Tuesday, September 23, 2014

6 Notoriously Misleading Food Terms Used To Trick Consumers

Natural Blaze | Sep 22, 2014 | Arjun Walia

Our modern-day food industry has become quite the debacle, with chemicals being sprayed all over our fruits and vegetables, to genetically modifying to processed food. As a result, the world has seen a large resistance to modern-day food practices, and the resistance continues to grow for good reason.

The marches against Monsanto over the past few years are a perfect example of that, where millions of people all across the globe gathered to protest the existence and agricultural practices of the biotech giant.

There are also numerous studies available that justify the critical questioning of our food industry; and, as many of us know, there are corporations out there that are willing to do anything, including lie, if it means that their product will continue to generate a large profit.

One way they do this is through false labeling, where the label doesn’t truly represent the truth about the food itself. Below are six commonly abused food industry terms that are used to mislead and trick consumers.

1. Natural

One of the biggest scams out there is the so-called “natural” label we commonly see on food products. Truth is, a lot of the food products with this label are FAR from natural. They may still be GMO, and they are probably still covered with pesticides. They may contain growth hormones, antibiotics and may be processed. Does this sound natural to you? Adding the “natural” label to food products increases profitability by lying to consumers.

We as consumers should be doing our homework. We are constantly deceived, tricked, manipulated and subliminally programmed in so many ways. The fact that the FDA allows the ‘natural’ label despite the food being far from it is very dishonest. According to the FDA:
From a food science perspective, it is difficult to define a food product that is ‘natural’ because the food has probably been processed and is no longer the product of the earth. That said, the FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term natural or its derivatives. However, the agency has not objected to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances.” (source)
So the next time that you see the world “natural” on your food, remember that it’s most likely not as healthy of an option as it seems. Don’t ignore the ingredients and the reality of what’s really in your food, read the ingredients! If you don’t know what some of the ingredients are -which is commonly the case for a lot of us -take a picture, do some research and see for yourself what you are putting into your body on a daily basis.

Below is a great video titled “The Natural Effect,” done by onlyorganic.org. It’s funny, and very well done.

2. Organic

The organic label has become quite popular, especially over the past couple of years given the amount of information that’s now become available on pesticides, GMOs and more. Pesticides sprayed on conventional foods have been shown to be extremely detrimental to human health. For more information, and for more articles with studies embedded in them on that subject, please click here.

Many of today’s foods are labelled ‘organic’ but still contain ingredients that are not organic. Organic food, however, does not use GMOs in the production of their foods, and there are several guidelines that a company must follow in order to label their food ‘organic.’ A complete list can be found here. You can also find out more information here.

The truth is, we can never really quite know if our food is truly organic, and the global collective has lost so much trust in government organizations that are responsible for this type of oversight which has led to a complete lack of truth. The only way to truly know is to grow your own food.

On the other hand, there is sufficient evidence showing that organic food in grocery stores is still better than non-organic food. For example, a recent study found that an organic diet for just one week dropped pesticide levels in adults by 90 percent. You can read more about that here. Another recent meta-analysis looked at over 300 studies that dealt with this issue, and found that organic food was far more nutritious than conventional food. You can read more about that here.

As far as meat goes, it’s important to keep in mind that organically raised chickens on some farms suffer from higher mortality rates than drugged chickens because of extremely crowded and filthy housing conditions, coupled with a lack of antibiotics. This can lead to even more parasites than are already found in drugged chickens.

Many “organically raised” cows are sent to factory-farm feedlots to be fattened prior to slaughter, where they are caked with feces and mud. Cows who are fattened on feedlots can still be labeled organic as long as they’re given organic feed.

You can read more about this here.

3. Sugar

Sugar cane is real, natural sugar. It’s provided by nature and provides a number of different vitamins and minerals. What we call sugar today is not really sugar, it’s completely artificial and has zero health benefits.

It’s no secret that junk food is designed to be addictive, and that the sugar within it literally kills you and has been linked to cancer.

A recent UCLA study determined that it is also lowering our IQ. You can read more about that here. Another study found it to be just as addictive as heroin, you can read more about that here. Here is a video of a Coca-Cola executive being shown just how much “sugar” is in their drink.

This deadly artificial sweetener comes in multiple forms, such as high fructose corn syrup, so be on the lookout and remember, “sugar” isn’t really real sugar.

4. Grass Fed 

Grass fed does not mean organic; and, as mentioned above, “organically” raised cows are sent to factory farm feedlots to be fattened prior to slaughter. It’s also important to remember that grass fed cows can be injected with growth hormones and antibiotics.

5. Spices 

Most spices have been found to be chemically produced, just like everything else. Many of them are not real spices; in fact, much of our food is not even real food! Most spices and herbs are really good for you, but when they’re put on a food label you can’t really ensure that they are what they say that they are. Spices are also not required to be free from contaminants.

Keep in mind that products on the shelves of your average grocery chain my have been there for a year or more, and they probably sat in a warehouse up to a year before that. Since the average shelf life of ground spices maxes out around six months, chances are you’re buying stale spices. Also remember that these spices are generally of very poor quality and may contain nasty contaminants, which we’ll look at in a minute.

Last year, for instance, the Food Safety Network (FSN) conducted a full-scale investigation into the legitimacy of honey, and found that more than 75 percent of all the so-called honey sold in stores is not actually honey. You can read more about that here. We don’t often think about spices in this manner so it’s important to be aware.

6. Fat Free or Low Fat 

There isn’t much I have to say here. This reminds me of a popular meme I saw floating around social media recently that said:
Anytime you see a “fat free” or “low fat” label, just think “chemical shit storm.”
Many of these products are packed with harmful chemicals and artificial flavoring that are detrimental to human health. It’s a big-time marketing gimmick for unsuspecting consumers.

A great example is fat free yogurt, which was found to be associated with greater weight gain. Studies have shown that the sugars and additives used to replace missing fat, drive up insulin resistance, which leads to greater weight gain. This applies to all types of “low fat” food options. You can read more about that here.

I hope that this article reminds you to be very weary of the labels on your food. Pick and choose with caution, do some research and select foods with awareness. Don’t just believe everything you read at a grocery store.

Arjun Walia writes for Collective Evolution, where this article first appeared.

ADHD Linked to Prenatal Antidepressant Use

Mercola | Sep 11, 2014 | Dr. Mercola

More than one in 10 Americans take an antidepressant, and that number jumps to one in four among women aged 50 to 64.1 They’re the most commonly prescribed class of medication other than antibiotics,2 but despite their overwhelming popularity there’s an important question that needs to be answered: do they work?

Overwhelming evidence shows that antidepressants do not work as advertised. In fact, at best, antidepressants are comparable to placebos, and at worst they can cause devastating side effects, including suicidal and homicidal tendencies, and deterioration into even more serious mental illness.

A Closer Look at Antidepressant Research…

A study in the January 2010 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) concluded that there is little evidence that SSRIs (a popular group of antidepressants that includes Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, and others) have any benefit to people with mild to moderate depression (the group to which they’re most often prescribed), and they work no better than a placebo.3 Those researchers concluded:
“The magnitude of benefit of antidepressant medication compared with placebo increases with severity of depression symptoms and may be minimal or nonexistent, on average, in patients with mild or moderate symptoms.”
A meta-analysis published in PLoS Medicine also concluded that the difference between antidepressants and placebo pills is very small—and that both are ineffective for most depressed patients.4 Only the most severely depressed showed any response to antidepressants at all, and that response was quite minimal.

Research by Irving Kirsch, a psychologist at the University of Hull in the UK, and colleagues presented another interesting theory -- that the side effects produced by antidepressants are the reason why they are sometimes perceived to work better.

In Kirsch's book, The Emperor's New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth, he describes research he conducted using placebo-controlled clinical trials submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

A review of 42 trials revealed that placebos were 82 percent as effective as antidepressants, which translates to a 1.8-point difference on the Hamilton Depression Scale (which is used to measure symptoms of depression).

Though "significant" clinically speaking, this difference would not mean much whatsoever on a treatment level. Next, Kirsch also found in the research that virtually any pill that produced side effects was just slightly more effective at relieving depression than placebo. This included thyroid hormones, herbal remedies, stimulants, sedatives, and others.

So, the antidepressants did not appear to be unique in this action, since virtually every pill given produced the same results. What was really going on? Well, the purpose of keeping a study double-blind, meaning neither the patient nor the researcher knows if they're taking an active pill or a placebo, is to prevent bias. It's well known that if a person believes they're taking an active drug, they are more likely to "feel" a benefit.

Kirsch reasoned that when a person experienced a side effect, it tipped them off that they were taking an active antidepressant rather than a placebo, and this is what gave them the slight advantage.

To test this, Kirsch then investigated trials involving an "active" placebo, meaning one that causes a side effect, and low and behold there was absolutely no difference found between the antidepressant and the active placebo. Maria Angell, former editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine, noted:5
"Everyone had side effects of one type or another, and everyone reported the same level of improvement. Kirsch reported a number of other odd findings in clinical trials of antidepressants, including the fact that there is no dose-response curve—that is, high doses worked no better than low ones—which is extremely unlikely for truly effective drugs.

‘Putting all this together,’ writes Kirsch, leads to the conclusion that the relatively small difference between drugs and placebos might not be a real drug effect at all.

Instead, it might be an enhanced placebo effect, produced by the fact that some patients have broken [the] blind and have come to realize whether they were given drug or placebo. If this is the case, then there is no real antidepressant drug effect at all."

The Web That Pharma Weaves

Every year, $11 billion is spent on antidepressants.6 The pharmaceutical companies that manufacture them have hundreds of lobbyists, and they underwrite more than 70 percent of FDA trials. As explained by Kelly Brogan, MD:
They [pharmaceutical companies] court physicians, give them samples, tell patients to ‘ask their doctor,’ pay consultants to speak at scientific meetings, advertise in medical journals, fund medical education, and ghostwrite, cherry pick and redundantly submit data for publication.  

Psychiatric studies funded by pharma are 4x more likely to be published if they are positive, and only 18% of psychiatrists are disclosing their conflicts of interests when they publish data. Their studies allow:

  • Placebo washout (getting rid of those who are likely to respond to placebo before the study to strengthen the perceived benefit)
  • Replacement of non-responders
  • Breaking blind by using inert placebos so that subjects know that they have received the treatment
  • Use of sedative medications concurrent to study medications”
Meanwhile, in an interview, Pulitzer Prize nominee Robert Whitaker also explained that research suggests the use of antidepressant drugs may actually result in more relapses back into depression in the long run. In other words, these drugs may be turning depression into a more chronic condition.

According to Whitaker’s research, this tendency to sensitize the brain to long-term depression appears to be the same both for the earlier tricyclic antidepressants and the newer SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). 

Another famous psycho-pharmacologist named Ross Baldessarini at the Harvard Medical School also began asking whether or not these drugs may in fact be depressogenic (causing depression). Unfortunately, the evidence points that way, and the long-term prognosis when taking antidepressants is quite bleak, as this type of drug treatment has a whopping 85 percent chronic relapse rate.

Antidepressants May Change the Way Your Brain Functions

Most of you have also probably heard that depression is due to a “chemical imbalance in your brain,” which these drugs are designed to correct. Unfortunately for anyone who has ever swallowed this marketing ploy, this is NOT a scientific statement.
“The low serotonin theory arose because they understood how the drugs acted on the brain,” Whitaker explained. “But it was just a hypothesis borne to try to explain why the drug might be fixing something. They investigated whether people had low serotonin… [But] in 1983, NIMH concluded that there is no evidence that there is anything wrong in the serotonergic system of depressed patients.

And this was in 1983 before Prozac was released. So there was never evidence that people with depression characteristically had low levels of serotonin. As one doctor I interviewed about this who did some of this research said, ‘The serotonin theory of depression is comparable to the masturbatory theory of insanity.” It’s just not a scientific statement.’”
Making matters worse, if you do not have low serotonin levels when you’re depressed, but you start taking an SSRI drug that blocks the normal reuptake of serotonin, you end up with the very physiological problem the drug is designed to treat – low serotonin levels. Which, ironically, is the state hypothesized to bring on depression in the first place. In 1996, neuroscientist Steven Hyman, who was head of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) at the time, published the paper Initiation and Adaptation: A Paradigm for Understanding Psychotropic Drugs,7 in which he explains this chain of events.

According to Dr. Hyman, once your brain has undergone these compensatory adaptations to the drug, your brain operates in a manner that is “both qualitatively and quantitatively different than normal.” As Whitaker explained, antidepressants are not actually “normalizing” agents but could be more aptly described as “abnormalizing” agents.

What are the Side Effects of Antidepressants?

You may have heard a lot about the side effects of antidepressant drugs, but do you know what they actually are? For starters, antidepressants raise your risk of bleeding and stroke,8 and a large study of post-menopausal women found that those taking tricyclic antidepressants or SSRIs were 45 percent more likely to suffer a fatal stroke.9 The research also found that overall death rates were 32 percent higher in women on the drugs, while other research linked antidepressant use to thicker arteries, which could contribute to the risk of heart disease and stroke.10 Aside from potentially lethal cardiac events, other serious side effects include:
  • Suicidal thoughts and feelings and violent behavior
  • Increased risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Problems with your immune system: SSRIs cause serotonin to remain in your nerve junctions longer, interfering with immune cell signaling and T cell growth11
  • Brittle bones: Research suggests taking an SSRI may double your risk of bone fractures.12 This is because serotonin is also involved in the physiology of bone. If you alter serotonin levels with a drug, it can result in low bone density, boosting fracture risk

Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy Linked to ADHD

Antidepressants are said to be safe during pregnancy, even though research shows taking SSRIs when you’re pregnant may increase the risks of low birth weight, preterm birth, fetal death, infant death, neonatal seizures, and the need for mechanical ventilation.13 Recently, it was also found that children born to women who took antidepressants during pregnancy were more likely to develop attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).14

And, research shows that boys with autism are three times more likely to have been exposed to antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in utero than non-autistic boys.15 Those whose mothers used SSRIs during the first trimester were found to be at greatest risk. The recent ADHD/antidepressant study also found a link between taking antidepressants during pregnancy and the risk of autism in the offspring, although it became less significant when material history of severe depression was taken into account.16

Is It a Coincidence That Antibiotics are the #1 Prescribed Drug and Antidepressants #2?

The fact that antibiotics are the most commonly prescribed drug class in the US, and antidepressants the second, deserves attention.17 If you take antibiotics, it will wipe out the beneficial bacteria in your gut, leading to an imbalance. In turn, unhealthy gut flora can have a detrimental impact your brain health, leading to issues like anxiety and depression, hence the resulting use of antidepressants. A better solution may be to improve your mental health by way of your gut. The gut-brain connection is well recognized as a basic tenet of physiology and medicine, so this isn't all that surprising, even though it's often overlooked.

There's also a wealth of evidence showing intestinal involvement in a variety of neurological diseases. For instance, a study conducted by researchers at UCLA found that probiotics (beneficial bacteria) actually altered participants' brain function.18 Compared to the controls, the women who consumed probiotic yogurt had decreased activity in two brain regions that control central processing of emotion and sensation:
  • The insular cortex (insula), which plays a role in functions typically linked to emotion (including perception, motor control, self-awareness, cognitive functioning, and interpersonal experience) and the regulation of your body's homeostasis
  • The somatosensory cortex, which plays a role in your body's ability to interpret a wide variety of sensations
Previous studies have confirmed that what you eat can alter the composition of your gut flora. Specifically, eating a high-vegetable, fiber-based diet produces a profoundly different composition of microbiota than a more typical Western diet high in carbs and processed fats. It's also important to realize that you have neurons both in your brain and your gut -- including neurons that produce neurotransmitters like serotonin. In fact, the greatest concentration of serotonin, which is involved in mood control, depression, and aggression, is found in your intestines, not your brain. Previous research has also shown that certain probiotics can help alleviate anxiety:
  • The Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility reported the probiotic known as Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001 normalized anxiety-like behavior in mice with infectious colitis by modulating the vagal pathways within the gut-brain.19
  • Other research found that the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus had a marked effect on GABA levels—an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is significantly involved in regulating many physiological and psychological processes—in certain brain regions and lowered the stress-induced hormone corticosterone, resulting in reduced anxiety- and depression-related behavior.20 It is likely other Lactobacillus species also provide this benefit, but this was the only one that was tested.
This also has implications for children, as your baby gets his or her first "inoculation" of gut flora from the mother's birth canal during childbirth, which is why a mother's use of antibiotics during pregnancy can predispose to a variety of ailments, as the antibiotic severely disrupts the natural microflora — in the mother's bowels and vagina. It's important to understand that if mother's flora is abnormal, her baby's flora will also be abnormal, as whatever organisms live in her vagina end up coating her baby's body and lining his or her intestinal tract.

Restoring Your Mental and Emotional Health Naturally

If you are experiencing severe depression, please seek help from a professional. For milder depression, and in addition to professional treatment for severe depression, the place to start is to return balance—to your body and your life. Fortunately, research confirms that there are safe and effective ways to address depression that do not involve unsafe drugs. This includes addressing your gut health, as mentioned above, and more:
  • Dramatically decrease your consumption of sugar (particularly fructose), grains, and processed foods. (In addition to being high in sugar and grains, processed foods also contain a variety of additives that can affect your brain function and mental state, especially MSG and artificial sweeteners such as aspartame.) There's a great book on this subject, The Sugar Blues, written by William Dufty nearly 40 years ago, that delves into the topic of sugar and mental health in great detail.
  • Increase consumption of probiotic foods, such as fermented vegetables and kefir, to promote healthy gut flora. Mounting evidence tells us that having a healthy gut is profoundly important for both physical and mental health, and the latter can be severely impacted by an imbalance of intestinal bacteria. Avoiding sugar will also help toward this end.
  • Get adequate vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 deficiency can contribute to depression and affects one in four people.
  • Optimize your vitamin D levels, ideally through regular sun exposure. Vitamin D is very important for your mood. In one study, people with the lowest levels of vitamin D were found to be 11 times more prone to be depressed than those who had normal levels.21 The best way to get vitamin D is through exposure to sunshine or a safe tanning bed, not swallowing a pill.
  • Get plenty of animal-based omega- 3 fats. Many people don't realize that their brain is 60 percent fat, but not just any fat. It is DHA, an animal-based omega-3 fat, which, along with EPA, is crucial for good brain function and mental health.22 Unfortunately, most people don't get enough from diet alone. Make sure you take a high-quality omega-3 fat, such as krill oil, or consume sardines or anchovies regularly. Dr. Stoll, a Harvard psychiatrist, was one of the early leaders in compiling the evidence supporting the use of animal based omega-3 fats for the treatment of depression. He wrote an excellent book that details his experience in this area called The Omega-3 Connection.
  • Evaluate your salt intake. Sodium deficiency actually creates symptoms that are very much like those of depression. Make sure you do NOT use processed salt (regular table salt), however. You'll want to use an all-natural, unprocessed salt like Himalayan salt, which contains more than 80 different micronutrients.
  • Get adequate daily exercise, including high-intensity exercise, which is one of the most effective strategies for preventing and overcoming depression. Studies on exercise as a treatment for depression have shown there is a strong correlation between improved mood and aerobic capacity. So there's a growing acceptance that the mind-body connection is very real, and that maintaining good physical health can significantly lower your risk of developing depression in the first place.
  • Get adequate amounts of sleep. You can have the best diet and exercise program possible, but if you aren't sleeping well you can easily become depressed. Sleep and depression are so intimately linked that a sleep disorder is actually part of the definition of the symptom complex that gives the label depression. Most people need eight hours a night, which is nearly one hour less than most people get.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Chris Hedges: The Coming Climate Revolt

More than 100,000 people march through midtown Manhattan
as part of the People’s Climate March on Sunday in New York.
John Minchillo/AP Images for AVAAZ
Truthdig | Sep 21, 2014 | Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges made these remarks Saturday at a panel discussion in New York City titled “The Climate Crisis: Which Way Out?” The other panelists were Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein, Kshama Sawant and Sen. Bernie Sanders. The event, moderated by Brian Lehrer, occurred on the eve of the People’s Climate March in New York City. For a video of some of what the panelists said, click here.

We have undergone a transformation during the last few decades—what John Ralston Saul calls a corporate coup d’├ętat in slow motion. We are no longer a capitalist democracy endowed with a functioning liberal class that once made piecemeal and incremental reform possible. Liberals in the old Democratic Party such as the senators Gaylord Nelson, Birch Bayh and George McGovern—who worked with Ralph Nader to make the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Mine Safety and Health Act, the Freedom of Information Act and the OSHA law, who made common cause with labor unions to protect workers, who stood up to the arms industry and a bloated military—no longer exist within the Democratic Party, as Nader has been lamenting for several years. They were pushed out as corporate donors began to transform the political landscape with the election of Ronald Reagan. And this is why the Democrats have not, as Bill Curry points out, enacted any major social or economic reforms since the historic environmental laws of the early ’70s.

We are governed, rather, by a species of corporate totalitarianism, or what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin describes as “inverted totalitarianism.” By this Wolin means a system where corporate power, while it purports to pay fealty to electoral politics, the Constitution, the three branches of government and a free press, along with the iconography and language of American patriotism, has in fact seized all the important levers of power to render the citizen impotent.

The old liberal class, the safety valve that addressed grievances and injustices in times of economic or political distress, has been neutered. There are self-identified liberals, including Barack Obama, who continue to speak in the old language of liberalism but serve corporate power. This has been true since the Clinton administration. Bill Clinton found that by doing corporate bidding he could get corporate money—thus NAFTA, the destruction of our welfare system, the explosion of mass incarceration under the [1994] omnibus bill, the deregulation of the FCC, turning the airwaves over to a half dozen corporations, and the revoking of FDR’s 1933 Glass-Steagall reform that had protected our banking system from speculators. Clinton, in exchange for corporate money, transformed the Democratic Party into the Republican Party. This was diabolically brilliant. It forced the Republican Party to shift so far to the right it became insane.

By the time Clinton was done the rhetoric of self-professed liberals was a public relations game. This is why there is continuity from the Bush administration to the Obama administration. Obama’s election did nothing to halt the expanding assault on civil liberties—in fact Obama’s assault has been worse—the Bush bailouts of big banks, the endless imperial wars, the failure to regulate Wall Street, the hiring of corporate lobbyists to write legislation and serve in top government positions, the explosion of drilling and fracking, the security and surveillance state as well as the persecution of government whistle-blowers.

This audience is well aware of the Democratic Party’s squalid record on the environment, laid out in detail in a new Greenpeace report written by Charlie Cray and Peter Montague, titled “The Kingpins of Carbon and Their War on Democracy.” The report chronicles what it calls “a multi-decade war on democracy by the kingpins of carbon—the coal, the oil, and gas industries allied with a handful of self-interested libertarian billionaires.”

The Obama administration, in return for financial support from these kingpins of carbon, has cynically undermined international climate treaties, a fact we discovered only because of the revelations provided by Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks. It uses its intelligence agencies, these revelations revealed, to spy on those carrying out climate negotiations to thwart caps on carbon emissions and push through useless, nonbinding agreements. The Obama administration has overseen a massive expansion of fracking. It is pushing through a series of trade agreements such as the TPP and the TAFTA that will increase fracking along with expanding our exports of coal, oil and gas. It authorized the excavation of tar sands in Utah and Alabama. It approved the southern half of the Keystone pipeline. It has permitted seismic testing for offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, the East Coast and in parts of Alaska, a process that kills off hundreds of sea mammals. It authorized drilling within four miles of the Florida coastline, violating one of Obama’s 2008 campaign promises. This expansion of offshore drilling reversed 20 years of federal policy.

If we appeal to self-identified liberals in the establishment who have no capacity or desire to carry out the radical reforms, we will pour energy into a black hole. And this is what the corporate state seeks. It seeks to perpetuate the facade of democracy. It seeks to make us believe what is no longer real, that if we work within the system we can reform it. And it has put in place a terrifying superstructure to silence all who step outside the narrow parameters it defines as acceptable. 

The Democratic Party speaks to us “rationally.” The party says it seeks to protect civil liberties, regulate Wall Street, is concerned about the plight of the working class and wants to institute reforms to address climate change. But in all these areas, and many more, it has, like its Republican counterpart, repeatedly sold out the citizenry for corporate power and corporate profits—in much the same manner that Big Green environmental groups such as the Climate Group and the Environmental Defense Fund have sold out the environmental movement.

To assume that Obama, or the Democratic Party, because they acknowledge the reality of climate change, while the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party does not, is better equipped to deal with the crisis is incorrect. Republicans appeal to one constituency. The Democrats appeal to another. But both parties will do nothing to halt the ravaging of the planet.

If Wolin is right, and I believe he is, then when we begin to build mass movements that carry out repeated acts of civil disobedience, as I think everyone on this panel believes we must do, the corporate state, including the Democratic Party, will react the way all calcified states react.  It will use the security and surveillance apparatus, militarized police forces—and, under Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act, the military itself—to shut down all dissent with force. The legal and organizational mechanisms are now in place to, with the flip of a switch, put the nation effectively under martial law. When acts of mass civil disobedience begin on Monday morning with Flood Wall Street and later with Occupy the U.N., the face of the corporate state will, as it did during the Occupy movement, reveal itself.

If the response of the corporate state is repression rather than reform then our strategy and our tactics must be different. We will have to cease our appealing to the system. We will have to view the state, including the Democratic Party, as antagonistic to genuine reform. We will have to speak in the language of ... revolution. We will have to carry out acts of civil disobedience that seek to cripple the mechanisms of corporate power. The corporate elites, blinded by their lust for profit and foolish enough to believe they can protect themselves from climate change, will not veer from our path towards ecocide unless they are forced from power. And this means the beginning of a titanic clash between our corporate masters and ourselves.

Whole Organic Food Works Wonders: Garlic and Raisins to Prevent Premature Birth

Nutrition Facts | Sep 22, 2014

Subscribe for free to Dr. Greger's videos at:

DESCRIPTION: Consumption of even small amounts of garlic or raisins are associated with significantly lower risk of pregnant women going into premature labor or having their water break too soon.

Here’s the video on aspartame (Nutrasweet) and diet soda during pregnancy: Diet Soda and Preterm Birth (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/diet-...).

More on garlic in #1 Anti-Cancer Vegetable (nutritionfacts.org/video/1-anticancer-vegetable) and Cancer, Interrupted: Garlic and Flavenoids (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/cance...).

Have a question for Dr. Greger about this video? Leave it in the comment section at http://nutritionfacts.org/video/garli... and he'll try to answer it!



Antidepressant can change intrinsic connectivity of brain

© West Side Story
West Side Story | Sep 21, 2014 | Abby Smith

In a new study it was found that even a single dose of antidepressant can affect our brain and is enough to produce dramatic changes in the functionality of the human brain. Brain scans were taken before and after giving an acute dose of SSRI (serotonin reuptake inhibitor), and the drug showed its adverse effect within three hours.

“We were not expecting the SSRI to have such a prominent effect on such a short timescale or for the resulting signal to encompass the entire brain,” said Julia Sacher of the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Germany.

Lead researcher Julia Sacher conducted the study over 22 healthy people having no signs of depression. What they found was mind boggling. The drugs were believed to affect human brain over a long period of time. But the study revealed that drugs affect human brain instantly and changes the brain connectivity in important ways.

Participants were given a single dose of escitalopram. Researchers scanned their brains and took three-dimensional images of  their brains and measured number of connections between structures called voxels. It was revealed that SSRI reduced the level of intrinsic connectivity in most part of brains but increased activity between cerebellum and thalamus was recorded.

“The hope that we have is that ultimately our work will help to guide better treatment decisions and tailor individualized therapy for patients suffering from depression,” Sacher said. This new study will help in clinical studies of patients suffering from depression.

For the past few years, researchers have also given reports about other medicines that fall in the category of painkillers. It was reported that these medicines have a serious impact on the body and the brain, and can eventually result in reduced immunity.

H/T Blacklisted News


30 Million Americans On Antidepressants And 21 Other Facts About America’s Endless Pharmaceutical Nightmare
Antidepressants Proven to be Useless, Pushed on Public Anyway
Antidepressants Cause Your Arteries to Thicken 400% More Than Aging
Antidepressants Can Cause Sudden Death
Antidepressant drugs are murdering babies before they're even born: SSRIs cause birth defects, miscarriages and complications

Scientists unveil clues to deep sleep mystery

© Press TV
Press TV | Sep 22, 2014

Researchers have identified a specific type of neuron in the parafacial zone (PZ) in the mammalian brainstem that is associated with deep sleep.

The study, conducted by researchers at Harvard School of Medicine and the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences indicates that the neurons as the second "sleep node” control sleep-promoting activity in the brain.

Located in the primitive brainstem, the neuron makes the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which is responsible for deep sleep, according to the study report published in the journal of Nature Neuroscience.

“The brainstem is a primordial part of the brain that regulates basic functions necessary for survival, such as breathing, blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature.”

The team used a set of innovative tools to precisely monitor these neurons and control them remotely. The tools provided the researchers to have ability to turn the neurons on and off at will.

"To get the precision required for these experiments, we introduced a virus into the PZ that expressed a 'designer' receptor on GABA neurons only but didn't otherwise alter brain function," explains the senior author of the study Patrick Fuller, assistant professor at Harvard. 

"When we turned on the GABA neurons in the PZ, the animals quickly fell into a deep sleep without the use of sedatives or sleep aids," Fuller stated.

Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the study makes the researchers be able to answer fundamental questions of brain function.


Herbicide and insecticide use on GMO crops skyrocket while pro-GMO media mislead

© Sustainable Pulse
GM Watch | Sep 20, 2014 | Claire Robinson

Just as overuse of antibiotics in factory farms has created resistant "supergerms", we now have huge swathes of farmland infested with "superweeds" and "superbugs" resistant to glyphosate and Bt, meaning more pesticides are being applied, writes David Bronner

Michael Specter's recent articles in the New Yorker bashing Vandana Shiva and GMO labelling fail to engage with the skyrocketing pesticide use on GM crops, writes David Bronner, president of Dr Bronner's Magic Soaps, in an article for the Huffington Post (below).

The article refers to a report by former EPA scientist Dr Ramon J. Seidler, "Pesticide Use on Genetically Engineered Crops".


We highly recommend this report, which is easy to read, well referenced, and contains some interesting insights into the way articles promoting GMOs massage the facts about pesticide use. Dr Seidler points out that these articles rely on old data gathered before weeds got resistant to Roundup herbicide and pests got resistant to Bt toxin.

Herbicide and insecticide use on GMO crops skyrocketing while pro-GMO media run interference 

David Bronner
Huffington Post, 15 Sept 2014
* Former EPA Senior Scientist's New Article Sets Record Straight

Michael Specter's recent articles bashing Vandana Shiva and the labeling of genetically engineered foods (Seeds of Doubt and The Problem with G.M.O. Labels, 8/25/14) in the New Yorker are the latest high-profile pro-GMO articles that fail to engage with the fundamental critique of genetically engineered food crops in US soil today: rather than reduce pesticide inputs GMOs are causing them to skyrocket in amount and toxicity.

Setting the record straight, Dr. Ramon J. Seidler, Ph.D., former Senior Scientist, Environmental Protection Agency, has recently published a well-researched article documenting the devastating facts, "Pesticide Use on Genetically Engineered Crops," in Environmental Working Group's online AgMag. Dr. Seidler's article cites and links recent scientific literature and media reports, and should be required reading for all journalists covering GMOs, as well as for citizens generally to understand why their right to know if food is genetically engineered is so important. The short discussion below summarizes the major points of his five-page article.

Over 99% of GMO acreage is engineered by chemical companies to tolerate heavy herbicide (glyphosate) use and/or produce insecticide (Bt) in every cell of every plant over the entire growing season. The result is massive selection pressure that has rapidly created pest resistance--the opposite of integrated pest management where judicious use of chemical controls is applied only as necessary. Predictably, just like overuse of antibiotics in confined factory farms has created resistant "supergerms" leading to animals being overdosed with ever more powerful antibiotics, we now have huge swaths of the country infested with "superweeds" and "superbugs" resistant to glyphosate and Bt, meaning more volume of more toxic pesticides are being applied.

For example, the use of systemic insecticides, which coat GMO corn and soy seeds and are incorporated and expressed inside the entire plant, has skyrocketed in the last ten years. This includes use of neonicotinoids (neonics) which are extremely powerful neurotoxins that contaminate our food and water and destroy non-target pollinators and wildlife such as bees, butterflies and birds. In fact, two neonics in widespread use in the U.S. are currently banned in the EU because of their suspected link to Colony Collapse Disorder in bees.

Mainstream pro-GMO media also fail to discuss the ever-increasing amount of older much more toxic herbicides like 2,4 D and Dicamba being sprayed along with huge volumes of Glyphosate to deal with superweeds. Most importantly and egregiously, this biased reporting does not mention the imminent approval of the pesticide industry's next generation herbicide-tolerant crops that are resistant not only to glyphosate, but also high doses of 2,4 D and Dicamba, that will lead to huge increases of these toxic chemicals sprayed on our food and farming communities.

USDA and EPA are in the process of rubber-stamping these into our farming communities (and unlabeled onto our dinner plates) this fall, yet pro-GMO media consistently fail to discuss their imminent approval even as the lower-toxicity profile of Glyphosate is touted. Such reporting gives a pass to the chemical pesticide industry that pours millions into lobbying government and media elites and defeating voter ballot initiatives to require labeling of GMO foods.

Hopefully Dr. Seidler's article will be widely read and disseminated, so reporters can learn the facts and check their biases against industry-fed distortions. Citizens and consumers need to hear the fundamental concern that GMOs are doubling down on, not freeing us from, the pesticide treadmill that contaminates our food and water while lining the pockets of the chemical companies that make both the GMOs and the pesticides used on them.

David Bronner is President of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, the top-selling brand of natural soaps in North America. He graduated with a degree in Biology from Harvard University in 1995. A leader in the fight to label GMO foods in the U.S., David dedicates resources to different issues on behalf of the company's mission to make products of the highest quality, and to use profits thereof to help make a better world.

Naturopathic Doctor Uses Nutrition To Cure 8-Year Old of Cancer After Surgery, Chemotherapy and Radiation Failed

© Prevent Disease
Prevent Disease | Sep 21, 2014 | Dave Mihalovic

After surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, an eight year old was still fighting for her life with subsequent brain tumors and given weeks to live. Her parents frantic search for alternatives led them to a naturopathic doctor who cured her with nutrition.

 Her parents searched the internet for anything that could help their daughter and found Dr Bernardo Majalca, a naturopath, who offered them hope as well as a natural cure for Josie Nunez who was eight years old at the time.

Dr Majalca found that Josie wasn't dying of cancer but was dying from acidosis, and that only by addressing this issue would her body finally be able to heal. He prescribed an alkalizing diet which included drinking 4 freshly made juices per day, as well as various herbs to help detoxify and rebuild her immune system.

"As the pH goes up, the lactic acid goes down which means the cancer activity is going down. The body repairs itself once it is given the stuff that it needs. Most doctors have no idea that nutrition has anything to do with cancer." said Dr Bernardo Majalca

After months of experiencing a variety of symptoms and illnesses, Josie Nunez was diagnosed with a Medulloblastoma of the brain and spine in February of 2008.

After having a 6 week post-operative recovery period, Josie began six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy which was followed by a one month break and then a second round of chemotherapy which her doctors said would last for an additional 6 months. It wasn't long before the second round of treatments began taking a toll on her little body and her parents reported that she suffered from nausea, constipation, abdominal pain, severe anemia, leg paralysis, constant infections, fever, hair loss, burned skin and weight loss.

By the fourth month of treatments, the doctors said that her spinal tumor had disappeared, however she then relapsed with a second brain tumor. At this point, doctors recommended that her family make arrangements for hospice care and that they should make the best of their final days together. Upon hearing the devastating news, Josie's parents began frantically searching the internet for anything that could help their daughter and through a mutual friend they found Bernardo Majalca, a naturopathic doctor practicing out of San Deigo, CA, who offered them hope as well as a natural cure for Josie. When Josie first met with Dr Majalca she weighed only 40 pounds and was very weak.

After assessing Josie he determined that she wasn't dying from the cancer but was actually dying from acidosis, and that only by addressing this issue would her body finally be able to heal. He then prescribed an alkalizing diet which included drinking 4 freshly made juices per day which would help her body to detoxify and then rebuild her immune system.  He describes more about his treatment plans in the video below.

Alkalizing Diet

She could not eat any conventionally raised meat or dairy products, as well as anything that was man-made. That meant no fast foods, soda, candy, fries, sugars,  regular pasta, regular bread, or processed foods of any kind.

1st juicing recipe (taken 2 x per day): 1/2 mashed avocado mixed together with 8 oz of freshly made carrot juice, both are mixed together with a wooden spoon because metal can destroy some of the beneficial enzymes. They show how to make this recipe in the video that is linked below.

2nd juicing recipe (taken 2 x per day):
  • 1 granny smith apple
  • 1 cup of raw broccoli
  • 1/2 inch slice of fresh pineapple (not canned)
  • 1/2 of a beet
  • handful of cilantro
  • 1/4 inch slice of ginger
  • 1/2 inch slice of Daikon radish
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 5 asparagus spears
  • run all items through a juicer


Measuring Josie's saliva pH-  Josie's family started each day by measuring her pH before she ate or drank anything using Ph Test Strips. Test strips can be purchased online or from a health food store. The range for saliva pH is considered to be 5.6 to 7.9 according to the International Journal of Drug Testing.  The first test of the day is taken immediately upon waking before eating or drinking anything, otherwise wait at least two hours after eating or drinking to ensure that the food consumed does not alter the test results.  To test you should cleanse the mouth by filling it with saliva and then swallow or spit it out.  Fill the mouth a second time with saliva and place the test strip on the tongue for 10 seconds.

The strip will change colors based on the results.  Use the insert from the package to determine the corresponding pH and monitor this 4 times per day to get a clear picture of what is going on inside of your body.  You will find that your pH will fluctuate throughout the day, this is normal.  Also it takes time to raise the pH, sometimes up to 12 weeks to become alkaline. 

Dr Majalca said that cancer thrives in a pH of 5.5 or lower.  When Josie's family first started testing her saliva it wasn't even registering on the strip because the lowest mark was 5.5 and she was well below that.  It took at least 3 weeks before Josie was able to register above the 5.5 mark and then she slowly moved her way upwards. Dr Majalca says that when your saliva pH reaches 6.8 the cancer will stop growing, anything above that and the cancer begins to die.  Their goal was to lift Josie's pH to at least 7.2 - 7.4.  It took a total of 8 weeks of being on a strict alkaline diet before Josie actually reached the 7.2 mark, she then had to hold herself at the level until she was confirmed to be cancer free.

Fresh air and sunlight-  Her family reports that she also had access to plenty of fresh air and sunlight everyday. This means that her body was producing vitamin D from the sun exposure. Spending a short time in the mid-day sun (20- 30 minutes) can produce the equivalent of 10,000 IU or more of vitamin D. People looking to use the sun for vitamin D manufacturing should have at least 20 minutes of high noon sun exposure, per day, without the use of sunscreens as they will reduce the bodies ability to produce vitamin D by 95%, and most contain harmful chemicals which are absorbed into the skin. The key here is sensible sun exposure, you don't want to burn.

Fresh water and alkaline water-  Josie drank about 30 ounces of spring water daily. For for an adult that would be equivalent to 10 glasses of water per day. Spring water does not contain added fluoride or chlorine compounds and it has the natural minerals in it which makes this water more alkaline that regular tap water. Check out Find A Spring which is a national database to locate public access springs near you, or you can purchase bottled spring water at your local store.

Another option would be to drink water that has been filtered with a reverse osmosis mechanism with the minerals added back into it.  Reverse osmosis water is acidic unless it has a mineral filter stage. Regular maintenance is required on this type of filtration system as the filters needing to be changed regularly.  If you are not a mechanically inclined individual, many companies offer to rent the system for a monthly fee and then they come to your home and do all of the maintenance for you.

Other ways to add minerals back into reverse osmosis water would be to slice up a organic lemon along with a tsp of Himalayan Sea Salt to one gallon of water, or by adding Minerals Drops into filtered water and storing this in the refrigerator.  Additionally, water can be made alkaline by adding 1/2 tsp of baking soda to an 8 ounce glass of water.  This should be taken away from mealtimes as it will disrupt digestion, or taken at bedtime when you don't have to worry about food intake. This should be limited to 3 tsp per day.

Josie's cancer is healed-  Josie's family reports that they had previously scheduled an MRI for Josie when she was released from care, and to everyone's astonishment the results of the MRI showed that the tumor had shrunk by 75%.   Josie continued on with the fresh vegetable juices and diet program until the results from a second MRI confirmed that the tumor was completely gone.  Her family received the amazing news on February 3, 2009, approximately one year after her original diagnosis.

Dr Bernardo Majalca-  Dr Bernardo passed away in 2010 and to this day his treatment plans are highly regarded by holistic health professionals worldwide.

According to Dr Bernardo you can eat as many organic green vegetables as possible (except for green peas), as well red skinned potatoes (eaten with the skins).  Include juicing and blending of the fruits and vegetables because this is an easy way to get many servings into your diet, especially when working with sick children.  Raw vegetables are better than cooked, and if you do cook them they should be lightly steamed only.  80% of your diet should be vegetables with only 20% meats, and that meat is only allowed if one needs to regain weight.   Acceptable meats include wild caught fish, organic venison, buffalo, lamb, or small amounts of turkey.  A drink that will also help a person to put weight on if this is an issue: organic whipping cream, coconut milk, almond milk and a little Stevia Extract, this will taste like a vanilla shake.   If you bake anything you must use stevia in place of sugar and use a gluten free mix instead of wheat flour.  For example:  pancakes can be made with buckwheat flour.  Ezekiel sprouted bread is the only one allowed by Dr Bernardo, or bread that is homemade without gluten or preservatives.  Only organic eggs and organic butter are allowed and should be raw (unpasteurized) if possible.   The only oil allowed is extra virgin olive oil. The only dressing you can have is olive oil and vinegar, or olive oil with a squeeze of fresh lemon on it.    Drink lots of water with freshly squeezed lemon, with a little Stevia to sweeten if needed.  Nothing can be packaged or processed.

Link to Dr. Majalca's e-book on diet and other therapies prescribed to heal cancer