- Pesticide contamination in EU crops - Cornflakes damage health; Low n3 in farmed salmon - CBD oil hope for pancreatic cancer - Fracking increases air pollution - Cochrane & HPV vaccine controversy - US overturns ban on neonicotinoid use
Increased pesticide contamination of EU fruit and vegetables
Concerns have been raised in the EU Parliament over figures released by NGO Générations Futures, highlighting pesticide residues in more than 70% of non-organic fruit, and 41% of vegetables. Even more worryingly, 2.7% of fruit and 3.5% of vegetables were found to be above the maximum residue limit. In his answer, Commissioner Andriukaitis, dismissed concerns, stating, “The EU regulatory system for pesticides is one of the strictest in the world. All plant protection products must be thoroughly assessed for their safety before they can be placed on the market“. This comes alongside an EFSA monitoring report revealing an increase in pesticide contamination in fruit and vegetables consumed in the EU. Despite reassurances, the effects of toxic mixtures of different pesticides is still unknown leaving EFSA safety claims unproven. Our advice is to go organic wherever possible, stick to the ‘Clean Fifteen’ for non-organic fruit and veg and absolutely avoid the ‘Dirty Dozen’.
Cornflakes sugar spike!
With full focus on the increasing rates of type 2 diabetes around the world, a new study has sought to show how common every day foods can cause blood sugar spikes in otherwise healthy people. Baseline measurements allowed the study group to be split into three different ‘glucotypes’ based on their blood sugar patterns - low, severe and moderate variability. To test how the different glucotypes reacted to the same meal, participants were either given cornflakes with milk, bread with peanut butter or a protein bar. Despite reacting uniquely to each breakfast, cornflakes in particular caused significant blood sugar spikes in the majority of people tested. Unsurprisingly, researchers commented, “It is plausible that these commonly eaten foods might be adverse for the health of the majority of adults in the world population” – not exactly rocket science to those in natural health circles!
Farmed salmon omega 3: Gone Fishing… for GMOs
Levels of omega 3 oils in farmed salmon are at an historic all-time low. For salmon in the wild, these oils come from eating other oil-rich species. Fast growing supermarket demand and the increase in fish farms is not only compromising the health of the salmon, but our health benefits too. In efforts to increase omega 3 levels in the salmon, researchers have added a marine algal gene to the Camelina sativa plant, used in feed, intended to produce vegetable oil, which is a world away from the natural food of salmon. Our advice is to avoid farmed salmon and steer clear of the potential for vertical gene transfer of GMOs, as well as all the other health hazards associated with eating polluted fish.
CBD Oil improves pancreatic cancer survival rates
Pancreatic cancer is still generally considered to be incurable. However, new research, led by Queen Mary University of London and Curtin University, Australia, tested the use of cannabidiol (CBD) and gemcitabine (one of the most used drugs to treat pancreatic cancer) in a recent mouse model offers patients new hope. Mice treated with the CBD/drug combination survived up to three times longer than those treated with chemotherapy alone. Whilst good news for pancreatic cancer sufferers, it does open the door for pharmaceutical companies to pursue new drugs from cannabis, potentially blocking an established natural health market.
Fracking increases air pollution
Following the issue of a license to frack in Lancashire to Cuadrilla, a UK government report, first given to ministers in 2015, was quietly published showing shale gas extraction is likely to increase air pollution nationally. There is no added surprise it was also shown to potentially have the greatest impact in local areas around the fracking site. Further calls are now being made to urgently review the decision to grant licenses to frack across the country. We hope that there is a report being compiled on the potential for fracking to pollute local waterways too.
Cochrane HPV vaccine review criticised
The controversy continues. Touted as being cancer protective and totally safe, anyone who suggests the HPV vaccine is anything less risks being shot down in flames. A recent Cochrane Review underpinned health authorities’ message of the vaccines considered safety and purported effectiveness, concluding success on its part - despite admittance that the studies were not sufficient or large enough to evaluate cervical cancer outcomes. Members of the Nordic Cochrane Review have heavily criticised the trial, damning it as both biased and limited with the World Mercury Project claiming ‘reasonable doubt’ over conflicts of interest and bad science. Such flaws in trial papers only serve to strengthen the importance of properly informed, freedom of choice with vaccinations. More information can be found on the ANH-Intl Vaccine Choice campaign page.
Neonicotinoid use in US wild areas
The US Center for Food Safety has rescinded a previous ban on the use of neonicotinoids in wildlife refuge areas, despite their links to declining pollinator populations. They stated that, rather than there being a blanket ban, use would be decided on a case by case basis. Fish and Wildlife Service deputy director Greg Sheehan said the change was needed to ensure adequate forage for commonly hunted wildlife in these areas. Perhaps yet another case of following the money trail, which no doubt leads all the way back to Big AgroChem?