -- even when individual members of the crowd might be highly intelligent on their own! And if you follow the mainstream consumer crowd without thinking for yourself, you can only expect the same outcome the crowd is experiencing: Degenerative disease, pharmaceutical dependency and medical bankruptcy.

That's why achieving lasting health means distancing yourself from the mainstream crowd and in many cases doing the opposite of what they do.

You'll be healthier by doing the opposite of the mainstream

When the mainstream crowd rushes to get vaccinated against a hyped-up, non-emergency "pandemic", just do the opposite and don't get vaccinated.

When the mainstream crowd rushes to get free chicken at KFC because Oprah announced it on her show, do the opposite and go drink a smoothie or something.

When the mainstream crowd rushes to be subjected to mammography radiation (which actually promotes breast cancer), do the opposite and get a far safer thermograph (or just take a healthy dose of anti-cancer vitamin D and stop living your life in fear of cancer).

When the mainstream crowd pops pills for depression, cholesterol and high blood pressure, do the opposite and take nutritional supplements that nourish the body instead of poisoning it.

Basically, watch what the mainstream consumers do and make a conscious effort to do the opposite (in most cases, anyway).

Don't leap from one mindless crowd to another

While you're doing all this, be careful not to leap from one mindless crowd to another. In rejecting the mainstream crowd, in other words, don't fall blindly into following another crowd, even if it's a "healthy" crowd.

In my view, you should never follow any crowd just because it's a crowd. That includes the raw food crowd, the yoga crowd, the vegetarian crowd, etc. Instead, think for yourself about what makes sense to you. And then, if your conclusions match their conclusions, it's okay to join that group (or hang out with that crowd) as long as you continue to invoke a reality check from time to time. Make sure that what the crowd is doing always makes good sense to you and you won't be blindsided by crowd stupidity.

Crowds usually aren't very smart. But YOU are! You have the ability to think for yourself, to change your mind at any time, to improve your decisions, to upgrade or downgrade your lifestyle, etc. Exercise these gifts where appropriate, and don't be afraid to try out new eating habits, new exercise schedules and new approaches to self care. Find out what works best for you, regardless of whether a "crowd" exists that practices the same thing.

Don't be a mindless health nut, in other words. Be mindfully health conscious and go with what works best for you rather than what's popular or cool.

Check in with yourself from time to time

Most of all, if you ever find yourself going along with the mainstream crowd -- like waiting in line at a crowded vaccine clinic -- it might be a good idea to pinch yourself and engage in a little lucid thinking by asking questions like, "Should I really be here? Does this really make sense? Is there a safer, more natural alternative that I could explore instead?"

Think about this the next time you're about to get your breast pancaked at the mammography clinic. "Does irradiating my breasts really make good sense?" Of course it doesn't. People only do it because they are going along with the mainstream crowd. And the crowd is clueless about breast health, ionizing radiation, vitamin D or cancer prevention.

So be smart. Be an individual. And be brave enough to reject the crowd and do something different that's probably a whole lot safer and healthier.

Getting sunlight on your skin to generate vitamin D is rejecting the crowd. And yet it's the very best way to prevent cancer for FREE!

Previous articles in this 15-day "Heal Yourself" series

Part One - Remove barriers to healing

Part Two - Unleash your inner healing potential

Part Three - You are what you absorb

Part Four - Transform your health by making new blood

Part Five - Experience the healing potential of living plant juices

Part Six - Accelerate your healing with a 24-hour fast

By Mike Adams
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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Aspartame has been renamed and is now being marketed as a natural sweetener

(www.Borganic.org) In response to growing awareness about the dangers of artificial sweeteners, what does the manufacturer of one of the world's most notable artificial sweeteners do? Why, rename it and begin marketing it as natural, of course. This is precisely the strategy of Ajinomoto, maker of aspartame, which hopes to pull the wool over the eyes of the public with its rebranded version of aspartame, called "AminoSweet".

Over 25 years ago, aspartame was first introduced into the European food supply. Today, it is an everyday component of most diet beverages, sugar-free desserts, and chewing gums in countries worldwide. But the tides have been turning as the general public is waking up to the truth about artificial sweeteners like aspartame and the harm they cause to health. The latest aspartame marketing scheme is a desperate effort to indoctrinate the public into accepting the chemical sweetener as natural and safe, despite evidence to the contrary.

Aspartame was an accidental discovery by James Schlatter, a chemist who had been trying to produce an anti-ulcer pharmaceutical drug for G.D. Searle & Company back in 1965. Upon mixing aspartic acid and phenylalanine, two naturally-occurring amino acids, he discovered that the new compound had a sweet taste. The company merely changed its FDA approval application from drug to food additive and, voila, aspartame was born.

G.D. Searle & Company first patented aspartame in 1970. An internal memo released in the same year urged company executives to work on getting the FDA into the "habit of saying yes" and of encouraging a "subconscious spirit of participation" in getting the chemical approved.

G.D. Searle & Company submitted its first petition to the FDA in 1973 and fought for years to gain FDA approval, submitting its own safety studies that many believed were inadequate and deceptive. Despite numerous objections, including one from its own scientists, the company was able to convince the FDA to approve aspartame for commercial use in a few products in 1974, igniting a blaze of controversy.

In 1976, then FDA Commissioner Alexander Schmidt wrote a letter to Sen. Ted Kennedy expressing concern over the "questionable integrity of the basic safety data submitted for aspartame safety". FDA Chief Counsel Richard Merrill believed that a grand jury should investigate G.D. Searle & Company for lying about the safety of aspartame in its reports and for concealing evidence proving the chemical is unsafe for consumption.

Despite the myriad of evidence gained over the years showing that aspartame is a dangerous toxin, it has remained on the global market with the exception of a few countries that have banned it. In fact, it continued to gain approval for use in new types of food despite evidence showing that it causes neurological brain damage, cancerous tumors, and endocrine disruption, among other things.

The details of aspartame's history are lengthy, but the point remains that the carcinogen was illegitimately approved as a food additive through heavy-handed prodding by a powerful corporation with its own interests in mind. Practically all drugs and food additives are approved by the FDA not because science shows they are safe but because companies essentially lobby the FDA with monetary payoffs and complete the agency's multi-million dollar approval process.

Changing aspartame's name to something that is "appealing and memorable", in Ajinomoto's own words, may hoodwink some but hopefully most will reject this clever marketing tactic as nothing more than a desperate attempt to preserve the company's multi-billion dollar cash cow. Do not be deceived.


Ajinomoto brands aspartame 'AminoSweet' - FoodBev.com

Aspartame History Highlights - Janet Starr Hull

FDA's approval of aspartame under scrutiny - The Globe and Mail (Canada)

An Overdue Ban On A Dangerous Sweetener - Huffington Post

By Ethan Huff
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Friday, February 12, 2010

Two High School Students Find Epidemic of Mislabeled Foods

(www.Borganic.org) Two high school students, Brenda Tan and Matt Cost at the Trinity School of Manhattan, gathered 151 DNA samples from foods and objects in their and neighbor's homes as part of a science project. Of the samples, a large percentage were found to not be what their packaging said they were - they were mislabeled and, some think, intentionally so.

The project was part of a test of a technology that Rockefeller University and the American Museum of Natural History have developed. The technology is a new databank of DNA "bar codes" pioneered by Canadian scientists at the University of Guelph in Ontario. What the results from those tests showed is alarming.

Of 66 fish samples, 11 of them were mislabeled as the wrong type of fish. Most of those fish were the prepackaged varieties. Expensive sheep`s milk cheese and pricey goat`s milk were both found to have been from cows instead. Venison dog treats were based on beef, not venison. Sturgeon caviar was found to really be from Mississippi paddlefish.

The DNA samples were gathered from their homes and neighbors` homes and were purchased as products from local supermarkets and food stores. They found that of the hundreds of samples taken, most had detectable DNA samples available (even after having been frozen).

The usable samples were then sent to Rockefeller University, who pulled the DNA sequences and sent electronic queries on the samples through the AMNH Consortium for the Bar Code of Life database. The reports were then returned to the high schoolers, who compiled the results against the original source. They indicate that the substitutions are purposeful, with the swapped items being very much like those they are replacing, except cheaper.

The work by these two students follows that done in 2008 by two others, who found that 25% of the fish they purchased and tested was mislabeled. The FDA has adopted the database for use in fish identification and the USDA is working towards using the Code of Life to identify fruit fly species and lumber from endangered trees. Results from the hard work of the Trinity students will be published in the January 2010 issue of BioScience.

Bob Hanner, a biologist at Guelph who led the work on this new type of DNA bar coding and cataloging, said he works closely with the FDA and USDA and that as the technology gains ground, he hopes to see it used to combat mislabeling, smuggling, and more.

As a final cap to their great work, the two high school students have been told that they may have identified a new species of cockroach as well. This, of course, made national news headlines while the larger story about the mislabeling was ignored.

Food mislabeling is nothing new, of course, as NaturalNews has noted in the past.

BioScience Magazine, January 2010 Issue.

U.S. Student sleuths use unique Cdn technology to identify mislabeled foods, Canadian Press, Dec. 28, 2009.

Many Sugar-Free Food Products Mislabeled, Warns FDA, David Gutierrez, NaturalNews

By Aaron Turpen
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Thursday, February 11, 2010

GMO consciousness uprising

(www.borganic.org) For several years, The Institute for Responsible Technology has predicted that the US would soon experience a tipping point of consumer rejection against genetically modified foods. Now, in a December article in "Supermarket News", that prediction is supported and the non-GMO consciousness uprising is gaining momentum.

Besides the Institute`s new non-GMO website and non-GMO shopping guide, which was disclosed in a previous article, another Non-GMO project is being launched. The project would offer the country`s first consensus-based guidelines to include third-party certification and a uniform seal for approved products. The organization would also require documented traceability and segregation to ensure the tested ingredients are what go into the final product.

The "Supermarket News" article alerts supermarket executives to the fact that the growth of organic, local, and green product categories reflects a generation of consumers that could be less tolerant of genetic modification.

In the past, health culprits like fats, refined carbs, salt and sugar were addressed, in that food companies offered options with, without, or with low levels of them. Now, the GMOs are coming to light. These executives are becoming aware that GMOs do not offer a single consumer benefit. They are finally learning that the five major GMOs, soy, corn, cottonseed, canola, and sugar beets, which are gene spliced to tolerate or produce poisonous insecticides, offer the consumer nothing. They are also learning that companies can eliminate GMOs without having to change recipes.

When the major food companies notice even tiny losses in market share, their GMO clean out will be widespread. The large food companies will recognize that the same consumer trend that forced them to remove all GM ingredients in Europe and Japan is taking place in the US.

Right now, about 28 million Americans regularly buy organic and about 87 million are opposed to GM foods and believe they are unsafe. And, 159 million say they would avoid GMOs if they were labeled. Imagine what people would say if they all learned that Monsanto paid off our elected officials to not require labeling of GMOs. You see, they knew full well that no one would buy their GMO garbage if it were labeled as such.

In the past, the decade could be defined with regard to the "culprits". In the 80`s, it was fat; in the 90`s, it was carbs. Hopefully, we won`t need this whole decade to send GMOs packing. And, God willing, by this time next year, Monsanto, the largest GMO producer in the world, will not be a "happy camper".

Read labels. If soy (including soy lecithin), corn, cotton, canola and sugar do not say organic, do not buy it.

By Hesh Goldstein
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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Man nearly dies after one spray of Lynx deodorant

(www.Borganic.org) A British man who had never before had an allergic reaction in his life almost died on Christmas Day after using a popular deodorant spray called Lynx. After spraying himself with it, Darren Palmer began to develop an itchy rash that quickly developed into anaphylactic shock which left him unconscious.

Palmer indicated that he had used this brand of deodorant before without any problems, however the product that almost killed him was from a new line called "Fever" which may have had new, unknown chemicals in it that caused a severe reaction. After his initial reaction, Palmer immediately tried to take a shower to get the product off his body. When he realized that the reaction was only getting worse, he panicked and tried to get out of the shower but collapsed in the bathtub.

The spray caused Palmer's throat and windpipe to swell, rendering him unable to breathe. According to paramedics, he would have died were it not for the quick response of his wife, Joanne, who immediately called for help upon discovering her husband unconscious.

The paramedics arrived in time to administer adrenaline and oxygen which helped Palmer to begin breathing again. He was rushed to the hospital where he eventually recovered, but experts have been unable to figure out exactly what triggered the reaction.

Interestingly, Palmer makes a living as a motorway maintenance worker where he deals with chemical sprays all the time. He explained to reporters that he had never had any sort of allergic reaction from the chemicals he works with nor with any food products.

Public health officials were also at a loss for providing any sort of explanation, indicating that it is rare for a person to suffer anaphylactic shock after spraying themselves with deodorant. Nevertheless, the armpits are a sensitive area where a quick reaction from an allergen is likely to have the worst effect.

Spokesmen from Lynx expressed regret about the situation, explaining that they plan to investigate the situation further. According to the company, Lynx's "Fever" line of deodorants were tested more rigorously than all their other products.

Many spray deodorants are filled with potentially toxic substances, some of which can lead to cancer. Since these things are going to end up in your body, it is important to seek out brands that do not use toxic chemicals in their formulas and research all the ingredients before making a decision.

Sources for this story include: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art.

By Ethan A. Huff

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Cannabis Beneficial for Multiple Sclerosis Patients

(www.Borganic.org) A systematic review conducted by The Global Neuroscience Initiative Foundation found that five of six controlled trials reported a reduction in spasticity and an improvement in mobility amongst multiple sclerosis patients using cannabis extracts.

The two researchers, Shaheen Lakhan and Marie Rowland from the Los Angeles-based foundation, searched for trials evaluating cannabis extracts. Specifically, they were looking for extracts known as delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Their study was published in the December 2009 issue of BMC Neurology.1

What they were trying to correlate was the benefits of these two extracts for treating one of multiple sclerosis' most hard to treat symptoms: spasticity. Spasticity is the involuntary tension or contraction of muscles and is one of the most common and tell-tale symptoms of MS. Most of the current therapies and medications for this symptom are hard to obtain, have a poor track record, or come with intolerable side effects.

Of course, the introduction of THC and CBD into patient groups came with some side effects, most notably intoxication. The level depended on the treatment dose and, interestingly, was also reported in the placebo groups of the studies as well.

The studies considered included those only with THC and CBD combinations used for the therapies and only for the specific treatment of spasticity in MS patients. Each study had varying outcomes, but the overall trend between them showed a reduced spasticity in treated patients and an improvement in general symptom reduction. The adverse events reported with these studies were generally considered well-tolerated by the patient and relatively mild.

The medical benefits of cannabis have been long known to various people around the world, but only recently have been accepted by modern science. The American College of Physicians only just endorsed medical marijuana in 20082 and the use of hemp, a member of the cannabis family, for health has been a staple of the natural health movement.3

This latest study from the Global Neuroscience Initiative Foundation shows that the benefits of using cannabis in multiple sclerosis therapies far outweigh the light side effects they have. In many areas, sufferers from MS have often turned to marijuana to relieve their symptoms, usually without a doctor's knowledge or consent.

On some fronts, most notably the acceptance of medical marijuana and cannabis extract treatments, the main stream medical establishment seems to be finally coming around.

1 - Whole plant cannabis extracts in the treatment of spasticity in multiple sclerosis: a systematic review, Shaheen El Lakhan and Marie Rowland, BMC Neurology, December 2009

2 - American College of Physicians Endorses Medical Marijuana, by Adam Miller, NaturalNews.com

3 - Hemp FAQ, by Mike Adams, NaturalNews.com

By Aaron Turpen
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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Goji Berries: Enjoy an Antioxidant Packed Superfood

(www.borganic.org) Goji berries, also known as Wolfberries, are one of the most nutritionally dense superfoods on the planet. They contain a vast array of unique carotenoids, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Among these it is also believed by many to be one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet.

Antioxidants help to protect our DNA from damage by free radicals and radiation. Without an ample supply of antioxidants our body becomes open to illness and accelerated aging. Free radicals are generated as a byproduct of normal metabolism and exposure to toxins and radiation. This eventually results in an early cell death which has been contributed to a variety of diseases and to the accelerated development of mutated cells that may lead to cancer. All of this is countered with the help of antioxidants.

Goji berries are one of the best sources of the carotenoid antioxidants, even more than carrots. This is important since research has indicated that the carotenoid content of human tissue is a statistically significant factor in determining our maximum lifespan potential. This means the more carotenoids we consume, the better the possibility we may live a longer life.

Eye Health
Goji berries also contains some very important nutrients for eye health. These include zeaxanthin and lutein. A diet with increased levels of zeaxanthin and lutein has been helpful in decreasing the risk of developing age related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness and loss of vision in people above the age of 65.

Immunity And Longevity
Goji berries have also been found to boost the immune system. There are three main components in the goji berry that do this: polysaccharides, beta-carotene, and germanium. Polysaccharides are well known for their immune boosting properties, while beta-carotene seems to boost interferon`s stimulation on the immune system. Germanium, which has been found to be effective in treating certain types of cancer, is also critical in boosting interferon levels. Goji berries also contain sesquiterpenoids which have anti-inflammatory properties. The sesquiterpenoids contained in goji berries are found to be a powerful secretagogue. A secretagogue stimulates the secretion of the human growth hormone by the pituitary gland.

Due to the vitamin and mineral content of goji berries, and the fact that they are the only known food sourced with secretagogue, goji berries have long been known as a longevity food. In fact, legend has it that a man named Li Qing Yuen was believed to have lived to the age of 252 years. It is still unknown if this case is true or not.

Nutritional Profile
Goji berries contain 18 amino acids including all eight of the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. They also contain 21 trace minerals including: calcium, copper, germanium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc. For a vitamin content they contain vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B-complex, and vitamin E.

How To Use
Goji berries can be used a variety of ways. Traditionally in Chinese medicine they were used in teas and eaten raw. They are great to add to any of your teas that you make since the heating process extracts the polysaccharides into the tea water. They are also good added to soups and trail mixes. You can find goji berries in a good local health store or via the internet.

As we can see, goji berries are really a superfood of the top magnitude. Antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, polysaccharides, protein, it has them all in an abundance. This is one of the many superfoods available to us in our modern age that can truly help to take our health to the next level.




Superfoods: The Food And Medicine Of The Future, By David Wolfe, 2009

By Brett Brown
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Friday, February 5, 2010

Unwitting Public Consume More GMO Foods while Evidence of Harm Continues to Mount

(www.Borganic.org) Most Americans do not want genetically modified foods and consider them dangerous. Because the U.S. does not require manufacturers to disclose genetically modified (GM or GMO) ingredients on the product labels, the public is largely unaware of when they are purchasing GM foods. Such foods are now found in up to 70 percent of all grocery store products. While an unwitting public consumes more and more GM foods, evidence of their dangers continues to mount.

Genetically modified foods are created when genes from another species are created in a lab and inserted into a food's DNA. The foods which have the highest prevalence of genetic modifications include some of our biggest crops: corn, soybeans, canola, tomatoes, lettuce, and potatoes. Corn oil and high fructose corn syrup are widely used in food items. Virtually every salad dressing and butter substitute finds that they contain one or more of corn oil, canola oil or soybean oil.

The European Union, Japan, China, Korea, Australia, and New Zealand require labeling of foods containing GMO content. Despite a CBS News showing a majority of Americans want labeling, no such laws exist. A CBS poll also found that 53 percent of Americans wouldn't buy food they knew had been genetically modified.

Experts and consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about GMO foods as evidence of their dangers continues to mount. In a study published in the International Journal of Biological Sciences rats fed genetically modified corn were compared to their parents who had been fed non-GM corn. The results showed a clear difference between the two groups. The rats fed GM food had signs of liver and kidney problems as well as effects on their hearts, adrenal glands, and spleens.

A Russian study found that over 55 percent of the newborn rats from females fed genetically engineered soy flour before, during, and after pregnancy, died within three weeks and 36 percent were underweight. By comparison, only 9 percent of the offspring of rats fed non-GM soy died and less than 7 percent were underweight.

The global leader in the push for GMO foods is Monsanto. A new study which used the same data Monsanto used to gain approval of GMO corn linked organ damage to three strains of the Monsanto GM corn. The study was conducted by the Committee of Research and Information on Genetic Engineering (CRIIGEN) and the Universities of Caen and Rouen in France. The study, completed in December 2009, appears in the International Journal of Biological Sciences (IJBS).

Ninety-nine percent of GMO crops either tolerate or produce insecticide - which might explain why we see bee colony collapse disorder and massive butterfly deaths. If GMOs destroy our pollinators, they could be more disastrous than the threat they pose to humans and other mammals. In addition to possible extinctions and eco-system harm, GMO opponents fear they could trigger the emergence of antibiotic resistant diseases due to viruses and bacteria used to modify some GM foods. They also fear such foods could raise the risk of developing cancer, lead to chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia and trigger food allergies.

To avoid GM foods:

- Read the produce stickers on fruits and vegetables. Five-digit numbers beginning with an eight mean it is a GM food. Five-digit numbers beginning with a nine indicate organic foods. Conventionally produced foods have numbers containing four digits.
- Select products that are labeled GM-free.
- Buy foods labeled "100 percent organic."
- Get your produce from small, local farmers (most GM foods come from large commercial farms).
- Avoid processed foods, especially those containing corn, soy and canola.

Sources included:


By Tony Isaacs
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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cell Phones Cause Brain Cancer, Scientists Warn

(www.Borganic.org) A report issued by the International Electromagnetic Field Collaborative and endorsed by 43 scientists from 13 countries has reviewed the evidence linking cell phone use to brain tumors, and refuting the methodology of a forthcoming industry-funded study expected to give the phones a clean bill of health.

"I fear we will see a tsunami of brain tumors, although it is too early to see that now since the tumors have a 30-year latency," study author Lloyd Morgan said. "I pray I'm wrong, but brace yourself."

Among the research cited in the study was a recent study by a Swedish team of scientists that found a 420 percent higher risk of brain cancer among people who had started using cellular or cordless phones as teenagers. Older analog phones, which are now mostly off the market, had been found to increase cancer risk by 700 percent.

Because children are especially vulnerable to radiation, the report recommends that parents not allow their children under the age of 18 to use mobile phones except in emergencies, or to sleep with cellular phones under their pillows. It recommends using corded land lines whenever possible, and using cellular phones mostly as answering machines, turning them on only to check messages and return calls. Use of cell phones inside buildings or in cars increases cancer risk, as it increases the radiation a phone must emit to function. Use of text messages and non-wireless headsets can reduce cancer risk. The report also advises against carrying cell phones against the body, even in pockets.

"Some countries are already banning cell phones over health concerns, with France saying children in elementary schools can only use them for texting," Morgan said.

The report also sets out 11 flaws in the forthcoming Interphone study, a study on cell phones and health being prepared by the wireless industry in 13 different countries. These flaws include the exclusion of non-cellular cordless phones (which also emit radiation), children and young adults (the most vulnerable demographics) from the study, the exclusion of certain types of tumors, and the exclusion of participants who died or were too sick to answer questions.

Sources for this story include: www.pcworld.com.

By David Gutierrez

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

(www.Borganic.org) An apple a day keeps the doctor away! This is a saying that has stayed with us for many years. It is believed to have come from an ancient Roman proverb. The Romans truly believed the apple had magical powers to cure illnesses. Let's take a look at some of the reasons why this might be true.

Antioxidants and Vitamin C
Humans are unable to synthesize vitamin C within our bodies like other mammals, so it is essential that we find a good food source of this vitamin. Apples are one of these foods. Vitamin C is well known for preventing scurvy through the use of limes by the British Navy during 1795. It is also well known that vitamin C has many immune system enhancing properties and is therefore essential to our daily health. Vitamin C is a superb antioxidant, and is essential for cell detoxification and enzymatic function.

Apples also contain bioflavonoids. Bioflavonoids are also known for their antioxidant properties. Bioflavonoids are also believed to be of use in the prevention and treatment of various types of cancers by inducing mechanisms that help to kill cancer cells and inhibit tumor invasion.

Apples actually contain a long list of phytonutrients including quercetin, catechin, phlorizin and chlorogenic acid. It is important to know however that many of the nutrients of an apple are contained within the apple's skin, so be sure not to skin your apples before consuming them.

One apple, depending on the type and size, typically contains about 4 grams of dietary fiber per five ounce apple. This equates to approximately 15% of your recommended daily intake. Apples contain both soluble and insoluble fiber in the form of cellulose and pectin. Both of these fibers have been documented to reduce and keep your LDL cholesterol levels under control.

Research done in Japan has shown that apple pectin can help decrease the chance of obtaining colon cancer. Pectin is also effective in causing regressions in and prevention of gallstones.

Asthma and Lung Support
Unique to apples is a crucial flavonoid called phlorizin. Phlorizin is believed to be important in the support of asthma and lung support, even more so than some of the other citrus fruits that are known to be helpful.

So with all of this information we can see how the saying could have easily come about. Although not one of the more exotic or expensive rare fruits or superfoods on the planet, apples truly can be a benefit to our daily diet. An apple a day can definitely help keep the doctors away, and that my friend is tasty!







By Brett Brown
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Wild Fish Stocks Depleted by Feeding of Farmed Fish Like Salmon

(www.Borganic.org) Rather than relieving pressure on wild fish stocks, the explosive growth of aquaculture has actually exacerbated this pressure, according to an international study led by Rosamond L. Naylor of Stanford University and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The researchers surveyed trends in the farming of several different fish species, finding that by the end of 2009, half of all fish consumed in the world will have been raised on an aquaculture farm. This has led to a concurrent increase in demand for wild-caught fish meal and fish oil to feed these fish, including for vegetarian species such as tilapia and carp.

"Our assumption about farmed tilapia and carp being environmentally friendly turns out to be wrong in aggregate, because the sheer volume is driving up the demand," Naylor said. "Even the small amounts of fishmeal used to raise vegetarian fish add up to a lot on a global scale."

Fish fed on fish meal and oil grow faster and tend to have more flavor than fish fed on a natural diet, providing a profit incentive for fish farmers to buy more wild-caught fish. The researchers found that the amount of fish meal fed to vegetarian fish increased drastically in the early 1990s. Even though this trend began to reverse in 1995, carp and tilapia farms were still responsible for consuming more than 12 million metric tons of fish meal in 2007.

Farmed salmon also place a huge burden on wild fish stocks, with five pounds of wild fish required to produce every pound of farmed salmon.

"As long as we are a health-conscious population trying to get our most healthy oils from fish, we are going to be demanding more of aquaculture and putting a lot of pressure on marine fisheries to meet that need," Naylor said.

"Our thirst for long-chain omega-3 oils will continue to put a lot of strain on marine ecosystems," she said.

Sources for this story include: www.boston.com; www.scienceblog.com.

By David Gutierrez

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Neurotoxic Chemical Common in Foods

(www.borganic.org) A neurotoxic flame retardant resists environmental breakdown and builds up in the food chain, a new study conducted by researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health and published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives has found.

"They are persistent in the environment. They don't get broken down," lead researcher Alicia Fraser said. "Therefore, it takes a really long time for the contamination to leave our environment and our bodies. Even though we don't know the health effects at this point, most people would want policies that would stop us from being exposed to them."

The chemicals, known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), are closely related to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which were banned in the 1970s after evidence emerged that they produced birth defects and neurological damage. Flame-retardant PBDEs were introduced at roughly the same time and soon became popular in a wide variety of household and consumer products.

Since the 1990s, evidence has increasingly emerged linking PBDEs to neurological damage in animals. Furthermore, study after study has shown that the chemicals can build up in the human body, particularly in breast milk. Every human population on Earth currently carries PBDEs in their bodies.

In the new study, researchers tested 2,000 people for PBDEs, finding that meat eaters had body burdens 25 percent higher than vegetarians. This provided still more evidence that the chemicals build up in animal fat, resisting degradation.

"The more meat you eat, the more PBDEs you have in your serum," Fraser said.

Many PBDEs have already been banned by the European Union, as well as the states of California, Maine and Washington. The new findings suggest that even if the chemicals are banned worldwide, they will continue to plague us for decades to come -- just like PCBs.

"The industry is finding new products to use as flame retardants, and we don't know the health and safety implications of those products either," Fraser said. "We need to test the health and safety implications of products before they go into use, not after."

Sources for this story include: www.wired.com.

By David Gutierrez
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