Friday, March 27, 2009

Nervous? North Korea Launching a Ballistic Missile!

US ready for possible NKorean missile launch to Hawaii: Gates
18 June 2009 WASHINGTON (AFP) — The United States has concerns about a possible North Korean missile launch towards Hawaii and has taken steps to ensure the protection of US territory, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Thursday.
"We do have some concerns if they were to launch a missile ... in the direction of Hawaii," Gates told a news conference.
Gates said he had approved the deployment of THAAD missile defense weaponry to the US state and radar "to provide support" in case of a possible North Korean missile attack.
And he said that ground-based defenses in Alaska were also at the ready.
"I would just say I think we are in a good position should it become necessary to protect American territory," he said.
The Theatre High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) weaponry is designed to shoot down ballistic missiles.
US and South Korean officials have said North Korea might be readying another ballistic missile test after three previous launches in 1998, 2006 and this year.
Pyongyang said its latest April 5 launch put a satellite into orbit, while the United States and its allies labeled it a disguised test of a Taepodong-2 missile theoretically capable of reaching Alaska. Tensions on the Korean peninsula have mounted after Pyongyang carried out its second nuclear test last month.
US media reported on Thursday that the US military was tracking a flagged North Korean ship suspected of ferrying banned weapons cargo in violation of a UN Security Council resolution adopted last week.
The ship, the Kang Nam, departed a port in North Korea on Wednesday and appears to be heading toward Singapore, according to media reports.
The latest UN financial and shipping sanctions are designed to choke off revenue and disrupt transfers of arms and nuclear technology in and out of North Korea.
The measures do not authorize military force to board North Korean ships, but allow for the US Navy and its allies to ask to inspect North Korean vessels and ships flagged from other countries suspected of carrying banned cargo.
"We intend to vigorously enforce the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1874," said Admiral Mike Mullen, the top US military officer, at a joint news conference with Gates.
Mullen sidestepped a question as to whether the military was tracking the North Korean vessel.
Analysts say North Korea could get around the shipping measures by transporting banned cargo by air. However they said that the financial sanctions could prove much more effective.
On Saturday, the North vowed to build more atomic bombs and start enriching uranium for a new nuclear weapons program, in response to the UN sanctions.
The Japanese daily Yomiuri Shimbun meanwhile reported on Thursday that Tokyo's defense ministry believes that North Korea might now be planning to launch a two-stage or three-stage Taepodong-2 missile towards either Japan's Okinawa island, Guam or Hawaii.
But the ministry said launches toward Okinawa or Guam were "extremely unlikely" because the first-stage booster could drop into waters off China, agitating Beijing, or hit western Japanese territory, the report said.
If the missile were fired in the direction of Hawaii, the booster could drop in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) well before the missile's remaining part flies over northern Japan and towards North America.
NKorea boots inspectors, vows to restart reactorBy Jean H. Lee, Associated Press Writer
Tue, Apr 14, 2009
SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea said Tuesday it was restarting its rogue nuclear program, booting U.N. inspectors and pulling out of disarmament talks in an angry reaction to U.N. Security Council condemnation of its April 5 rocket launch. Pyongyang ordered U.N. nuclear inspectors to remove seals and cameras from its Yongbyon nuclear site and leave the country as quickly as possible, the International Atomic Energy Agency said.
North Korea told the IAEA it was "immediately ceasing all cooperation" and "has decided to reactivate all facilities and go ahead with the reprocessing of spent fuel," according to a statement from the U.N. agency.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs condemned the decision, saying the international community will not accept North Korea until it abandons what Washington calls its pursuit of nuclear weapons. The North must "cease its provocative threats," he said.
Russia also deplored the move and urged its neighbor to rejoin six-nation talks, which have been held since 2003 in an attempt to get Pyongyang to give up its nuclear program in exchange for aid and other concessions. Britain's Foreign Office said the break with the IAEA was "completely unjustified."
China — Pyongyang's main ally and the host of the talks — called for calm on all sides.
Despite its defiance, analysts say North Korea, one of the poorest countries in the world, is unlikely to abandon the talks altogether. They suggested North Korea could be trying to draw the United States into direct negotiations, which it has long sought.
Hajime Izumi, a North Korea expert at the University of Shizuoka in Japan, said the North Korean reaction was designed to "bring the United States to the negotiating table and squeeze maximum concessions from it."
All 15 members of the Security Council, including China and Russia, agreed Monday to condemn the April 5 launch as a violation of U.N. resolutions and to tighten sanctions against the regime. The U.N. statement was weaker than the resolution Japan and the United States had pursued.
North Korea claims it launched a communications satellite as part of a peaceful bid to develop its space program as Kim Jong Il embarked on his third term as leader. The U.S. and others call the launch an illicit test of the technology used to fire an intercontinental ballistic missile, even one eventually destined for the U.S.
A Security Council resolution passed in 2006, days after North Korea carried out an underground nuclear test, prohibits Pyongyang from engaging in any ballistic missile-related activity — including launching rockets that use the same delivery technology as missiles mounted with warheads, Washington and other nations say.
Under a 2007 six-party deal, North Korea agreed to disable its main nuclear complex in Yongbyon north of Pyongyang in return for 1 million tons of fuel oil and other concessions. In June 2008, North Korea famously blew up the cooling tower at Yongbyon in a dramatic show of its commitment to denuclearization.
But disablement came to halt a month later as Pyongyang wrangled with Washington over how to verify its 18,000-page account of past atomic activities. The latest round of talks, in December, failed to push the process forward.
On Tuesday, North Korea said it would restart nuclear facilities, an apparent reference to its plutonium-producing reactor at Yongbyon. North Korea already is believed to have enough plutonium to produce at least a half dozen atomic bombs.
But David Albright, whose Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security tracks suspected secret proliferators, said restarting a reactor isn't so simple, and kicking out the inspectors could be posturing.
"Worse things have happened. It's the easiest thing North Korea can do to express its anger," he said.
"You can't just turn on a reactor in a couple weeks. They could test a nuclear device, but it would be such an escalation that the parties-that-be internationally would have to respond negatively. Kicking out the monitors is something that easily can be reversed and not cause that much harm."
He said it would take fuel-deficient North Korea six months to a year to restart the reactor.
Nuclear expert Whang Joo-ho of Kyung Hee University in South Korea estimated it could take even longer to get Yongbyon's reactor and reprocessing facilities running again. He described the Soviet-designed reactor as "functionally outdated," saying it may not even pose a security threat if fully restored.
However, the threats could be enough to get President Barack Obama's attention, especially with two American reporters — Euna Lee and Laura Ling of Current TV — still in North Korean custody since last month. Pyongyang has threatened to put them on trial for illegal entry and "hostile acts."
Japan says ready to shoot down NKorea missile
by Kyoko Hasegawa Kyoko Hasegawa – Thu Mar 26, 11:45 pm ET;_ylt=AtveAC3SQifc3HoHaQkeQhHZn414 TOKYO (AFP) – Japan gave its military the green light on Friday to shoot down any incoming North Korean rocket, with tensions high ahead of a planned launch that the US and allies say will be an illegal missile test.
Japanese and US warships have already deployed ahead of the April 4-8 window, when the secretive North has said it will launch a communications satellite.
Pyongyang has said any move to shoot it down would be an act of war.
But South Korea, Japan and the United States have all warned the North that any launch would be unacceptable, amid fears the regime is actually intending to test a long-range missile that could reach North America.
The security council in Japan, where pacificism has been official policy since the end of World War II, decided ahead of time to shoot down any incoming missile that could hit its territory rather than wait until a launch.
"The security council this morning decided to issue a destruction order in advance," said Defence Minister Yasukazu Hamada.
"We will do our best to handle any flying object from North Korea."
The North said Thursday that even referring a launch to the United Nations would ruin the long-running and erratic six-nation nuclear disarmament talks, during which North Korea has already tested one missile and an atomic bomb.
US National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair said the North wanted to show it had the technology to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile.
The North is believed to be preparing to test a Taepodong-2 that could hit Alaska.
"North Korea is attempting to demonstrate an ICBM capability through a space launch," Blair said. "That's what they are up to."
Pyongyang has reportedly already put a rocket onto one of its launch pads, raising the stakes in a delicate diplomatic stand-off that has come just two months into the new US administration of President Barack Obama.
Enigmatic North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il was reported to have suffered a stroke in August, and some analysts speculate he is trying to demonstrate he remains firmly in control of the country.
Though a recent photo showed him looking thin, the North's official media have reported more than three times as many public appearances by Kim so far this year than over the same period in the previous year.
The six-nation talks -- grouping North and South Korea, the United States, China, Russia and Japan -- have offered the North aid and security guarantees in exchange for dismantling its nuclear programme.
North Korea said Thursday that bringing any launch to the United Nations would be a "hostile action" that would end the negotiations.
The United States, which says the launch would violate a UN Security Council resolution, has vowed to do so.
"The six-party talks will become non-existent," a spokesman for the North's foreign ministry told official media.
Senior US, Japanese and South Korean negotiators were to meet in Washington later Friday to discuss the situation. Japan's order for a shoot-down is the first since the nation revised its defence law in 2005.
Asked whether Japan was capable of such an intercept, Defence Minister Hamada said: "We have obviously prepared to be able to do it. I have no doubt we can do it."
North Korea readies missile, makes new threat
By Jonathan Thatcher Jonathan Thatcher – Thu Mar 26, 9:48 am ET
SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea said on Thursday that if the international community punishes it for next month's planned missile launch it will restart a nuclear plant that makes weapons grade plutonium.
The secretive state this week put a long-range missile in place for a launch the United States warned would violate U.N. sanctions imposed on Pyongyang for past weapons tests.
The planned launch, seen by some countries as a disguised military exercise, is the first big test for U.S. President Barack Obama in dealing with the prickly North, whose efforts to build a nuclear arsenal have long plagued ties with Washington.
North Korea warned that any action by the U.N. Security Council to punish it would be a "hostile act."
" ... All the processes for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula ... will be brought back to what used to be before their start and necessary strong measures will be taken," the North's foreign ministry spokesman said in comments carried by the official KCNA news agency.
North Korea has frozen its aging nuclear reactor and started to take apart its Yongbyon atomic plant under a deal signed by regional powers in 2005 that called for economic aid and better diplomatic standing for the isolated North in return. Despite the agreement, the North carried out a nuclear test in 2006.
The South Korean daily Chosun Ilbo quoted a diplomatic source as saying the North could fire its Taepodong-2 missile, which has the range to hit U.S. territory, by the weekend.
This is earlier than the April 4-8 timeframe Pyongyang announced for what it says is the launch of a satellite.
"Technically a launch is possible within three to four days," the Chosun Ilbo quoted a diplomatic source in Seoul as saying.
South Korea said the launch would be a serious challenge to security in north Asia, which accounts for one sixth of the global economy. Japan urged North Korea to refrain from action that would destabilize the region.
"We strongly urge the North to immediately stop the launch of a long-range missile, which would be a clear violation of the U.N. Security Council resolution 1718," South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Won Tae-jae told reporters.
Rocket on the PadOn Wednesday, a U.S. counter-proliferation official told Reuters that North Korea appeared to have positioned the rocket on its launch pad.
Another U.S. official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said North Korea had placed together two stages of what is expected to be a three-stage rocket.
Once it has been positioned, North Korea will need several days to fuel the rocket which could, in theory, carry a warhead as far as Alaska. The only previous test of the rocket in 2006 ended in failure when it blew apart seconds after lift-off.
South Korea plans to dispatch an advanced destroyer capable of tracking and shooting down missiles to waters off the east coast, Yonhap news agency quoted government sources as saying.
The planned launch and growing tension on the Korean peninsula are beginning to worry financial markets in the South, although so far there has been only minor impact.
"If they really fire something, it would definitely shake the financial markets, but only briefly, as has been the case in many previous cases of provocation and clashes," said Jung Sung-min, a fixed-income analyst at Eugene Futures.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, during a visit to Mexico, said the launch would deal a blow to six-party talks to end Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.
Those talks sputtered to a halt in December over disagreement on how to check the North was disabling its nuclear facilities.
"This provocative action ... will not go unnoticed and there will be consequences," she told reporters, repeating earlier warnings it could put the issue before the U.N. Security Council for additional sanctions.
Pyongyang repeated its threat on Thursday to quit the six-party talks, which also involve South Korea, Russia, Japan, the United States and China, if it was punished.
China to Block More Sanctions?North Korea faces a range of U.N. sanctions and many analysts doubt new ones would get past China -- the nearest Pyongyang has to a powerful ally -- in the Security Council.
China, sticking to its low-key approach, said it hoped all "relevant parties will remain restrained and calm."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov cautioned the international community against making rash decisions.
"Do not try to make evaluations before events have occurred," he said in Moscow, while noting U.N. Security Council resolutions should be adhered to.
A successful launch would be a huge boost at home to leader Kim Jong-il, whose illness last year -- widely thought to have been a stroke -- has raised questions over his grip on power.
North Korea has given international agencies notice of the rocket's planned trajectory that would take it over Japan, dropping booster stages to its east and west.
The U.S. military has said it could with "high probability" intercept any North Korean missile heading for U.S. territory, if ordered to do so. Pyongyang says any attempt to shoot down the rocket would be an act of war.
(Additional reporting by Randall Mikkelsen and Paul Eckert in Washington, Arshad Mohammed in Mexico City, and Jack Kim, Jon Herskovitz, Yoo Choonsik and Seo Eun-kyung in Seoul; Editing by Dean Yates)
U.S. Ready to Respond to N.Korea MissileAdmiral Keating Tells ABC News U.S. Prepared to Shoot Down Missile If Obama Gives OK
By Martha Raddatz and Lauren Sher
Feb. 26, 2009
In an exclusive interview with ABC News' Martha Raddatz, Adm. Timothy Keating, head of the U.S. Pacific Commands, said that the military is prepared to shoot down any North Korean ballistic missile -- if President Obama should give the order.
"If a missile leaves the launch pad we'll be prepared to respond upon direction of the president," Keating told ABC News. "I'm not a betting man but I'd go like 60/40, 70/30 that it will, they will attempt to launch a satellite. There's equipment moving up there that would indicate the preliminary stages of preparation for a launch. So I'd say it's more than less likely."
"Should it look like it's not a satellite launch -- that it's something other than a satellite launch -- we'll be ready to respond."
Intelligence reports suggest that North Korea is preparing a long-range missile test. Earlier this week, North Korea announced its plans to send a satellite into orbit as part of its space program.
However, many in the international community assert that North Korea's satellite test is simply a means of concealing a long-range missile test -- a move that would flare existing tension in the region.
Keating said that the military is ready to respond with at least five different systems: destroyer, Aegis cruiser, radar, space-based system and ground-based interceptor. All of these work in conjunction with one another to protect against any missile threat.
Destroyers are fast, multi-purpose warships that can be used in almost any type of naval operation. They would likely play a defensive role, helping to repel an air attack and offering a platform for gunfire and missiles to hit airborne objects.
The Aegis cruiser is part of the Navy's computer-based command and control system that integrates radar and missiles to fight against land, air and sea attacks. For Keating, the Aegis combat system can tracks threats and counter any short- or medium-range missiles.
Radars vary in type and design, but the military would likely employ a range of sea-based and early warning radars to detect the presence of a North Korean missile, track warheads' movement and more easily home in on the position of a missile to knock it down.
Space-based infrared system is a defense system that provides warning of any missile launches, detecting the threat and employing other tools to obliterate it.
Ground-based interceptor is a weapon that seeks and destroys incoming ballistic missiles outside of the earth's atmosphere. Its sensors give the military the ability to locate and obliterate a North Korean missile.
"We will be fully prepared to respond as the president directs," Keating said. "Everything that we need to be ready is ready. So that's ready twice in one sentence, but we're not kidding, it doesn't take much for us to be fully postured to respond."
In the U.S. arsenal is a "very sophisticated and complex, but effective ballistic missile-defense system," Keating says, which would provide a line of attack against any kind of ballistic missile or warhead that springs from a North Korean launch pad.
Ground-based interceptors, he says, will be able to take down an object other than a satellite. And while they have not moved ships into place yet, Keating says he is prepared to do so at a moment's notice.
Experts say that North Korea's announcement of its satellite launch is an attempt to put Pyongyang on President Obama's radar.
"It's a fairly stern test early of President Obama and his administration," Keating said.
Members of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of [North] Korea, a state body, chastised critics Thursday, saying it would retaliate against those who attempt to disrupt its satellite plan. Keating says the U.S. military is keeping a close eye on the launch pad, but does not want to jump the gun.
"We're intentionally being a little more cautious and a little more reserved as to not stimulate unnecessary activity in North Korea," he said. "We want to do no harm, if you will."
Nevertheless, Keating says that his priority first and foremost is defending the United States.
"If that means we detect a missile that is a threat to U.S. territory, then we are going to defend U.S. territory. And [if] we hit what we're aiming at that should be a source of great confidence and reassurance to our allies and partners."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

How Safe Is Our Food? (Part 2)

Farmed Fish Could Give Humans Mad Cow DiseaseTuesday, July 21, 2009 by: S. L. Baker
(NaturalNews) There is probably no illness that has more terrifying symptoms, or a more ghastly outcome, than variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) -- best known as mad cow disease. Abnormal proteins called prions found in brain tissue of cows suffering from bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) can cause vCJD in humans who eat meat from the animals. These mad cow disease-causing prions can literally result in people losing their minds because the infectious particles eat away at the brain, leaving tiny sponge-like holes. There is no treatment available and death always follows.
With government regulations notoriously lax when it comes to testing for BSE in the food supply, many people have given up eating beef in hopes of protecting themselves from exposure to mad cow disease. But an article just published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease suggests there may be another ticking time bomb source of vCJD -- farmed fish.
In a paper entitled Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy and Aquaculture, University of Kentucky neurologist Robert P. Friedland and colleagues point out that fish consumption is widely recommended because omega-3 fatty acids are known to reduce the risks of cardiovascular and Alzheimer's diseases. However, the scientists have doubts that the health benefits of farmed fish outweigh a potentially deadly danger. "We are concerned that consumption of farmed fish may provide a means of transmission of infectious prions from cows with bovine spongiform encephalopathy to humans, causing variant Creutzfeldt Jakob disease," they stated.
Dr. Friedland and his team point out that farmed fish are fed byproducts rendered from cows -- a totally unnatural source of food for fish. The risk of transmission of mad cow disease to humans who eat farmed fish would seem to be slim because there are often barriers between species that help prevent infections. But, according to the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease article, there are several reasons to be concerned about fish spreading mad cow to humans. First, fish could be carriers of the disease from eating infected meat products, even though the fish themselves are not obviously infected or sick. In addition, it is possible that eating prion-infected cow parts could result in fish experiencing pathological changes that permit the prion infection to be transmitted between the two species. Based on these worrisome possibilities, the scientists are calling for government regulators to ban feeding cow meat or bone meal to fish until this common practice can be shown to be safe."We have not proven that it's possible for fish to transmit the disease to humans. Still, we believe that out of reasonable caution for public health, the practice of feeding rendered cows to fish should be prohibited. Fish do very well in the seas without eating cows," Friedland said in an interview with the Kentucky Post newspaper. "The fact that no cases of Creutzfeldt Jakob disease have been linked to eating farmed fish does not assure that feeding rendered cow parts to fish is safe. The incubation period of these diseases may last for decades, which makes the association between feeding practices and infection difficult. Enhanced safeguards need to be put in place to protect the public," Friedland stated.
Regarding Our July 1, 2009 President’s Choice Fresh Beef Recall
(Updated July 3rd @ 08:20PM)
To Our Valued Customers:We apologize for any concern our President’s Choice beef product recall may have caused you. The health and safety of our customers is paramount to us and we are committed to providing our customers with a clean and safe store environment and offering products that are produced, sourced and handled responsibly.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued a warning to not consume certain President’s Choice branded fresh beef products (not frozen), bearing best before dates April 29 to June 16, 2009 inclusive (please see list below). This recall of beef products is related to the expanded recall of beef products in the USA by JBS Swift Beef Company, Greeley, Colorado due to possible E. coli O157:H7 contamination.
The affected products are no longer available on store shelves. Consumers are advised not to consume the affected product. They are advised to check their freezers and return affected products to their local store at the customer service desk for a full refund. We encourage our customers who have any questions about products and our refund policy to please contact President’s Choice Customer Service at 1-888-495-5111 or
The recall involves 24 beef items sold in our stores, not all beef products, as has been reported by some media outlets. Affected products were distributed in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada. No affected products were sold in Western Canada. The affected products represent approximately 0.16 per cent of our overall average weekly volume of beef shipped in these regions.
·5 cases of potentially impacted PC Tender and Tasty Beef were distributed in Atlantic Canada, which represents approximately 0.05% of our weekly beef shipment volume
·4 cases of potentially impacted PC Certified Angus Beef were distributed in Quebec, which represents approximately 0.01% of our weekly beef shipment volume
·90 cases of potentially impacted PC Certified Angus Beef were distributed in Ontario, which represents approximately 0.6% of our weekly beef shipment volume
Customers can be assured that Loblaw follows strict health and safety standards for all our products and works closely with vendors and the CFIA to mitigate health risks.
Bakers furious at 'mass medication' of NZ's bread
By David Fisher
May 17, 2009
Supermarket suppliers and bakers want the Government to protect them from lawsuits as questions grow about the health impact of a food additive about to be introduced to all bread.
In four months, bakers will be forced to begin putting a synthetic form of folic acid into almost every loaf made in New Zealand.
This is despite a market research survey carried out by the Government that shows 87 per cent of New Zealanders oppose the move.
The plan aims to reduce the number of brain-damaged babies, although the fall may be a few as four a year.
But new research shows folic acid may cause an increase in colon cancer cases. And another study suggests it may cause colon cancer to grow faster.
The Bakers' Association has labelled the compulsory introduction "mass medication" of the population, and warned that bread containing folic acid will be less safe than it is now.
While about 50 countries already have voluntary schemes, the September introduction would put New Zealand among select few that make it mandatory, or are planning to do so.
The United Kingdom is among them, but it has put plans on hold while it awaits new research.
Ireland canned plans to make adding folic acid mandatory after a voluntary scheme was shown to raise women's folate levels.
New Zealand Food Safety Minister Kate Wilkinson said the Government was concerned about the scheme, which it had "inherited" from Labour.
"We need to make sure the health benefits outweigh the risk," she said. "We have to make sure the evidence is science-based and not emotion-based. We are concerned and we are looking at it."
Wilkinson said Food Safety Authority officials were preparing advice on the latest research. She expected to take it to Cabinet before the end of the month, when a "course of action" would be decided.
"We have to take into account 87 per cent of New Zealanders didn't want mandatory fortification of bread with folic acid," she said.
The scheme was a favourite of former Health Minister Annette King but never went before Parliament. It was passed under special rules which do not allow the same level of public scrutiny.
The mandatory scheme was developed after it was decided the current scheme - in which specific brands are fortified with folic acid - was unsuccessful.
Neither the Food Safety Authority nor the Ministry of Health could say if any money had been spent on a public education campaign to promote the voluntary scheme.
Papers released under the Official Information Act show the authority told Wilkinson that "research on the health effects of folic acid, both positive and negative, is a rapidly developing area".
It said any "public health risk" would be "acted upon immediately" but New Zealand might not be able to pull out of the scheme without causing a diplomatic rift with Australia.
Both countries are subject to the transtasman Food Standards Australia New Zealand agency, which led compulsory introduction in both countries.
Wilkinson is the sole New Zealand minister on the group that runs the agency.
Briefing papers supplied to her before a meeting with supermarket and bakers' representatives last month warn that pulling out of the scheme "would be likely to have an undesirable effect on the Australia and New Zealand relationship".
Wilkinson said she had consulted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and had also raised her concerns at the latest meeting of the transtasman council.
Bakers' Association head Laurie Powell said it was difficult to address the issue because the industry did not want to put consumers off bread. "Our products are safe but probably not as safe with folic acid."He confirmed concerns about the scheme had led the association to ask the Government for legal indemnity.
"If it is found in 15 years' time this stuff is bad and it causes health problems, we would be sued," he said.
Powell was also concerned the industry could not regulate the amount of folic acid going into each individual loaf.
"It is a mass medication experiment that won't work," he said. "A trip to your baker should not be a trip to the pharmacy."
Food and Grocery Council chief executive Katherine Rich said there was no good reason to medicate an entire nation without clear benefits and known risks.
"They are embarking on a medical experiment of grand proportions," she said. "If there are long-term effects and the Government is keen on adding folic acid, they should indemnify."
Authority officials confirmed pregnant women would not get enough folic acid from fortified bread and would still need to take supplements.
They said it was not possible to eliminate risk from any food product, but thorough monitoring would pick up any health problems.
What's happening to bread?
From September, all producers will be forced to put folic acid into bread. The only exceptions will be loaves made from scratch by a small number of bakers, organic bread and unleavened bread.
Why is it being done?
Higher levels of folic acid in pregnant women reduce the number of babies born with neural tube defects, which result in serious brain damage. Compulsory fortification is expected to reduce numbers by 4-14 cases a year. It has other health benefits, with some studies suggesting it prevents premature births.
Is it safe?
Probably, although there are concerns over new research which shows folic acid at higher levels can accelerate the growth of cancer cells in the colon and prostate. Research has also shown that it causes fundamental changes in genes in the colon and liver.
What happens next?
Food Safety Minister Kate Wilkinson has asked her officials for a briefing on the latest research and plans taking the results to Cabinet. She may call on colleagues to can the scheme, although has been warned that doing so could harm diplomatic relations with Australia.
Fruit and Vegetable Allergies Soaring
Dr. Mercola
May 02 2009
Cases of oral allergies to fruit and vegetables are rapidly increasing, according to a specialist.
Dr. Pamela Ewan, an allergy consultant at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, England, said the rise in cases appears to be outstripping even peanut allergies. Dr. Ewan, who sees more than 8,000 people with allergies a year, said that most patients with reactions to fruit and vegetables were youngsters.
Symptoms can include swelling in the mouth and throat, and breathing difficulties.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:According to Dr. Ewan in the article above, the UK has seen a big rise in the number of food allergy cases just in the past four to five years. But it’s been a rapidly rising trend for longer than that. One 2006 study published in the medical journal Thorax found a 400 percent increase in hospitalizations due to food allergies in the UK since 1990, and admissions for anaphylaxis had increased by 600 percent.
Some of the most allergenic foods include pasteurized milk, soy, and wheat (gluten), but fruit and vegetable allergies are on the rise and now rival peanuts in terms of allergic reactions.
What’s Causing the Rise in Fruit and Vegetable Allergies?Fruits and vegetables are typically considered to be very healthy foods, not to mention essential for optimal health, so what could be causing this dramatic rise in allergic reactions to them?
According to Dr Adam Fox, a consultant pediatric allergist at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital in London, there appears to be a cross-reactivity between the proteins in pollen, such as birch, and certain fruits, such as apples and pears. So if you’re allergic to pollen, you may be more prone to develop allergies to certain foods as well.
Other specialists agree with this hypothesis, adding that particles from diesel exhaust may be exacerbating the problem by making pollen even more allergenic.
Another possibility is the increase in genetically modified fruits and vegetables. No one knows the full extent of what happens to the end product when you splice in new genes, and then eat that product for several years, or generations.
The only thing that is guaranteed is that it will create surprise side effects, and perhaps the radical rise in food allergies we’re now seeing is only the beginning…
One thing we do know is that between 1994 and 2001 -- the same time that GMO’s flooded the market – food related illnesses DOUBLED.GMO foods can be:
• Allergenic• Toxic• Carcinogenic• Anti-nutritional
GMO’s may also create brand new diseases that we’ve never seen before, in addition to spurring on the disease rate of some we already have, such as cancer.Multiple Allergies Also on the Rise
Specialists are also reporting a significant rise in the number of people suffering from several allergies at once. Allergic symptoms are also becoming more severe, causing acute pain, and in some cases even death.
In another recent BBC article, Dr. Jonathan North, a consultant immunologist in Birmingham, stated that allergy cases in the UK have risen from 15 percent of the population to closer to 40 percent.
In the U.S., an estimated 55 percent of the population test positive to one or more allergens!
Many specialists believe the rise in eczema is a significant contributing factor to the allergy epidemic – a sort of “gateway” that can enable other allergies to develop. The broken, scaly skin that is a major symptom of eczema can allow other allergens to enter your body, prompting your immune system to react to it as an enemy invader.
However, eczema can also be caused by food allergies, so if you suffer from eczema, you may also have a hidden food allergy or sensitivity. For simple, effective strategies that can help you get this common skin condition under control, please review my recent article on this topic.
Airborne fungal spores released from mold, which are common in the air you breathe daily, can also increase your risk of multiple allergies according to a study by University of Cincinnati researchers.
Since molds can grow on any moist surface in your home, the high humidity of the summer season signals increased mold growth, and potentially more health problems for your entire family.
Along with obvious places such as shower stalls, air conditioners and damp basements, there can be many hidden sources of mold in your home. Particularly if you have had plumbing problems or leaks in your roof, mold may grow and release spores from places such as drywall, carpet or padding, even wood.
Mold spores are very difficult to destroy, even with cleaning agents such as hot water or bleach (which is itself toxic). The best way to reduce the problem is through smart preventive measures. Hands-down, the most effective and simple overall solution to fight all the sources of mold in your home is to use a superior-quality air purifier.
How to Figure Out What Foods You’re Allergic toOne of the easiest and most powerful actions you can take if you believe you are suffering from a food allergy is to do a diet elimination challenge. Simply remove all foods that contain what you believe you are allergic to and see if your symptoms improve over the next few days. You may need to go as long as five days to give it a full trial.
If the symptoms disappear in one day, of course you have your answer. The real clincher, though, is to reintroduce the food or drink (on an empty stomach). If the suspected food is the culprit you will generally be able to feel the symptoms return within an hour.
This can be difficult if you eat a lot of processed foods, as these often contain "hidden" ingredients like corn, milk, soy, wheat, yeast and artificial additives that are often problematic. The most suspect foods will be those eaten daily or more than once a week, as well as foods that you crave or eat at night.
In extreme cases where it is difficult to isolate the offending food, you may even need to go on a fast to see if your symptoms resolve.
Remember, you can also be sensitive to food additives like artificial colors, preservatives and flavor enhancers (MSG), so avoiding processed foods can also help. And, although the jury is still out on the health effects of cloned foods, I am willing to bet they’re not without ramifications.
Why it is Vital to Address Your Food AllergiesIt’s important to realize that if you don't take measures to address your food allergies, you can end up with permanent, long-term damage. Allergies can put constant and unnecessary stress on your immune system that will weaken it over time, possibly leading to chronic or degenerative disease.
Once you’ve identified the foods you are allergic to, you will want to avoid them as much as possible. Your symptoms will likely disappear or improve once you reduce your exposure.
In terms of food sensitivities, a comprehensive nutritional approach is vital, and most people's sensitivities dramatically improve when they follow my nutrition plan. This includes avoiding sugar, fruit juices, most grains, pasteurized dairy products, and wheat gluten. Making sure you’re getting enough high quality animal-based omega-3 fats can also be helpful. I recommend krill oil as an optimal source of healthy omega-3s. Adding “good bacteria” to your gut by taking a high quality probiotic can also be beneficial when dealing with food sensitivities and allergies.
Spice recall expanded because of salmonella threat
By The Associated Press – Wed Apr 15, 2009;_ylt=ApcnY6J7o9UeGcHCqRNQXi0DW7oF Union International Food Co. is expanding a spice recall to include all Lian How brand and Uncle Chen brand sauces, oil and oil blends in various size packages because the products may be contaminated with salmonella, an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections, especially in young children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. The company had previously recalled Lian How brand and Uncle Chen brand dry spices.
California state health department officials say the salmonella outbreak has sickened 33 people throughout northern and central California, and nine others in Nevada, Oregon and Washington. No deaths have been reported. Officials say most of the people sickened appeared to have been exposed to salmonella while eating at Asian restaurants that used the company's spices.
The company said salmonella was isolated from an open container of Lian How white pepper.
The Uncle Chen and Lian How brand products were distributed to retailers, wholesalers, distributors, restaurant suppliers and restaurants. [For a complete list of spices, etc., go to;_ylt=ApcnY6J7o9UeGcHCqRNQXi0DW7oF]
Cocktail of Pharmaceuticals Found in the Fish Caught Near Major U.S. CitiesThursday, March 26, 2009 by: Mike Adams
(NaturalNews) Pharmaceutical pollution is out of control, polluting the waterways of our world to such a disturbing degree that now even the fish are carrying detectable levels of pharmaceuticals in their own bodies! A study conducted by Baylor University researcher Bryan Brooks, and published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, examined fish caught near Phoenix, Dallas, Chicago, Philadelphia and Orlando, testing them for residues of pharmaceuticals. And what did the results show? That fish are contaminated with a chemical cocktail of prescription medications!The research was funded by a $150,000 grant from the EPA, and it found the fish to be contaminated with:• Seven different pharmaceuticals, including cholesterol drugs, blood pressure drugs, allergy drugs and psychiatric medications used to treat bipolar disorder and depression.• Two different chemicals used as artificial fragrance in soaps.These trace chemicals were found in fish near all of the sites tested... except for one: In order to establish a baseline reference of healthy, non-contaminated fish, researchers also caught fish in the Gila River Wilderness Area of New Mexico, which is far from any cities or developments. Care to guess what they found there? No pharmaceuticals contamination whatsoever.It is quite clear from this research that pharmaceuticals have become a widespread source of chemical pollution that has permeated delicate aquatic ecosystems and now poses a serious threat to our environment.
Big Pharma pollutes the world
Big Pharma's drugs pollute the world TWICE: First in the minds and bodies of those who take them, and then secondly in the rivers and oceans where toxic residues of the pharmaceuticals inevitably accumulate.Remember this: Every pill of every pharmaceutical that is manufactured for Big Pharma eventually ends up in the environment! Probably at least half of them are just flushed down the toilet or washed down the drains, which remains standard practice at hospitals.Strikingly, pharmaceuticals are not currently regulated by the EPA even though they pose a significant (and growing) risk to the environment. There is no question, for example, that pharmaceuticals are toxic to fish and aquatic mammals in much the same way they are toxic to humans.Pill-pushing apologists, of course, claim that the trace levels of pharmaceutical found in the fish are so low that they are of no concern whatsoever. To that ridiculous standard of safety, I say, "Prove it!"To date, there have been absolutely no safety tests conducted on the combinations of pharmaceuticals that are being found in public water supplies, waterways and oceans around the world. Anyone who says these chemicals are safe is merely taking a wild (and foolish) guess. They are also probably working for Big Pharma.It is not the responsibility of environmentalists to prove that such chemicals are toxic to the environment. Rather, it is the duty of drug companies to prove their chemicals are SAFE for the environment! And that, by the way, cannot be done, because these drugs are, in reality, toxic to virtually all life forms, even at low doses. The drug companies, bluntly stated, are killing the life on our planet.
Big Pharma is guilty of crimes against nature
The pharmaceutical residues found in fish aren't the only environmental problem with these drugs. Even the manufacture of pharmaceuticals is extremely toxic to the environment.
Read this story entitled India's Waterways A Toxic Stew of Pharmaceutical Chemicals Dumped from Big Pharma Factories ( It tells the true story of enormous quantities of antibiotics being dumped into India's rivers due to the manufacturing practices of American pharmaceutical companies.Furthermore, last year an Associated Press report revealed pharmaceutical contamination of the public water supplies of 24 major U.S. cities ( reality, the water supplies of virtually ALL cities are contaminated with pharmaceuticals. They just haven't done all the testing yet.As I stated in that article:The mass medication of America has now turned into a grand medical experiment that exposes infants, children, expectant mothers, senior citizens, voters, law enforcement officers, doctors and everybody else to a combination of drugs known to have extremely dangerous, mind-altering side effects when taken in full doses. And yet this mass medication of the population is being conducted with no doctor visits, no prescriptions, no consent and no medical assessment whatsoever. It is essentially a mandatory medication carpet-bombing of the entire population.
Big Pharma has become a threat to life on EarthThe drug companies are not merely a threat to your pocketbook and your own personal health; through the mass chemical contamination of the world's waterways, these drugs companies have actually become a threat to life on our planet.That's why I say it is within our rights as human beings living on this planet to call for the arrest and prosecution of Big Pharma's executives for their crimes against humanity and crimes against nature. They have polluted our planet with dangerous toxic chemicals, they have contaminated our public water supplies, and they have denied any responsibility whatsoever for their role in spreading their poisons and endangering the health of people who don't even take medications!I anxiously await the day that Big Pharma executives are marched through the streets, in handcuffs, on the way to their trials for crimes against humanity.That day is coming. And when these criminals are removed from society and prevented from doing further harm to our children, our family members, our water supply and our environment, the world will be a much healthier -- and safer -- place to live.Big Pharma is a danger to life on our planet, and the sooner this poisonous industry is stopped, the sooner we can see our personal and planetary health restored.
The Little-Known Secrets about Bleached Flour Dr. Mercola
March 26 2009
Nearly everyone knows that white flour is not healthy for you, but most people don’t know that when white flour is bleached, it can actually be FAR worse for you.
It’s generally understood that refining food destroys nutrients. With the most nutritious part of the grain removed, white flour essentially becomes a form of sugar. Consider what gets lost in the refining process:
Half of the beneficial unsaturated fatty acids
Virtually all of the vitamin E
Fifty percent of the calcium
Seventy percent of the phosphorus
Eighty percent of the iron
Ninety eight percent of the magnesium
Fifty to 80 percent of the B vitamins
And many more nutrients are destroyed -- simply too many to list.
The Journey of the Wheat BerryHave you ever wondered how white flour is made?
The website Healthy Eating Politics has an interesting article about the process.
Most commercial wheat production is, unfortunately, a “study in pesticide application,” beginning with the seeds being treated with fungicide. Once they become wheat, they are sprayed with hormones and pesticides. Even the bins in which the harvested wheat is stored have been coated with insecticides. If bugs appear on the wheat in storage, they fumigate the grain.
A whole grain of wheat, sometimes called a wheat berry, is composed of three layers:
The bran
The germ
The endosperm
The bran is the layer where you’ll find most of the fiber, and it’s the hard outer shell of the kernel. The germ is the nutrient-rich embryo that will sprout into a new wheat plant. The endosperm is the largest part of the grain (83 percent), making up most of the kernel, and it’s mostly starch.
White flour is made from the endosperm only, whereas whole-wheat flour combines all three parts of the wheat berry.
Old time mills ground flour slowly, but today’s mills are designed for mass-production, using high-temperature, high-speed steel rollers. The resulting white flour is nearly all starch, and even much of today’s commercially processed whole wheat flour has lost a fair amount of nutritional value due to these aggressive processing methods.
White flour contains a small fraction of the nutrients of the original grain, with the heat of the steel rollers having destroyed what little nutrients remain. But then it is hit with another chemical insult--a chlorine gas bath (chlorine oxide). This serves as a whitener, as well as an “aging” agent.
Flour used to be aged with time, improving the gluten and thus improving the baking quality. Now, it is treated with chlorine to instantly produce similar qualities in the flour (with a disturbing lack of concern about adding another dose of chemicals to your food).
According to Jim Bair, Vice President of the North American Millers Association:
“Today, the US milling industry produces about 140 million pounds of flour each day, so there is no way to store the flour to allow it to age naturally. Plus, there is a shelf life issue.”
It has not been determined how many mills are bleaching flour with chorine oxide, but we do know the use of chlorides for bleaching flour is considered an industry standard.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines chlorine gas as a flour-bleaching, aging and oxidizing agent that is a powerful irritant, dangerous to inhale, and lethal. Other agents also used include oxides of nitrogen, nitrosyl, and benzoyl peroxide mixed with various chemical salts.
The chlorine gas undergoes an oxidizing chemical reaction with some of the proteins in the flour, producing alloxan as an unintended byproduct. Bair and other milling industry leaders claim that bleaching and oxidizing agents don’t leave behind harmful residues in flour, although they can cite no studies or published data to confirm this.
Why Bleaching Makes White Flour Even WorseIt has been shown that alloxan is a byproduct of the flour bleaching process, the process they use to make flour look so “clean” and -- well, white. No, they are technically not adding alloxan to the flour -- although you will read this bit of misinformation on the Internet. But, they are doing chemical treatments to the grain that result in the formation of alloxan in the flour.
With so little food value already in a piece of white bread, now there is potentially a chemical poison lurking in there as well.
So what is so bad about alloxan?Alloxan, or C4 H2O4N2, is a product of the decomposition of uric acid. It is a poison that is used to produce diabetes in healthy experimental animals (primarily rats and mice), so that researchers can then study diabetes “treatments” in the lab. Alloxan causes diabetes because it spins up enormous amounts of free radicals in pancreatic beta cells, thus destroying them.
Beta cells are the primary cell type in areas of your pancreas called islets of Langerhans, and they produce insulin; so if those are destroyed, you get diabetes.
There is no other commercial application for alloxan -- it is used exclusively in the medical research industry because it is so highly toxic.
Given the raging epidemic of diabetes and other chronic diseases in this country, can you afford to be complacent about a toxin such as this in your bread, even if it is present in small amounts?
Just How Much is Too Much?Similar to disinfection byproducts (DBPs) in water, alloxan is formed when the chlorine reacts with certain proteins remaining in the white flour after the bran and germ have been removed. Protein makes up between 5 percent and 15 percent of white flour, depending on whether it’s cake flour, or high-gluten flour, such as what’s used for pizza crust or bagels.
So, this would suggest that perhaps 5 to 15 grams of protein per 100 grams of flour could be contaminated.
However, according to Professor Joe Schwarcz, Director of the McGill University Office of Science and Society, alloxan is the byproduct of xantophyll oxidation only. Xantophylls are yellow compounds in wheat that react with oxygen, causing flour to turn white.
According to Mr. Schwarcz:
“One of the possible minor side products of xantophyll oxidation is alloxan. It may therefore be found in small amounts in flour. There is no available research that shows trace amounts are a problem or that alloxan builds up in the body. The amounts, if present at all, must be small because xantophylls themselves only occur to the extent of 1 microgram per gram of flour.”
Alloxan has not been studied in terms of human exposure, particularly long-term. There is just so much we don’t know, and you know what assumptions will get you.
Alloxan in Rats vs Alloxan in Humans
Scientists have long known that alloxan produces selective destruction of the beta cells of the pancreas, causing hyperglycemia and ketoacidosis in laboratory animals. Alloxan is structurally similar to glucose, which might explain why the pancreatic beta cells selectively take it up.
According to Dr. Hari Sharma’s Freedom from Disease, alloxan causes free radical damage to DNA in the beta cells of the pancreas, causing them to malfunction and die. When they fail to function normally, they no longer produce enough insulin.
Even though the toxic effect of alloxan is common scientific knowledge in the research community, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still allows companies to use chemical processes in which the end result is toxic food. Until they unequivocally prove something is toxic by way of human deaths, severe side effects, or when the public screams loudly enough, the FDA is not likely to protect you.
Until then, it is you who must protect yourself.
If you have diabetes, or cancer, have a compromised immune system, or if you are in some other high-risk category as tens of millions of North Americans are, you need to know what foods contain hazardous ingredients so you can avoid them. But in the case of alloxan, there is no way to know, either by reading the ingredient list or by any other means, that it might be in your food!
History of Bleaching Flour -- Pillsbury and the FDAAn interesting sideline to this whole flour story lies in the origins of the FDA.
Bleaching and oxidizing agents weren’t developed to produce quick aging of wheat flour (within 48 hours) until the early 1900s. Prior to that, it required several months for oxygen to condition flour naturally.
When bleaching was introduced, it was vehemently opposed.
The first major consumer advocate was Harvey W. Wiley, MD, who eventually became known as the “Father of the Pure Food and Drugs Act” of 1906. Mr. Wiley was head of the Bureau of Chemistry, which was the precursor to the FDA. Wiley crusaded against benzoic acid, sulfites, saccharin, and bleached flour, among other food additives and adulterants.
Dr. Wiley felt so strongly about preventing the bleaching of flour that he took it all the way to the Supreme Court. They ruled that flour could not be bleached or “adulterated” in any way. However, it was never enforced.
Wiley believed that foods posed a greater risk to the public than adulterated or misbranded drugs. He constantly butted heads with Secretary of Agriculture James Wilson and President Roosevelt over food regulation.
Soon, Wiley’s personal administrative authority was undercut when Wilson created the Board of Food and Drug Inspection in 1907 and the Referee Board of Consulting Scientific Experts in 1908, one of which was reportedly headed by someone who had been working at Pillsbury, although I have not been able to verify this addendum.
Finally, in 1912, Dr. Wiley quit as director out of frustration, although he continued as a vocal consumer advocate for many years.
The government replaced Dr. Wiley with Dr. Elmer Nelson. Dr. Nelson was the polar opposite to Wiley , and was quoted as saying:
”It is wholly unscientific to state that a well-fed body is more able to resist disease than a poorly fed body. My overall opinion is that there hasn’t been enough experimentation to prove that dietary deficiencies make one susceptible to disease.”
Therein lies the foundation of the FDA. Since Dr. Wiley resigned, the FDA has continued to shift its focus on drugs, since Wiley was never able to convince the government of the dangers from chemicals in our foods. He was truly a pioneer and a century ahead of his time!
Food For Thought
The important point to take away is, beware of any processed food because chemicals are always used. And we simply don’t know what the long-term effects will be of ingesting chemicals, on top of chemicals, on top of more chemicals.
Strive to stick to whole unprocessed foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. If you’re going to eat grains, make sure they are at the least unbleached, whole, and organic, and eat them in the proportion that is best for your nutritional type.
Also See:
Unbleached FlourPosted by suburbanchef
July 10, 2007
I despise bleached flour, as it is a clever way to hide CLOROX or GASOLINE in your bread. Yes, the chemical compounds of the bleach that they use in preparing bleached flour are the same as that of clorox or gas. Think about that the next time you are biting into one of those fluffy hot dog buns.
However, this is not to say that all white flours are equally nutrient averse. While most white flours are seriously devoid of vitamins, fiber or any other good-for-you substance, UN-bleached white flour does not have the extra toxicity that bleached flour does.
The difference comes from the way that the flour is prepared. Unbleached flour has the germ and the bran removed from the wheat kernel, but the flour is then allowed to whiten naturally through exposure to air. Bleached flour is told not to wait, but to take a bath in bleach to speed up the process so that more flour goes out the door. Its a matter of modern industry verses nutritional value.
So what do I do? Well, look at the nutritional labels on the food which you purchase. Unless it clearly says “Unbleached flour” or “whole wheat flour,” it is bleached. Sad, I know. But that is the world we live in. Nature’s Own and most organic products are not made with bleached flour.
A note about UN-bleached white flour: Just because it is unbleached does not mean that it is good for you. White flour is made from the wheat kernel that has had the bran (fiber) and the germ (fiber, vitamins, good oils) removed. When your body processes white flour, it sees a simple sugar. That means that it is basically the same as you eating a slice of sugar. Your body will experience a sugar spike, and then drop (white flour has a high glycemic index). It will then turn into a sort of paste in your GI tract. In other words, white flour is like sugar which clogs your intestines. Not exactly a good thing.
The important thing is to avoid bleached flour as much as possible and to incorporate more whole grains and vegetables into your diet, not to completely nix white flour altogether. King Arthur Flour is a good brand to stick by, as I don’t think that they ever bleach their flour.
Top Ten Worst Foods
Top Ten Worst Drinks
The Shocking Dangers of MSG You Don’t KnowDr. Mercola
August 28 2007
A silent killer that’s worse than alcohol, nicotine, and drugs is likely lurking in your kitchen cabinets and even your child’s school cafeteria. It’s monosodium glutamate (MSG), a flavor enhancer that’s known widely as an addition to Chinese food, but that’s actually added to thousands of the foods you eat.
In this telling three-part video series, you’ll find out why Dr. Russell Blaylock, a board-certified neurosurgeon, describes MSG as a dangerous excitotoxin, and learn how this toxin could be making you fat.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
MSG is used in countless foods in your supermarket, local restaurants, school cafeterias, and more. Everything from soup to crackers to meats may contain it because MSG, as dangerous as it is, makes food taste good and it is dirt cheap, just like sugar.
Incredibly, even infant formulas and baby food contain this poison, even though babies and infants, who are four times more sensitive than adults to the toxic effects of this chemical, are the most at risk.
There are a couple of main reasons why MSG is one of the worst food additives on the market. First, as Dr. Blaylock, author of the highly recommended Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills, says in the video, MSG is an excitotoxin, which means that it overexcites your cells to the point of damage, acting as a poison. The second part of the equation is that MSG can be literally hidden in food labels, under names like broth, casein, hydrolyzed, autolyzed, and more, making it extremely difficult to identify.
MSG is also a probable cause contributing to the obesity epidemic. As the FDA continues to vouch for its safety, scientists have known that MSG causes obesity since the 1960s! It is clearly not worth a few bites of tasty junk food to give your body the green light to produce visceral fat, the most dangerous type that surrounds your organs and increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, insomnia, type 2 diabetes, and more. Yet, that is exactly what you’re doing when you eat foods that contain MSG.
Eliminating MSG from your diet is a wise choice for everyone, including pregnant women. To do so, stick to natural, unprocessed foods. And, if you do eat processed foods, be on the lookout for the many hidden names for MSG on food labels. They include (but are far from limited to):
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP)
Yeast Extract
Malted Barley
Rice Syrup or Brown Rice Syrup
MSG Now Used to Spray CropsWednesday, April 29, 2009 by: Paul Louis Fassa
(NaturalNews) Just when many concerned, health conscious citizens have become aware of the dangers of MSG enough to avoid it, a large agricultural fertilizer and pesticide company, Emerald BioAgriculture, has an MSG tainted "growth enhancer," Auxigro, that has been used to spray on crops since the late 1990`s.
Emerald BioAgriclture`s sales and influence is spreading, and governmental protection agencies are simply stepping aside. Though the Emerald BioAgriculture`s PR promotes that their products are environmentally sound and safe, there is opposition and concern over that. Especially since a main ingredient is the essence of MSG itself.
So it seems to be another sneaky attempt at getting the human race dosed on MSG. Those sneaky attempts have included disguising MSG with labels on packaged foods that use terms like natural flavors, artificial flavorings, sodium caseinate, yeast extract, spices, plant protein, and several forms of hydrolyzed protein (to mention just a few of the forty or so euphemistic terms used to pass MSG our way). According to labeling legislation, if any additive containing the essential active ingredient of MSG, glutamic acid or free glutamate, is less than 78%, it doesn`t have to be labeled MSG! This is a deceptive technicality, because the product known as MSG contains over 78% free glutamate. But free glutamate itself is the danger. Whether there is 70% or 80% glutamate in any given ingredient, one is consuming a dangerous chemical.
An MSG Summary of HorrorsManufactured free glutamate, or glutamic acid, is a dangerous excitotoxin. Ironically, bound glutamate, which is still attached to protein, is benign in small quantities. But that benign glutamate is a minor byproduct of a body's or plant's metabolism. Synthetic glutamic acid or free glutamate is an excitotoxin that appears in larger, more difficult to metabolize quantities when used as a food additive. Additionally, sometimes carcinogenic chemicals are used in the process of manufacturing synthetic free glutamate.
According to Doctor Russel Blaylock MD, author of Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, excitotoxins literally excite brain cells to death! He has found that in addition to obesity, several neurological disorders come about as a result of long term aspartame or MSG excitotoxin consumption. The constant increase of MSG, or its essential active ingredient, over the past 60 years in our food chain has corresponded with the surge of type 2 diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer`s, Parkinson`s Disease, and other forms of neurological disorders. Even dementia, which is usually attributed to old age, can be traced to long term excitoxin exposure.
MSG is used liberally in all fast food places as well as in many better sit-down restaurants. All the snack foods and most packaged foods, even those found in health food stores, contain at least one form of disguised free glutamate - in other words, MSG with another name. So the wise, wary, and dedicated to preserving their health simply avoid processed foods and eating out too much. And they read labels carefully while buying organic vegetables, fruits, and bulk grains and beans as much as possible. Free at last from MSG? Not quite.
Spraying Crops With MSG
The agricultural and food industry has returned with another ploy to keep MSG in our food chain. And it`s completely sanctioned and endorsed by so-called protective governmental agencies. According to Truth In Labeling, an ambitious company called Auxein, now Emerald BioAgriculture, created the product called AuxiGro. It contains glutamate. It won`t go into processed and packaged foods. It simply goes into the plants that yield our fruits, vegetables, and nuts. It has been called a crop "growth enhancer" that increases plants' "natural defense systems" against insect infestation, according to Emerald BioAgriculture's website. AuxiGro is sprayed onto plants with excitotoxin glutamate or glutamic acid as a major ingredient. And Emerald BioAgriculture has managed to bully and buy its way. Beginning from the year 1999, it used AuxiGro on several types of vegetable, fruit, and nut crops. They are registered with the EPA for using AuxiGro in most states. They have even finagled their way into California crop spraying, a state that had originally restricted the use of AuxiGro on its crops. Oh those revolving big business/government doors!
And now it is beginning to get even worse. Emerald BioAgriculture is requesting permission to use AuxiGro on organic crops in all states! The fact that the USDA has lowered its standards for organic certification in the past few years gives Emerald BioAgriculture an opening to begin using AuxiGro on organic crops. USDA organic certification is already suspect. It may get worse. So trusting USDA certification as the sole criteria for organic foods may not be so wise.
There are other organic certifications to look for that have more integrity. Local farmers who are organic but not certified are worthy of health conscious consumer business. The Organic Consumers Association website has more information on true organic sources - Truth In Labeling has challenged the EPA on several valid issues. But the EPA has been deceptive while avoiding the queries directly from Truth In Labeling . If you want to be active on this issue, start by visiting their website at
MSG Part 1
MSG Part 2
MSG Part 3
The dangers surrounding MSG are, perhaps, most concerning for new moms who are unable to breastfeed, and are looking for an alternative to the MSG-laden infant formulas on the market. Fortunately, women who are unable to breastfeed can make an extremely nutritious, MSG-free infant formula for their baby using raw milk.
Related Links:The Danger of MSG and How it is Hidden in Vaccines
Why You do NOT Want to Eat Processed Foods
Eye Damage from MSG