Category: Allergen Alerts


Food Poisoning Bulletin

Terra-Medica is recalling 56 lots of homoepathic drug products because they may have the drug penicillin that is not declared on the label.

Anyone who is allergic to penicillin, or allergic to beta-lactam antibiotics, even at low levels, could have a serious or life-threatening anaphylactic reaction if they consume these products. The penicillin or derivatives of penicillin could be produced during the fermentation process. No reports of adverse reactions have been reported to date.

 

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U.S. Food and Drug Administration
10903 New Hampshire Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20993
1-888-INFO-FDA (1-888-463-6332)
Contact FDA

Recall — Firm Press Release

 

FDA posts press releases and other notices of recalls and market withdrawals from the firms involved as a service to consumers, the media, and other interested parties. FDA does not endorse either the product or the company.

 

Terra-Medica Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Specified Lots of Pleo Homeopathic Drug Products Due to the Potential for Undeclared Penicillin

 

Contact:
Consumer:
1-888-415-0535
terry@biomedicine.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 18, 2014 – Terra-Medica, Inc. is voluntarily recalling 56 lots of Pleo-FORT, Pleo-QUENT, Pleo-NOT, Pleo-STOLO, Pleo-NOTA-QUENT, and Pleo-EX homeopathic drug products in liquid, tablet, capsule, ointment, and suppository forms to the consumer level. FDA has determined that these products have the potential to contain penicillin or derivatives of penicillin, which may be produced during the fermentation process.

In patients who are allergic to beta-lactam antibiotics, even at low levels, exposure to penicillin can result in a range of allergic reactions from mild rashes to severe and life-threatening anaphylactic reactions. To date, Terra-Medica has not received any reports of adverse events related to this recall, nor any reports of product tests indicating penicillin content in the products.

The products are used as homeopathic drugs and have a label stating “Distributed by SANUM USA Corp.” The affected products are identified by package size, batch (lot) number and expiry date (ranging from March 2014 – May 2018) in the table accompanying this release. The batch number can be located at the side panel on the label. The affected products were distributed nationwide through health care practitioners, who may have sold the products through websites.

Terra-Medica is notifying its customers by letter and email and is arranging for return of all recalled products. Consumers and distributors that have product which is subject to the recall should stop using the products and return them to the point of purchase.

Consumers with questions regarding this recall can contact Terra-Medica’s Customer Service Department at (888) 415-0535, ext. 1, Monday through Friday between 8-5pm, Pacific Time Zone, or their health care practitioner that distributed the product. Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced reactions while taking or using this drug product.

Adverse reactions or quality problems experienced with the use of this product may be reported to Terra Medica or the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail or by fax.

This recall is being conducted with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Product Name Potency Pharmaceutical Form Package Size Batch # Expiry Date
PLEO-NOT 5X Portable sips 10 x 1ml 07099 08/2014
PLEO-NOT 5X Portable sips 10 x 1ml 15090 08/2015
PLEO-NOT 5X Portable sips 10 x 1ml 06120 11/2015
PLEO-NOT 5X Portable sips 10 x 1ml 19023 01/2018
PLEO-NOT 5X Portable sips 50 x 1ml 07099 08/2014
PLEO-NOT 5X Portable sips 50 x 1ml 15090 08/2014
PLEO-NOT 5X Portable sips 50 x 1ml 01110 10/2015
PLEO-NOT 5X Portable sips 50 x 1ml 06120 11/2015
PLEO-NOT 5X Portable sips 50 x 1ml 19023 01/2018
PLEO-NOT 6X Portable sips 10 x 1ml 25050 04/2015
PLEO-NOT 6X Portable sips 50 x 1ml 25050 04/2015
PLEO-NOT 7X Portable sips 10 x 1ml 20010 12/2014
PLEO-NOT 7X Portable sips 50 x 1ml 20010 12/2014
PLEO-NOT 5X Drops 10ml 21049 03/2014
PLEO-NOT 5X Drops 10ml 13059 04/2014
PLEO-NOT 5X Drops 10ml 09080 07/2015
PLEO-NOT 5X Drops 10ml 15100 09/2015
PLEO-NOT 5X Drops 10ml 24092 08/2017
PLEO-NOT 5X Tablets 20pcs 15070 06/2015
PLEO-NOT 5X Tablets 20pcs 24072 06/2017
PLEO-NOT 3X Ointment 30g 03051 04/2014
PLEO-NOT 3X Ointment 30g 13072 06/2015
PLEO-NOT 3X Ointment 30g 21033 04/2016
PLEO-NOT 3X Suppositories 10pcs 1080 07/2015
PLEO-NOT 3X Suppositories 10pcs 1102 09/2017
PLEO-NOT 4X Capsules 20pcs 14010 12/2014
PLEO-NOT 4X Capsules 20pcs 11080 08/2015
PLEO-NOT 4X Capsules 20pcs 12092 07/2017
PLEO-NOTA-QUENT 5X Drops 10ml 04062 05/2017
PLEO-NOTA-QUENT 5X Drops 10ml 06062 05/2017
PLEO-QUENT 5X Portable sips 10 x 1ml 13090 08/2015
PLEO-QUENT 5X Portable sips 50 x 1ml 13090 08/2015
PLEO-QUENT 5X Drops 10ml 15129 11/2014
PLEO-QUENT 5X Drops 10ml 12040 03/2015
PLEO-QUENT 5X Drops 10ml 01081 08/2016
PLEO-QUENT 4X Capsules 20pcs 25030 04/2015
PLEO-QUENT 4X Capsules 20pcs 27101 09/2016
PLEO-QUENT 3X Suppositories 10pcs 2089 06/2014
PLEO-QUENT 3X Suppositories 10pcs 3031 03/2016
PLEO-FORT 5X Portable sips 10 x 1ml 15030 02/2015
PLEO-FORT 5X Portable sips 10 x 1ml 12122 11/2017
PLEO-FORT 5X Portable sips 50 x 1ml 15030 02/2015
PLEO-FORT 5X Portable sips 50 x 1ml 12122 11/2017
PLEO-FORT 5X Drops 10ml 23109 09/2014
PLEO-FORT 5X Drops 10ml 08030 02/2015
PLEO-FORT 5X Drops 10ml 12032 02/2017
PLEO-FORT 5X Drops 10ml 26043 03/2018
PLEO-FORT 5X Tablets 20 pcs 27100 09/2015
PLEO-FORT 5X Tablets 20 pcs 29100 10/2015
PLEO-FORT 5X Tablets 20 pcs 25013 01/2018
PLEO-FORT 3X Suppositories 10pcs 3110 10/2015
PLEO-FORT 3X Suppositories 10pcs 1112 10/2017
PLEO-FORT 4X Capsules 20pcs 24030 02/2015
PLEO-FORT 4X Capsules 20pcs 14062 05/2017
PLEO-EX 5X Portable sips 10 x 1ml 09020 01/2015
PLEO-EX 5X Portable sips 10 x 1ml 03052 04/2017
PLEO-EX 5X Portable sips 50 x 1ml 09020 01/2015
PLEO-EX 5X Portable sips 50 x 1ml 03052 04/2017
PLEO-EX 5X Drops 10ml 07011 12/2015
PLEO-EX 5X Drops 10ml 09043 03/2018
PLEO-EX 3X Suppositories 10pcs 2011 12/2015
PLEO-EX 3X Suppositories 10pcs 2081 07/2016
PLEO-EX 3X Suppositories 10pcs 3063 05/2018
PLEO-EX 3X Suppositories 10pcs 1013 02/2018
PLEO-STOLO 6X Drops 10ml 08060 05/2015
PLEO-STOLO 6X Drops 10ml 07119 08/2014
PLEO-STOLO 6X Drops 10ml 03043 05/2018

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A beef jerky recall is in effect over concerns that packages were misbranded and failed to include a potential allergy-triggering ingredient, reports The Associated Press on Feb. 12.

Salt Lake City-based Prime Snax Inc. is recalling all jerky products made before Feb. 2 that have already been shipped around the country. The products were found to be mislabeled on the packaging and did not include the ingredient soy lecithin – an emulsifier or binding agent that some individuals are allergic to.

According to the USDA’s news release, the products subject to recall bear the establishment number “EST. 18951” inside the USDA Mark of Inspection. The expiration date on the packages will be prior to August 11, 2015, in the format of “mm dd yy.”

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Are you inflamed over GMO foods?

Several years ago the general public was completely unaware of GMOs and GE foods (genetically modified organisms or genetic engineering), but today the topic is becoming rather well known, thanks to growing education and alternative media coverage. The general public is becoming better informed about the potential harms and health issues associated with biotechnology and bioengineered foods, but the smoke and mirrors the mega-corporations use to obfuscate deeper understanding of the dangers inherent in such ‘mad science’ increases in tandem with growing awareness.

Ok, so a lot of people know they are eating GMO’s and what they are, but the real question is: are GMOs actually safe, as proponents and supporters of biotechnology claim, or are they not? Should we be worried about the long-term health and environmental effects of genetically altered foods? In the following article I hope to present clear evidence and data for stating very definitively: YES! We should be very concerned!

As an organic farmer, agriculture consultant and researcher, I became interested in the GMO issue over seven years ago, particularly their effects on the soil and the contamination or mutation of various plant species. ‘Connecting the dots’, so to speak, it dawned on me how serious this issue is, not just in terms of the environmental effects of GMOs, but also the consequences of eating GMO foods for human health.

A very disturbing picture began to emerge.

As I realized that this ‘genetic engineering’ is essentially a mad science, I joined a local group called ‘Seeds of Truth‘. We began meeting weekly to discuss how to get the word out about the growing takeover of Hawaii’s agricultural lands by several biotechnology corporations.

In November 2010, I had an opportunity to do a podcast with the SOTT team: GMO Frankenfoods and What You Can Do to Improve Your Health. The transcript for the podcast can be read here.

What exactly is Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering?

For those who are new to this topic, it’s important to explain some background knowledge when using the term ‘Biotechnology’. According to Wikipedia:

Biotechnology (sometimes shortened to “biotech”) is the use of living systems and organisms to develop or make useful products, and it is usually seen in agriculture, food production and medicine production. Modern use of similar terms includes genetic engineering as well as cell and tissue culture technologies. The concept encompasses a wide range of procedures (and history) for modifying living organisms according to human purposes – going back to domestication of animals, cultivation of plants, and “improvements” to these through breeding programs that employ artificial selection and hybridization. By comparison to biotechnology, bioengineering is generally thought of as a related field with its emphasis more on higher systems approaches (not necessarily altering or using biological materials directly) for interfacing with and utilizing living things. The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity defines biotechnology as:[1]

“Any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use.”

Genetic engineering, also called genetic modification, is the direct manipulation of an organism’s genome using biotechnology. New DNA may be inserted in the host genome by first isolating and copying the genetic material of interest using molecular cloning methods to generate a DNA sequence, or by synthesizing the DNA, and then inserting this construct into the host organism.

For the purpose of this article I will use the term ‘genetic engineering’ and ‘genetically modified organisms’ (GMO’s) in place of ‘biotechnology’. I hope to clearly explain that ‘genetic engineering’ is not in humanity’s best interest, regardless of claims by avid supporters. The agriculture industry, or Big Ag, began introducing ‘genetically engineered foods’ to the public in the early 1990s. Today, 80% of U.S. grocery store foods contain GMOs.The following articles carried on SOTT.net provide important background information regarding the ‘mad science’ behind GMO technology:

Explained: What Are GMOs?

A GMO (genetically modified organism) is the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. The foreign genes may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans. Since this involves the transfer of genes, GMOs are also known as “transgenic” organisms.

The genetic engineering technology was developed in the 1970s. In the early 1990s, the tomato was one of the first to fall victim to this technology. The anti-freeze genes from an Arctic fish were forced into tomato DNA, allowing the plants to survive frost. Fortunately, this type of tomato was not introduced into the marketplace. Actually, it never left the lab.

In 1976, a major biotechnology company manufactured a herbicide called Roundup. When the farmers sprayed this herbicide on their crops, not only would it kill the weeds, but it would also kill the crops. This biotech company developed genetically modified crops after finding bacteria in a chemical waste dump near its factory that were not dying in the presence of the herbicide. The bacterial gene that produced the protein that allowed it to survive in the presence of herbicide was inserted into soy, corn, cotton and canola.

In 1996, this company (Monsanto) introduced genetically modified soybeans, and slowly introduced genetically engineered corn, cotton and canola. When these crops are sprayed with this Roundup, all plants except the resistant crop are killed.

In 1992, the FDA declared that GM crops are GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) as long as their producers say they are. Therefore, the FDA doesn’t require any safety evaluations or labeling of GMOs. A company can even introduce a genetically modified (GM) food to the market without telling the agency. The official FDA policy stated, “The agency is not aware of any information showing that foods derived by these new methods differ from other foods in any meaningful or uniform way.” But behind closed doors an internal FDA report stated: “The processes of genetic engineering and traditional breeding are different and according to the technical experts in the agency, they lead to different risks.”

Internal memos made public from a lawsuit showed that GM crops can have unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects including allergies, toxins, nutritional effects and new diseases as potential dangers. The FDA doesn’t require a single study, and the complex biology of GM crops may produce far more side-effects than drugs. GM foods are fed to the entire population, and they are not labeled or monitored, so symptoms are difficult or impossible to track.

Dr. Tim O’Shea, author of the website ‘The Doctor Within’, provides more background information explaining what exactly GMOs are:

Genetically Modified Foods: 80% of What’s In Your Grocery Cart:

Since the 1990s world agriculture and food production has undergone the most radical transformation in history. With very little public awareness, in just a few short years genetically modified foods have come to dominate both global agriculture and supermarket shelf space.

The first GMO experiment was crossing the DNA of a flounder with that of a tomato. This was done in order to make the tomato able to withstand colder temperatures. Oh yes, did we mention? – in the biotech industry, pieces of DNA can be transferred theoretically from any plant to any animal, vice versa, or any combination thereof.

Segments of DNA from one species are randomly spliced into the DNA of the other species hundreds and hundreds of times until the desired effect appears. How this cross-species DNA insertion is accomplished is a little less than scientific. The two most common methods of DNA modification are

  • the gene cannon
  • using bacteria and viruses as carriers for the DNA fragment

Scientists refer to the Position Effect when talking about not being able to predict where the inserted fragments will end up in the genetic sequence. Limitless possibilities result – recombining genetic sequences that can turn on or turn off vital processes that have taken thousands of years to refine.

In the gene cannon method tiny little golden bullets are shot into the cells of the target organism with a .22 calibre pistol. Not kidding. Hundreds of times. In this way the DNA of the host organism can be available for splicing in new fragments from the donor species. Of course this method is imprecise and unpredictable and anything but scientific. Only a tiny percentage of the blasted foreign DNA ends up inside the host DNA, of course. But if you do it enough times, you might eventually get a desired recombination. This was the how the flounder and tomato genes were combined.

The more popular method however is to use bacteria and viruses as carriers of donor DNA fragments which may then invade the host’s DNA and splice in the new pieces. We have long known that viruses have this ability to invade the host’s DNA and to actually splice themselves into the DNA strands. Both these methods of genetic modification result in the random scrambling of the host’s DNA, which has virtually unlimited unpredictable consequences.

Are you inflamed because of GMOs?

By ‘inflamed’, I’m not just referring to the state of anger and frustration people feel upon learning the sneaky, deceptive tactics Biotechnology corporations use to put these unsafe ingredients in our food. I am talking about inflammation in the body as a result of eating genetically engineered food loaded with ‘genetically mutated bacteria and viruses’.

Extensive study has been conducted regarding inflammatory responses to disease in the body. Doctors like Mark Hyman and Gabor Mate have written about the connections between inflammation in the body and the onset of disease:

Is Your Body Burning Up with Hidden Inflammation?

Inflammation: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Everyone who has had a sore throat, rash, hives, or a sprained ankle knows about inflammation. These are normal and appropriate responses of the immune – your body’s defense system – to infection and trauma.

This kind of inflammation is good. We need it to survive – to help us determine friend from foe.

The trouble occurs when that defense system runs out of control, like a rebel army bent on destroying its own country.

Many of us are familiar with an overactive immune response and too much inflammation. It results in common conditions like allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune disease, and asthma. This is bad inflammation, and if it is left unchecked it can become downright ugly.

What few people understand is that hidden inflammation run amok is at the root of all chronic illness we experience – conditions like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, dementia, depression, cancer, and even autism.

How to Locate the Causes of Hidden Inflammation

So if inflammation and immune imbalances are at the root of most of modern disease, how do we find the causes and get the body back in balance?

First, we need to identify the triggers and causes of inflammation. Then we need to help reset the body’s natural immune balance by providing the right conditions for it to thrive.

As a doctor, my job is to find those inflammatory factors unique to each person and to see how various lifestyle, environmental, or infectious factors spin the immune system out of control, leading to a host of chronic illnesses.

Thankfully, the list of things that cause inflammation is relatively short:

  • Poor diet – mostly sugar, refined flours, processed foods, and inflammatory fats such as trans fats – Lack of exercise
  • Stress
  • Hidden or chronic infections with viruses, bacteria, yeasts, or parasites
  • Hidden allergens from food or the environment
  • Toxins such as mercury and pesticides
  • Mold toxins and allergens

Dr. Gabor Mate also describes inflammation in the body in his book, When the Body Says No: Understanding the Stress-Disease Connection:

Inflammation is an ingenious process invoked by the body to isolate and destroy hostile or noxious particles ( think GMO’s). It does so by tissue swelling and the influx of a host of immune cells and anti bodies. To facilitate it’s defensive function, the lining or mucose, of the bowel is in a perpetually controlled or orchestrated state of inflammation. This is a normal state in healthy people. The powerfully destructive forces of the immune apparatus must be routinely regulated, kept in balance, so that it can carry out policing duties without harming the delicate body tissues, it is in charge of defending. Some substances (again think GMO’s) promote inflammation others inhibit it. If the balance is upset disease can result.

Additional information about the connection between inflammation and disease is available at the Greenmedinfo.com website:

The Truth About Disease – What it is and What Causes it

Modern medicine describes hundreds of individual “diseases.” Each “disease” is generally named for a group of symptoms and the area of the body affected. Many are suffixed by -itis, meaning inflammation of… like tonsill-itis or arthr-itis. And interestingly, recent studies are finding inflammation involved in virtually all of them. Does this terminology serve to pigeonhole distinct “diseases” and distract us from seeing the big picture of inflammation as the disease? Have we been looking at secondary pathologies and opportunistic microbes, and treating them at symptom-level… instead of addressing a common root cause? Is there some imaginary partition that separates human health from chemistry, physics and cell biology?

Whether inflammation is acute like appendicitis or chronic like atherosclerosis and obesity, an immune response is taking place. In-flam-mation literally means “on fire” and is classically marked by the Latin: rubor, tumor, calor and dolor – or redness, swelling, heat and pain – so we know from those words that oxidation is at work.

Oxidation is simply fire or rust or whenever one molecule seizes an electron from another molecule. The needy oxidant grabs or shares the electrons of an electron rich anti-oxidant. When the electrons are stolen from chemical bonds, those molecules (like DNA) come apart or are deformed (like fats) and said to be oxidized, burnt.

Inflammation does not just happen; a bacterium or toxin or some other irritant triggers an immune response. The ammunition used by the body for immune firefights is singlet oxygen, an all-purpose defensive weapon. With an unpaired electron, an oxygen radical is a powerful oxidant.

It can deconstruct and destroy pathogens, poisons, cell debris and other unwanted substances, molecule by molecule, by snatching the electrons that hold them together. Immune cells initiate the conflagration, armed with mini-flamethrowers that generate oxidative bursts of singlet oxygen to burn the area clean.

Now that we have covered both the history of GMO technology and the inflammatory response in the body, we can begin to look at the deeper issues associated with ‘genetic engineering’ and the introduction of mutated foreign pathogens into our bodies, such as bacteria and viruses.

© naturalfamilymedicine.com

Is it possible that GMOs trigger and cause inflammation in the body?

With the introduction of ‘genetic engineering’ and its widespread use in the production of food for both humans and animals, we can begin connecting the dots. The issue here is that this ‘genetic mad science’ is producing disease and illness in the population based on the foods that are being touted as safe and healthy. Basically the population is being used as guinea pigs to test the long term effects of eating a diet composed of genetically modified organisms. Naysayers and pro GMO advocates say that ‘genetically altered foods’ are safe, GRAS (Generally regarded as Safe) or substantially equivalent to non GMO food, but where is the data to back up such a claim? Biotechnology corporations like Monsanto claim that there is no need for value testing the safety of GMO foods. What do scientists working in the field say?

“As a scientist, actively working in the field [of GMO] I find that it is very, very unfair to use our fellow citizens as guinea pigs.” – Arpad Pusztai, PhD

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File:Soybeanvarieties.jpg

Varieties of soybeans (Glycine max). Soybeans are practically as much a part of American life as baseball. They’re grown today in more than half the United States. Yet, a hundred years ago, they were virtually unheard of-raised only by a handful of innovative farmers. These seeds, from the National Soybean Germplasm Collection housed at Urbana, Illinois, show a wide range of colors, sizes, and shapes.

Image Source  :  Wikimedia.org

Author Scott Bauer

USDA Image Number K5267-7

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PreventDisease.com

Jan 27, 2014 by NATASHA LONGO

Whether Labeled Organic, Non-GMO or Conventional, Here Are 12 Reasons To Avoid Any Kind of Soy

Soy has become a major source of toxicity for human beings, especially in the last three decades. Not only is more than 99% of soy genetically modified, but sources labeled organic or non-GMO are often exposed to the same problems as conventional soy. If you consume processed foods, soy is almost impossible to avoid. With the exception of wheat, there are few foods that are causing as many health problems as soy in the food supply. Here are 12 reasons to avoid any kind of soy.

1. Soy Reduces Assimilation of Minerals
Phytic acid is present in the bran or hulls of all seeds and when we compare the phytate of soy to many other types of beans and nuts, the percent mass is not that far off, but that’s not the problem. The problem is how much we are consuming. Most people stuck on the soy bandwagon are consuming far more phytate by the sheer volume through mass consumption of things like soy milk, tofu, cereals, and processed foods. It doesn’t even compare to the amount they would consume through seeds and nuts. The effect of phytic acid on iron absorption has been thoroughly studied. As evident in a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, as phytic acid increases, it has a diminishing impact on iron while inhibiting its absorption. This applies to almost every major mineral including zinc–one of the most important minerals for the human body. Two billion people may now have zinc deficiency. Phytates bind to zinc and thereby decrease its bioavailability. Phytic acid levels in soy reduce assimilation of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc.

2. Soy Causes Growth Problems and Even Cancer In Children
The phytic acid in soy is not neutralized by ordinary preparation methods such as soaking, sprouting and long, slow cooking. Consequenty thse high phytate diets have caused growth problems in children. Combined with the presence of both phytoestrogens and arsenic, soy-based formulas are a disease promoting ticking time bomb for infants. A study published in the peer-reviewed journal The Prostate, revealed that humans exposed to a combination of both toxicants were almost twice as likely to develop cancerous cells in their prostate. While it is established that both arsenic and estrogen can cause cancer, the research raises concerns about the dangers of chemicals in combination, and the efficacy of regulations that are established by testing one chemical at a time. True cancer of the prostate, carcinoma, is seldom seen in infants and children, but other forms of malignant tumors may develop and more cases are appearing in developed nations where the link appears to center around soy infant formula. While many claims have been made about the health benefits of these estrogen-like compounds, animal studies indicate that soy (both conventional and organic) contain powerful endocrine disrupters that alter growth patterns and cause sterility. Soy formula is also laden with toxic chemicals such as aluminum and manganese, which can cause both physical and mental health problems, learning disabilities, brain damage, and behavioral problems. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that the highly concentrated phytoestrogens in soy formula weaken the immune systems of babies. Toxicologists estimate that an infant exclusively fed soy formula receives the estrogenic equivalent of at least five birth control pills per day.

3. Soy Linked To Cancer
The Chinese did not eat unfermented soybeans as they did other legumes such as lentils because the soybean contains large quantities of natural toxins or “antinutrients”. First among them are potent enzyme inhibitors that block the action of trypsin and other enzymes needed for protein digestion. These inhibitors are large, tightly folded proteins that are not completely deactivated during ordinary cooking. They can produce serious gastric distress, reduced protein digestion and chronic deficiencies in amino acid uptake. In test animals, diets high in trypsin inhibitors cause enlargement and pathological conditions of the pancreas, including cancer. What about the Japanese? The Japanese, and Asians in general, have much higher rates of other types of cancer, particularly cancer of the esophagus, stomach, pancreas and liver. Asians throughout the world also have high rates of thyroid cancer. The logic that links low rates of reproductive cancers to soy consumption requires attribution of high rates of thyroid and digestive cancers to the same foods, particularly as soy causes these types of cancers in laboratory rats. Just how much soy do Asians eat? A 1998 survey found that the average daily amount of soy protein consumed in Japan was about eight grams for men and seven for women – less than two teaspoons. Americans are consuming amounts far exceeding this quantity. Thousands of women are now consuming soy in the belief that it protects them against breast cancer. Yet, in 1996, researchers found that women consuming soy protein isolate had an increased incidence of epithelial hyperplasia, a condition that presages malignancies. A year later, dietary genistein was found to stimulate breast cells to enter the cell cycle – a discovery that led the study authors to conclude that women should not consume soy products to prevent breast cancer.

4. Soy Promotes Infertility
Soy beans contain genistein, a natural compound that has estrogenic effects because it binds the estrogen receptor with relatively high affinity. A study in the Journal Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology showed that dietary genistein exhibits a strongly increased estrogenic effect and cautionary attitude towards the consumption of large amounts of soy or soy supplements is warranted to prevent infertility. Another study in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology International found that soy ingestion increases amniotic fluid phytoestrogen concentrations in female and male fetuses. Phytoestrogens daidzein and genistein may, alone or in combination with other chemicals, function as endocrine disruptors, with potentially adverse effects on male reproductive function.

5. D-Glutamic Acid
Natural glutamate in plants and animals is known as L-glutamic acid. Our normal digestive process slowly breaks down this natural or “bound” glutamic acid and it is then delivered to glutamate receptors in our body and brain. Broken down this way, it is harmless. However, factory, artificially bound D-glutamic acid in soy is broken down or made “free” by various processes (hydrolyzed, autolyzed, modified or fermented with strong chemicals, bacteria, or enzymes) is toxic to the human body. Since free glutamate can be a component part of certain food additives, such as hydrolyzed soy protein and cheap soy sauce, it is essentially unregulated when it comes to labeling standards. Many people who are very sensitive to D-glutamic acid experience respiratory, neurological, muscular, skin, urological and even cardiac symptoms.

6. High Levels of Aluminum
Soy has to go through a process to become soy protein isolate. Acid washing in aluminum tanks, which is designed to remove some of the antinutrients (but the results often vary widely), leeches aluminum into the final product. Aluminum can have adverse effects on brain development and cause symptoms such as antisocial behavior, learning disabilities. alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Harsh alkaline soaking solutions are used mainly in the production of modern soy foods such as soy protein concentrates, soy supplements, soy protein shakes, textured soy protein (TSP), etc. Much of the trypsin inhibitor content can be removed through high-temperature processing, but not all. Trypsin inhibitor content of soy protein isolate can vary as much as fivefold.

7. Blocks Production of Thyroid Hormone
In 1991, Japanese researchers reported that consumption of as little as 30 grams or two tablespoons of soybeans per day for only one month resulted in a significant increase in thyroid-stimulating hormone. Soy foods have a high concentration of goitrogens which block production of thyroid hormones. Scientists have known for years that soy-based formula can cause thyroid problems in babies. Scientists Daniel Sheehan and Daniel Doerge, from the National Center for Toxicological Research presented findings from rat feeding studies, indicating that genistein in soy foods causes irreversible damage to enzymes that synthesise thyroid hormones. Soy consumption is associated with thyroid disorders such as hypothyroidism, goiter, and autoimmune thyroid disease (ATD) as well as increased iodine requirement in certain cases.

8. Causes Allergic Reactions
Soy is one of the top allergens–substances that cause allergic reactions. Today, soy is widely accepted as one of the “big eight” that cause immediate hypersensitivity reactions. Some 28 different proteins present in soy have been found to bind to IgE antibodies. It’s also worth noting that the more soy protein you eat, the more likely you are to develop allergies to it — and the more severe those allergies are likely to become. Delayed allergic responses to soy are less dramatic than the top allergens like peanuts or shellfish, but are even more common. These are caused by antibodies known as immunoglobulins A, G or M (IgA, IgG or IgM) and occur anywhere from two hours to days after the food is eaten. These have been linked to sleep disturbances, bedwetting, sinus and ear infections, crankiness, joint pain, chronic fatigue, gastrointestinal woes and other mysterious symptoms. Food “intolerances”, “sensitivities” and “idiosyncrasies” to soy are commonly called “food allergies”, but differ from true allergies in that they are not caused by immune system reactions but by little-understood or unknown metabolic mechanisms. Strictly speaking, gas and bloating–common reactions to soy and other beans–are not true allergic responses. However, they may serve as warnings of the possibility of a larger clinical picture involving allergen-related gastrointestinal damage. The soybean industry knows that some people experience severe allergic reactions to its products. In a recent petition to the FDA, Protein Technologies International (PTI) identified “allergenicity” as one of the “most likely potential adverse effects associated with ingestion of large amounts of soy products”.

9. Genetically Modified
Any ingredient listed as soybean or soy on any product ingredient list has a 93% chance of being GMO if it is not listed as organic. But even organic soy cannot be trusted. Soy is very problematic crop. Non-organic sources of soy in many agricultural practices are being passed off as organic. In 2011, the USDA uncovered a plot to import fraudulent organic certificates produced by an uncertified supplier in China. The Chinese firm used the counterfeit certificate to represent non-organic crops, including soybeans, millet and buckwheat, as certified organic. These types of things are happening every year and only a fraction are being discovered. Even domestically sourced organic soybean crops are now being investigated for having GMO origins. Organic soy also does not change the toxicity of unfermented sources so abundant in the food supply.

10. Most Soy is Unfermented
Phytates in unfermented soy products actually obstruct absorption of protein and four key minerals: calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc better than fermented sources. In their natural form, soybeans contain phytochemicals with toxic effects on the human body. The three major anti-nutrients are phytates, enzyme inhibitors and goitrogens. These anti-nutrients are the way nature protects the soybean plant so that it can live long enough to effectively reproduce. They function as the immune system of the plant, offering protection from the radiation of the sun, and from invasion by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. They make the soybean plant unappetizing to foraging animals. All plants have some anti-nutrient properties, but the soybean plant is especially rich in these chemicals. If they are not removed by extensive preparation such as fermentation or soaking, soybeans are one of the worst foods a person can eat. The net protein utilization of unfermented soy is 61 which quite low. The most common soy (99%) sold at major grocery retailers in soy milks and processed foods is unfermented soy. It is deadly. Unfermented soy has been linked to digestive distress, immune system breakdown, PMS, endometriosis, reproductive problems for men and women, allergies, ADD and ADHD, higher risk of heart disease and cancer, malnutrition, and loss of libido. Fermented sources of soy such as natto, miso, tempeh and some fermented tofus are likely the only types of soy that should be consumed by humans and that’s only if you can get around the crap shoot that they’re non-GMO and organic (which there is no guarantee despite labeling).

11. Enzyme Inhibitors
When food is eaten, digestive enzymes such as amylase lipase and protease are secreted into the digestive tract to help break it down and free nutrients for assimilation into the body. The high content of enzyme inhibitors such as trypsin in unfermented soybeans interferes with this process and makes carbohydrates and proteins from soybeans impossible to completely digest. When foods are not completely digested because of enzyme inhibitors, bacteria in the large intestine try to do the job, and this can cause discomfort, bloating, and embarrassment. Anyone with naturally low levels of digestive enzymes such as elderly people would suffer the most from the enzyme inhibiting action of soy. In precipitated products, enzyme inhibitors concentrate in the soaking liquid rather than in the curd. Thus, in tofu and bean curd, growth depressants are reduced in quantity but not completely eliminated.

12. Immunotoxic
The prevalence of autoimmune diseases has significantly increased over the recent years. It has been proposed that this epidemiological evidence could be in part attributable to environmental estrogens, compounds that display estrogen-like activity. Environmental estrogens can be found in phytoestrogens which occur in soy. There is a considerable burden of evidence both in vitro and in animal models that these compounds exert immunotoxic effects. Phytoestrogens drastically reduce not only the size of the thymus, but also the bone marrow cavity as well, the sites where most deletion of autoreactive cells occur. Isoflavones, which are phytoestrogens present in large quantities in soy and soy-derived products, inhibit protein tyrosine kinase, and exert other effects in the body such as exacerbating the clinical course of this autoimmune disease.

Sources:
westonaprice.org
medscape.com
wholesoystory.com
mercola.com

Natasha Longo has a master’s degree in nutrition and is a certified fitness and nutritional counselor. She has consulted on public health policy and procurement in Canada, Australia, Spain, Ireland, England and Germany.

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Another win for Monsanto: US raises allowable levels of company’s pesticide in crops

Published time: July 23, 2013 17:14
Edited time: July 24, 2013 18:12

AFP Photo / Karen Bleier

AFP Photo / Karen Bleier

Biotech giant Monsanto has been awarded yet another victory by the federal government thanks to a recent Environmental Protection Agency decision to allow larger traces of the herbicide glyphosate in farm-grown foods.

Despite a number of studies linking exposure to the chemical with diseases including types of cancer, the EPA is increasing the amount of glyphosate allowed in oilseed and food crops.

The EPA announced their plans on May 1 and allowed critics two months to weigh in and object to the ruling. Following little opposition, though, the EPA is on path to soon approve of levels of glyphosate being found in crops several times over the current concentration.

Glyphosate, a weed-killing chemical developed by Monsanto in 1970, is the key ingredient in the company’s “Roundup” label of herbicides. In the decades since, Monsanto has created and patented a number of genetically-modified organisms and genetically-engineered crops resisted to glyphosate that are sold worldwide under the company’s “Roundup Ready” brand. Those GMO products are then planted in fields where glyphosate, namely Roundup, is used en masse to eliminate weeds from taking over harvest. With scientists linking that chemical to cancerous diseases, though, critics decry the EPA decision and caution it could do more harm than good.

Through the EPA’s new standards, the amount of allowable glyphosate in oilseed crops such as flax, soybeans and canola will be increased from 20 parts per million (ppm) to 40 ppm, which GM Watch acknowledged is  over 100,000 times the amount needed to induce breast cancer cells. Additionally, the EPA is increasing limits on allowable glyphosate in food crops from 200 ppm to 6,000 ppm.

Read More Here

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The Alarming Truths About GMO

Published on May 13, 2013

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/art… Watch this video and discover the hidden truths about GMO, and its potential harm to the environment and ecosystems.

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Prevent Disease .com

EPA Allows Monsanto’s Glyphosate Herbicide At Levels 60 Times Higher Above Toxic Exposure For Canola, Soy, Sunflower, Flax and Peanuts

Are we starting to come full circle to the reality that we can no longer trust big agriculture or our food industry for responsible policies and procurement? Last month the EPA let Monsanto raise the allowable concentrations of glyphosate on food crops, animal feed, and edible oils. The new regulation lets farmers use more of the chemical, which is the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup. Oilseed crops such as canola, soy, sunflower, flax and peanuts can now contain up to 40,000 parts per billion (ppb) glyphosate which is almost 60 times the minimum containment level for drinking water which even the EPA admits causes organ damage and reproductive effects.

See EPA Allowable Limit Glyophosate PPB Chart Here

Glyphosate is an herbicide produced and marketed by Monsanto Corporation, the agrochemical and biotechnology giant. Monsanto claims that glyphosate is safe and has successfully lobbied the Environmental Protection Agency to raise the residue limits of this toxic chemical.

But independent scientists disagree with Monsanto: several recently published peer-reviewed studies point to serious health impacts from exposure to this toxic herbicide.

Glyphosate has been shown in several recent studies to be an endocrine disruptor. According to the National Institutes of Health, endocrine disruptors could have long-term effects on public health, especially reproductive health. And the “dose makes the poison” rule does not apply to endocrine disruptors, which wreak havoc on our bodies at low doses.

Even a quick search for scientific publications on glyphosate demonstrates its toxicity and carcinogenicity:

Glyphosate-Induced Carcinogenicity
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20045496

Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes

http://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/15/4/1416

Glyphosate Induces Human Breast Cancer Cell Growth
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23756170

Cytotoxicity of the herbicide glyphosate
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18320126

Biomonitoring of genotoxic risk in agricultural workers
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19672767

Technical Factsheet on: GLYPHOSATE
http://www.epa.gov/safewater/pdfs/factsheets/soc/tech/glyphosa.pdf

Read More Here

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Updated excerpt from Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom 

Available Here

 

Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post

In several of my recent articles, I have discussed the problems of using “risk assessment” methodology in the evaluation of both vitamin and mineral supplements and Genetically Modified (GM) food. I have also discussed at length the dangers of the Codex Alimentarius and U.S. Food and Drug Administration position on GM food which is known as “substantial equivalence” and, in its more extreme forms, “substantial similarity.”

However, another concern addressed by the Codex Guidelines has to deal with antibiotic resistance created through the process of genetic engineering. Yet, as is typical of any Codex Alimentarius presentation, the agency makes several misleading and unsettling statements in this regard as well. While Codex does state that methods should be used that do not result in antibiotic resistance, it qualifies that claim in its document “Foods Derived From Modern Biotechnology,” by stating that these methods should be used “where such technologies are available and demonstrated to be safe.”[1] This is certainly no mandate. It is merely a suggestion that will most likely be completely ignored by industry.

The Guidelines then go on to say that “Gene transfer from plants and their food products to gut micro-organisms or human cells is considered a rare possibility because of the many complex and unlikely events that would need to occur consecutively.”[2] This statement stands in direct contradiction to established science.[3] Indeed, the series of events that would have to transpire in order for the transfer of modified genes from a plant to human DNA or cells are neither unlikely nor rare.
In a footnote to this statement, Codex makes the claim “In cases where there are high levels of naturally occurring bacteria that are resistant to the antibiotic, the likelihood of such bacteria transferring the resistance to other bacteria will be orders of magnitude higher than the likelihood of transfer between ingested foods and bacteria.”[4] Yet while this may in fact be true the statement is still misleading. The issue being discussed in the footnoted statement is the likelihood of DNA transfer from GM plants to humans. Furthermore, if such events were so unlikely, why would it be important not to use antibiotic resistant gene technology in the future?

Another concern presented in the section of “Foods Derived From Moderin Biotechnology” dealing with GM plants is the question of potential allergens being created within the food products as well as the introduction of entirely new allergens that have never before existed in nature.

While Codex claims that “all newly expressed proteins” as well as “a protein new to the food supply” should be tested for safety, there are legitimate questions as to whether or not Codex has the ability or the desire to test for such possibilities. [5]

First, while it is quite possible to know what foods occurring naturally are allergenic, it is much more difficult to come to these conclusions about new substances or proteins. This is partly due to the fact that naturally occurring materials have so many millions of years of history and use which, in itself, tends to naturally weed out the allergenic foods from the non-allergenic ones in a population’s diet. GM products do not have this history.

Indeed, the idea that over time a population tends to form its own guidelines through natural process adds to the ease in which scientific inquiry may form knowledge of the food properties in relation to the population itself. Again, this is not the case with GM food.

Read Full Article Here

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Codex Alimentarius and GM Food Guidelines, Pt. 8

Updated excerpt from Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom

 

Available Here

 

Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post

In the course of the recent article series I have written regarding Codex Alimentarius and its position on Genetically Modified (GM) food, I have criticized both the “risk assessment” method of GM food evaluation as well as the official position of Codex Alimentarius in regards to the “substantial equivalence” standards. I have also written about the very real possibility of the introduction of new allergens and antibiotic resistant bacteria into the general food supply.

However, up to this point, all of the problems with the Codex Guidelines mentioned have been in relation to the section of the Codex GM position document known as “Foods Derived From Modern Biotechnology,” which focuses on GM plants.

There are, accordingly, two more sections – one dealing with GM Micro-Organisms and the other dealing with GM animals.

However, while it may seem that the majority of criticism expressed thus far focuses more attention on the first section (GM plants), the fact is that all three sections are very similar in their language and directives, with only a few changes in the wording made to apply to the new topic.

In many of these sections the language is word for word, copied and pasted to reiterate the same purpose as the first section. Therefore, I will not repeat my criticisms of the second and third sections that have appeared in my criticism of the GM Plants section. Suffice to say that all of the problems existing in the GM Plant section exist in the GM Micro-Organism and GM Animal sections as well, namely those of questionable scientific practices, the ignoring of relevant data, and so on. This claim is easily verifiable by reading the Guidelines document cited in the footnotes.

With that said, some attention should be paid to the section entitled, “Guideline For The Conduct Of Food Safety Assessment Of Foods Produced Using Recombinant-DNA Micro-Organisms.” This section deals mainly with bacteria, yeasts, and certain types of fungi in their uses in food production.

While making many of the same admissions present in the GM plant Guidelines, one of the most startling statements made regarding GM micro-organisms is the admission that they can in fact survive digestion.

Codex says, “In some processed foods, they [GM micro-organisms] can survive processing and ingestion and can compete and, in some cases, be retained in the intestinal environment for significant periods of time.”[1]

While this statement is not revolutionary, it is quite surprising to see it uttered by Codex Alimentarius, an organization that seems to go to great lengths to approve GM products.

Nevertheless, the fact that these micro-organisms can survive digestion is extremely important to the GMO safety debate. So are the questions of rDNA retention in the intestinal tract, the potential for changing the intestinal flora of those consuming the GM product, and the subsequent effects on the immune system.

These are all concerns that Codex tacitly admits the existence of, simply by acknowledging the need to test them.[2] Yet the tendency of GM micro-organisms to survive digestion and begin to change the makeup of the human intestines is mentioned later, in a footnote, where it is stated quite openly,

Permanent life-long colonization by ingested micro-organisms is rare. Some orally administered micro-organisms have been recovered in feces or in the colonic mucosa weeks after feeding ceased. Whether the genetically modified micro-organism is established in the gastrointestinal tract or not, the possibility remains that it might influence the microflora or the mammalian host.[3]

It should be noted that the idea that “life-long colonization by ingested micro-organisms is rare”[4] is highly contested by many independent scientists.[5] Yet, even if one were to assume the truth of Codex’s statement, the fact that it is rare means that it is still possible. More importantly, the statement admits that, even without long-term residence in the intestinal tract, there is still the distinct possibility that it will still significantly affect the intestinal flora and likewise the host itself.

Still more obviously biased concerns exist in the subsection dealing with the information that should be provided on each of the DNA modifications or micro-organisms. This information is, for the most part, very basic. It contains such data as which genes are added, the number of insertion sites, etc. However, two sources of information that are required to be included cause some concern.

The first is the inclusion of the “identification of any open reading frames within inserted DNA or created by the modifications to contiguous DNA in the chromosome or in a plasmid, including those that could result in fusion proteins.”[6]

The second is the “particular reference to any sequences known to encode, or to influence the expression of, potentially harmful functions.”[7]

Yet, both of these expressions (fusion proteins and genes that express harmful functions) are considered potentially dangerous even under the weak Codex standards. These expressions refer to the ability of some proteins to fuse with other proteins of the same and other species, mutating the DNA of the species, or forcing it to produce potentially adverse effects. Neither of these characteristics should be present in food, yet Codex mandates only that they be reported, not removed, as a result of the testing. This appears to be a continual thread of Codex’s Guidelines.

Thus, Codex continues by saying that additional information should be provided

to demonstrate whether the arrangement of the modified genetic material has been conserved or whether significant rearrangements have occurred after the introduction to the cell and propagation of the recombinant strain to the extent needed for its use(s) in food production, including those that may occur during its storage according to current techniques;[8]

as well as

to demonstrate whether deliberate modifications made to the amino acid sequence of the expressed protein result in changes in its post-translational modification or affect sites critical for its structure or function;[9]

While reporting information related to the instances above might seem like a good idea (and certainly few would argue that it isn’t), simple reporting is not enough. Indeed, these issues, as well as the others mentioned in this section of the Guidelines, are related directly to the question of the stability of genetically modified organisms. This is mentioned briefly in this section of the Guidelines, most notably in a footnote where it says,

Microbial genes are more fluid than those of higher eukaryotes; that is, the organisms grow faster, adapt to changing environments, and are more prone to change. Chromosomal rearrangements are common. The general genetic plasticity of micro-organisms may affect recombinant DNA in micro-organisms and must be considered in evaluating the stability of recombinant DNA micro-organisms.[10]

It is clear that GM organisms are often dangerously unstable. Many of them carry genes that overproduce a certain characteristic, cannot be turned off, or simply begin to change even after it has been bonded to the new strain of DNA.

Yet, with all of these admissions by Codex as to the dangers that GM micro-organisms pose to those who consume them as well as the fact that GM DNA is often unpredictable, the Codex Guidelines recommendations for testing suggest that these micro-organisms should be assessed based upon tests conducted on the conventional counterpart, not the micro-organism itself.

If tests conclude that the questionable micro-organisms are removed or rendered non-toxic in their individual and natural states, then “viability and residence of micro-organisms in the alimentary system need no examination.”[11]

Read Full Article Here

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Codex Alimentarius and GM Food Guidelines, Pt. 9

Updated excerpt from Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom 

Available Here

Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post

In my last article entitled, “Codex Alimentarius and GM Food Guidelines Pt.8”, I detailed the Codex Alimentarius position regarding Genetically Modified (GM) Micro-Organisms. Similarly, in several of the articles I have written recently, I have also discussed the Codex position on GM plants and other GM organisms.

Yet, no analysis of the Codex Alimentarius positions on GM food and/or organisms would be complete without a discussion of the Codex position on GM animals.

Indeed, the “Guideline For The Conduct Of Food Safety Assessment Of Foods Derived From Recombinant-DNA Animals,” a subsection of the Codex document “Foods Derived From Modern Biotechnology,” is as interesting for the concerns that it does not address as for the ones that it does. Largely a copied and pasted version of the two sections before it, (“Guideline for the conduct of food safety assessment of foods derived from recombinant-dna plants” and “Guideline for the conduct of food safety assessment Of foods produced using recombinant-dna micro-organisms”) the GM animal Guidelines does not address some very key issues such as:

1.) Animal welfare
2.) Ethical, moral and socio-economic aspects
3.) Environmental risks related to the environmental release of recombinant-DNA animals used in food production
4.) The safety of recombinant-DNA animals used as feed, or the safety of animals fed with feed derived from recombinant-DNA animals, plants and micro-organisms.[1]

As can be easily seen, these issues are extremely important in their own right. Just the moral issues, in addition to the hazards of the potential of GM animals being released into the environment, are enough to fill volumes. However, Codex chooses not to deal with these issues in its Guidelines.
With that being said, because Codex treats GM animals essentially the same as GM plants, there is very little difference in the guidelines. This shows a lack of scientific zeal as animals are fundamentally different than plants.

Yet one area where Codex does address a different aspect of the GM safety question is related to veterinary drug residues. It says,

Some recombinant-DNA animals may exhibit traits that may result in the potential for altered accumulation or distribution of xenobiotics (e.g. veterinary drug residues, metals), which may affect food safety. Similarly, the potential for altered colonization by and shedding of human pathogens or new symbiosis with toxin-producing organisms in the recombinant-DNA animal could have an effect on food safety.[2]

With its implicit admission of the instability of modified genes, Codex now also admits that these genes, when changed in animals, could affect the distribution and retention of veterinary drugs and other substances which would necessarily change the content of the food product derived from that animal. As Codex states, this same situation could also apply to human pathogens as well as veterinary drugs.

As a side note, it appears that 2007-2008 was a very beneficial year for GMO food producers. Not only were the pro-GM testing Guidelines approved by Codex, but many countries, such as the European Union who had been opposed to the introduction of GM food up to this point, began changing their position to one that was slightly more open to GMO.

For instance, in 2008, Codex Alimentarius approved Guidelines that would allow low levels of GM products that have not been approved by the countries’ regulatory agencies inside products that are imported into the country. This would include products like grain, corn, and oats. Codex claims that this set of standards merely recognizes the fact that GM products will inadvertently mix with non-GM products during processing and transportation and that it means to provide guidance in this unavoidable situation.[3]

However, this presupposes that GM contamination of food shipments is unavoidable when in fact just the opposite is the case. If GM products were not used to begin with, the entire issue would not need to be addressed.

Read Full Article Here

Updated excerpt from Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom 

Available Here

Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post

In my last article regarding Codex Alimentarius Guidelines on Genetically Modified food, I discussed the dangerous concept used by both the international organization and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) known as substantial equivalence/substantial similarity and how this method of comparison and evaluation can and is being used to further the proliferation of GM food in the world’s food supply.

In discussing the method used to evaluate the safety of GM food, I wrote,

If Codex is willing to accept the safety assessments of regulatory agencies without independent testing of its own and regulatory agencies are willing to accept the safety assessments of corporations without independent testing of their own, then Codex is willing to accept the safety assessments of corporations without independent safety testing of their own. Indeed, this syllogism adequately reflects the reality of the relationship between Codex, corporations, and the future of GM foods.

Furthermore, in regards to the “substantial equivalence” methodology mentioned above, I concluded the article by stating,

Allowing GM products to be compared to other GM products for substantial equivalence is an enormous blow to the environment, human health, and consumer choice. Such an action would completely undercut the already weak and ridiculous method of substantial equivalence and would turn the entire nature of our food supply upside down. One would be comparing a dangerous product to another dangerous product but labeling it safe because it was substantially equivalent to the first dangerous product.

Like the situation involving vitamins and minerals, this is the Twilight Zone reality produced by Codex once it gains power of the food supply.

Unfortunately, this potential concern is now an imminent one because Monsanto has in fact submitted an application for a GM corn called LY038. In its submission for approval, Monsanto provided the regulators’ assessing the product with information comparing LY038 with another GM corn product called LY038 (-), another GM corn product.[1]
True to form, in many of the pro-GM countries such as New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Canada, the Philippines, and South Korea, the LY038 corn was approved based upon the method of using a GM corn as a conventional counterpart.[2] The United States, being the most open to GM food, and only requiring voluntary submission, has also approved LY038 for cultivation.[3]

Thankfully, the Monsanto agenda stalled in the European Union, and in 2009 Monsanto withdrew its application for the product in Europe.[4] This is largely due to a small group of relatively independent scientists from the Centre for Integrated Research in Biosafety (INBI) out of New Zealand who brought out many risks evident from a close reading of the Monsanto application dossiers.

As a result of their work, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) requested additional research and safety data. That was all that was needed in order to cause Monsanto to withdraw its application for LY038 use in Europe.[5]

Monsanto claimed that the reason for the removal of its submission purely economical and that “although our preference would have been to complete the EU approval of LY038, conducting further studies, as requested [by the EFSA GMO Panel], can no longer be justified, in view of the additional costs involved and the reduced commercial interest in this product.”[6]

However, those who are aware of Monsanto’s track record have a different take. In a statement made to Biosafety Information Centre, Prof. Jack Heinemann, who led the INBI research team, summed up the situation succinctly.

 

Read Full Article Here

Would you eat biotech fish? FDA approves genetically engineered salmon

 

by: Raw Michelle

 

(NaturalNews)The FDA added that it would take public comments for 60 days before finally deciding on whether or not to approve the salmon.

Criticism of the recent FDA assessment points to the lack of sufficient evidence that the fish is safe for consumption, and the difficulty in measuring its real impact on the environment once mass production begins.

Where does biotech salmon come from?

The controversial fish is developed by AquaBounty Technologies, a small American biotechnology company whose main goal is to find solutions that could increase the productivity of aquaculture. Its most important research consists of developing salmon, trout, and tilapia eggs that produce fast growing specimens. To achieve this, researchers have to modify the very genetic fabric of fish. Their salmon variety has been patented and bears the trade name AquAdvantage Salmon.

The FDA report so far states that “with respect to food safety, FDA has concluded that food from AquAdvantage salmon is as safe as food from conventional Atlantic salmon, and that there is a reasonable certainty of no harm from consumption.”

What the critics say

Michael Hansen, a researcher at the Consumers Union, explained that GE fish could cause allergic reactions that the FDA is unable to anticipate. GE fish will also likely not be labeled accordingly, leaving consumers in the dark about where the fish is coming from.

If the FDA does not heed the public outcry, Congress could still prevent the commercialization of GE fish. Wenonah Hauter, director at the Food & Water Watch, urges consumers to contact their congressmen to overturn what has been called “a dangerous experiment” at the expense of consumer health.

Other concerns about GE fish pertain to its ability to outcompete natural Atlantic salmon. If it is released into the wild, the AquAdvantage salmon could adapt to new pray, survive in tough habitats, and reproduce much faster than its natural counterpart.

Andrew Kimbrell of the Center for Food Safety concluded that “the GE salmon has no socially redeeming value. It’s bad for the consumer, bad for the salmon industry and bad for the environment.”

Healthy, vegan alternatives to GE salmon

Chickpeas have been hailed by vegans everywhere for their ability to mimic fish, making them an excellent addition to faux fish salads. Chickpeas provide considerable amounts of protein, slow release carbohydrates, folate and zinc.

A delicious vegan “salmon” dish can be prepared by mixing grated carrots, mashed chickpeas, white vinegar, tomatoes, finely grated lemon peel, lemon juice, dill, vegetable oil and a pinch of salt. The mixture can either be consumed raw, or divided into patties and baked for about 25 minutes. For added flavor, vegan “salmon” can be topped with vegan mayonnaise or grated horseradish.

When choosing salmon as a means to obtain healthy fats, many may want to consider chia instead. With 724 mg of Omega-3′s in 28 grams of salmon, and 4915 mg in 28 grams of chia, chia is a clear winner.

Sources for this article include:
http://www.reuters.com
http://www.fda.gov
http://www.guardian.co.uk
http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/recipe-vegan-salmon-patties/
www.facebook.com

About the author:
Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general. In 2010, Michelle created RawFoodHealthWatch.com, to share with people her approach to the raw food diet and detoxification.

Health And Wellness Report

Holistic Health – Corporate Assault on Our Lives And Our Health - Bioethics :  Poisons in Our Foods – Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) – Genetics

Published on Sep 19, 2012 by

Are they poisoning us? If so, we must stop them. Please share this video with as many people as will watch. Let all people be educated fully, that is what I ask for. If you decide to support the arguments in the movie, PLEASE VISIT http://geneticroulettemovie.com/ and get more involved and please donate whatever you can to Dr. Jeffrey M. Smith and the movement! I do ask that you take everything you hear with a grain of salt. Life is full of plenty of uncertainties. Research and meditate on the facts, before jumping to conclusions.. I for one believe Monsanto is ruining the food and water supply with its implementation of pesticides liberally all over the world. But, like I always say, I’m not an expert of life, just a student with an open mind and an open heart. Another quick reference video I found recently is http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=M_ztZGbLEJ0 Check it out!
Another new vid I saw today (09/28/12) from Nutiva, http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Lni6OAJz3sk#!, VOTE YES ON PROP 37. All we are asking is for labels. We the people deserve to know!!

Food Safety

Poisons  In Our Food :  Recalls- Allergen Alert- Food Borne Illness

“Check With Phyllis” for Complete Mango Recall List

Food Safety News
Phyllis Entis is the author of “Food Safety: Old Habits, New Perspectives” and “Food Microbiology–The Laboratory”.
She has been a food safety microbiologist for 35 years, and has worked both in government and industry. She believes that everyone–government regulators, farmers and ranchers, food processors, food service workers, educators and consumers–has a responsibility to ensure that the food we eat is as safe as we can make it.

PhyllisEntis.jpg

She is also kind of a Santa Claus for mango consumers.   She publishes eFoodAlert, where among other things she tracks the mango recall in a form that is most useful to consumers.
Mango consumers have every reason for concern because at least 105 people in 16 states and another 21 in Canada have been infected with Salmonella Braenderup in an outbreak that is associated with the fruit.
The government of Mexico claims nothing has been proven yet, but  Mexican-grown Daniella brand mangoes being imported to the U.S. by Burlingame, CA-based Splendid Products have been under a recall order for the past six days.
This has led to a confusing number of downstream recalls by distributors and fruit peddlers, with a long list of products containing mangoes that have also been recalled during the past few days.  One million mangoes have been recalled.
Most of these recalls have been reported by Food Safety News, but consumers wanting their mangoes all organized and in one place might well want to check with Phyllis on this list.

Organic Foods Not Safer  or More Nutritious than Conventionally Grown Foods

Food Poisoning  Bulletin

Bags of Produce Marked 100% OrganicA new study conducted at Stanford Center for Health Policy and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine questions whether organically-grown foods are safer or more nutritious than conventionally produced foods. This systemic review, which extracts data from English-language studies, says no. Seventeen studies in human beings and 223 studies of nutrient and contaminant levels in foods were examined. There were no long-term studies of health outcomes among people eating organic versus conventionally raised foods.

Three of the human studies researched clinical outcomes; those found no difference between populations who ate organic foods and those who ate conventional foods for allergic reactions or Campylobacter infections. Two of the human studies found significantly lower pesticide levels in the urine in children, but found no “clinically meaningful” differences among adults.

Estimates of any differences in nutrient and contaminant levels were “highly heterogeneous” except conventionally grown foods had significantly higher phosphorus levels. The risk of pesticide residue contamination was lower among organic produce, as is to be expected, but there was little difference in the risk of exceeding maximum limits. In other words, even produce that had pesticide residue had levels that were below safety limits set by the EPA.

The risk of E. coli contamination was unrelated to the farming method. But the risk for ingesting antibiotic-resistant bacteria was higher in conventionally raised chicken and pork than in organically raised meats.

The requirements for organic certification can vary, but there are some common standards. For instance, foods with the organic certified label must be grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, processed without irradiation, not grown from genetically modified organisms. Farm animals used for food must be raised without antibiotics or growth hormones and given pesticide-free animal feed.

What does this mean for the consumer? If you want to buy organically raised produce and meat, you will consume fewer pesticides and lower your risk of ingesting antibiotic-resistant bacteria. But the nutritional profiles of both groups are the same. And organically grown and produced foods are not safer in terms of bacterial contamination. No matter where you buy your food or if you have conventionally raised or organically produced food, it must be handled correctly and cooked to a safe final internal temperature.

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The  Original Report  on the  study  can be  found   here

http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1355685

A Washington State report criticized the techniques used in this study, and it’s findings.

Mother Jones briefly touches on them

http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/09/five-ways-stanford-study-underestimates-organic-food

And the Washington State University critique

http://organicfarms.wsu.edu/blog/devil-in-the-details/

http://www.tfrec.wsu.edu/pdfs/P2566.pdf

defensive chemicals produced naturally by plants…

http://esciencenews.com/articles/2009/05/27/understanding.plants.overactive.immune.system.will.help.mu.researchers.build.better.crops

http://www.yale.edu/opa/arc-ybc/v33.n31/story16.html

http://claylab.commons.yale.edu/research/

E. coli Outbreak In New York Expands

Food Poisoning Bulletin

The source of an unusual E. coli outbreak that has sickened 10 people in the Finger Lakes region of New York since early August has yet to be identified, Joan Ellison, Livingston County’s director of public health told Food Poisoning Bulletin today.

Nine Livingston County residents and one person from Onondaga County have developed E. coli infections over the last month. Three of them had cases so severe that they were hospitalized, but have since been released. Lab tests that use a genetic “fingerprinting” method called pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE)  have confirmed that eight of the cases patients were sickened by the same strain of  E.coli 0157:H7. Test results for two case patients from Livingston County are pending.

While public health authorities have been able to identify the outbreak strain, they have not yet been able to identify a specific source of the outbreak. “There is a thread that connects them, but not a rope that ties them all together,” Ellison said. “It’s really hard to say where it’s coming from.”

The outbreak began in early August with a cluster of seven cases in Livingston County. Then, last week, new cases popped up, including one in a second county. “It’s kind of odd that we’re adding them sporadically,” Ellison said.

Symptoms of an E. coli infection include vomiting, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps which  usually develop three to four days after exposure and last up to a week.  Those most at risk are young children, seniors, people who take antacids on a regular basis and anyone whose immune system is compromised. The victims of this outbreak range in age from 10 to 75.

Cured Meat Is In. But Is it Safe?

Food Safety News

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Prosciutto, lardo, bresaola, capicola, guanciale and soppressata. The opposite of fast food, and literally slow to make, these meats are examples of charcuterie, or what are most commonly known as cured meats.
As the local, do-it-yourself food culture grows across the country, more chefs are getting into the meat curing business to cater to patrons who demand more sustainable and old-world preparation methods. The practice is still at the trendy stage for most Americans, but it is steeped in tradition around the world. People have been preserving meats with salt for thousands of years in order to make it safe in an unstable, non-refrigerated and uninspected environment.
Meanwhile, modern American food regulations – both federal guidelines and state and county health codes – can have very little application to these traditional methods.  Many states have regulations that strictly require meat to be cooked and stored at specific temperatures, while some states allow for restaurants to apply for a variance to serve products – like cured meats – that fall outside the  jurisdiction of standard rules.
Christopher Lee has been in the restaurant business for 30 years and making salumi for more than 20 years in Berkeley, Calif., first as a chef at Chez Panisse, then at his own restaurant Eccolo. Recently, Lee served as a restaurant consultant, most notably creating the safety plan for Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria in Manhattan.
Lee says his work as a consultant made him consider the food safety aspect of curing meat more than he had in the past.
“Now that I have seen people making it in their back room in their restaurant, I have become a lot more wary,” Lee said in an interview with Food Safety News. “[Chefs] need to find out local regulations. And that’s new to a lot of people. I think people are often scared to ask official agencies what they need to do because they think it will be elaborate and cost them a lot of money and a lot of headache. Where, in fact, it makes a lot more sense to do it from the beginning.”
A big hurdle for many restaurants is finding the proper space for their curing operations, an area where the proper temperature can be maintained and meats can be kept somewhat separate from other foods in the kitchen.
No matter a restaurant’s size, however, a chef has the same responsibility as a large-scale meat curing facility, says Dana Hanson, a meat extension specialist in the Food Science Department at North Carolina State University.
“The challenge is the same regardless of size,” Hanson told Food Safety News in an interview. “You still have to understand what issues there are and know what you have to do. Like any meat product that is intended to be consumed ready to eat, you are looking to control all pathogens.”
The main food safety considerations to take into account when curing meat are pH levels, water activity level and cross contamination, says Lee.
In its 2005 Meat and Poultry Hazards Control Guide, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) suggests that “meat pH should decline to 5.3 within an acceptable time temperature combination (temperature in degrees, time in hours).”
Water activity should remain low at all times during curing, and meat should be kept separate from other foods while curing so that it doesn’t come into contact with other raw product that may carry pathogens.
Without the proper training and equipment, a chef may not realize he or she is putting out an unsafe product.
“If you’re not going to spend $2,000 to buy the water activity meter, pay $100 to send [the meat] to a lab, find out what it is,” Lee said. “Do that a few times so you at least know what it looks and feels like at the right water activity level, and then go from there.”
The Risk
The process of salt curing works against bacteria due to the lack of water left in the meat after the salt is absorbed into it.
This process isn’t failsafe, though, as many pathogens are salt tolerant, and cured meats may not reach salt levels high enough to prevent bacteria growth.
According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, dried hams are particularly at risk for Trichinella, Staphylococcus and mold. Staphylococcus is salt tolerant, so proper food handling is vital to prevent these bacteria from growing.
Between 2002 and 2007, 66 cases of trichinellosis were reported to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). All cases were linked to consumption of meat, and uncooked meat was the source of 5 of the 30 cases for which information was available.
Listeria monocytogenes, a foodborne bacterium that can cause severe illness in pregnant women and those with weak immune systems, has been found in fermented raw meat sausages. Listeria can grow in refrigerated foods, can be resistant to drying and is salt tolerant.
A 2006 study found Listeria in 22.7 percent of 1,020 salami samples tested for the bacterium.
In June of last year, 5,700 pounds of imported dry-cured ham were recalled because Listeria was found in a sample of the product.
Cured meats are also susceptible to Clostridium botulinum contamination. Botulism, the disease caused by infection with C. botulinum toxins, was originally named “sausage poisoning,” or “Wurstvergiftung,” when discovered in Germany, because the bacteria grow in oxygen-deprived environments such as sausage casings. Now the use of nitrates in the curing process is used to combat bacteria such as C. botulinum.
E. coli poses another potential threat to dry meat safety. Last year, Lebanon bologna, a cured, smoked, fermented semi-dry sausage, was linked to 14 cases of E. coli O157:H7 across the eastern part of the United States.
In 1999, an E. coli outbreak in British Columbia, Canada that sickened at least 143 people was linked to dry, fermented salami.
Avoiding Potentially Contaminated Charcuterie
Lee says there are some signs diners can look for to tell whether cured meats were prepared in a safe manner.
“There are certain things that I am not going to eat,” he says. “If something looks good and smells good and is made in a reasonable environment, I’m going to eat it. But if I have someone bring me something that is soft and moist and sticky on the outside and they’ve been drying it for seven months, and it’s the temperature of liverwurst, I’m not going to eat that, because I know what can go on in it.”
Large-scale meat facilities that produce cured meat are inspected and regulated by the USDA, and have a full-time inspector on-site, while restaurants are regulated by county health departments and inspected once a year.
Some may argue that the regulations don’t make sense for meat curers, but Hanson said this is the only way for the system to operate with restaurants given current inspection capacity.
“With thousands of restaurants across the country, the regulation has to be all-encompassing to a point, and it has to be easy to enforce,” Hanson said.
Without more frequent inspection of restaurants, the rules likely have to stay the way they are.
“Is there a risk involved with [cured meats]?  Yes,” Hanson said.  “Whether you can document what is going on with these products, by having careful oversight more than just one time a year, I don’t think it is a risk worth taking. There is too much variation in a lot of these operations to be able to give restaurants carte blanche to say ‘start making salami.”
In other words, the long process of making charcuterie is something that requires more regular surveillance, which is impossible under the current regulatory system.  If a restaurant owner applies for a variance in his or her county to be able to cure meats in-house, health departments cannot make an adequately informed decision without overseeing each particular chef’s techniques and facilities.
Lee, the expert in the kitchen, agrees, but adds that inspectors have more to learn as well.
“We’re in a problem area in some respects,” Lee said.  “We have reasonable comprehensible regulations that are pretty clear, but the people who are enforcing them don’t always know what they are looking at when they come in my facility and say, ‘What is prosciutto?’”

E. coli Outbreak at Saginaw Correctional Facility in Michigan

Food Poisoning Bulletin

John C. Cordell, Public Information Specialist with the Michigan Department of Corrections told Food Poisoning Bulletin that there is an outbreak of STEC, or Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, at the Saginaw Correctional Facility. The facility is quarantined with no prisoner transfers, no group programming or prisoner visitation.

So far, 89 prisoners and seven staff have been confirmed ill with the E. coli bacteria. Four prisoners have been hospitalized, but there are no cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome. The hospitalizations have been for dehydration.

Most cases occurred from August 27 to August 30, 2012. The outbreak may be over, since no cases were identified on September 3 or 4, 2012. The facility may be able to return to normal operations at the end of this week, since the incubation period for this type of bacteria is 3 to 10 days. The facility is also monitoring prisoners who transferred out of the prison to other correctional facilities in the days before the outbreak.

Public health officials are looking at all avenues of transmission, focusing on food and food preparation. The Saginaw County Health Department, the Michigan Department of Community Health, and the Michigan Department of Agriculture are assisting with the investigation.

Get Shiga toxin E. coli help here.

STEC bacteria produce Shiga toxins, which go into the bloodstream and destroy red blood cells, causing anemia. The toxins can target the kidneys, which causes hemolytic uremic syndrome that can destroy that organ. The central nervous system can also be affected by Shiga toxins.

Pet Hedgehogs Implicated in Salmonella Outbreak

Food Safety News

HedgehoginPalm.jpgAt least 14 people have been sickened in a multistate Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak linked to contact with hedgehogs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The first illnesses connected to this outbreak occurred in December of last year, but cases continued to crop up as recently as last month, according to CDC’s initial report, released Thursday. The latest recorded illness began on August 13, 2012. Any illnesses that began after that date may not yet have been counted due to the time delay between when a person falls ill and when that illness is reported (usually 2-3 weeks).
Illnesses occurred in 6 states, including Alabama (1), Indiana (1), Michigan (3), Minnesota (2), Ohio (2) and Washington (5).
A total of 3 victims have been hospitalized. None have died from their infections.
Ill persons have ranged in age from less than 1 year old to 62 years old, reports CDC. Half of the victims were 10 years old or younger.
Interviews with 10 infected individuals revealed that all had had contact with hedgehogs or hedgehog environments in the week preceding illness.
Patients reported purchasing hedgehogs from different breeders in different states.
Two environmental samples taken from places in people’s homes where hedgehogs lived or had been bathed tested positive for the outbreak strain of the bacteria.
Some of those interviewed reported contact with African Pygmy hedgehogs, but CDC has not definitively linked this breed to the outbreak.
“Investigations are ongoing to determine the type and source of hedgehogs that might be linked with illness.”
The strain of Salmonella Typhimurium linked to this outbreak is uncommon, says CDC.
“The outbreak strain has been rarely seen in the past,” notes the agency in its report.
Avoiding Infection
Salmonella are shed in animal feces, so droppings from infected hedgehogs can transfer the bacteria to their environment or to people handling them.
CDC urges those who have had contact with hedgehogs to wash hands immediately after touching these animals or anything in the environment where they live and roam.

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Marlin and Swordfish Caught in Texas Waters May Pose Health Threat

Food Safety News
Blue marlin caught along the coast of Texas should no longer be consumed because mercury levels detected in these fish pose a danger to human health, warns the Texas Department of State Health Services.
TDSHS also cautioned future mothers and children not to eat swordfish from these waters.
Women past childbearing age and adult men are being advised to limit their intake to no more than two meals a month.  Women of childbearing age and children under 12 should not consume any swordfish caught in Texas coastal waters.
The advisory was issued after testing revealed that blue marlin and swordfish from the northwestern Gulf of Mexico contained mercury at concentrations that exceed DSHS health guidelines, which allow no more than 0.7 mg/kg.
The average levels found in blue marlin were 12.9 mg/kg, more than 18 times the DSHS guidelines. Levels detected in swordfish — 1.18 mg/k — were more than 1.6 times the recommended levels.
Regular or long-term consumption of blue marlin and swordfish from these waters may result in adverse health effects.


Mercury is a naturally occurring element that can also be a byproduct of human activity. If consumed regularly, it can cause harmful effects to the central nervous system, particularly in children including infants exposed before birth.
Symptoms of prolonged exposure include tingling of the skin, loss of coordination, visual and hearing impairment and slurred speech. 

While most recreational fishermen catch and release blue marlin and swordfish in the Gulf of Mexico, some fish is kept for personal consumption. Because of the large minimum catch size, any legally caught blue marlin will have high levels of mercury.
With increased recreational swordfish catches, anglers are eating more and larger swordfish that can have elevated mercury levels.
Previously, the state put out an advisory about eating king mackerel.
In that earlier advisory, Texas said king mackerel longer than 43 inches should not be consumed, and women of childbearing age and children under 12 should avoid eating any king mackerel longer than 37 inches.
King mackerel less than 37 inches in length are safe to eat on an unrestricted basis.
For figuring safety levels, 8 ounces of fish constitutes a meal.

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Recalls

Shake’Ems Seasoning Cups Recalled for Undeclared Milk

Food Poisoning Bulletin

Cutting Edge Concessions is recalling 0.5 ounce Shake’Ems seasoning cups distributed in movie theaters because they contain undeclared milk and the food dye red 40. Anyone with an allergy to those ingredients could have a serious or life-threatening reaction if they consume the product.

The cups were distributed in Arkansas, California, Colorado, and Tennessee. The product is in a 0.5 ounce plastic cup in flavors White Cheddar, Nacho Cheddar, Ranch, Cinnamon Sugar, and Parmesan Garlic. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with the consumption of these products.

The problem was caused by a temporary breakdown in the company’s labeling process. Production is suspended until the FDA and the company are sure the problem has been corrected. You can return the product to the place of purchase for a full refund. For questions, call 952-237-1551 Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm ET.

Organic Pastures Raw Milk Recalled Ater Campylobacter Turns Up In Tests

Food Poisoning Bulletin

A raw milk recall for products produced by Organic Pastures Dairy of Fresno County and a quarantine order has been announced after Campylobacter was detected  during routine testing,  California State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones. has announced. No illnesses have been reported in conjunction with this recall.

The recalled products include Grade A raw cream, Grade A raw milk and Grade A raw skim milk, all with a labeled code date of SEP 13. Retailers must immediately pull these products from store shelves and consumers are strongly urged to dispose of any product they might have purchased.

Inspectors from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) found the bacteria in a sample of raw cream during routine testing conducted as part of routine inspection and sample collection at the facility.  In May, raw milk from Organic Pastures was recalled after it was linked to a Campylobacter outbreak that sickened 10 people. At that time, Campylobacter was also detected in a sample of raw cream. Of the 10 people sickened, six were under the age of 18.

Symptoms of a Campylobacter infection, called campylobacteriosis ,include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever which usually develop two to five  days after exposure and last about a week. The infection can be serious or even life-threatening for some people. Those most at risk include children, seniors and people who have compromised immune systems. In some cases, campylobacteriosis can  trigger the development of a rare disease called Guillain-Barre syndrome, which causes weakness and paralysis that occurs several weeks after the initial illness.

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Articles of Interest

Consumer Group Wants USDA To Reject “Agent Orange” Soy

Food Poisoning Bulletin

The Center For Food Safety (CFFS) wants the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to reject Dow Chemical’s request that a genetically modified soybean  that is resistant to a major component in Agent Orange be approved for use. The group is circulating a petition to show the agency that consumers resist the move.

Agent Orange is the chemical defoliant used by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. Health concerns about exposure  to it are still being explored but include increased risk of some types of cancer and birth defects in offspring of those exposed. Dow’s genetically engineered soybean is resistant to 2,4-D ,  a component of Agent Orange.

CFFS is concerned that approval of the soybean will lead to a greenlighting of approval for similarly engineered crops, harm wildlife and expose millions of Americans to a toxic chemical. According ot the petition, “Dow plans to sell this GE 2-4,D soy “stacked” with resistance to glyphosate—the active ingredient in Roundup—and glufosinate herbicides, yet neither Dow nor USDA has analyzed the potential synergistic or cumulative impacts that these planned combinations pose. Glufosinate has both reproductive and neurological toxicity to mammals, and on this basis is slated to be banned in the EU by 2017. ”

CFFS is a non-profit organization that challenges food production technologies and  practices it considers harmful and promotes sustainable alternatives. It is based in Washington, D.C..

COOL Act Moves to U.S. District Court in Denver

Food Safety News

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An act that would require meat, chicken and fish to be sold with a label indicating their country of origin has made its way to district court after being struck down by the World Trade Organization.
The U.S. Country of Origin Labeling Act, also known as the “COOL Act,” which was found by WTO to be in violation of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, should continue to be enforced in the United States, say COOL Act advocates.
Proponents of the Act have teamed up to ask the U.S. District Court in Denver to overrule the WTO decision that struck down the COOL Act. Plaintiffs in the action against the U.S. government and WTO are USA Foundation, Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund-United Stockgrowers Association (R-CALF) and a meat and vegetable distributor that goes by the name Melonhead.
Previously, the USA Foundation promoted the protection of domestic car and truck content and American craft designers.
The COOL Act requires meat, chicken and fish to be labeled so that consumers can tell the country of origin for those products. First adopted in 2002, COOL was never popular with U.S. neighbors and WTO appeals were eventually filed by Mexico and Canada.
A WTO panel consisting of representatives from Portugal, Pakistan and Switzerland found that COOL violates Tariffs and Trade because it imposes discriminatory burdens or barriers to Mexico and Canada.
Billings, MT-based R-CALF, however, does not see it that way. The cattlemen say they don’t see it as “a barrier to trade of any kind.” Instead, they say it fulfills a overwhelming consumer demand for information.
“Consumers could choose not to buy raspberries from Guatemala because of a bacterial problem there, or could refuse to buy Canadian beef because of a Mad Cow disease problem there,”
 R-CALF says.
They also say the Uruguay trade and tariff agreement, signed into law by President Clinton in 1994, states that U.S. law prevails in any trade conflict between the U.S. and other countries.
They point to Section 102(a)(1) of the Uruguay Round, which states, “No provision of any of the Uruguay Round Agreement, nor the application of any such provision to any person or circumstance, that is inconsistent with any law of the United States shall have effect.”
R-CALF says the WTO ruling was an attempt to intimidate the U.S., and harms American cattlemen because it means consumers may confuse foreign meat for domestic products.
Specifically named defendants in the lawsuit include U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk.
Vilsack and Kirk are accused of failing to protect and preserve U.S. sovereignty and exceeding their authority because, the plaintiffs say, they had “no legal right to amend or contravene this law by regulations or negotiations.”
The plaintiffs want a federal judge to order the trade representatives to cease and desist from negotiating with Canada and Mexico an amended and “watered-down” COOL, and they want the Secretary of Agriculture ordered to do his “legal duty.”
R-CALF is the second largest organization of U.S. cattlemen after the Denver-based National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. NCBA views COOL as a marketing issue — not a food safety issue — to be worked out with the USA’s top two trading partners who together account for 59 percent of beef exports.
Mike Schultz, who chairs R-CALF’s COOL Committee, says the organization filed the lawsuit in order to “protect and preserve the right of all Americans to know the origins of their food.”
“For nearly eight years, the multinational meatpackers, the governments of Canada and Mexico, and even the U.S. Department of Agriculture fought to prevent U.S. citizens from knowing the origins of their food by vigorously opposing the implementation of the 2002 COOL law.
“But we cattle producers joined with consumers in that long battle and we finally prevailed.  COOL went into effect in March of 2009.  But, the governments of Canada and Mexico persisted and filed a complaint at the WTO, essentially asserting that U.S. citizens do not need to know where their food, particularly their meat from livestock, was born, raised and slaughtered.
“As U.S. citizens, we never gave up our right to continue governing ourselves under our U.S. Constitution, and we certainly didn’t grant the WTO authority to undermine our domestic laws.  This lawsuit is necessary to force this Administration to stand up and defend our U.S. sovereignty by disavowing any authority the WTO claims over our nation’s ability to pass beneficial laws for U.S. citizens.”

Chicago Public Health Inspector Who Took Bribes Heads To Prison

Food Poisoning Bulletin

A retired Chicago public health inspector who took almost $100,000 in bribes was sentenced to two and half years in federal prison last week. Maryanne Koll who taught food service sanitation classes and administered state certifications is alleged to have accepted at least $96,930 in bribes in exchange for fraudulently arranging to provide 531 people with certifications as food sanitation managers.

Koll, 69, who operated Kollmar Food Safety Institute from her home in Burr Ridge, Ill., was convicted of one count of bribery conspiracy in federal court in September 2011. U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber sentenced her to 30 months in prison and ordered her to begin serving the sentence on Dec. 31, 2012.

llinois state law requires that all food service establishments have someone on site who s certified as a food service sanitation manager. The coursework for this certification includes 15 hours of training on various topics including  foodborne illnesses, time/temperature relationships, personal hygiene, pest control and prevention of food contamination.

From 1995 to 2007, Koll was authorized by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to teach the state-approved coursework and to administer the certification exams. During that time, she certified individuals who had not taken the coursework or passed the exams in exchange in exchange for cash bribes.

Food safety education and training is one of the most important ways to reduce foodborne illness. Every year, one sixth of all Americans are sickened by foodborne pathogens incurring $365 million in direct medical costs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

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