posted on July 05, 2012 10:00
A recent study, conducted at Taipei Veterans Hospital in Taiwan, discovered a strong association between the weather and milder migraines, which may not be a factor that many people consider when they think about what might have been their trigger.
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posted on July 04, 2012 19:00
By Dr. Mercola
An Illinois beekeeper whose bee hives were stolen and allegedly destroyed by the Illinois Department of Agriculture has stirred up a hornet's nest with his questions on why the state did this, and most importantly, what they did with his bees.
The state claims the bees were destroyed because they were infected with a disease called foulbrood.
But when the 58-year apiary keeper had his hearing—three weeks after the removal of his bees without his knowledge—the state's "evidence" had disappeared, leaving more questions than answers about the raid on the beekeeper's hives.
Some people, including the beekeeper, Terrence Ingram, suspect the raid has more to do with Ingram's 15 years of research on Monsanto's Roundup and his documented evidence that Roundup kills bees, than it does about any concerns about his hives.
Interestingly, the state's theft targeted the queen bee and hive he'd been using to conduct the research.
The Ingram Case
A recent article by Tom Kocal in the Prairie Advocate retells the full story of how Terrence Ingram's bees and hives wound up being taken by the Illinois State Department of Agriculture (IDofAG)i.
While the state claims the removal of the property was due to Ingram's failure to comply with the Department's notice instructing him to burn the affected hives, they have been less than open about why the inspectors came in and took the bees and hives without due process, and at a time when the Ingram's were absent from the property. Ingram claims the Department also conducted three out of four inspections on his private property while no one was home.
While Department inspectors claim his hives had foulbrood—an allegedly highly contagious disease—Mr. Ingram believes he could prove that this was not the case. As reported by the featured Prairie Advocate article:
"Ingram knew that the inspectors could not tell what they were seeing and had warned the Department that if any of them came back it would be considered a criminal trespass. Yet they came back when he was not home, stole his hives and ruined his 15 years of research."
Ingram initially reported the missing bees and hives as having been stolen on March 14, unaware that they'd been removed by the IDofAG. News of the theft was published in the Prairie Advocate on March 21. As a result of that article, an area County Farm Bureau manager called the reporter, stating he knew the equipment hadn't been stolen, but that it had been "destroyed" by the Department of Agriculture because they were infected with foulbrood and Ingram hadn't disposed of them as instructed.
The most nonsensical part of this story is that Ingram didn't get a hearing to determine whether his hives were affected by the disease until three weeks after they were removed and destroyed.
Kocal quotes Mr. Ingram as saying:
"I own four businesses. I am here all the time. Yet they took our bees and hives when we were not home. What did they do, sit up on the hill and watch until we left? We had not yet had our day in court to prove that our hives did not have foulbrood!"
Making matters worse, during that April 4 hearing, the Department couldn't produce any evidence of what they'd done with the bees and the hives. Meanwhile, Ingram ended up being ordered to pay the $500 fine for violating Sections 2-1 of the Illinois Bees and Apiaries Act. According to Kocal:
"There are 2 questions that Ingram wants answered:
1) Did the IDofA, a state agency, have the right to enter Ingram's property and confiscate a suspected "nuisance," before Ingram had his day in court?
2) Where are his bees? The "evidence" has disappeared, and the IDofA refuses to tell Ingram where they are, before, during, and after the hearing.
"I have been keeping bees for 58 years," Ingram said during an interview at his home and apiary. "I am not a newcomer to beekeeping, and I definitely know what I am doing. I have been teaching beginning beekeeping classes for 40 years..." At the April 4 hearing, Ingram said he felt he was able to show the court that the inspector could not tell the difference between "chilled brood" and foulbrood. He also proved to the court that the inspectors did not know the symptoms of foulbrood."
15 Years of Research Destroyed
Ingram believes the destruction of his bees and hives is more likely to be related to his research into the effect of Roundup on honey bees. He claims some 250 of his colonies have been killed off over the years by Monsanto's broad-spectrum herbicide, used in large quantities on both conventional- and genetically engineered crops. Ingram's research shows that Roundup can lead to what's called chilled brood, which is an entirely different scenario.
According to Ingram, quoted from Kocal's article:
"When Round-Up kills the adult bees there are not enough bees left in the hive to keep the young bees (brood) warm, and the young bees die from the cold (chilled brood). I tried to prove that just because foulbrood can be detected once the hive has been disturbed, doesn't mean the hive has foulbrood.
Inside a honeybee hive is one of the cleanest places you can find. Anything that is a problem, if the bees can't remove it, they cover it with propolis, which is an antiseptic... When you go into the comb and cut it up, disturb it like the investigators did, then send it to a lab, it exposes foulbrood to the world. In the beehive, it's covered up. The bees aren't affected by it. But you can find it by sending it in to a lab."
Ingram has studied the effects of Roundup on honeybees for the past 15 years, and he believes he had built up sufficient amount of data to show that the herbicide causes not just bee die-offs, but also Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)—a mysterious phenomenon that has decimated an estimated one-third of all honey bees since 2006. While some bees inexplicably die, many simply vanish and never return to their hives. Ingram told Kocal that:
"CCD is a calamity that is affecting honeybee colonies across the nation. In fact, I had one queen, which had survived three summers of spraying and three winters. I was planning to raise daughters from that queen to see if she may have had some genetic resistance to Roundup. But she and her hive were taken during the theft. I don't even know where the bees and my equipment are. They ruined 15 years of my research."
... "I asked Rep. Sacia to take the teeth out of the current law, preventing untrained inspectors from doing sneak inspections without the beekeeper present, killing their bees and burning their equipment, or forcing organic beekeepers out of business, telling them that they have to use chemicals to keep bees in Illinois. Are the chemical companies really running our food supply?"
... "Is Illinois becoming a police state, where citizens do not have rights?" Ingram asked in desperation. "Knowing that Monsanto and the Dept. of Ag are in bed together, one has to wonder if Monsanto was behind the theft to ruin my research that may prove Roundup was, and is, killing honeybees. Beekeepers across the state are being threatened that the same thing may be done to their hives and livelihood. I was not treated properly, I don't want to see this happen to anyone else in this state, and I want this type of illegal action to end."
Monsanto is the New Owner of Leading Bee Research Firm
Ingram is quite correct about chemical companies like Monsanto—they are seeking to take nearly full control of the food supply by controlling virtually every aspect of crop production. So he has cause to be suspicious when it comes to the question of who ordered the theft and destruction of his bees. It wouldn't be the first time the biotech giant has used questionable tactics to get rid of its adversaries. And research implicating Monsanto as the cause of CCD could definitely cause some harm to the company's bottom line.
One of the forerunning theories of colony collapse disorder (CCD) is that it's being caused by genetically engineered crops—either as a result of the crops themselves or the pesticides and herbicides applied on them, such as Roundup. Ingram's research could potentially have strengthened this theory. Monsanto's Roundup herbicide is one of the most widely used herbicides there is. As a result, Monsanto has received increasing amounts of bad publicity over their potential role in the devastating demise of bees around the globe.
There's no doubt that CCD is a serious problem. To get an idea of the magnitude of the importance of bees, the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) estimates that without bees to act as pollinators, the United States alone could lose $15 billion worth of crops.ii Research into the phenomenon is therefore absolutely crucial, to identify the sources of the problem.
Monsanto however, keeping true to form, appears to have taken measures to control the direction of the research into their products' effect on bees. As I recently reported, Monsanto has purchased one of the leading bee research firms – one that, conveniently, lists its primary goal as studying colony collapse disorder! Monsanto bought the company, called Beeologics, in September 2011, just months before Poland announced it would ban growing of Monsanto's genetically modified MON810 maize, noting, poignantly, that "pollen of this strain could have a harmful effect on bees."iii
The ongoing blight of genetically engineered crops has been implicated in CCD for years. In one German study,iv when bees were released in a genetically engineered rapeseed crop, then fed the pollen to younger bees, scientists discovered the bacteria in the guts of the young ones mirrored the same genetic traits as ones found in the GE crop, indicating that horizontal gene transfer had occurred.
But Roundup is not the only herbicide that has come under scrutiny. Newer systemic insecticides, known as neonicotinoids, two prominent examples of which include Imidacloprid and Clothianidin, are also frequently used on both conventional- and genetically engineered crops and have been implicated in CCD. In fact, bee colonies started disappearing in the U.S. shortly after the EPA allowed these new insecticides on the market. Even the EPA itself admits that "pesticide poisoning" is a likely cause of bee colony collapse as these pesticides weaken the bees' immune system.
What Can You do to Help the Honeybees?
If you want to learn more about bees and CCD, I highly recommend watching the documentary film Vanishing of the Bees. The film recommends four actions you can take to help preserve honeybees everywhere:
- Support organic farmers and shop at local farmer's markets as often as possible. You can "vote with your fork" three times a day. [When you buy organic, you are making a statement by saying "no" to genetically engineered foods]
- Cut the use of toxic chemicals in your house and on your lawn, and use organic pest control.
- Better yet, get rid of your lawn altogether and plant a garden. Lawns offer very little benefit for the environment. Both flower and vegetable gardens provide good honey bee habitats.
- Become an amateur beekeeper. Having a hive in your garden requires only about an hour of your time per week, benefits your local ecosystem, and you can enjoy your own honey!
If you are interested in more information about bee preservation, the following organizations are a good place to start.
- Pesticide Action Network Bee Campaignv
- The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Beesvi
- American Beekeeping Federationvii
- Help the Honey Beesviii
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posted on July 04, 2012 19:00
By Dr. Mercola
Asthma, hay fever, eczema, food allergies, lupus, multiple sclerosis and other immune- mediated afflictions are all on the rise.
According to some estimates, allergies and diseases of the immune system have doubled, tripled or even quadrupled in the last few decades, with some studies indicating that more than half of the U.S. population has at least one clinically diagnosable allergy.i
At an alarming rate, people’s immune systems are over-reacting to substances that should be harmless, leading to allergies; in others, their immune systems are malfunctioning and attacking parts of their own body – the very definition of autoimmune disease.
What’s causing all of this strife to our immune systems may sound like an unlikely culprit, but in fact it makes perfect sense...
Your Body is Crying Our for “Dirt”...
Writing in the New York Times, Jeff Leach uses the example of the simple farmer’s market as an analogy of what’s missing from so many of our lives. In a word: dirt. The heads of lettuce and bunches of carrots of yesteryear were awash in various microorganisms, and no one even considered that to be a problem. Today much of our food is pasteurized, irradiated, sterilized and made so that bacteria – even the good kind – can no longer survive.
When there are outbreaks of food poisoning, the blame often falls on federal agencies to make the food supply cleaner, but what is overlooked is why our own immune systems failed to protect us from what should be normal bacterial exposures.
“ … by asking why an individual’s natural defenses failed, we insert personal responsibility into our national food safety strategy and draw attention to the much larger public health crisis, of which illness from food-borne pathogens is but a symptom of our minimally challenged and thus overreactive immune system.”
Ironically, the very advances that represent all that is modern in the world – hand sanitizers, treated water, refrigeration -- have created their very own set of diseases.
“Increasing evidence suggests that the alarming rise in allergic and autoimmune disorders during the past few decades is at least partly attributable to our lack of exposure to microorganisms that once covered our food and us. As nature’s blanket, the potentially pathogenic and benign microorganisms associated with the dirt that once covered every aspect of our preindustrial day guaranteed a time-honored co-evolutionary process that established “normal” background levels and kept our bodies from overreacting to foreign bodies.
… In a world of hand sanitizer and wet wipes (not to mention double tall skinny soy vanilla lattes), we can scarcely imagine the preindustrial lifestyle that resulted in the daily intake of trillions of helpful organisms.
For nearly all of human history, this began with maternal transmission of beneficial microbes during passage through the birth canal — mother to child. However, the alarming increase in the rate of Caesarean section births means a potential loss of microbiota from one generation to the next.
And for most of us in the industrialized world, the microbial cleansing continues throughout life. Nature’s dirt floor has been replaced by tile; our once soiled and sooted bodies and clothes are cleaned almost daily; our muddy water is filtered and treated; our rotting and fermenting food has been chilled; and the cowshed has been neatly tucked out of sight. While these improvements in hygiene and sanitation deserve applause, they have inadvertently given rise to a set of truly human-made diseases.”
The Rise of “Sterile Environment” Diseases
The hygiene hypothesis – the theory that early exposure to dirt and germs programs your immune system to properly identify and countermand threats – has been gaining slow but steady support over the past decade. According to this theory, if you're healthy, exposure to bacteria and viruses can serve as "natural vaccines" that strengthen your immune system and provide long-lasting immunity against disease.
You’re not meant to exist in a bubble, isolated from life. You’re designed to spend time outside, play in the dirt, be active -- and to get dirty and encounter and develop lasting immunity against potentially infectious agents.
This would seem like common sense, but in today's world of obsessive sterilization and savvy marketing, many have been brainwashed into treating dirt as enemy number one, to be eliminated at any cost. There's an antibacterial solution for every area of your life and if you’re not wiping down your counters and cleaning your hands with antibacterial soap, you’re taking antibiotics, which are grossly overused.
Your diet, too, is probably largely devoid of the natural bacteria that makes food – and you – healthy, as most of what is consumed is highly processed, refined and pasteurized. This over-zealous avoidance of bacteria and viruses comes at a steep price, the rise of numerous related diseases, including:
- Asthma and allergies
- Immune system diseases (autoimmune disorders, etc.)
- Heart disease
Neuroscientist Charles Raison explained:ii
"Since ancient times benign microorganisms, sometimes referred to as 'old friends,' have taught your immune system how to tolerate other harmless microorganisms, and in the process, reduce inflammatory responses that have been linked to the development of most modern illnesses, from cancer to depression."
Quite simply, if you're “too clean,” you deprive yourself of the exposure to bacteria that your body needs in order to program itself to keep inflammation at bay, as well as to respond properly when a threat does occur. The answer is not to eat “dirty” food … but food that has been grown in healthy soil and contains beneficial bacteria is incredibly important.
This is One Reason Why Fermented Foods are So Important
Establishment of normal gut flora in the first 20 days or so of life plays a crucial role in appropriate maturation of your baby's immune system. Babies who develop abnormal gut flora are left with compromised immune systems, and then they are typically vaccinated, which can be a recipe for disaster. Vaccinations were originally developed for children with perfectly healthy immune systems, but according to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, children with unbalanced gut flora are not fit to be vaccinated according to the standard vaccination protocol.
The end result is increasing numbers of children with autism, learning disabilities, neurological disorders, psychiatric disorders, immune disorders, and digestive problems, all because of a lack of exposure to the proper bacteria in early life.
Many women of reproductive age are deficient in beneficial bacteria—a deficiency that transfers to their babies and may set the stage for any number of problems. The solution is simple: nourish your gut flora with a probiotic-rich diet. Some examples of naturally fermented foods that are outstanding sources of beneficial bacteria include:
- Various fermented vegetables, including cabbage, turnips, eggplant, cucumbers, onions, squash and carrots
- Lassi (an Indian yoghurt drink, traditionally enjoyed before dinner)
- Yogurt made from organic raw milk
- Fermented milk such as kefir (a quart of unpasteurized kefir has far more active bacteria than you can possibly purchase in any probiotics supplement, and it's simple to make at home)
- Natto (fermented soy)
Eating fermented foods like these regularly will help to "reseed" your body's beneficial bacteria, which is under constant assault from antibiotics, chlorinated water, antibacterial soap, the metabolic byproducts of stress, and poor diet, especially sugar consumption. Eating sugar actually nourishes the bad or pathogenic bacteria yeast and fungi in your gut. So, tending to the bacteria in your gut is an ongoing process, much like tending to a flower garden.
If you do not consume traditionally fermented foods on a regular basis, a high-quality probiotic supplement is one of the few I do recommend – but one of the major results of eating a healthy diet like the one described in my nutrition plan is that you stimulate your beneficial gut bacteria to flourish naturally.
More Tips for Living “Dirty”
It’s high time for many to get reacquainted with some “old friends,” those beneficial bacteria that have been a part of civilization for eons. This is important not only for you, but also for your children, as the future of your child's immune system is in your hands. You can help your child’s immunity build up the natural resistance it needs by:
- Letting your child be a child. Allow your kids to play outside and get dirty.
- Avoiding the use of antibacterial soaps and other antibacterial household products. Simple soap and water is all you need when washing your hands.
- Avoiding unnecessary antibiotics, including not only medically (for instance, taking antibiotics to target a viral infection, for which they are useless) but also in your food, which is a major source of antibiotic exposure
- Serving locally grown or organic meats that do not contain antibiotics
- Educating yourself on the pros and cons of vaccines, which further manipulate your immune system, and making informed decisions about their use
One final piece of advice that I’d like to echo comes from Leach, who points out that a simple visit to your local farmer’s market may help you get back in touch with your more down to earth roots:
“As we move deeper into a “postmodern” era of squeaky-clean food and hand sanitizers at every turn, we should probably hug our local farmers’ markets a little tighter. They may represent our only connection with some “old friends” we cannot afford to ignore.”
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posted on July 03, 2012 19:00
By Dr. Mercola
If you're pregnant, there is compelling evidence that you should use extreme caution when using a cell phone, and at least take care to keep it as far away from your developing baby as possible.
The latest animal study suggests that the increasingly prevalent neurobehavioral disorders in children -- conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) -- may be related to exposure to radiofrequency radiation from cell phones while in utero.i
Hyperactivity, Impaired Memory Linked to In Utero Cell Phone Exposure
Researchers from the Yale School of Medicine positioned a cell phone above a cage of pregnant mice. The phone was transmitting an uninterrupted active call for the entire 17 days of gestation.
When the offspring were later tested, they showed signs of ADHD, including reduced transmissions in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. As researchers noted:
"The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is responsible for executive functions by screening distractions and maintaining attention in goal-oriented behaviors. Impairment of the PFC leads to dysregulated behavior/emotion such as ADHD."
They further explained:
"Mice exposed [to cell phone radiation] during pregnancy had impaired memory, were hyperactive, and had decreased anxiety, indicating that in-utero exposure to radiofrequency is a potential cause of neurobehavioral disorders. …The exposure to cellular telephones in pregnancy may have a comparable effect on the fetus and similar implications for society as do exposures to other common neurodevelopmental toxicants."
It's widely known that children, due to their thinner skulls, smaller brains, softer brain tissue and far more rapidly dividing cells, are even more susceptible to damage from cell phone use than adults, which suggests that babies in the womb, who are perhaps the most vulnerable population of all, may be at similar or greater at risk. The researchers expand:
"During critical windows in neurogenesis the brain is susceptible to numerous environmental insults; common medically relevant exposures include ionizing radiation, alcohol, tobacco, drugs and stress. The effects of these agents are dependent on dose and timing of exposure. Even small exposures during periods of neurogenesis have a more profound effect than exposure as an adult …environmental exposures occurring in fetal life can lead to persistent neurological deficits."
Cell Phones May Cause "Certain Harm" to Fetal Rat Brains
This was the conclusion of a study in Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine,ii which sought to evaluate the intensity of oxidative stress and the levels of neurotransmitters in the brains of fetal rats chronically exposed to radiation from cell phones.
Four groups of pregnant rats were exposed to different intensities of cell phone microwave radiation -- one group that was left unexposed, and three groups that were irradiated three times daily for either 10, 30, or 60 minutes at a time. After three weeks, the fetal rats were examined for changes in their brains. Studies on humans have corroborated these findings. All of the irradiated groups exhibited significant neurological differences, with researchers noting:
"Through this study, we concluded that receiving a certain period of microwave radiation from cellular phones during pregnancy has certain harm on fetal rat brains."
Studies Involving Human Children Show Increased Behavioral Problems With In Utero Cell Phone Exposure
In 2008, researchers analyzed data from nearly 13,000 children and found that exposure to cell phones while in the womb, and also as children, was linked to more behavioral difficulties.iii Pregnant women using handsets just two or three times a day was enough to raise the risk of their babies developing hyperactivity and difficulties with conduct, emotions and relationships by the time they reached school age -- and the risk became even greater if the children also used the phones themselves before age 7.
The 2008 study revealed that mothers who used mobile phones were 54 percent more likely to have children with behavioral problems. When the children also later used the phones themselves by age 7, they were:
- 80 percent more likely to suffer from difficulties with behavior
- 25 percent more at risk from emotional problems
- 34 percent more likely to suffer from difficulties relating to their peers
- 35 percent more likely to be hyperactive
- 49 percent more prone to problems with conduct
Then, in 2010, the researchers looked at a larger group of children -- nearly 29,000 -- and also considered additional variables that could be swaying the results, and the association was found once again.iv In that study, children whose mothers used cell phones while pregnant were 40 percent more likely to have behavioral problems and this rose to 50 percent when the children also used cell phones themselves. The researchers even accounted for family history of behavioral problems, inattention of the mother, breastfeeding and time spent with the child -- and the association still remained.
If You're Pregnant, Is Cell Phone Use Safe?
That's a decision you'll have to make for yourself after considering the evidence, such as the studies noted above. I do believe there is more than enough evidence to warrant everyone limiting their cell phone use and taking precautions, and I have long recommended that, barring a life-threatening emergency, children should not use a cell phone, or a wireless device of any type. A fetus is even more vulnerable than a child, so take that into consideration as well. As a parent you have a responsibility to protect this young life.
Many government agencies across the globe are taking these risks very seriously. The European Parliament has called for schools to be wireless free, in addition to hospitals, day care and retirement living facilities.v And in a report published by Mobilewise, a UK charity, medical experts and Mobilewise call on government and industry to provide warnings and advice on ways to reduce the risk of health damage when using mobile phones, especially in order to protect children.
The report "Mobile Phone Health Risks: the case for action to protect children" warns that children's health is being put at risk by the failure of government and phone companies to respond to the growing body of evidence linking mobile phone use with health hazards.vi It includes a chart of more than 200 peer-reviewed studies from numerous research institutions that link mobiles to serious health problems.
These include brain tumors and impacts on fertility, genes, the blood-brain barrier and melatonin production, as well as other biological effects thought to have a role in the development of cancer.
The telecommunication industry is much larger than the medical industrial complex, and they have far more influence than the drug companies. They're also mirroring many of the same tactics as the tobacco industry to pedal their wares. There is already robust scientific evidence that cell phones and other wireless devices pose significant health risks to all of us, and especially to children and pregnant women. So while these findings are not being widely publicized in mainstream media, it makes sense to take action now to protect yourself and your children.
Understand the media has significant conflicts of interest, given the millions of dollars in advertising dollars they receive from the wireless industry. ElectromagneticHealth.org has estimated telecom ad revenues might total as much as $6-60 million annually at U.S. newspapers and business magazines, based on a sampling of ad space in major papers and magazines. The average percentage of telecom ad space during the sample period was applied to the published print ad revenues of the publications, as a gauge of the magnitude of potential telecom revenues to these publications.
Camilla Rees of ElectromagneticHealth.org says:
"Not only are several large media organizations sitting on the fence on this subject, shirking their responsibility to the public (though many are following the subject closely), but some of them, it appears, may intentionally be supporting the interests of the telecom industry, as is also the case with some universities. In both cases it appears protecting important sources of revenue is what is most important to them. "
Rees co-led a detailed analysis of an Economist article last Fall that was endorsed by over 30 leading international scientists, portraying the Economist article in question as riddled with "technical errors and misleading statements."
The Economist critique stated:vii
"With this unsigned opinion piece (which appeared to be a news article) containing so many technical errors and misleading statements, The Economist has undermined its reputation for independent and probing analysis. The Economist owes its readers a better accounting of the science on this important public health issue."
So, until the damn of denial is broken regarding media coverage of the hazards of microwave radiation, look to the independent science, and independent reporting sources, that have not been influenced by commercial interests.
Top Steps for Safer Cell Phone Use
You can help to minimize your exposure to electromagnetic radiation from cell phones and other wireless devices by heeding the following advice:
- Children Should Always Avoid Using Cell Phones: Barring a life-threatening emergency, children should not use a cell phone, or a wireless device of any type. Children's brains are far more vulnerable to cell phone radiation than adults, because of their thinner skull bones.
- Reduce Your Cell Phone Use: Turn your cell phone off more often. Reserve it for emergencies or important matters. As long as your cell phone is on, it emits radiation intermittently, even when you are not actually making a call. If you're pregnant, avoiding or reducing your cell phone use is especially important.
- Use a Land Line at Home and at Work: Although more and more people are switching to using cell phones as their exclusive phone contact, it is a dangerous trend and you can choose to opt out of the madness. SKYPE offers a portable number via your computer that can plug into any Ethernet port while traveling.
- Reduce or Eliminate Your Use of Other Wireless Devices: You would be wise to cut down your use of these devices. Just as with cell phones, it is important to ask yourself whether or not you really need to use them as often as you do. And most importantly, do not even consider having any electronic or wireless devices in the bedroom, as the electric, magnetic and microwave fields can significantly interfere with the quality of your sleep.
If you must use a portable home phone, use the older kind that operates at 900 MHz. They are not safer during calls, but at least many of them do not broadcast constantly even when no call is being made. There is a new Siemens Eco DECT phone on the market, where if only one handset is activated, it can be set to only radiate during a call as opposed to 24/7. However, since many people have multiple portable phone handsets this is not, as of yet, a practical solution. And, unless one knows to deactivate the radiation through putting the phone into Eco Mode Plus mode, it will still be continually emitting microwaves.
Note the only way to truly be sure if there is an exposure from your cordless phone is to measure with an electrosmog meter, and it must be one that goes up to the frequency of your portable phone (so old meters won't help much). As many portable phones are 5.8 Gigahertz, we recommend you look for RF meters that go up to 8 Gigahertz, the highest range now available in a meter suitable for consumers.
Alternatively you can be very careful with the base station placement as that causes the bulk of the problem since it transmits signals 24/7, even when you aren't talking. So if you can keep the base station at least three rooms away from where you spend most of your time, and especially your bedroom, they may not be as damaging to your health. Another option is to just simply turn the portable phone off, only using it when you specifically need the convenience of moving about while on a call.
Ideally it would be helpful to turn off your base station every night before you go to bed. You can find RF meters as well as remediation supplies at www.emfsafetystore.com. But you can pretty much be sure your portable phone is a problem if the technology is DECT, or digitally enhanced cordless technology, unless you are using the new Siemens Eco DECT phone, with only one handset active, and the phone set to only radiate during conversations through the Eco Mode Plus feature.
- Use Your Cell Phone Only Where Reception is Good: The weaker the reception, the more power your phone must use to transmit, and the more power it uses, the more radiation it emits, and the deeper the dangerous radio waves penetrate into your body. Ideally, you should only use your phone with full bars and good reception.
- Also Seek to Avoid Carrying Your Phone on Your Body as that merely maximizes any potential exposure. Ideally put it in your purse or carrying bag. Placing a cell phone in a shirt pocket over the heart is asking for trouble, as is placing it in a man's pocket if he seeks to preserve his fertility and sexual function.
- Don't Assume One Cell Phone is Safer Than Another: There's no such thing as a "safe" cell phone.
- Keep Your Cell Phone Away From Your Body When it is On: The most dangerous place to be, in terms of radiation exposure, is within about six inches of the emitting antenna. You do not want any part of your body within that area. Most people are surprised that cell phone manuals themselves specifically state to not place the phone against your body!
- Respect Others Who are More Sensitive: Some people who have become sensitive can feel the effects of others' cell phones in the same room, even when it is on but not being used. If you are in a meeting, on public transportation, in a courtroom or other public places, such as a doctor's office, keep your cell phone turned off out of consideration for the 'second hand radiation' effects. This would especially apply to places where reflections would be high, such as in a metal elevator, train car or automobile. Children are also more vulnerable, so please avoid using your cell phone near children.
If you are using the Pong case, which redirects the cell phone radiation away from the head and successfully lowers the SAR effect, realize that in redirecting the radiation away from your head this may be intensifying the radiation in another direction, perhaps toward the person next to you, or, if in your pocket, increasing radiation intensity toward your body. Caution is always advised in dealing with any radiation-emitting device. We recommend cell phones be kept 'Off' except for emergencies.
- Use Safer Headset Technology: Wired headsets will certainly allow you to keep the cell phone farther away from your body. However, if a wired headset is not well-shielded -- and most of them are not -- the wire itself acts as an antenna attracting ambient radio waves and transmitting radiation directly to your brain.
Make sure that the wire used to transmit the signal to your ear is shielded. The best kind of headset to use is a combination shielded wire and air-tube headset. These operate like a stethoscope, transmitting the information to your head as an actual sound wave; although there are wires that still must be shielded, there is no wire that goes all the way up to your head.
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posted on July 03, 2012 19:00
By Dr. Mercola
Earlier this year, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) agreed to pay more than $1 billion in a civil settlement involving fraudulent marketing of their antipsychotic drug Risperdal – but federal prosecutors decided to hold out for more.
Now their illegal marketing of Risperdal for unapproved uses is set to cost them at least $1.5 billion in a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department, and sources say the final amount could end up exceeding $2 billion.
The amount could end up rivaling the largest health care fraud settlement in history -- $2.3 billion paid by Pfizer in 2009, also for illegally promoting uses of four of its drugs.
Risperdal Aggressively Promoted for Unapproved Uses for More Than a Decade
Risperdal was heavily promoted for unproven off-label uses for more than a decade, even after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued warnings against the misleading claims. Doctors are well within their legal rights to prescribe a drug for off-label use; it’s actually a common, albeit sometimes dangerous, practice. However, drug companies may not promote them for uses other than those that are FDA-approved.
Research has shown that up to two-thirds of prescriptions for Risperdal were for unapproved uses that had little or no scientific support.i How did this happen? Simple -- J&J sent out an army of salespeople to doctor's offices, nursing homes, Veteran's Administration facilities, and jails to tout Risperdal as a proverbial miracle drug for mental illness and dementia.
The FDA told the company to stop the false and misleading marketing claims not once, not twice, but three times from 1994-2004, but J&J reportedly continued to include marketing the drug for unapproved uses right in their business plan.
In the years to follow, the FDA did eventually approve Risperdal for bipolar disorder and autism symptoms, but it was never approved for dementia, even though it was heavily marketed as a dementia drug. Outrageously, elderly dementia patients who were prescribed Risperdal for off-label uses were found to increase their chances of death by 54 percent within the first 12 weeks of taking it!ii
Another off-label use for which Risperdal was marketed was post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – even though research in JAMA found Risperdal is no more effective than a placebo,iii and is associated with a long list of potentially devastating side effects, some of which may be permanent, including those in the chart below. J&J, of course, is not unique among drug companies when it comes to questionable advertising campaigns...
|Somnolence and fatigue
||Increased appetite and weight gain
||Upper respiratory tract infection
||Muscular tics, tremors, muscle stiffness
|Vomiting, coughing, fever
Merck Using Cartoon Movie Characters to Promote Children’s Claritin – Prompting Calls for a Federal Investigation
Eleven advocacy groups have asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate Merck’s marketing campaign for the over-the-counter allergy drug Grape-Flavored Children’s Claritin, which uses characters from the animated movie Madagascar 3. Not only are the characters also used on packages for candy and fruit snacks, giving the impression that the drug is candy, but Merck has been offering free movie tickets and stickers with the purchase of the drugs and has a Facebook page that offers free Madagascar games.
But it gets even more egregious than that, as Merck has “mom crews” that are holding movie-viewing parties where attendees can get popcorn, stickers, DVDs... and a sample of Claritin. CBS News reported:iv
“Other evidence submitted by the [advocacy] group states that Merck told its "Children's Claritin Mom Crew" bloggers to hold Madagascar-themed viewing parties, with one blogger writing that Merck distributed "full size Claritin product featuring 'Madagascar 3,' product samples and coupons to share with my mommy friends, stickers for the kids, popcorn boxes and Madagascar 1 and 2 DVDs."”
The advocacy groups are calling for the FTC to take action to stop child-directed marketing of over-the-counter medications, stating it is “unfair and deceptive and violates longstanding FTC precedent.”
It Gets Worse as Even Cereal Companies are Targeting Your Kids
It’s a close call as to which is worse – grape-flavored allergy medications being pawned off as a “fun” treat, or hooking kids on sugar-laden breakfast cereals, which are among the worst foods you can eat.
A study from Yale researchers revealed that spending to promote child-targeted cereals was $264 million in 2011, up more than 30 percent from 2008. During that period, kids’ exposure to TV ads for Froot Loops cereal increased 79 percent, to ads for Reese’s Puffs by 55 percent and to Pebbles by 25 percent.v The very cereal products that score lowest on nutrition and the highest on added sugar are among the most aggressively marketed directly to your kids.
“It is obvious that industry regulating itself is a failure. If there is to be any hope of protecting children from predatory marketing, either public outcry or government action will be necessary to force the companies to change,” said study co-author Kelly Brownell, director of the Rudd Center.vi
How to Stay Safe (and Sane) in an Era of Fraudulent, Aggressive Marketing
When it comes to making money, many industries throw ethics and integrity out the window. Whether it’s J&J illegally promoting Risperdal for dementia, Merck making kids equate its allergy medication with candy, or Kellogg targeting your kids and making them crave junk food like Froot Loops for breakfast, it’s a buyer beware world out there.
In most cases, a billion-dollar (or more) fraud settlement would be a death-sentence for a business, but for the drug industry, it's just another cost of doing business.
You cannot trust that the companies making your medications have your best interest at heart any more than the makers of your sugary breakfast cereals do. While medications remain one of the leading causes of death in the United States, processed foods, which contain few nutrients and plenty of disease-promoting sugar and poorly tested chemicals, are at the heart of the obesity epidemic and promoting chronic disease in millions of people.
But if you thought the federal government was really going to do something about all of this, think again, as the pharmaceutical industry and the food industry are two of the biggest lobby groups around – and you can often follow the corporate money trail directly to the front door of Congress.
As discussed by former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who served 3.5 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to corrupting public officials, tax evasion and fraud, our current political system basically runs on bribes. So one necessary step to have any chance of quelling this out-of-control corruption, fraud, and criminal activity is to prohibit all members of Congress and their staff from ever becoming a lobbyist after their service on the Hill is over.
The good news is that increasing numbers of people are now waking up to these harsh realities, and you, being among those who are informed, can help share this knowledge with others. Remember that the definition of fascism is a government system that has complete power in regimenting all industry and forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism. What we have here is a hybrid—a sort of corporate fascism, where industry has powerful control over government, and forcefully suppresses anything that threatens their monopoly on profits.
But, this doesn't mean that you have to buy into their agenda.
The ultimate goal is to reach a critical mass of people who refuse the unnecessarily dangerous and counterproductive solutions currently offered by all of these industries, and demand that our public servants serve the public rather than corporate interests. That will serve as the powerful stimulus to generate authentic change. More than 1.6 million people receive this newsletter, and together we can make a huge difference.
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