The Health & Longevity Newsletter features information about nutrition and health-related topics that you won't get in the mainstream media. I'm always on the lookout for information that not only is interesting, but will be of the most benefit to you, the reader.
In This Issue
Swine Flu Update. Reports coming out about the swine flu and the vaccination program reveal significant contradictions. How dangerous is this flu? How many people have actually contracted the swine flu, and how many have actually died from it? Will the vaccine actually protect you? You'll be quite surprised at some of the facts that have not been revealed by the CDC or the US government.
Is Monsanto Infiltrating the Obama White House? There's cause for concern for everyone who values the importance of organic, sustainable agriculture and good quality food for your table. Is Obama selling out our food supply to corporate food interests?
Nutrition Joke of the Month. A followup to last month's "joke," the food industry's "Smart Choices" program. Just how stupid do they think people are?
A Cheap and Easy Way to Add Antioxidants to your Food!
Swine Flu Phenomenon
Grows Stranger by the Day
Little did I realize when I wrote my first article on the swine flu that it would lead to such a complicated and controversial subject. This month, I'll provide you the the most recent updates about the H1N1 flu and the vaccines, information that you didn't hear about in the mainstream media.
CBS 60 Minutes Runs Cover for the CDC and Swine Flu Vaccinations. For whatever reason, 60 Minutes, usually a very trustworthy source of independent investigative journalism, portrayed the swine flu epidemic in the worst possible light, presenting the flu as extremely dangerous, and recommending vaccinations as our our only protection against this "deadly menace." They took the pronouncements from the CDC at face value, without any second-guessing or deeper investigation. A closer examination of the CDC's reporting of the swine flu pandemic, also done by CBS, revealed statistics that refuted those being promoted by the CDC.
In this article, I'm going to present some of the other evidence that's come out so far, from health experts without financial incentives, and let you decide what to believe for yourself.
Should You Worry About the Risk of Swine Flu Deaths?
The U.S. government has decided that the H1N1 flu poses a major health threat to the public and that they need to get vaccinated with H1N1 flu vaccine. However, based on statistics from the southern hemisphere, where the flu season is over, they may have oversold the dangers.
Putting the statistics into perspective. The United States has reported "more than 1,000 deaths" from the H1N1 virus, but, as you will see, this number might just be a wild guess. I'm not trying to downplay the danger of H1N1, but in the U.S. about 30,000 infants under 6 months of age die each year from all causes. Over 40,000 people die from motor vehicle traffic accidents every year. More than 100,000 people die every year from properly-prescribed prescription drugs.
Swine flu spread may be greatly exaggerated. A three-month-long investigation by CBS News revealed that H1N1 flu cases are not as prevalent as feared — about 90% of the cases that have been reported have not actually been swine flu at all. And the CDC has been stonewalling when asked about the real numbers. Read more about it here:CBS Swine Flu Investigation
Here's another independent report on the real dangers from the H1N1 flu:Swine Flu Death Reports/Foodconsumer.org
Is information from the CDC to be trusted? Personally, I wouldn't trust the CDC to be objective, as they've got too many conflicts of interest with the pharmaceutical industry to be unbiased. The pharmaceutical industry has huge financial interests in promoting mass vaccinations, and when they see dollar signs, they don't let anything get in their way.
Is the Swine Flu Vaccination the Answer?
There's been much controversy about the wisdom of getting a swine flu vaccination. I've found several excellent sources for the latest news and information for you.
The National Vaccine Information Center is an organization promoting the study and improvement of vaccine safety. They are not anti-vaccine, but are committed to more research into vaccine science. Watch this video interview with the founder of the NVIC, Barb Loe Fisher, as she reveals the latest information on this year's flu epidemic.
Barb Loe Fisher Interview
Dr. Mercola on the Dangers of Vaccinations
Questions Persist About Flu Vaccines
Long-Term Effects of Frequent Vaccinations are Unknown. No vaccine is without side effects, including injury and death. Double-blind studies have never been done on long-term effects or safety of vaccines — or even if they actually work!
Are vaccine studies "rubbish?" What about the evidence that supports vaccine effectiveness? The November issue of the Atlantic magazine contains an excellent article examining the studies that are being used by the CDC to reinforce the effectiveness of flu vaccines.
Tom Jefferson, from the Cochrane Collaboration, one of the world's best-informed researchers on the flu vaccine, is interviewed for the story. He leads a team of researchers who have examined hundreds of vaccine studies. According to Jefferson, "The vast majority of the studies were deeply flawed. Rubbish is not a scientific term, but I think it's the term that applies (to these studies)."
The current status of vaccine studies. The gist of the argument at this point is that, at first, government officials declare that vaccines are effective. When faced with contrary evidence, proponents acknowledge that the science is not as clear as they would like. Then, in response to calls for placebo-controlled trials, which would provide clear evidence one way or the other, the proponents say such studies would deprive patients of vaccines and drugs that have already been deemed effective.The end result is that no studies about the real effectiveness and long-term safety of vaccinations are being done at all.
Read the entire article here — it's a stunner:
Atlantic Magazine: Does the Vaccine Matter?
Will over-vaccination lead to a population with a compromised immune health? How your body strengthens its immunity is by being exposed to flu viruses — vaccines circumvent this, and do nothing to improve your resistance against future outbreaks. The question is... will the use of vaccines lead to a healthier population in the long run? This is an assumption that is not supported by any existing science.
Raise Concerns About
the Future of Our Food Supply
I don't mean for this commentary to be political — it's really about the future of our food supply, something most of us in the USA take for granted.
Monsanto-Connected Officials Infiltrating the Obama White House. Whatever your feelings about our new president (I happen to like him, but not his policies — so far), several recent appointments to key positions are cause for concern if you're interested in sustainable agriculture and a safe food supply. I'm referring to the appointments of Roger Beachy and Islam Siddiqui to key positions in the government that deal with the quality of the food we get.
These men come from organizations representing powerful agribusiness interests (Beachy comes straight from a position with Monsanto) that spend millions of dollars lobbying to promote pesticides, herbicides and genetically-modified products.
This is on top of Obama's appointment of Tom Vilsack as USDA Secretary and Michael Taylor (a lobbyist for Monsanto), to a prominent position with the FDA. Vilsack, former governor from Iowa, has been a leading supporter of Monsanto's push for more genetically-modified agriculture.
In his new position, Beachy will oversee the distribution of nearly $500 million in grants and other research funding. You could expect, given his background, that more funding will go towards projects that promote Beachy’s vested interests in biotechnology. Sustainable and organic agriculture are likely to suffer.
Remember Michelle Obama's White House organic garden? Islam Siddiqui comes to the administration from his current position at CropLife International, whose partner company infamously scolded the First Lady for refusing to use pesticides on the White House garden! At his position at CropLife, Siddiqui led an effort to weaken restrictions against fertilizers and pesticides. He also pressed for getting genetically modified crops and seeds approved for commercial use when he worked in the Clinton administration.
The Inside Story About Monsanto and GMO Technology. A highly-recommended website run by the Institute for Responsible Technology and featuring Jeffrey M. Smith, author of the bestsellers Seeds of Deception, and Genetic Roulette, presents shocking evidence why genetically-modified crops may lead to health and environmental catastrophes, and what we can do about it. Seeds of Deception
If you're interested in learning more about Monsanto and their plans for your future food supply, I highly recommend the feature-length documentary: The Future of Food
What You Can Do
to Protect the Future of Your Food
The Organic Consumers Association is acquiring signatures for a petition to protest the appointment of Monsanto insiders to key positions in the Obama administration. It only takes a minute (or less!) to add yours. Here's the link:
And while you're there, you might want to sign up for the OCA's weekly newsletter, Organic Bytes. It's full of important information about any developments that affect the quality of your food supply, and gives you a really easy opportunities to voice your opinion to government officials via sign, click and send email templates.
If you are concerned about the quality of the food that you have access to, and the future of our planet, you should, by all means, join the OCA.Organic Consumers Association website
Nutritional Joke of the Month (Followup)
"Smart Choices" Program Discontinued
A food industry group is voluntarily halting promotion of its "Smart Choices" nutrition labeling program after federal regulators said such systems could mislead consumers.
The Smart Choices program, which includes nine major companies such as Kellogg's, Kraft and General Mills, has been criticized for handing a healthy seal of approval to their processed foods that are high in sugar, such as Froot Loops, Cocoa Krispies and Cracker Jack. See last month's issue of the Health & Longevity News for the full story.
Of course, Smart Choices made a valiant attempt to save face, and stood behind its nutritional criteria, saying that the program’s criteria are "based on federal dietary guidelines and its efforts are a step in the right direction."
The lesson to take from this? Don't buy any processed foods, even if they're labeled as "Healthy." Almost every packaged food these days has some labeling on it that promotes its health-giving qualities. Most of these are just advertising spin — don't fall for it!
The best rule of thumb? Healthy foods don't come with a list of ingredients — they're simple and minimally processed.
Looking for an
Easy Way to Increase
Your Antioxidant intake?
Common, everyday spices are a great solution! — and heading the top of the list are cinnamon, cloves and turmeric. A teaspoon of any of these contains as many antioxidants as a half-cup of blueberries or a full glass of pomegranate juice!
Cinnamon has been used for medicinal purposes for many centuries and in many cultures. It has found a prominent place as a treatment in Ayurveda (the traditional Indian medicinal system).
Cinnamon contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties that provide benefits for arthritis victims, as well as offering protection against a multitude of degenerative diseases.
See my page on Cinnamon Health Benefits for more information.
Turmeric (Curcumin). In India, where people consume a lot of turmeric, levels of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s are very low. In addition, the occurrence of the four common cancers — colon, breast, prostate and lung — is 10 times lower than in the United States. This is attributed, in part, to the use of turmeric.
See my web page on Curcumin Health Benefits for more information.
Spices have the added advantage of a long shelf life, so you'll always have some handy to add to your diet. Cinnamon and curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) are also available as nutritional supplements, in capsule form. My recommended source is iHerb.com. They've got the best prices on the internet, and you'll save $5 off your first purchase!
My favorite way of ensuring that I get these spices every day is to throw them into my morning smoothie. I pre-mix a combination of ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and curcumin (with a dash of black pepper to make the curcumin more absorbable) and keep it in a jar. A teaspoon of this goes in with my almond milk and chlorella powder, and whatever else I choose to add for flavoring — bananas are a real winner.
Cinnamon also makes a great addition to your morning cup of coffee. Just add a half-teaspoon or so for each cup to your coffee grounds before you brew.
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That's all for this month! I hope you enjoyed reading my newsletter, and found the information useful. Have a great month!