Friday, October 31, 2014

Former Pro-GMO Biotech Scientist Admits GMOs Aren’t Safe, Refutes Claims by Monsanto

© Natural Society
Natural Society | Oct 30, 2014 | Christina Sarich

For how long will we need to go back and forth in this GMO battle before a sound conclusion is finally met? If you have been following the GMO debate at all, you probably realize that this issue will likely never rest, as numerous studies on both sides of the spectrum (one side showing safety and the other showing danger) will continue to surface. What’s more, this research as well as opinions will be born out of lies or false substantiation. You’ve likely read headlines like these lately and scoffed:
  • 2000+ Reasons Why GMOs Are Safe To Eat And Environmentally Sustainable
  • GMO Opponents Are the Climate Skeptics of the Left
  • Study of 1 Billion Animals Finds GMOs Safe
Or how about comments like this one:
“I used to think that nothing rivaled the misinformation spewed by climate change skeptics and spinmeisters.
Then I started paying attention to how anti-GMO campaigners have distorted the science on genetically modified foods. You might be surprised at how successful they’ve been and who has helped them pull it off.”

Or if you trust one of the most hated companies on the planet, you can go straight to Monsanto’s site and read: An Overview of the Safety and Advantages of GM Foods.

Monsanto openly admits “after 30” whole “years of research” that they are convinced GMOs are safe. Just one type of pine tree lives more than 5000 years, but yea – Monsanto has all of Mother Nature figured out in its 30 years of tinkering with genes.

It’s amazing how many people have been boondoggled by biotech or are simply paid shills to keep the misinformation train choo-chooing along.

Former Biotech Scientist Speaks Out 

In comes Dr. Thierry Vrain, a former GMO biotechnologist who has come out with a lot of information that should open people’s eyes about the real dangers of genetically modified foods and crops.

Vrain will be the first to admit that Monsanto has conducted a lot of studies showing that GMOs are safe, but he changed his own tune about ten years ago when he started reading scientific journals from other countries.

Vrain explains:
“I started paying attention to the flow of published studies coming from Europe, some from prestigious labs and published in prestigious scientific journals, that questioned the impact and safety of engineered food.”
Vrain was so much a supporter of GMOs (as well as a former biotech scientist for Agriculture Canada) that he used to conduct tours and tell large groups of people all about the greatness of genetically altered crops – but not anymore. Here is what he thinks about his former industry now:
“I refute the claims of the biotechnology companies that their engineered crops yield more, that they require less pesticide applications, that they have no impact on the environment and of course that they are safe to eat.

There are a number of scientific studies that have been done for Monsanto by universities in the U.S., Canada, and abroad. Most of these studies are concerned with the field performance of the engineered crops, and of course they find GMOs safe for the environment and therefore safe to eat.”
Vrain thinks the public is being swindled. He believes we should all demand that government agencies replicate tests showing that GMOs are safe rather than rely on studies paid for by the biotech companies. He continues:
“The Bt corn and soya plants that are now everywhere in our environment are registered as insecticides. But are these insecticidal plants regulated and have their proteins been tested for safety? Not by the federal departments in charge of food safety, not in Canada and not in the U.S.

There are no long-term feeding studies performed in these countries to demonstrate the claims that engineered corn and soya are safe. All we have are scientific studies out of Europe and Russia, showing that rats fed engineered food die prematurely.


These studies show that proteins produced by engineered plants are different than what they should be. Inserting a gene in a genome using this technology can and does result in damaged proteins. The scientific literature is full of studies showing that engineered corn and soya contain toxic or allergenic proteins.”
This science is actually only about 40 years old. It is all based on a theory of genetic manipulation hypothesized around 70 years ago – of the ONE GENE – meaning that each gene codes for one single protein. The Human Genome project proved this totally wrong.

Most scientists now understand that any gene can give more than one protein and that inserting a gene anywhere in a plant eventually creates rogue proteins. Some of these proteins are obviously allergenic or toxic, like Cry proteins found in GMO corn. Otherwise known as Bt toxins (Bacillus thuringiensis), Cry proteins are one of biotech’s answers for ‘safe’ food.

That’s odd; one study found them absolutely toxic for mammalian blood. Dr. Mezzomo says that Cry toxins are deathly for mice. Another study linked them to a higher rate of leukemia. Yet another study conducted at Sherbrooke University Hospital in Quebec found corn’s Bt-toxin in the blood of pregnant women and their babies, as well as in non-pregnant women. These same toxins are also associated with higher levels of inflammation in the body, allergies, MS, and cancer.

Furthermore, what ridiculous egocentricity for biotech scientists to think they can crack the code of life when there are still acres and acres of rainforest that contain medicinal herbs that they have never even studied or recognized. Every square mile lost in these forests represents a possible cancer soution or super-food source.

Why the heck do we need GMOs? We haven’t even utilized the plethora of foods and herbs Mother Nature has already provided us with, if only we would steward them sustainably. There seems to be a new wonder-extract being discovered every few days, despite our pillaging.

Additionally, Vrain once answered honestly to this question in an interview:
“Q: It is astounding that people don’t question the very idea of altering DNA. When Monsanto or others claim a genetically modified organism is “substantially equivalent” to the conventional plant, it’s illogical to me because when DNA is altered, the plant is altered. It’s not the same and it’s certainly not natural.

A: That depends on your view of the world. As a scientist, when you add a bacteria gene to a plant, or a plant gene to a fish, or a human gene to corn, or 10,000 acres of corn growing insulin – they consider it progress. So if a tomato plant has a bacterial gene, it still looks very much like a tomato plant. You couldn’t tell very much from the taste of the tomato so there is something easy about believing in “substantial equivalence” . . . but Roundup (Monsanto’s herbicide) is a chelator; it holds manganese, magnesium and a few other minerals. It holds the minerals and doesn’t let go so basically it starves the plant. It probably also starves many other creatures in the soil.” 
New evidence shows that these same important minerals are chelated from humans that eat RoundUp GMOs.

Vrain has based his research on over 500 government reports and scientific articles published in peer-reviewed journals, some of them with the highest recognition in the world.

Now tell me – how exactly are GMOs safe?

If a soil biologist and scientist of genetic engineering of 30 years revisits his stance on GMOs – shouldn’t those who are still clinging to biotech efficacy relent? We need more GMO whistleblowers like himself. I hope they are out there and they come forward – and fast.

194 Countries Agree to Regulate Synthetic Biology

image source
Activist Post | Oct 30, 2014 | Daniel Taylor

The United Nations' Convention on Biological Diversity recently announced a decision on the part of 194 countries to regulate synthetic biology technology.

Jim Thomas of the ETC Group stated that, “Not only do countries now have to set up the means to regulate synthetic biology, but those regulations need to be based on precaution and not harming the environment.”

As more synthetically engineered products are being developed, many see a potentially dangerous impact on the environment and human health from the expanding technology.

Synthetic biology is an advanced form of genetic engineering that, according to a 2005 European Commission paper, is “…the engineering of biology… the synthesis of complex, biologically based (or inspired) systems which display functions that do not exist in nature.”

In other words; unlike the older science of splicing genes from different species together, synthetic biology is seeking to create whole new organisms that do not exist on earth.


FBI Agent Carmine Nigro told the an MIT conference earlier this year that “These technologies [synthetic biology] do not just pose a risk to individual buildings or cities, but if cleverly deployed, can reduce our population by significant percentages.”

Concerns about the safety of synthetic biology were heightened when a Switzerland-based company called Evolva developed a synthetic vanilla that is set to be released in 2014. The vanilla is created using synthetic biology technology.

Fidelity Investments envisions that within 50 years there will be more life forms invented in a lab than ever identified in nature.

Daniel Taylor is an independent researcher, activist, and webmaster of oldthinkernews.com. You can find out more about him and his site HERE 

Monsanto Agritech Lobbying for the TTIP: Britain Spearheads Campaign to Make European GMO Regulation Meaningless

© unknown
Global Research | Oct 29, 2014 | Colin Todhunter

As Washington’s trusted lapdog, the UK is spearheading US agritech’s drive to get genetically modified (GM) food into Europe. Officials, politicians, academics and media outlets have been co-opted by and are colluding with the GMO agritech industry [1-6]. These people and institutions have been spewing out falsehoods, ignoring evidence pertaining to GMOs and are putting a one-sided positive spin on GM food with the aim of forcing it onto a public that does not want it [7].

Monsanto and other agritech companies are lobbying hard for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) [8], which aims to throw Europe’s door wide open to GM food [9]. The same companies are also behind the drive to weaken the pan-European regulatory framework currently in place by attempting to push through legislation that will allow them to pick off each state one by one and force their GMOs onto people [10,11]. They have all options covered.

Now the industry and its mouthpieces and proxies are pushing to do away with European process-based regulation [12], which would effectively side-step any effective process for assessing and regulating GMOs. Process-based regulation concerns the techniques used to create a new crop variety. For example, if a new crop variety is developed through GM, it must be assessed for safety and labelled.

However, technologies have been developed that are intended to target GM gene insertion to a predetermined site within the plant’s DNA. Although the GMO industry claims these techniques are precise, studies have found that they cause unintended genomic modifications in off-target sites (the part of the plant not being targeted), potentially causing a range of harmful side-effects [13].

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is the UK’s main public science funding body. It is using the supposed precision of genome editing to lobby for process-based GMO regulation to be abolished. The alternative is product-based regulation, where the regulator looks at the trait the crop is engineered to express and regulates it on that basis. Writing on the GMWatch site, Claire Robinson says that if a crop were engineered to produce a pesticide, it would be regulated as a pesticide. If it were engineered to contain higher levels of a nutrient, it would probably escape regulation, or it may be regulated as a natural food or drug, depending on the country and the product. Safety assessments specific to GM crops would not be triggered [12]. They would be treated the same as non-GMOs.

The US and Canada currently have product-based regulation and thus have minimal oversight of GMO crops and foods. The US, for example, only regulates GMOs if they are pesticides or plant pests and assumes that GMO Bt pesticidal plants are equivalent and thus harmless to humans and animals because natural Bt is allegedly harmless to humans and animals. Claire Robinson argues that this completely ignores the fact that the GMO Bt toxin is different from natural Bt in structure and mode of action, thus losing its specificity to insect pests and opening up the possibility that it is toxic or allergenic to humans and animals.

It is impossible to label GMO products if the process by which they were created is ignored. If Europe opts for product-based regulation, there will be no labelling of GMO products. The TTIP aims to force Europe to drop its GMO regulatory standards. If this occurs, Claire Robinson argues that Europe will adopt the type of worthless product-based regulatory assessments that occurs in the US. The push for product-based regulation is yet another devious tactic being used by the GMO biotech lobby to muddy the waters and erode Europe’s regulatory framework.

GMOs are not needed to feed the world [14-18]. The push to force GM food into Europe is based on lies, deceptions and falsehoods. It is part of a strategy to place the global control of agriculture into the hands of a few corporations for commercial gain. These corporations with their control of seeds and technologies via patents intend to suck massive amounts of money from agriculture [19]. Given their impacts on health and the environment and also taking into account the track records of the players who are furthering the global GM strategy (Monsanto, Gates Foundation, Rockefeller, US State Department, etc), GMOs must ultimately be regarded as a tool of imperialism and a form of biological warfare [20,21,22].

The GMO biotech lobby attempts to disguise its intentions behind the mask of altruism and tries to drive its message with a cynical dose of emotional blackmail about critics of GMOs robbing food from the mouths of the hungry [23]. Such a pity that the UK public is (unknowingly) funding the GMO agenda, not least because the BBSRC and government departments are using British taxpayers’ money to promote the industry’s lobbying messages.

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Eating Wheat & Cow's Milk Disrupt DNA Expression & Antioxidant Status

Green Med Info | Oct 27, 2014 | Sayer Ji

Could two of the Western world's most popular foods - wheat and cow's dairy - be depleting you of your antioxidants and altering your DNA expression in a harmful way? 

A fascinating new study sheds much needed light on the topic of why a diet free of wheat gluten and the cow's milk protein known as casein have commonly been reported to have such a wide range of health benefits, particularly when it comes to gastrointestinal distress and neurological disorders; Or, said oppositely, the study reveals why the centerpiece of the Western dietary pattern -- a gluten and casein-rich diet -- may participate in an extraordinarily wide range of health problems, many of which we have been documenting extensively on our open access database: gluten harms and casein harms. We also featured the neurotoxicity of gluten and casein in three previous articles you can review below for a more in depth perspective on their intrinsically harmful nature:
There has been no lack of controversy and debate in recent years as to why a wheat and gluten containing grain-free diet has been found anecdotally as well as in an increasing number of published case studies to have such remarkable benefit for those suffering with autism spectrum disorders and even schizophrenia.  Also, many have questioned why cow's milk-based formula fed infants are at so much higher risk of hundreds of disorders versus breast-fed children? Could something yet to be fully identified within these omnipresent Western foods being harming those who consume them?

While the addictive and/or neurotoxic properties of casein and gluten peptides likely play a role, a new mechanism of action has recently been identified that may help to explain these concerning associations...

Wheat (Gluten) and Milk (Casein) Deplete Our Antioxidant System & Alter Our DNA Expression


Published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry and titled, "Food-derived opioid peptides inhibit cysteine uptake with redox and epigenetic consequences," researchers discussed the emerging evidence pointing to systemic oxidative stress and inflammation as an underlying factor in neurological disorders such as autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia. Since the antioxidant glutathione (GSH) is often found at significantly lower levels in those suffering from these disorders, and owing to the fact that GSH synthesis depends on the availability of the amino acid cysteine, the researchers pointed out the possible role of cysteine deficiency in these conditions.

The new study found that gluten and casein peptides released following the digestion of foods containing wheat and milk reduce cysteine uptake, "with subsequent effects on cellular redox and methylation status leading to global changes in DNA methylation and gene transcription," i.e. they increase oxidative stress and alter gene expression in such a way that may lead to imbalances/disease. In an already weakened body, the addition of glutathione-depleting  and gene regulation altering-gluten/casein to the diet could further interfere with the cellular detoxification process necessary to maintain health.

Many environmental exposures, including heavy metals found in vaccines such as thimerosal (still found in the multi-dose flu shot) and aluminum, directly impact our glutathione system, significantly contributing to its depletion and subsequent ill affects on a wide range of bodily systems, most noticeably the neurological system.  Perhaps the addition of a cysteine-depleting gluten and casein heavy diet represents the 'dietary straw that broke the camel's back,' adding to an already overburdened bodily toxic load caused by a tsunami of modern environmental exposures and biological incompatible synthetic 'foods' that we are presently all inundated with.

The researchers hypothesized that,
"Epigenetic programming, including CpG methylation and histone modifications, occurring during early postnatal development can influence the risk of disease in later life, and such programming may be modulated by nutritional factors such as milk and wheat, especially during the transition from a solely milk-based diet to one that includes other forms of nutrition."
 CpG methylation, a form of silencing of gene expression, and histone modifications, a mechanism of altering gene expression, are  forms of genetic inheritance that do not affect the primary nucleotide sequence of our DNA but, rather, influences the expression of our genes from the 'outside in,' as it were, by turning on the expression of some and turning off the expression of others. The result can be exactly the same as a 'hard coded' change in the DNA, with the critical difference that some of these 'epigenetic' changes can sometimes be reversed through dietary modification, lifestyle changes and/or removal of environmental exposures.
The study found that the digestion of casein (a major milk protein) and gliadin (a wheat-derived protein) releases proline-rich peptides with opioid activity which down-regulate cysteine uptake in cultured human neuronal and gastrointestinal (GI) epithelial cells via activation of opioid receptors. The subsequent decrease in cysteine uptake was associated "with changes in the intracellular antioxidant glutathione and the methyl donor S-adenosylmethionine." S-adenosylmethionine is a primary mechanism through which the cells of our body silence the expression of genes in a process known as methylation.  When S-adenosylmethionine levels are low, it can interfere with methylation and this has been observed in many pathological states, including numerous cancers, e.g. 'global hypomethylation' is observed in cells whose cancer genes (oncogenes) have been turned on.

The experimental results, however, were complex. The peptides also induced increased methylation (gene silencing) in important gene regions associated with oxidative stress and the optimal functioning of the methylation system in general:
"Bovine and human casein-derived opioid peptides increased genome-wide DNA methylation in the transcription start site region with a potency order similar to their inhibition of cysteine uptake. Altered expression of genes involved in redox and methylation homeostasis was also observed."
The study concluded:
"These results illustrate the potential of milk- and wheat-derived peptides to exert antioxidant and epigenetic changes that may be particularly important during the postnatal transition from placental to GI nutrition. Differences between peptides derived from human and bovine milk may contribute to developmental differences between breastfed and formula-fed infants. Restricted antioxidant capacity, caused by wheat- and milk-derived opioid peptides, may predispose susceptible individuals to inflammation and systemic oxidation, partly explaining the benefits of gluten-free or casein-free diets."
These study results, while preliminary, are provocative. As we continue to unravel the role that foods play in modulating gene expression in the body – nutrigenomic considerations – we come to appreciate how profoundly foods are not only just 'our medicine,' but represent informational vectors, capable of 'informing' – literally, 'putting form into' – our bodies, down to the molecular level of affecting the expression of our genes and the proper conformational folding patterns of gene products, e.g. proteins. Eons of hard-wired biological practices like breast-feeding and the consumption of ancestral foods (which excluded grains and cow's milk for at least 99% of our evolution as homo sapiens) has produced our present-day body. When we dramatically alter the types of foods we use as 'energy' and 'material building blocks' for our bodies, we are also profoundly altering the informational backbone of our genetic and epigenetic blueprint. It may be time to remove wheat/cow's milk altogether, going back to the foods that have nourished our bodies and minds for millions of years before the advent of the agrarian revolution and animal husbandry. In fact, it is my belief that this may be required to return to optimal health, our birthright.

Sayer Ji is the founder of GreenMedInfo.com, an author, educator, Steering Committee Member of the Global GMO Free Coalition (GGFC), and an advisory board member of the National Health Federation.

Study Tracking Over 100,000 People Finds The More Pasteurized Milk People Drink, The More Likely They Are To Die

© Prevent Disease
Prevent Disease | Oct 29, 2014 | Natasha Longo

Milk is the only beverage still aggressively pushed on children as a health promoting food when it is the exact opposite - a disease promoting food. Drinking pasteurized milk is not nearly as good for general health or bones as the dairy industry has made it out to be. In fact, this fairy tale of "milk doing a body good" is being exposed more frequently by many independent scientists and researchers who have had just about enough of the propaganda. According to a large scale study of thousands of Swedish people, cow's milk has a deteriorating effect on health when consumed in the long-term. The research was published in The BMJ.

The study, which tracked 61,433 women aged 39 to 74 over 20 years, and 45,339 men of similar age for 11 years, found that the more cow's milk people drank, the more likely they were to die or experience a bone fracture during the study period.

The risks were especially pronounced for women, a group advised to drink milk to help avoid bone fractures that result from osteoporosis.

Women who said they drank three or more glasses of milk a day had almost double the chance of dying during the study period as those who reported drinking only one. A glass is defined as a 200 millilitre serving. They also had a 16 percent higher chance of getting a bone fracture anywhere in the body.

Why Does Milk Cause Osteoporosis and Bone Fractures


The dairy industy has been hard at work the last 50 years convincing people that pasteurized dairy products such as milk or cheese increases bioavailable calcium levels. This is totally false. The pasteurization process only creates calcium carbonate, which has absolutely no way of entering the cells without a chelating agent. So what the body does is pull the calcium from the bones and other tissues in order to buffer the calcium carbonate in the blood. This process actually causes osteoporosis.

Pasteurized dairy contains too little magnesium needed at the proper ratio to absorb the calcium. Most would agree that a minimum amount of Cal. to Mag Ratio is 2 to 1 and preferably 1 to 1. So milk, at a Cal/Mag ratio of 10 to 1, has a problem. You may put 1200 mg of dairy calcium in your mouth, but you will be lucky to actually absorb a third of it into your system.

Over 99% of the body's calcium is in the skeleton, where it provides mechanical rigidity. Pasteurized dairy forces a calcium intake lower than normal and the skeleton is used as a reserve to meet needs. Long-term use of skeletal calcium to meet these needs leads to osteoporosis.

Dairy is pushed on Americans from birth yet they have one of the highes risk of osteoporosis in the world. Actually, people from the USA, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Australia, and New Zealand have the highest rates of osteoporosis.

The test for pasteurization is called the negative alpha phosphatase test. When milk has been heated to 165 degrees (higher for UHT milk) and pasteurization is complete, the enzyme phosphatase is 100 percent destroyed. Guess what? This is the enzyme that is critical for the absorption of minerals including calcium! Phosphatase is the third most abundant enzyme in raw milk and those who drink raw milk enjoy increased bone density. Several studies have documented greater bone density and longer bones in animals and humans consuming raw milk compared to pasteurized.

The message that estrogen builds fracture-resistant bones (prevents osteoporosis) has been hammered into women’s minds over the past 4 decades by the pharmaceutical industry, selling HRT formulas, such as Premarin and Prempro. Food also raises estrogen levels in a person’s body--and dairy foods account for about 60 to 70% of the estrogen that comes from food. The main source of this estrogen is the modern factory farming practice of continuously milking cows throughout pregnancy. As gestation progresses the estrogen content of milk increases from 15 pg/ml to 1000 pg/ml.

The National Dairy Council would like you to believe, "There is no evidence that protein-rich foods such as dairy foods adversely impact calcium balance or bone health." But these same dairy people know this is untrue and they state elsewhere, "Excess dietary protein, particularly purified proteins, increases urinary calcium excretion. This calcium loss could potentially cause negative calcium balance, leading to bone loss and osteoporosis. These effects have been attributed to an increased endogenous acid load created by the metabolism of protein, which requires neutralization by alkaline salts of calcium from bone."

The More Milk You Drink, The More Inflammatory Molecules

The most likely explanation of the negative health effects of milk are the damaging inflammation caused by galactose, a breakdown product of lactose, the main sugar in milk. In a separate group of people, the team found that the more milk that people drink, the more inflammatory molecules were present in their urine.

What's more, women who reported eating a lot of cheese and yogurt had a lower chance of fracturing a bone or dying during the study than women who ate low amounts of the dairy products. This supports the inflammation hypothesis because yogurt and cheese contain much less lactose and galactose than milk.

Cancer Fuel

Of the almost 60 hormones, one is a powerful GROWTH hormone called Insulin- like Growth Factor ONE (IGF-1). By a freak of nature it is identical in cows and humans.

The foods you eat can influence how much IGF-I circulates in the blood. Diets higher in overall calories or in animal proteins tend to boost IGF-I, and there seems to be an especially worrisome role played by milk.

Consider this hormone to be a "fuel cell" for any cancer... (the medical world says IGF-1 is a key factor in the rapid growth and proliferation of breast, prostate and colon cancers, and we suspect that most likely it will be found to promote ALL cancers). IGF-1 is a normal part of ALL milk... the newborn is SUPPOSED to grow quickly! What makes the 50% of obese American consumers think they need MORE growth? Consumers don't think anything about it because they do not have a clue to the problem... nor do most of our doctors.

Studies funded by the dairy industry show a 10% increase in IGF-1 levels in adolescent girls from one pint daily and the same 10% increase for postmenopausal women from 3 servings per day of nonfat milk or 1% milk.

IGF-1 promotes undesirable growth too--like cancer growth and accelerated aging. IGF-1 is one of the most powerful promoters of cancer growth ever discovered. Overstimulation of growth by IGF-1 leads to premature aging too--and reducing IGF-1 levels is "anti-aging."

A review published by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research in 1997 found that cancer risk paralleled milk consumption in numerous studies.

Pasteurization Masks Low-Quality Milk and Destroy Nutrients and Enzymes

Why do humans still drink milk? Because they think it's safe due to pasteurization. However, heat destroys a great number of bacteria in milk and thus conceals the evidence of dirt, pus and dirty dairy practices. It’s cheaper to produce dirty milk and kill the bacteria by heat, that to maintain a clean dairy and keep cows healthy. To combat the increase in pathogens milk goes through ‘clarification’, ‘filtering’, ‘bactofugation’ and two ‘deariation’ treatments. Each of these treatments uses heat ranging from 100-175 degrees Fahrenheit. Dairies count on many heat treatments to mask their inferior sanitary conditions: milk filled with pus, manure and debris. Consumer Reports found 44% of 125 pasteurized milk samples contained as many as 2200 organisms per cubic centimeter (fecal bacteria, coliforms)

Pasteurization also destroys vitamin C, and damages water soluble B vitamins diminishing the nutrient value of milk. Calcium and other minerals are made unavailable by pasteurization. The Maillard reaction, a chemical reaction between proteins and sugars, occurs at higher heats and causes browning, discoloring the milk.

Milk enzymes, proteins, antibodies as well as beneficial hormones are killed by pasteurization resulting in devitalized ‘lifeless’ milk. Milk enzymes help digest lactose and both enzymes and milk proteins help to absorb vitamins. Protective enzymes in milk are inactivated, making it more susceptible to spoilage.

Overall, pasteurized milk is not a beverage that can be recommended to either maintain or advance health. It has no significant nutritional value and there is a far greater risk in consuming it than not. There are also plenty of alternatives including coconut milk, nut milks (i.e. almond, cashew), and hemp milk which far exceed conventional cow's milk in terms of nutrition and health promoting properties.

Sources:

aicr.org
pcrm.org
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
drmcdougall.com
pgtv.ca
bmj.com

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

GMO salmon's future in question after producer fined over violations

AFP Photo
RT | Oct 29, 2014

Panama fined a US biotechnology company’s local facility that “repeatedly violated” the nation’s permitting and regulatory laws as it worked to develop the world’s first genetically-modified salmon. The 2012 infractions were first made public on Tuesday.

AquaBounty Technologies, a company licensed by the US government to foster what could be the world’s first genetically-modified (GM) meat, is carrying out GM-salmon research in Panama. Neither Panama nor the US has given clearance to sell GM salmon, but, if regulators approve its application, AquaBounty may become the first to sell GM meat in the US.

“AquaBounty is really out front on this – the current case will set an important precedent,” Dana Perls, a food and technology campaigner at Friends of the Earth, told Inter Press Service (IPS) news agency.

“From what we know, there are about 35 other genetically modified species in the development pipelines in other companies. So depending on what happens in this case, we’ll likely either see a flow of other permits or this will demonstrate that there isn’t room on the market for GM meat or seafood.”

The company’s breeding facility in Panama, however, has come under scrutiny from local regulators, IPS reported, casting doubt on GMO meat’s future in the US.

A 2012 investigation of AquaBounty’s Panama facilities found that the company, in working to develop GM salmon, did not attain required permits for water use and pollution of the surrounding environment, which is important based on the possible ramifications of GM species invading natural ecosystems.

The company “repeatedly violated” Panamanian regulations, authorities said, and problematic practices continued into 2013. The violations yielded the maximum fine allowed against AquaBounty.

The decision to fine AquaBounty was made in July 2014 and was first announced to the public on Tuesday, IPS reported.

AquaBounty insisted that the violations were mainly administrative and that all problems have been corrected by now.

“It is important to emphasize that none of the issues in the Resolution questioned the containment, health of the fish, or the environmental safety of the facility,” the company said in a statement to IPS.

“When AquaBounty was informed of issues at our Panama facility, we immediately contacted Anam, the Panamanian agency for the environment. We initiated a program to remedy the deficiencies and the issues were formally resolved in August of 2014.”

AquaBounty added that its Panama facility “continues to operate with no sanctions or restrictions.”

It is yet unclear how these infractions will affect AquaBounty’s application with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A spokesperson for the agency noted that the violations occurred in 2012, and that the FDA would “consider all relevant information as part of the decision-making process.”

Without offering an estimated conclusion date, the spokesperson said the FDA is in the process of reviewing AquaBounty’s application.

The regulatory infractions stoked frustration and concern among groups dissatisfied with the FDA’s regulatory structures.

“This decision is also even further proof that FDA is dangerously out of touch with the facts on the ground, advancing AquaBounty’s application based on its promises, not reality,” George Kimbrell, a senior attorney with the Center for Food Safety, told IPS.

The FDA’s review of GM salmon is based solely on AquaBounty’s development in Panama, according to Perls.

“The FDA is going forward with its review based on the premise that this facility will be in compliance with regulations, yet now we’re seeing it’s not,” she said.

“It is increasingly clear that there is inadequate regulation: the FDA is trying to shoehorn this new genetically engineered animal into a completely ill-fitting regulatory process.”

Many environmentalists are concerned about the introduction of GM species into the wild, where the genetically-engineered crop could dominate the natural population or usher in new diseases. Anti-GMO and consumer advocates are worried that regulators are moving too fast, echoing the GMO-labeling debate in the US.

There is currently no GMO-labeling requirement in the US, though major biotech and food manufacturing groups are working feverishly to stem the tide of state-based labeling laws, such as the one passed but still pending in Vermont.

A poll conducted by the New York Times last year found that 93 percent of respondents want GMO ingredients to be properly labeled. Seventy-five percent of respondents also said they would not eat genetically-engineered fish.

Meanwhile, around 60 major US retailers, according to Friends of the Earth, have said they will not carry genetically-engineered salmon if and when approved. That list includes Safeway, the second-largest US grocer, which said in February that “should [genetically-engineered] salmon come to market, we are not considering nor do we have any plans to carry GE salmon."