FDA Has Removed Restrictions on Genetically Modified Salmon

Genetically modified fish will soon be sold in the United States. The Food and Drug Administration lifted the import restriction on AquaBounty’s genetically engineered salmon eggs on Friday, March 8th.

In late 2015 the FDA approved AquaBounty’s genetically modified salmon, but shortly thereafter Congress had the FDA block the GM salmon from entering the U.S. until labeling standards were issued. Last December the former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard. The GM salmon will be labeled as “Bioengineered.”

AquaAdvantage GM Salmon eggs will be imported to the company’s land-based facility in Indiana where the eggs will be raised into salmon and sold as food. The AquaAdvantage Salmon grows year-round and grows faster than farm-raised Atlantic salmon. The salmon will take more than a year reach the market if everything goes according to plan. Aquabounty chief Sylvia Wulf told the AP certification for an Indiana growing facility is expected in a few weeks. The facility will then receive the genetically modified salmon eggs and it will then take approximately 18 months for the salmon to reach their target weight.

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Glyphosate Discovered in Popular Beer and Wine

Glyphosate can be found in almost everything we eat, and a new study released by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group has confirmed that the herbicide is also in what we’re drinking. In a look at 20 popular beers and wines, the study confirmed that 19 of the 20 beverages reviewed contained glyphosate residue. The beverage that showed the highest levels of glyphosate was Sutter Home Merlot, with a concentration of 51.4 parts per billion (ppb). Bayer toxicologist William Reeves said via a spokesperson,

The reality is that regulatory authorities have strict rules when it comes to pesticide residues…The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets daily exposure limits at least 100 times below levels shown to have no negative effect in safety studies.”

CBS News

He goes on to say,

Assuming the greatest value reported, 51.4 ppb, is correct, a 125-pound adult would have to consume 308 gallons of wine per day, every day for life to reach the US Environmental Protection Agency’s glyphosate exposure limit for humans. To put 308 gallons into context, that would be more than a bottle of wine every minute, for life, without sleeping.”

An Incomplete Picture

At 51.4 ppb, the Sutter Home Merlot is well below what the EPA considers to be a safe level of glyphosate.

Related: Foods Most Likely to Contain Glyphosate

Wines

  1. Sutter Home Merlot: 51.4 ppb
  2. Beringer Founders Estates Moscato: 42.6 ppb
  3. Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon: 36.3 ppb
  4. Inkarri Malbec, Certified Organic: 5.3 ppb
  5. Frey Organic Natural White: 4.8 ppb

Beers

  1. Tsingtao Beer: 49.7 ppb
  2. Coors Light: 31.1 ppb
  3. Miller Lite: 29.8 ppb
  4. Budweiser: 27.0 ppb
  5. Corona Extra: 25.1 ppb
  6. Heineken: 20.9 ppb
  7. Guinness Draught: 20.3 ppb
  8. Stella Artois: 18.7 ppb
  9. Ace Perry Hard Cider: 14.5 ppb
  10. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale: 11.8 ppb
  11. New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale: 11.2 ppb
  12. Sam Adams New England IPA: 11.0 ppb
  13. Stella Artois Cidre: 9.1 ppb
  14. Samuel Smith’s Organic Lager: 5.7 ppb
  15. Peak Beer Organic IPA: N/A

That doesn’t mean it’s safe, though.

Mr. Reeves, the toxicologist for Bayer, mentions that the EPA’s limits are at least 100 times below levels examined in safety studies. Yet that agency allows much higher concentrations of glyphosate than other safety regulators. The regulations set by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) are much more severe. According to the EPA, a daily dose of 2 mg of glyphosate per kg of body weight should cause no ill effects. OEHHA’s safe daily level recommendations are 1,100 micrograms. OEHHA’s levels are nearly half of those put forth by the EPA.

Related: Microplastics In Tap Water and Beer Around the Great Lakes, and Everywhere Else

Causing Cancer

California has classified glyphosate as a carcinogen since 2017. The World Health Organization (WHO) was even earlier in linking the herbicide and cancer when the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) released a statement labeling glyphosate “probably carcinogenic to humans.” The EPA has resisted that label for years. In fact, evidence in the recent verdict against Monsanto for 289 million dollars contained correspondence between the agro-giant and a high ranking EPA official promising to derail a glyphosate safety study. 

The recent verdict against Monsanto (now Bayer) is only the first of more than 5000 lawsuits awaiting the company. Advertisements seeking participants for class-action lawsuits against Round-up are now commonplace on mainstream television. But it’s hard to believe we can come back from this without some serious change. Ninety-five percent of the drinks examined for this study had glyphosate residue. Glyphosate is showing in food, water, feminine hygiene products…the herbicide is everywhere.

Recommended: How To Heal Your Gut 

What’s Your Damage?

Finding glyphosate in beer and wine has consequences beyond how much you’re drinking. Though the herbicide is often found in organic products studies have found that people who consume greater amounts of organic food are less likely to develop cancer. On the flip side, Napa County, the heart of California wine country and an area with unusually high pesticide use, boasts the highest rates of childhood cancer. Perhaps the amount of glyphosate measured in these beverages is well below the recommended limit for consumptions, but that ignores the enviromental and health impacts of applying the pesticide in the first place.

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Glyphosate May Increase Risk of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma by 41%

Glyphosate raises the risk of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in heavily-exposed individuals by 41 percent, according to a study by former EPA advisors. This is part of a growing body of evidence against Monsanto’s Roundup, now owned by Bayer, that may influence the new wave of lawsuits against the company. The study was a meta-analysis published in Mutation Research that analyzed the results of six earlier studies on glyphosate.

All authors claim to have no financial conflicts of interest.

Glyphosate is the most widely used broad-spectrum systemic herbicide in the world. Recent evaluations of the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) by various regional, national, and international agencies have engendered controversy. We investigated whether there was an association between high cumulative exposures to GBHs and increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in humans. We conducted a new meta-analysis that included the most recent update of the Agricultural Health Study (AHS) cohort published in 2018 along with five case-control studies. Using the highest exposure groups when available in each study, we report the overall meta-relative risk (meta-RR) of NHL in GBH-exposed individuals was increased by 41% (meta-RR = 1.41, 95% CI, confidence interval: 1.13–1.75). For comparison, we also performed a secondary meta-analysis using high-exposure groups with the earlier AHS (2005), and we determined a meta-RR for NHL of 1.45 (95% CI: 1.11–1.91), which was higher than the meta-RRs reported previously. Multiple sensitivity tests conducted to assess the validity of our findings did not reveal meaningful differences from our primary estimated meta-RR.”

Recommended: How To Heal Your Gut

Lianne Sheppard is a former scientific adviser to the EPA on glyphosate.  In 2016 an advisory panel was instructed to determine the safety of glyphosate. Sheppard and to more of the study’s authors served on that panel. After reviewing multiple studies indicating a high likelihood that the herbicide is carcinogenic, the panel declared glyphosate to be noncarcinogenic. Bayer uses the panel’s findings as proof that their product is safe, but Sheppard criticized the EPA for “not following their own rules.

Together, all of the meta-analyses conducted to date, including our own, consistently report the same key finding: exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides are associated with an increased risk of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.”

Bayer AG is facing more than 9,000 lawsuits in the US brought by people suffering from cancer. Plaintiffs blame Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicides for their cancer. Dewayne Johnson was the first plaintiff to go to trial; he won a unanimous jury verdict against Monsanto in August. A judge reduced the verdict, and of course, Monsanto is appealing. The next trial is set for February 25th, and with many more to follow.

Related: Foods Most Likely to Contain Glyphosate



Massive Study Links Diet Soda To Major Heart Problems

A new study shows that women who drink two or more diet drinks a day are 30% more likely to have heart problems, including heart attack and stroke, and 50 percent more likely to die from related disease. The University of Iowa included nearly 60,000 women, making it the largest study of it’s kind.

The study looked at diet soda and diet fruit drink intake and heart health for women participating in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study, comparing women who never or only rarely consume diet drinks to those who consume two or more a day.

This is one of the largest studies on this topic, and our findings are consistent with some previous data, especially those linking diet drinks to the metabolic syndrome.” – Dr.Ankur Vyas, lead investigator of the study

Recommended: How To Heal Your Gut

Diet drinks were defined as a 12-ounce beverage of diet soda or a diet fruit drink.

After an average follow-up of 8.7 years, the primary outcome—defined as a composite of incident coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, heart attack, coronary revascularization procedure, ischemic stroke, peripheral arterial disease, and cardiovascular death—occurred in 8.5 percent of the women consuming two or more diet drinks a day compared to 6.9 percent in the five-to-seven diet drinks per week group; 6.8 percent in the one-to-four drinks per week group; and 7.2 percent in the zero-to-three per month group.

The association persisted even after researchers adjusted the data to account for demographic characteristics and other cardiovascular risk factors, including body mass index, smoking, hormone therapy use, physical activity, energy intake, salt intake, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and sugar-sweetened beverage intake. On average, women who consumed two or more diet drinks a day were younger, more likely to be smokers, and had a higher prevalence of diabetes, high blood pressure, and higher body mass index.” – Iowa State

Related:  If You Drink Soda, It’s Probably The Worst Thing You Do To Yourself (even worse than smoking!)



U.S. Court of Appeals Says Almond Milk Is Milk

Almond milk producers are allowed to call their product milk, says the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The court agreed with another court dismissal of a class action lawsuit filed against Blue Diamond Growers, makers of the best selling almond milk in the United States. The lawsuit alleged that the company was misleading consumers and subsequently advocated for labeling plant-based milk as “imitation milk” due to their inferior nutritional content. This is not the first time nut milk has found itself fighting to use the term milk, as the dairy industry is using all avenues available to them to deal with a culturally, ethically, and environmentally shifting world.

Ongoing Saga

The initial lawsuit against Blue Diamond Growers was filed in January 2017. the almond thing has been in court since at least 2017. The case was dismissed with prejudice in 2017, and the case was then appealed by the plaintiff in 2018. After the second dismissal due to the lack of proof that consumers would be misled by almond milk’s nutritional claims and information, it seems unlikely that almond milk manufacturers will need to change their labeling practices based this lawsuit. They will, however, need to reconcile this issue with the Food and Drug Administration sooner rather than later.

In a statement released in September 2018, FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb expressed sentiments remarkably similar to those in the case against Blue Diamond Growers.

The wide variety of plant-based foods that are being positioned in the marketplace as substitutes for standardized dairy products has been the subject of much discussion in our initial work on the Nutrition Innovation Strategy. The rising demand for plant-based products, like soy-based alternatives to cheese and nut-based alternatives to milk, has created a growing number of new food choices in supermarket aisles. However, these products are not foods that have been standardized under names like “milk” and “cheese.” The FDA has concerns that the labeling of some plant-based products may lead consumers to believe that those products have the same key nutritional attributes as dairy products, even though these products can vary widely in their nutritional content. It is important that we better understand consumers’ expectations of these plant-based products compared to dairy products.”

It’s comforting to hear that the FDA is paying attention to and invested in the changing nutritional needs of the public. Still, recent studies have found that milk doesn’t provide nearly the health benefits either, especially if you’re unable to easily digest it. Yet the FDA references the nutritional superiority of dairy with the phrase “key nutritional attributes.” Why is the government agency acknowledging new attitudes without making room for the possibility that we might not need milk like previous generations thought we did?

Related: Homemade Vegan Nut Milk Recipes

Dairy Farmers in Crises

The growing interest in relabeling milk alternatives has a direct correlation with the fortunes of the dairy industry. The dairy industry is in a particularly rough spot and has been for decades now. Dairy consumption has dropped by 40 percent since the 1970s, and that shows no sign of stopping. The dairy industry has received two separate bailouts within the last three years, including a billion dollar allotment in a budget agreement signed by the Senate in 2018 and a USDA purchase of 11 million dollars of surplus cheese in 2016. Previous efforts at combating the downward trend include the popular got milk campaign, but the current business strategy of blaming alternative milk for declining milk sales isn’t likely to fix the issues with the dairy industry.

Nut milk appeals to the lactose intolerant, the health conscious, the environmentally conscious, and vegans. The public is also paying more attention to how their food is produced, and several dairy industry practices make consumers less likely to support the dairy industry. These practices include but are not limited to separating mothers and babies less than a week after birth, dehorning cows, and keeping cows constantly pregnant.

In addition to shifting public perceptions, the dairy industry is also dealing with a problem of their own making. While the demand for milk and other dairy products has declined, dairy producers have continued to build their surplus. In 2017, the reported milk surplus was more than four times the amount of the actual consumer demand for milk. This imbalance also negatively effects dairy farmers, who are forced to sell milk for lower prices. Many farmers are subsequently going out of business.

Recommended: How To Heal Your Gut

Milking Nuts

All of this is good news for nut milk producers like Blue Diamond Growers, the defendant in this case. The dairy industry is losing its mojo, and this lawsuit and other stalling tactics are only increasing the whiff of desperation. The dairy industry may not like the competition from nut milk and other non-dairy alternatives, but that won’t change the fact that those products are here to stay.

Sources:



Monsanto’s $125 Million Deal to Flood The Market With Gene-edited Foods

According to Monsanto’s press release, the company (recently bought by Bayer) is investing $125 million in gene editing technology with Pairwise Plants, a California agricultural startup that aims to develop gene edited corn, soybeans, cotton, canola crops, wheat, and potentially “strawberries or some other fruit.”

My co-founders and I believe the technologies we have each been developing can have a profound impact in plant agriculture and will speed innovation that is badly needed to feed a growing population amid challenging conditions created by a changing climate.” – Pairwise founder J. Keith Joung

Developing foods that will “last longer” on store shelves is said to be the primary goal of this partnership.

People who are increasingly consuming more fresher fruits and vegetables would likely eat even more if they could get items that meet some or all of these criteria — benefiting retailers through increased sales. And with about 40% of the food produced every year in the U.S. thrown away, totaling an estimated $200 billion, CRISPR could potentially cut down on waste — an area of focus for socially minded consumers, manufacturers and supermarkets.” – Food Dive

Because they will be using gene editing technology, under the new GMO labeling guidelines, the products will not need to be labeled.

Specifically, we are deeply disappointed that the final rule does not clearly require the disclosure of all genetically engineered ingredients, including highly refined sugars and oils, and new GMO techniques like CRISPR and RNAi.” – GMO Labeling Explained – What You Need to Know About These Confounding, Loophole-Laden Rules

With traditional GMOs, a gene is inserted from another organism. Gene-editing is different because it finds a gene and then makes changes by amending or deleting the gene.

Already one Columbia University study has shown that this type of gene editing can create “hundreds of unintended mutations” within the target organism. It’s not known whether this extends to gene edited foods, but now the question is, “Do you want to be the guinea pig?” – March Against Monsanto




If You Drink Soda, It’s Probably The Worst Thing You Do To Yourself (even worse than smoking!)

Sodas are worse for your health than eating sugary junk foods and may even be worse for you than smoking. Soda is proven to be addictive and consumption has been clinically linked to increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, weight gain, kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, depression, asthma, headaches, ear infections, joint and muscle problems, developmental delays, ADHD, heavy metal toxicity, yeast infections, urinary tract infections, candidiasis, other increased pathogenic activity, increased PMS symptoms, brain damage, liver toxicity, tooth decay, acne, mood swings, decreased fertility in men and women, and so much more!

In other words, drinking soda feeds infections, disrupts the gut microbiome and the metabolic processes, degrades cells, causes chronic illness, exacerbates virtually all chronic illness symptoms, and rapidly ages the body.

This is true for sugary sodas, diet sodas, and most energy drinks.

Recommended: How To Heal Your Gut

The Sugar in Soda

A 20-ounce bottle of Coke contains approximately 65 grams sugar which equates to about or 16 teaspoons of sugar. There are 39 grams of sugar in a 12 oz can of Coke, which is equivalent to about 10 teaspoons of sugar. Most sodas that aren’t artificially sweetened are made with high fructose corn syrup, so the teaspoons of sugar are just equivalents.

The American Heart Association recommends that Americans consume no more than five to nine teaspoons of sugar per day.1 We contend that nine teaspoons of processed sugar are too much. Even one is too much. We don’t recommend any refined sugar.

A 20 oz soda has 2.5 servings. A standard serving size is eight ounces. There are 100 calories in one eight ounce serving of soda. These calories are void of nutrition. There’s an easy trick to figure out how many teaspoons of sugar a food has: divide the total sugar grams by four.

A 20-ounce bottle has 65 grams of sugar; 65÷4 = 16.25 teaspoons of sugar.

A can of coke has 35 grams of sugar; 35÷4=8.75 teaspoons of sugar.

If you’re trying to stick with the American Heart Association’s recommendations of no more than nine teaspoons of sugar per day you’re pretty much done after a can of soda.

Beverages are the most significant source of added sugars in the American diet.  The average American drinks almost 42 gallons of sweetened beverages a year. That’s about 39 pounds of sugar.2

Our genes are arranged within double-stranded molecules of DNA called chromosomes. At the ends of the chromosomes are stretches of DNA called telomeres. Telomeres protect the ends of chromosomes from deterioration and from fusion with other chromosomes. When chromosomes replicate, the enzymes that duplicate DNA cannot continue their duplication all the way to the end of a chromosome. Consequently, when a chromosome is duplicated it is also shortened. The telomeres act as disposable buffers at the ends of chromosomes, protecting the genes from being shortened. Over time, with cell replication, the telomere ends become progressively shorter.

Telomere length is positively correlated with lifespan, and shorter telomeres are associated with aging and an increased risk of age-related diseases. Sugar-sweetened soda consumption is associated with shorter telomeres. “Regular consumption of sugar-sweetened sodas might influence metabolic disease development through accelerated cell aging.” 3 The good news is that telomere length has been shown to increase with positive dietary and lifestyle changes.

Recommended: Holistic Guide to Healing the Endocrine System and Balancing Our Hormones

It’s Not Just the Sugar

Plain sparkling water is slightly acidic. We don’t believe these weak acids acidify the body significantly but the carbonation may cause some damage to the teeth’s enamel even without the sugar (diet sodas have been shown to cause tooth decay). There is also a theory that the phosphate used in some carbonated beverages inhibits calcium absorption. But neither of these issues compares to the damage sugar and artificial sweeteners do to the body.

Artificial colors and flavors in many soft drinks have been shown to cause hyperactivity in children.  Yellow 5 has been associated with irritability, depression, and insomnia. Caramel coloring produces a chemical called 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI). The chemical may increase the risks of developing cancer. But, again, these risks are nearly negligible when compared to the health impacts of the sweeteners.

Soda has also shown in studies to have mercury, lead, cadmium, chromium, and aluminum.4,5,6

Diet Soda

Artificial sweeteners increase hunger and make it harder to enjoy healthier foods.

When we consume artificial sweeteners our brain thinks real sugar is coming into the body. We produce insulin to deal with the sugar that’s not there. When the sugar doesn’t arrive the insulin has nothing to store. Elevated insulin causes inflammation and depresses the immune system.7 Blood sugar temporarily drops but long-term use of artificial sweeteners raises blood sugar levels overall.8 They also alter gut bacteria, disrupt normal serotonin levels, slow metabolism, and they alter how the body responds to insulin and glucose, which can lead to glucose intolerance.9,10

Studies suggest that drinking diet soda is associated with metabolic syndrome,11 a mix of conditions that includes: high blood sugar, increased blood pressure, and ironically enough, obesity. This can lead to diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Artificial sweeteners have been tied to Type 2 diabetes, Hypertension, Cardiovascular Disease, and cancer.11,13

Soda Addiction

You can definitely compare the intense pleasure I get from a cold can [of soda] to having a cigarette.” – Wouter, People Explain How Soda Addiction Is Ruining Their Life

Recommended: Sugar Leads to Depression – World’s First Trial Proves Gut and Brain are Linked (Protocol Included)

Soda Facts

Soda May Cause Headaches and Migraines

Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame are listed as top migraine triggers by numerous medical authorities and migraine sufferers.” – Migraine Triggers: Artificial Sweeteners, (1234567).

Caffeine and high fructose corn syrup are also common triggers for migraines.

Soda Messes Up Our Microbiome

Sugar (including dextrose, table sugar, and high fructose corn syrup) and artificial sweeteners have all been shown to disrupt gut bacteria, promote pathogenic activity, and increase the occurrence of yeast infections and urinary tract infections problems.

Soda and Diet Soda Are Making Us Fat

“The rise in soft drink consumption mirrors the national march toward obesity.” – Soda making Americans drink themselves fat

Obviously, sugar causes weight gain, but so does diet soda:

Several studies have proved conclusively that drinking diet soda is associated with weight gain.”

[…]

“Those who drank more than 3 of these drinks per day were more than twice as likely to become obese in the next 7 to 8 years.” – Here’s the Science That Explains Why Drinking Diet Soda Makes You Gain Weight

“And for another 8-year-long study between 1979-1988, participants who started out at a normal weight and drank an average of 21 diet beverages a week faced DOUBLE the risk of becoming overweight or obese by the end of the study, compared to people who avoided diet beverages completely.” – What drinking diet soda does to your body and brain

Soda Causes Diabetes

We all know sugar leads to diabetes and high-fructose corn syrup may even be worse (countries that use HFCS in their food supply had a 20 percent higher prevalence of diabetes than countries that did not use it 14). And artificial sweeteners fair no better.

A report published by the Washington Post stated that long-term use of foods and drinks containing artificial sweeteners are associated with a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Diet Soda and Sugary Drinks May Lead To Stroke and Dementia

High-fructose corn syrup causes cholesterol and triglycerides levels to rise. High-sugar diets lead to diabetes. High cholesterol, high triglycerides, and diabetes increase the likelihood of strokes and dementia.

But diet soda drinkers have a higher risk of stroke and dementia compared with those who consumed conventionally sweetened soda, according to research published in the American Heart Association’s journal.15

Soda Vs. Smoking

According to this study, drinking a 20-ounce soda every day ages your cells as much as habitual smoking, an astonishing 4.6 years of aging at the cellular level.

The study, published in the Journal of Public Health, analyzed data from 5,300 Americans, ages 20 to 65: those who reported daily soda slurping were found to have significantly stunted telomeres. Telomeres, the little caps at the end of your chromosomes, are essential in regulating the lifespan of your cells, and shorter telomeres have been linked to shorter life spans, diabetes, and cancer.” – Is Soda Worse Than Cigarettes?

“Research indicates daily consumption of a 20-ounce soda (though the study didn’t say over how long a time period) correlated to nearly five years of increased aging. This is comparable to the effects smoking cigarettes have on aging.” – If You Would Never Smoke a Cigarette but Still Drink Soda, Read This

Soda Makes Us Older

Soda makes us age faster. It influences metabolic disease development through accelerated cell aging. If you’re not off soda yet, hopefully now you’re ready to kick the habit. Once you remove soda from your life your body will begin to feel much better, provided you don’t replace it with another bad habit. Waking up will feel better, going to sleep will be easier, moving will feel better, thinking will be clearer, joints will hurt less, wounds will heal faster, healthy food will taste better, allergies will lessen or disappear, and everything in your body will work better.

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