Wednesday, November 26, 2014

No Surprise: Russia Bans GMOs


Genetically engineered foods and ingredients harm human health. Russia banned them. Wants more organic food produced. More on this below.

GMO expert Jeffrey Smith calls GMO foods and ingredients "inherently unsafe. The GM process creates collateral damage in the plant, which can cause (disturbing) side effects."


Independent studies prove it. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) reported "animal studies indicat(ing) health risks associated with GM foods."

Including numerous illnesses, infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, gastrointestinal abnormalities, and major organ changes.

AAEM urged physicians to tell patients to avoid GMOs. Unlike clinical drug evaluations, none are conducted for these products.

The only published human feeding experiment showed genetic material in GM soy becomes hazardous intestinal bacteria.

Continuing to function long after these products are eaten. Potentially causing super-diseases. Resistant to antibiotics.

Able to turn intestinal bacteria into pesticide factories. Recent independent studies show GM corn damages livers and kidneys.

Animals raised on GM feed are inherently different from safely fed ones. Rats ingestind GM potatoes had smaller livers, hearts, testicles and brains, damaged immune systems, and abnormal white cell changes.

Making them more vulnerable to infections and diseases than other rats fed non-GMO potatoes.

Thymus and spleen damage showed up. Enlarged tissues. Including the pancreas and intestines.

Liver atrophy. Significant proliferation of stomach and intestines cells. A sign of greater future risk of cancer.

Roundup pesticide used for GM crops causes birth defects. GM soy causes sterility.

Americans don't know what they're eating. Labeling is prohibited. Violating First Amendment rights.

Monsanto, Dow, and the Grocery Manufacturers Association has teamed up with Koch brothers-backed Congressman Mike Pompeo (R. KS).

Planning legislation denying Americans the right to know what they're eating. Smith calls it the "Deny Americans the Right-to-Know Act (DARK Act)."

Provisions will prevent states from labeling GM foods and ingredients.

Prohibit them from calling natural labeling illegal for GMOs. Prevent the FDA from requiring food companies to label them.

The Center for Food Safety (CFS) calls GM plants and animals "one of the greatest and most intractable environmental challenges of the 21st century."

Over 90% of US soybeans are genetically engineered. Around 85% of corn. About 88% of cotton. Cottonseed oil often used in processed foods.

Over 80% of them contain GM ingredients. From soda pop to soup to salad dressings. Crackers to condiments. Potatoes to "super" pigs. Bananas to baked beans.

Despite known harm to human health, no congressional legislation regulates GM foods and ingredients.
According to CFS:

"The haphazard and negligent agency regulation of biotechnology has been a disaster for consumers and the environment."

"Unsuspecting consumers by the tens of millions are purchasing and consuming unlabeled GE foods, despite a finding by US Food & Drug Administration scientists that these foods could pose serious risks."

Americans are human guinea pigs without knowing it. Part of an unregulated mass experiment, Entailing enormous risks.

Once GM seeds are planted, nothing known to science can reverse their contamination. It spread over two-thirds of arable US farmland.

Despite known human health risks. In America, politics trumps science. Unsafe foods and ingredients are declared fit to eat.

Whatever agribusiness wants it gets. Profits alone matter. Human health be damned. Genetic manipulation is fraught with danger.

It works by forcibly inserting a single gene from one species' DNA into another. Unnatural pseudo-science.

Smith explains as follows, saying:

"A pig can mate with a pig and a tomato can mate with a tomato. But this is no way that a pig can mate with a tomato and vice versa."

Doing so transfers genes across natural barriers. Ones separating species over millions of evolutionary years.

Biotech manipulators want us to believe they can do nature one better. Calling genetic engineering an extension or superior alternative to natural breeding.

With no corroborating evidence. Plenty showing genetic manipulation harms human health.

China banned GMO corn. Dozens of countries require labeling. Despite exemptions and inadequate enforcement.

No international standards exist. Industry claims about GMOs being substantially equivalent to natural foods are Big Lies.

EU countries require labeling. Unrelated to safety. For commercial purposes only.

Distinguishing among GM, conventional and organic foods. So consumers can choose or avoid products they wish.

Since 2007, foods sold in Russia required special labeling if contained 0.9% or more of GM ingredients.

Last March, Putin said Russia is obligated to protect its citizens from GMOs. In April, Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev ordered new controls.

Last February, Russian upper house Federation Council members introduced legislation temporarily banning GMOs.

Until studies evaluate the safety of each one by various scientific standards. Or prove them unsafe to eat.

Polls show over 80% of Russians want them banned. Only 9% approve them.

Russia's National Association for Genetic Security (RNAGS) wants them banned.

Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and Neurophysiology researcher Irina Ermakova showed six-fold higher mortality rates/lower body weight among young rats whose mothers were fed herbicide resistant GM soybeans.

Her findings raised serious concerns about human health risks from GMOs. "It is necessary to ban (them), to impose moratorium for 10 years," she said.

"While GMOs will be prohibited, we can plan experiments, tests, or maybe even new methods of research could be developed."

"It has been proven that not only in Russia, but also in many other countries in the world, GMOs are dangerous."

"Methods of obtaining the GMOs are not perfect. (A)t this stage, all GMOs are dangerous. Consumption and use of GMOs obtained in such way can lead to tumors, cancers and obesity among animals."

"Bio-technologies certainly should be developed, but GMOs should be stopped. We should stop (them) from spreading."

Days earlier, Russian media reported Prime Minister Medvedev announcing a complete GM import ban.

"If Americans like to eat GMO products, let them," he said." We don't need to do that. We have enough space and opportunities to produce organic food."

GMOs will be banned for 10 years. So reliable research can evaluate their human health effects.

Russia's decision is important. Along with China banning GM corn. Perhaps other countries will follow.
Foods, ingredients and other human ingested products should be unconditionally banned. False narratives about safety don't wash.

Polls show Monsanto is one of the world's most hated companies for good reason. For slow-poisoning us.

Its former executives run the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). An obvious conflict of interest.

Anti-GMO activists urge buying organic foods. Boycotting Monsanto-owned companies.

Repealing Monsanto Protection Act harmful provisions. Permitting "continued cultivation, commercialization, and other specifically enumerated activities."

Human health be damned. Letting the Secretary of Agriculture ignore public safety. Corporate interests own Obama.

He's their man in Washington. Supporting hazardous GMOs. Other products and services harming human health and welfare.

Congress operating the same way. Letting corporate lawyers and lobbyists write legislation.

Concerned only about bottom line issues. Making the world safe for profiteers. Harming public welfare at the same time.

Monsanto is no stranger to controversy. Spending millions of dollars annually. Buying politicians like toothpaste.

Millions more spent investigating possible farmer patent violations. Targeting anti-GMO state referenda and legislation.

Wanting all plant and animal products genetically modified. Wanting worldwide food control.

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) lists 20 countries banning one or more GM product.

North Dakota and Montana introduced legislation prohibiting GM wheat. Several US cities and municipalities want restrictions or bans imposed. Previous efforts failed.

Vermont wants a moratorium on GMOs. Enacted legislation requiring GM food and ingredient labeling by July 2016.

In response, Monsanto sued. Ludicrously claiming burdensome speech requirements and restrictions.

Vermont Public Interest Research Group's consumer protection advocate Falko Schilling said:

The people of Vermont have said loud and clear they have a right to know what is in their food. So putting labels on is a reasonable and prudent thing so people can decide for themselves."

Organic Consumers Association's National Director Ronnie Cummins praised the new law, stating:

"After years of good old-fashioned work, and playing by the rules, the grassroots labeling movement achieved its first real victory this year, when Vermont passed the first no-strings-attached law requiring mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs)."

He blasted Monsanto's suit. Calling it a desperate attempt to protect corporate shareholder profits at the expense of consumers' rights and health."

The struggle for food safety continues. Hopefully other states, cities and municipalities will follow Vermont's lead.

Ideally banning GMOs altogether. Based on independent research proving them unsafe to eat.

-###-

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks World War III".

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.t]

GM Food Causes Deadly Bacteria To Grow In Your Gut

© Green Med Info
Green Med Info | Nov 23, 2014 | Sayer Ji
 
Deadly bacteria grow in your gut when you eat GMO food, according to a new study.

A new study titled, "The Influence of Glyphosate on the Microbiota and Production of Botulinum Neurotoxin During Ruminal Fermentation," confirms a growing suspicion that GM foods tainted with the ubiquitous agrochemical Roundup are causing widespread changes in the microbiome of those who consume them, resulting in bodily changes that are believed to lead to a wide range of lethal diseases.

As we reported in 2012, in an article titled "Roundup Herbicide Linked To Overgrowth of Deadly Bacteria," a growing body of research points to the world's most popular herbicide as causing dysbiosis (pathogenic alteration of gut bacteria), a condition which profoundly affects and alters the so-called holobiont, or total set of organisms plus human cells that make up our bodily constitution, and as a consequence, health. Because we depend on the proper selection and quantity of bacterial strains with which we co-evolved over countless eons, any significant disruption of the commensal ties to this microbial universe will result in a state of suboptimal functioning, ultimately leading to disease.

To learn more about Roundup herbicide/glyphosate toxicity, visit our GMO Research center for in-depth articles and abstracts on the topic. Also, consider a recent study that found that glyphosate within the parts-per-trillion range has endocrine disrupting and possibly carcinogenic effects.

The exploding gluten sensitivity epidemic, for instance, may be a direct result of the increasing prevalence of glyphosate-tainted commodities in the food chain, a topic recently explored in a collaborative paper produced through myself, Jeffrey Smith, Stephanie Seneff, Tom Malterre, and Dr. Tom O' Bryan, which can be read here.

The brilliant and outspoken MIT senior scientist Stephanie Seneff is quoted in a recent article on the topic:
"The way glyphosate works is that it interrupts the shikimate pathway, a metabolic function in plants that allows them to create essential amino acids. When this path is interrupted, the plants die. Human cells don't have a shikimate pathway so scientists and researchers believed that exposure to glyphosate would be harmless."
But now we know that glyphosate interferes with the microbial communities that form the basis for our health, altering its complex functioning in such a way that interferes with the production of basic amino acids and neurohormones, giving the harmful bacteria an upper hand.

Indeed, in the new study researchers discovered that glyphosate altered the microflora of 4-year old cows such that the highly pathogenic Clostridum botulinum strains of bacteria flourished, leading them to conlude:
"[G]lyphosate causes dysbiosis which favors the production of botulinum toxin in the rumen. The global regulations restrictions for the use of glyphosate should be re-evaluated."
Consider that botulinum,
"..is the most acutely toxic substance known, and that despite the fact it is FDA-approved for use "cosmetically," e.g. Botox injections, it is being looked at as a potential bioweapon because it only takes 75 billionths of a gram (75 ng) to kill a person weighing 75 kg (165 lbs). It has been estimated that only 1 kilogram (2.2 lbs) would be enough to kill the entire human population."
Any chemical capable of increasing the proliferation of botulinum producing bacteria should be considered a clear and present threat to human health. The fact that the predominant agricultural model in the U.S. relies on GM plants which are designed to survive being doused in this toxicant, e.g. GM soy, corn, canola, indicates that anyone eating a standard GMO-heavy American diet (S.A.D diet) is likely being exposed to chemicals which shift their microbiome towards the botulinum producing pole.

Present regulatory models on GM foods do not account for the widespread contamination of the food crops (and the environment) with Roundup and glyphosate, and therefore consider conventional and organically-produced crops as 'substantially equivalent,' even though glyphosate exposure and contamination of GM food clearly violates this principle.

As research on the toxicity of glyphosate (and Roundup, which may have several orders of magnitude greater toxicity) accumulates, the consumer has only one option available to avoid inevitable harm: namely, avoid at all costs foods that are produced within this chemical-dependent agricultural model, either growing one's own food, buying from a fully vetted farmer or community supported agricultural source, or focusing on buying non-GMO certified and/or organically produced food which does not rely on chemicals of this type.

Moms, Farmers Head to Court to Keep Maui from Becoming 'Poisoned Paradise'

Maui residents have been fighting Monsanto for years.
This photo was taken in 2010.

(Photo: Alexis Baden-Mayer/flickr/cc)
Common Dreams | Nov 24, 2014 | Deirdre Fulton

Since Maui County won’t defend the new GMO ban, lawyers say 'we’ll have to do its job and make the arguments in court'

A coalition of activists including moms, farmers, and public interest groups has filed papers defending Maui County's recently passed ban on genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The ballot initiative, which passed with 50.2 percent of the vote, prohibits the growth, testing, or cultivation of GMO crops, also known as GE crops, in Maui County until an environmental and public health study can show that the practice is safe for the community.

Less than two weeks after the vote, agrochemical companies Monsanto and Dow Chemical—both of which poured big money into the race to defeat the referendum—filed suit against Maui County, claiming the initiative "interferes with and conflicts with long established state and federal laws that support both the safety and lawful cultivation of GMO plants." The suit sought to have the ban scrapped entirely, and also asked the court to temporarily delay the measure by issuing an injunction.

Ignoring the will of a majority of voters, Maui County agreed to an injunction until March 2015.

"Maui County’s betrayal of its own people by agreeing to delay the moratorium without a whimper of resistance proves it cannot be trusted to properly defend our clients’ interests," said managing attorney Paul Achitoff of Earthjustice, a non-profit public interest law firm that has defended similar GMO crop and pesticides ordinances passed by Kaua'i and Hawai'i counties last year. "The people of Maui, Moloka'i, and Lana'i have spoken, in the face of enormous industry pressure: They want the spraying and growing to stop until the impacts are properly studied. Since Maui County won’t defend the law, we’ll have to do its job and make the arguments in court."

As a result, local residents and "their children and families will continue to suffer exposure to toxic pesticides sprayed on Plaintiffs’ fields," reads the motion to intervene (pdf) filed by Earthjustice and the Center for Food Safety on behalf of parties including The Mothers on a Mission (MOM) Hui, a group of mothers on Molokaʻi, Maui, and other islands concerned about the health of their families; Molokaʻi Mahiʻai, a group of Molokaʻi-based farmers; and Maui farmer Gerry Ross, among others. The motion calls on the court to either dismiss the lawsuit by Monsanto and Dow, or let a state court decide the issue.

If not, it claims, farmers and citizens can't be certain that their interests will be fairly represented in court.
The motion reads:
The actions of the Maui County government plainly demonstrate that the County is unlikely to make all the arguments in defense of the GE Initiative’s validity that Proposed Intervenors can and will make in this case.
In light of their public statements of opposition and their very first act in the litigation, neither Proposed Intervenors nor the Court can have confidence that the County’s defense of this suit will be vigorous; indeed, it already has been anything but vigorous. Proposed Intervenors also naturally question whether the County will assert every appropriate argument, where the Mayor remains the County’s chief executive, and where the majority of the County Council publicly opposed the GE Initiative, and where the County has again, already declined to make any argument opposing a preliminary injunction.
"Like the residents of Kaua'i and Hawai'i counties before them, the people of Maui County decided they would no longer sit idly by as the State of Hawai'i becomes a poisoned paradise of intensive genetically engineered crop production and its intertwined pesticide spraying," said George Kimbrell, senior attorney for Center for Food Safety. "These chemical companies are again trying to trump the democratic process, and again, we stand by the communities and will vigorously defend the law."

Failed GMO promises have caused nearly 300,000 suicides in India alone


© Natural News
Natural News | Nov 25, 2014 | Ethan A. Huff

The big biotechnology secret that you'll probably never about in the mainstream media is the shocking number of suicides that occur when genetically modified organisms (GMOs) fail to provide the promised yields and cost savings. Some 300,000 farmers just in India have committed suicide within the past 16 years, according to a shocking report by the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ), the direct result of crop failures that led to lost livelihoods.

According to the report, entitled Every Thirty Minutes: Farmer Suicides, Human Rights, and the Agrarian Crisis in India, nearly 20,000 Indian farmers end their lives every year after crop failures leave them stricken with insurmountable debt. These farmers were promised higher yields and lower chemical costs, but in many cases the exact opposite of this is what actually occurs.

The push toward globalization over the past 20 years has ravaged India's agricultural economy, massively increasing farming costs while reducing yields and profits. Many farmers who used to get by just fine growing a variety of food crops on family plots have been left struggling to grow enough cash crops just to make ends meet. When this isn't successful and the creditors come knocking, the only way out, in many farmers' minds, is to make an early escape to the afterlife.

"Economic reforms and the opening of Indian agriculture to the global market over the past two decades have increased costs, while reducing yields and profits for many farmers, to the point of great financial and emotional distress," explains the CHRGJ report. "As a result, smallholder farmers are often trapped in a cycle of debt."

Suicide statistics don't account for surviving family members who kill themselves 

The fallout from these farmer suicides obviously affects surviving family members, who aren't even accounted for in the official suicide statistics. Many of them, including the wives of farmers, are left with the debt of their husbands, and this debt ends up getting passed down to the children as well. The burden from this debt often leads to even more suicides and a successive cycle of poverty.

"The magnitude of the number of Indian farmers who have committed suicide must not overwhelm the fact that an intensely individual tragedy lies behind each and every one of these deaths," adds the report.

"The effects of this tragedy haunt the families of these casualties of India's agrarian crisis in ways that are impossible to escape--families inherit the debt, children drop out of school to become farmhands, and surviving family members may themselves commit suicide out of sheer desperation."

American farmers are next if they don't abandon GMOs and revert to non-corporate agriculture 

If you think that American agriculture is exempt from the type of crisis taking place in India, think again. U.S. farmers have also been sold a bill of goods when it comes to GMOs, though the current tax structure pumps massive subsidies into keeping them "profitable." But even this is failing, as GMOs and their chemicals are killing the nation's soils and spurring the growth of "superweeds" that no longer respond to herbicides.

In some states, nearly 90 percent of waterhemp weeds, for instance, have developed resistance to two or more herbicides. And with few new herbicides in the development pipeline, American farmers are having to mix and match old herbicides and apply ever-increasing amounts of them just to stay viable.

"Growers think there will be something over the horizon that will bail them out," stated Larry Steckel, a weed management scientist from the University of Tennessee's West Tennessee Research and Education Center, to Science magazine. "But there isn't."

Sources:

http://youtube.com

http://justlabelit.org[PDF]

http://www.chrgj.org[PDF]

http://science.naturalnews.com

http://truthwiki.org/Genetically_modified_cr...

http://truthwiki.org/GMO_Dangers,_opinion

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

New Report Criticizes Yogurt Industry

Cornucopia | Nov 24, 2014

Major Brands Accused of Turning Health Food into Junk Food

A new report, Culture Wars: How the Food Giants Turned Yogurt, a Health Food, into Junk Food,issued by The Cornucopia Institute, accuses Dannon, Yoplait, Chobani and other major marketers of misleading parents, who are looking for healthier foods for their families, into purchasing yogurts loaded with sugar and containing a myriad of questionably safe artificial sweeteners, colors and emulsifiers.

The group alleges that agribusiness, in their marketing approach, has capitalized on yogurt’s historic, well-deserved healthful reputation while simultaneously adulterating the product, sometimes illegally, to gain competitive advantage and popular appeal.

In addition to The Cornucopia Institute’s comprehensive report on the yogurt industry, they also released a related buyer’s guide rating 114 brands and separating the truly healthy options from those that would be found on any dietitian’s shortlist of foods to avoid.

“What is most egregious about our findings,” said Mark A. Kastel, Codirector of The Cornucopia Institute, “is the marketing employed by many of the largest agribusinesses selling junk food masquerading as health food, mostly aimed at moms, who are hoping to provide their children an alternative, a more nutritious snack. In some cases, they might as well be serving their children soda pop or a candy bar with a glass of milk on the side.”

Cornucopia, a Wisconsin-based food and farm policy research group, found that the flavored varieties (strawberry, for example) of certain brands contain no actual fruit, and include total sugars that rival those in candy bars.

Alternatively, rather than with sugar, some yogurt is sweetened artificially with such substances as aspartame (also marketed as NutraSweet®).

According to Dr. Qing Yang, a professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology at Yale University, “A rise in the percent of the population who are obese coincides with the increase in the widespread use of non-caloric artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose.” The use of aspartame is controversial and has been linked to brain tumors and neurological diseases in laboratory animals.

Non-caloric sweeteners are not the only controversial materials found in many popular brands of yogurt. Another, carrageenan, a bioactive ingredient derived from seaweed, has been linked in published research to serious gastrointestinal inflammation and disease. Some of the yogurts specifically aimed at young children, in squeezable tubes, are among the offerings containing carrageenan.

In addition, yogurt manufacturers add artificial colors, which have been linked to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. Some manufacturers have even started adding nanoparticles, currently unregulated, which interact with cells in unknown ways.

Cornucopia’s report also looked at the industry’s labeling campaign: Live and Active Cultures, which purportedly assures a high level of healthful probiotics, which are microorganisms thought to improve digestion in the intestinal tract. Cornucopia tested yogurt purchased directly from the dairy cases, in grocery stores, rather than the industry’s practice of testing at the factory prior to shipment.

The report’s finding revealed that many of the top-rated organic brands in Cornucopia’s buyer’s guide — that are not part of the industry’s Live and Active Cultures marketing campaign — actually contain higher levels of beneficial bacteria than some of the most popular brands displaying the seal. The University of Nebraska’s Food Processing Center conducted the testing.

“Our laboratory analysis also showed that there are nutritional benefits to eating whole milk, organic yogurt,” said Dr. Linley Dixon, one of Cornucopia’s researchers.

The Cornucopia study, consistent with other recent peer-reviewed and published findings, found that organic yogurt had more advantageous ratios of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids and higher levels of beneficial fats, including conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), than conventional yogurt.

Based on its industry investigation, The Cornucopia Institute has filed a formal complaint with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asking the agency to investigate whether or not certain yogurt on the market, manufactured by such companies as Yoplait, Dannon, and store brands including Walmart’s Great Value, violate the legal standard of identity for products labeled as yogurt. The Cornucopia Institute requests that the legal definition of “yogurt” be enforced for product labeling, just as it is for products labeled “cheese.”

“The reason that Kraft has to call Velveeta® ‘processed cheese-food’ is that some of the ingredients used, like vegetable oil, cannot legally be in a product marketed as ‘cheese’,” Kastel explained.

Cornucopia alleges that some of the ingredients manufacturers use to produce yogurt, such as milk protein concentrate (MPC), typically imported from countries like India, do not meet yogurt’s current legal standard of identity.

As Greek yogurt has become popular, one of the ways that companies have cheapened the manufacturing process is by adding MPCs to increase the protein level and improve what the industry calls “mouth feel.”
Finally, Cornucopia looked at the comparative costs of yogurt on the market. The report found that many organic yogurts can often be purchased for less, on a price-per-ounce basis, than conventional yogurts. This price comparison includes many of the popular Greek styles and heavily processed products, in special packaging, that are marketed to children, like Yoplait’s Go-Gurt and Dannon’s Danimals, with their long lists of artificial ingredients.

The healthiest choices in Cornucopia’s study include yogurts with a short list of ingredients, including organic milk and live cultures — with limited amounts of added organic fruit or unrefined sweeteners such as maple syrup.

“The good news is that there are wonderful yogurt options in the dairy cooler,” Kastel added. “We hope that yogurt lovers will use our report and buyer’s guide to choose the very safest and most nutritious products for their families, especially for children.”

MORE:

One of the most cost-effective and advantageous choices for consumers, especially parents, is to purchase larger containers of plain organic yogurt and mix them with fresh fruit and/or granola.

“This makes an incredibly wonderful snack for a child’s lunchbox,” said Cornucopia’s Kastel. “All it takes is a few reusable containers and two minutes of your time to throw in some blueberries, strawberries, peaches or other sliced fruit. To retain its crispness, granola can be included in a separate small container large enough to be mixed with the yogurt at mealtime.”

In addition to the synthetic sweeteners, and sometimes cane sugar, many yogurt products also contain high fructose corn syrup, some with exceptionally high levels of fructose. “This highly refined sweetener, also controversial with many dietitians, is misleadingly labeled as ‘fructose’ on ingredient lists, leaving off any reference to corn syrup,” added Dr. Dixon.

In a Harvard study released last week (October 13), and published in the Journal Molecular Metabolism, researchers found that fructose may promote obesity and diabetes by overstimulating a hormone that helps regulate fat accumulation.

“There is no question that fructose is a sugar that promotes fat storage in the liver,” researcher Christopher Newgard told the New York Times. “In that sense, it’s a sugar that is a bad actor in the development of metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes.”

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that no more than 5% of calorie intake come from added sugars. That means limiting added sugar intake to 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 teaspoons for men. The AHA says that most Americans consume between 22 and 30 teaspoons of added sugars per day. The entire recommended daily limit can come from a single serving of sweetened yogurt.

As an example, Fage 0% fat, honey flavor yogurt contains the equivalent of 9.34 teaspoons of sugar, with Yoplait’s Go-Gurt Blueberry Blast coming in at 7.07.

There is also some question as to whether some sweeteners and other artificial ingredients added to yogurt might disrupt the microbiome in the gut, which, for many, eating yogurt with live cultures is an attempt to beneficially support.

In another gut-wrenching twist of irony, many people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), or other intestinal maladies, eat yogurt because it is cultured with beneficial bacteria. However, independent, peer-reviewed published research indicates that carrageenan, included as a thickener in some yogurt, can greatly exacerbate the conditions. Some manufacturers, including WhiteWave (Horizon), have recently announced that they are removing carrageenan from their natural and organic products.

Additionally, vegetarians may be surprised to find that many yogurts contain gelatin, a byproduct of slaughtered animals, which is also added as a thickening agent.

When commenting on the plethora of sweeteners and natural and artificial flavors found in processed foods, including yogurt, former FDA chief Dr. David Kessler lamented, “We’re living in a food carnival …. These flavors are so stimulating they hijack our brain.”

Reacting to the release of Cornucopia’s yogurt report, a spokesman for Dannon, Michael Neuwirth, emailed the New York Times that “it made many different yogurts, including plain, unsweetened yogurt in traditional and Greek varieties as well as “nonnutritive sweetened yogurt.”  Neuwirth added that “to help people achieve a healthy diet in the way they define it for themselves, we make a huge range of nutrient dense varieties of yogurt to fulfill different needs and preferences.”

A representative for General Mills, which distributes Yoplait in the United States, told the New York Times that “Cornucopia advocates on behalf of organic, and routinely recommends organic products over alternatives. That has been their focus – and it’s clearly the agenda here.”