Lower sugar in foods & drinks, food additives and autoimmune diseases, mandatory MMR bill unsuccessful, new GMO potato, threat to farmers from Gates Foundation, Monsanto fight for glyphosate, Li-Fi alternative to Wi-Fi, chickenpox vaccine and keratitis
Food and Drink manufacturers to cut down sugar
Ahead of the UK Government’s decision on whether to impose a sugar tax, food and drink manufacturers such as Coca-Cola and Kellogg’s are saying they will reduce the sugar content of their products, which they claim will reduce the consumption of sugar in the UK by a fifth, reportsThe Telegraph. They do, however report that, “It is thought sugar levels in Coke - with its slogan ‘It’s the real thing’ - will remain the same”. Patrick Sawer of The Independent writes that at the moment, “Levels [of sugar] in Frosties and Coco Pops are about 35 per cent and it is thought they will aim to get them below 20 per cent”. Considering that sugar is highly addictive and that 50g or more a day puts one into type 2 diabetes territory, 35% from one meal constitutes a significant risk to health. Given that the British palate has been conditioned to sugar and is unlikely to change overnight, the question of what will be used in its place arises. Aspartame, like many artificial sweeteners, carries further health risk. Re-educating the public on what constitutes a healthy and balanced diet is paramount instead of making junk food ‘healthier’. ANH-Intl’s Food4Health plate is there to help you make the right food choices to stay healthy.
Additives and autoimmune disease
Soon after the World Health Organization announced that eating processed meat could increase the risk of cancer, another study has found that industrialised food additives could increase the risk of developing autoimmune diseases. The study, lead by Prof. Aaron Lerner and Dr. Torsten Matthias, found that various additives commonly found in processed food can weaken the tight-junctions in the gut. Glucose (sugar), sodium (salt), fat solvents (emulsifiers), organic acids, gluten, microbial transglutaminase and nanometric particles are all culprits according to The Jerusalem Post.
Nebraska mandatory MMR bill unsuccessful
Despite the possible link of an association in susceptible children between the MMR vaccine and autism, the Nebraska government recently tried to make it mandatory for all students to receive the vaccine before they start seventh grade. The bill was unsuccessful, however, the Journal Star reports that, “Hard-line conservatives and civil libertarians in the Legislation argued the vaccination is unnecessary and potentially unsafe, and that requiring it would infringe on parents’ freedom to choose what is best for their children”. Laura Ebke says, “It’s all well and good to advise. It’s all well and good to recommend. It’s all well and good to educate, but I’m not sure that it’s well and good to impose a mandate of this sort on the citizens of this state”. Enforcing legislation to make vaccinations mandatory prevents parents from making healthy and balanced decisions.
New GMO potato has been cleared for sale
The new GMO potato has been cleared for sale by the US Food and Drug Administration. This means that the company responsible for the new GMO potato, JR Simplot, will be able to sell their product as early as next year provided that it gets the US Environmental Protection Agency’s seal of approval. Gary Hirschberg, chairman of Stonyfield Farm and Just Label It said, "The approval of the Simplot potato is yet another reason that consumers should have a right to know what’s in their food and how it was produced”. In the US nearly 90% of people, regardless of demographics or political affiliation, are in favour of mandatory GMO labelling. Besides, as Gary Hirshberg says, “Companies should be proud of their products and support clear GMO labelling”. Take action against the lack of labelling of Genetically modified foods today!
Gates Foundation — pushing the world in the wrong direction?
Global Justice Now have recently released a report on the Bill and Melina Gates foundation accusing them of selling the idea that private charity is the solution to the world’s problems when actually, Global Justice now says, “In fact it is pushing the world in many wrong directions”. They talk about the idea that the Gates Foundation is only promoting specific priorities that mainly undermine the interests of small farmers. They promote the use of chemical fertilisers, expensive patented seeds and genetically modified crops. Not only does this expensive method of farming not fit in with the interests of the small farmer, it could also be detrimental to the health of their families and the local communities. These concerns also echo those made by Vandana Shiva, who said the Gates Foundation was the,“Greatest threat to farmers in the developing world”. However the Independent gave the foundation an opportunity to defend themselves reporting that Gabriella Stern, spokeswomen for the foundation, said, “For us, the results are measured in lives saved and so we will continue to work with governments, non-profits, businesses, and other philanthropists to tackle the complex issues surrounding extreme poverty”.
Monsanto claim glyphosate not a carcinogen despite IARC studies
A lawsuit has been filed by Monsanto to prevent California from listing the main ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, as a known carcinogen. Glyphosate is sprayed onto crops that are genetically modified to resist application of the spray. Glyphosate was declared a “possible Carcinogen” in March 2015 by the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s, However, Monsanto has long denied that the ingredient can be linked to cancer and has since demanded that IARC’s report be retracted. Monsanto is arguing that the classification of glyphosate is inconsistent with the findings of regulatory bodies and that they are not confortable with having to affix “false and/or misleading” proclamations on bottles of Roundup, which they are required to do now that glyphosate has been labelled as a known carcinogen. EcoWatch reports that, “Monsanto argues that this label would damage its reputation and violate its First Amendment rights”. However as Dr Nathan Donely has told EcoWatch, “Monsanto’s decision to sue California and attack the most well-respected cancer research agency in the world, the IARC, is absurd”. ANH-Intl’s article details those crops most likely to be contaminated by glyphosate.
Will Li-Fi be the safer alternative to Wi-Fi?
Apple have plans to make future iPhones compatible with Li-Fi, a new cutting edge technology with the capability to transmit data 100 times faster than Wi-Fi. The Hacker News reports that, “Li-Fi compatibility was spotted in the code for iOS 9.1 by a Twitter user” and was later “independently confirmed by Apple Insider”. The advancement of this new technology is exciting stuff for all those aware of the potential health risks related to the safety of radio frequency and electromagnetic frequencies linked to its not so forgiving cousin, Wi-Fi. But what is Li-Fi exactly? pureLiFi is described as, “The use of the visible light portion of the electromagnetic spectrum to transmit information at very high speeds”. Not only is this technology faster, but also safer. A report published in the International Journal of Science and Research says, “Li-Fi provides a safe alternative to electromagnetic interference from radio frequency communications”. The Hacker News reports that, “A number of companies are working to commercialise the technology, it is expected that Li-Fi could be ready for commercial use by the end of the decade”. So although we have a little while to wait yet we can take a little comfort in knowing that technology is being developed which will hopefully replace the use of harmful Wi-Fi.
A new study claims the chickenpox vaccine can cause Keratitis
A recent study has claimed that the vaccine for chickenpox and shingles, which has been used for over 20 years, can in some cases, cause Keratitis. Keratitis refers to the inflammation of the clear layer on the front of the eye and can cause serious complications to your vision if left untreated. The article by Press Trust of India reports that the study found at least 20 cases of keratitis occurred in children and adults within a month of the vaccine being administered. Fraunfelder said, “While this is a rare occurrence, it’s important for physicians to know when giving the vaccine to individuals who have a history of the condition because it could be reactivated by the vaccine”. Despite the health risks, the study reminds us that, “The researchers recommend the majority of patients still be regularly vaccinated”. Fraunfelder states, “It’s important to note that Keratitis associated with these vaccines is very rare, and by itself is not a reason to forego vaccination, but for patients who have a history of Keratitis, we recommend they talk to their primary care physician before getting vaccinated”.