EXPOSING the FDA and the USDA - Broad Casting here the things that they would prefer us NOT to know about our FOOD & DRUGS & Farming.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

New Study Further Proves risk of BPA

The Harvard School of Public Health just released a new study confirming the risk of BPA (bisphenol A), a chemical common to plastic and canned foods (pet and human foods). Participants in the Harvard study showed a two-thirds increase in their urine of BPA. Exposure to BPA has been scientifically linked to cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Click on title above for article;

Also, for more detailed and historical nformation on BPA, go to wikipedia;

Friday, May 29, 2009

Small Family Organic Farms Hit Hard by Recession

Organic Dairies Watch the Good Times Turn Bad

Caleb Kenna for The New York Times

"We're in big trouble," said Craig Russell, an organic dairy farmer in Brookfield, Vt., who owes $500,000, mostly from converting his farm to organic in 2006.

Published: May 28, 2009

RANDOLPH CENTER, Vt. — When Ken Preston went organic on his dairy farm here in 2005, he figured that doing so would guarantee him what had long been elusive: a stable, high price for the milk from his cows.

Sure enough, his income soared 20 percent, and he could finally afford a Chevy Silverado pickup to help out. The dairy conglomerate that distributed his milk wanted everything Mr. Preston could supply. Supermarket orders were skyrocketing.

But soon the price of organic feed shot up. Then the recession hit, and families looking to save on groceries found organic milk easy to do without. Ultimately the conglomerate, with a glut of product, said it would not renew his contract next month, leaving him with nowhere to sell his milk, a victim of trends that are crippling many organic dairy farmers from coast to coast.

For those farmers, the promises of going organic — a steady paycheck and salvation for small family farms — have collapsed in the last six months. As the trend toward organic food consumption slows after years of explosive growth, no sector is in direr shape than the $1.3 billion organic milk industry. Farmers nationwide have been told to cut milk production by as much as 20 percent, and many are talking of shutting down.

“I probably wouldn’t have gone organic if I knew it would end this way,” said Mr. Preston, 53.

Here in New England, where dairy farms are as much a part of the landscape as whitewashed churches and rocky beaches, organic dairy farmers are bearing the brunt of the nationwide slowdown, in part because of the cost of transporting feed from the Midwest. The contracts of 10 of Maine’s 65 organic dairies will not be renewed by HP Hood, one of the region’s three large processors. In Vermont, 32 dairy farms have closed since Dec. 1, significantly altering the face of New England’s dairy industry.

“We expect to lose a lot more farms this year,” said Roger Allbee, Vermont’s secretary of agriculture.

Hood and the two other big processors, Horizon Organic and Organic Valley, say cutting contracts, pay and production are necessary to absorb overproduction and offset softening demand. Organic Valley, a nationwide cooperative, told Maine organic dairy farmers last month that its sales growth had dropped to near zero from about 20 percent six months ago.

“Our inventory is overstocked,” said John B. Cleary, the cooperative’s New England regional pool coordinator.

For many farmers, the changes coincide with crushing debt resulting from the cost of turning organic, which can run hundreds of thousands of dollars. In addition, the price of organic feed has doubled in the last year. Credit has dried up for some, and others say it is nearly impossible to sell cows and so thin their herds.

And while processors project growth of about 6 percent in organic milk sales this year (a decline from the 12.7 percent reported for 2008 by the Organic Trade Association), some analysts say that forecast is far too optimistic. The United States Department of Agriculture says sales of organic whole milk in February were 2.5 percent lower than in February last year, with sales of organic reduced-fat milk 15 percent lower.

“We’re in big trouble,” said Craig Russell, an organic dairy farmer in Brookfield, Vt., who owes $500,000, mostly from converting his farm to organic in 2006.

Mr. Russell quit a day job as an accountant to farm full time last year. “I made more money in six months than in five years of conventional farming,” he said, but his farm is now barely hanging on. The price he receives from the distributor dropped another $1 per hundredweight on May 1, just when he most needed money to prepare for the summer grazing season.

“It’s going to cost me more to make milk than sell milk,” he said.

In an effort to provide a safety net, Vermont last month expanded a low-interest loan program for farmers.

While most conventional farmers are accustomed to withstanding price volatility, “organic hasn’t weathered this kind of storm,” said Mr. Allbee, the state’s agriculture secretary. Farmers are finding that organic food is not for every consumer, he said, “and doesn’t guarantee that you will have a market forever.”

Some farmers are considering selling their organic milk on the conventional market just to make some quick money. Others are looking to sell raw, or unpasteurized, milk directly to the public. The Vermont House of Representatives passed a bill this month to increase the amount of raw milk a farmer can sell that way.

At the annual meeting of the Maine Organic Milk Producers last month in Waterville, farmers debated whether they could tap into the locavore movement, marketing their milk as local food. Russell Libby, the organization’s executive director, wondered, “Is it possible to produce a product with a Maine label on it?”

Right now it is not, because some Maine milk is processed out of state. But farmers like Aaron Bell, whose contract with Hood will not be renewed when it expires, thinks the idea will save their farms.

“We’re so remote, we’re high and dry otherwise,” said Mr. Bell, whose farm is in Maine’s easternmost reaches. “Unless we find our own market.”

Back in 2006, Mr. Bell carried the banner for organic dairy farming, appearing with his wife on Martha Stewart’s show to promote small family farms. He still believes in organic food, but not so much in the business model.

“They say it’s heaven for the small farmer,” he said, “but the small farmer is the one screaming the loudest right now.”

Bruce Drinkman, who milks 60 cows on his organic farm in Glenwood City, Wis., has seen his income drop 40 percent since Jan. 1. To keep the farm going, he has dipped into his retirement savings and dropped his health insurance. But without a loan, his wife has had to draw money from her I.R.A. to help out.

“Our Plan B is if we don’t have a decent year, we’re done,” said Mr. Drinkman, who has farmed for 30 years.

“I’m 46,” he said. “I wonder what I will do if I can’t farm anymore.”

My 2 cents; this is precisely why so many of our farmers are selling their acerage off for development. It dosent PAY to farm,...it costs them! Its no secret, the land is worth more for development than it is today as farmland. Twould be easy money,and a quick way out, that is, if you dont mind giving up the family farm or allowing it to be turned into "communities."


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Swine a "Mixing Bowl" for Virus

A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

[The following is [1] a statement of the research program of the United
States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service
(ARS), and [2] the outcome of a study of the cross-reactivity of serum
samples from US pigs against the new swine origin 2009 H1N1 influenza virus
(S/O H1N1). The results of this analysis indicate that pre-existing
immunity induced by swine influenza viruses circulating in the US may not
protect pigs against the new S/O H1N1 influenza virus presently circulating
in people. - Mod.CP]

Date: Tue 26 May 2009
Source: USDA, ARS (Agricultural Research Service) [edited]

Soon after the emergence of the H1N1 virus in April 2009, ARS scientists at
the National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa began research using virus
samples provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The 1st step was to evaluate whether current US H1N1 swine influenza
vaccines can protect pigs from infection with the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus
circulating in people. This research study also evaluated whether
pre-existing titers in pigs previously infected with endemic H1N1 swine
influenza viruses circulating in the US could protect against the 2009 H1N1
influenza virus.

Classical swine influenza virus infections are enzootic among pigs in North
America. Sporadic cases of human infection with swine influenza virus have
been reported in the United States and elsewhere. Worldwide, more than 50
human cases of swine influenza virus infection, mostly due to classical
swine influenza virus, have been documented in the past 35 years, with the
greatest risk of infection among people with occupational exposure to live

Experts believe pigs can act as a "mixing vessel" for the reassortment of
avian, swine and human influenza viruses and might play an important role
in the emergence of novel influenza viruses that could be capable of
causing a human pandemic similar to the virus in the current outbreak.

Between the 1930s and the 1990s, the most commonly circulating swine
influenza virus among pigs -- classical swine influenza A, known as H1N1 --
underwent little change.

However, by the late 1990s, multiple strains and subtypes of triple
reassortant swine influenza viruses -- whose genomes include combinations
of avian, human and swine influenza virus gene segments -- had emerged and
became predominant among North American pigs. The 2009 H1N1 influenza virus
is also a triple reassortent, but its lineage is different than the H1N1
influenza viruses currently circulating in US pigs.

The genetic makeup of swine influenza viruses is identical to other
influenza A viruses and consists of 8 segments of RNA that code for
different proteins. Influenza viruses have the ability to exchange these
segments, creating new genetically different viruses. Two major surface
glycoproteins (proteins with a carbohydrate attached) called hemagglutinin
(H) and neuraminidase (N) are how influenza A viruses are identified. These
glycoproteins also determine the host range, antigenicity and the
pathogenicity of the viruses. The hemagglutinin and neuraminidase proteins
are important targets for diagnostics and are used to designate the subtype
of the virus.

Currently, 16 different hemagglutinins and 9 neuraminidases have been
identified. The majority of these viral subtypes are found in waterfowl,
with only a few combinations being found in humans and swine.

Swine influenza virus (SIV) is one of the primary causes of respiratory
disease in growing pigs and can lead to major economic losses. Currently,
only H1N1, H1N2, and H3N2 subtypes are circulating in the US swine population.

Pigs have long been considered a potential source for new and novel
influenza viruses that infect humans, as they have receptors on their cells
that bind both mammalian and avian influenza viruses, increasing the
opportunity for the exchange of genetic segments of the virus.

Previously, CDC has reported about one case of human infection with a swine
influenza virus every one to 2 years.

Recent ARS research results: 2009 H1N1 influenza virus:
ARS researchers tested serum samples from pigs previously infected with US
swine influenza viruses or vaccinated with commercial vaccines to determine
whether US commercial swine herds are susceptible to the new swine origin
(S/O) H1N1 influenza virus. They found that there was limited cross
reactivity against the new S/O H1N1 influenza virus. This suggests that
pre-existing immunity induced by swine influenza viruses previously
circulating in the US may not protect pigs against the new S/O H1N1
influenza virus presently circulating in people. Importantly, vaccines
currently used to protect pigs on US swine farm operations against swine
influenza viruses may not be effective against the new S/O H1N1 influenza

Next step: ARS scientists will be testing the efficacy of swine influenza
virus vaccines in a pig vaccination challenge to determine whether
measurable antibody titers detected in vaccinated pigs correlate with
protection against the new virus.

ARS Swine Influenza Research Program:
The ARS research program focuses on tracking the evolution of swine
influenza viruses and their potential impact on the swine industry. The
agency also tracks the ability of current vaccines to protect swine from
new virus isolates.

Because of the emergence of novel influenza viruses in US pigs, USDA-ARS at
NADC in collaboration with USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection
Service and CDC created an interagency agreement in 2008 to address the
need for monitoring the swine influenza virus. Having this agreement
already in place has enabled the rapid response to evaluate the zoonotic
potential of the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus.

ARS also supports a proposed USDA-APHIS swine influenza surveillance
program by providing additional characterization of emerging swine
influenza virus (SIV) isolates as they are identified through the
surveillance program.

ARS Research Projects:
Genetic and Antigenic Characterization of North American H1 Swine Influenza
Study of Influenza A Viruses
Characterization of Swine Influenza Virus Isolates
Influenza Pandemic Preparedness

More information about the HINI (swine) influenza virus:
- USDA H1N1 webpage
- APHIS H1N1 webpage
- CDC H1N1 webpage
- AAAS Swine Flu

communicated by:
ProMED-mail rapporteur Mary Marshall

Date: Tue 26 May 2009
Source: USDA, ARS (Agricultural Research Service) [edited]

Recent results from studies with the new swine origin H1N1 influenza A virus
Serologic cross-reactivity of serum samples from US pigs against the new
swine origin H1N1 influenza virus

Purpose of study:
An important concern is to address whether US commercial swine herds are
susceptible to the new swine origin (S/O) H1N1 influenza virus.

The new S/O H1N1 influenza A virus isolated from a person in California in
March 2009 (A/CA/04/2009) was obtained from CDC and grown in vitro (that
is, in a permissive cell line). The standard hemagglutination inhibition
(HI) test was used to investigate whether serum samples from pigs infected
or vaccinated with US H1N1 swine influenza virus could prevent the
A/CA/04/2009 virus from agglutinating (clumping) red blood cells (this test
indicates the presence of antibodies that prevent the influenza virus from
attaching to red blood cells and is therefore indicative that the animal
has protective antibodies).

38 serum samples from pigs infected between 1999-2008 with 19 H1N1 swine
influenza viruses in US commercial swine operations were tested in the
standard HI test. The 19 H1N1 swine influenza viruses selected for this
study represented all 4 phylogenic (genetically characterized) clusters of
all the endemic H1 swine influenza viruses known to circulate in the US.

An additional 17 serum samples from pigs vaccinated with 5 different
commercial products used to vaccinate pigs against H1N1 swine influenza
virus in the US were tested by the standard HI test.

11 of the 38 serum samples from pigs infected with US H1N1 swine influenza
viruses had a measurable HI titer against the A/CA/04/2009 H1N1 influenza
virus. Only 2 of the commercial vaccines tested induced a measurable HI
titer against the A/CA/04/2009 H1N1 influenza virus.

Limited cross-reactivity of serum samples from pigs infected with the US
swine influenza viruses or vaccinated with commercial vaccines was
demonstrated against the new S/O H1N1 influenza virus (A/CA/04/2009) as
measured by the standard HI test. The results of this experiment suggest
that pre-existing immunity induced by swine influenza viruses circulating
in the US may not protect pigs against the new S/O H1N1 influenza virus
presently circulating in people. Importantly, vaccines currently used to
protect pigs in US swine operations against swine influenza virus may not
be effective against the new S/O H1N1 influenza virus.

Next steps:
ARS scientists will test the efficacy of swine influenza virus vaccines in
a pig vaccination challenge model to determine whether the measurable HI
titers detected in vaccinated pigs correlate with protection.

communicated by:
ProMED-mail rapporteur Mary Marshall

[see also:
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (49): case counts 20090528.1984
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (48): case counts 20090527.1972
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (47): China, epidemiology 20090526.1962
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (46): case counts 20090526.1960
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (45) 20090525.1951
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (44): case counts 20090525.1945
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (43): case counts 20090523.1931
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (42) 20090523.1929
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (41): case counts 20090522.1921
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (40): case counts 20090521.1906
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (30): case counts 20090516.1831
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (20): case counts 20090510.1741
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (10): case counts 20090504.1675
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide 20090430.1636
Influenza A (H1N1) "swine flu": worldwide (07), update, pandemic 5
Influenza A (H1N1) "swine flu": Worldwide 20090427.1583
Influenza A (H1N1) virus, human: worldwide 20090426.1577
Influenza A (H1N1) virus, human - New Zealand, susp 20090426.1574
Influenza A (H1N1) virus, human - N America (04) 20090426.1569
Influenza A (H1N1) virus, human - N America (03) 20090426.1566
Influenza A (H1N1) virus, human - N America (02) 20090425.1557
Influenza A (H1N1) virus, human - N America 20090425.1552
Acute respiratory disease - Mexico, swine virus susp 20090424.1546
Influenza A (H1N1) virus, swine, human - USA (02): (CA, TX) 20090424.1541
Influenza A (H1N1) virus, swine, human - USA: (CA) 20090422.1516
Influenza A (H1N1) virus, swine, human - Spain 20090220.0715
Influenza A (H1N1) virus, swine, human - USA (TX) 20081125.3715
Influenza A (H2N3) virus, swine - USA 20071219.4079
Influenza, swine, human - USA (IA): November 2006 20070108.0077]


ProMED-mail makes every effort to verify the reports that
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information, and of any statements or opinions based
thereon, are not guaranteed. The reader assumes all risks in
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NO to Irradiatied Food!

The Obama Administration is considering nominating Dr. Michael Doyle, a proponent of food irradiation, for Under Secretary of Food Safety.

If this sounds familiar, it's because the Administration was forced to stop considering Michael Osterholm, another irradition proponent, for the same position after thousands of folks like you spoke up. Tell Secretary Vilsack and the Obama Administration that you still don't think irradiation is the answer to our food safety problems.

What's so bad about irradiation? The technology's safety has not been thoroughly researched. Some research suggests that irradiated food promotes tumor growth and may cause genetic damage. Irradiation is also ineffective, as it fails to kill all bacteria and may undermine food safety efforts by masking filthy conditions in slaughterhouses. On top of all this, the technology is expensive, meaning we will all pay more to treat our food with something that may harm our health.

Dr. Doyle has been a zealot in promoting this controversial technology as the panacea to contaminated food. He has been quoted in the media numerous times supporting irradiation as a quick fix to our food safety problems. Tell Secretary Vilsack to oppose irradiation and the potential nomination of Dr. Doyle!

On top of all this, Dr. Doyle would also bring serious conflicts of interest to his new position. Dr. Doyle has served as consultant for big agriculture, including positions with ConAgra and the American Peanut Council. More recently, Dr. Doyle has raised funds from companies like Cargill, Coca-Cola, Hormel, and McDonald's as part of his position as Director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia. Does anyone really think Dr. Doyle can effectively regulate the same companies that so recently funded his work at the University of Georgia?

The Obama Administration has enacted policies to support sustainable and organic agriculture. But appointing Dr. Doyle to run food safety would be a huge step backward. We've already had a a food irradiation advocate who cared more about corporate interests than public safety as Undersecretary for Food Safety - under President Bush. Tell Secretary Vilsack we don't want to go down that road again.

Click on title above to take action;

Thanks for taking action,

Alex, Sarah, Noelle, and The Food Team
Food & Water Watch

Bacon is good for US, Pork Producers Say

Eat bacon, it's good for you and America!

Posted by Stephanie Barna on Thu, May 14, 2009 at 8:20 AM

Remember the swine flu? That pig pandemic that was supposed to sweep the world, killing babies and grandmothers from here to Montezuma? Yeah, well, it didn't, but it did devastate the pork industry, costing American pork producers $17.69 per hog just during the April 24 through May 1 period. Total losses for that period reached $7.2 million a day, according to the National Pork Producers Council.

In an effort to help the pork industry, Faces of Agriculture has launched a "Pork on the Fork" contest, encouraging you to take pictures of you and your loved ones dining on swine. What do you win? Well, you get an all-expense paid trip to the World of Pork, er, the World Pork Expo in Des Moines on June 3.

Sounds like a place not many would want to go, but I can think of a few chefs in this town who would totally dig going to a pork expo. Find out more about the Pork on the Fork contest here.

In related news, bacon is good for you!

Bon Apetit has included it in their list of "10 Surprising Health Foods."

According to a new book out called Fat by Jennifer McLagan, bacon's fat is a lot like that of olive oil: "45 percent of the fat in bacon is monounsaturated, the good-for-you fat that can help lower bad cholesterol levels. Better still, bacon's monounsaturated fat turns out to be oleic acid, the same fat found in olive oil. So that means that some could argue that bacon is about half as good for you as olive oil and about 100 times more delicious."


Globalized agriculture requires regulation

May 14, 2009

Globalization of agriculture production and food will likely mean more regulations on producers and suppliers, said Robert G.F. Spitze, professor emeritus of agricultural and consumer economics at the University of Illinois.

"Where national boundaries and oceans once separated us, we are now in a world-wide market," said Spitze as he discussed significant changes in public agricultural policy over the last three-quarters of a century and then glanced at the potential future. "This means our food supply can originate from any field or processor on our planet.

"Carelessness at one peanut manufacturer, as we've seen, began affecting the whole world almost immediately. A problem in one location can have immediate impacts world-wide."

These interconnections focus attention on quality and safety assurance.

"We may well see increasing public control by human decision-makers over almost every detail of food production, marketing and distribution," he said. "Why? Because mistakes in any of these systems can have a devastating impact on health and safety.

"Some farmers and distributors are resisting this, but what happens when a whole crop of apples is wiped out or a herd of prize livestock is wiped out because they didn't have these protections?"

Born and raised in rural Arkansas, Spitze has a unique perspective on agricultural policy with on-farm experience combined with a multi-decade career as a distinguished agricultural economist.

"I can remember as a child looking out the window one morning and seeing a neighbor driving his herd of dairy cows down the road to town," he said. "They were collected in town, slaughtered, burned, and buried because they couldn't afford to feed them and there was no one to buy them."

Spitze remembers the day in 1939 when, for the first time, electricity came to his family's farm and being able to study by adequate lights.

"What an experience that was, and it was made possible by public agricultural policy," he said, referring to the New Deal Rural Electrification Act.

Broadly defined by Spitze, public agricultural policy can be traced back to the creation of public schools in frontier communities, setting aside public lands in every township to the mid-nineteenth century landmarks that created land-grant universities, agricultural research, and the experiment station system.

"In our public policy history today, I'd say there are five broad areas of vivid change," he noted. "The first involves the gradual broadening of what was once 'farm' policy to a diverse array of activities that treat problems of rural America-the environment, conservation, trade, education, and rural health and development.

"Because of this, the term 'farm bill' is a misnomer today."

Secondly, as the scope of agricultural policy has expanded, so has the seating at the table around which it is made.

"Today, there are all types of participants because nearly every group has an interest in the results of agricultural policy," he explained. "From the Farm Bureau to the League of Women Voters, many groups have a stake in the outcome.'

Third among the sweeping changes is the sophistication of the information available to decision-makers. And that is welcome, he added, if wise policy is to be made.

"Today's USDA budget, for example, covers so much more than simply farming," he said. "In fact, those segments probably account for less than one-third of the budget. The other things deal with total land use, food, and the system for feeding Americans."

Americans, who once either lived on farms or were only a generation removed, today have no contact with farming. This contributes to the suffering of the current recession, he noted.

A fourth area of change is the globalization of the food system, which he described earlier.

"Finally, there continues to be a reduction in the number of farms in the United States but an increasing size of the remaining farms," he noted. "That is a tremendous change over the past century."

On the other hand, some things have not changed.

"First and foremost, agricultural and food policy is still important," he said. "People are more concerned about it today than they have ever been. The importance of the food supply translates into the importance of public policy, no matter how urbanized we get."

The basic process for making that policy is basically unchanged from the early days of the republic.

"It begins when someone says this or that is a problem and decides to do something about it. They begin talking to people, then interest groups, and soon it evolves into the policy-making process, complete with hearings, research, disagreements, and compromise. Public agricultural policy will always be the result of compromise," he said.

"That's how our democratic system works. People resolve their differences by give-and-take. Some dismiss this as 'trading' promises. But what else is there to resolve real differences-a dictatorship? Democracy is always about the process of reconciling differences."

Research, extension and communications continue to be constants in agricultural policy as both the process and the delivery of policy rely upon these supporting factors.

"Finally, at the end of the day, agricultural policy must deal with problems about production, prices, and income," he said. "Regardless of new concerns like the environment or climate, policy will always end up with compromises about these three economic issues."

The future may well see an increasing importance for food and agricultural policy.

"We will see increasing human control over the food system," he said. "The changes will occur because what happens on the farm or in the food distribution system eventually affects many others. Individual freedom will yield to the right of fellow consumers because whatever we put on the land or in our livestock eventually end up on the plate of another person."

The quality of the end product will emerge as a major concern, as will the impact of production on the environment.

"We'll have a change of public policy relating to the actions of individuals through the entire system to a level we've never seen before," he said. "The public interest is larger than that of any individual if it is determined through democratic decisions."

If that seems far-fetched, Spitze responds with recent history.

"Five years ago, who would have predicted democratic governments around the world would be taking over the major banks?" he said.

Globalization, the potential for impact on people thousands of miles away from a single decision in a farmer's field or processing plant, will lead to a willingness to involve government "to do the things we can't do for ourselves," he said.

As the world comes closer together through a globalized food system, Spitze believes there will be a similar rise in what might be termed global consciousness and international types of controls.

"We are so interwoven, so interdependent, that we need democratic government-type policies at the international level," he said. "The days of unfettered kingdoms and nationalism are passing and yielding to broader public interests arising from democratic processes. Agricultural and food policy will be one of the driving factors in this change.

"Food and health are too important to be left to the unregulated private indulgences of men and nations. It is up to interested, informed citizens to help decide the desired combination of public and private policies."

In essence, Spitze is describing a world with freedom from want for basic human needs, freedom from fear.

"That's what I fought for in World War II," he said.


Top 10 Ways to Know if You're Living in a Medical Police State

(NaturalNews) Are Americans really living in a medical police state? The recent news with Daniel Hauser and his family's fight over chemotherapy seems to indicate so. Here are ten ways to recognize whether you're living under the oppressive tyranny of a medical police state.

#1 - If an armed U.S. Marshall is posted outside your house at night -- just to make sure you don't escape "treatment" -- you're probably living in a medical police state.

Source: "Daniel was allowed to spend the night at home, but County Attorney James Olson said a deputy was posted at the Hauser farm in Sleepy Eye." (FoxNews)

#2 - If saying "I'd rather not inject my child with that poison" to your doctor results in him calling Child Protective Services, you're most likely living in a medical police state.

#3 - If a nationwide manhunt (involving FBI agents) is unleashed just to find you and drag you back to the hospital to submit to dangerous pharmaceuticals, there's little doubt you're living in a medical police state.

#4 - If you find yourself suddenly wondering if you should flee to Mexico in order to find freedom, you're probably living in a medical police state.

#5 - If doctors call the police to prevent you from visiting competing cancer clinics outside the country, that's a warning sign that you're living in a medical police state.

#6 - If your doctor claims to be practicing "integrative medicine" but then calls the police when you don't submit to chemotherapy, you're definitely living in a medical police state.

Quote from Daniel Hauser's oncologist, Dr. Bostrom: "Although I've had patients concerned about getting chemo, this is the first time I've ever had to report someone." Source: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Cancer...

#7 - If you're blasted by the mainstream media for supporting a mother's right to protect her teenage son from an injection of toxic chemicals, you're almost certainly living in a medical police state (populated by sheeple).

#8 - If you walk into a hospital and they handcuff you, steal your child and forcibly inject him with dangerous poisons while explaining, "It's for your own good," then you're almost certainly living in a medical police state.

#9 - If the State calls you "medically negligent" for feeding your child raw foods, or medicinal herbs, or holistic diets that are free from sugar, red meat and chemical additives, then you're definitely living in a medical police state. (Fact: Parents who feed their children diets of raw, living foods have been accused of medical neglect.)

#10 - If you disagree with your psychiatrist, and in response he diagnosis you with "Oppositional Defiance Disorder" and demands you take his mind-altering psych drugs, you are absolutely living in a medical police state!

Seven ways to free yourself from a medical police state (satire)
1) Bring your lawyer with you for each visit to the doctor, and bill your doctor for the time your lawyer spends in the waiting room.

2) Practice medical tourism and visit Thailand, Mexico, the Bahamas or other countries where real medicine remains legal.

3) Bring a fake prosthetic arm with you when you visit the doctor, and offer it up for any injections (acting like it's yours, of course). Be sure to fake a wince when they insert the catheter.

4) Before you visit the doctor, go to his house and kidnap his dog. Bring it to his clinic with you, and if the doctor insists on calling law enforcement to have your child kidnapped, offer to swap his dog for ransom.

5) Before you visit a cancer doctor, bribe another doctor to write a note saying you're "allergic to chemotherapy" because it makes your hair fall out.

6) Any time your doctor says the word "chemotherapy," vomit on his desk. If he asks why, tell him you're just practicing in advance for the side effects that will occur.

7) Bring a firearm with you when you visit a cancer clinic, and when the cancer doctor insists "You must submit to my four milligrams of chemotherapy," calmly answer, "Only after you submit to my nine millimeters of lead."


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Swine Flu Spreading Wider than Offical Data Show

A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Mon 25 May 2009
Source: Bloomberg News [edited]

Swine flu is spreading wider than official data show (update 2)
Swine flu is spreading more widely than official figures indicate, with
outbreaks in Europe and Asia showing it's gained a foothold in at least 3
regions. One in 20 cases is being officially reported in the US, meaning
more than 100 000 people have probably been infected nationwide with the
new H1N1 flu strain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC). In the UK, the virus may be 300 times more widespread
than health authorities have said, the Independent on Sunday [newspaper]
reported yesterday [Sun 24 May 2009]. Japan, which has reported the most
cases in Asia, began reopening schools at the weekend [23-24 May 2009]
after health officials said serious medical complications had not emerged
in those infected. The virus is now spreading in the community in
Australia, Jim Bishop, the nation's chief medical officer, said yesterday
[24 May 2009]. "I think we will see the number rise," Bishop told the
Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio today after confirming the
nation's 17th case and saying test results are pending on 41 others. "This
is going to be a marathon rather than a sprint."

So far, 46 countries have confirmed 12 515 cases, including 91 deaths,
according to the World Health Organization's latest tally. Almost 4 of
every 5 cases were in Mexico and the US, where the pig-derived strain was
discovered last month [April 2009]. Most of those infected experience an
illness similar to that of seasonal flu. The main difference is that the
new H1N1 strain is persisting outside the Northern Hemisphere winter.

Summer disease?
"While we are seeing activities decline in some areas, we should expect to
see more cases, more hospitalizations and perhaps more deaths over the
weeks ahead and possibly into the summer," Anne Schuchat, CDC's interim
deputy director for science and public health program, told reporters on a
22 May 2009 conference call.

The US has officially reported 6552 probable and confirmed cases, Schuchat
said. "These are just the tip of the iceberg. We are estimating more than
100 000 people probably have this virus now in the US. There have been 9
deaths and more than 300 known hospitalizations," she said. The fatalities
exclude a woman in her 50s who died in New York over the weekend [23-24 May

China reported cases today [25 May 2009] in Shanghai and the eastern
province of Zhejiang, taking its tally of confirmed infections to 12.
Taiwan confirmed the island's 1st domestically transmitted case and
reported 2 imported infections, giving it 9. South Korea confirmed 12 more
cases, bringing its total to 22, while the Philippines confirmed a 2nd
infection today.

Caribbean honeymoon
Russia's health ministry confirmed the country's 2nd case, in a man who
honeymooned in the Dominican Republic. He returned from the Caribbean on 18
May 2009 and was hospitalized 2 days later in the Kaluga region south west
of Moscow, Gennady Onishchenko, head of the ministry's public health
department, said on state television today [25 May 2009]. His wife wasn't
infected. Japan has the most cases outside North America, with 335 as of
yesterday [24 May 1009], according to the health ministry. Chile's tally
reached 74 after 19 cases were recorded yesterday, while Argentina's total
increased by 3 to 5.

Eighteen European countries have confirmed 349 cases, a third of whom were
probably infected in their home country, the Stockholm-based European
Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said in a report yesterday
[24 May 2009]. The UK and Spain have the most reported cases, with 133
each. About 60 per cent of cases in the UK are linked to "in-country"
transmission, the ECDC said. Thousands of people have caught the virus in
the UK and suffered mild symptoms, or none at all, over the past weeks,
John Oxford, professor of virology at the University of London, told the
Independent [newspaper].

Already a pandemic
Community spread of the new virus in a 2nd region means WHO's criteria for
a pandemic has been met, said Michael T Osterholm, director of the Center
for Infectious Disease Research and Policy of the University of
Minneapolis. Britain's health secretary Alan Johnson told WHO
director-general Margaret Chan at the organization's annual meeting last
week [week of 18 May 2009] that disease severity and other determinants
besides geographic spread need to be considered before the pandemic alert
is raised to the highest of WHO's 6-level scale. "The move to phase 6
[would] mean that emergency plans are instantly triggered around the globe,
and in the UK this would mean increased vigilance and activation of the
UK's own inter-pandemic phases," the UK's Department of Health said in an
18 May 2009 statement.

At phase 6, many pharmaceutical companies would switch from making seasonal
flu shots to pandemic-specific vaccine, potentially creating shortages of
an immunization to counter the normal winter flu season, the department said.

"Risk of harm"
WHO is reviewing its pandemic response plans, including the prerequisites
for a pandemic, in the wake of the swine flu threat, said Keiji Fukuda, the
agency's assistant director-general of health security and environment. A
move to phase 6 would "signify a really substantial increase in risk of
harm to people," Fukuda told reporters during a 22 May 2009 briefing.

Some of the guidelines were prepared in anticipation of a pandemic sparked
by the H5N1 strain of avian flu, which killed 61 per cent of 429 people
confirmed to have contracted that virus, Chan told the World Health
Assembly on 18 May 2009. "This has left our world better prepared, but also
very scared," she said. Rather than redefine what constitutes a pandemic,
health officials should help people understand the current threat may
resemble the 1957 or 1968 pandemics, in which fewer than 4 million people
died, rather than the 1918 Spanish flu, blamed for killing about 50
million, said Osterholm at the University of Minneapolis. "The bigger
problem is scientific integrity," he said. "If they want to change the
definition, then go ahead. But don't say that we are not in phase 6 right
now because we don't want to go there."

[byline: Jason Gale]

communicated by:
ProMED-mail rapporteur Mary Marshall

Date: Sat 23 May 2009
Source: Associated Press (AP) [edited]

WHO to consider severity of "sneaky" swine flu
WHO said on Friday [22 May 2009] that it will change the rules for
declaring a swine flu pandemic, a virus the agency's chief called "sneaky"
because of its ability to spread quickly from person to person and
potentially mutate into a deadlier form.

Under political pressure from many of its 193 members to consider factors
other than just the spread of the disease before announcing a global
epidemic, WHO's flu chief said "course corrections" were being made. "What
we will be looking for is events which signify a really substantial
increase in risk of harm to people," Keiji Fukuda told reporters in Geneva.

So far the virus has been mild, sickening 11 168 people and causing 86
deaths, most of them in Mexico, according to WHO. But experts worry it
could evolve into a more deadly strain or overwhelm countries unprepared
for a major flu outbreak. Many countries fear a pandemic declaration would
trigger mass panic, and be economically and politically damaging. For
developed countries that already have activated their pandemic preparedness
plans, a pandemic declaration would change little in their response strategies.

Earlier this week [week of 18 May 2009], Britain and other countries urged
WHO to reconsider its pandemic definition. WHO hastily responded to these
concerns, as Fukuda said the agency would revise the conditions needed to
move from the current phase 5 to the highest level, phase 6, which makes it
a pandemic. "The countries are telling us now that moving from phase 5 to 6
is not so helpful," Fukuda said. He said the alert phases were developed
before the outbreak hit, and now need to be adjusted to the reality of the
situation. The virus' lethality could become one of the required criteria
before a pandemic is declared, Fukuda said.

Fukuda's comments echoed those of WHO director-general Margaret Chan, who
told governments she would heed their call to caution in declaring a
pandemic. At the same time, Chan warned against complacency. "This is a
subtle, sneaky virus," she said at the close of the weeklong meeting. "It
does not announce its presence or arrival in a new country with a sudden
explosion of patients seeking medical care or requiring hospitalization. We
expect it to continue to spread to new countries and continue to spread
within countries already affected," Chan said.

Countries taking part in the Geneva meeting agreed on Friday [22 May 2009]
to delay efforts to finalize a deal on sharing flu viruses, instead
instructing Chan to find a solution by early next year [2010]. Developing
countries lobbied hard to ensure they would benefit from any drugs created
using their virus samples. Against that, the United States and the European
Union called for samples to be shared without restriction, arguing that
this was in the best interest of science and global efforts to combat
disease. Both sides agreed Chan should form a task force to investigate
unresolved questions, including whether countries should have to share
samples and resulting drugs could be patented. They also want the task
force to consider whether doses of any new pandemic flu vaccine should be
reserved for developing countries, and to report back to members in January
[2010] with recommendations.

[byline: Frank Jordans]

communicated by:
ProMED-mail rapporteur Kunihiko Iizuka

[If as suggested in part [1] the ratio of inapparent to apparent infections
is of the order of 20:1, the discussion of the appropriate pandemic alert
level is becoming rather irrelevant. The communities currently at risk may
be rapidly acquiring a significant level of immunity. - Mod.CP]

[see also:
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (44): case counts 20090525.1945
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (43): case counts 20090523.1931
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (42) 20090523.1929
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (41): case counts 20090522.1921
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (40): case counts 20090521.1906
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (30): case counts 20090516.1831
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (20): case counts 20090510.1741
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (10): case counts 20090504.1675
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide 20090430.1636
Influenza A (H1N1) "swine flu": worldwide (07), update, pandemic 5
Influenza A (H1N1) "swine flu": Worldwide 20090427.1583
Influenza A (H1N1) virus, human: worldwide 20090426.1577
Influenza A (H1N1) virus, human - New Zealand, susp 20090426.1574
Influenza A (H1N1) virus, human - N America (04) 20090426.1569
Influenza A (H1N1) virus, human - N America 20090425.1552
Acute respiratory disease - Mexico, swine virus susp 20090424.1546
Influenza A (H1N1) virus, swine, human - USA (02): (CA, TX) 20090424.1541
Influenza A (H1N1) virus, swine, human - USA: (CA) 20090422.1516
Influenza A (H1N1) virus, swine, human - Spain 20090220.0715
Influenza A (H1N1) virus, swine, human - USA (TX) 20081125.3715
Influenza A (H2N3) virus, swine - USA 20071219.4079
Influenza, swine, human - USA (IA): November 2006 20070108.0077]


ProMED-mail makes every effort to verify the reports that
are posted, but the accuracy and completeness of the
information, and of any statements or opinions based
thereon, are not guaranteed. The reader assumes all risks in
using information posted or archived by ProMED-mail. ISID
and its associated service providers shall not be held
responsible for errors or omissions or held liable for any
damages incurred as a result of use or reliance upon posted
or archived material.

Monday, May 25, 2009

WHO to Raise Swine Flu Pandemic Level to 6?

Published: May 17, 2009

The number of swine flu cases in Japan soared over the weekend, raising the likelihood that the World Health Organization will soon have to raise its pandemic alert level to 6, the highest level.

In Japan, authorities ordered more than 1,000 schools and kindergartens in and near the cities of Kobe and Osaka to shut down. There were no confirmed cases in Tokyo.

Until Friday, Japan thought it had contained the virus after finding four infected people who had visited North America and flown home. It quarantined them and 50 other passengers, began sending medical workers to meet each flight arriving from North America to take temperatures of those on board and told visitors they would need to have their temperatures recorded daily.

But on Saturday, the authorities confirmed that a 17-year-old student in Kobe who had not been overseas was infected; as of Monday afternoon, there were at least 121 recorded cases throughout Japan.

Kobe residents rushed to hospitals, where doctors in biohazard suits checked people for fever in tents set up in parking lots, Agence France-Presse reported. Transit workers and supermarket employees began wearing masks.

Japan is well known in public health circles for being exceptionally nervous about flu; it has an aging population and a national obsession with cleanliness that makes even Switzerland look messy.

Masks are common on subways because it is considered rude to lack one if you are sneezing. Before the outbreak began last month, Japan used about 60 percent of the world’s stock of the antiviral drug Tamiflu.

If the World Health Organization finds sustained community transmission — that is, infections between people with no connections to travel from North America — it will presumably raise its pandemic alert level to 6, because Japan is outside the W.H.O. Americas region.

The alerts, by definition, measure a new virus’s spread, not its lethality. The lethality can vary from country to country, depending on viral mutations, how prepared each country is, what other diseases its population has, and other factors.

Turkey, India and Chile also reported their first swine flu cases over the weekend.

The patient in Turkey was an American heading to Iraq. India’s case was that of a 23-year-old who arrived in Hyderabad from New York. Chilean officials reported that two of its citizens — two women, 25 and 32 years old — were found to have the flu after returning from a trip to the Dominican Republic.

Late Sunday night, Hong Kong confirmed its third case of swine flu, a 23-year-old man from southern China who had been studying in the United States. He arrived in Hong Kong on Saturday evening on Cathay Pacific Flight 831 from New York.

A spokesman for the Hong Kong health department said the man developed a fever during the flight and was spotted by a thermal scanner at the airport when he left the plane. Authorities put him in an isolation ward at Princess Margaret Hospital and issued a call for other passengers on the flight to report for testing. As of Sunday night, the spokesman said, 22 passengers and a crew member had been quarantined at a camp in rural Hong Kong.

Hong Kong’s first case of flu, on May 1, resulted in the quarantine of hundreds of travelers and hotel guests. The second case occurred last week.

Mark McDonald contributed reporting from Hong Kong.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Origins of the New H1N1 Flu Virus

It started with birds, they say, but now, we are warned to "watch our pigs" closely. I am thinking, well, what about birds? Are they carrying the H1N1 virus too, since it started with them?

ProMed Article; May 23, 2009

By sequencing the genomes of more than 50 samples
of the new A (H1N1) influenza virus, researchers
have found that it is distantly related to its
nearest relatives, indicating that its genes have
been circulating undetected for an extended
period. The findings suggest that in the future
pig populations will need to be closely monitored
for emerging influenza viruses.

Rebecca Garten and colleagues sequenced the full
or partial genomes of 2009 A (H1N1) viruses
isolated in Mexico and the United States. They
determined the origins of the virus' 8 gene
segments and found that the combination of these
gene segments has not previously been reported
among swine or human influenza viruses. All of
the segments originated in avian hosts and then
began circulating in pigs at various times in
history, from 1918 through to 1998.

6 of the 8 segments originated from triple reassortant swine
viruses -- which include genetic material from
human, avian and swine viruses' as the result of
these virus' tendency to swap pieces of their
genomes with each other -- that have been
circulating in North America and Asia since
approximately 1998. The other 2 segments are
derived from Eurasian swine viruses.

The sequences for the gene segments did not
reveal the signatures of high transmissibility or
virulence that have been found in other influenza
A viruses, suggesting that other, yet-unknown
sequences are responsible for the new virus'
ability to replicate and spread in humans.

The researchers also took a closer look at the
new A (H1N1) virus's hemagglutinin protein, which
is responsible for the virus' ability to bind to
and infect its host cell. Test-tube experiments
that examined how ferret antibodies reacted
against this protein suggest that the new strain
has antigenic properties that are similar to
those of other swine A(H1N1) viruses but distinct
from seasonal human flu. Researchers will need to
continue to look for changes in the hemagglutinin
protein in the new virus, which may affect the
selection of vaccine candidates, the authors say.

Communicated by:

[The reference and abstract of the paper
published in ScienceXpress is reproduced below. - Mod.CP]

[2] Antigenic & genetic characteristics
Date: Fri 22 May 2009
Source: SciencXpress [edited]

Antigenic and Genetic Characteristics of
Swine-Origin 2009 A (H1N1) Influenza Viruses Circulating in Humans

Since its identification in April 2009 an A
(H1N1) virus containing a unique combination of
gene segments from both North American and
Eurasian swine lineages has continued to
circulate in humans. The lack of similarity
between the 2009 A (H1N1) virus and its nearest
relatives indicates that its gene segments have
been circulating undetected for an extended
period. Its low genetic diversity suggests the
introduction into humans was a single event or
multiple events of similar viruses. Molecular
markers predictive of adaptation to humans are
not currently present in 2009 A(H1N1) viruses,
suggesting previously unrecognized molecular
determinants could be responsible for the transmission among humans.

Current isolates of the novel 2009 H1N1 strain
are antigenically homogeneous, but distinct from
current strains of seasonal influenza virus.

[Byline: Rebecca J. Garten 1
C. Todd Davis 1
Colin A. Russell 2, Bo Shu 1, Stephen Lindstrom
1,Amanda Balish 1, Wendy M. Sessions 1, Xiyan Xu
1, Eugene Skepner 3, Varough Deyde 1,Margaret
Okomo-Adhiambo 1, Larisa Gubareva 1, John Barnes
1, Catherine B. Smith 1,Shannon L. Emery 1,
Michael J. Hillman 1, Pierre Rivailler 1, James
Smagala 1, Miranda de Graaf 4,David F. Burke 3,
Ron A. M. Fouchier 5, Claudia Pappas 1, Celia M.
Alpuche-Aranda 6,Hugo López-Gatell 6, Hiram
Olivera 6, Irma López 6, Christopher A. Myers 7,
Dennis Faix 7,Patrick J. Blair 7, Cindy Yu 8,
Kimberly M. Keene 9, P. David Dotson Jr.10, David
Boxrud 11,Anthony R. Sambol 12, Syed H. Abid 13,
Kirsten St. George 14, Tammy Bannerman 15,Amanda
L. Moore 16, David J. Stringer 17, Patricia
Blevins 18, Gail J. Demmler-Harrison 19,Michele
Ginsberg 20, Paula Kriner 21, Steve Waterman 22,
Sandra Smole 23, Hugo F. Guevara 24,Edward A.
Belongia 25, Patricia A. Clark 26, Sara T.
Beatrice 27, Ruben Donis 1, Jacqueline Katz 1,Lyn
Finelli 1, Carolyn B. Bridges 1, Michael Shaw 1,
Daniel B. Jernigan 1, Timothy M. Uyeki 1,Derek J.
Smith 28*, Alexander I. Klimov 1, Nancy J. Cox 1*
At: The WHO Collaborating Center for Influenza,
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA,
and 27 other Laboratories, as noted in the Source URL, above.
Correspondence to: Derek J. Smith
Nancy J. Cox

Communicated by:

Saturday, May 23, 2009

USDA to Restart Collection of Pesticide Data

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will resume a portion of its survey of the use of farm chemicals that was cut during the Bush administration. The surveys historically have provided crucial publicly available data on the amount and types of pesticides used on a variety of crops and livestock operations nationwide.

The data have been used by states and federal agencies for scientific research and policy planning and implementation, including the administration of clean water programs and chemical risk assessments. The data also have been used by the crop chemical industry to gather usage data and by environmentalists, farmers, and many others.

The Agricultural Chemical Usage Reports, collected by the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) since 1990, are the only publicly available data on national pesticide use. The USDA had been steadily dismantling the program, first by reducing the frequency of the chemical use surveys, then reducing the number of crops covered, until finally cutting the program entirely in April 2007 to save an estimated $8 million annually.

A coalition of 44 environmental, sustainable farming, and health advocacy organizations had urged the previous USDA secretary to reverse the decision.

The USDA announced on Tuesday the resumption of its data collection activities for fruit crops. The Obama administration has included funding for a full, reinstated program in its 2010 budget.

The policy reversal is a welcome change and a partial restoration of the public’s right to know about the use of poisons near their homes, schools, watersheds, and on their food. However, NASS should go much further with its data collection, emulating California's system for tracking pesticide use in the state. In California, all agricultural pesticide use must be reported monthly to county agricultural commissioners, who report the data to the state's Department of Pesticide Regulation.

Obama's USDA also announced this month that the agency will conduct the first survey of organic agriculture. The results of this survey will influence farm policy decisions, including funding allocations and community development activities.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack described the survey as "an opportunity for organic producers to share their voices and help ensure the continued growth and sustainability of organic farming in the United States."

(Brian Turnbaugh 05/22/09)


Soy Protein Used in "Natural" Foods Bathed in Toxic Solvent Hexane

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 by: Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor
Key concepts: Hexane, Soy and Food

(NaturalNews) Virtually all "protein bars" on the market today are made with soy protein. Many infant formula products are also made with soy protein, and thousands of vegetarian products (veggie burgers, veggie cheese, "natural" food bars, etc.) are made with soy protein. That soy protein is almost always described as safe and "natural" by the companies using it. But there's a dirty little secret the soy product industry doesn't want you to know: Much of the "natural" soy protein used in foods today is bathed in a toxic, explosive chemical solvent known as hexane.

To determine the true extent of this hexane contamination, NaturalNews joined forces with the Cornucopia Institute (www.Cornucopia.org) to conduct testing of hexane residues in soy meal and soy grits using FDA-approved and USDA-approved laboratories. The Cornucopia Institute performed the bulk of this effort, and NaturalNews provided funding to help cover laboratory costs.

The results proved to be worrisome: Hexane residues of 21ppm were discovered in soy meal commonly used to produce soy protein for infant formula, protein bars and vegetarian food products.

These laboratory results appear to indicate that consumers who purchase common soy products might be exposing themselves (and their children) to residues of the toxic chemical HEXANE -- a neurotoxic substance produced as a byproduct of gasoline refining.

But how dangerous is hexane, exactly? Is it something that could be dangerous at a few parts per million? And which soy-based products on the market right now might be contaminated with hexane?

To answer these questions, NaturalNews looked into public documents surrounding Martek Biosciences Corporation, a company that manufactures DHA for infant formula, using hexane for extraction.

We found disturbing details about Martek, including a documented explosion in the wastewater treatment system downstream from the manufacturing plant. This explosion was caused by hexane pollution.

We also found documents revealing Martek's application for permission to pollute hexane into the environment, as well as a planned emission cap that would put the company just under the limit for being considered a "major polluter" of Hazardous Air Pollutants.

Additional documents reveal concerning information about the safety of Martek's oils used in infant formula. All this information is being released in tomorrow's feature story on NaturalNews, so be sure to check back to read that. The remainder of this story focuses on the use of hexane in soy products.

What you probably never knew about Hexane extraction
To learn more about the use of hexane in the health industry -- and in soy products in particular -- we turn to the Cornucopia Institute's recently-published report called Behind the Bean (http://www.cornucopia.org/2009/05/s...)

This report contains some of the most shocking information you've probably ever read about the possible dangers of this chemical solvent used in the processing of soy. Here are some highlights of what it explains about hexane: (Quotation marks indicate exact verbiage from the Behind the Bean report.)

• Hexane is a petroleum chemical produced as a by-product of gasoline refining.

• "Hexane is used to process nearly all conventional soy protein ingredients and edible oils and is prohibited when processing organic foods."

• Soybeans are bathed in hexane as part of their processing by food manufacturers.

• "Hexane is a neurotoxic chemical that poses serious occupational hazards to workers, is an environmental air pollutant, and can contaminate food."

• Hexane has been detected as a chemical contaminant in soy-based foods.

• There is no requirement that food companies test their products for hexane residues (including soy-based infant formula).

• Soy protein isolate and texturized soy protein (TVP) are made using hexane baths.

• "The soy protein ingredients in most nonorganic foods such as vegetarian burgers and nutrition bars are processed with the use of hexane."

• Shocker: "Products such as Clif Bars with the label "made with organic oats and soybeans" are required by law to have 70% organic ingredients -- the remaining 30%, however, can legally be hexane extracted."

Soybean processing releases hexane into the environment
Perhaps one of the most shocking realizations in all this is that soybean processing facilities release huge amounts of hexane chemicals into the environment. It is an unavoidable part of the hexane extraction process, and right now tens of millions of pounds of hexane are being released into the atmosphere each year by soy processing companies like Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill.

Here are more startling facts about the release of hexane chemicals by soybean processing facilities: (cited from Behind the Bean by the Cornucopia Institute) (http://www.cornucopia.org/2009/05/s...) (Quotation marks indicate a direct quotation from the Cornucopia Institute's report. Non-quotation marks indicate paraphrasing of this source.)

• Soybean processing plants release hexane into both the air and water.

• Hexane is considered by the EPA to be a hazardous air pollutant. It defines this as airborne compounds "that cause or may cause cancer or other serious health effects, such as reproductive effects or birth defects, or adverse environmental and ecological effects."

• "In 2007, the last year for which data is available from the EPA Toxics Release Inventory, grain processors were responsible for more than two-thirds of all hexane emissions in the United States, releasing 21 million pounds of this hazardous air pollutants."

• A soy processing facility owned by Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) in Decatur Illinois reportedly released almost 2 million pounds of hexane into the environment in a single year! Each year in Illinois, ADM, Cargill, Bunge and other companies release nearly 5 million pounds of hexane into the environment.

• "Solae, a major supplier of soy protein ingredients found in vegetarian burgers, energy bars, and other "all-natural" foods, emitted nearly one million pounds of hexane, as a pollutant, from its factories in Ohio and Illinois. Its plant in Bellevue, Ohio, is the nation's seventh largest emitter of hexane, releasing more of this hazardous air pollutant than other major sources such as Exxon Mobil's oil refinery plant in Baytow, Texas, and Firestone's tire factory in Orange, Texas."

• "On August 29, 2003, two workers died when hexane gas in a Sioux City, Iowa, soybean processing plant ignited."

• Hexane explosions have occurred in Italy, Mexico (200 dead) and South Africa, often killing or injuring chemical plant workers.

• In 2001, a truck carrying 4,500 gallons of hexane caught fire and exploded, injuring the truck driver and setting fire to nearby homes.

• Hexane also poses a serious health danger to workers: "Workers who come in dermal (skin) contact with hexane experience immediate irritation characterized by erythema and hyperemia, and they develop blisters after several hours."

• According to The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the permissible exposure level of hexane is 500 parts per million (ppm) for workers with 8-hour exposures. Exposures of 800 ppm for 15 minutes can cause respiratory tract and eye irritation, as well as symptoms of carnosis. At higher exposure levels, workers can develop symptoms of nausea, vertigo and headaches.

• "Workers who are chronically exposed to hexane levels ranging from 400 to 600 ppm, with occasional exposures of up to 2,500 ppm, have developed polyneuropathy, a neurological disorder. In these cases, distal symmetrical muscle weakness is common, and nerve biopsies show nerve damage. A recently published peer-reviewed article in Environmental Health Perspectives hypothesizes that occupational exposure to hexane may contribute to the development of Leber hereditary optic neuropathy, a disease that causes loss of vision. Chronic exposure may also lead to blurred vision, restricted visual field, and optic nerve atrophy." (Read more details in Behind the Bean at http://www.cornucopia.org/2009/05/s...

• Almost no research has been done to test the toxicity of hexane residues in foods -- not on adults, nor infants.

• "According to EPA reports, small quantities of solvent (up to 0.2 percent by volume of oil) can be present in oil after extraction, even after solvent recovery by film evaporators and a distillation stripper. A Swiss team of scientists tested various oils and found hexane residues in some of the tested oils."

• Test results from the Cornucopia Institute's lab tests (funded in part by NaturalNews): < 10 ppm hexane residues in soy oil. Soy meal: 21 ppm hexane residues. Soy grits: 14 ppm hexane residues.

• "Most soy-based infant formulas contain ingredients that have been hexane extracted. In fact, nearly every major ingredient in conventional soy-based infant formula is hexane extracted."

How can you protect yourself and your children from hexane?
As these laboratory tests reveal, hexane residues may be alarmingly widespread across the "natural" foods industry. In fact, as the Cornucopia Institute reports:

"...hexane-extracted soy protein is found in the vast majority of nonorganic foods with soy ingredients that appeal to health-conscious, environmentally conscious, and vegetarian consumers. For example, Gardein™ is a Canadian company that produces meat analogs -- soy-based "chicken" and soy-based "beef" -- for brands and private labels including Yves Cuisine®, Morningstar Farms®, Trader Joe's, and It's All Good Foods®, and for grocery store prepared foods departments such as Whole Foods. While the company describe its process for making these meat analogs as "pure and simple," it does not mention that it starts with hexane-extracted soy protein."

In the United States, there is currently only one way of knowing for sure that the soy-based foods you purchase is free of hexane contaminants: Look for the green USDA Organic seal on the package:

• Beware of claims of "natural" soy -- Even hexane-extracted soy can be called "natural."

• Beware of claims of "made with organic soy" -- Such products may still contain non-organic soy-based ingredients extracted with hexane.

• Beware of "veggie" products containing texturized vegetable protein. Many of these products not only likely contain hexane chemical residues; they also are usually made with yeast extract, a flavoring ingredient that contains MSG, a neurotoxin. (Imagine the impact of these two neurotoxins in combination...)

• Don't feed your infant soy protein. Instead, opt for human breast milk (the best option), or goat's milk formulas such as Genesis Organics (www.GenesisOrganics.com).

The bottom line - the Health Ranger's opinion
From my point of view, these highly disturbing findings about hexane residues appearing in processed soy products just confirm what we've known about these food conglomerates for a long time: Big food companies are serving up poison to infants, teens, adults and senior citizens.

Not only are these food companies bathing their soy products in a neurotoxic chemical, the FDA is once again asleep at the wheel, allowing dangerous chemicals to remain prevalent in the food supply while doing virtually nothing to warn consumers or ban the toxic chemical from soy product processing.

Thus, We the People once again find ourselves in the position of being poisoned by the food companies and betrayed by the FDA. If that sounds familiar, it's because this has happened again and again with toxic ingredients ranging from monosodium glutamate and aspartame to sodium nitrite and petrochemical food colorings.

Big Food and the FDA, in fact, almost appear to be conspiring to poison the population... which just happens to create a windfall of profits for Big Pharma -- the other corporate master of the FDA.

It's a clever scam: Poison the people with hidden chemicals in the food supply, then when their organs start to fail, drug them on monopoly-priced pharmaceuticals. Meanwhile, the FDA enforces the whole thing by outlawing real food (like raw almonds or raw organic cow's milk), thereby forcing people to eat chemically-contaminated processed food.

To put icing on the (processed) cake, the FDA allows these companies using toxic chemicals to claim their products are "natural." They even allow some health claims for companies using soy in their formulas -- even when that soy has been bathed in hexane!

Protect yourself from the toxicity of processed foods
There is no limit to the insanity of what goes into the food supply when profits are at stake, it seems. And this use of the toxic solvent hexane to process soy that's used in infant formula, protein bars and "veggie" products is yet another example of why it's smart to avoid nearly ALL factory-made foods, regardless of their health claims.

When you grow your own food (or just buy fresh produce and food staples) and prepare it in your own kitchen, you know what goes into it. You also know what's NOT in it (such as hexane or melamine). It's the only sure way to protect yourself and your family from the dangers of processed foods made by food commodity giants that are motivated by money, not concern for your health. In fact, the attitude about chemical contaminants by many U.S. food giants mirrors the attitude about melamine in infant formula as demonstrated by China's powdered milk manufacturers: "Ah, what's a little melamine gonna hurt anyway?"

But it does hurt. It hurts your health and harms your children. There are 10,000 children on dialysis machines in China who can prove it to you. And that's why, in my opinion, these companies using hexane-contaminated soy protein in their products deserve to be publicly exposed, heavily fined and perhaps even shut down and run out of business.

Why modern society looks the other way on chemical contamination of foods
Why are companies run out of business when salmonella is found in their peanut butter (for example), but when toxic chemical solvents are found in their soy proteins, the mainstream media says nothing, the FDA does nothing, and the whole world pretends it's all just business as usual?

I'll tell you why. There is an irrational, false belief that continues to permeate society today, and it's founded in the lies of Scientism and the reductionist approach to western thinking. That false belief is that chemicals are good for you, but bacteria are bad for you.

This is the whole thinking behind the widespread use of antibiotics (which actually promote hospital superbugs) and the mass fumigation of California almonds (just to make sure they're no longer RAW). It's the reason why raw milk is outlawed, but chemically-contaminated soy milk is legal. It's the reason why the FDA views the food supply as safe only if it's sterile. It's the big lie about food safety, and virtually every mainstream newspaper, TV station and journalist buys into it.

They think salmonella is deadly dangerous, but MSG, aspartame and sodium nitrite are just fine. They believe in the lie that chemicals are safe as long as the FDA doesn't say anything against them!

But it's hogwash. A sterile food supply is a dead food supply. And dead foods don't keep people alive for very long. Hence the slow, torturous death of our aging population. Our people are not living longer; they're dying longer!

I say this: We are headed for a disastrous collapse of public health stemming from the mass chemical contamination of the food supply and the genetic alteration of the human population. I've covered this in a video report called Genopocalypse which you can watch for free as a promo to TheBestDayEver.com. Check it out here: http://www.thebestdayever.com/healt...

In the mean time, avoid all soy products that are not labeled USDA Organic, and don't feed yourself or your babies processed soy protein bathed in toxic hexane.

Looking for a good soy product? Try Eden Foods' soy products. Other trusted soy products are named in the Cornucopia Institute's report here: http://www.cornucopia.org/2009/05/s...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Vaccine Update & a Warning

Be sure to read all the way down for the update on some of the difficulties faced in the making of a vaccine for this particular type of flu, and a warning from the experts not to underestimate this virus, as is not going away by itself. Worth a read, I thought.

A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

In this update:
[1] Vaccine development delay
[2] Vaccination policy

[1] Vaccine development delay
Date: Wed 20 May 2009
Source: Los Angeles Times [edited]

The World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday [19 May 2009] that
it was taking longer than anticipated to prepare the seed stock
needed to manufacture a vaccine for the H1N1 influenza virus. At a
week long meeting in Geneva to discuss the outbreak of the so-called
swine flu, the global health agency said the virus wasn't growing
very quickly in the laboratory. That means vaccine makers won't be
able to start production until mid-July 2009 at the earliest. WHO
officials originally said they would be able to deliver the seed
stock to manufacturers by the end of the month [May 2009]. Once the
companies have it in hand, it takes about 4-6 months to produce the vaccine.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta
intends to have its own H1N1 seed stock ready to distribute to
vaccine makers by the end of May 2009, and those efforts are "still
on track," spokesman Tom Skinner said Tuesday [19 May 2009]. Small
lots of H1N1 vaccine could be available for human clinical trials as
early as late July or August 2009, he said.

Neither the WHO nor the CDC have given the go-ahead for manufacturers
to begin production of an H1N1 vaccine.

Communicated by:
ProMED-mail Rapporteur Mary Marshall

[2] Vaccination policy
Date: Mon 18 May 2009
Source: FluTrackers.com [edited]

World renowned virologist Professor Albert Osterhaus told
participants at Europe's largest conference on infectious diseases
that the outbreak of influenza A (H1N1) is without question one of
the most important events of the past 40 years in human influenza.
And he stressed that the current H1N1 threat is a serious one.

Professor Osterhaus, who is Head of Virology at the Erasumus Medical
Centre in Rotterdam and led efforts to identify human infection with
the avian influenza strain (H5N1) in 1997, outlined the 3
cornerstones of medical preparedness in the face of swine-origin flu:
Good surveillance and diagnostics; effective treatment/antiviral
therapy; and vaccination, the foundation of prevention. But he also
cautioned that we must be prepared to expect the unexpected as the
course of this influenza virus unfolds.

Osterhaus was speaking at a late breaker session jointly organized by
the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
(ESCMID) and The Lancet that was added to the program of the European
Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID)
taking place in Helsinki.

Addressing the issue of an A (H1N1) vaccination, Dr Osterhaus
stressed that there was room for improvement in the production of all
influenza vaccines. "We have to do better," he told representatives
from the scientific, medical and pharmaceutical industry. "We must
improve the influenza vaccine production systems and capacity,
regardless of whether we develop an A (H1N1) vaccine. Currently, we
have capacity to produce doses that could protect an estimated 1-2
billion people, yet with a global population of some 6.7 billion,
clearly there is not enough for all."

Focusing on the outbreak from a clinician's perspective, Professor
Javiar Garau, the new President of ESCMID and Head of Medicine at the
Hospital Mutua Terrassa in Barcelona, highlighted priorities in the
treatment of swine origin flu. "We know from experience that
secondary infections -- which in the case of influenza include
pneumonia -- can be deadly, which means that adequate stockpiles of
antibiotics, as well as antivirals, must be included as part of our response."


The editor of The Lancet Infectious Diseases, John McConnell, said:
"We must not underestimate this virus. As Professor Osterhaus
reminded us, this outbreak is unlikely to disappear spontaneously, so
we must be vigilant in monitoring the spread of the virus."

Video highlights from the session will be available from Wed 20 May
2009 at The Lancet's H1N1 Flu resource Centre at
Click on title above to go there;

Communicated by:

[see also:
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (36): case counts, amended 20090519.1882
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (35): case counts 20090518.1867
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (34) 20090518.1863
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (33): case counts 20090517.1848
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (32): case counts 20090517.1845
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (31) 20090516.1835
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (30): case counts 20090516.1831
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (29) 20090515.1824
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (28): case counts 20090515.1822
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (27): case counts 20090514.1800
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (26) 20090514.1798
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (25): case counts 20090513.1785
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (24): case counts 20090512.1772
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (23) 20090511.1764
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (22): case counts 20090511.1759
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (21) 20090510.1749
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (20): case counts 20090510.1741
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (10): case counts 20090504.1675
Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide 20090430.1636]

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U.S. Directs $1 Billion for New Swine Flu Vaccine

Health Officials Hope Effort Will Prepare Country if Vaccine Is Needed
By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor

May 22, 2009

A researcher works on a vaccine for H1N1 flu virus at the Infectious Disease Laboratory at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia May 6, 2009.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government said on Friday it is setting aside $1 billion to help companies develop a vaccine against the new strain of H1N1 influenza that is sweeping the world.

U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the money will be used for clinical studies over the summer and for commercial-scale production of vaccine ingredients for the government's stockpile of drugs and vaccines that is on hold in case of a pandemic of influenza.

"The actions we are taking today will help us be prepared if a vaccine is needed," Sebelius said in a statement.

The companies approved to sell flu shots in the United States are Sanofi-Aventis SA, Novartis AG, GlaxoSmithKline PLC and CSL Ltd. AstraZeneca unit MedImmune also sells a nasal spray flu vaccine.


Older People May Be Immune to Swine Flu

Swine Flu and Schools Closings: FAQ

Swine Flu: All You Need to Know
"With these funds manufacturers will also prepare pilot lots of potential vaccine for use in clinical studies to determine the proper dose for a vaccine, determine if adjuvants are appropriate and ensure a vaccine is safe and effective," HHS said in a statement.

Adjuvants are immune system boosters added to vaccines to make them work better. They are used together with killed or weakened versions of the virus to make the vaccine.

"The U.S. government will share as much information as possible from the results of these clinical studies with the World Health Organization and the global community so that other countries can benefit from the U.S. efforts to determine dosage, safety and effectiveness," HHS added.

World health experts have not yet decided if a vaccine is needed against the new strain of swine flu, which has infected more than 11,000 people in 42 countries, and killed 86.

On Friday the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 6,552 probable and confirmed cases of the newly discovered virus, and nine deaths.

The CDC said this likely represents only the tip of the iceberg in the United States, with the true number closer to more than 100,000 cases.

Health Officials Hope Effort Will Prepare Country if Vaccine Is Needed
Experts say that a vaccine against the new swine flu virus would probably have to be given separately from the seasonal flu vaccine, which is a mixture of three flu strains reformulated every year. Vaccine makers are almost done with the autumn flu vaccine for the northern hemisphere.


WATCH: First NYC Swine Flu-Related Death

Timeline: Tracking the Spread of Swine Flu

Assistant Principal Is 1st NYC Swine Flu Death
(Additional reporting by Lisa Richwine in Washington; Editing by Brian Moss


Thursday, May 21, 2009

"Black Rot" Blight Upon our Watermellons

A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Thu 14 May 2009
Source: University of Georgia College of Agricultural and
Environmental Sciences [edited]

Watermelon farmers fear gummy stem blight [GSB] more than any other
disease. To develop better ways to manage it, University of Georgia
[UGA] plant pathologists are leading a regional effort to figure out
how GSB epidemics start each year. Once GSB hits a field, it can be
hard to contain, especially in hot, wet weather, said David Langston,
UGA. It attacks leaves and stems, severely reducing yields and
sometimes killing plants.

Langston said, "If you don't know where the inoculum is coming from,
it is near impossible to control a disease." Farmers typically spray
fungicides 8 times during the growing season. There are many
fungicides to fight GSB, but the disease is very good at becoming
resistant to them quickly, Langston said -- as fast as in just a few
years of the 1st use. This is a big problem.

Georgia is a top watermelon-producing state. Farmers typically plant
transplants grown from seeds from Asia, South America, and Australia.
Farmers in these places use fungicides to control the disease, but
which ones and how often is not known in the US. Langston believes
that GSB strains are becoming resistant to certain fungicides in
foreign fields.

The disease could be due to the seeds, or it could be spread through
a build up of [local] spores. Research will determine if US
greenhouse plants are being infected by GSB spores either already
inside or flying in from the outside. If GSB is seen [inside] before
spores arrive in the area [outside], it came from the seeds. The GSB
spores collected from infected plants and the air will be tested to
see if they are resistant to fungicides.

The UGA researchers will do similar comparisons in farmers' fields
using spore traps [see below] in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina,
and North Carolina to determine if fungal spores are present at or
during GSB epidemics. If the disease is mostly seed-borne,
cooperative efforts with seed companies and their foreign growers
could reduce or eliminate fungicide resistance problems. If air-borne
spores are the problem, more aggressive fungicide rotation programs
and management practices could be developed.

[Byline: Brad Haire]

Communicated by:

[Gummy stem blight of cucurbits is caused by the fungus _Didymella
bryoniae_ and is the most common leaf disease of watermelon. Symptoms
include lesions on leaves and stems of seedlings. The seedling may be
girdled by the lesions and collapse, or be so weakened by the
infection that it is never productive. Gummy stem blight requires
prolonged moisture to become established and consequently is a
serious problem in regions of high rainfall and glasshouse crops. The
fungus also causes black rot if it infects the fruits.

Spores may be seed-borne or spread by air currents, water from rain
or irrigation systems, or insects. The fungus can survive between
growing seasons in an over-wintering structure, and wild cucurbits or
volunteer hosts may serve as pathogen reservoirs. Disease management
includes fungicides and use of certified GSB-free seed from reliable
sources. It is not clear why seed certification does not appear to be
available or effective for the farmers mentioned in the story above.

Spore traps are used for determining identity and time of dispersal
of fungi. Spores can be identified by morphology to genus and
sometimes species. They can indicate the presence of a fungal
pathogen before disease is discovered in the field because symptoms
need time to develop and may initially be difficult to detect.

Maps of USA:

GSB on cucurbit transplants:


GSB on watermelon:


GSB on cucurbits, photo gallery:

Spore trap:

Gummy stem blight and black rot information:
, and

GSB review and disease history:

_D. bryoniae_ taxonomy:

Information on spore traps:
, and
. - Mod.DHA]

[see also:
Downy mildew, cucurbits - USA (02): clarification 20071109.3633
Downy mildew, cucurbits - USA: (SC), new strain 20071023.3448]