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Michigan Panel Votes 4-2 In Support Of Cannabis Use For Children With Autism, LARA Director Denies Petition

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Mike Zimmer, the Director of LARA in Michigan, has taken the futures of children and their families into his hands, only to crush them, insult them, and put all of their lives in danger. I was in attendance on July 31st 2015 at the last autism hearing in Lansing when the panel was finally given the chance to make an informed vote of 4-2 in favor of Autism being added to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana.

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I held our 4-year-old son Emery affectionately in my arms as I spoke in front of the panel of our experience over the last year and how it has changed us. We are able to give Emery cannabis because of his epilepsy diagnosis. I explained what it has done to reverse his autism impairment, to help him grow and to be happy, and for us to be able to live together in the same home. Before cannabis, we were going to have to live in separate homes on the same farmland together. Emery could not help but attack everyone around him constantly, including his younger siblings. Now, we happily spend entire days together and can hardly imagine the road we were headed down before Emery’s brain was allowed to work the way it is meant to because of cannabis.

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We were at the hearing with other friends as well. These friends have been fighting this for over two years. They are parents, family, friends, attorneys, doctors, experts, and other activists. Parents with adult autistic children spoke to the panel as well. These parents have spent decades watching their children suffer as they refill endless bottles of dangerous pharmaceutical medications. They explained that from all of their research and everything they have seen, they believe that cannabis will work. They want to try it. Parents like Dwight Zahringer have seen that other children using cannabis are not only experiencing changes in behavior and sleep patterns, but are also becoming verbal for the first time. Like every parent, these are things that he wants deeply for his own son, who is mostly non-verbal at the age of three. The original petitioner Lisa Smith’s son Noah, who has been non-verbal his whole life, has just recently started talking at the age of six because of cannabis. Parents caring for children with an autism diagnosis shouldn’t have to wait another day to try a proven safe and effective medicine that is non-toxic and has never caused a death. This is especially true when it’s helping so many people already.

Mike Zimmer denied the petition despite the panel’s recommendation to add it to the qualifying list of conditions.

The panel is specifically designated by LARA to make the decisions regarding new conditions that should qualify for protection under the MMMA. They reviewed over seventy-five peer-reviewed articles with over eight hundred pages of scientific information relating to the paediatric use of cannabis for autism. Parents should be able to choose this medicine for their autistic children. Adults who are suffering should be able to qualify as well. But instead of passing this decision through so that families can finally find relief, healing, and new positive experiences, Mike Zimmer denied it. From the decision:

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“This lack of scientific evidence is concerning … the petition fails to acknowledge the direct impact on children… .”

And Lt. Governor Brian Calley, who has an autistic child of his own, weighed in by saying “there are neither sufficient studies nor scientific trials demonstrating its clinical impact to justify approval at this time.”

Maybe what these guys need is over eight hundred pages of information on the dangers of using anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, anti-insomnia, and anti-anxiety medications on children just to help them cope or to control dangerous behaviors.

Mike Zimmer image

Zimmer writes that children with autism “without associated seizure disorders” are already eligible under the language of the MMMA. He implies that if there are no seizures, then the autism is not severe, with no clear definition for what severe autism is.

Let’s help him with that: autism is a word with six letters. That’s it. But children with an autism diagnosis, whether it is considered severe or not, have to see doctors to get that diagnosis. And there are reasons for seeing the doctors. Parents can’t just walk into a dispensary and get an autism diagnosis and a medical card. Children with these conditions have a neurologist and sometimes many other doctors that they see regularly to monitor their growth, behaviors, and intelligence. It feels like what Mike Zimmer is really saying is that he doesn’t trust the many compassionate doctors, attorneys, parents, experts, social workers and other professionals who work in this field. These are the people who spend time with autistic children and their families. They support this petition. Yet, he feels he has the right to make this decision for all of us.

He does not have that right.

He does not have the right to put a time limit on the lives of people or to force parents to separate siblings from each other when they can grow up together as friends, happily and peacefully. He doesn’t have the right to choose the number of children that are allowed to thrive and succeed in this world. In his Final Determination letter, he even makes it a point to rebut the claims that adding autism would cause a minimal increase in participation among minors.

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Attorney Michael Komorn suggests:

This guy is the head of LARA, the agency that licenses these physicians, and he relies upon the argument that the doctors that we license can’t be trusted and will abuse the system. To follow his logic, his licensed physicians will treat autistic patients who they are not qualified to treat … The solution is that he can regulate this through the physicians and lay down rules and regulations. Instead he shuts it down.

None of this matters, of course. Every child with an autism diagnosis will benefit from using cannabis. This is clearly outlined in all of the peer-reviewed information that was included with the petition even aside from the hundreds, if not thousands, of miraculous stories from all across the country. These are stories of autism impairment being reversed, sometimes seemingly overnight, just from using low doses of cannabis oil or other forms of cannabis. Let’s make sure these people have all the information they need to make this right for us!

THIS IS A CALL FOR ACTION!

California and D.C parents can already treat their children with cannabis for autism. This fight has been going on in Michigan for long enough now that a lot of people far and away are paying attention. When autism is added to the list of qualifying conditions in Michigan, our children will literally become the long-term studies that Mike Zimmer and other opponents of the petition claim that we need to have first.

Please take a few minutes out of your day and call LARA and the Governor’s office, or send out some emails or faxes. It really does mean a lot to everyone who works hard on this. It could make a huge difference in the outcome and aftermath of Zimmer’s final determination letter, which is included in the article. If you have any creative ideas or information that you feel could help, please tell us about it. Some websites that you can contact are listed below. If you have a success story you want to share, feel free to share in the comments below as well. This might be a game to these politicians and profiteers, but these are our lives! We deserve to create them ourselves!

Websites:

www.CannabisFamilySeeds.org

www.HeartsAndStars.org

www.TheWholePlantCannabis.com

http://www.mp4c.net

Here is the contact information for Mike Zimmer, Brian Calley, and the Governor’s Office. Please help these guys understand!

Brian Calley

https://www.facebook.com/briancalley

(Governor’s Office)

PHONE: (517) 373-3400

PHONE: (517) 335-7858 – Constituent Services

FAX:(517) 335-6863

Mike Zimmer

Phone: (517) 373-3286

Email: zimmerm@michigan.gov

Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

P.O. Box 30004

Lansing, MI 48909

Phone: (517) 373-1820

Fax: (517) 373-2129

This is a link to “The Endocannabinoid System as it Relates to Autism” – Joe Stone; Christian Bogner, M.D. Its references list the peer-reviewed scientific articles relating to cannabis in the treatment of autism that were included in the petition to add autism to the list of qualifying conditions to use cannabis in Michigan:

Sources:

1. http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2015/08/28/agency-rejects-marijuana-autistic-kids/32486185/

2. Final Determination on Medical Marijuana Use for Autism

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Awareness

Glyphosate & Colorectal Cancer in Young Adults

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    This article was written by By Lyn Redwood, RN, MSN, President of Children’s Health Defense.

  • Reflect On:

    How did our federal health regulatory agencies ever approve something so dangerous and damaging to human health?

In Part I, “The Disturbing Increase in Colorectal Cancer in Young Adults,” we called attention to the steep rise in colorectal cancer incidence in young people in their twenties and thirties and discussed the risks associated with viral vaccines. In Part II, we discuss glyphosate as another plausible culprit in the colorectal cancer epidemic.

Gut bacteria play a pivotal role in shoring up brain health and overall health. This fact has become a widely acknowledged talking point in scientific circles as well as in the popular press. The reverse is also true—when diet or environmental factors produce gut dysbiosis (an imbalance of the microbes that reside in the gastrointestinal tract), the imbalance can “impact the pathologies of many diseases.”

Colorectal cancer has increased by 51% in Americans under age 50 since the mid-1990s, and researchers suggest that “early life exposures…may be contributing to the rise” in that age group. A leading hypothesis is that gut dysbiosis is playing an active part—perhaps by disrupting young people’s immune response and triggering overactivation of cell signaling proteins in the colon. Some researchers have even posited a “bidirectional self-feeding relationship” between the gut microbiome and colorectal cancer, with gut dysbiosis contributing to colorectal cancer growth and progression, and tumor growth in turn disturbing the gut microbiome.

Autism investigators have been at the forefront of research on the gut microbiome. They point to environmental toxins and antibiotic use as two influences that can shift the gut’s microbial composition in an unfavorable direction. Scientists attribute up to 85% of colorectal cancers to environmental and microbial factors. Glyphosate (the leading ingredient of Roundup) is both an herbicide and a patented antimicrobial. Could the upward trend in glyphosate usage that began roughly three decades ago have something to do, therefore, with the skyrocketing incidence of colorectal cancer in young people? Although recent court cases linking Roundup to cancer have focused mostly on other types of cancer such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the evidence that glyphosate wreaks havoc with gut bacteria has led many researchers to suspect that the answer is yes.

Glyphosate in the air and everywhere

These days, glyphosate exposure affects everyone, not just farmworkers. Newsweek reported in 2016 that the world is “awash in glyphosate,” with a fifteen-fold increase in Roundup use since the mid-1990s. American agriculture sprays glyphosate on at least 70 food crops. As a result, glyphosate residues are now rampant in the U.S. food supply, including in the processed Cheerios, Doritos and Oreos so frequently gobbled up by children and adolescents.

Studies have documented concerning levels of glyphosate in Americans’ urine and breastmilk. One study of U.S. adults found that average glyphosate levels in urine increased by a factor of thirteen over the two-decade period between 1993–1996 and 2014–2016—and seven out of ten study participants had glyphosate levels above the limits of detection. Mean levels of a glyphosate metabolite called AMPA measured approximately 36 times higher in the second time period. Moms Across America has reported high levels of glyphosate in three out of ten breastmilk samples tested.

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Glyphosate and the gut

A variety of in-progress clinical trials are exploring the link between the intestinal microbiota and colorectal cancer. Completed studies have already shown that individuals with colorectal cancer “display instability in the composition of their gut bacterial communities when compared with healthy controls” and have elevated levels of unfavorable bacterial species. Several of these species exhibit “pro-inflammatory and pro-carcinogenic properties, which could consequently have an impact on colorectal carcinogenesis.” In fact, researchers suggest that measurement of these out-of-whack bacterial populations could have “potential value as a marker of colon cancer.”

The widespread and intensive use of glyphosate has exacerbated “distortions in microbial communities.” Researchers note that:

Shifts in microbial compositions due to selective pressure by glyphosate may have contributed to the proliferation of plant and animal pathogens. …[W]e hypothesize that the selection pressure for glyphosate-resistance in bacteria could lead to shifts in microbiome composition and increases in antibiotic resistance to clinically important antimicrobial agents.

Researchers Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff have written extensively about glyphosate in a series of papers elucidating “pathways to modern diseases.” They note that in animals, glyphosate “has been shown to disrupt gut bacteria…, preferentially killing beneficial forms and causing an overgrowth of pathogens.” Overgrowth of opportunistic pathogens can lead to a breakdown of the gut lining and the development of “leaky gut” syndrome. Researchers describe “the loss of gut barrier integrity” as “an early event which contributes to chronic inflammation,” and they have observed both gut dysbiosis and a dysfunctional intestinal barrier in colorectal cancer patients.

Turning a blind eye

Far from sticking up for American consumers, U.S. regulatory agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have largely turned a blind eye to concerns about glyphosate safety. The environmental website EcoWatch reported in 2016 that although the FDA routinely tests foods for pesticide residues, it had never tested for glyphosate residues until that year; EPA critics believe that the agency “has been unduly influenced by the agrichemical industry.” EcoWatch also observed that U.S. regulators allow a much higher “acceptable daily intake” of glyphosate than is permitted in other countries.

In July, 2019, Children’s Health Defense filed a lawsuit against Beech-Nut Nutrition Company, asserting that the company’s labeling and marketing practices “deceive parents who seek to be mindful of what is contained in the baby foods they provide to their infants.” Independent laboratory testing identified multiple synthetic pesticides, including glyphosate, in Beech-Nut’s “Naturals” line of baby food. Children’s Health Defense and Chairman and Chief Legal Counsel Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. take the health of our most precious resource—our children—very seriously and are at the forefront of legal efforts to challenge fraud and free children from exposure to toxic chemicals.

The rising toll of colorectal cancer deaths in young people who are in the prime of life points to the urgent need to reset regulatory priorities and put people before profits. Glyphosate’s deleterious effects on the gut microbiome—just one of many problems associated with the herbicide—are one more nail in the coffin for a toxic product that is well past its use-by date.

Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.

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Awareness

Johnson & Johnson Found To Have Knowingly Allowed Asbestos In Their Baby Powder

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Johnson and Johnson have recently lost lawsuits for negligence in knowingly allowing carcinogenic substances in their talc-based hygiene products.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we starting to turn the page on an era where human health and safety are not the prime considerations in the manufacturing of consumer products?

We are starting to awaken to the fact that it seems to be the rule, and not the exception, that large Western corporations put profits above human health considerations. The only time they seem to give any regard to human health concerns is when their forecasts of potential lawsuits down the road would likely exceed the cost measures needed to ensure the safety of their product.

Johnson & Johnson is just one of a long line of corporate perpetrators who believed that covering up and lying about known health concerns would make better business sense than taking the time and resources to actually address those health concerns within their products.

Contaminated Baby Powder: The Height Of Indignity

One would think, regardless of an understanding that the bottom line is a priority for most private companies, that the health and safety of a nursing mother and her newborn child would be sacrosanct for any industry. The reality is that this is simply not the case, even though J&J could have mitigated this problem from the start.

Companies that mine talc are required to take extra steps to ensure the absence of asbestos in their talc. Instead, J&J allegedly went to great lengths to fake it.

Not only did the company know about the asbestos contamination, evidence suggests, but J&J also failed to warn its customers about the link between Baby Powder and cancer or replace its talc with a safer alternative. As a result, J&J guaranteed its customers’ exposure to asbestos.

And regardless of their size or numbers, asbestos fibers are lethal at any capacity. As the World Health Organization (WHO) has stressed repeatedly, there is no safe level of exposure. (source)

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The Testimony of Scientist James Webber

Baby Powder’s contamination with asbestos (a mineral that naturally occurs near talc) has long been the subject of lawsuits. But only in recent years has evidence begun to unravel J&J’s defense – that the company had no idea – and threatened its success in lawsuits to come.

In March, a California jury awarded $29 million to Terry Leavitt, a woman who said that asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s talcum-powder-based products caused her terminal mesothelioma. Environmental scientist James Webber testified in her high-profile California trial and made these observations:

During several hours on the stand, Webber explained how he ran tests that showed “clear” evidence of asbestos contamination in the mines from which J&J sourced talc.

“The testing I have seen [shows] that it was present at least as early as 1971 and up through the late 1990s,” said Webber, who ran an asbestos laboratory in New York state.

Despite denying it publicly, J&J had observed this contamination in internal memos. Its notes dismissed the amount of asbestos in its talc as “but a trace,” Webber alleged. But that was just an optimistic interpretation of superficial testing, he said: the tests used methods too weak to detect microscopic asbestos fibers. Webber insisted the actual tests results revealed there could be millions of asbestos fibers per gram of talc.

And J&J’s inaccurate reports were allegedly only the tip of the iceberg. In some instances, Webber said, photos attached to J&J’s reports revealed that “they had been seeing it and not reporting it.”  (source)

And It’s Getting Worse

The $29 million verdict, in California Superior Court in Oakland, was the latest defeat for the healthcare conglomerate facing more than 13,000 talc-related lawsuits nationwide. And things may be getting even worse for J&J, according to ZeroHedge:

Johnson & Johnson shares are down over 5% after Bloomberg reports that, according to people with knowledge of the matter, the U.S. Justice Department is pursuing a criminal investigation into whether Johnson & Johnson lied to the public about the possible cancer risks of its talcum powder…

Now, a grand jury in Washington is examining documents related to what company officials knew about any carcinogens in their products, the people said.

The Takeaway

It seems as though corporations have long been willing to take the calculated risk of short-cuts and denials instead of ensuring that their products are safe for public use. My suspicion is that a part of our collective awakening process will be issuing in a new business paradigm in which human health and safety become paramount.

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Awareness

Prescription Infant Formulas Found To Be Contaminated With Aluminum

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Multiple brands of prescription infant formula were found to contain high levels of aluminum.

  • Reflect On:

    Should we be questioning the quality of products that come from pharmaceutical production? Do we veer away from natural methods of raising children more than we should? At what cost?

You may not think aluminum is a big deal, but it is. For anybody who has looked into aluminum toxicology, it’s quite clear and apparent that it has no place inside of any living biological organism. Putting it simply, it wreaks havoc on our biology. High amounts of aluminum have been found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, with experts in the field believing that aluminum brain accumulation may be one of the main causes of Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s also been discovered within the brains of MS patients, and some of the highest aluminum content ever recorded in brain tissue has also been discovered in people with autism. Aluminum is associated with several diseases. But an adult body can do a great job of flushing out aluminum.

Despite the fact that aluminum has no place within earth’s biota, it’s still present in many of our medications, our food, and even in the water that we drink due to contamination since the industrial revolution. Aluminum inside the body is a new phenomenon and still understudied. Again, there is a threshold, and aluminum that is injected via vaccines doesn’t exit the body–there is strong evidence that it remains inside the body and ends up in distant organs and eventually inside of the brain. If you want to access more studies on that topic, you can read this article I published that provides them and goes into more detail. You can also watch this interview with Christopher Exley, where he also points to that fact.

A new study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health has shown that multiple popular infant prescriptions are contaminated with aluminum. You may be asking how much aluminum, but the authors make it a point to stress that there are no safe amounts of aluminum levels that can be inside of a human body, let alone a newborn baby. That being said, the amounts found are listed within the abstract of the study:

Historical and recent data demonstrate that off-the-shelf infant formulas are heavily contaminated with aluminium. The origin of this contamination remains to be elucidated though may be imported via ingredients, packaging and processing. Specialised infant formulas exist to address health issues, such as low birth weight, allergy or intolerance and medical conditions, such as renal insufficiency. The aluminium content of these prescription infant formulas is measured here for the first time. We obtained 24 prescription infant formulas through a paediatric clinic and measured their total aluminium content by transversely heated graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry following microwave assisted acid/peroxide digestion. The aluminium content of ready-to-drink formulas ranged from 49.9 (33.7) to 1956.3 (111.0) μg/L. The most heavily contaminated products were those designed as nutritional supplements for infants struggling to gain weight. The aluminium content of powdered formulas ranged from 0.27 (0.04) to 3.27 (0.19) μg/g. The most heavily contaminated products tended to be those addressing allergies and intolerance. Prescription infant formulas are contaminated with aluminium.

Another very important point made right off the bat by the authors:

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Human exposure to aluminium is a serious health concern. Aluminium exposure in infants is understandably a burgeoning issue. While infant exposure to aluminium continues to be documented, its consequences, immediate and in the future, have received only scant attention and research is required to understand the biological availability of aluminium through formula feeding. For example, how much aluminium is absorbed across the neonate gut and its subsequent fate, including excretion.

There is already too much aluminium in infant formulas and herein we have measured its content in a large number of prescription formulas, products which are fed to vulnerable infants in their first months of life. Many of these products are heavily contaminated with aluminium.

As for the specific infant formulas, you can refer to the study. The researchers obtained 24 prescription infant formulas via the Paediatric Clinic of Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, United Kingdom. The ready-to-drink and powdered products were new, ready-to-be used and unopened samples. These formulas are for babies with some sort of growth restriction, like for preterm infants or infants who have poor weight gain. There were also powdered formulas for allergies and intolerances and powdered formulas with additional amino acids.

The authors contacted each manufacturer and expressed that they denied knowing that there was any aluminum in their products, which means it’s still a mystery as to their source. The authors hypothesize on a number of ways that aluminum could be entering into the formulas.

In their conclusion, the authors emphasize that:

Where possible, breast milk feeding should be prioritised, as the aluminium content of breast milk is invariably an order of magnitude lower than in formula feeds. Where infant formulas are the only source of nutrition for many infants in their first weeks and months of life, aluminium ingested in formula feeds will be the major contributor to their body burden of aluminium. The last thing that vulnerable infants fed specialised formulas for their specific nutritional/medicinal need is additional aluminium in their diet.

Detoxing

There is a lot of information out there on how a person can detox from aluminum and other heavy metals. There are multiple studies, and based on what I’ve looked into, water with high amounts of Silica are effective in draining aluminum out of your body and brain. Herbs like cilantro and substances like chlorella and spirulina are also great for removing some metals. The information is out there, so be sure to do your research.

The Takeaway

It’s concerning to think about what these corporations are doing. Again, aluminum should hold no place in our society, it should’ve remained well below our surface as part of the Earth’s crust for a reason. It wasn’t until humans began digging it out and using it for a number of things, irresponsibly I might add, that we started to see the health implications which still go largely ignored by the medical community.

In fact, heavy metal accumulation and detoxification of aluminum haven’t been addressed at all, which is odd given the fact that heavy metal accumulation is linked to a variety of diseases.

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