Brands Who Supported Prop 37

As Prop 37 did not pass, how would you like to know which food companies spent so much money to ensure that YOU THE CONSUMER would not know if their food is genetically modified? You would be surprised to know that these companies spent a combined $46,000,000 to ensure that you would not know and that many of them are “natural” brands.

Below is a list of brands that gave money to fight against your right to know. Next to their logo is a link to their Facebook page. Please comment on their page and let them know you are upset with them and that you will not buy their products anymore. Even if you never did, these companies DO NOT like to hear that they are losing customers.

Note: At the bottom of this article is a link where you can read a brief tutorial on how to read current labels to see if the food is GMO.

1. Back To Nature – No Facebook Page or contact info

2. Ben & Jerry’s – Facebook Page

3. Cascadian Farms – Facebook Page

4. Heinz – Facebook Page

5. Honest Tea – Facebook Page

6. Horizon Organic – Facebook Page

7. Monsanto – Facebook Page (leave a comment in a post)

8. Izze – Facebook Page

9. Kashi – Facebook Page

10. LaraBar – Facebook Page

11. RW Knudsen – Facebook Page

12. Santa Cruz – Facebook Page

13. Silk Soy – Facebook Page

14. Naked Juice – Facebook Page

15. Welch’s – Facebook Page

16. Morning Star – No Facebook Page or contact email

17. Gardenburger – Facebook Page (They are owned by Kelloggs)

18. Goya Foods – No Facebook page but here is their contact info

Please contact all these companies and tell them you are no longer buying their products. Even if you do not buy them, they do NOT like to hear that they are losing customers. So just say you are not going to buy them even if you don’t already purchase their products.

Want to know how to read current labels to see if foods are GMO? Go here to read this tutorial.

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An Easy Way To Tell If Your Food Is GMO

With the whole craze about GMO’s, it can be quite confusing to tell which foods from our grocer are genetically modified and which ones are not. Basically there are three types of food:

Conventional – This means it was sprayed with pesticides

Organic – This means it was not sprayed with pesticides

GMO – This means that science intervened and engineered the seeds.

So what is the easiest way to tell if foods at your grocery have been altered?

This is a good start: Next time you decide to purchase that apple or cut a slice out of that melon, consider the PLU sticker. This sticker will tell you whether the fruit was organically grown, genetically modified, or produced with chemical fertilizers, herbicides or fungicides.

Here is how the sticker breaks down:

organic food

PLU stickers that have 4 digits and begin with a “3″ or “4″: produce is conventionally grown. This means that this produce was sprayed with weed killers and chemical pesticides. Here is what they look like:

PLU stickers that have 5-digits and start with “9″: produce was raised organically. You can be sure that this produce was not treated with any chemicals. Here is what they look like:
organic food
PLU stickers that have 5-digits and start with “8″: produce was genetically engineered (man intervened by manipulating the genes to produce a larger or brighter colored food). This produce may have been chemically treated. Here is what they look like:

So the next time you are at your grocery, make sure to look for the PLU number and you can tell if it has been genetically modified or not. If the food has been and this concerns you, let the store manager know you will not purchase any GMO foods. When store managers hear enough people say this, they will begin to refuse this food from their distributors.
Here is a list of the brands and their Facebook pages who spent $46 MILLION dollars so that you would not know about GMO’s.

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Who Is The Oldest Person On Facebook?

In a recent report from ABC, two woman are battling over the title of who is the oldest person on Facebook. Both Maria Colunia Seguar-Metzgar (age 105) and Florence Detlor (age 101) claim to be the oldest members on Facebook.

oldest person on facebook

While the debate continues as to who is the true elder of Facebook (do to the fact that Facebook age limits in your profile settings only go to 101), we did a little digging into why the woman were able to live so long. Did they have some sort of health secret that others were not aware of?

When speaking with Florence at a recent birthday, she expressed how happy she was just for the simple things in life. “‘I am very happy because all my family are here with me today. I am so happy”.

Could it be that just her positive outlook on life is what helps her stay alive and vibrant?

Some of her other relatives explained how her diet is “average” and that she does not eat bad food nor does she eat extremely healthy food. They explained that she just lived a balanced life but is always appreciative of the simple things in life and always had a positive outlook.

So there you have it. A woman who is 104 years old and does not eat most health foods but because she is positive and happy, this helps her stay alive and well all these years!

Just goes to show you this is how powerful positive thinking is.

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Can The Government Prevent Access To Health Supplements?

The shifting regulations are confusing, complicated and esoteric, and really difficult to get your brain around. But the bottom line isn’t. We are in danger of losing our (nearly) unfettered access to dietary supplements.

A United Nations trade commission—Codex Alimentarius (Latin for “food code”)—meeting in Rome, approved a severely restrictive regulatory code for dietary supplements. Without counter-action, that code is destined to be enforced by many government regulatory agencies around the world in order to “harmonize” food trade.

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The issue is obscured within a maze of assorted bureaucracies, which has prevented even the brightest and best-informed industry observers from understanding what is happening. But there now appears to be a critical mass, as those who earlier discounted the danger of losing our right to supplements are now calling it a real possibility.

Worse, as investigative reporter Peter Byrne puts it, “…the emerging Codex regulations on vitamins and mineral supplements have almost nothing to do with promoting human health and everything to do with facilitating the profits of multinational food and chemical corporations.”

Although the Codex commission has been setting rules on the manufacture and distribution of food for more than 40 years, it’s the “Draft Guidelines for Vitamin and Mineral Supplements” just passed that’s expected to thrust into motion a cascade of events that, without intervention, could eventually override our Dietary Supplement, Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994. Health observers fear that the levels will be set so low that doses of many vital nutrients providing health benefits would be essentially outlawed.

In the months ahead, activists both here and abroad will be trying to figure out options for heading off this multi-headed agency behemoth intent on banning access to thousands of dietary supplements worldwide. (Byrne says it would effectively ban 300 of the 420 forms of vitamins and minerals present in the United Kingdom market). The perspective of many is that this is ultimately the grand design—engineered by multinational companies in order to edge out competition and reap the biggest rewards from “harmonization.” Reportedly, it is being fueled by an active disinformation campaign to keep the confusion roiling.

If we want to maintain our health freedoms, we’re going to have to rally. We have a smart ally in Jim Turner—an action-oriented regulatory lawyer in the food and supplements industry. As the board chair of the watchdog organization Citizens for Health, he’s been in Rome plotting strategy with health advocates from other countries.

The health benefits of high-dose vitamins and mineral supplements, along with herbs and other naturally occurring substances, have been thoroughly established in both their efficacy and safety. To imagine that “forward thinking” industrialized countries would reject solid science in order to promote the economic interests of multinational pharmaceutical, food and agricultural corporations is consistent with many other troubling aspects of the globalization process.

Turner’s group, Citizens for Health, has ongoing news of developments on its website and does a good job of marshalling forces to take action. There are no clear-cut answers at this time but we need to galvanize support and be ready, because, as Citizens for Health puts it, “The Codex recommended vitamin and mineral guidelines could begin the process of undermining American law unless consumers get organized now to support DSHEA for adoption as the international vitamin and mineral trade standard.”

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Regular Exercise Can Lower Your Risk Of Dementia

One of the major concerns for adults as we get older is losing our memory and cognitive abilities. But did you know that regular rigorous exercise can help stop this from happening?

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In a new study from the Annals of Internal Medicine, older adults who exercised three or more times a week had up to a 40 percent lower risk for developing dementia than those who worked out fewer than three times a week.

For six years, researchers followed 1,740 men and women over the age of 65, contacting participants every two years to assess their cognitive and physical function, exercise frequency and other lifestyle factors.

As little as 15 minutes of walking three times a week appeared to benefit the study members, possibly due to increased blood flow to the brain during exercise, according to lead study author Eric B. Larson, MD.

“Based on these findings, we can advise older people to ‘use it even after you start to lose it,’ because exercise may slow the progression of age-related problems in thinking,” Larson states.

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Should Your Child Be Eating Organic?

Shine up an organic apple for snack time—a new study from Emory University found that eating organic foods may help keep kids’ growing bodies free of two common pesticides.

organic food

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Researchers took 23 elementary school students off their usual diets and swapped in organic foods for five consecutive days, then reintroduced the children to their normal foods and continued studying them for a week.

While eating organic, the majority of the children had no detectable levels of the pesticides Malathion and Chlorpyrifos in their urine. But when the kids switched back to their regular diets, those pesticides levels shot back up.

In addition to gaining what the study’s authors deem “an immediate and protective effect” against pesticide exposure, going organic may mean giving kids true nourishment.

“Eating organic allows children to consume food that’s closer to a pure form, rather than food that’s been tampered with,” says Beverly Hills-based dietitian Robyn L. Goldberg, RD. “They’ll be more likely to taste the food the way it’s actually meant to taste.”

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Have More Sex & Lower Your Risk Of Prostate Cancer!

Here’s good cause to spend more time between the sheets: Even though previous research has linked frequent sex and masturbation to increased risk for prostate cancer, a 2004 Journal of the American Medical Association study of nearly 30,000 men found that those who ejaculated the most often had a 33 percent lower lifetime risk of prostate cancer compared to those who did not.

prostate cancer

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“I always encourage my patients to have more sex, but there’s been an absence of conclusive evidence that it actually helps,” says Katz.

Perhaps the stress-easing element of sex lends some benefit. Last year, in the first study to provide direct evidence that lifestyle changes can combat prostate cancer, a research team led by Preventive Medicine Research Institute founder and president Dr. Dean Ornish, showed that reducing stress can slow the progression of early prostate cancer.

Study participants had improved PSA levels after a year of switching to a vegan diet, exercising regularly and practicing yoga.

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One Out Of Six Men Will Get Prostate Cancer

The commonality of prostate cancer—it is the most prevalent non-skin cancer in the country—doesn’t make it any less disarming for men. Every sixth guy will confront this form of cancer in his lifetime. And what those men hear about conventional treatment options after the initial diagnosis is what usually throws them most off-balance.

From radiation to removal to hormone therapy, most conventional therapies can be described as “fairly intense,” often triggering side effects like urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction, says Dr. Erik Altmann, a Carlsbad, Calif.-based naturopathic physician. The terms “incontinence” and “impotence” are like alarms blaring at the same time.

prostate cancer

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Fortunately, about half of the 234,000-plus American men who will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2006 can choose to delay such treatments and take their time to explore less aggressive alternative therapies.

“Research has shown that men with low-risk prostate cancer [usually caught early] can safely wait up to six months to get treated without jeopardizing their chances of cancer progression,” says Dr. Timothy J. Wilt, professor of medicine for the Minneapolis VA Center for Chronic Diseases Outcomes Research.

That allows some time for healing foods, herbs and supplements.

“Prostate cancer can be a long-smoldering deal without rapid growth,” explains Altmann. “So during the period when conventional medicine has nothing to offer, we tell patients to incorporate natural therapies and continue following up with an oncologist. If their levels of prostate-specific antigen [or PSA, a tumor marker used to screen for prostate cancer] change for the better, then we’re progressing in the right direction.”

Of course, optimal health means protecting the prostate before cancer is even detected. Here is a guide to natural remedies that may help prevent and treat a disease that has a near-100 percent cure rate when found early.

The Pro-Prostate Diet

As with any anti-cancer diet, eating for a healthy prostate calls for trimming the saturated fat and red meat from your meals.

“There’s a link between increased animal fats and prostate cancer, so I recommend a vegetarian-based diet whenever possible,” says Altmann. A recent study from the journal Cancer Research showed that the omega-6 fatty acids found in red meat—as well as egg yolks, corn and soybean oils—doubled the growth rate of human prostate tumors in cell cultures.

“If you must eat beef, try grazed cattle, which are fed grass that’s high in omega-3s, rather than cattle that are fed with corn,” says study author Millie Hughes-Fulford, PhD, director of the Laboratory of Cell Growth at San Francisco VA Medical Center.

Those precious omega-3s, so wonderfully abundant on most any sushi platter, may help keep the prostate cancer-free. Aaron E. Katz, a physician at the Columbia University Center for Holistic Urology and author of Dr. Katz’s Guide to Prostate Health, points to a 2003 study finding that men who ate omega-3-rich fish more than three times a week had roughly half the risk of metastatic prostate cancer compared to men who ate fish less than twice a month.

Altmann recommends eating a handful of pumpkin seeds and a tablespoon of flaxseed daily to boost your intake of omega-3s: “Pumpkin seeds have long been in traditional use for prostate issues, although they’re not shown to be directly anti-tumor,” he says.

But the biggest benefit may come from loading up on fruits and veggies as you cut back on the bad stuff.

“Lycopene, which is most bioavailable from cooked tomato products like tomato sauce, appears to be protective against prostate cancer,” says Katherine L. Tucker, director of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. Also found in juicy summer fruits like watermelon and papaya, lycopene acts as an antioxidant and may reduce PSA levels.

As for vegetables, look to crucifers like broccoli, cauliflower, radishes and kale for a top source of isocyanates, chemicals that help to detoxify carcinogens in the body. When digested, crucifers produce indole-3-carbinol, a phytochemical that may slow the growth of prostate cancer cells, according to Katz.

Healing Herbs and Supplements

Since even the most conscious eaters aren’t likely to incorporate the perfect amount of prostate-healthy compounds at every meal, both Katz and Altmann recommend adding supplements to your self-care regimen.

“For men who have just been diagnosed with prostate cancer, I’d suggest selenium and vitamin D, which are anti-cancer,” says Altmann. Both nutrients may play a role in prostate cancer prevention, with the trace mineral selenium crucial for “cooling the fires of excess oxidation,” says Katz.

In fact, a study from the Arizona Cancer Center at the University of Arizona in Tucson found that taking 200 micrograms of selenium in supplement form daily decreased prostate cancer risk by 60 percent. And while unprotected sun exposure may be your best bet for upping your body’s vitamin D levels, Katz recommends that the sun-sensitive and climate-challenged get at least 400 IU daily from a multivitamin or supplement.

“In addition to inhibiting cancer growth and slowing cancer progression, vitamin D has been suggested to prevent prostate cancer,” says Yi-Fen Lee, PhD, assistant professor of urology at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Inflammation-taming herbs and supplements may offer prostate protection too. As Katz explains, chronic inflammation—often triggered by a high animal-fat diet—may increase oxidative stress, which in turn may raise cancer risk.

With 51 anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, green tea was found to inhibit prostate cancer development and metastasis in University of Wisconsin lab tests that studied the effect of drinking the equivalent of six cups of green tea a day. Because those six daily cups may mean too much brewing for the average tea drinker, Katz advises getting the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds through a green tea extract supplement.

Herbs like ginger, oregano, rosemary and holy basil (or tulsi, an ayurvedic herb) boast anti-inflammatory properties as well, he adds.

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Can Stress Be Causing Your Infertility?

Now more than ever, infertility cases are continuing to increase due to many toxic substances in our food and air. But could stress also be a culprit?

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About five to 10 percent of women suffer from amenorrhea, a frequently stress-related condition marked by lack of menstruation and ovulation. But relieving that stress can bring the menstrual cycle back to normal and help increase fertility among women who have been unable to conceive, suggest a small pilot study from Atlanta’s Emory University.

For about five months, 10 study participants with amenorrhea underwent cognitive behavioral therapy, a form of treatment that included coaching on stress relief, exercise and nutrition, and aimed to help the women make “molehills out of mountains,” according to the researchers. The study’s other 10 participants, all of whom also had amenorrhea, received no therapy.

The results were remarkable: 80 percent of women in the therapy group began ovulating again, compared with 25 percent of the control group, and two women who received therapy became pregnant shortly after finishing treatment. The study’s authors are now planning a larger clinical trial to confirm their findings.

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Health Insurance That Covers Alternative Medicine?

Wouldn’t it be great if your health insurance provider covered the costs of your massage, acupuncture, and nutritionist?

If you’ve ever sought out shiatsu for tendonitis or aromatherapy for frazzled urban nerves, then you’ve contributed to the $48 billion Americans spend every year on complementary, alternative or holistic medicine. That eye-popping sum is thanks to the tens of millions who see alternative medicine as the best way to treat a range of both chronic and acute maladies and conditions for which Western medicine (with its foundation in surgery and drugs) does not enjoy a high rate of success—insomnia, sleep apnea, migraines, menopause, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, infertility, skin conditions, allergies… the list goes on.

health insurance

With the alternative health sector surging, giant insurers are starting to notice the fact that holistic treatments are cheaper than surgery, a lifetime of prescription refills or Western-style occupational therapy. As a result of personal experience and about 20 years in the insurance business, Steve Gorman, founder of Alternative Health Insurance Services, which helps clients find group insurance plans that cover holistic medicine, believes that alternative therapies are cost effective. “If you can prevent somebody from getting a major illness, even if it costs a little more on the front end… that would save tons and tons of money, rather than waiting until someone has a disease and then treating it.”

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Insurers, in other words, are starting to catch up with their policy holders, who are already spending out of pocket to hire their own acupuncturists, naturopaths, rolfers, energy workers, herbalists and the like. But unfortunately, the big corporate carriers are making up ground slowly. In fact, so are smaller carriers. Gorman’s company is one of the few—if not the only one—of its kind.

Progress and barriers

As with their emphasis on “preventative medicine” in the 1990s, insurers are wading in slowly when left to their own devices (except in the case of Washington State, but more on that later). A 2002 study at the University of Maryland School of Medicine found that a dearth of information about holistic medicine’s clinical efficacy has kept insurers from incorporating it faster. Insurers and doctors alike have long been skeptical about the benefits of alternative therapies because the treatments—from massage to Chinese herbs—have not undergone the rigorous scientific testing to which conventional practices are subject, or at least not through the same respected (often corporate) channels.

The inroads alt medicine has made with insurers can be traced back to 1991, when Congress appropriated a modest $2 million to the National Institutes of Health to study alternative medicine, laying the groundwork for what is now the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Part of NCCAM’s mission is to fund scientific studies that contribute to the growing body of “official” scientific information.

Today, anywhere from one-third to almost half of expenditures for alternative medicine are out of pocket, but it’s a statistic, skewed by chiropractic’s mainstreaming, that would otherwise be much higher.

Michele Hangee-Bauer, office manager at SOMA Acupuncture and Natural Health Clinic in San Francisco, deals directly with all of the insurance paperwork that comes into the clinic. She says that mostly partial benefits are available on some from Blue Cross of California, United Health Care, Great West Guardian, Aetna, Cigna and Gallagher Bassett. Sometimes she gathers information from the client, then calls up the insurance company and asks about coverage; other times, clients ask her to sign claims they’ve already submitted to their insurance companies.

The preponderance of health administrators and holistic practitioners think that insurance coverage will continue to grow. Insurers, says Dr. Hal Richart, the public relations chair for the Illinois Chiropractic Society, are going to have to figure out how to effectively service the aging baby boom generation. As they age, he asserts, this influential generation is going to demand more musculoskeletal services—and that growing demand will help change the medical insurance terrain.

Washington State, and where the big players stand now

Insurers tend not to offer coverage in their standard HMO and PPO plans, instead offering it only if members pay higher deductibles, purchase riders that expand their normal coverage, or join a contracted network of providers.

For example, Aetna, available in every state except Alaska, offers some plans that have a benefit for chiropractic and acupuncture, but the coverage is fairly limited. Aetna also offers a discount program called Natural Alternatives, where subscribers can select from a directory of providers who offer discounts on their chiropractic, acupuncture, massage and nutritional services.

Blue Shield of California offers 20 percent discounts for visits to some holistic practitioners, but employers choose if that option is a regular part of their plan or if they’ll make employees pay extra for it.

Kaiser Permanente members are eligible for 25 percent off holistic services. It collaborates with Healthyroads, which provides members with access to dietary supplements, a network of holistic providers and scientific information about healthcare. Kaiser also offers classes such as yoga and Qigong at its facilities, with a discount for members.

But Gorman says it’s not enough to have alternative treatments as options; they’ve got to be structured into regular plans. Washington State is the nation’s sole exception to the minimal offerings rule: Every state-regulated insurance plan must cover some number of licensed alternative practitioners, including chiropractors, massage therapists and acupuncturists. As a result, Washington State has been the site of studies that track the efficacy and costs of complementary and alternative care.

Some hospitals not waiting

But in the rest of the country, insurance company hesitancy is being addressed by hospitals themselves, where alternative and conventional doctors are teaming up to offer integrative medicine.

Nicole Cyrille was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2005, and after a visit to the Cancer Treatment Center of America in Philadelphia, she decided to use their combined contemporary medicine/alternative medicine approach to cancer treatment. In addition to eight months of conventional chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Cyrille met regularly with a naturopathic doctor, whom she now trusts without question. She won’t even let her husband buy her tea without consulting her naturopath, she says. As part of the hospital’s offering, she also practiced visualization and relaxation techniques with a mind-body therapist to reduce the stress of chemo. “After 35 cancer treatments, I didn’t have one side effect,” Cyrille says enthusiastically. “I lost my hair, but it’s all back again.”

Thanks to her husband’s retirement insurance plan through the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Cyrille hasn’t had to pay for any of her treatment except herbal supplements. “I pay every month less than $200,” she says.

Looking forward

Normalizing the relationship between alternative and conventional medical practitioners and conducting scientific studies about the efficacy of alternative-complementary medicine will contribute to wider acceptance by insurance companies and regular benefits for plan members. Meanwhile, check with employers and their insurance providers to find out what integrative treatments, if any, are part of a particular group or individual plan—and if you don’t see the treatments you want, ask for them. Milan Polak, co-creator of Learn2Heal, an LA-based organization providing affordable holistic medicine services to underserved communities, says this last step is the key.

“It’s a simple issue of supply and demand,” Polak explains. “You shouldn’t blindly accept whatever prescription your physician doles out; you should ask for holistic care every time you visit—just as you should request that alternative modalities be covered by your insurance provider. And if you are denied, make it known that you’ll seek a doctor or provider who will service your request. The more of us who raise our collective voices in support of these services, the more likely we are to change healthcare.”

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