Top Pharma-Brand of Children’s Vitamins Contains Aspartame, GMOs, & Other Hazardous Chemicals


Top US Brand of Children's Vitamins Contains Aspartame, GMOs, & Other Hazardous Chemicals

The #1 Children’s Vitamin Brand in the US contains ingredients that most parents would never intentionally expose their children to, so why aren’t more opting for healthier alternatives?

Kids vitamins are supposed to be healthy, right? Well then, what’s going on with Flintstones Vitamins, which proudly claims to be “Pediatricians’ #1 Choice”?  Produced by the global pharmaceutical corporation Bayer, this wildly successful brand features a shocking list of unhealthy ingredients, including:

The Bayer Health Science’s Flintstones product page* designed for healthcare professionals leads into the product description with the following tidbit of information:

“82% of kids aren’t eating all of their veggies1. Without enough vegetables, kids may not be getting all of the nutrients they need.”

References: 1. Lorson BA, Melgar-Quinonez HR, Taylor CA. Correlates of fruit and vegetable intakes in US children. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009;109(3):474-478.

The implication? That Flintstones vitamins somehow fill this nutritional void. But let’s look a little closer at some of these presumably healthy ingredients….

ASPARTAME

Aspartame is a synthetic combination of the amino acids aspartic acid and l-phenylalanine, and is known to convert into highly toxic methanol and formaldehyde in the body.  Aspartame has been linked to over 40 adverse health effects in the biomedical literature, and has been shown to exhibit both neurotoxicity and carcinogenicity [1]  What business does a chemical like this have doing in a children’s vitamin, especially when non-toxic, non-synthetic non-nutritive sweeteners like stevia already exist?

CUPRIC OXIDE

Next, let’s look closer at Cupric Oxide, 2mg of which is included in each serving of Flinstone’s Complete chewable vitamins as a presumably  ‘nutritional’ source of ‘copper,’ supplying “100% of the Daily Value  (Ages 4+), according to Flintstones Vitamins Web site’s Nutritional Info.[2]

But what is Cupric Oxide? A nutrient or a chemical?

According to the European Union’s Dangerous Substance Directive, one of the main EU laws concerning chemical safety, Cupric Oxide is listed as a Hazardous substance, classified as both  “Harmful (XN)” and “Dangerous for the environment” (N).  Consider that it has industrial applications as a pigment in ceramics, and as a chemical in the production of rayon fabric and dry cell batteries. In may be technically correct to call it a mineral, but should it be listed as a nutrient in a children’s vitamin? We think not.

Top US Brand of Children's Vitamins Contain Aspartame, GMOs, & Other Hazardous Chemicals

COAL TAR ARTIFICIAL COLORING AGENTS

A well-known side effect of using synthetic dyes is attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. For direct access to study abstracts on this topic view our Food Coloring research page.  There is also indication that the neurotoxicity of artificial food coloring agents increase when combined with aspartame,[3] making the combination of ingredients in Flintstones even more concerning.

ZINC OXIDE

Each serving of Flinstones Complete Chewable vitamins contain 12 mg of zinc oxide, which the manufacturer claims delivers 75% of the Daily Value to children 2  & 3 years of age.  Widely used as a sun protection factor (SPF) in sunscreens, The EU’s Dangerous Substance Directive classifies it as an environmental Hazard, “Dangerous for the environment (N).”  How it can be dangerous to the environment, but not for humans ingesting it, escapes me.  One thing is for sure, if one is to ingest supplemental zinc, or market it for use by children, it makes much more sense using a form that is organically bound (i.e. ‘chelated’) to an amino acid like glycine, as it will be more bioavailable and less toxic.

SORBITOL

Sorbitol is a synthetic sugar substitute which is classified as a sugar alcohol. It can be argued that it has no place in the human diet, much less in a child’s. The ingestion of higher amounts have been linked to gastrointestinal disturbances from abdominal pain to more serious conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome.[4]

FERROUS FUMARATE

The one clear warning on the Flinstone’s Web site concerns this chemical. While it is impossible to die from consuming iron from food, e.g. spinach, ferrous fumarate is an industrial mineral and not found in nature as food. In fact, ferrous fumarate is so toxic that accidental overdose of products containing this form is “a leading cause of fatal poisoning in children under 6.” The manufacturer further warns:

Keep this product out of reach of children. In case of accidental overdose, call a doctor or poison control center immediately.

DL-ALPHA TOCOPHEROL ACETATE

 

This synthetic, petrochemically derived analogue of vitamin E consists of 8 different chemical molecules, all of which have questionable bioactivity and safety. You can peruse first-hand published literature on its potential toxicity here, and our recent report on concerning indications that this mix of chemicals may adversely affect immune function, gene expression, and neurological health in the very young:  What Is This Petrochemical “Vitamin” Doing In Infant Brains?

HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL

Finding hydrogenated oil in anything marketed to children is absolutely unacceptable. These semi-synthetic fatty acids incorporate into our tissues and have been linked to over a dozen adverse health effects, from coronary artery disease to cancer, violent behavior to fatty liver disease.[5]

GMO CORN STARCH

While it can be argued that the amount of GMO corn starch in this product is negligible, even irrelevant, we disagree. It is important to hold accountable brands that refuse to label their products honestly, especially when they contain ingredients that have been produced through genetic modification. The ‘vitamin C’ listed as ascorbic acid in Flintstones is likely also produced from GMO corn. Let’s remember that Bayer’s Ag-biotech division, Bayer CropScience, poured $381,600 of cash into defeating the proposition 37 GMO labeling bill in California. Parents have a right to protect their children against the well-known dangers of genetically modified foods and the agrichemicals that contaminate them, don’t they? GMO corn starch is GMO, plain and simple. We’d appreciate it if Bayer would label their “vitamins” accordingly.

In summary, Bayer’s Flintstone’s vitamin brand is far from a natural product, and the consumer should be aware of the unintended, adverse health effects that may occur as a result of using it.

So, what’s the alternative? We encourage our readers to strike to the root problem of nutritional deficiencies: poor food quality and selection. Organic, local, sustainable, and traditionally prepared food in line with an ancestral diet is the way to go. Failing that, look into whole food concentrates and whole food supplements. Nature, and not the chemist’s laboratory, is where we will all find the best solution.


Resources

Dairy Industry Filing to Hide Aspartame in New Definition of ‘Milk’


Milk has always been something we’ve bestowed our blind faith in. And whenever we pick up a carton from the grocery store, we almost always assume we’re getting the wholesome goodness that has been promised to us by the label. But this is all about to change as the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) are lobbying towards changing the milk labeling laws.

The IDFA and NMPF have recently filed a petition to change the labeling laws in such a way that milk would be able to contain artificial sweeteners like aspartame and not be liable to print it on the package. Soon, unsuspecting milk enthusiasts all over the country will unwittingly be ingesting chemicals that can cause potential damage.

 While the move sounds strange to anyone with half a brain, the milk industry apparently has a reason for making this move. In a statement, an industry representative said that the change would, “promote more healthful eating practices and reduce childhood obesity by providing for lower-calorie flavored milk products.”

 According to them, children are so averse to consuming natural products that benefit them that they constantly need to be duped into having it. Further, they stated that sweetening the milk — whether naturally or artificially through aspartame — can get children more attracted to its taste and increase the chances of them consuming and relishing it.

According to the Federal Register, “The proposed amendments would assist in meeting several initiatives aimed at improving the nutrition and health profile of food served in the nation’s schools. Those initiatives include state-level programs designed to limit the quantity of sugar served to children during the school day.”

Although aspartame is still widely used in diet beverages and food, it is still rife with negative health implications that few are aware of. Research shows that aspartame consumption can lead to digestive problems, dizziness, obesity, and many more serious conditions like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and even cancer.

The new labeling laws will certainly make it hard for people to make an informed choice when they’re looking for the item they want and it will create a great deal of confusion among consumers. Nutritional information is already extremely tedious to decipher, the new law will make things even worse.

The IDFA and NMPF have stated, “consumers can more easily identify the overall nutritional value of milk products that are flavored with non-nutritive sweeteners if the labels do not include such claims.” But it doesn’t change the fact that milk companies will be getting away with selling us mild poison masquerading as a healthy product.

Aspartame turns into formaldehyde and methanol in the body


Did you know that Aspartame literally turns into formaldehyde and methanol inside your body?

It breaks down into, according to one paper, “phenylalanine (50%), aspartic acid (40%) and methanol (10%) during metabolism in the body. The excess of phenylalanine blocks the transport of important amino acids to the brain contributing to reduced levels of dopamine and serotonin.”

Well put by another paper,  “Aspartame is a widely used artificial sweetener that has been linked to pediatric and adolescent migraines. Upon ingestion, aspartame is broken, converted, and oxidized into formaldehyde in various tissues.”

Aspartame is toxic

5 academic papers are cited in this video, showing exactly what Aspartame does to the body, including one study that plays devil’s advocate, and honestly fails.

Aspartame, as methanol can cause blindness, is linked to deterioration of vision, several cancers, and a litany of other ills. One chemical Aspartame breaks down into in your body, aspartic acid, acts as an excitotoxin.

Rumsfeld pressured FDA into legalizing aspartame

This video explains what Aspartame really does, and how two time Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld almost single-handedly pressured the FDA into legalizing it for the pharmaceutical corporation Searle.

Watch the video discussion. URL:https://youtu.be/KVfNofV0tds

Source:http://wisemindhealthybody.com

The Dangers of the Artificial Sweetener Aspartame


Diet soda is falling out of favor due to the growing unpopularity of artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose (Splenda). PepsiCo even replaced the aspartame in Diet Pepsi with Splenda in 2015 in an effort to win back customers who’ve become wary of aspartame’s health effects — but it clearly didn’t work.

Aspartame Effects

Story at-a-glance

  • PepsiCo replaced the aspartame in Diet Pepsi with Splenda in 2015 in an effort to win back customers wary of aspartame’s health effects
  • In the first quarter of 2016, Diet Pepsi sales declined by 10.6 percent
  • To save their slumping sales, and please customers who apparently disliked the taste of the aspartame-free Diet Pepsi, the company is reintroducing aspartame-sweetened Diet Pepsi to the market

At the time, PepsiCo said the No. 1 request by its customers was to remove aspartame from Diet Pepsi.1 Senior vice president of Pepsi’s flavors unit, Seth Kaufman, noted, “Diet cola drinkers in the U.S. told us they wanted aspartame-free Diet Pepsi.”2

However, annual per capita consumption of carbonated soft drinks in 2015 was 650 eight-ounce servings, the lowest rate since 1985, according to a report from industry-tracking group Beverage Digest.3

PepsiCo had the steepest decline — a 3.1 percent volume loss — and their Diet Pepsi product was particularly hit hard with a nearly 6 percent drop. In the first quarter of 2016, Diet Pepsi sales fell even more, declining 10.6 percent, according to Beverage Digest.4

To save their slumping sales, and please customers who apparently disliked the taste of the aspartame-free Diet Pepsi, the company is reintroducing “Diet Pepsi Classic Sweetener Blend” — i.e., Diet Pepsi sweetened with aspartame — to the market.

2 of 3 Diet Pepsi Varieties to Contain Aspartame

Classic Diet Pepsi is slated to come back to the market in September 2016, featuring a light blue can. In a silver can will be regular Diet Pepsi, sweetened with Splenda.

There’s also Pepsi MAX, which comes in a black can and is going to be reintroduced in the U.S. as Pepsi Zero Sugar. This, too, will contain aspartame.5 Crystal Pepsi, which first made its debut in the ‘90s, will also be making a comeback in 2016, at least temporarily.

The clear soda does not contain caffeine or phosphoric acid and is perceived to be healthier than typical dark-colored sodas. Its limited reintroduction, timed not coincidently amidst dropping sales, is likely an attempt to test the market to see if more health-conscious consumers will take the crystal-clear bait.6

Unfortunately, all of this relabeling and reintroducing is missing the point, which is not only that soda is detrimental to your health — no matter what shade, flavor or color — but also that diet soda by any name is likely even worse.

Aspartame May Lead to Glucose Intolerance and Diabetes

Many people who are overweight or obese also struggle with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes, and consequently choose artificial sweeteners over sugar, believing the former to be a healthier choice.

Yet, studies have found that artificial sweeteners, including aspartame, may lead to weight gain7 and glucose intolerance by altering gut microbiota.8

Unbeknownst to many, aspartame has been found to increase hunger ratings compared to glucose or water and is associated with heightened motivation to eat (even more so than other artificial sweeteners like saccharin or acesulfame potassium).9

For a substance often used in “diet” products, the fact that aspartame may actually increase weight gain is incredibly misleading.

A recent study published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism also found that consuming aspartame may be associated with greater glucose intolerance, particularly for people who are obese. According to the study:10

“This study provides evidence that consumption of aspartame may be associated with greater diabetes risk in individuals with higher adiposity. Aspartame is reported to be associated with changes in gut microbiota that are associated with impairments in insulin resistance in lean and obese rodents.

We observe that aspartame was related to significantly greater impairments in glucose tolerance for individuals with obesity … ”

It’s Not Only Aspartame That’s the Problem

This is far from the first time artificial sweeteners have been linked to metabolic problems. According to separate research published in PLOS ONE:11

“Regular consumption of artificially sweetened soft drinks is associated with disorders of the metabolic syndrome, including abdominal obesity, insulin resistance and/or impaired glucose tolerance, dyslipidemia and high blood pressure.

In particular, daily diet soda consumption (primarily sweetened with N-a-L-aspartyl-L-phenylalanine methyl ester, aspartame … ), is reported to increase the relative risk of type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome by 67 percent and 36 percent respectively.”

Yet, it’s not only aspartame that’s linked to health problems, so if you’re thinking that sticking with PepsiCo’s Splenda-sweetened diet soda is smarter, you’re being misled. Like aspartame, Splenda affects your body’s insulin response.

When study participants drank a Splenda-sweetened beverage, their insulin levels rose about 20 percent higher than when they consumed only water prior to taking a glucose-challenge test.12

Blood sugar levels also peaked at a higher level, So the artificial sweetener was related to an enhanced blood insulin and glucose response,” researchers noted, adding:13

“Although we found that sucralose affects the glucose and insulin response to glucose ingestion, we don’t know the mechanism responsible. We have shown that sucralose is having an effect.

In obese people without diabetes, we have shown sucralose is more than just something sweet that you put into your mouth with no other consequences. What these all mean for daily life scenarios is still unknown, but our findings are stressing the need for more studies.”

Don’t Be Misled: Diet Soda Is Not a Healthy Choice

PepsiCo is desperately trying to grab a corner of the market it currently misses — health-conscious consumers. Reformulating its diet soda is just one of its plans toward this end.

Ironically, the company, which spent more than Monsanto to defeat legislation calling for mandatory state and federal labeling of products containing genetically engineered (GE) ingredients, even has plans to release a GMO-free line of its Tropicana juices.14

But make no mistake. In the case of Diet Pepsi, they can call it whatever they want and put it in any color can they can possibly imagine, but it won’t change the fact that it’s among the worst beverages you can consume for your health.

Aspartame May Cause Brain Damage and Other Health Effects

Ninety-two percent of independently funded studies found aspartame may cause adverse effects, including depression and headaches.15 A study also found the administration of aspartame to rats resulted in detectable methanol even after 24 hours, which might be responsible for inducing oxidative stress in the brain.15

Aspartame is made up of aspartic acid and phenylalanine. But the phenylalanine has been synthetically modified to carry a methyl group, which provides the majority of the sweetness.

That phenylalanine methyl bond, called a methyl ester, is very weak, which allows the methyl group on the phenylalanine to easily break off and form methanol.

When aspartame is in liquid form, it breaks down into methyl alcohol, or methanol, which is then converted into formaldehyde and represents the root of the problem with aspartame.

In short, both animals and humans have small structures called peroxisomes in each cell. There are a couple of hundred in every cell of your body, which are designed to detoxify a variety of chemicals.

Humans have the same number of peroxisomes in comparable cells as non-human animals, but human peroxisomes cannot convert the toxic formaldehyde into harmless formic acid. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen that causes retinal damage, interferes with DNA replication and may cause birth defects.

Diet Soda May Make You Want to Eat More Junk Food

Diet soda is a scam of the worst kind, because those who drink it typically believe they’re doing their body a favor by cutting out some calories.

But research shows diet soda drinkers may later “compensate” for the calories they didn’t consume in their soda by eating more high-sugar, high-sodium and high-in-unhealthy-fats foods later in the day.17 They may also feel compelled to eat more junk food because the diet beverage didn’t satisfy their craving or desire for calories.

Obese adults were affected the most and had the highest incremental daily calorie intake from unhealthy foods associated with diet beverages, which again shows that the people most likely to consume artificial sweeteners are also among those most likely to be harmed by them.

Are You Ready to Ditch Aspartame and Other Artificial Sweeteners?

First, I highly recommend trying an energy psychology technique called Turbo Tapping, which has helped many “soda addicts” kick their habit, and it should work for any type of craving (including diet soda cravings) you may have. If you still have cravings after trying Turbo Tapping, you may need to make some changes to your diet. My free nutrition plan can help you do this in a step-by-step manner.

Your best, most cost-effective, choice of beverage is filtered tap water. I strongly recommend using a high-quality water filtration system unless you can verify the purity of your water. Seltzer or mineral water is another option, especially if you’re missing the fizz of soda.

Adding a squeeze of lemon or lime is one way to add some flavor and variety, and many soda drinkers find it easier to ditch soda when replacing it with some sparkling water. Unsweetened tea and coffee can also be healthy and can add some variety to your beverage choices without ruining your health.

Aspartame in “Milk?”


Most of us believe that drinking milk is good for our health. Milk can provide us with some of the essential nutrients we all need, like calcium and potassium. And did you know… a glass of milk is also a terrific source of high-quality protein?

For these reasons, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends children and adults alike consume two to three servings of dairy per day. But somehow, Americans of all ages seem to be drinking less and less milk. And according to the Academy, only 25 percent of kids ages nine to 19 drink the recommended amount of milk each day.

One reason for this may be that schools have started to ban the sale of chocolate milk (and other flavored milk) because of its high caloric content. And in order to compete with other low-calorie drinks (i.e. diet colas) the dairy industry is planning to replace the sugar in flavored milk with aspartame, or another non-caloric sweetener.

The problem is, the FDA strictly regulates something called the “statement of identity” for food items. That means if you’re calling something “milk,” it better be mostly what came out of the cow. That’s why we see products labeled Soymilk, not Soy Milk, get it?

Hence, the addition of aspartame as an artificial sweetener will change the standard of identity of “milk” and would require something like “Chocolate Milk” to be labeled, “Reduced Calorie Chocolate Milk.” International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) recently petitioned the FDA to change this clause. They say children are adverse to the “low-calorie” label and that this labeling change will negatively affect milk sales.

And to avoid any confusion, aspartame (along with any other artificial sweetener) will not be secretly added as some hidden ingredient to flavored milk. There seems to be a huge misception out there regarding this. It will still be an added ingredient, listed on the ingredients label, just like any other additive. Even if the Dairy Industry gets its way… Fear not! You will still be able to tell if your chocolate milk has an artificial sweetener in it. Just flip over the container and look at the ingredients label: if you see “aspartame,” “sucralose” or “acesulfame potassium” you will know that the beverage you’re holding contains an artificial sweetener!

All artificial sweeteners, including aspartame, are regulated by the FDA. The FDA sets an acceptable daily intake (ADI) for each sweetener, as well as other additives. The ADI is the maximum amount of a product that is considered safe to consume each day during a person’s life time. According the the American Cancer Society, the ADI for aspartame is set to be about 100 times less than the smallest amount that might cause health concerns, based on studies done in lab animals.

Some studies suggest moderate intakes of aspartame is not harmful to your health, but research is not conclusive. However, the average person would have to drink 21 cans of diet-soda each day to reach acceptable daily intake. Sucrose, or table sugar, on the other hand has many known health risks in the excess we consume it. Still, the controversy around aspartame, including its possible link to cancer and other diseases, has many U.S. citizens concerned… and even outraged. Over 116,000 individuals have signed on to a Sum of Us petition that urges the FDA to “forbid milk and dairy products to include aspartame or other artificial sweeteners.”

The standard-of-identity laws are there for a reason. So here is my advice for the Dairy Industry: If you want to put artificial sweeteners in milk, just start calling your “milk-like drink” something else. Leave the “milk” label for the real stuff.

Dairy Industry Trying to Hide Aspartame in New Definition of ‘Milk’


Recently big dairy has made a big push to amend the definition of milk – to allow them to add aspartame and other sweeteners without consumers knowing!

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) filed a petition with the FDA1 requesting the agency “amend the standard of identity” for milk and 17 other dairy products. 

This was done to provide for the use of any safe and suitable sweetener as an optional ingredient — including non-nutritive sweeteners such as aspartame to deceive you by not having to indicate its use on the label.

If the amendment goes through, that would mean anytime you see the word “milk” on the label, it could include aspartame, sucralose, or any other dangerous artificial sweetener, but you could never be quite sure, since there will be no mention of it — not by listing the artificial sweetener used, nor with a no- or low-calorie type label, which is a tip-off that the product might contain a non-nutritive sweetener.
According to the Federal Register:

[T]he proposed amendments would assist in meeting several initiatives aimed at improving the nutrition and health profile of food served in the nation’s schools. Those initiatives include state-level programs designed to limit the quantity of sugar served to children during the school day.

As if that’s not nonsensical enough, the IDFA and NMPF argue that the proposed amendments would “promote honesty and fair dealing in the marketplace.” How could altering the definition of “milk” to include unidentified artificial sweeteners possibly promote honesty or fair dealing in the marketplace, you might ask?
According to the IDFA and NMPF, nutrient content claims such as “reduced calorie” are not attractive to children and have led to an overall decline in milk consumption in schools. Essentially, as with the GMO labeling issue, they don’t want you or your child to be “confused” or perhaps “scared away” by truthful labeling.
The IDFA and NMPF actually maintain that “consumers can more easily identify the overall nutritional value of milk products that are flavored with non-nutritive sweeteners if the labels do not include such claims.”
They also state that consumers generally don’t recognize milk — including flavored milk — as necessarily containing sugar. Therefore, since you don’t realize that flavored milk might contain added sugar, sweetening the product with non-nutritive artificial sweeteners, while listing it as simply “milk” on the label, will make it easier for you to identify its overall nutritional value.
Get it? If not, you’re not alone.
In order to understand this twisted logic, you need to know that the FDA already allows the dairy industry to use the unmodified “milk” label for products that contain added sugar or high fructose corn syrup.
Artificial sweeteners are allowed to be added, but must currently be listed on the label. Quoting Section 130.10 of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990, the IDFA and NMPF claim no extra labeling is required for artificial sweeteners because sugar is added to milk without labeling it, and “the modified food is not inferior in performance,” and “reduced calories are not attractive to children.”
Therefore marketing products as such is neither of benefit or detriment to anyone… Knowing that nutritive sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup can be added without being listed as an ingredient, is it any wonder that people generally “don’t recognize” these products contain added sugar?
Going along with their twisted reasoning, since they don’t have to tell you there’s HFCS in that flavored milk or yogurt — which leaves you ignorant of the fact that it’s there — it might “confuse” you were they to tell you another version contains an artificial sweetener. It also puts those products at a market disadvantage, since the HFCS-containing products don’t have to list it — the HFCS is simply hidden as part of the “milk” designation.
Hence, hiding ALL added sweeteners from you would “promote honesty” and “fair dealing in the marketplace.” Not only is this a perfect example of how you may be consuming hidden fructose in your diet, even if you are an avid label reader… it’s also a valuable lesson in just how little you’re allowed to know about the foods you buy.
The petition also requests the FDA similarly amend the standards of identity for 17 other milk and cream products, to allow the use of any safe and suitable sweetener in the optional ingredients, without specifying the type of sweetener used on the label:
  • Acidified milk
  • Cultured milk
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Nonfat dairy milk
  • Nonfat dry milk fortified with vitamins A and D
  • Evaporated milk
  • Dry cream
  • Heavy cream
  • Light cream
  • Sour cream, and acidified sour cream
  • Light whipping cream
  • Eggnog
  • Half-and-half
  • Yogurt
  • Lowfat yogurt
  • Nonfat yogurt
Many are surely scratching their heads wondering WHY anyone would want to alter the definition of milk. One potential clue — besides sheer unbridled greed on behalf of the dairy industry who’d rather not give you the option of choosing — can be found in an April 13, 2011 letter from the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) to Julie Brewer, Chief of the Policy and Program Development Branch of the Child Nutrition Division of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The letter was in response to the USDA’s proposed rule to revise the meal patterns and nutrition requirements for the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs. One of the proposed changes was to limit flavored milk products to fat-free versions only — a change the NMPF claimed would have a negative impact on the goal of increasing overall milk consumption.

The letter reads in part:

The proposed rule will not be a success if milk consumption drops as a result of flavored milk choices that are not appealing (or at least not as appealing as competitive beverages students may bring to school from elsewhere). Flavored milk was included as an option in the proposed rule in recognition that the small amount of added sugar (flavored milk contributes only 2-3% of added sugars to the diets of children and adolescents) is an acceptable trade-off for the extensive nutrient contribution flavored milk provides.


Therefore, NMPF urges the Department to modify the proposed rule to include both low-fat and fat-free flavored milk as options available to schools. To limit the potential for additional calories in a low-fat flavored milk (as compared to a fat-free formulation) we urge the establishment of a calorie limit on flavored milk of 150 calories per eight-ounce serving.


This will provide schools the flexibility to procure milk products that maintain high levels of acceptability and nutrient intake, while also assuring that flavored milk fits within overall calorie limits for meals. Many milk processors have proactively committed to and met a goal of 150 calories per serving as a way to limit the amount of sugar in flavored milk, and have worked within this constraint to formulate products that have demonstrated acceptability among students in schools across the country.

In essence, it has little to do with making your purchasing decisions easier, and more to do with:
  • Fooling your kids into drinking otherwise unpopular fat free or low fat milk, and
  • Allowing the national school breakfast and lunch programs to “look good” by successfully reducing overall calories of the meals while simultaneously helping the dairy industry protect profits
I’m not sure what’s more frustrating here, the fact that the USDA insists on using the flawed theory of calories as a measure of the “healthfulness” of school meals; their misguided insistence on fat free and low fat products to combat obesity; or their ignorant stance on artificial sweeteners.

How Monsanto Promotes Worldwide Infertility


Monsanto has a long and infamous history of manufacturing and bringing to market such chemicals as DDT, Agent Orange, aspartame, Roundup and dioxin1 — chemical compounds from which society continues to feel the effects.

In an effort to distance the current corporation from past deeds, Monsanto refers to the company prior to 2002 as “the former Monsanto” in their news releases.2 However, nothing has really changed aside from their PR machine.

While Monsanto has branched into genetic engineering (GE) of plants, the sale of patented GE seeds simply feeds the need for the company’s pesticides. Monsanto is STILL primarily a purveyor of toxins, not life.

Monsanto began forging a unique and financially advantageous relationship with the U.S. government starting with the company’s involvement in the Manhattan Project that produced the first nuclear weapons during World War II. During the Vietnam War they were the leading producer of Agent Orange.

The specialization in the production and distribution of toxic chemicals continues today.

Their influence over government runs so deep that despite the fact 64 other countries have been labeling genetically engineered (GE) foods for years, the U.S. now has the distinction of being the first country to un-label GE foods at the urging of a company producing mass amounts of GE seeds.

Monsanto and Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)

In the latter part of the 1920s, Monsanto was the largest producer of PCBs. This chemical was used in lubricant for electric motors, hydraulic fluids and to insulate electrical equipment.3 Old fluorescent light fixtures and electrical appliances with PCB capacitors may still contain the chemical.

During the years PCB was manufactured and used, there were no controls placed on disposal. Since PCBs don’t break down under many conditions, they are now widely distributed through the environment and have made the journey up the food chain.4

Between the inception and distribution of the product and its subsequent ban in the late 1970s, an estimated 1.5 billion pounds were distributed in products around the world.5

Monsanto was the primary manufacturer of PCBs in the U.S. under the trade name Aroclor. Health problems associated with exposure to the chemical were noted as early as 1933 when 23 of 24 workers at the production plant developed pustules, loss of energy and appetite, loss of libido and other skin disturbances.6

According to Monsanto’s public timeline, it was in 1966 that “Monsanto and others began to study PCB persistence in the environment.”7 However, seven years earlier, Monsanto’s assistant director of their Medical Department wrote:

“… [S]ufficient exposure, whether by inhalation of vapors or skin contact, can result in chloracne which I think we must assume could be an indication of a more systemic injury if the exposure were allowed to continue.”8

In 1967, Shell Oil called to inform Monsanto of press reports from Sweden, noting that PCBs were accumulating in mammals further up the food chain. Shell asked for PCB samples to perform their own analytical studies.9

With full knowledge of the devastation expected to the environment and humanity, it wasn’t until 11 years later, in 1977, that Monsanto reportedly pulled production on PCB.10

PCBs Are Probable Human Carcinogens

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Toxicology Program, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIEHS) have identified PCBs as either probable, potential or reasonably likely to cause cancer in humans.11

If it seems like these agencies are couching their words, they are. Human studies have noted increased rates of liver cancer, gall bladder cancer, melanomas, gastrointestinal cancer, biliary tract cancer, brain cancer and breast cancer when individuals had higher levels of PCB chemicals in their blood and tissue.12

However, the EPA limits the ability of researchers to link a chemical as a carcinogen unless there is conclusive proof. While this proof is evident in animal studies, you can’t feed these chemicals to humans and record the results. Thus PCBs are a “probable” carcinogen in humans. Other health effects from PCBs include:

  • Babies born with neurological and motor control delays including lower IQ, poor short-term memory and poor performance on standardized behavioral assessment tests
  • Disrupted sex hormones including shortened menstrual cycles, reduced sperm count and premature puberty
  • Imbalanced thyroid hormone affecting growth, intellectual and behavioral development
  • Immune effects, including children with more ear infections and chickenpox

Once PCBs are absorbed in the body they deposit in the fat tissue. They are not broken down or excreted. This means the number of PCBs build over time and move up the food chain. Smaller fish are eaten by larger ones and eventually land on your dinner table.

Chemical Poisoning Begins Before Birth

A recent study at the University of California demonstrated that PCBs are found in the blood of pregnant women.13 Before birth, the umbilical cord delivers approximately 300 quarts of blood to your baby every day.

Not long ago, researchers believed the placenta would shield your developing baby from most pollutants and chemicals. Now we know it does not.

The umbilical cord is a lifeline between mother and child, sustaining life and propelling growth. However, in recent research cord blood contained between 200 and 280 different chemicals; 180 were known carcinogens and 217 were toxic to the baby’s developing nervous system.14

The deposits of chemicals in your body or the body of your developing baby are called your “body burden” of chemicals and pollution.

A steady stream of chemicals from the environment during a critical time of organ and system development has a significant impact on the health of your child, both in infancy and as the child grows to adulthood.

Tracey Woodruff, Ph.D., director of the University of California San Francisco Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment, was quoted in a press release, saying:

“It was surprising and concerning to find so many chemicals in pregnant women without fully knowing the implications for pregnancy. Several of these chemicals in pregnant women were at the same concentrations that have been associated with negative effects in children from other studies.

In addition, exposure to multiple chemicals that can increase the risk of the same adverse health outcome can have a greater impact than exposure to just one chemical.”

Butyl Benzyl Phthalate — Another Monsanto Product

Butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP), also manufactured by Monsanto, was recently implicated in cell fat storage.15 This specific phthalate was found in human fluids and had an effect on the accumulation of fat inside cells.

BBP is used in the manufacture of vinyl tile, as a plasticizer in PVC pipe, carpets, conveyer belts and weather stripping in your home and office.

Like other phthalates used in the production of plastics, BBP is not bound to the product and can be released into your environment. It may be absorbed by crops and move up the food chain.16 The biggest source of exposure is food.

Drive-through hamburgers and take-out pizzas may be increasing your intake of phthalates. The danger is not in the food itself but in the products used to handle it. The study analyzed data from nearly 9,000 individuals, finding the one-third who had eaten at a fast food restaurant had higher levels of two different phthalates.17

Potentially, BBP may adversely affect your reproductive function. However, at lower doses it also has an effect on your kidneys, liver and pancreas.18 Increased risks of respiratory disorders and multiple myelomas have also been reported in people who have exposure to products manufactured with BBP.19 An increasing waistline from BBP exposure may also reduce your fertility.

Low Sperm Count and Infertility Affecting Animals and Humans

A 26-year study of fertility in dogs, published recently, has distinct similarities to infertility rates in humans. In this study, researchers evaluated the ejaculate of nearly 2,000 dogs. Over the 26 year period, they found a drop in sperm motility of 2.4 percent per year.20

Additionally, both the semen and the testicles of castrated dogs contained by PCBs and phthalates, implicated in other studies to reduction in fertility. Phthalates have been implicated in both decreased sperm motility and quality of your sperm,21 affecting both fertility and the health of your children.22

Researchers used dogs in this study as they live in the same environment as their owners, and often eat some of the same food. This correlation between sperm function and concentration, and environment and food in dogs and humans is significant.

In those 26 years there was also a rise in cryptorchidism in male pups (a condition where the testicles don’t descend into the scrotum) born to stud dogs who experienced a decline in sperm quality and motility.23 Cryptorchidism and undescended testicles, occurs at a rate of 1 in 20 term male human infants and 1 in 3 pre-term babies.24

Problems with infertility are also affecting marine animals at the top of the food chain. In the western waters of the Atlantic, the last pod of Orcas are doomed to extinction. High levels of PCB have been found in the fat of over 1,000 dolphins and Orcas in the past 20 years. Now taking a toll on the animal’s fertility, this pod of Orcas has not reproduced in the 19 years it has been under study.25

Orcas were living in the North Sea until the 1960s. At that time PCB pollution peaked in the area and the Orca whales disappeared. The same happened in the Mediterranean Sea, where the whales flourished until the 1980s. This pod off the coast of the U.K. is the last living pod in that area.

Monsanto’s Argument in PCB Lawsuits

Although Monsanto denies culpability and knowledge of the danger behind the chemical PCB, you’ll discover internal documentation in this video that they did, in fact, know of the danger while manufacturing and distributing the product. Monsanto is currently embroiled in several lawsuits across eight cities and the argument is over who owns the rain. The cities are suing Monsanto in Federal Court, saying PCBs manufactured by Monsanto have polluted the San Francisco Bay.26

Monsanto attorney Robert Howard argues that because the city does not own the water rights, the city does not have the right to sue. And, because the PCBs have not damaged city property, such as corroding pipes, Howard claims it is a state problem. Scott Fiske, attorney for three cities, countered with the city’s regulatory interests in management of storm water as a fundamental function of the city.27

While Fiske claims he can prove Monsanto knew the product was hazardous as early as 1969, Howard maintains the company should not be liable for the use of the chemicals it produced.

In 2001, Monsanto attorneys in the Owens v. Monsanto case, acknowledged only one health threat from exposure to PCBs: chloracne, and instead argued that since the entire planet has been contaminated, they are innocent of all liability.28 The attorney for Monsanto was quoted in the Chemical Industry Archives, saying:

“The truth is that PCBs are everywhere. They are in meat, they are in everyone in the courtroom, they are everywhere and they have been for a long time, along with a host of other substances.” 29

The cities currently engaged in lawsuits against Monsanto for damage to the environment and waterways include Berkley, Oakland, San Jose, Portland, Spokane, Seattle, Long Beach and San Diego. All eight cities attempted to combine their cases against the agrochemical giant but were unsuccessful when one judge found the issues were different enough to warrant separate cases.30

Monsanto’s Deep Pockets

Monsanto petitioned the Federal Court to dismiss Portland’s lawsuit, claiming it would countersue, adding years to the process. It is likely Monsanto would increase the scope of the case and include companies who used the product and released the PCBs.31 Meanwhile, three plaintiffs in St. Louis received better news in May 2016 when a jury awarded them a total of $46.5 million, finding Monsanto negligent in the production of PCBs.32

This suit claimed Monsanto sold PCBs even after it learned about the dangers, bringing to court internal documents dated 1955, which stated: “We know Aroclors [PCBs] are toxic but the actual limit has not been precisely defined.”33 To date this win over Monsanto has been rare. Williams Kherkher, attorney for the plaintiffs, explained in EcoWatch:34

“The only reason why this victory is rare is because no one has had the money to fight Monsanto.”

Kherkher and other firms pooled their resources in this case and expect wins in upcoming lawsuits. The firm has accumulated the names of approximately 1,000 plaintiffs with claims against Monsanto and PCBs.

Find Out the Glyphosate Levels in Your Body

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, and is the most widely used weed-killing chemical on farms, lawns, schoolyards and other public spaces. It’s also extensively applied to many crops before harvest. The World Health Organization (WHO) performed its own independent analysis in March 2015, and determined glyphosate is a probable carcinogen.

The Health Research Institute (HRI) in Iowa has developed a glyphosate test kit that will allow you to learn your personal glyphosate levels. I’ve recently gained access to a limited number of kits that I’m now able to offer on Mercola.com at cost, so no profit will be made on their sales. Ordering also allows you to participate in a worldwide study on environmental exposure to glyphosate.

WARNING: Aspartame Renamed – Now Being Marketed As A “Natural” Sweetener: Amino Sweet


Aspartame has been one of the most controversial food additives for years, with some even claiming it it one of the most dangerous ingredients used in our food supply

 



The official line is that the additive is safe, and regulatory bodies often do their best to ignore the negative results that have come from certain studies.

Aspartame has been linked to numerous health problems, from seizures all the way up to fatal cardiovascular attacks in women. More recently, studies have shown positive links to diabetes , and also increases the risk for heart, kidney, and brain damage

This concern over aspartame in not just a recent problem, way back in 1967, Dr. Harold Waisman, a biochemist at the University of Wisconsin, on behalf of the Searle Company, conducted an experiment regarding the effect of aspartame on baby monkeys. Seven monkeys were fed aspartame mixed with milk, the results? one monkey died and five of the others suffered grand mal seizures. 

Despite the public controversy surround aspartame, and the length of time we have known about the dangers of it, it is somewhat shocking that it is still found in many of the most popular food items consumed today.  “Diet” beverages, chewing gum, breakfast cereals, all contain this artificial sweetener, which is regarded as an excitotoxin.
In a crafty marketing move, aspartame can now be labelled under the name aminosweet in an effort to fool consumers into thinking the product they are buying is aspartame free. Do not be fooled.
 
Marketed under the brand names Nutrasweet or Equal, aspartame is used as an artificial sweetener in many ‘diet’ versions of foods. In the 1980s the CEO of Searle, Donald Rumsfeld, campaigned for it’s approval to be allowed in foods, and now with the blessing of the FDA how many millions more people will be duped into consuming this harmful chemical?
Aspartame is created by using genetically modified bacteria in the USA. In the European Union, it is codified as food additive E951.

Aspartame turns into formaldehyde and methanol in the body


Did you know that Aspartame literally turns into formaldehyde and methanol inside your body?

It breaks down into, according to one paper, “phenylalanine (50%), aspartic acid (40%) and methanol (10%) during metabolism in the body. The excess of phenylalanine blocks the transport of important amino acids to the brain contributing to reduced levels of dopamine and serotonin.”

Well put by another paper,  “Aspartame is a widely used artificial sweetener that has been linked to pediatric and adolescent migraines. Upon ingestion, aspartame is broken, converted, and oxidized into formaldehyde in various tissues.”

Rumsfeld pressured FDA into legalizing aspartame

This video explains what Aspartame really does, and how two time Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld almost single-handedly pressured the FDA into legalizing it for the pharmaceutical corporation Searle.

For more info on Searle and Donald Rumsfeld, see this recent Era of Wisdom article/video.

 A quick note from our founder-

Over the past year, my friend Dave at PaleoHacks has been working on a secret cookbook with world-renowned Le Cordon Bleu chef Peter Servold.

Well, today this new this new incredible Paleo Cookbook is finally available to be shipped right to your door for FREE

That’s right — as a special launch promotion, we’re offering our brand new Paleo fat loss cookbook to you for free (Chef Pete lost 60 lbs using these recipes!) — All you have to do is just cover a small shipping cost (international shipping is a bit more).

Diet Soda’s Worst Fear Coming True: Massive Study links Aspartame to Major Problems.


As concerns about health epidemics plague the nation, demand and sales of diet soda have plunged as consumers try to make better choices. As we reported, aspartame (the main sweetener for diet soda) is one of the most dangerous ingredients used in our food supply, causing seizures and a host of other health issues.

In a new study done over ten years and sampling 60,000 women, it was shown that women who drink two or more diet drinks a day have much higher cardiovascular disease rates and are more likely to die from the disease.

30 percent more likely to have a heart problems…

Compared to women who never or only rarely consume diet drinks, those who consume two or more a day are 30 percent more likely to have a cardiovascular event [heart attack or stroke] and 50 percent more likely to die from related disease.

This is one of the largest studies on this topic, and our findings are consistent with some previous data, especially those linking diet drinks to the metabolic syndrome, says Dr. Ankur Vyas, the lead investigator of the study.

The association persisted even after researchers adjusted the data to account for demographic characteristics and other cardiovascular risk factors, including body mass index, smoking, hormone therapy use, physical activity, energy intake, salt intake, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and sugar-sweetened beverage intake.

On average, women who consumed two or more diet drinks a day were younger, more likely to be smokers, and had a higher prevalence of diabetes, high blood pressure, and higher body mass index.

Soda sales slipping…

Thankfully this study comes on the heels of reports of already slipping sales of diet soda, one of the largest aspartame markets.

According to Time Magazine:

One reason for the decline could be a growing awareness of the obesity epidemic in the US and growing health concerns surrounding sugar-sweetened beverages. According to Reuters, industry experts say the beverage industry is shrinking under the scrutiny. Even diet-branded drinks have suffered a loss of sales with concerns over artificial sweeteners.Whatever the reason for the decline, this new study should only add fuel to the movement away from artificial sweeteners. There are plenty of natural sweeteners that people can choose that are much healthier than aspartame. Click here for a practical guide to natural sweeteners.

Another important note is that the overall sales of soda going down also means that less people are being exposed to (mostly GM) high fructose corn syrup which carries a whole host of health risks as well.