Report questions policies on import of ‘frankenfoods’

GMO animals could be imported in the futureThe U.S. does not have an adequate import control policy on genetically modified animals, a USDA internal audit report suggests.

Additionally, the document advises that the country’s existing policy on GMO crops is in danger of becoming obsolete in the future, Reuters reports.

This is because more countries are following the lead of the U.S. and devoting funds to biotechnology and the development of GMO crops and animals.

Previously, the country’s policy was sufficient to cover food that was developed within the U.S. or used similar technology, so "it was unlikely that anything unfamiliar would be imported," the audit stated.

Recommendations from the Office of Inspector General include the development of a control policy for GMO imports and a plan to keep tabs on the development of new GMO crops and livestock in other countries.

Findings from a CBS News/New York Times poll reveal that 87 percent of Americans believe GMO food should be labeled as such – however, the U.S. does not currently have mandatory labeling for these products.

Meanwhile, 53 percent of respondents said they do not want to consume GMO ingredients at all.

Coca-cola sued over vitamin claims

VitaminWater has 30 grams of sugar per bottleA consumer group has brought a lawsuit against Coca-Cola for the marketing of its VitaminWater products.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest says that the company is engaging in "deceptive" practices by selling the beverages as a healthier alternative to soda.

In fact, each bottle of VitaminWater contains 33 grams of sugar, the CSPI says, which "do more to promote obesity, diabetes and other health problems" than the advertised vitamins do good.

Among the "unsubstantiated" claims made by Coca-Cola mentioned in the suit are the products’ potential to reduce the risk of chronic disease, promote healthy joints and support optimal immune function.

"While it is true that vitamins do play various roles in the human body, the statements on VitaminWater labels go far beyond even the loose, so-called ‘structure/function claims’ allowed by the FDA and cross the line into outright fraud," the CSPI says.

The news comes after the FDA scolded Coca-Cola in December over the labeling of its fortified drink Diet Coke Plus, saying it did not contain enough health benefits to use the term "plus."

Libertarian Party: Spending will lead to waste and debt

More spending on the horizon - but is it a good idea?If President-elect Barack Obama’s stimulus package goes ahead, the country will eventually be left with a "flat economy" and increased debt, according to the Libertarian Party.

The party’s national chairman, William Redpath, said that spending trillions of dollars will do little or nothing to pull the economy out of a recession and will, in fact, cause further problems down the road.

He pointed out that Presidents Hoover, Roosevelt and Ford had all attempted to stimulate the economy by spending on projects in the past, but these efforts were not successful, instead leaving the country with a burden of debt.

"This debt is later repaid with magic money borrowed from foreign countries, printed out of thin air or from tax increases," Redpath explained.

Fraud and pork spending also plague typical big government plans for funding projects around the country, he said.

"So, much of the money taken out of the economy, in order to jump-start the economy, is lost, leaving American taxpayers with a flat economy and even more debt to pay," he added.

The Libertarian Party, along with a number of economists, think tax cuts would be a better path to economic recovery.

Federal budget deficit reaches $485b

The deficit is rising Amid talk about the multi-billion dollar stimulus package proposed by President-elect Barack Obama, new Treasury figures reveal that the federal budget deficit has already reached a record $485.2 billion for the first three months of fiscal 2009.

This number sets a new high for a first-quarter deficit and is also greater than the figure for all of fiscal year 2008, which stood at $455 billion.

There are a number of factors at play that have contributed to the rise. Spending on bailouts, economy recovery programs and capital investments began during this period, while income tax revenues have gone down due to job cuts.

According to the Associated Press, Peter Orszag, who has been nominated to lead the White House Office of Management and Budget, predicted large deficits to continue for years.

He told the Senate Budget Committee that the U.S. was likely to face deficits equaling approximately 5 percent of the economy for up to a decade.

In December alone, the country’s deficit grew by $83.6 billion, the Treasury said. Since bailout spending began, it has been issuing bonds extremely quickly to pay for the spending, CNN Money reports.

People turning to herbal remedies to save money

Conventional medicine can be costlyAs the economy has faltered, sales of herbal remedies and vitamins have been increasing, as people look for less expensive ways to treat health conditions.

That is according to an Associated Press investigation, which found many Americans looking to avoid filling costly prescriptions or making doctors’ visits.

According to an AP analysis of data, nationwide retail sales of vitamins and supplements rose by nearly 10 percent during the three months ending December 28th, compared with the same period in 2007.

That data includes New Jersey mom Kristen Kemp, who told the news provider she has been treating her kids’ illnesses with home remedies such as tea and honey, as well as with Chinese herbs.

"Just going to the doctor will cost me $20 per kid – and I have three kids," she explained. "Just in case something bad happens to our jobs, I want more money in the bank."

A government survey released late last year showed that more Americans have been turning to natural supplements to treat their health problems. Among that group, approximately one-quarter cited cost as a factor for avoiding conventional medicine.

What About Fat?

Since everybody is getting fat, establishment media has started a campaign to make fat beautiful and healthy.

Yes, splashed on the cover of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) bulletin was an obese female (not sure) with a Mona Lisa smile over the caption:  “Good news on fat and health.” This is a real twist for the public mind.

The article started under a picture of the same bizarre fat character as appeared on the front. “How dangerous are those extra pounds? A new study shows that being pleasantly plump may actually be good for you.” Well, the article did quote the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warning that, “obesity and overweight were causing 400,000 deaths a year.”

This new fat movement appears to have a nationwide syndication. In The Birmingham News in Birmingham, Ala., this article appeared, “Study: Being a Little Fat Reduces Risk of Death.”

So the latest establishment poke at a dumbed-down population is that “fat may actually be good for you and being a little fat reduces the risk of death.”  I couldn’t believe it!

Boy, this is what obese people are waiting for. They are already in denial and now they don’t have to be. I know—I’ve been there.

But knowing people, they will take off on this “okay to be fat” message and use it as an excuse to add unlimited pounds.

Don’t you believe it! Fat is a killer. All people who study nutrition that I have ever read agree on this point without exception.

Food consumption properly understood is a science. We should consider that what we daily eat is our natural medicine and choose our food carefully. Then reestablishing proper weight is just a matter of time.

Few people really think about what they poke into their mouths. The commercial food manufacturers dictate what is “good” and what we should eat. The result is a nationwide addiction to trans fatty acids like crackers, breads, cakes, French fries and anything made from white flour.

Other deadly trans fats are the vegetable cooking oils like soy bean oil, soy oil, cottonseed oil or any oil that is not certified organic. Watch for the words “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated.” The oils have a long shelf life but they shorten yours.

The point is that our diet of trans fatty acids is making us fat while killing us with heart disease and cancer. But know the difference between the bad fats and the good fats. It’s as important for us to consume good fats as to avoid bad fats.

If we want to lose pounds and be healthy, we need to eat good fats. In fact, to have a good lipid profile, we have to consume good fats. Likewise, trans fats destroy health.

Let me say again that fat (food fat) does not make fat. Eating BAD fat makes us fat. People just can’t seem to grasp this. They associate gaining weight with eating fat. This is a brainwash!

Instead, gaining pounds is directly related to eating sugar and/or carbohydrates.  When we are young, it is no problem. But as we age, we become insulin resistant and it takes less and less sugar to balloon us up. This makes losing pounds very difficult, as you already know.

So bad fats cause weight gain and increasing inflammation, leading to obesity, diabetes, vascular disease and cancer.

To sum up, avoid all trans fatty acids like fast foods, cookies, crackers, pastries and any and all junk foods. Avoid like the plague hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated shortening, margarine and vegetable oils.

Be doubly sure to eat the good fats like fish, fish oil, cod liver oil, olive oil, coconut oil and real unprocessed butter. These good fats will rebalance your omega 6 fatty acids by increasing your omega 3 fatty acids.

See how quickly you will begin to lose those pounds! Feel how quickly your inflammatory joint problems will disappear! See now your lipid profile will correct and you will avoid degenerative disease and all without drugs.

Report: FDA lax on potential financial conflicts of interest

The FDA does not properly explore financial tiesJust days after scientists within the FDA accused managers in the administration of corrupt practices, a new report raises concerns about disclosure of financial conflicts.

According to the Health and Human Service Department’s inspector general, 42 percent of marketing applications approved by the FDA did not contain required information about any financial connections between companies and researchers.

Without this documentation, it would be impossible to determine if there was a financial conflict of interest in a clinical trial.

The FDA has required financial documentation of this type for nearly a decade, but the report reveals that compliance with this requirement has been lax.

In 31 percent of applications reviewed, the agency did not document that it had reviewed any financial data at all.

Meanwhile, in 20 percent of applications that contained disclosures that may have raised questions, the FDA did not act, according to the report.

The inspector general made a number of recommendations for improvement to the process. The FDA accepted all but one, which suggested it should investigate conflicts of interest before a trial even began.

The agency said this would add to its workload without producing meaningful results for the public.

Privacy advocates seek limits on mobile marketing

Mobile phone technology is developing quicklyPrivacy advocacy groups have said they will file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission urging it to adopt rules and safeguards related to the mobile advertising industry.

In particular, the Center for Digital Democracy and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group have pointed to Google’s new Android platform as a "sleeping giant" that could threaten people’s privacy by surreptitiously collecting user data.

Android has the ability to collect cookies, which are identifiers of particular users and their browsing history. If installed on a phone with geolocation technology, the groups argue that Google could potentially track users’ locations, as well as internet habits.

Jeffrey Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy told Forbes he does not have a specific complaint about Google’s behavior, but he feels the company has not fully addressed privacy concerns before rolling out their new product.

"People don’t really understand what’s about to emerge: A new kind of data collection and advertising, with huge implications for privacy," he told the news provider.

It remains to be seen how the Obama administration will respond to privacy concerns in an age of rapidly developing technology.

Americans drinking hundreds of extra calories per day

Sodas contain extra caloriesSodas and fancy coffee drinks may be adding hundreds of additional calories to people’s daily intake, new research suggests.

Findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveal that Americans consume around 300 calories a day from sweetened beverages, HealthDay News reports.

And the caloric intake has risen over the past two decades. According to the data, people are drinking approximately 50 extra calories per day, compared to the 1980s.

Study author Sara Bleich suggested that cutting down on mochas, sodas, smoothies, energy drinks and similar sweetened beverages could provide "an easy way" to shed unwanted pounds – at a rate of around 2.5 pounds a month for the average person.

She said that availability and sizing have contributed to the increase in calorie intake.

"Sugar-sweetened beverages are everywhere. And … the container size has increased, so that on any given consumption occasion, people are drinking more," Bleich explained.

Meanwhile, the latest data from the Bureau of Health Statistics indicates that 34 percent of Americans now qualify as obese.

Doctor warns universal healthcare could lead to “waistline police”

Could the government fine people for obesity?By adopting universal healthcare, America risks turning into a "nanny state" that controls how its citizens behave and what they consume, a doctor cautions.

Paul Hsieh, cofounder of Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine, writes in the Christian Science Monitor about the dangers of government involvement in paying for people’s healthcare.

He offers up an example of the so-called "waistline police" in Japan, who are charged with monitoring obesity levels among those over 40. Because government funds pay for healthcare, the country reserves the right to fine and punish people who do not meet certain standards.

Hsieh also describes a British ban on certain egg commercials due to health concerns, as well as New Zealand immigration practices which may keep obese people from entering the country, on the grounds that they cost the system too much money.

"Of course healthy diet and exercise are good. But these are issues of personal – not government – responsibility," he writes.

According to Hsieh, the U.S. is also headed toward a nanny state society. Many cities have already enacted bans on trans fat use, limited the opening of fast food restaurants and imposed taxes on unhealthy foods.

With the introduction of universal healthcare, it could only be a matter of time before the government steps in further, he argues.

Obama’s big government plans

Obama supports big government interventionPresident-elect Barack Obama has made it clear that he believes government intervention is the best way to help the country overcome its current economic challenges.

In a speech given on Thursday in support of his economic stimulus package, Obama said that "only government can provide the short-term boost necessary to lift us from a recession this deep and severe."

He is attempting to tie the measures in the stimulus to expanding other government-led programs, including those relating to infrastructure and green energy.

According to some experts, Obama’s vision represents a 180-degree reversal from that espoused by Ronald Reagan during the financial crisis of the early 80s.

Allan Lichtman, a professor at American University in Washington, told the Los Angeles Times that in the president-elect’s view, "it’s not just a matter of fixing the economy – it’s a matter of fundamentally moving the economy in a new direction."

"And government, not private enterprise, has to take the lead," he added.

Obama’s economic stimulus package could cost as much as $1 trillion, according to estimates. Some have questioned how this spending will be achieved without raising taxes significantly.

Gold and Commodities Advancing On All Fronts

Have you ever seen such escalating prices of commodities? Soft commodities (farm products) are reaching all-time highs, led by winter wheat. Are you beginning to see higher prices at the grocery store? Don’t forget to always get a few extra food items for storage and to beat higher prices. Believe me, this could be big later on. I have always stored food—learned it from the Mormons.

Gold and silver stocks (the HUI) are getting stronger—led by the price of silver. I expect a big move up in the gold and silver stocks, and the coming-out party of gold and silver juniors. Yes, before it is over you will be proud of your juniors. They have been dogs so long. Mine were not worth selling.

But remember the seniors all need more reserves and the way to get them is to buy up the juniors.

Be sure to keep buying the gold and silver coins. I really believe that someday they will be in backwardation. This is when the futures price equals the spot prices. At that point there will be no more gold, silver or platinum for sale for your paper money.

Close your eyes and buy. Soon the little differences between dealers won’t matter.

What will happen to the U.S. economy and the U.S. dollar (a paper myth)? From my reading, we have been through a raging economic fire and we are nowhere near the end. However, I believe that the U.S. economy riding on a dying fiat currency will muddle through this time with ever-increasing rot.

The people must not know reality if the system is to survive a bit longer.

Please try to remember that as fiat paper currency goes to zero in exchange value, all wealth will have been transferred to the money creators and the people will be left impoverished.

The very purpose of the invention of paper money is to transfer all production and wealth to the State and the bankers without payment.

Let me give you an example. Suppose that you want a loan on your house. You go to the bank. The bank creates the money. No paper­—just computer symbols. Then you default on your “loan” and the bank takes your home. What happened? The bank got your home for nothing. They stole it.

Paper money always means inflation. Paper money is inflation. Inflating prices and maybe hyperinflation is ordained by the elite. Deflation at this critical time would undermine the system and possibly cause revolution. However, hyperinflation down the road will certainly become deflation.

It is my opinion that all who hold in their possession gold and silver coins and stored food can survive. I would add the provision that all should have legal arms and ammunition. They are also headed out of sight pricewise, and will soon be unavailable.

The whole world is still balanced on the U.S. money creators. They are all interdependent on the global economy. That will change, but it hasn’t yet.

More war equals more mountains of paper money. Iran and Pakistan are in the crosshairs of the U.S. and Israeli military. The purpose of the U.S. military industrial complex is war. War is a part of the system.

Ellen Hodgson Brown J.D., author of The Web of Debt says that the hidden U.S. cause of action against Iran is their no-interest banking system. Now they can’t allow that, can they?

Good News!

I told you that according to Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, M.D., author of Your Body’s Many Cries For Water, 70 percent of the medical mafia would collapse if everyone would drink at least eight glasses of water per day and take a total of 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt per quart of water taken throughout the day.

This comes as close to being a silver bullet as you are ever going to find. Of course you likely won’t see immediate results, but please give it an honest try. Do it as a new way of life. It’s a new paradigm that is going to change the health of the world.  Sure you will need your food supplements with the water, but you won’t need nearly as many doctors. You should see quick results.

If you have gastritis (no matter how bad) try the water cure, eight to 10 glasses of water per day with 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt per quart of water. One of our associates had serious gastritis for 30 years. Ninety percent of it was gone within 24 hours.  Now he is almost totally recovered. Please let me know how your miracle turns out.

Dr. Batmanghelidj says that we are not sick, we are thirsty!

Asthma? Do you know anyone with asthma? Try the water cure! It works and it’s FREE!

Please, email us your results and your experiences! Share your excitement!

FDA scientists report corruption at management level

The FDA is accused of corruptionAmericans are being placed at risk by the misconduct of managers within the Food and Drug Administration, according to a letter penned by a group of scientists that was sent to the Obama transition team.

The letter, written on a letterhead bearing the name of the Center for Devices and Radiological Health, claims that the scientific review process for medical devices has been "corrupted and distorted," the Associated Press reports.

"Managers have ordered, intimidated and coerced FDA experts to modify scientific evaluations, conclusions and recommendations in violation of the laws … and to accept clinical and technical data that is not scientifically valid," the letter reads.

They used the example of computer-aided mammography as an example. FDA scientists recommended against approving the devices five times, because research revealed they produced false alarms that led to unnecessary biopsies.

However, the FDA managers ignored the objections and ordered the technology to be approved, the letter states. This behavior signifies "the most outrageous conduct," the scientists say.

In recent years, the FDA drug and device approval process has come under attack from a number of corners.

Cheney says financial crisis was not foreseen

Cheney defends President BushThe current financial crisis was completely unforeseen by the Bush administration, according to vice president Dick Cheney.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Cheney claimed that people could not place blame for the economy’s collapse on President Bush because "nobody anywhere was smart enough to figure it out."

When asked whether Bush should apologize for not doing more to prevent the recession, the vice president said, "I don’t think he needs to apologize. I think what he needed to do is take bold, aggressive action and he has."

During the interview, Cheney also defended the methods of interrogation used on suspected terrorists, as well as counterterrorism surveillance programs.

He said that there was no reason for Bush to consider pardoning those who engaged in such measures, as they were legally authorized to do so.

"My view would be that the people who carried out that program … in fact were authorized to do what they did and we had the legal options that in effect said what was appropriate and what wasn’t," Cheney commented.

Feinstein introduces privacy bill

A new bill would protect social security numbers from being posted online by the governmentSenator Dianne Feinstein of California has introduced a bill that aims to protect people’s privacy and prevent ID theft by protecting Social Security numbers.

The Protecting the Privacy of Social Security Numbers Act, which is co-sponsored by Senators Judd Gregg of New Hampshire and Olympia Snowe of Maine, would amend Title 18 of the U.S. Code to address the misuse of these numbers.

The bill would prohibit governments at all levels from displaying Social Security numbers on public records on the internet, as well as from printing them on government checks.

Secondly, businesses would face limits in regard to the situations in which they can ask customers for this data.

It would also bar prison inmates from taking up jobs which would provide them access to Social Security numbers.

Feinstein’s bill could result in stricter punishment for people who abuse Social Security numbers, similar to the way previous legislation made hacking a federal crime, reports.

Introducing the bill, Feinstein said that "we must also ensure that government agencies and businesses do their utmost to protect Americans’ Social Security numbers."

The legislation was introduced alongside a separate bill dealing with notification of data breaches.

A Case History of Iodine Supplementation

John, age 58, was diagnosed with fibromyalgia two years ago. This account is from the book Iodine, Why You Need It and Why You Can’t Live Without It, by David Brownstein, M.D.:

“I don’t know what happened. One day I was ok and the next day I ached all over and I was tired,” John said.

John saw numerous doctors who prescribed various medications. “The drugs did not help. I kept telling my doctors ‘I wasn’t depressed’ but they kept prescribing antidepressants. I finally got sick and tired of taking the drugs,” he said.

When John saw me (David Brownstein, M.D.), I found his thyroid gland to be enlarged. I ordered an ultrasound of his thyroid gland and blood work and diagnosed him with Hashimoto’s disease.

“When I found out I had Hashimoto’s disease, I couldn’t believe it. I had been seeing many different doctors and they couldn’t tell me what was wrong. They kept telling me I needed to be on an antidepressant medication,” he said.

After doing an initial history and physical examination, I tested John’s iodine level. John’s iodine loading test was found to be low at 45 percent (normal is 90 percent or above). John was placed on 75 mg of iodine per day, along with a complete nutritional program. After 12 weeks of taking iodine, a follow-up 24-hour iodine loading test was now normal at 95 percent excretion.

However, he did not feel better. John was still complaining of fatigue and body aches. Furthermore, John’s thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) increased from a baseline of 4 IU/L to 12 IU/L after taking 75 mg of lodoral for 30 days. John had normal T3 and T4 levels.

John’s endocrinologist placed him on thyroid hormone (Synthroid®) for the elevated TSH level. The Synthroid® had no effect on his symptoms.

When I saw John, I felt that he may be having an organification problem with the iodine. I explained to him that his cells were unable to effectively utilize iodine.

After placing him on vitamins B2 (100 mg) and B3 (500 mg) two times per day, John noticed an immediate improvement. “It was a miracle. With the second dose of the B vitamins, my head cleared and all my fatigue went away. I felt 20 years younger. I have never taken anything that works that quickly,” he said.

John has continued to take iodine (now 50 mg/day) in addition to vitamins B2 (200 mg/day) and B3 (1,000 mg/day). His thyroid antibody levels gradually lowered to normal levels over the next six months. Most importantly, John now feels well.

“I can’t believe how much energy I have. Everybody has noticed the difference,” he claims.

Class offers big pharma tips on avoiding lawsuits

Class advises to be careful about memosPharmaceutical and medical device companies who want to protect themselves against litigation can now take a course offered by a former U.S. prosecutor.

According to a report on Reuters, Nancy Singer – founder of the Medical Technology Learning Institute and Compliance-Alliance – is offering a course on how to avoid "land mines in your FDA records and emails."

Central to the course’s ethos is the idea that external and internal communications should be closely controlled to avoid raising red flags with regulators or litigators.

Singer told the news provider that the class is not intended to promote the cover-up of illegal practices or concealment of negative data.

"To survive in our litigious society, organizations need to have the right communications culture," she explained.

For example, she advises never to use words such as "illegal" or "negligent" but instead phrase sentiments more like "it could be argued that that doesn’t comply with requirements."

Singer also recommends monitoring employee emails and discouraging people from putting their concerns in writing to protect themselves, as these memos will only be used against the company in a lawsuit.

Companies including Merck have found themselves in court confronting leaked internal documents that indicate they were aware their products could cause harm.

Washington lawmaker vows fight against RFID

RFID technology has raised privacy concernsRFID technology is being implemented without proper oversight or control, according to Washington representative Jeff Morris.

Jeff Morris has pledged to fight the use of so-called "spy technology" that infringes on people’s privacy, Information Week reports.

Included in his proposals is a ban on scans of people identification documents without first obtaining their consent, except in specific cases.

Morris has also said that all consumer products containing RFID chips should be clearly marked so that people can be in charge of deciding if their personal information should be collected.

"The potential for marketing and convenience is great with this technology. But so is the threat to our privacy and freedom," he said, according to the news provider.

RFID is an automatic identification method in which data is stored and remotely retrieved using devices known as transponders.

It is currently used in the logistics sector for tracking and monitoring inventory, as well as increasingly in consumer products.

This is not the first time Morris has supported limits on the technology. According to Information Week, last year he supported making the intentional surreptitious scanning of a person’s RFID chip without their consent a Class C felony.