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GMO Fluorescent Lamb Accidentally Eaten


Article Source: Health And Fitness Journal

By Dr. Mercola

Across the US and much of the world, farmers are planting Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) “Bt corn,” which is equipped with a gene from the soil bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt).

It produces Bt toxin—a pesticide that breaks open the stomach of certain insects and kills them. In addition to Bt corn, Monsanto also created Roundup Ready corn and soy, which are engineered to withstand contamination with otherwise lethal doses of Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup.

Yet, genetic modification isn’t only being used to create plants with built-in pesticides and herbicide tolerance. Plants and animals alike are also being genetically engineered to express pharmaceutical products and various other traits.

‘Pharming’ Turns Plants and Animals into Drugs

“Pharming,” or modifying plants and animals with pharmaceuticals began around the year 2000 and has steadily increased since.

Like all genetic modification, this is a highly experimental process that could have disastrous outcomes if the end products become intermingled with the natural environment. As reported by Nutrition Prescription:1

“In animal pharming the host animals’ DNA is genetically engineered to express a pharmaceutical in the animals milk… hopefully.

For example, a cow or goat can be genetically engineered to give milk that will provide medication. Specific examples include vaccinations, blood clotting medications, and medications that fight eye and lung infections.

It’s a risky prospect for the animal because the genetic engineering disrupts normal gene function and DNA processes. Of course there are animal rights issues here, however the major concern is that food systems could become contaminated with pharmaceutical products.

…Pharming projects are also being conducted with plants, using corn and potatoes bioengineered with, for example, cystic fibrosis and antibacterial medications. The biotech companies are in France and Germany, but they work with farms in the US…

Major concerns with bio-pharming are, again, that food or feed crops may become contaminated with the pharmaceutical products, and also that the products may have negative effects on natural ecosystems.”

Vaccines in Your Milk?

In 2009, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first drug produced by livestock that had been bioengineered to express a human gene. In that case, the protein was extracted from the milk of GM goats.

In 2012, researchers introduced DNA coding for the malaria parasite into the goat genome linked to milk production. The DNA was supposed to “switch on” only in the mammary gland when the goat produces milk.

The experiment was geared toward producing a malaria vaccine for third-world countries, with the ultimate goal being that eventually children will be able to become vaccinated simply by drinking the milk.

As we’ve seen in the past with genetically modified plants, genetically engineered vaccine-producing animals might enter the food supply unexpectedly — exposing unintended recipients to the vaccine.

Or the animals might escape and breed with others, passing these bioengineered genes on with unpredictable consequences. Even the technology itself is risky at best, because when animals are exposed to foreign DNA, literally anything can happen…

Lamb with Jellyfish Gene Enters the Food Supply, Probably Eaten

A perfect example of the seriously lacking safety surrounding GMOs occurred in France late last year. Researchers were working with a sheep, Emeraude, that had been genetically modified with the green florescent protein gene of a jellyfish.

The gene reportedly helped the researchers study the sheep heart while looking for ways to restore heart function after heart attacks.

A ewe of the GM sheep, Rubis, which would therefore also carry the jellyfish gene, was then mixed with non-GM sheep and sent off to a slaughterhouse, where it most likely ended up in the food supply for human consumption. This is thought to have occurred in October 2014 in the Paris region.2

Adding another layer to the story, it doesn’t look like this was a mistake. Rather, it’s thought one of the researchers intentionally did away with the GM lamb as a “malicious act” after an internal dispute. According to the Washington Post:3

“…allegedly, the modified lamb was purposefully mixed in with non-modified sheep and sent off to a slaughterhouse… INRA [the National Institute for Agronomic Research] representatives blame the tension between researchers at the facility for the act, and have suspended one individual pending an investigation.”

INRA was quick to say there was no risk to public health from the experimental meat, but no safety studies were given to back up this assessment. The sheep were being produced for research purposes only, so it’s likely no safety assessments on consuming the animals were conducted. It’s also illegal to sell GM food in France.

GM Corn Modified with Hepatitis B Vaccine Grown with Little Oversight

Clearly the supposed safeguards in place to keep experimental GM crops and animals separate from the food supply are not working. In many cases, many experimental GM crops are not getting the oversight necessary to prevent environmental or public-health catastrophes.

GM “pharmaceutical” corn that is being used in an experimental trial for hepatitis B vaccine is being grown in an environmentally sensitive area along California’s central coast, just 100 feet from a critical habitat for threatened wildlife species.

According to data obtained by Hearst Newspapers under Freedom of Information laws, already two ‘incidents’ have been reported. SF Gate reported:4

At a secret location among the vineyards of California’s Central Coast, a plot of genetically engineered corn is producing proteins for industrial and pharmaceutical uses, including an experimental vaccine for hepatitis B.

The altered corn is growing with federal approval 100 feet from a steelhead stream in San Luis Obispo County, in designated critical habitat for the threatened California red-legged frog.

Agriculture Department inspectors have reported two ‘incidents’ at the site, including conventional corn sprouting in a 50-foot fallow zone, but the findings did not rise to the level of a fine or even to a formal notice of noncompliance for the company that planted it, Applied Biotechnology Institute Inc.”

The founder and president of Applied Biotechnology, John Howard, had previously founded another biotech company that has been banned from GMO trials because of contaminations in the Midwest that required a half-million bushels of soybeans and 150 acres of corn to be destroyed.5

GMO Trials Often End up Contaminating Nearby Land, But US Government Allows Them Anyway

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), which is tasked with overseeing GMO trials, typically takes a decidedly “industry-friendly” approach. In one unusual case, APHIS gave Gebbers Farms of Washington an approximately $20,000 fine for growing GM apples less than 100 feet from conventional apple trees.

The farm had already been previously cited for the same, along with failure to keep proper records and keep animals away from the test plot.6 This fine was a rarity, and according to investigations by Hearst, one of just two civil penalties issued since 2010, despite nearly 200 notices of non-compliance.

Issues uncovered by Hearst include paperwork violations, lost seeds, and GM plants growing where they’re not allowed. Monsanto alone, which conducted about one-quarter of the field trials in the US, has received 35 notices of non-compliance from 2010 to 2013.

They received one civil penalty in 2010 after experimental GM cotton was ginned, making its way into cottonseed meal and hulls that were consumed by livestock. Inspection reports revealed many problems with GM trials that show the challenges, and the impossibility, of keeping GM crops restrained to a designated area:7

  • Heavy rains washed out test plots, increasing risks of GMO dispersal
  • Wild pigs and cows have eaten GM crops, including GM sugarcane and GM corn, in once case after a gate was accidentally left open
  • Government researchers planted GM barley in the wrong county and also moved GM soybeans across state lines without authorization
  • An automobile plowed through a test plot of corn and was abandoned about a mile away (with GM corn found in the ditch)

The Risks of GM Crops Are Already Known…

While the risks of consuming foods that contain pharmaceutical drugs or genes from creatures typically not eaten have yet to be fully disclosed, there’s very convincing evidence that GM foods, including those already on the market in the US, spell nothing but trouble for your health. In one review of GMOs — an analysis of 19 animal studies — it was revealed that nearly 10 percent of blood, urine, organ, and other parameters tested were significantly influenced by GMOs, with the liver and kidneys faring the worst.

In a human feeding study on GM foods, seven volunteers ate Roundup-ready soybeans. These are soybeans that have herbicide-resistant genes inserted into them in order to survive being sprayed with otherwise deadly doses of Roundup herbicide. In three of the seven volunteers, the gene inserted into the soy transferred into the DNA of their intestinal bacteria and continued to function long after they stopped eating the GM soy. In addition, Jeffrey Smith, founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology, has documented at least 65 serious health risks from GM products of all kinds. Among them:

  • Offspring of rats fed GM soy showed a five-fold increase in mortality, lower birth weights, and the inability to reproduce
  • Male mice fed GM soy had damaged young sperm cells
  • The embryo offspring of GM soy-fed mice had altered DNA functioning
  • Several US farmers reported sterility or fertility problems among pigs and cows fed on GM corn varieties
  • Investigators in India have documented fertility problems, abortions, premature births, and other serious health issues, including deaths, among buffaloes fed GM cottonseed products

Nutritional differences are also apparent. A 2012 nutritional analysis of GM versus non-GM corn showed shocking differences in nutritional content. Non-GM corn contained 437 times more calcium, 56 times more magnesium, and 7 times more manganese than GM corn. GM corn was also found to contain 13 ppm of glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup), compared to zero in non-GM corn. The EPA “safe” level for carcinogenic glyphosate in American water supplies is 0.7 ppm, and organ damage in animals has occurred at levels as low as 0.1 ppm

From a regulatory perspective, GM crops are considered “substantially equivalent” to their non-GM counterparts. This means, in essence, that they are essentially the same, with no meaningful differences for your health or the environment. Yet, the problem, and it’s a major one, is that research has shown GM crops are not substantially equivalent to their conventionally grown counterparts, and they’re already being unleashed into the environment.

The FDA has (so far) not required labeling of GM foods because they are deemed to be “substantially equivalent” to non-GM foods. It is also due to substantial equivalence that no oversight or long-term safety testing has been required of GM crops.

Help Support GMO Labeling

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)—Monsanto’s Evil Twin—is pulling out all the stops to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food. For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture. For example, Monsanto has made many claims that glyphosate in Roundup is harmless to animals and humans. However, recently the World Health Organization (WHO) had their research team test glyphosate and had labeled it a probable carcinogen.

Public opinion around the biotech industry’s contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We’re fighting back. That’s why I was the first to push for GMO labeling. I donated a significant sum to the first ballot initiative in California in 2012, which inspired others to donate to the campaign as well. We technically “lost” the vote, but we are winning the war, as these labeling initiatives have raised a considerable amount of public awareness.

The insanity has gone far enough, which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands. More than 80 percent of our support comes from individual consumers like you, who understand that real change comes from the grassroots.

Recently, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan) has reintroduced a bill (HR 1599) that would preempt states’ rights to enact GMO labeling laws. This bill would create a federal government program to oversee guidelines for voluntary labeling of products that do not contain GMOs. It would specifically prohibit Congress or individual states from requiring mandatory labeling of GMO foods or ingredients. It would also allow food manufacturers to use the word “natural” on products that contain GMOs.

The Pompeo bill, ironically named “The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act,” is proposing nothing if not inaccurate labeling of foods, by preventing you from ever learning which foods may contain GMOs. Critics of the bill have dubbed it the DARK Act, aka “Deny Americans the Right-to-Know” Act, which is exactly what the bill does.

Stopping the passing of the Pompeo bill is THE most important action anyone concerned about GMOs can possibly take right now, and the outcome will quite possibly determine the future of agriculture. It’s the choice of a regenerative or degenerative food system; a choice of monoculture or diversity, of obesity or wellness, pollution, or nutrition.

TAKE ACTION NOW! Your local representatives need to hear from you! Please contact them today by CLICKING HERE.

Thankfully, we have organizations like the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to fight back against these junk food manufacturers, pesticide producers, and corporate giants.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

Non-GMO Food Resources by Country

Together, Let’s Help OCA Get the Funding They Deserve

Let’s Help OCA get the funding it deserves. I have found very few organizations who are as effective and efficient as OCA. It’s a public interest organization dedicated to promoting health justice and sustainability. A central focus of the OCA is building a healthy, equitable, and sustainable system of food production and consumption. Please make a donation to help OCA fight for GMO labeling.


Donate Today!


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Newly Minted Doctors Begin Their First Jobs In July: Should You Be Afraid?


Article Source: Health And Fitness Journal

Photo By Danny Kim

The short answer, in my opinion, is yes.

The long answer is slightly more nuanced.  As it turns out, studies suggest that one’s relative risk of death is increased in teaching hospitals by about 4-12% in July. That likely represents a small, but significant uptick in avoidable errors. It has been very difficult to quantify and document error rates related to inexperience. Intuitively we all know that professionals get better at what they do with time and practice… but how bad are doctors when they start out? Probably not equally so… and just as time is the best teacher, it is also the best weeder. Young doctors with book smarts but no clinical acumen may drop out of clinical medicine after a short course of doctoring. But before they do, they may take care of you or your loved ones.

It has been argued that young trainees “don’t practice in a vacuum” but are monitored by senior physicians, pharmacists, and nurses and therefore errors are unlikely. While I agree that this oversight is necessary and worthwhile, it is ultimately insufficient. Let me provide an illustrative example.

When I was a new intern I was assigned to a patient with curious eyelids. He was a mildly obese, middle aged man with a beard who spoke in hushed tones. What struck me the most was that he had voluminous upper eyelids. They were so strange that I couldn’t stop staring at them. He didn’t have any hives or red blotches on his skin, and his eyeballs were clear and white. There was no pus or discharge of any kind. I was so perplexed that I began to search through his medical record for answers before I embarrassed myself by asking for a consult. After many hours of digging, I discovered the smoking gun.

Apparently, he had been given repeat boluses of 1 Liter of IV normal saline by dutiful interns and residents who had not communicated with one another about who would write the order. So they all did. This man was so fluid overloaded that his eyes were literally bugging out of his head. No one had noticed the edema because of his size, and because (thank God) his heart and kidneys were young and healthy enough to handle the load without going into outright failure. Also, normal saline is such an innocuous medication that it didn’t flag any concerns by the nurses (who were also rotating through the service and busy swatting the more obvious mistakes being made by the fresh crop of interns).

If this poor patient had congestive heart failure or kidney disease, he could have been killed by well-meaning, diligent interns with salt water. Fortunately for him, he made a full recovery – and because there was technically “no harm done” I don’t even think this case was discussed in M&M (morbidity and mortality) conference, and I also doubt that anyone was reprimanded. Sounds crazy, but there are bigger fish to fry in July.

So my point is this: rookie mistakes are not always tracked, documented, addressed, or perhaps even noted. But they are real. They are scary. And they are lurking at every teaching hospital in this country. We must all remain on high alert – and question everything. Because even eyelids offer important clues, and water can kill.

***

If you or a loved one insist on falling ill in July, I recommend finding a hospital with a culture of carefulness or bring a patient advocate with you.

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Chili Garlic Ginger Shrimp Recipe


Article Source: Health And Fitness Journal

By Dr. Mercola

I have cautioned against consuming most seafood due to the potential of having widespread contamination. Many varieties of fish today come from polluted waters and are tainted with mercury, PCBs, and other potentially toxic heavy metals that can do serious damage to your health.  

However, I believe that shrimp, due to their small size, are one of the safer kinds of seafood that you can consume – as long as it is obtained from fresh, clean, and trustworthy sources,.   

If you can find a safe source of shrimp, I recommend whipping up this simple but truly flavorful sautéed shrimp recipe: Chili Garlic Ginger Shrimp.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup  coconut oil
  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 fresh red chilies, seeds removed and thinly sliced
  • 16 large shrimp (16 ounces), peeled and deveined
  • 1-2 lemons, to taste
  • ½ cup Italian parsley, roughly chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation:

  • Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add coconut oil, ginger, garlic, chili, and shrimp. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often.
  • Turn the heat to low and add the juice of 1 lemon. Stir in parsley. Remove from heat.
  • Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper, and more lemon juice if desired.

This recipe makes 4 servings.

(From Dr. Mercola’s Healthy Recipes for Your Nutritional Type)

Chili Garlic Ginger Shrimp Cooking Tips

If obtained from fresh, clean sources, shrimp is an excellent and nutritious food that can be served in various ways – whether as an hors d’ oeuvre, main dish, or even added to soups and salads. The key is finding wild shrimp harvested from the cleanest cold water sources.

When buying seafood, especially shrimp, look for products certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch can also guide you in the direction of more sustainable seafood choices.

Seafood Watch has rated various seafood sources according to their sustainability and other parameters. Although some of their “Best Choice” shrimp include farmed shrimp (which I absolutely do not recommend), some of the wild-caught shrimp varieties on their good-to-best list that you can consider buying are:1

  • Spot prawns from British Columbia (Canadian Pacific)
  • Coonstripe, northern and sidestripe shrimp, and spot prawns caught off Alaska

When purchasing fresh shrimp, look for those that are shiny and do not have any black spots. They shouldn’t be slimy and should have no ammonia-like odor, which are signs that the shrimp are going bad.2

Before deveining and shelling the shrimp, make sure you rinse them thoroughly. To devein, simply peel the shell using a paring knife and make a shallow slit along the back, from the head to the tail. Look for the black sand vein running along the center of the back. Using the tip of the knife, carefully remove and discard the vein. Rinse again under cold water.

Shrimp cooks very quickly, usually taking two to four minutes (depending on their size). Once they have started to curl up and turned a nice pink or light orange color, they’re ready to eat.

Why Is Chili Garlic Ginger Shrimp Good for You?

Fresh, wild-caught shrimp is an excellent health food that contains various nutrients like:

  • Vitamin B12
  • Tryptophan (an essential amino acid)
  • Healthful fats like omega-3s, saturated fat, and cholesterol
  • Selenium (Research shows that the selenium in shrimp can be well-absorbed by the human body)
  • Astaxanthin
  • High-quality protein (WHFoods3 actually ranks it as the eighth best food source of protein)

The shrimp in this recipe is made even more healthful by the herbs and spices used to flavor it, such as:

Ginger

Not only is ginger a wonderful (and fragrant) addition to your cooking, but it also has a wide array of medicinal properties that can fill several books. That’s why it’s one spice that I recommend having in your kitchen at all times. Ginger is a rich source of antioxidants such as zingerones, gingerols, and shogaols. It also has broad-spectrum antiviral, antibacterial, and antiparasitic properties.

If unpeeled, ginger can stay fresh in your refrigerator for up to three weeks, or in your freezer for six months or longer.

Garlic

Fresh garlic, despite its slightly pungent odor, is a potent herb with antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties although its therapeutic effects may go much further than that. The benefits of garlic come from its sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin. Oligosaccharides, selenium, arginine-rich proteins, and flavonoids also give it its health-promoting qualities.

If stored properly, garlic will stay fresh for about a month. Keep it in an uncovered container away from heat and sunlight, to prevent it from sprouting.

Chilies

The spicy flavor of chilies comes from capsaicin, an odorless and colorless compound that is produced to protect the peppers from fungal attack. When you eat it, it tricks your brain into perceiving heat where it touches your body.

Capsaicin is found to help alleviate pain by depleting your body’s supply of substance P, a chemical component of nerve cells that is necessary for transmitting pain signals to your brain. This compound also de-sensitizes your skin’s sensory receptors.

The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of capsaicin may also have some benefits against cancer. For example, it was found that capsaicin suppresses the growth of human prostate cancer cells, but leaves normal cells unharmed. For more about the benefits of eating chilies, read my article “How Chilies Can Be Used to Treat Pain.”

 


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