An increasing number of outbreaks of food-borne illness have given many the impression that the U.S. food supply is spiraling out of control. And in fact, it could be a lot safer — there are real reasons to worry.
A centralized food system can allow a single batch of contaminated food to hurt people across the country. A single jalape
CT scans deliver far more radiation than has been believed, and may contribute to 29,000 new cancers each year, along with 14,500 deaths.
One study found that people may be exposed to up to four times as much radiation as estimated by earlier studies. While previous studies relied on dummies equipped with sensors, authors of the new paper studied more than 1,000 patients at four hospitals.
Based on their measurements, a patient could get as much radiation from one CT scan as 74 mammograms or 442 chest X-rays.
Young people are at highest risk from excess radiation, partly because they have many years ahead of them in which cancers could develop. Among 20-year-old women who get one coronary angiogram, a CT scan of the heart, one in 150 will develop cancer related to the procedure.
Dr. Mercola’s Comments:
I’ve been warning about the extreme dangers of CT scans for nearly a decade now.
It’s incredible to me that even with long-standing, irrefutable proof of the connection between CT scans and a high incidence of cancer, so many of these tests are still being ordered on unsuspecting patients. Estimates are that only seven percent of patients are informed of the risks of their CT scans.
This is another example of why you must be your own advocate when you visit your doctor or other health care provider.
Arm yourself with information about the risks that accompany medical tests, treatments and prescription drugs. Become a smart consumer of your health care options, rather than an unfortunate victim of dangerous and unnecessary procedures and medications.
Why So Many Scans?
The number of CT scans doubled between 1997 and 2006, according to a study by the University of California, San Francisco.
Even more startling: According to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), in 1980, three million CT scans were performed in the U.S. By 2006, the number had exceeded 62 million, including four million on children.
One reason for the increase is many doctors have purchased their own imaging equipment for their practices. This adds a financial incentive into the mix and sets the stage for overuse of the technology.
Another reason for the increase is a trend toward commercially advertised full-body CT scans to “find everything wrong with you.” Consumers with extra cash laying around (in excess of $1,000 in most cases) are being encouraged to undergo a full-body scan as a preventive measure.
Three Million Excess Cancers!!
The truth is these scans are performed by commercial enterprises, and the quality of the tests is so poor as to render the results virtually useless.
This would be less troubling if the CT scan was a harmless imaging technique. But with radiation levels 100 times what you receive from a conventional chest x-ray, this is not a test to undergo for screening purposes or “just because.”
There are circumstances in which a CT scan is truly your best option due to your condition, but whenever possible, another less dangerous scanning technology, like an MRI which
1. Canned Tomatoes
The expert: Fredrick vom Saal, PhD, an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri who studies bisphenol-A
The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Acidity — a prominent characteristic of tomatoes — causes BPA to leach into your food.
2. Corn-Fed Beef
The expert: Joel Salatin, co-owner of Polyface Farms and author of books on sustainable farming
Cattle were designed to eat grass, not grains. But farmers today feed their animals corn and soybeans, which fatten up the animals faster for slaughter. A recent comprehensive study found that compared with corn-fed beef, grass-fed beef is higher in beta-carotene, vitamin E, omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
3. Microwave Popcorn
The expert: Olga Naidenko, PhD, a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group
Chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in the lining of the bag, are part of a class of compounds that may be linked to infertility in humans. In animal testing, the chemicals cause liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancer. Studies show that microwaving causes the chemicals to vaporize — and migrate into your popcorn.
4. Nonorganic Potatoes
The expert: Jeffrey Moyer, chair of the National Organic Standards Board
Root vegetables absorb herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides that wind up in soil. In the case of potatoes they’re treated with fungicides during the growing season, then sprayed with herbicides to kill off the fibrous vines before harvesting. After they’re dug up, the potatoes are treated yet again to prevent them from sprouting.
5. Farmed Salmon
The expert: David Carpenter, MD, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany
Nature didn’t intend for salmon to be crammed into pens and fed soy, poultry litter, and hydrolyzed chicken feathers. As a result, farmed salmon is lower in vitamin D and higher in contaminants, including carcinogens, PCBs, brominated flame retardants, and pesticides such as dioxin and DDT.
6. Milk Produced with Artificial Hormones
The expert: Rick North, project director of the Campaign for Safe Food at the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility
Milk producers treat their dairy cattle with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST, as it is also known) to boost milk production. But rBGH also increases udder infections and even pus in the milk. It also leads to higher levels of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor in milk. In people, high levels of IGF-1 may contribute to breast, prostate, and colon cancers.
7. Conventional Apples
The expert: Mark Kastel, codirector of the Cornucopia Institute
If fall fruits held a “most doused in pesticides contest,” apples would win. And increasing numbers of studies are starting to link a higher body burden of pesticides with Parkinson’s disease.Sources:
Dr. Mercola’s Comments:
This is one of the best “foods to avoid” lists I’ve seen come out of the mainstream media. It is very rare when this happens, but I agree with every food on this list.
The reality is that most food nowadays is far from pure. Pesticide residues have been detected in 50 percent to 95 percent of all commercially grown U.S. foods, and that is only one type of toxin.
Babies are actually born toxic due to the toxic load of their mothers, some of which comes from dietary contaminants and food additives. One study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that blood samples from newborns contained an average of 287 toxins, including mercury, fire retardants, pesticides, and Teflon chemicals!
The list above is a great starting point to cleaning up your diet, but focusing on organically grown, biodynamic whole foods is really the key to success here.
I want to expand on some of the toxic foods mentioned above, as well as add a few more to the list, so you can significantly reduce your exposure to toxins in the foods you eat.
Why Fresh is Better Than Canned
Many leading brands of canned foods contain BPA — a toxic chemical linked to reproductive abnormalities, neurological effects, heightened risk of breast and prostate cancers, diabetes, heart disease and other serious health problems.
According to Consumer Reports’ testing, just a couple of servings of canned food can exceed the safety limits for daily BPA exposure for children.
The current US federal guidelines put the daily upper limit of “safe” exposure at 50 micrograms of BPA per kilogram of body weight. You should know, however, that even low-level exposure to BPA can be hazardous to your health, and Consumer Reports’ testing found that eating popular canned foods may expose you to excessive amounts of BPA:
- Del Monte Fresh Cut Green Beans had BPA levels ranging from 35.9 ppb to as much as 191 ppb
- Progresso Vegetable Soup had BPA levels ranging from 67 to 134 ppb
- Campbell’s Condensed Chicken Noodle Soup had BPA levels ranging from 54.5 to 102 ppb
So, ideally avoid canned foods entirely and stick to fresh fruits and vegetables, or switch over to brands that use glass containers instead.
Grass-Fed is the Healthy Choice for Beef
Grass-fed beef is vastly superior to grain-fed beef, and in fact it’s the clear beef of choice you should be eating. It is far more important to choose grass-fed than to choose organic, as most grass-fed beef are also organic
Not only is it raised in a more sustainable way for the environment and a more humane way for the animal, but it’s the superior choice for your health.
Grass-fed beef, for instance, is lower in fat than regular beef and, more importantly, contains higher amounts of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid. Grass-fed animals have from three to five times more CLA than grain-fed animals.
CLA has been making headlines for its extreme health benefits, which include:
- Fighting cancer and diabetes
- Helping you lose weight
- Increasing your metabolic rate, a positive benefit for promoting normal thyroid function
- Helping you maintain normal cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- Enhancing your immune system
Keep in mind that grass-fed meat is almost always preferable to certified organic meat also because most organic beef is fed organic corn, which is what causes the myriad of health problems associated with eating beef. If you can find organic, grass-fed meat, that would be ideal.
What You Need to Know About Milk
I strongly recommend you avoid milk that has the added growth hormone rBGH.
Samuel Epstein, MD, a scientist at the University of Illinois School of Public Health, is one of the top experts on cancer prevention, and he has been speaking out against rBGH in milk, the so-called “crack for cows,” for years.
For starters, Dr. Epstein points out that rBGH milk is “supercharged with high levels of a natural growth factor (IGF-1), excess levels of which have been incriminated as major causes of breast, colon, and prostate cancers.”
But that’s not all.
“This milk is qualitatively and quantitatively different from natural milk,” states Dr. Epstein. “In addition to the issue of increased IGF-1 levels, these differences include:
- Contamination of milk by the GM hormone rBGH
- Contamination by pus and antibiotics resulting from the high incidence of mastitis in rBGH-injected cows
- Contamination with illegal antibiotics and drugs used to treat mastitis and other rBGH-induced disease
- Increased concentration of the thyroid hormone enzyme thyroxin-5′-monodeiodinase
- Increased concentration of long-chain and decreased concentration of short-chain fatty acids
- A reduction in levels of the milk protein casein.”
You very well may be drinking rBGH milk and not know it, as no labels are required. This is despite the fact that nearly every American wants it labeled, but the government, as usual, bowed to industry lobbyists and, amazingly, does not require this on the label.
However, as increasing numbers of people and dairies choose to avoid rBGH, you can find labels that say “rBGH-free” or a similar variation. Organic milk is also rBGH-free.
This is certainly preferable to milk that contains this dangerous hormone . but I still don’t recommend drinking any milk, organic or otherwise, that is pasteurized.
You can avoid both the risks of rBGH and pasteurization by only drinking raw milk that comes from a small farmer you know and trust. This is the only way to drink milk if you’re interested in protecting your health.
The Most Important Foods to Buy Organic
Most fruits and vegetables contain unacceptable and unsafe levels of pesticides, so it’s a wise choice to buy organic produce as often as you can.
However, if you need to pick and choose which foods to buy organic, the most important foods to buy organic are animal products — not produce. This is because animal foods, which are raised on pesticide-laced feed, tend to have higher concentrations of pesticides.
Non-organic meats have up to five times more pesticides than non-organic vegetables.
Non-organic butter can have up to 20 times as many pesticides as non-organic vegetables.
So when prioritizing your purchases, look for organic meats, eggs and dairy products before anything else.
There is one exception to this rule, and that is you may be better off choosing fresh local foods over organic foods. Often, locally grown foods are raised according to organic standards at a more affordable price.
Is Farmed Salmon the Only Seafood to Avoid?
Farmed salmon is among the worst seafood choices out there, as numerous studies show the salmon contain toxins and cancer-causing pollutants. Farmed salmon typically have at least 10 times more cancer-causing persistent organic pollutants than their wild counterparts.
That said, I do not agree that farmed salmon is the only fish you need to stay away from.
A recent study from the U.S. Geological Survey detected mercury in every fish sampled from nearly 300 U.S. streams. Among them, 27 percent contained mercury at levels that equaled or exceeded the U.S. EPA’s criterion for the protection of human health, and more than two-thirds exceeded mercury safety levels for fish-eating mammals like mink and otters.
Therefore, I do not recommend eating any fish — whether farm-raised or from an ocean, lake, river or stream — unless you have lab results in your hand that can attest to its purity.
There are still some safe areas out there, such as in certain pristine waters in Alaska, but it will take some searching on your end to seek them out. The ONLY safe fish I have discovered so far is Vital Choice wild red salmon, which remains the only source of fish I’ll eat.
Eating smaller fish, like anchovies and sardines, is also an option, as their small size makes them far less likely to be contaminated.
An important point to remember if you’re not eating fish is that your body still has a requirement for omega-3 fats. Fortunately, you can easily meet your omega-3 needs by taking a high-quality krill oil supplement, instead of risking your health by eating contaminated fish.
Another Food to Avoid: Unfermented Soy
This one did not make the above list, but it’s one I would definitely add.
Any soy that is unfermented — soy milk, tofu, soybean oil, soy burgers, and all the other processed soy products out there all belong to this category — is not a health food and in fact is not a food I would advise eating at all. This is true whether it is “organic” or not.
Soy infant formula is also on this list and is one of the absolute worst foods you can give your baby.
Unfermented soy products have been linked to everything from reproductive disorders and infertility to cancer and heart disease.
Further, unfermented soy contains isoflavones that are clearly associated with reduced thyroid function. Eating unfermented soy products is likely the single largest cause of hypothyroidism in women.
Another major problem with unfermented soy is that it contains natural toxins known as “antinutrients.” This includes a large quantity of inhibitors that deter your enzymes needed for protein digestion.
While a small amount of these antinutrients would likely not be a problem, the amount of soy that many Americans are now eating (and drinking in the form of soy milk) is quite significant.
The result of consuming too many of soy’s antinutrients is extensive gastric distress and chronic deficiencies in amino acid uptake, which can result in pancreatic impairment and cancer.
For more details on soy foods, including the fermented varieties that can actually be healthy, please read Why This Type of Soy is Better.
Guidelines for Healthy Food
Whatever food you’re looking to eat, whether imported organic or locally grown, from either your local supermarket or a farmer’s market, here are the signs of a high-quality, healthy food:
- It’s grown without pesticides and chemical fertilizers (organic foods fit this description, but so do some non-organic foods)
- It’s not genetically modified
- It contains no added growth hormones, antibiotics, or other drugs
- It does not contain artificial anything, nor any preservatives
- It is fresh (if you have to choose between wilted organic produce or fresh conventional produce, the latter may be the better option)
- It did not come from a factory farm
- It is grown with the laws of nature in mind (meaning animals are fed their native diets, not a mix of grains and animal byproducts, and have free-range access to the outdoors)
- It is grown in a sustainable way (using minimal amounts of water, protecting the soil from burnout, and turning animal wastes into natural fertilizers instead of environmental pollutants)
If the food meets these criteria, it is likely a good choice. Most often, the best place to find these foods is from a sustainable agricultural group in your area. You can also review my free nutrition plan to get started on a healthy eating program today.
Department of Health officials in Hawaii were overruled by County of Hawaii directors supporting a resolution favoring First Amendment constitutional rights and vaccination exemptions for everyone demanding them.
The nearly unanimous vote demonstrated the power of local community activists to rebuke “top down” policies advancing “mandatory” vaccinations during declared emergencies.
The Resolution urges State and Federal legislators in Hawaii “to amend vaccine laws to include medical, religious, and philosophical exemptions from any vaccine program,” including those declared urgent by health officials.Sources:
Dr. Mercola’s Comments:
This county resolution has yet to play out in Hawaii’s state politics, but, it is a good, solid example of what local municipalities can do to assert their sovereign authority over the territory they are elected to represent.
It shows that, finally, we have some local government officials who not only are listening to their constituents, but who realize that they can, and should, stand up against over-reaching, martial law-type State and Federal mandates.
‘A Victory for Health Freedom’
The Hawaii Tribune Herald tried to bury the news of the Resolution in its December 4 story titled, “Flu Mist Is Better than No Vaccine.” But online blogs and news watchers picked it up. Across the Internet, the resolution’s sponsor, Hawaii County councilwoman Emily Naeole-Beason, has been quoted as saying,
“This is a victory for health freedom, common sense, and US constitutional entitlements. I am very proud of our Council who put public safety ahead of special interests.“
I couldn’t agree more, and we need more representatives like Naeole-Beason in public office. This feisty councilwoman from Hawaii has turned the tables on the FDA, CDC and the World Health Organization, as well as state and federal governments, by using their own argument for mass vaccination against them, and making it a defense for the public’s constitutional right to choose!
For too long, with no matter what vaccine was being questioned, government health officials around the world have defended mass vaccination with the mantra that they’re doing it in the interest of public safety.
In the US and abroad, anyone who dared to question, criticize or protest this mantra and the state-mandated vaccines it promoted was labeled as selfish, and accused of putting special interests ahead of the public good. No matter that some people just wanted the right to be as informed as possible about vaccines’ safety and risks – if they questioned the powers-that-be, they were against public safety.
Naeole-Beason, backed by her council, has dared to challenge the status quo and publicly say what many of us have been saying for years – that it’s really the government officials who are putting special interests ahead of public safety, not the other way around.
Some Lively Debates Going On
Even if it didn’t hit most of the mainstream press, this Resolution can be used to encourage states to exercise their own sovereignty over Federal and world health agendas, which can mandate vaccinations for every citizen under the guise of a “national emergency.”
The online debates on this Resolution are lively. This should serve as “a warning to health officials seeking mandatory vaccination authorizations under Federal ‘national emergency’ codes that expand state health official powers under the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act,'” theflucase.com said.
“The Resolution was prepared by Councilwoman Naeole’s office. Her staff managed to make all the right phone calls, do all the right research, produce a resolution with all the right content and hit the issue facing American’s straight on the nail, Freedom to choose what they want to do!” write-matters.com said.
Freedom to choose! There you go again – that radical idea that in the US, we should be able to exercise a constitutional right!
Others are Asserting Their Right to Choose
The Hawaii Resolution is printed in full here at bigislandchronicle.com. What I find very interesting is that the Resolution is not just about the H1N1 vaccine, which prompted it, but is about ALL vaccines.
It quotes the Hawaii statute which, like the other US states’, shields the pharmaceutical industry from lawsuits stemming from injuries of vaccines given during a state-declared emergency, but then it goes on to say:
“WHEREAS, there is insufficient scientific evidence proving that vaccines are safe or effective, therefore it is not in the best interest of public health to impose mandatory vaccinations without exemptions; and
WHEREAS, swine flu and the flu vaccines both contain Thimerosal, a preservative for vaccines composed of mercury, one microgram of mercury is considered toxic and flu shots contain 25 micrograms. By age two, most United States children have received around 237 micrograms of mercury through vaccines; and
WHEREAS, the fast tracked government vaccines contain a substance called squalene that is suspected of causing serious long-term damage to the body; and
WHEREAS, in the wake of potential harm to the individual and the public from vaccinations, and the vacillating interpretation of “vaccine science,” it is in the public’s best interest to amend the vaccine laws, to include the right of medical, religious, and philosophical exemptions from mandated vaccination programs; now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED BY the COUNCIL OF THE COUNTY OF Hawai’i, that it recommends that state and federal elected officials who represent the people of the State of Hawai’i amend vaccine laws to include medical, religious, and philosophical exemptions from mandatory vaccine programs that contain thimerasol or squalene.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that any vaccine known to contain harmful viruses or any materials known to prompt autoimmune diseases or cancer risks shall provide cause for exemption for any person in the State of Hawai’i who so desires such exemption.”
What a powerful, in-your-face proclamation this is to all the officials who want to overrule the rights of individuals and communities to govern themselves!
The good thing about this is that the community activists in Hawaii are not alone. Slowly but surely, across the US, people who are sick and tired of being told that they have to accept mandated vaccines for themselves and their children are standing up for their rights.
For example, in Idaho, public citizens are demanding that the governor grant them the right to exemptions from mandated vaccinations.
In Washington state16,000 registered nurses filed a federal lawsuit to stop MultiCare Health System from implementing a mandatory flu vaccination policy for them. This action “blatantly ignores their legal obligation to bargain with the union,” was the comment that Barbara Frye, the nurses’ association’s assistant executive director said, in explaining why the lawsuit was filed.
In New York state, a judge halted enforcement of a law that mandated health care workers there be vaccinated against H1N1 – even in the face of the state health commissioner who, like his colleagues, repeated the public safety mantra.
And in New Jersey – home to vaccine giant Merck – parents staged rallies against a state mandate requiring all children be vaccinated against H1N1.
These are just a few examples of vaccine community action movements that have begun across the country. I can’t tell you how pleased I am to see that people are finally starting to see the bigger picture, and in ever increasing numbers are starting to demand more information. People are finally asking to be fully informed, and are demanding the right to be able to make a choice with that information.
What You Can Do
I urge you to continue educating yourself about vaccines, and the diseases they’re designed to treat. The National Vaccine Information Center is one of the best online sources for your continued research on this topic. Remember these two axioms as the foundation of everything you do:
Nobody, anywhere or any time and under any circumstances has the right or power in this country to immunize you or your children against your will and conviction. If they attempt to do so, you can legally charge them with “assault with a deadly weapon” and have the full resources of our laws behind you.
At all times in attempting to avoid unwanted immunization, you have the Law of the Land behind you. Those who would try to vaccinate you against your will are on very shaky ground. Into every compulsory immunization law in America are written legal exceptions and waivers which are there specifically to protect you from the attempted tyranny of officialdom. It is not only your right, but your obligation to use them, if this is what your conscience tells you.
For more information about how to legally avoid unwanted immunizations of all kinds, please review my previous article How to Legally Avoid Unwanted Immunizations of All Kinds.
Related Articles:Dr. Mercola’s Favorite Vaccine Links Page
I hope you will enjoy these stunning photos as much as I did. And be sure to keep scrolling to the end of the list. There you’ll see remarkable pictures of bats enjoying an evening drink at their favorite watering hole that are so detailed you can even see them slurping from the pool with their little pink tongues. The amazing shots were taken after months of painstaking planning by wildlife photographer Kim Taylor.
Taylor rigged ropes across the pond, which encouraged the bats to drink from a certain point. Then, using special sensors he designed himself, he managed to get the perfect shots.