amalgam fillingsA U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee has recommended that the agency take a new look at updated data on mercury amalgam dental fillings that may indicate medical problems for patients.

The committee also said that more information on amalgam fillings should be posted for both for patients and dentists.

According to CNN:

“Public pressure prompted the panel’s review, initiated less than 18 months after the agency’s decision. Committee members listened to testimony by consumer and dental groups claiming the FDA used flawed science when it set the current guidelines for mercury safety levels.”

Sources:

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

Thanks to a massive response from grassroots America to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) abysmal 2009 amalgam rule, the FDA agreed to re-examine its pro-mercury fillings position at a hearing earlier this month.

Well, the hearing was a major success!

A government panel of scientists, after two days of hearings before its Dental Products Panel, has determined that the FDA is failing to protect children, pregnant women, hypersensitive persons — and the rest of us — from the dangers of mercury fillings.

Charlie Brown, the national counsel for Consumers for Dental Choice and the president of the new World Alliance for Mercury Free Dentistry, says:

“[This] decision is a resounding defeat of FDA and its policy of protecting dentists’ profits instead of protecting children’s health.”

We’re Making Progress, but the Fight is Not Over

For the last year we have been working alongside Charlie Brown to help eliminate the use of mercury in U.S. dentistry — and we’ve made some major strides.

Most recently, Costa Mesa, California has set the precedent by becoming the first city in the United States to pass a resolution to immediately ban the use of mercury amalgams in dentistry.

This success story was made possible by a trio of Orange County, California activists who distributed flyers explaining the hazards of amalgam (unfortunately, most people are still not even aware that “silver fillings” contain mercury!). They allied with health professionals and green businesses for support.

They organized an extensive petition drive, collecting signatures from individuals asking city council to ban amalgam — both by asking people directly to sign, and by enlisting friendly health professionals and businesspeople to keep the petitions in their front offices.

They surveyed all the city’s dentists, and presented certificates to dentists who are mercury-free.

Then, they sought out Councilman Gary Monahan, who agreed to sponsor a resolution calling on the federal and state governments to “eliminate the use of mercury in dental practices …immediately,” and, at the local level, requesting that every dentist cease using this poisonous material.

Thanks to the testimony of an array of dentists, a dental hygienist, chiropractors, victims of mercury toxicity, businesspeople, a scientist, a Navy veteran, and a lawyer at the City Council meeting reviewing the Monahan resolution, it passed unanimously — and Costa Mesa became the first locality in the United States to call for a ban on mercury fillings.

The FDA hearing earlier this month also made some favorable strides for this movement.

The scientists told the FDA to tell U.S. dental patients, starting right now, that amalgam is mainly mercury, and to tell U.S. dentists to stop giving amalgam to children. They also recommended that the FDA come up with models that show the effects of mercury vapor exposure from dental fillings, as well as review more data on the impact of these fillings on children and fetuses.

The bad news, however, is that the entire matter will now be returned to FDA’s board for consideration, which, Brown notes, is “notoriously pro-mercury and pro-American Dental Association.”

The FDA does NOT have to follow its committee’s recommendations, and, unfortunately, the FDA has a history of ignoring its panelists’ advice if it doesn’t uphold the pro-industry position — even to the point of disagreeing with their own FDA scientific experts.

This is precisely what happened in 2009 with their disappointing “final rule.”

The FDA is STILL Protecting Industry Over the U.S. Public

The FDA has long been the world’s number one protector of mercury fillings, and the U.S. is lagging behind the rest of the world, and even behind some third world countries, in protecting its citizens from this toxic product:

  • Canada advised dentists to stop placing amalgam in children and pregnant women in 1996!
  • Denmark, Norway and Sweden have essentially banned amalgams.
  • There are 5,636 hospitals in developing countries that are committed to or already mercury-free. The majority of these are in the Philippines, India and Argentina.

Yet, in the United States four out of five dental specialists still use amalgams, and the material is still endorsed by the American Dental Association.

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg even has an egregious conflict of interest on amalgam, yet participated in the rule making. Hamburg entered the FDA through the revolving door after making millions as the director of Henry Schein Inc., the largest seller of amalgam.

The FDA is so much in the pocket of corporate America that it not only allows mercury-based dental filling to be implanted in children and pregnant women, but it covers up the very fact that these fillings contain mercury, which is a known toxic substance.

And the FDA’s rule ignores the fact that Americans are getting mercury from so many other sources (vaccines, fish and seafood, household products, paints, pesticides, etc.) that many teenagers and adults are saturated with these neurotoxins.

Another Call to Action: We’re So Close, Help Keep the Momentum Going!

Even the FDA is finally starting to realize it has become a pariah in the world by covering up the massive harm being done by the continued use of mercury fillings.

Now that the tide is turning, pro-mercury dentists, the FDA, and the world need to know that consumers like you will not tolerate dental mercury — a neurotoxin and a pollutant — any longer. Just like Costa Mesans have made it clear that the use of amalgam is no longer acceptable in their community, it’s time to get this substance OUT of U.S. dentistry.

I urge all of you reading this to tell Jeff Shuren, director, FDA Center for Devices (Jeff.shuren@fda.hhs.gov or 301-796-5900), that we have waited long enough — and that it’s time, this month, for FDA to:

  1. Tell Americans amalgam is mainly mercury
  2. Protect Americans from mercury amalgam, starting with a ban on amalgam for children and pregnant women.

Tell Dr. Shuren, too, that Canada gave these warnings 15 years ago — which means that an entire generation of U.S. children has grown up unprotected from amalgam’s mercury, and that we will not stand for any more harm to be done to future generations to come.

You can also ask Dr. Shuren:

  • Why does the FDA approve of dentists telling parents amalgams are “silver fillings”?
  • Why does the FDA ban mercury for treating the legs of race horses but say it’s fine implanted in a human child?
  • Does the FDA say increased amalgam use is a “positive health outcome” in order to pump up the sales for Henry Schein Inc., Commissioner Margaret Hamburg’s company?

Together we are making a real difference and with continued passion and support on your part we can WIN! Let’s protect the health of Americans, including that of future generations, from toxic amalgam by getting “silver fillings” banned from U.S. dentistry once and for all.

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obesity surgeryAn advisory committee to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering a request by the medical company Allergan to significantly lower how obese someone must be to qualify for surgery using the company’s Lap-Band device.

The FDA has already indicated that it believes people in the proposed new weight range who had the band experienced significant weight loss.

The New York Times reports:

“If the agency approves the change, the number of Americans eligible for the Lap-Band operation could easily double, ensuring more sales for Allergan and probably more insurance coverage for such operations.

But the proposed change, sought at a time when the obesity epidemic in the United States seems intractable, still leaves some people uneasy, in part because of side effects and failure rates.”

About 70 percent of patients experienced those side effects, which include vomiting and pain, during a trial. A certain number of patients also simply die within 30 days of having the surgery.

Sources:

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

Sales of Allergan’s obesity products, particularly the Lap-Band, fell 4 percent in the first nine months of 2010, according to the New York Times. So their request to the FDA to lower the weight cut-off for the Lap-Band operation is very well-timed; it could double their potential market if the FDA approves the request.

Currently, in order to qualify for weight loss surgery you must have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above, or 35 if you have a related health problem like diabetes. Allergan’s request would lower the cut-off for Lap-Band surgery to 35 with no health problems and 30 with a health problem.

To put this into perspective, an adult who has a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight, 30 or higher is considered obese. So this pushes the limit of those who qualify for weight-loss surgery to those who have just barely crossed the line into obesity.

Clearly this will push a whole new group of Americans — numbering in the millions — to begin to consider surgery as a solution for their weight loss — a dismal and downright dangerous proposition.

88 Percent of Lap-Band Patients Experience Side Effects

If you are significantly overweight, losing weight is a key cornerstone to health, lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure and a host of other diseases. But this doesn’t mean you should take the drastic step of going under the knife to do so.

Gastric banding consists of surgically inserting a band around the top section of your stomach, and cinching it into a small pouch. Short-term, the lap band does produce significantly greater weight loss compared to lifestyle modification.

The procedure limits the amount of food you can consume, and the rapid weight loss is clearly the natural effect of this forced starvation.

But in exchange for this rapid weight loss, the health risks are VERY high, and long-term safety and effectiveness are questionable at best.

According to LapBand.com, one American clinical study that included a three-year follow-up reported that a staggering 88 percent of gastric banding patients experienced one or more adverse events, ranging from mild to severe.

Common complications from gastric banding included:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux, 34 percent
  • Band slippage and/or pouch dilation, 24 percent, (which means you’ll need another surgery)
  • Stomach obstruction, 14 percent
  • Esophageal dilation and reduced esophageal function, 11 percent
  • Difficulty swallowing, 9 percent
  • Leaking or twisted access port into the stomach, 9 percent
  • Band eroding into the stomach, 1.3 percent, which requires band removal

The complications are often so debilitating that patients opt to have the bands removed completely. In the study noted above, 25 percent of the patients ended up getting the lap band permanently removed, two-thirds of them due the adverse events suffered.

So after having the surgery, the side effects were so severe that one in four chose to have the bands removed!

Serious Complications and Death Can Result

Would you be willing to give up your life to lose weight? This is a serious question as the surgery does at times end up in death. As stated directly on Lap-Band’s safety information page:

“You should know that death is one of the risks. It can occur any time during the operation. It can also occur as a result of the operation. Death can occur despite all the precautions that are taken.”

What else is buried on the Lap-Band safety page? Disclaimers letting you know that along with the laundry list of possible complications, there’s a chance you may not lose any weight at all:

“Complications can cause reduced weight loss. They can also cause weight gain .  It is possible you may not lose much weight or any weight at all.”

So weight loss surgery, which includes gastric banding and the more invasive gastric bypass, may seem like a simple quick fix, but it is NOT a safe solution because of the many negative long-term health consequences inherent with both of these surgical options.

Over 40 percent of weight loss surgeries result in major complications within six months, including black-outs, malnutrition, infection, kidney stones, bowel and gallbladder problems, liver failure, and, again, an increased risk of death.

All surgeries have inherent risks, but bariatric surgeries seem to have a much higher ratio of complications. In fact, you are far more likely to suffer an adverse event from these types of surgeries than not.

Despite this, and the fact that no long-term studies on the health and longevity of bariatric surgery patients have been published, the FDA is even considering approving gastric banding for teens aged 14 to 17!

Looking for a One-Two Diet Punch to Shed Pounds Fast?

If you have even considered surgery for weight loss, it’s likely because you’re at a point where you’re ready to make a change. You want to lose weight and get healthy . now you just need to know where to start.

First, know that you don’t have to risk serious health complications and death to lose weight. You can do this on your own by making some very straightforward changes to your lifestyle, starting with your diet.

Eating a diet based on processed foods is a well-known way to do two things that are nearly guaranteed to make you pack on the pounds:

  1. Interfere with your body’s ability to regulate insulin
  2. Interfere with your body’s ability to regulate leptin

This is why avoiding processed foods and eating according to your nutritional type is THE one-two diet punch that can finally make a dramatic difference in your weight and health.

Virtually all processed foods contain fructose, and it is very clear that fructose is the leading culprit for our obesity epidemic. That includes fructose in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), other added sugars, and natural fructose found in fruit and fruit juices.

Avoiding fructose means severely limiting or eliminating sodas, sugary drinks, and nearly all processed foods from your diet, as they are loaded with HFCS.

Fructose diminishes your feelings of fullness because it does not stimulate a rise in leptin, one of the most powerful hunger- and fat storage regulators in your body. Fructose also reduces the amount of leptin crossing your blood-brain barrier by raising triglycerides.

Additionally, whereas glucose suppresses ghrelin (also known as “the hunger hormone,” which makes you want more food), fructose, again, does not.

Fructose also increases your insulin levels, interfering with the communication between leptin and your hypothalamus, so your pleasure signals aren’t extinguished. Your brain keeps sensing that you’re starving, and prompts you to eat more.

For the sake of your health, I strongly advise keeping your fructose consumption below 25 grams per day, but this is virtually impossible if you eat a lot of processed foods.

When you eat for your nutritional type, meanwhile, you eat the foods that are right for your biochemistry, and these are the foods that will push your body toward its ideal weight. You will not be hungry and you will not feel deprived . only truly satisfied and energized.

If you want a step-by-step dietary approach, follow the advice in my comprehensive nutrition plan and use these seven tips to wean yourself off processed food.

Two More Steps to Achieve Your Ideal Weight

As you master your new dietary approach, there are two more factors that need to be addressed: your activity level and your emotions.

When you’re trying to lose weight, a casual walk here and there is not going to cut it. Ideally, you need to exercise each and every day, and you need to do so at a challenging intensity.

Fortunately, there’s a highly effective exercise strategy that can dramatically reduce your workout time and maximize your weight loss; it’s called Peak Fitness, and I highly recommend you start using it, and its Peak 8 exercises, today if your goal is to lose weight.

Next, you need to keep your stress levels under control, as for many emotional eating is the driving force behind their weight gain. If you’re feeling overly anxious, depressed, lonely or bored, these emotions can lead you to overeat or binge on unhealthy foods if you’re not tackling them directly.

So be sure you have a solid outlet for your emotions, like the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), so you’re not attempting to improve your emotional health with food.

And there you have it. A tried-and-true plan that will help you to lose weight and get fit — without risking your health and your life with an invasive weight loss surgery.

Related Articles:

  10-Fold Rise in Obesity Surgery

  Targeting Teens for Gastric Bands

  Weight Loss Drug Yanked from Market

 Comments (38)

energy drinkThe Liquor Control Board of Washington state is contemplating a ban on alcoholic energy drinks. Not long ago, nine college students in Washington were hospitalized after drinking the beverages at a party.

The students were drinking the caffeinated malt liquor beverage Four Loko.

ABC News reports:

“The makers of Four Loko … point out the partygoers may have been drinking other types of alcohol. Washington is one of several states considering outlawing high-alcohol energy drinks while the Food and Drug Administration reviews their safety.”

Sources:

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

Alcoholic energy drinks have already been banned in at least four states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also issued warning letters to four manufacturers, stating that caffeine is an “unsafe food additive” when mixed with alcohol.

Major brands of the caffeinated alcohol drinks are expected to be off store shelves by mid-December, a move that has many critics stating the FDA has gone too far. 

But have they?

Health Risks of Alcoholic Energy Drinks 

Alcoholic energy drinks have become popular not only in bars and nightclubs but also on college campuses. They can either be mixed at a bar (combining a regular energy drink with alcohol) or purchased pre-made under brand names like “Four Loko.”

These drinks are proving to be dangerous, perhaps even more so than regular drinks, because the caffeine provides an energy boost that can lead to, as the FDA put it, “wide-awake drunk.”

Not being able to fully feel the depressing effects of the alcohol, people who drink alcoholic energy drinks may be more likely to suffer from alcohol poisoning, be involved in car accidents or commit assaults.

In fact, mixing alcohol with energy drinks doubles your risk of being harmed compared with drinking just alcohol, according to researchers from Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

After surveying more than 4,000 U.S. students, the researchers found that compared with students who did not drink “energy drink cocktails,” those who did were twice as likely to:

  • Get injured
  • Require medical attention
  • Travel with a drunk driver
  • Take sexual advantage of someone
  • Be taken advantage of sexually

Quite simply, the caffeine masks the feeling that you’re drunk, even though your motor skills, visual reaction times and judgment are still impaired. This can lead you to not only engage in behaviors you should not be doing while intoxicated, but also allows you to drink more than you would ordinarily.

Researchers found that students who drank energy drink cocktails drank nearly 40 percent more than other students, and had twice as many episodes of “weekly drunkenness.”

Energy Drink Cocktails Can Even be Deadly

There is a major problem that occurs when you mix a powerful stimulant (an energy drink) with a powerful depressant (alcohol): some people’s bodies simply can’t take it.

The combination can, in fact, cause cardiopulmonary or heart failure, which can be deadly. Countries like France and Denmark have already banned sales of Red Bull following several reported deaths of people who mixed it with alcohol.

Even on their own these caffeine-loaded beverages may cause your blood to become sticky, a pre-cursor to cardiovascular problems such as stroke.

One hour after drinking the popular energy drink Red Bull, researchers found your blood system becomes abnormal, as might be expected from a patient with cardiovascular disease.

Further, a study in the journal Addictive Behaviors found that people who drank alcoholic energy drinks were at a 3-fold increased risk of leaving a bar highly intoxicated, as well as a 4-fold increased risk of intending to drive upon leaving the bar — a move that could easily be deadly for that person as well as others — compared to people who drank alcohol only.

You Don’t Need Energy Drinks to Get Energized

If you’re an energy-drink junkie, it is important to make a commitment to give up this habit.

Some energy drinks contain the equivalent caffeine of 14 cans of Coca-Cola!

It is very possible to suffer from caffeine intoxication when you drink caffeine at this level, which includes symptoms that mimic those of anxiety and other mood disorders, such as:

  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • Tremors
  • Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
  • Psychomotor agitation (restlessness and pacing)
  • In rare cases: death

Needless to say, when you drink large amounts of caffeine, or even an amount similar to that of drinking a cup or three of coffee, when the effect wears off you’ll also start feeling lethargic and will likely crave another can (or cup) to boost your energy once again.

As many of you likely know, it can become a vicious cycle of jolting and crashing.

It is fairly self-evident that children should never consume energy drinks, but due to the detrimental health impact of their contents, it would definitely be wise to avoid energy drinks if you:

  • Are pregnant or lactating
  • Are sensitive to caffeine
  • Suffer from anxiety
  • Suffer from high stress
  • Suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Are predisposed to cardiovascular disease
  • Have any kind of blood clotting disorder

Anyway, in reality caffeine does not create real energy or alleviate tiredness. It is only a strong stimulant that provides a sudden, temporary jolt to your system, hence the feeling of alertness. For a real health boost, you’ll want to focus on the lifestyle habits that will raise your energy level for many hours, and include:

Really, when you read through all the risks, does it still sound like fun to toast your friends with an energy drink cocktail? I should think not.

While I don’t recommend drinking alcohol at all, if you do choose to at least turn down any caffeinated versions for the sake of your health, and use these tips to increase your energy levels naturally, without a dangerous dose of caffeine.

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By Dr. Mercola

mercury fillingIf you have been reading this newsletter for awhile you will know that it is very unusual for me to request anyone to contact their legislators, but if you live in the US, there are two issues that now need your urgent attention and involvement:

  1. The upcoming US FDA hearings before its Dental Products Panel on December 14 and 15, to determine whether to stop amalgam use for children and pregnant women, and
  2. The final vote on bill S.510, which takes place on Monday, November 29

I will review both of these issues below, and I urge you to take action on both by contacting your legislators. I’ve summarized the action items for each, to make this as quick and easy as possible.

First.

Banning Mercury in Dentistry – A Battle We CAN Win!

If you or a loved one has suffered grievous harm from dental mercury, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says you don’t exist! Because according to FDA’s propaganda machine, dental mercury doesn’t hurt anyone.

As America’s chief protector of profits for “drill-fill-and-bill” dentistry, the FDA is no doubt hoping you’ll stay silent when it holds its hearings on December 14 and 15, which is why I’m issuing this urgent action request.

For the last year we have been working alongside Charlie G. Brown, who is the national counsel for Consumers for Dental Choice and the president of the new World Alliance for Mercury Free Dentistry, to help eliminate the use of mercury in U.S. dentistry.

In the past year I have had several calls to action and to date your responses have been nothing short of extraordinary; you are clearly making a real difference!

We ran an article in early September, calling for volunteers to get involved to organize a grassroots project, and the results were phenomenal. Some of you responded and took action, and as a result, Costa Mesa, CA has set the precedent by becoming the first city in the United States to pass a resolution to immediately ban the use of mercury amalgams in dentistry.

If you missed that latest update, please do take a moment to read this inspirational story.

Thanks to your efforts at making your voices heard, on July 15, 2010 the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also chose a mercury-free dentist by the name of Michael Fleming to be on the Dental Products Panel, which will be the group to reassess the safety of mercury fillings for high-risk groups by way of a hearing this December.

Now, your efforts are needed once again in the fight against mercury fillings.

Major Mercury Hearings Coming Up in December

Thanks to a massive response from grassroots America to the FDA’s abysmal 2009 amalgam rule, the FDA has agreed to re-examine its pro-mercury fillings position and, this December, will convene hearings before its Dental Products Panel to determine whether to stop amalgam use for children and pregnant women.

Again, in a major victory, and largely thanks to your efforts at making your voices heard, the FDA chose a mercury-free dentist by the name of Michael Fleming to sit on this Panel.

But as we move toward the December hearing, we need your continuing letters and phone calls to the FDA and I’ll give details shortly to help you do so.

The FDA Refuses to Protect Your Health – Tell Them You Won’t Stand for It Any Longer!

Did you know that the FDA’s Commissioner, Margaret Hamburg, came to the FDA from the board of Henry Schein Inc., the nation’s number one seller of amalgam?

In the rule issued right after Hamburg’s arrival, the FDA spares no effort to pump up amalgam sales — actually claiming that greater amalgam use equates to “positive public health outcomes!”

How convenient for Henry Schein Inc.

As for the scientific backing for their claim, it simply does not exist. Mercury is a well-documented toxic hazard to human health, and it doesn’t get any safer when placed in your mouth, where it releases toxic gases with every bite of food.

Instead of protecting you from a well-known, potent neurotoxin, the FDA gave the green light to the deceptive technique of marketing amalgam as “silver fillings,” knowing full well that sales plummet when consumers learn that dental amalgams actually contain toxic mercury.

Urgent Action Steps to Ban Mercury from Dentistry in the US

Faced with unprecedented consumer-level pressure, the FDA has been forced to hold a new round of hearings on amalgam, scheduled for December 14 and 15, and to accept public comment on changing its rule.

For those seeking to protect children from brain injury related to mercury amalgam exposure, and for those who want to share how mercury harmed them, the time to act is now.

Here are three ways to make your voice heard at the FDA:

  1. Submit a comment online to FDA by December 3

    Tell them how you were deceived by the term “silver fillings” and subjected to mercury fillings without your knowledge, and/or the story of how you were injured by amalgam- all because the FDA puts corporate profits first.

    Comments can involve telling the FDA about your injuries, your children’s exposure to mercury, how your mercury fillings were implanted without your informed consent, how deceptive the FDA’s dental amalgam website is, how mercury hurts our environment, or any other concerns relating to mercury fillings.

  2. Write the FDA official in charge of amalgam.

    Jeff Shuren, M.D. is the director of the FDA’s Center for Devices. Contact him at:

    Dr. Jeffrey Shuren

    301-796-5900

    jeff.shuren@fda.hhs.gov

    Ask Dr. Shuren:

    • Why does FDA approve of dentists telling parents amalgams are “silver fillings”?
    • Why does FDA ban mercury for treating the legs of race horses but say it’s fine implanted in a human child?
    • Does FDA say increased amalgam use is a “positive health outcome” in order to pump up the sales for Henry Schein Inc., Commissioner Margaret Hamburg’s company?
  3. Come to the FDA hearings in person.

    The hearings are December 14 and 15, 2010, 8am-6 pm, just outside of Washington DC at:

    The Holiday Inn-Gaithersburg, Main Ballroom

    2 Montgomery Village Ave.

    Gaithersburg, MD 20879

    If you want to testify, you must write olgo.claudio@fda.hhs.gov by November 29 to let her know.

    If you want to come and watch — and yes, we need a crowd there — you may simply show up. If you have questions, write the consumer coordinator working for mercury-free dentistry, Freya Koss at frekoss@aol.com

    The FDA will not be expecting a forceful turnout, especially from ordinary citizens, so we can surprise them with a show of force and dogged determination.

    We have made significant steps so far, and much of it is due to your continued efforts and support.

    Please continue to join in on this important cause to get this toxic element out of U.S. dentistry. We are making a difference and the momentum is strong — together, we can WIN, and protect the health of Americans, including that of future generations, from this archaic and toxic dentistry practice.

Tell Your Senators to KEEP the Tester-Hagan amendment of Bill S.510

If you live in the US this is another urgent action you can take during this holiday weekend that will impact the quality of the food you are able to secure.

Last week, the US Senate voted 74-25 to move to consideration of S.510, the Food Safety Modernization Act – which will amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act with respect to the safety of the food supply.

If you’re unfamiliar with this bill, this LewRockwell article provides a nice summary, including “12 reasons why S. 510 could be absolutely disastrous for small food producers and for the U.S. economy.”

According to Dr. Shiv Chopra (whom I’ve previously interviewed on the issue of food safety):

“If accepted [S 510] would preclude the public’s right to grow, own, trade, transport, share, feed and eat each and every food that nature makes.

It will become the most offensive authority against the cultivation, trade and consumption of food and agricultural products of one’s choice.

It will be unconstitutional and contrary to natural law or, if you like, the will of God.”

Judith McGeary with the farmandranchfreedom.org provided me with the following update on this potentially devastating bill, along with an urgent action request.

Agribusiness has Shown Its True Colors!

After 30 hours of debate and behind-the-scenes negotiations, the US Senators released a final Manager’s Amendment that includes a compromise version of the Tester-Hagan amendment. But even though an agreement was reached on the Tester-Hagan amendment last week, the issue is still not over.

The final vote on the bill has been delayed until Monday, November 29, due to disagreements over amendments relating to the health care bill and a ban on earmarks.

In the meantime, Agribusiness has shown its true colors.

For over a year, the big Agribusiness trade organizations have supported passage of S.510. From Agribusiness’s perspective, the bill was a win-win: they could absorb the costs of the regulations because of their size; they’d gain good PR for supposedly improving food safety practices; and the competition created by small, local food producers, which are rapidly growing, would be crushed by the regulatory burdens.

This was only speculation until now.

But when the Senators agreed to include the Tester-Hagan amendment in the bill, to exempt small-scale direct-marketing producers from some of the most burdensome provisions, 20 Agribusiness trade organizations fired off a letter stating that they would now oppose the bill!

The letter from the Agribusiness groups states:

“[B]y incorporating the Tester amendment in the bill, consumers will be left vulnerable to the gaping holes and uneven application of the law created by these exemptions.

In addition, it sets an unfortunate precedent for future action on food safety policy by Congress that science and risk based standards can be ignored. And most importantly, this amendment rejects the fundamental purpose of S. 510 that requires FDA to develop standards and set requirements that are based on science and risk.”

What science and risk?

No one has produced any data or evidence of any widespread problems caused by local producers and marketed directly to consumers. All of the major foodborne illness outbreaks have been caused by products that went through the long supply chains of Agribusiness.

Agribusiness’s real concern about the Tester-Hagan amendment isn’t food safety, but the precedent set by having Congress recognize that small, direct-marketing producers are different, and should be regulated differently, from the large Agribusinesses.

Agribusiness is now trying to convince the Senators to pull the Tester-Hagan amendment back out.

While the amendment is currently part of the “Managers’ Package” – the amended version of the bill agreed to by six bipartisan sponsors – nothing is certain until the actual vote.

This Thanksgiving week, please take a moment to call or email your Senators to tell them to hold firm on KEEPING the Tester-Hagan amendment part of the bill!

Take Action NOW!

Your voice needs to be heard on this issue, and time is running out. The vote on this dangerous legislation takes place on Monday, November 29.

So take action now!

Here’s how:

  • Call the Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121, and ask to be directly connected to your Senator’s office. Tell your Senator to keep the Tester-Hagan amendment in the bill.
  • You can find additional contact information for your US Senator at http://senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Related Articles:

  Why 80% of U.S. Dentists are 150 Years BEHIND the Times.

  The Hazardous Gas in Your Mouth: Is This the First Crack in the ADA’s Corrupt Cover-up?

  The NEW Battle Strategy to Get Rid of Mercury Once and For All in Dentistry

 Comments (32)

pills on a spoonAbbott Laboratories is taking its weight loss drug Meridia (sibutramine) off the market, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The company voluntarily withdrew the drug in the wake of findings showing an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes in people who used the drug. Meridia is taken by about 8 million people worldwide.

According to Paging Dr. Gupta:

Approved in 1997 for weight loss, the original data on the drug showed that people who took Meridia lost at least 5 percent more of their body weight …

The FDA requested the company withdraw the drug after reviewing data from a follow-up study known as the Sibutramine Cardiovascular Outcomes Trial (SCOUT ). It showed there was a 16 percent increase in the risk of serious heart events.”

Sources:

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

Meridia has shown danger signs since it was approved in 1997 and now more than a decade later will finally be taken off the market. This is yet another example of an “FDA-approved” medication that was causing far more harm to Americans than good . and another reason to seriously reconsider taking drugs for weight loss.

Warning Signs for Meridia Were There from the Start

Meridia’s heart risks were known from the beginning; when it was approved it carried a warning on its label stating that the drug should not be used in people with a history of heart disease, heart failure, heart-rhythm problems or stroke.

The drug, which suppresses your appetite by altering levels of the brain chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine, is also widely known to raise blood pressure and heart rate, and an FDA advisory panel recommended against its approval in 1996 for this very reason.

Public Citizen later petitioned the FDA to ban the drug in 2002, alleging that it was responsible for causing dozens of deaths and hundreds of adverse patient reactions since it came to market.

In 2005, the FDA again considered placing stricter warnings on the drug, and in January 2010 finally asked Abbott, the drug’s maker, to strengthen the warning following review of preliminary data from the SCOUT study.

The SCOUT study, which ultimately lead the FDA to request the drug be removed from the market entirely, found a 28 percent increased risk of heart attack and a 36 percent increased risk of stroke in patients taking Meridia compared to placebo.

Those are steep risks for a drug that only leads to an average weight loss of 9.5 pounds a year — hardly worth risking a fatal heart attack or stroke over.

What are You Willing to Risk to Lose Weight?

Obesity carries with it serious health risks, including cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and with rates increasing steadily it is a condition that needs to be taken seriously.

However, risking your life to lose less than 10 pounds is not a risk that any rational person should take.

Weight gain is obviously influenced by many factors, but the two that everyone keeps coming back to — diet and exercise — are still the primary ones you should keep in your mind. Combine a healthy diet with exercise — and be sure you are addressing the emotional component of food, eating and weight gain — and most people WILL lose weight.

Specifically, this includes:

  1. Tailoring your diet to your nutritional type.
  2. Viewing exercise as a drug and incorporating a variety of exercise types, including Peak Fitness, which can dramatically improve your cardiovascular fitness and fat-burning capabilities in a fraction of the time.
  3. Letting go of your emotional blocks to overcome emotional eating and food cravings.

It would be wonderful if there were a “quick-fix” solution to obesity, but there is not. And any pill or surgery that claims to offer you one will not only be ineffective but may put your health in jeopardy.

Mark my words; Meridia will not be the last weight loss drug to be pulled from the market over health concerns. Already, it’s been revealed that the over-the-counter weight loss drug Alli may increase cancer risks like its prescription cousin Xenical, again with only modest weight loss benefits, but both are still currently on the market.

You CAN Lose Weight Without Drugs

There is no magic pill for weight loss, but when you start paying close attention to what you’re eating drastic beneficial changes can take place rather quickly. You will want to pay very careful attention to keeping your insulin levels down, primarily by avoiding fructose as much as possible.

Keep in mind, too, that even if you were to take a drug for weight loss, they all still require that you make dietary and exercise changes. The pill will be useless without them!

Even weight loss surgeries have these requirements, as many centers will require that you exercise after the surgery, and prior to the surgery that you stop smoking, drinking soda and eating fast food. Many will even require you to lose weight prior to the surgery!

The Right Type of Exercise is the KEY

It is also simply impossible to optimize your health and weight without regular exercise, and as I said above you can dramatically reduce your workout time and maximize your weight loss by using Peak Fitness.

The beautiful aspect of Peak Fitness is that it takes a FRACTION of the time your normal cardio program does. It is only 20 minutes. What has been amazing me is that since I introduced this approach in May I have had no less than 10 people either tell me personally at lectures I give, or write on the website, that using the program has caused them to lose 30 pounds or more.

The really odd factor here is that I NEVER promoted it for weight loss, just health.

The other surprising element is that I have been recommending people exercise for decades, but the exercises were primarily based on flawed aerobic cardio principles. In those years I don’t recall anyone ever tell me directly that they had used an exercise program I recommended to lose large amounts of weight in a short period of time.

The Peak 8 program truly is extraordinary. Not only will it help you lose fat but it will also help you gain muscle by increasing your growth hormone levels.

Yes it is hard and requires mental tenacity to get through the 20 minutes, but the results are more than worth it — and you will really feel great about what you did.

So there is really no way around it if you are serious about losing weight — diet and exercise are key. The good news is, though, that when you address weight loss through a healthy lifestyle the only “side effects” you’ll have to worry about are good ones, like increased energy, better sleep and a boost to your self-esteem . no heart attacks, no strokes and no other atrocious risks required.

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