Remember those milk commercials you used to see as a kid, claiming that milk “does the body good”? It turns out that might not be true at all. In fact, it could be the complete opposite. New evidence continues to emerge suggesting that drinking milk from a cow is not really natural, and not really good nor necessary for us at all. It’s not a coincidence that approximately 65 to 75 percent of the total human population on our planet have a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy. In some countries, more than 90 percent of the adult population is lactose intolerant.
It makes sense if you think about it, because every other species weans and then never drinks milk again for the rest of their lives. This is because they don’t have the enzyme to break down sugar in milk. In this video, Katherine S. Pollard, PhD., from the University of California shares how during human evolution, some humans experienced a mutation in the LTC gene, the lactose gene, and that these are the mutations that allow us to process lactose as adults. We weren’t born with this gene, we had to develop it.
Not only that, the animal industry alone kills billions of animals every single year, and that’s just in America alone. Factory farming is causing extreme environmental degradation and excess of greenhouses gases. Another factor to consider is animal cruelty. This is a great little video done by Erin Janus, an animal and environmental activist who is raising awareness about multiple issues. In her video she brings up some great points about the modern day dairy industry.
Below is a list put together by Sofia Pineda Ochoa, MD, a practicing physician in Houston, Texas. I added some more information under some of the points, but the idea and a large portion of the information comes from her post over at www.forksoverknives.com, (I am just relaying the information).
She was also biochemistry professor at the University of Guadalajara’s School of Medicine in Mexico, and is the co-founder of Meat Your Future, an educational non-profit that provides fact-based information about the health, environmental, and ethical implications of consuming animal products. Visit MeatYourFuture.com for more from Dr. Pineda Ochoa.
View all contributions by Sofia Pineda Ochoa, MD for forks over knives at this link.
7 Ways Milk & Dairy Products Are Making You Sick
1. It Seems Ironic, But Dairy Can Lead To Bone Problems Too
Dairy is commonly marketed as being good for our bones, but that’s primarily due to the fact that it contains calcium. This is absurd. One serving of raw kale, for example, is loaded with calcium. So much so that a 3.5 g cup of kale salad provides more calcium than one cup of milk.
“Not only has the body of scientific evidence been found inadequate to support the idea that dairy consumption promotes bone health, but numerous large-scale studies have found that consuming dairy may actually be detrimental to bone health. In fact, there is substantial data linking higher milk intake with significantly increased risk of bone fractures.” – Sofia Pineda Ochoa, MD
Some of these studies include:
Why is it that countries with the highest daily milk intake have the highest rates of hip fractures, a key indicator of osteoporosis, and countries where the average daily calcium intake is extremely low, have a very low incidence of bone fractures? This is also discussed in the studies above.
When it comes to protein found in dairy, it also creates a very acidic environment in the body, causing what’s known as metabolic acidosis. This forces the body to compensate by leaching calcium from the bones to help neutralize the increased acidity. Over time, all of this can have severe and detrimental effects on bone health.
2. Casein From Dairy = Increased Risk of Cancer Development
Casein is the main protein found in dairy, and it’s what causes metabolic acidosis, as mentioned in the above paragraph. Studies have shown that it facilitates the growth and development of cancer. Some studies have even found that cancer development could be controlled more by casein levels in diet than by exposure to the underlying carcinogen. (source)
1GF-1, a hormone that promotes cell division in cancer cells, goes up when you consume animal protein. This is why some scientists are seeking FDA approval for fasting as a potential treatment for cancer, because caloric restriction and fasting, combined with a plant-based diet, significantly lowers IG1 growth hormone levels in the body. (source)(source)(source)
One of the most comprehensive studies ever performed on this subject is The China Study, conducted by Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Thomas Campbell. Their findings showed direct correlations between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, proving that cultures that eat primarily plant-based diets have lower to no instances of these diseases, and that switching to a plant-based diet can successfully reverse diseases already established in the body.
In the video below he touches on Casein.
3. Dairy Products Accumulate Pesticides In High Concentrations
Pesticides in dairy are actually a big problem, and have been for a while. For example, not long ago a team of researchers in Hawaii tracked 450 men, which revealed a strong association between heptachlor (insecticide) and brain damage leading to Parkinson’s. Very high levels of the insecticide were found in milk in Hawaii during the 80’s.
A team of researchers focused on an environmental scandal in Hawaii to study the association between the pesticide and Parkinson’s: In 1982, tests showed Hawaii’s milk supplies had abnormally high levels of heptachlor epoxide, an organochlorine pesticide commonly used on pineapples.
The study showed that heptachlor causes the loss of brain-cells, especially among heavy milk drinkers. Residues of heptachlor were found in 90 percent of brains compared to 63 percent of those who consumed no milk. You can read more about that here.
The study showed that milk intake is associated with SN neuron loss in the brain, a hallmark of Parkinson’s.
“Even pesticides that have long been banned still show up when dairy products are tested. Some OCPs (like DDT, which was widely used in the past and now banned as a human carcinogen) still persist in the environment and can more easily accumulate in animal food products, including dairy.” – Sofia Pineda Ochoa
In India, dairy products have been a major source of DDT and hexac hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) (source), and milk from dairy farms in Italy’s Sacco River Valley have been tested, showing very high levels of HCH, twenty times more than the legal limit. (source)
4. It Contains Hormones, Yes, Even if it’s Organic
Dairy is a huge source of female hormone exposure. Commercial cow’s milk contains huge amounts of progesterone and estrogen, which is concerning. Another major concern is the fact that cows are being genetically altered to continuously produce milk, even throughout their multiple pregnancies. (source)(source)(source)
Milk products labeled “organic” or “no hormones added” still have high levels of these harmful antibiotics, which are naturally produced by cows (even if those cows have not been given any additional hormones for purposes of the product label).
- In both adults and children, milk consumption has resulted in markedly increased levels of estradiol and progesterone in blood and urine, and dairy consumption in general has been associated with increased levels of circulating estradiol.
- The data shows that men who drink milk will absorb the estrogens in the milk, which has been found to result in significantly decreased testosterone production/levels.
- Pediatricians have expressed concern regarding childhood exposure to the exogenous estrogens in commercial milk, given studies showing that early sexual maturation in prepubescent children can be caused by the “ordinary intake of cow milk.”
- An array of multi-centered, peer-reviewed studies has shown that dairy consumption is one of the most concerning and consistent risk factors for hormone-dependent malignant diseases, including ovarian, uterine, breast, testicular and prostate cancers.
See additional sources and information at the bottom of this article.
5. Increased Exposure to Antibiotic Residue
The largest use of antibiotics worldwide is for livestock. (source) Much of that use is for non-therapeutic purposes, such as infection prevention and to promote feed efficiency and animal growth. (source)
Apart from the dire warnings from scientists that agricultural overuse is leading to antibiotic resistance, another problem is that antibiotic residues persist in milk and other dairy products despite protocols aimed to minimize this. (source)
It is difficult to prevent and control these antibiotic residues because milk from individual cows and farms is usually pooled together, and the administration, handling and record-keeping of animal drug use can vary significantly from one dairy operation to another. (source)
The resulting low-dose antibiotic exposure can lead to a variety of problems, from developing antibiotic resistance to allergic reactions to experiencing side-effects of the medication to which a person is exposed.
6. Even Pasteurized Milk Contains Microorganisms
Milk and other dairy products are important vehicles for foodborne pathogens due to a variety of microorganisms they harbor (source). Even with modern sanitation requirements, including pasteurization and curing, outbreaks still occur, resulting in severe and sometimes even fatal outcomes.
Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli are some of the more common foodborne outbreaks associated with dairy. Just last year, for example, three people tragically died from Listeria infections linked to Blue Bell Ice Cream (prompting a large-scale recall by Blue Bell Creameries). (source)
Not even our food regulatory agencies expect milk will be sterile after pasteurization; the heating process is done merely to reduce (not eliminate) the amount of microorganisms.
7. Higher Risk of Type 1 Diabetes and Multiple Sclerosis
Our immune system normally protects us from microbes and other harmful substances. But if it loses its ability to recognize and distinguish harmful substances from normal tissues and cells, it can instead mount attacks against our own bodies.
These “auto-attacks” can be triggered by exposure to foreign peptides (including animal protein fragments found in dairy), which have similarities to components in the human body. This can result in our immune system becoming “confused” and misidentifying tissues in our body as “foreign” and thus in need of being attacked and destroyed.
Dairy is associated with an increased risk of several immune-related disorders (from allergic conditions to autoimmune diseases), many being life-changing and difficult to treat. The associations with type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis are particularly concerning:
- Type 1 Diabetes. In type 1 diabetes (also called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM)), the immune system attacks the pancreas, resulting in the body no longer being able to produce insulin to regulate glucose. Multiple large-scale studies have identified an association between cow’s milk consumption and increased prevalence of type 1 diabetes. One such study found that “cows’ milk may contain a triggering factor for the development of IDDM,” and another found that “[e]arly cow’s milk exposure may be an important determinant of subsequent type 1 diabetes and may increase the risk approximately 1.5 times.” (source)
- Multiple Sclerosis. In Multiple Sclerosis (MS), the immune system attacks the insulating sheath of our own nervous system, resulting in a variety of difficult-to-treat and unpredictable neurological problems. As with type 1 diabetes, numerous studies have reported that cow’s milk consumption may be a significant risk factor for developing MS. (source)(source)(source)
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Research Reveals How Sugar CAUSES Cancer
- The Facts:
This article was written by Sayer Ji, Founder of Greenmedinfo.com where it first originally appeared. Posted here with permission.
- Reflect On:
The average American consumes their body weight annually in this cancer-causing substance, and yet hospitals freely feed it to their cancer patients, seemingly oblivious to the harm it does.
Hospitals feed cancer patients sugar and high carbohydrate diets for a simple reason: they are abysmally ignorant of the role of nutrition in health and disease — hence their burgeoning growth, packed rooms, and ‘return customers.’
Even though the science itself shows – at least since the mid-20’s with Otto Warburg’s cancer hypothesis — that tumors prefer to utilize sugar fermentation to produce energy rather than the much more efficient oxygen-based phosphorylation* – hospitals have actually invited corporations like McDonald’s to move into their facilities to ‘enhance’ their patient’s gustatory experience, presumably to provide comfort and take the edge off of the painful surgery, radiation and chemo treatments erroneously proffered to them as the only reasonable ‘standard of care.’
But the times are changing, with new research requiring these medical institutions to reform their dietary strategies, at least if they wish to claim that their interventions are in fact ‘evidence-based,’ as they so often claim.
Study Reveals Sugar Doesn’t Just Feed But Causes Cancer
A groundbreaking study, uncovered by one of our volunteer researchers at Greenmedinfo, is the first of its kind to identify sugar, not only as fuel source for an already existing cancer, but as a primary driver in oncogenesis – i.e. the initiation of cancerous characteristics (phenotype) within previously healthy cells.
Published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation and titled, Increased sugar uptake promotes oncogenesis via EPAC/RAP1 and O-GlcNAc pathways, researchers addressed a common perception (or misperception) in the cancer research community regarding sugar’s relationship to cancer: namely, “increased glycolysis [sugar based metabolism] is frequently viewed as a consequence of oncogenic events that drive malignant cell growth and survival.”
Contrary to this conventional view, the new study “provide[s] evidence that increased glycolytic activation itself can be an oncogenic event.” That is to say, the activation of sugar-based metabolism in a cell – driven by both the presence of increased quantities of glucose and the increase glucose receptors on the cell membrane surface (i.e. “overexpression of a glucose transporter”) – drives cancer initiation.
Moreover, the study found that “Conversely, forced reduction of glucose uptake by breast cancer cells led to phenotypic reversion.” In other words, interfering with sugar availability and uptake to the cell causes the cancer cell to REGRESS towards its pre-cancer structure-function (phenotype).
What Are The Implications of This Research to the Diet?
What this new research indicates is that sugar – of which Americans consume an astounding 160 lbs annually (imagine: 31 five-pound bags for each of us!) – is one of the primary causes of metabolic cell changes in the body consistent with the initiation and promotion of cancer. And, the research indicates that removing it from the diet, and depriving the cells of it, could REVERSE cancer. Why is this so surprising? It’s because Americans have been lead like lambs to the slaughter to think of “prevention” as “early detection,” focusing not on identifying and removing the well known nutritional and environmental causes of cancer, rather, to spend their time, energy, and money on cause-marketing campaigns focused on “finding a cure” — as if one didn’t already exist right in front of our noses, or more aptly, on the end of our forks.
Hidden Sugar, Crouching Cancer
It has been estimated by the USDA that the average American consumes 200 lbs of grain products annually. Why is this relevant to the question of sugar in the diet? Because refined carbohydrate products – e.g. crackers, bread, pasta, cereal – are actually ‘hidden’ forms of sugar. In fact, puffed rice causes your blood to become sweeter (and presumably feeds more cancer cells sugar) than white sugar, as it is higher on the glycemic index. Adding the two figures together – annual per capita consumption of sugar and grain-based products – we get a jaw dropping 360 lbs of sugar (both overt (table sugar/high fructose corn syrup) and covert (grain carbs) annually – all of which may contribute to promoting the ideal metabolic situation of cancer cells: aerobic glycolysis.
This is one reason why the ketogenic diet – that is, a fat- and protein-focused diet devoid of carbohydrate, both in simple (sugar) and complex (grain product) form – has been found so useful in the most aggressive of cancers: including brain cancer. Once you ‘pull the rug out’ from under the sugar/carb-craving cancer cells, they are forced to either undergo programmed cell death (apoptosis) or re-differentiate back into non-cancerous phenotypes.
If It’s So Bad For Us, Why Do We Eat So Much?
One of the primary reasons why we eat sugar and carbohydrate rich diets is because they are addictive. Within minutes of consuming sugar/carbs our body goes through a neuroendocrine roller coaster. Your brain can not survive very long without glucose, the fundamental energy unit of the cell, and will ‘freak out’ if deprived of a steady stream of this ‘nutrient’ within only 2-3 minutes. The endocrine system, on the other hand, perceives the danger of high sugar – namely, glycation associated damage to protein and lipid structures within the cells of our body; think: blood caramelizing, getting sticky, and gumming up the finely tuned works – and will release hormones such as insulin, adrenaline and cortisol, in order to try to get the elevated sugar in the blood and tissues under control. Insulin forces the sugar into storage within the cell, both as glycogen and as fat, but often does its job too well, causing available glucose levels in the brain to be depleted – setting off a vicious cycle of ’emergency signals’ telling the body to release more cortisol and adrenaline to increase the levels of glucose in the blood. This, of course, will result in additional insulin production and release, causing the same cycle to be repeated over and over again.
This seemingly endless vicious cycle is responsible for the insatiable cravings a high carb/sugar diet generates – not to mention the fructose-based hedonic effects generated in the brain that modulate both opioid and dopamine receptors in the nervous system (not unlike alcohol), and the pharmacologically active peptides in many gluten-containing grains, which also drive addictive behaviors and an almost psychotic fixation on getting carbs at each meal.
No wonder we have an epidemic of cancer in a world where the Westernized diet prevails. Certainly, we do not mean to indicate that a sugar/carb-rich diet is the only cause of cancer. There are many other factors that contribute to cancer initiation and promotion, such as:
- Chemical exposure
- Radiation exposure
- Chronic stress that suppresses the immune system
- Vaccines containing hidden retroviruses and cancer causing viruses
- Natural infection with bacteria and viruses that are cancer causing
- Lack of sleep
- Insufficient nutrients (lack of methyl donors such as B12, folate, and B6 will prevent the body from ‘turning off’ (methylating) cancer-promoting genes
Even though cancer is a complex, multi-factorial phenomena, with variables we can not always control, one thing we can do is control what goes into our mouth. Sugar, for instance, does not belong there if we truly want to prevent and/or treat cancer. And don’t forget, carbohydrates that don’t taste sweet on the front end – bread, crackers, cereal – certainly convert to sugar in the body within minutes post-consumption.
In a nutshell, if you are concerned about cancer, have cancer, or would like to prevent recurrence, removing sugar and excess carbohydrates is a must. Not only is it common sense, but it is now validated by experimental research.
Note: another recent study found that Candida albicans (yeast) also contributes to cancer initiation and promotion. C. albicans thrives on sugar, lending additional support to the notion that sugar (consumed excessively) may be a primary driver of the cancer epidemic in those consuming the modern Western diet. For information on sugar alternatives that are not synthetic toxicants like Splenda (sucralose), read my latest article on the topic: 4 Sugar Alternatives That Won’t Poison You.
*Note: Cancer cells prefer to ferment sugar as a form of energy even when there is sufficient oxygen available to the cells to do so; hence Warburg’s description of cancer metabolism as ‘aerobic glycolysis’ or the so-called ‘Warburg effect’
Originally published: 2017-12-04
Article udpated: 2019-07-19
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Link to the original article
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The Medical Journals’ Sell-Out—Getting Paid to Play
[Note: This is Part IX in a series of articles adapted from the second Children’s Health Defense eBook: Conflicts of Interest Undermine Children’s Health. The first eBook, The Sickest Generation: The Facts Behind the Children’s Health Crisis and Why It Needs to End, described how children’s health began to worsen dramatically in the late 1980s following fateful changes in the childhood vaccine schedule.]
The vaccine industry and its government and scientific partners routinely block meaningful science and fabricate misleading studies about vaccines. They could not do so, however, without having enticed medical journals into a mutually beneficial bargain. Pharmaceutical companies supply journals with needed income, and in return, journals play a key role in suppressing studies that raise critical questions about vaccine risks—which would endanger profits.
Journals are willing to accept even the most highly misleading advertisements. The FDA has flagged numerous instances of advertising violations, including ads that overstated a drug’s effectiveness or minimized its risks.
An exclusive and dependent relationship
Advertising is one of the most obviously beneficial ways that medical journals’ “exclusive and dependent relationship” with the pharmaceutical industry plays out. According to a 2006 analysis in PLOS Medicine, drugs and medical devices are the only products for which medical journals accept advertisements. Studies show that journal advertising generates “the highest return on investment of all promotional strategies employed by pharmaceutical companies.” The pharmaceutical industry puts a particularly “high value on advertising its products in print journals” because journals reach doctors—the “gatekeeper between drug companies and patients.” Almost nine in ten drug advertising dollars are directed at physicians.
In the U.S. in 2012, drug companies spent $24 billion marketing to physicians, with only $3 billion spent on direct-to-consumer advertising. By 2015, however, consumer-targeted advertising had jumped to $5.2 billion, a 60% increase that has reaped bountiful rewards. In 2015, Pfizer’s Prevnar-13 vaccine was the nation’s eighth most heavily advertised drug; after the launch of the intensive advertising campaign, Prevnar “awareness” increased by over 1,500% in eight months, and “44% of targeted consumers were talking to their physicians about getting vaccinated specifically with Prevnar.” Slick ad campaigns have also helped boost uptake of “unpopular” vaccines like Gardasil.
Advertising is such an established part of journals’ modus operandi that high-end journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) boldly invite medical marketers to “make NEJM the cornerstone of their advertising programs,” promising “no greater assurance that your ad will be seen, read, and acted upon.” In addition, medical journals benefit from pharmaceutical companies’ bulk purchases of thousands of journal reprints and industry’s sponsorship of journal subscriptions and journal supplements.
In 2003, an editor at The BMJ wrote about the numerous ways in which drug company advertising can bias medical journals (and the practice of medicine)—all of which still hold true today. For example:
- Advertising monies enable prestigious journals to get thousands of copies into doctors’ hands for free, which “almost certainly” goes on to affect prescribing.
- Journals will guarantee favorable editorial mentions of a product in order to earn a company’s advertising dollars.
- Journals can earn substantial fees for publishing supplements even when they are written by “paid industry hacks”—and the more favorable the supplement content is to the company that is funding it, the bigger the profit for the journal.
Discussing clinical trials, the BMJ editor added: “Major trials are very good for journals in that doctors around the world want to see them and so are more likely to subscribe to journals that publish them. Such trials also create lots of publicity, and journals like publicity. Finally, companies purchase large numbers of reprints of these trials…and the profit margin to the publisher is huge. These reprints are then used to market the drugs to doctors, and the journal’s name on the reprint is a vital part of that sell.”
… however, even these poor-quality studies—when funded by the pharmaceutical industry—got far more attention than equivalent studies not funded by industry.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), nearly three-fourths of all funding for clinical trials in the U.S.—presumably including vaccine trials—came from corporate sponsors as of the early 2000s. The pharmaceutical industry’s funding of studies (and investigators) is a factor that helps determine which studies get published, and where. As a Johns Hopkins University researcher has acknowledged, funding can lead to bias—and while the potential exists for governmental or departmental funding to produce bias, “the worst source of bias is industry-funded.”
In 2009, researchers published a systematic review of several hundred influenza vaccine trials. Noting “growing doubts about the validity of the scientific evidence underpinning [influenza vaccine] policy recommendations,” the authors showed that the vaccine-favorable studies were “of significantly lower methodological quality”; however, even these poor-quality studies—when funded by the pharmaceutical industry—got far more attention than equivalent studies not funded by industry. The authors commented:
[Studies] sponsored by industry had greater visibility as they were more likely to be published by high impact factor journals and were likely to be given higher prominence by the international scientific and lay media, despite their apparent equivalent methodological quality and size compared with studies with other funders.
In their discussion, the authors also described how the industry’s vast resources enable lavish and strategic dissemination of favorable results. For example, companies often distribute “expensively bound” abstracts and reprints (translated into various languages) to “decision makers, their advisors, and local researchers,” while also systematically plugging their studies at symposia and conferences.
The World Health Organization’s standards describe reporting of clinical trial results as a “scientific, ethical, and moral responsibility.” However, it appears that as many as half of all clinical trial results go unreported—particularly when their results are negative. A European official involved in drug assessment has described the problem as “widespread,” citing as an example GSK’s suppression of results from four clinical trials for an anti-anxiety drug when those results showed a possible increased risk of suicide in children and adolescents. Experts warn that “unreported studies leave an incomplete and potentially misleading picture of the risks and benefits of treatments.”
Many vaccine studies flagrantly illustrate biases and selective reporting that produce skewed write-ups that are more marketing than science.
Debased and biased results
The “significant association between funding sources and pro-industry conclusions” can play out in many different ways, notably through methodological bias and debasement of study designs and analytic strategies. Bias may be present in the form of inadequate sample sizes, short follow-up periods, inappropriate placebos or comparisons, use of improper surrogate endpoints, unsuitable statistical analyses or “misleading presentation of data.”
Occasionally, high-level journal insiders blow the whistle on the corruption of published science. In a widely circulated quote, Dr. Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of NEJM, acknowledged that “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines.” Dr. Angell added that she “[took] no pleasure in this conclusion, which [she] reached slowly and reluctantly” over two decades at the prestigious journal.
Many vaccine studies flagrantly illustrate biases and selective reporting that produce skewed write-ups that are more marketing than science. In formulaic articles that medical journals are only too happy to publish, the conclusion is almost always the same, no matter the vaccine: “We did not identify any new or unexpected safety concerns.” As an example of the use of inappropriate statistical techniques to exaggerate vaccine benefits, an influenza vaccine study reported a “69% efficacy rate” even though the vaccine failed “nearly all who [took] it.” As explained by Dr. David Brownstein, the study’s authors used a technique called relative risk analysis to derive their 69% statistic because it can make “a poorly performing drug or therapy look better than it actually is.” However, the absolute risk difference between the vaccine and the placebo group was 2.27%, meaning that the vaccine “was nearly 98% ineffective in preventing the flu.”
… the reviewers had done an incomplete job and had ignored important evidence of bias.
In 2018, the Cochrane Collaboration—which bills its systematic reviews as the international gold standard for high-quality, “trusted” evidence—furnished conclusions about the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine that clearly signaled industry bias. In May of that year, Cochrane’s highly favorable review improbably declared the vaccine to have no increased risk of serious adverse effects and judged deaths observed in HPV studies “not to be related to the vaccine.” Cochrane claims to be free of conflicts of interest, but its roster of funders includes national governmental bodies and international organizations pushing for HPV vaccine mandates as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation—both of which are staunch funders and supporters of HPV vaccination. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s president is a former top CDC official who served as acting CDC director during the H1N1 “false pandemic” in 2009 that ensured millions in windfall profits for vaccine manufacturers.
Two months after publication of Cochrane’s HPV review, researchers affiliated with the Nordic Cochrane Centre (one of Cochrane’s member centers) published an exhaustive critique, declaring that the reviewers had done an incomplete job and had “ignored important evidence of bias.” The critics itemized numerous methodological and ethical missteps on the part of the Cochrane reviewers, including failure to count nearly half of the eligible HPV vaccine trials, incomplete assessment of serious and systemic adverse events and failure to note that many of the reviewed studies were industry-funded. They also upbraided the Cochrane reviewers for not paying attention to key design flaws in the original clinical trials, including the failure to use true placebos and the use of surrogate outcomes for cervical cancer.
In response to the criticisms, the editor-in-chief of the Cochrane Library initially stated that a team of editors would investigate the claims “as a matter of urgency.” Instead, however, Cochrane’s Governing Board quickly expelled one of the critique’s authors, Danish physician-researcher Peter Gøtzsche, who helped found Cochrane and was the head of the Nordic Cochrane Centre. Gøtzsche has been a vocal critic of Cochrane’s “increasingly commercial business model,” which he suggests is resulting in “stronger and stronger resistance to say anything that could bother pharmaceutical industry interests.” Adding insult to injury, Gøtzsche’s direct employer, the Rigshospitalet hospital in Denmark, then fired Gøtzsche. In response, Dr. Gøtzsche stated, “Firing me sends the unfortunate signal that if your research results are inconvenient and cause public turmoil, or threaten the pharmaceutical industry’s earnings, …you will be sacked.” In March 2019, Gøtzsche launched an independent Institute for Scientific Freedom.
In 2019, the editor-in-chief and research editor of BMJ Evidence Based Medicine—the journal that published the critique of Cochrane’s biased review—jointly defended the critique as having “provoke[d] healthy debate and pose[d] important questions,” affirming the value of publishing articles that “hold organisations to account.” They added that “Academic freedom means communicating ideas, facts and criticism without being censored, targeted or reprimanded” and urged publishers not to “shrink from offering criticisms that may be considered inconvenient.”
In recent years, a number of journals have invented bogus excuses to withdraw or retract articles critical of risky vaccine ingredients, even when written by top international scientists.
The censorship tsunami
Another favored tactic is to keep vaccine-critical studies out of medical journals altogether, either by refusing to publish them (even if peer reviewers recommend their publication) or by concocting excuses to pull articles after publication. In recent years, a number of journals have invented bogus excuses to withdraw or retract articles critical of risky vaccine ingredients, even when written by top international scientists. To cite just three examples:
- The journal Vaccine withdrew a study that questioned the safety of the aluminum adjuvantused in Gardasil.
- The journal Science and Engineering Ethics retracted an article that made a case for greater transparency regarding the link between mercury and autism.
- Pharmacological Research withdrew a published veterinary article that implicated aluminum-containing vaccines in a mystery illness decimating sheep, citing “concerns” from an anonymous reader.
Elsevier, which publishes two of these journals, has a track record of setting up fake journals to market Merck’s drugs, and Springer, which publishes the third journal as well as influential publications like Nature and Scientific American, has been only too willing to accommodate censorship requests. However, even these forms of censorship may soon seem quaint in comparison to the censorship of vaccine-critical information now being implemented across social media and other platforms. This concerted campaign to prevent dissemination of vaccine content that does not toe the party line will make it harder than ever for American families to do their due diligence with regard to vaccine risks and benefits.
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60% of Kale Samples Contaminated With Cancer Causing Pesticide – Organic Is Key!
- The Facts:
A new analysis by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has found a high level of Dacthal in non-organic Kale.
- Reflect On:
Why do we justify the spraying of poison on our food? How does this make any sense? These substances have been linked to several diseases, how are they approved and marketed as safe in many countries? Why are they banned in so many others?
Do you still think organic is not necessary? A recent study published in the journal Environmental Research examined four families who eat conventional diets. Pesticide levels were measured via urine before switching to an organic diet for 6 days. A dramatic drop in pesticide levels was found. Another study conducted by researchers from RMIT University, published in the journal Environmental Research, found that eating an organic diet for just one week significantly reduced pesticide (commonly used in conventional food production) exposure in adults. This study found a dramatic 90 percent drop in pesticide levels. Both studies used urine samples to measure pesticide accumulation. You can access those studies and read more about them here and here.
A lot of these agents were initially developed as nerve gases for chemical warfare, so we do know that they have toxic effects on the nervous system at high doses. Conventional food production commonly uses organophosphate pesticides, among many others, which are neurotoxins that act on the nervous systems of humans by blocking an important enzyme. Recent studies have raised concerns for health effects of these chemicals even at relatively low levels.
There is no question or doubt about it, organic food not sprayed with pesticides is much better for our health, and eating organic is a great way to prevent multiple diseases, including cancer. Despite all of the publications and research on this subject, it’s confusing how cancer awareness initiatives continue to focus on raising money without ever addressing the root causes of the disease, one of which is clearly exposure to herbicides and pesticides.
This is why the Environmental Working Group (EWG) advocates buying organic products. Since its inception in 1993, EWG has fought for consumers’ rights to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. EWG’s very first report in 1993, “Pesticides in Children’s Foods,” played a pivotal role in Congress passing the Food Quality Protection Act two years later. They are a well known group of scientists and activists doing great work.
Recently, they discovered that approximately 60 percent of kale samples sold in the United States were contaminated with another carcinogenic pesticide, according to the EWG’s analysis of the 2017 Department of Agriculture’s test data.
The pesticide is called DCPA, often marketed as Dacthal, and it’s a substance that the EPA classified as a possible carcinogen in 1995. In 2005, its major manufacturer voluntarily terminated its registration for use on several U.S. crops, including artichokes, beans and cucumbers, after studies found that its breakdown products were highly persistent in the environment and could contaminate drinking water sources. This is why in 2009, the European Union prohibited all uses of Dacthal, enforcing a complete ban on it. With all this being said, the fact remains that it is still used in the U.S. on crops including kale, broccoli, sweet potatoes, eggplant, turnips, and who knows what else.
Even as kale’s popularity as a health food rich in vitamins and antioxidants has soared in recent years, the level and type of pesticide residues on kale has expanded significantly. EWG’s new analysis places it third on the 2019 Dirty Dozen™, our annual ranking of the fruits and vegetables with the most pesticide residues. Recent EWG-commissioned tests of kale from grocery stores found that on two of eight samples, Dacthal residues were comparable to the average level reported by the USDA.
The USDA has not tested kale for pesticides since 2009, when it ranked eighth on the Dirty Dozen. Between 2007 and 2012, the acres of kale harvested in the U.S. grew by more than 56 percent, with more than 2.5 times as many commercial farms growing it.
Conventional kale farming relies heavily on the use of several synthetic pesticides, including Dacthal. The EPA’s 1995 classification of it as a possible carcinogen noted increases in liver and thyroid tumors. Dacthal can also cause other kinds of harm to the lungs, liver, kidney and thyroid.
According to U.S. Geological Survey data from 2016, about 500,000 pounds of Dacthal was sprayed in the U.S., mostly in California and Washington state. In California, the only state where all pesticide use must be reported, nearly 200,000 pounds were sprayed in 2016.
In states with high Dacthal use, concerns have grown about the capacity of its breakdown products to contaminate surface and groundwater. Not only can Dacthal contaminate areas near its use, but studies indicate it can also travel long distances in the atmosphere as well. (EWG)
You can read more from EWG on the subject here.
Again, multiple agents can be found on non-organic produce, but this article just outlines one. At the end of the day, the choice is up to you whether or not you buy your fruits and vegetables organic. If you can afford conventional produce, you can afford organically grown produce as well. One helpful tip is to cut out junk food from your purchases if you have any, and that can make room for organic produce. Another way to look at it is spending the extra few bucks to invest in your health.
It’s unfortunate that organic food is more expensive, especially when organic food in general could be provided to the entire world if we actually utilized our fullest potential. It’s actually cheaper to produces, it’s just that governments subsidize convention farmers, not organic ones. At the end of the day, kale is extremely nutritious. It’s high in vitamins A, K and iron, and consumption of leafy greens is associated with reduced risk of various diseases. It’s best if we keep it that way by only growing organic kale.
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