raw milk sale banOn May 16th, Representative Ron Paul asked,

"If we are not even free anymore to decide something as basic as what we wish to eat or drink, how much freedom do we really have left?"

Paul was talking about the FDA ban on the interstate sale of raw milk for human consumption ? milk that has not been pasteurized. The ban began in 1987, but the FDA didn't really begin enforcing it seriously until 2006 -- when the government began sting operations and armed raids of dairy farmers and their willing customers.

The New American reports:

"Even if the FDA were correct in its assertions about the dangers of raw milk, its prohibition on interstate raw milk sales would still be, as Paul termed it, 'an unconstitutional misapplication of the commerce clause for legislative ends' ...

Saying he is 'outraged' by the FDA's raids on peaceful dairy farmers and their customers, Paul has introduced legislation ... 'to allow the shipment and distribution of unpasteurized milk and milk products for human consumption across state lines,' in effect reversing the FDA's unconstitutional ban on such sales."

The "Food Safety Modernization Act" that was enacted earlier this year gives the FDA almost unlimited authority to decide if food is harmful, even without credible evidence. But farmers who have been persecuted by the FDA for selling raw milk, like Amish Farmer Dan Allgyer, are not backing down. Allgyer's case is going to court.

Citizens are irate that the FDA allows damaging junk food, but prevents people from making an educated, informed food choice in purchasing raw grass-fed milk.

According to the Washington Times, Attorney Jonathan Emord, who has defeated the FDA in court eight times, is focusing on the deeper issues that this case stems from. Emord says:

"We would not be here today were it not for the fact that over the past seventy-five years, the Congress of the United States has delegated away to some 230 independent regulatory commissions the power to make law, the power to execute the law, and the power to judge law violation. That delegation of governing power from Congress to the unelected heads of the regulatory agencies violates the Constitution, which vests exclusively in Congress the obligation to make law".



Sources:

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

The war on raw milk, which is really an unconstitutional assault on one of your most basic rights, i.e. your right to choose what you want to eat and drink, is now in full swing and will likely intensify in the days ahead.

Amish Farmer Raided at Gun Point

Dan Allgyer, an Amish farmer, was recently caught in an FDA sting operation, after the agency planted a spy in local buying club he supplies, "Grassfed On The Hill", back in October of 2009 to gather evidence against him. His farm was raided at gun point, and eventually the Department of Justice, at the behest of FDA, filed suit in Federal District Court to obtain an injunction prohibiting Allgyer from transporting and selling raw milk across state lines.

This isn't the first time the FDA has spent US tax dollars to violently clamp down on "illegal interstate commerce," by raw milk farmers, all under the guise of doing their job and protecting the public's health?

Any level-headed person would argue that this is a poorly shrouded sham, seeing how the FDA has continuously allowed known toxins into the food supply, and those who willingly choose to harm their health are free to do so by consuming too much sugar, artificial non-food-based items, alcohol, and toxic cigarettes.

Logic notwithstanding, food safety chief and former Monsanto lawyer Michael Taylor recently defended the FDA's spying and gun-toting tactics against raw milk producers, stating that they're simply doing their job, calling the campaign "a public health duty" based on "statutory directive." And it may actually get worse than it already is, if we don't stop it. A recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle explains:

"The FDA is in the midst of writing the critical regulations that will implement the Food Safety Modernization Act Congress passed last year with applause all around from the Obama administration, Democrats and Republicans despite ferocious opposition from small-farm advocates. The sweeping new law gives the agency extraordinary powers to detain foods on farms. It also denies farmers recourse to federal courts.

On July 3, the agency will issue its new rule to detain any food it believes is unsafe, or, more critically, "mislabeled." In Allgyer's case, the entire FDA case rests on a technical violation of a ban on interstate commerce in raw milk and alleged mislabeling.

Before the new law, the FDA could only impound food when it had credible evidence the food was contaminated or posed a public health hazard. The detention powers are part of what Taylor described as a new agency focus on preventing food poisoning outbreaks rather than responding to them after the fact. Taylor described the new law as giving the agency "farm to table" control over food safety."

Taylor also stated that he will seek a "high rate of compliance" with the new rules. Compliance will be made all the more "effective" once the FDA gets its new and improved tool kit of enforcement, which will include:

  • Access to farm records
  • Mandatory recall authority
  • New administrative enforcement actions
  • Ability to revoke a farm's mandatory registration (which will be a new requirement under the law)

Support Bill to Legalize Your Right to Choose!

Allgyer taking on the FDA in court is a classic case of David vs. Goliath. At stake is the issue of consumer choice and food freedom ? something most people would agree is an absolute, basic, and unalienable right.

The case has even brought the ire and attention of Congressman Ron Paul (TX), who in response introduced House Bill HR 1830: To authorize the interstate traffic of unpasteurized milk and milk products that are packaged for direct human consumption.

The incident is just one in a long string of raids on small farms, indicating that the FDA is quite serious about its attempt to eliminate food freedom for all Americans. And as feared, the "Food Safety Modernization Act," which was enacted earlier this year, gives the FDA the jurisdiction and near unlimited authority to single-handedly decide if a food is harmful, without having to produce credible evidence to support their case.

Ron Paul's bill would undo at least some of the damage, as it would make it legal for farmers to sell and distribute raw milk across state lines to those who wish to obtain it.

I cannot urge you strongly enough to support Ron Paul's bill, HR 1830, and inform everyone you know. This issue has nothing to do with whether or not you want to drink raw milk, and everything to do with whether or not you want the right to chose what you feed your family. If we allow the US government to remove our right to raw milk, who knows what's next?!

They could decide you don't have the right to obtain or eat fresh vegetables, or no right to buy or drink water.

Sound ludicrous? So is the idea that you do not have the right to drink raw milk, a natural food that has been consumed for thousands of years and has proven health benefits. Considering the fact that we've seen more and more outbreaks of the rare virulent forms of E.coli and other pathogens being traced back to fresh produce, I see no reason why the FDA might not decide to make fresh vegetables illegal. Ditto for water, as water shortages may eventually become a reality, prompting the need to dramatically curb water consumption, and what better means than by force of law backed up with firepower?

The Farm-to-Consumer Defense Fund has created a petition page for HR 1830 that also automatically faxes your message to your US Senators and House Representative. You can even choose to send your message to your nearest daily newspaper.

I urge you to take a moment to sign the petition right now!

How Did We Get to This Point?

During a recent peaceful demonstration in D.C. in support of Allgyer, attorney Jonathan Emord explained how we got to the point where we must now FIGHT for our right to ingest a healthful food.

"We would not be here today were it not for the fact that over the past 75 years, the Congress of the United States has delegated away to some 230 independent regulatory commissions the power to make law, the power to execute the law, and the power to judge law violation. That delegation of governing power from Congress to the unelected heads of the regulatory agencies violates the Constitution, which vests exclusively in Congress the obligation to make law.

Nine-tenths of all laws are no longer the product of our elected representatives; they are created by the unelected heads of the bureaucratic agencies. Those agency heads are unaccountable to the courts, the Congress, and the American people. One such agency that engages in this unconstitutional governance is the Food and Drug Administration. It is the action of that agency that we examine today, because it offends the very foundation of liberty of our Republic."

In short, we as Americans have failed to keep our eyes on the ball. We grew complacent; lulled into non-action and non-participation by the illusion that "Government is taking care of our needs."

Meanwhile, our rights to life, liberty and freedom have eroded away, and this is the end result: An agency of the government, paid for by your tax dollars and the drug industry, claims you have no inherent human right to eat any particular food. Yes. That's not a misinterpretation. They now declared that this is exactly their position, and it's written in black and white?

FDA Claims to have God-Like Authority Over Your Life

Attorneys for the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF, a not for profit organization founded to protect the right of farmers and consumers to engage in direct commerce) helped to draft the text of HR 1830. FTCLDF has also filed a lawsuit against the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on behalf of eight plaintiffs, challenging the legality of the FDA ban on interstate distribution of raw milk for human consumption.

FTCLDF president, Pete Kennedy, stressed that the FDA is making it clear that even individual consumers crossing state lines to purchase raw milk and bringing it back to their home state are violating the law. The ban is not just limited to farmers selling the milk.

On April 26, 2010, the FDA submitted its initial response to this lawsuit, in which the FTCLDF asserts the unconstitutionality of the ban on raw milk in interstate commerce. In its answer, the FDA clearly states its position on the "freedom of food choice" in general, and your right to obtain and consume raw milk in particular. Their answer reads in part:

  • "Plaintiffs' assertion of a new 'fundamental right' to produce, obtain, and consume unpasteurized milk lacks any support in law." [p. 4]
  • "It is within HHS's authority . . . to institute an intrastate ban [on unpasteurized milk] as well." [p. 6]
  • "Plaintiffs' assertion of a new 'fundamental right' under substantive due process to produce, obtain, and consume unpasteurized milk lacks any support in law." [p.17]
  • "There is no absolute right to consume or feed children any particular food." [p. 25]
  • "There is no 'deeply rooted' historical tradition of unfettered access to foods of all kinds." [p. 26]
  • "Plaintiffs' assertion of a 'fundamental right to their own bodily and physical health, which includes what foods they do and do not choose to consume for themselves and their families' is similarly unavailing because plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish." [p. 26]? "Even if such a right did exist, it would not render FDA's regulations unconstitutional because prohibiting the interstate sale and distribution of unpasteurized milk promotes bodily and physical health." [p. 27]
  • "There is no fundamental right to freedom of contract." [p. 27]

Essentially, while the fight currently revolves around your right to obtain and consume raw milk, the FDA claims to have the power to restrict your access to any kind of food it deems harmful, because you have no fundamental right to obtain and eat any particular food whatsoever!

The statements made by the FDA truly challenge the rational mind and rattle the core of any freedom-loving soul.

Aside from the fact that most people assume they have the right to ingest any food they see fit, United States law has also given us the freedom to enter into private contracts as we choose. In the case of raw milk, increasing numbers of people have elected to obtain their milk through contractual arrangements such as buyers club agreements and herdshare contracts. Here, the FDA claims that there is no fundamental right to freedom of contract in the United States!

As the FTCLDF states on its website:

"As for the agency's contention that there is no fundamental right to obtain any food, including raw milk, here is what the 'substantive due process' clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides: no person shall "be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."

Obtaining the foods of your choice is so basic to life, liberty and property that it is inconceivable that the 'right of food choice' would not be protected under the Constitution?"

Kentucky Raw Milk Consumers Get a Rude Awakening

A recent blog post by Kimberly Hartke highlights the sense of shock felt when people suddenly realize that the government's over-reach now affects them personally. A food club based in Louisville, Kentucky recently got a visit from the county health inspector, who promptly issued a cease and desist order when he saw that raw milk was being sold. He also placed all the milk on the premises under quarantine.

The members of the club have leased cows from a Kentucky dairy farm and have ownership rights in the milk produced. To say they were shocked when they were told they could not pick up their personal property would be an understatement, but once the fear subsided, they turned angry, and then resolve set in.

Hartke quotes one of the club members, Dr. Joslin:

"We had heard about government actions against other farmers, but it didn't hit home until last Friday. My wife turned to me and said, 'we could lose our milk, and I am ready to fight this'."

She goes on to write:

"When asked how he felt about the health inspector's visit, he said, "I felt violated. This is my freedom, my choice. You don't have any right to tell me that I can't feed my family something that has been consumed all over the world for thousands of years. Pasteurization is something new, in fact, fresh milk may be more commonly consumed worldwide, than processed milk."

More than 90 percent of the club members responded to the threat by ignoring the quarantine and picking up their milk. But they also signed a document of their own. Affirming their legal right to enter into private contracts, their document included the following passages from the Kentucky Constitution:

Section 1: Rights of life, liberty, worship, pursuit of safety and happiness, free speech, acquiring and protecting property, peaceable assembly, redress of grievances, bearing arms. Section 10: The people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers and possessions, from unreasonable search and seizure; and no warrant shall issue to search any place, or seize any person or thing, without describing them as nearly as may be, nor without probable cause supported by oath or affirmation.

Section 19: No ex post facto law, nor any law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall be enacted. Section 26: To guard against transgression of the high powers which we have delegated, We Declare that everything in this Bill of Rights is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate; and all laws contrary thereto, or contrary to this Constitution, shall be void.

Hartke goes on to write:

"Dr. Joslin and his wife are typical of the consumers that choose local, fresh milk to feed their families. They are well educated, they did a tremendous amount of research before making the transition, and they had a compelling health reason (their children) to do so. They also are typical in the sense that they believe in the American ideals of personal liberty and right to private property, limited government.

"I do not hate our government or system of government," stresses Joslin, "Rather, I am a patriot, a flag waver, and I thank our veterans. But, my priority is to protect my family's liberty. I will not lie down."

Motives, Misconceptions, and Ignorance

"The ban on raw milk crossing state lines is an economic regulation disguised as a health regulation," Pete Kennedy points out. For those who cannot understand what this has to do with economics, you must understand that Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO's) simply cannot compete with grassfed raw milk farms, and therefore stand to lose a lot of money as raw milk becomes increasingly popular.

They cannot compete because in order for milk to be safely consumed raw, it should come from cows fed a forage based diet that includes pasture. CAFO-derived milk should not be consumed raw given the elevated risk of hazardous pathogens in the milk?an inevitable side effect of the environment in which these cows are raised.

The reason why they're trying to shut down raw milk farmers is because so many people consume raw milk and raw milk dairy products, and the numbers are growing every year. One 2008 survey conducted by the CDC found there were over nine million raw milk drinkers in the US, and today, the number of raw milk consumers is estimated to be in the neighborhood of 12-13 million. When you consider that each family can consume a few gallons of milk per week, it all starts adding up, and Big Dairy is losing business.

Additionally, Kennedy stated that raw milk can be a "gateway to small farm prosperity". Families who initially set foot on the farm to obtain raw milk typically end up purchasing other farm products such as produce, eggs, poultry and meat.

The CDC's study also highlights the error of the claim that raw milk poses a significant health risk. With that many millions of raw milk consumers, it's quite clear that grassfed raw milk is extremely safe, because there are so few foodborne illness outbreaks attributable to it.

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, while the FDA has the authority to declare foods safe or unsafe, they do not have experts in their employ with the intellectual aptitude to find the relevant research and data to help them understand the food. It's quite clear that the FDA still has no understanding whatsoever of the differences between the production of raw milk intended for pasteurization by a CAFO or other conventional dairy and the production of raw milk intended for direct human consumption by a small farm.

Conventional CAFO milk must be pasteurized in order to conform to the distribution process and elimination of the elevated risk of pathogens that are present because of the conditions in which the cows are kept. But milk from a healthy cow that is fed a balanced diet that includes pasture and has access to clean and comfortable shelter has a lower risk of a pathogen presence and has a different quality profile than that of CAFO milk.

FDA enforcement actions have not been limited to raw milk farmers. Recently the agency cost award-winning cheese makers Kelly and Anthony Estrella their business.

Without a shred of evidence that her hand-crafted cheeses had made anyone sick, the FDA was able to shut down the Estrella Family Creamery based on environmental and cheese sample test results that were positive for the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes (L. mono.). There are many subtypes of L. mono., most have not been found to cause illness in humans. Instead of determining whether the L. mono. found at the creamery was a virulent subtype?something the FDA had the capability to do?the FDA shut down the dairy through a seizure order without any further testing.

And so, the agency put out of business cheesemakers that had won numerous awards both in the US and internationally based on nothing more than a misconceived suspicion that her methods of cheese production and storage might be "unsanitary." Never mind the fact that high-quality raw cheeses MUST undergo certain fermentation processes and storage conditions in order to encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria and so on?

Cheese making is an art form that has been perfected over numerous generations, the products from which have been consumed and valued for their superior taste and nutrition for ages. The FDA has considered raising the aging requirement for raw cheese from sixty days to ninety days further limiting the amount and variety of raw cheeses in this country. Europe has no aging requirement.

But according to the FDA, you don't have the right to eat high-quality unpasteurized cheese?because they say so.

Farmageddon Premiere

Farmageddon: The Unseen War on American Family Farms is a documentary by Kristin Canty that will likely make the government's overreach an even hotter topic. It premiered on June 17 at the West End Theater in Washington D.C. For a full list of scheduled venues, please see the film's screening page.

The film's synopsis reads in part:

Farmageddon tells the story of small, family farms that were providing safe, healthy foods to their communities and were forced to stop, sometimes through violent action, by agents of misguided government bureaucracies, and seeks to figure out why.

? Instead of focusing on the source of food safety problems ? most often the industrial food chain ? policymakers and regulators implement and enforce solutions that target and often drive out of business small farms that have proven themselves more than capable of producing safe, healthy food, but buckle under the crushing weight of government regulations and excessive enforcement actions.

Farmageddon highlights the urgency of food freedom, encouraging farmers and consumers alike to take action to preserve individuals' rights to access food of their choice?"

I encourage you to view this film if you can. The DVD release is expected in the late fall or winter.

I also encourage you to consider making a donation to the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF). This 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization enables targeted farmers to keep their businesses open, whereas they would otherwise have no choice but to close down due to insurmountable legal and financial pressure. Your donations, although not tax deductible, will be used to support the litigation, legislative, and lobbying efforts of the FTCLDF.



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radiation in foodAn open letter from organic dairy farmers in Hawaii explains how to reduce radiation in milk and vegetables. The letter explains that boron can be used to capture radioactivity.

The letter states that boron is the only mineral capable of accepting and ionizing radiation that never changes the nucleus of living cells. The Hawaii farmers have begun feeding their cows and goats sodium borate at milking times, as well as adding it to kelp and water troughs.

According to Food Freedom, the letter states in part:

?Fortunately, red wine and coffee are significant sources of boron, as well as non-citrus fruits, red grapes, plums, pears, apples, avocados, legumes and nuts! Boron is known to be non-carcinogenic, non-mutagenic and has been used internally to protect the astronauts in space as they leave the earth?s protective magnetic field

... In these tenuous times it is all we can do to be honestly informed of the situation at hand and act accordingly. We are doing our best to protect our soil, animals and bodies from the elevated levels of radioactivity, and hope that you will also.?



Sources:

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Milk from grass-fed cows is often among the first foods to show radiation contamination. Even when no radiation can be detected with tainted grass, the milk of animals that graze upon it show alarmingly high levels within days. The New York Times reports that radioiodine-131 contaminated grass will re-concentrate in milk by a factor of 1,000.

Are There Harmful Levels of Radiation in Milk?

There are some reports buzzing around the Web that radiation levels in Hawaiian milk have been detected at levels 600-2,000 percent above U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) limits, but I have not been able to confirm these reports.

So far, it appears the latest round of EPA milk sampling, which was conducted in April 2011, found only very low radiation levels in Washington State milk -- levels 5,000 times below the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) intervention level. California milk samples obtained from an organic dairy by the University of California, Berkeley also found only very low levels of radiation, and a results summary noted that:

" ? one would have to consume at least 1,900 liters of milk to receive the same radiation dose as a cross-country airplane trip."

Now, here's where things get murky.

According to an article published on EurActiv.com, CRIIRAD, a French research body on radioactivity, published this paper stating risks associated with iodine-131 contamination in Europe are no longer "negligible." They reportedly have warned children and pregnant and breastfeeding women to avoid eating vegetables with large leaves and creamy cheese, as well as drinking fresh milk, due to radiation contamination risks.

And it was reported that:

"Data for the west coast of the United States, which received the Fukushima radioactive fallout 6-10 days before France, reveals that levels of radioactive iodine-131 concentration are 8-10 times higher there, the institute says."

Meanwhile, a letter posted by organic dairy farmers in Hawaii, posted on HawaiiHealthGuide.com, states milk from two large dairies has shown "elevated levels of radiation, from 400 to 2,400 times the recognized safe levels." As a result, the farmers are taking matters into their own hands and using a natural mineral, boron, to help reduce any related risks.

How Does Boron Fight Radiation?

Boron (sodium borate) is the mineral in the popular natural multipurpose cleaner Borax (Borax is about 11 percent boron). Some organic dairies in Hawaii are now adding this mineral to cow and goat feed and water, as well as applying it directly to pastures and neighboring pastures, because it acts as a non-toxic radiation absorber.

According to the farmers:

"Boron is the only mineral capable of accepting ionizing radiation that never changes the innards or the nucleus of the cell. Spoken simply, boron can take radiation and release it without upsetting its own very delicate balance.

Boron is used extensively in the nuclear industry. Sodium borate is regularly used for standby liquid control systems, in case of emergencies. It was used in Cheronbyl in 1986 mixed with sand to prevent further radiation leakage. It was also used in 1999 in Tokaimura, Japan, to absorb the massive amounts of radiation after an accident at a plant. Currently it is being dumped on fuel rods and in surrounding waters of the Fukushima plant.

Boron is widely recognized as extremely safe and can be used to capture radioactivity on our soils, gardens, orchards, etc. It also can be safely ingested by humans and animals. Boron will accept radiation and ionize it within our bodies, after which our bodies will safely excrement the boron and radioactivity."

Once radioactive components have contaminated farmland and crops, there is not much you can do about it. But using boron may be one simple way to actually help clean up some of this radioactive mess.

As an aside, though I do not believe the risks at this time have proven to be significant except to those in the general vicinity of Japan's damaged Fukushima plant, boron can also be taken in supplement form; you can read more about its uses as a supplement here. Boron is also found in varying levels in certain foods, such as coffee, avocadoes, nuts, red grapes, apples and pears.

Optimizing Your Levels of This Vitamin May Also Help Protect You from Radiation

If you're looking for strategies to help prevent damage caused by radioactive fallout from the recent nuclear disaster in Japan, researchers noted in the International Journal of Low Radiation that the most active molecular form of vitamin D -- D3 (also known as calcitriol) -- may offer protection against a variety of radiation-induced damages, including those caused by background radiation or a low-level nuclear incident, through the following mechanisms:

  • Cell cycle regulation and proliferation
  • Cellular differentiation and communication
  • Programmed Cell Death (PCD)
  • Anti-angiogenesis (a process that stops tumors from making new blood vessels, which means they stop growing)

The protective mechanisms are so strong that researchers suggested vitamin D3 should be considered among the prime (if not the primary) non-pharmacological agents to protect against sub-lethal low radiation damage and, particularly, radiation-induced cancer.

Researchers have found that daily intakes of vitamin D by adults in the range of 4,000-8,000 IU so your blood levels are in therapeutic range are needed to maintain blood levels of vitamin D metabolites in the range needed to reduce the risk of breast and colon cancers by about half. You can find out more about how to use vitamin D therapeutically to reduce radiation damage here.

Should You be Concerned About Radiation from Japan?

Discussing radioactive fallout can be frightening, especially if it is threatening to put your food supply at risk. But I want to stress that at this time it appears radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant is NOT a serious threat to your health unless you are close to the reactor.

It helps to put it into perspective by remembering that nearly everything in life has a risk. Let's take driving a car. No one would deny that every time you get in your car you could be killed by a drunk or texting driver. Yet we all are willing to take that risk because we believe the benefits we receive from traveling outweigh the relatively minor risk of an accident.

Likewise, according to John Boice Jr., a radiation expert at the International Epidemiology Unit in Rockville, MD, you are exposed to a number of other more potent carcinogens than nuclear radiation on any given day (barring direct exposure within the area of the nuclear reactor or atomic blast, of course).

"The average amount of radiation that victims in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were exposed to would increase the risk of dying from lung cancer by about 40 percent. Smoking a pack of cigarettes a day increases the risk of dying of lung cancer by about 400 percent," Boice is quoted as saying.

These statistics are not very reassuring to a lot of people though, especially anyone in Japan or on the West coast of the United States.

Is There Anything Else You Can Do?

As I wrote earlier this month, there is no "magic pill" that will protect you from all of radiation's potential risks ? but there are some natural strategies -- like boron use in farming and optimizing your vitamin D levels -- that may help. Other practical options include:

Potassium Iodide

If you're exposed to radioactive iodine, your thyroid, which uptakes iodine from your blood to make thyroid hormones, will actively take in this substance. This is why thyroid cancer is one of the greatest risks following exposure to this type of radiation.

Potassium iodide (a stable form of iodine) works by essentially "flooding" your system with iodine so your thyroid has no need to take in the radioactive form. The American Thyroid Association recommends that anyone living within 50 miles of a nuclear plant have potassium iodide in their household at all times in the event of a radiation emergency, and advises the supplement be made available to those living within 200 miles of a plant.

However, you should only take potassium iodide if you are near active radiation fallout. This is NOT a strategy that should be used as a long-term preventive because it only protects your thyroid for one to three days, no longer, and taking it when not absolutely necessary could result in thyrotoxicosis.

In this regard, vitamin D may be far superior because it can be taken before, during and after a radiation incident with only positive ramifications, assuming you monitor your blood levels to keep them in the optimal range.

Remember, it's only if you are deficient in iodine that if a radioactive cloud passes by, your body will tend to suck that radioactive iodine into your thyroid gland to fill up its iodine stores. In an ideal situation you will have been taking adequate amounts of iodine from safe sources, which will protect you from radioactive iodine naturally. In reality, however, many are likely iodine deficient.

I recently conducted an interview with Dr. David Brownstein, who has compiled a tremendous amount of clinical data on this topic and can be considered an expert in this area. Dr. Brownstein has been working with iodine for the last 20 years. He has tested over 5,000 patients in his clinic and found over 95% of them to be iodine deficient. This is an incredible result as it puts iodine deficiency on par with the percentage of people that are deficient in vitamin D.

Spirulina

Spirulina -- a blue-green algae -- might be another useful alternative to protect against the effects of radiation, and there is in fact research backing this up. Spirulina was actually used to treat children exposed to chronic low levels of radiation after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

According to a scientific review of spirulina's benefits:

"Up to very recently, the interest in Spirulina was mainly in its nutritive value. Currently, however, numerous people are looking into the possible therapeutic effects of Spirulina.

Many pre-clinical studies and a few clinical studies suggest several therapeutic effects ranging from reduction of cholesterol and cancer to enhancing the immune system, increasing intestinal lactobacilli, reducing nephrotoxicity by heavy metals and drugs and radiation protection."

But what is it about this blue-green algae that gives it this radiation-protective capacity?

Spirulina has a 16 percent phycocyanin content?a blue pigment that is attached to its photosynthetic membranes. Phycocyanin is also a nitrogen storage molecule. The nitrogen atoms can form a complex with heavy metals such as radioactive cesium and stronium, hence "cleansing" these radioactive metals from your body.

Turmeric

Turmeric contains a broad spectrum of water, fat and alcohol-soluble components, all of which may contribute to reducing damage associated with both external radiation and internalized radioisotope exposures. It accomplishes this primarily through reducing oxidative stress to cellular structures, particularly DNA.

Research found in the U.S. National Library of Medicine's database demonstrates that it has significant radioprotective properties, with 23 studies indexed on GreenMedInfo.com thus far. 

Of particular importance in selecting a turmeric product is that it be certified organic to ensure it has not been gamma irradiated (ironic?) with radioactive cobalt-60 in the USDA-approved process known as "cold pasteurization." Conventional spices are commonly exposed to as high as 30 Kilograys of gamma radiation, or the equivalent of 990 million chest x-rays worth of radiation.

The irradiation of herbs produces formic acid, formaldehyde and unique radiolytic byproducts with carcinogenic properties.

Sweet Whey

I interviewed Ori Hofmekler for an alternative viewpoint with regard to how you can decrease the risk to your health from radiation. Ori makes some compelling arguments for the use of a high quality whey protein concentrate to help protect against absorbing radioactive minerals.

One of the reasons for using sweet whey in a situation like this is because whey protein contains all the precursors that help your body produce glutathione, which is one of the best ways to detoxify these toxins.

The other reason is it's the highest source of all minerals and trace minerals that exist in nature. It has every possible mineral and trace elements -- including organic sodium -- that your body needs in the most bioactive form.

Other Herbs and Supplements

In general, the following foods, herbs and supplements may also help support your overall health in the event of a nuclear accident:

Ginseng Kelp and other seaweeds (high in natural iodine) Zeolites (to neutralize radiation) or bentonite clays
Ashwaganda (an adaptogenic herb) Fulvic Acid Reishi mushrooms (strong immune support)
High-dose vitamin C Magnesium Selenium
Coconut oil, which supports optimal thyroid health Astaxanthin (has some protective function against ionizing radiation) Chlorella (contains chlorophyll, which will increase your resistance to radiation)

GreenMedInfo.com contains an extensive archive of research from the U.S. National Library of Medicine on natural substances with radioprotective properties that you can consult further as well.



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 Comments (41)

By Jeffrey Smith

Jeffrey SmithIn 2004, the peer-reviewed British Food Journal published a study claiming that when shoppers in a Canadian farm store were given an informed, unbiased choice between genetically modified (GM) corn and non-GM corn, most purchased the GM variety.

The research, which was funded by the biotech industry and conducted by four staunch proponents of GM foods, other findings around the world that show how people avoid genetically modified organisms (GMOs) when given a choice.

The controversial article was nonetheless given the Journal's prestigious Award for Excellence for the Most Outstanding Paper of 2004. It is often cited by biotech advocates as proof that people are embracing GM foods.

Fortunately Stuart Laidlaw, a reporter from Canada's Toronto Star, had visited the farm store several times during the study and described the scenario in his book Secret Ingredients. Far from offering unbiased choices, huge signs placed over the non-GM corn bin read, "Would you eat wormy sweet corn?" It further listed the chemicals that were sprayed during the season.

By contrast, the sign above the GM corn stated, "Here's What Went into Producing Quality Sweet Corn." No wonder 60 percent of shoppers avoided the "wormy corn." In fact, it's a testament to people's distrust of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that 40 percent still went for the "wormy" option.

In addition to the signs, the "consumer education fact sheets" in the store were nothing more than pro-GM propaganda. And the lead researcher, Doug Powell, was even seen trying to convince a customer who purchased non-GM corn to switch to the GM variety.

The Science of Rigging Studies

Cambridge University's Dr. Richard Jennings, a leading researcher on scientific ethics, described the study as "flagrant fraud." But there are plenty more examples of "cooked" research in the much more critical area of GMO safety assessments.

  • When dairy farmers inject cows with GM bovine growth hormone (rbGH), there are plenty of changes in the milk-including an increase of that hormone itself. To allay fears, the FDA claimed that pasteurization destroys 90 percent of the hormone.

    In reality, the researchers of this drug (then owned by Monsanto) pasteurized the milk 120 times longer than normal. But they only destroyed 19 percent. So they spiked the milk with a huge amount of extra growth hormone and then repeated the long pasteurization. Only under these artificial conditions were they able to destroy 90 percent.

  • To demonstrate that rbGH injections didn't interfere with cows' fertility, Monsanto appears to have added cows to their study that were pregnant BEFORE injection.
  • When Aventis CropScience prepared samples to see if the potential allergen in StarLink GM corn was intact after cooking, instead of using the standard 30-minutes, they heated the corn for 2 hours.
  • When independent researchers published a study in July 1999 showing that Monsanto's GM soy contains 12-14 percent less cancer-fighting phytoestrogens, Monsanto responded with its own study, concluding that soy's phytoestrogen levels vary too much to even carry out a statistical analysis.

    Researchers failed to disclose, however, that they had instructed the laboratory to use an obsolete method of detection-one that had been prone to highly variable results.

  • To prove that GM protein breaks down quickly during simulated digestion, biotech companies use thousands of times the amount of digestive enzymes and a much stronger acid than what the World Health Organization recommends.
  • Monsanto told government regulators that the GM protein produced in their high-lysine GM corn was safe for humans, because it is also found in soil. Since people consume small residues of soil on fruits and vegetables, the protein has a long safe history as part of the human diet.

    But the actual amount of the GM corn protein an average US citizen would consume (if all their corn were Monsanto's variety), would be "about 30 billion-4 trillion times" the amount normally consumed in soil residues. For equivalent exposure, people would have to eat as much as 22,000 pounds of soil every second of every day.

  • Monsanto's high-lysine corn also had unusual levels of several nutritional components, such as protein and fiber. Instead of comparing it to normal corn, which would have revealed this significant disparity, Monsanto compared their GM corn to obscure corn varieties that were also far outside the normal range on precisely these values. On this basis, Monsanto could claim that there were no statistically significant differences in their GM corn.

Methods used by biotech companies to hide problems are varied and plentiful. For example, researchers:

  • Use animals with varied starting weights, to hinder the detection of food-related changes;
  • Keep feeding studies short, to miss long-term impacts;
  • Test Roundup Ready soybeans that have never been sprayed with Roundup-as they always are in real world conditions;
  • Avoid feeding animals the GM crop, but instead give them a single dose of GM protein produced from GM bacteria
  • Use too few subjects to obtain statistical significance
  • Use poor or inappropriate statistical methods, or fail to even mention statistical methods, or include essential data
  • Employ insensitive detection techniques-doomed to fail

Monsanto's 1996 Journal of Nutrition study, which was their cornerstone article for "proving" that GM soy was safe, provides plenty of examples of masterfully rigged methods:

  • Researchers tested GM soy on mature animals, not the more sensitive young ones. GMO safety expert Arpad Pusztai says the older animals "would have to be emaciated or poisoned to show anything."
  • Organs were never weighed.
  • The GM soy was diluted up to 12 times which, according to an expert review, "would probably ensure that any possible undesirable GM effects did not occur."
  • The amount of protein in the feed was "artificially too high," which would mask negative impacts of the soy.
  • Samples were pooled from different locations and conditions, making it near impossible for compositional differences to be statistically significant.
  • Data from the only side-by-side comparison was removed from the study and never published. When it was later recovered, it revealed that Monsanto's GM soy had significantly lower levels of important constituents (e.g. protein, a fatty acid, and phenylalanine, an essential amino acid) and that toasted GM soy meal had nearly twice the amount of a lectin-which interferes with your body's ability to assimilate nutrients.

    Moreover the amount of trypsin inhibitor, a known soy allergen, was as much as seven times higher in cooked GM soy compared to a cooked non-GM control.

In December 2009, a team of independent researchers published a study analyzing the raw data from three Monsanto rat studies. When they used proper statistical methods, they found that the three varieties of GM corn caused toxicity in the liver and kidneys, as well as significant changes in other organs.

Monsanto's studies, of course, had claimed that the research showed no problems. The regulators had believed Monsanto, and the corn is already in our food supply.

Safe eating.

[Citations for studies are available in Part 3 of Genetic Roulette, by Jeffrey M. Smith, www.geneticroulette.com.]

To learn more about the health dangers of GMOs, and what you can do to help end the genetic engineering of our food supply, visit www.ResponsibleTechnology.org.

About the Author

International bestselling author and filmmaker Jeffrey Smith is the leading spokesperson on the health dangers of genetically modified (GM) foods.

His first book, Seeds of Deception, is the world's bestselling and #1 rated book on the topic. His second, Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods, provides overwhelming evidence that GMOs are unsafe and should never have been introduced.

Mr. Smith is the executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, whose Campaign for Healthier Eating in America is designed to create the tipping point of consumer rejection of GMOs, forcing them out of our food supply.

Take Action Now by clicking on the following link to understand all the myths and realities behind GE crops. Education of GMO is the best step to avoiding them and spreading awareness of this increasing threat in our food supply that can rob you of your health.

For a straightforward guide to shopping Non-GMO, see the Non-GMO Shopping Guide.





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raw milkGovernment, public health and dairy industry officials want to restrict the sale and distribution of raw milk, citing safety concerns. But small dairy farmers, organic consumers' advocates and raw milk drinkers say that safety isn't the real issue -- it's control of the dairy market.

In January, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) proposed new regulations that would ban off-the-farm sale and distribution of raw milk. Prior to making the regulations public, MDAR issued cease-and-desist orders to four milk-buying clubs.

While no one has died in Massachusetts because of raw milk, three people died in 2007 from Listeriosis from pasteurized milk.

According to In These Times:

"Considering the relative safety of raw milk and its possible health benefits, campaigns against its legalization are surprisingly intense, and not just in Massachusetts."

David Gumpert, author of The Raw Milk Revolution, argues that regulation is "not about safety -- it's about protecting markets."

Sources:

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

The FDA and CDC have been particularly aggressive recently in their efforts to crack down on raw milk under the pretense of public health safety. But the truth remains that not only is raw milk a health-promoting food, it is oftentimes safer than the pasteurized varieties both state and federal governments are rallying behind.

David Gumpert, author of The Raw Milk Revolution, pointed out, for instance, that while no one has died in Massachusetts because of raw milk, three people died in 2007 from pasteurized milk tainted with Listeriosis.

And as In These Times reported, according to CDC data from 1993 to 2006 there were about 116 illnesses a year linked to raw milk -- that amounts to less than .000002 percent of the 76 million people who contract a food-borne illness in the United States each year!

It is very apparent that the regulatory agencies have put blinders on to these statistics as they carry on with their ruthless crusade to ban raw milk and make it illegal for you to drink it.

Why?

Because they are looking out for the interests of Big Dairy produced in factory farms.

Industrial Dairy Farmers Cannot Safely Produce Raw Milk

Raw milk has been gaining popularity for years now. In Massachusetts, the number of dairies licensed to sell raw milk grew from 12 to 23 in just two years, while the Northeast Organic Farming Association stated that dairies are selling more raw milk than they were just five years ago, and consumers call in every week looking for advice on where to find it.

The conventional dairy industry, realizing this, has redoubled their efforts to make sure that raw milk sales are not able to grow, and certainly not able to become mainstream, where they could begin to threaten their very own livelihoods.

If raw dairy really caught on, you would think that the dairy industry would simply follow suit and begin producing raw products to meet the demand. But this would be virtually impossible.

Their business depends on pasteurization, and that is why their powerful lobbyists will stop at nothing to persuade government agencies to keep raw milk bans in full force.

Only Healthy Milk, from Healthy Cows, Can be Consumed Raw

There's a vast difference between the quality and safety of milk from organically raised, grass-fed cows, and conventionally raised, grain-fed livestock. Conventional dairy farms are not typically set up to produce healthy milk, and really the very idea of producing mass quantities of milk from huge numbers of cows confined to one area is contrary to the very nature of healthy milk.

Cows that are fed grain and raised under substandard conditions will likely produce milk that is unhealthy to drink raw because grains, antibiotics, growth hormones, and filthy living conditions change the pH balance and the natural bacteria present in a cow's gut, which in turn affects the natural bacteria and pathogens present in their milk.

In order for conventional dairy farms to safely produce raw milk, they'd be forced to clean up their production practices, raise healthier cows (and likely fewer cows), and give them access to pasture. This would cost them money . lots of money, if it were even possible at all - and that is a very big "if."

This is why, when buying raw milk, it's very important to make sure you're buying milk that has been produced with the intention of being consumed raw, and not just raw milk from conventionally-raised cows that hasn't gone through the pasteurization process yet.

It also begs the question, if the milk produced by most dairy farms has to be pasteurized to remove the filth and bacteria it ordinarily contains . is it really something you want to drink?

Who Should be Able to Limit Your Right to Unpasteurized, Unprocessed Food?

If you're thinking "no one," you're going to have to duke it out with the FDA.

Earlier this year, the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) filed a lawsuit against the FDA over their raw milk ban, claiming it is unconstitutional. The FDA's rebuttal contained the following extremely concerning and outrageous statements, which make it very clear they believe you have no right to unprocessed food:

  • "There is no absolute right to consume or feed children any particular food."
  • "There is no 'deeply rooted' historical tradition of unfettered access to foods of all kinds."
  • "Plaintiffs' assertion of a 'fundamental right to their own bodily and physical health, which includes what foods they do and do not choose to consume for themselves and their families' is similarly unavailing because plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish."
  • The FDA's brief goes on to state that "even if such a right did exist, it would not render the FDA's regulations unconstitutional because prohibiting the interstate sale and distribution of unpasteurized milk promotes bodily and physical health."
  • "There is no fundamental right to freedom of contract."

Since when did the FDA have authority to tell you what you can and cannot eat and feed your children? Apparently they believe they've had it all along.

If you go by these assertions, it means the FDA has the authority to prohibit any food of their choosing and make it a crime for you to seek it out. If, one day, the FDA deems tomatoes, broccoli or cashews capable of causing you harm (which is just as ludicrous as their assertions that raw milk is harmful), they could therefore enact such a ban and legally enforce it.

What this means is that freedom of food choice is a myth if you live in the United States, and this simply is not acceptable.

Unfortunately, state governments have been dutifully following suit, no doubt after intense pressure from the dairy industry.

In May, for instance, after weeks of lobbying by the Wisconsin dairy industry, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle vetoed a bill that would have made sale of on-the-farm raw milk legal, stating he "must side with public health and safety of the dairy industry."

In Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources issued cease-and-desist orders to four milk-buying clubs and proposed new regulations to ban off-the-farm sale and distribution of raw milk.

In their lawsuit, FTCLDF also pointed out that the FDA is taking an unfairly harsh approach with raw milk compared to other raw foods. For instance, unpasteurized juices are sold with just a warning label letting consumers know the juice has not been pasteurized, while raw milk has been outright banned in many states.

Is it a coincidence that some of the states where raw milk sales are illegal are also among the largest dairy producers in the United States (namely Wisconsin and Iowa)?

Hardly.

Do You Want Easy Access to Raw Milk?

By joining the fight to make access to healthy raw milk a right for all Americans, you are not only standing up for raw milk; you're taking a stand to protect your freedom of food choice.

No one, and certainly not any government agency or dairy lobby, should be able to restrict your access to pure, unadulterated food. Organizations like the Weston A. Price Foundation and the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund are working toward true freedom of choice for American consumers, and I urge you to get involved in their causes.

For more information, I urge you to listen to my interview with Mark McAfee, the founder of Organic Pastures, one of the largest producers of raw milk in the United States, along with this video with health and business journalist David E. Gumpert.

You can also find lots of valuable information in Gumpert's book, The Raw Milk Revolution, and on McAfee's Web site www.OrganicPastures.com.



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FDAThe FDA has finally made its food-rights policy crystal clear. Here's the agency's position, made evident in their response to a lawsuit filed by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund:

  • They believe you have no absolute right to any raw unprocessed food, unless the FDA says it's okay
  • They believe you have no right to good health, except as approved by the FDA
  • They believe that there is no right for citizens to contract privately for their food

The Complete Patient reports:

"More Americans appear to be getting the message ... Over the past six months, we've had the popular push in Wisconsin, a state where the regulators have gone bonkers to eliminate raw milk, to pressure legislators to approve making it available from the farm ... [and] a firestorm building in Massachusetts over a ... decision by a regulator to restrict consumer access to milk."



Sources:

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

If you try to purchase a gallon of raw milk in the majority of U.S. states, you could be taken away in handcuffs . literally. With the exception of 10 states that allow retail raw milk sales, and 15 that allow farm sales, purchasing raw milk in the United States is a crime, according to the FDA.

Their decision to ban the interstate shipment of raw milk back in 1987 has been declared unconstitutional by many Americans interested in securing their right to choose fresh, unprocessed and unpasteurized food for their families, but the FDA has been fighting back, even going so far as to harass and legally prosecute small dairy farmers and consumers seeking to distribute the milk.

The issue reached new heights earlier this year when the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) filed a lawsuit against the FDA over their raw milk ban . and you won't believe how the FDA responded.

You Have "No Absolute Right to Consume . Any Particular Food"

Last month, the FDA responded to FTCLDF's suit that banning raw milk in interstate commerce is unconstitutional. Their rebuttal contained the following extremely concerning and outrageous statements:

  • "There is no absolute right to consume or feed children any particular food."
  • "There is no 'deeply rooted' historical tradition of unfettered access to foods of all kinds."
  • "Plaintiffs' assertion of a 'fundamental right to their own bodily and physical health, which includes what foods they do and do not choose to consume for themselves and their families' is similarly unavailing because plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish."
  • FDA's brief goes on to state that "even if such a right did exist, it would not render FDA's regulations unconstitutional because prohibiting the interstate sale and distribution of unpasteurized milk promotes bodily and physical health."
  • "There is no fundamental right to freedom of contract."

Since when did the FDA have authority to tell you what you can and cannot eat and feed your children? Apparently they believe they've had it all along.

If you go by these assertions, it means the FDA has the authority to prohibit any food of their choosing and make it a crime for you to seek it out. If, one day, the FDA deems tomatoes, broccoli or cashews capable of causing you harm (which is just as ludicrous as their assertions that raw milk is harmful), they could therefore enact such a ban and legally enforce it.

What this means is that freedom of food choice is a myth if you live in the United States, and this simply is not acceptable. As FTCLDF states:

"Growing numbers of people in this country are obtaining the foods of their choice through private contractual arrangements such as buyers' club agreements and herdshare contracts. 

FDA's position is that the agency can interfere with these agreements because, in FDA's view, there is no fundamental right to enter into a private contract to obtain the foods of choice from the source of choice. 

As for the agency's contention that there is no fundamental right to obtain any food, including raw milk, here is what the 'substantive due process' clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides:  no person shall "be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." 

Obtaining the foods of your choice is so basic to life, liberty and property that it is inconceivable that the 'right of food choice' would not be protected under the Constitution but FDA is saying "No.""

Whether you're currently a raw milk drinker or not, the FDA's arrogant attitude that they have authority over your choice of food is atrocious.

First Raw Milk, What's Next?

As regular readers know, I am an avid supporter of raw milk.

Organically-raised, grass-fed milk naturally contains healthy "good" bacteria, including lactobacillus and acidophilus. There are also several coliform families of bacteria.

Raw milk also contains nutrients, which are virtually eliminated by the pasteurization process of commercial milk. The presence of beneficial bacteria is what makes raw milk such an outstanding food source to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in your intestine, which in turn has a significant, beneficial impact on your overall immune function and health.

However, my purpose today is not to extol the virtues of raw milk. If you'd like to learn more about that, just listen to this video with health and business journalist David E. Gumpert, author of Raw Milk Revolution: Behind America's Emerging Battle Over Food Rights.

What I want to share is that if this unconstitutional ban has happened with raw milk, it's only a matter of time before another health-promoting, life-giving food is targeted.

The FDA never had any grounds for making the sale of raw milk illegal in the first place. Even a quick review of the data shows that this food, which the FDA claims is so harmful to human health, is less harmless than countless food products that have earned the FDA's seal of approval!

In their lawsuit, FTCLDF pointed out that CDC statistics from 2007 showed over 7,000 outbreaks of food-borne illness related to bacteria, which resulted in 678 hospitalizations and 11 deaths.

In that same year, and using CDC data, raw milk was responsible for only 32 of those cases, which amounts to only 0.5 percent of all food-borne bacteria-related illness. Further, there were only two hospitalizations related to raw milk, and no deaths, whereas three people died from drinking pasteurized milk!

They also pointed out, and rightly so, that the FDA is taking an unfairly harsh approach with raw milk. For instance, unpasteurized juices are sold with just a warning label letting consumers know the juice has not been pasteurized, while raw milk has been outright banned in many states.

Is it a coincidence that some of the states where raw milk sales are illegal are also among the largest dairy producers in the United States (namely Wisconsin and Iowa)?

Hardly.

The conventional dairy industry has a very powerful lobbying force. What would happen to the majority of the dairy industry if raw milk really caught on? They'd be forced to clean up their acts, raise healthier cows, and give them access to pasture, as only healthy cows are the ones that you would buy raw milk from.

And this would cost them money . lots of money, if it were even possible at all.

Join the Raw Milk Revolution and Stand Up for Your Food Freedom!

By joining the fight to make access to healthy raw milk a right for all Americans, you are not only standing up for raw milk; you're taking a stand to protect your freedom of food choice.

No one, and certainly not any government agency, should be able to restrict your access to pure, unadulterated food. Organizations like the Weston A. Price Foundation and the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund are working toward true freedom of choice for American consumers, and I urge you to get involved in their causes.



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