News You Can Use

Time for a news recap so here’s some stories you may have missed during the end of the Mayan Calendar.

Frankenfish on the menu. This has been all over the news. Our friends at the Food and Drug Administration have ruled in favor of genetically modified salmon coming to your table unannounced, that is, without a label. (Incidentally, the FDA is headed by Michael Taylor, a former vice president of Monsanto, the main genetic engineering company in the world. Taylor also served as an attorney and lobbyist for Monsanto prior to his appointment as “food czar.”) The GM salmon merges DNA from an eel and two salmon species that do not interbreed in nature. For those wondering, in nature an eel can’t mate a fish. Only in the mind of Monsanto do things like that happen.

Here’s the main problem with this unnatural GM salmon and indeed, all genetically modified foods: The human digestive system has evolved in parallel with our natural food supply. Both natural food and our bodies evolved at the same rate so our bodies became gradually accustomed to foods that occur in nature, at nature’s pace. Dining on GM food, we’re eating something that the human system has never, over the course of millions of years, been exposed to. The human digestive system is simply not equipped to encounter those foods.

Secondly, consider the motivation for this new lab rat salmon. As with nearly all GM foods, the motive is increased profits. The Frankenfish grows more rapidly than a natural salmon so it gets to market faster. Is it more nutritious? No. Is it in any way more beneficial to the end consumer? No. Its benefit is to the company that invented and patented it and to some extent, the factory fish farming conglomerates that will profit.

Thirdly, the Frankenfish is untested for its long-term safety in the human food chain. Just because something doesn’t kill you within twenty minutes of eating it doesn’t make it “generally regarded as safe.”

Finally, even inventors of the Frankenfish admit the bigger, faster growing laboratory version could wipe out schools of natural, smaller salmon in the wild. Though they insist the new salmon will be tightly sequestered, we already know from experience with GM corn, beans, alfalfa and wheat that once it’s in production cross-contamination is inevitable. So far, no other country allows the Frankenfish on the market.

So, what can you do? Support GMO labeling initiatives and vote with your food dollar, a powerful ballot. Purchase only wild-caught fish from a reputable grocer. —Various news outlets

Oregano at the Chicken Farm. Some chicken farmers are using oregano to keep their flocks healthy, meaning they can avoid dangerous antibiotics. Conventional chicken farms, cramming tens of thousands of chickens into hot metal buildings, are in a constant battle with disease. Crowded animals get sick. So the conventional farms pump their flocks full of antibiotics, which also have the side effect of increasing growth rate. That also creates superbugs that make humans sick. So smart farmers are using an ancient herbal remedy with antibacterial qualities: oregano. Added to feed it keeps birds healthy without antibiotics. — New York Times

No Wheat for Anyone. Gluten-intolerant folks know the discomfort of eating a grain such as wheat. The consequences can range from mild discomfort to deadly results. Those who suffer from gluten intolerance have long been considered a minority with a specific ailment, often called celiac sprue. But maybe none of us should be eating modern wheat. In a piece on io9.com, George Dvorsky writes that the wheat of today is not our grandfather’s shaft. By the 1950s, food scientists were aggressively hybridizing wheat to maximize profitability. Cardiologist William Davis’ observes that “today’s hybridized wheat contains sodium azide, a known toxin… and contains novel proteins that aren’t typically found in either the parent or the plant — some of which are difficult for us to properly digest.” Maybe we all suffer “gluten intolerance” to some degree. Maybe go gluten-free and see.

You go, Rotella’s. Rotella’s bakery, a cornerstone of Omaha’s proud heritage, has been quietly innovative in improving the quality of their product line. They were one of the first bakeries anywhere to begin phasing out high fructose corn syrup nearly a decade ago. Now they are moving into the growing market of gluten-free breads. Kudos to them. The new product should be on the shelf around the end of March. — Omaha World-Herald

Drug companies use bribes? You bet they do. Drug maker Eli Lilly has agreed to pay more than $29 million to settle charges that four of its international subsidiaries paid bribes to win business, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced in December. In August, Big Pharma Pfizer paid $60 million to settle charges that it bribed officials in China, Russia, Italy and Serbia.

In a final bit of good news, Susan Rice, who stood to make money on her Trans Canada stock if the Keystone Pipeline is approved, withdrew her name from consideration as Secretary of State, the department that will be deciding Nebraska’s fate.

Be well.

Heartland Healing is a New Age polemic describing alternatives to conventional methods of healing the body, mind and planet. It is provided as information and entertainment, certainly not medical advice. It is not an endorsement of any particular therapy, either by the writer or The Reader. Visit HeartlandHealing.com for past articles.

posted at 10:42 am
on Friday, January 04th, 2013

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