Are Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs) Safe?

Recently, in the news media, there have been various reports about the introduction of certain Genetically Modified, GM, crops, and seeds into the country. Examples of such include: the release of genetically modified cowpeas to farmers in the country; the release of two transgenic cotton hybrid varieties into the Nigerian Seed Market; the granting of permits by the Federal Government for confined field trials on genetically modified maize, rice, cassava, sorghum and cowpea to ascertain ability to resist insect attack; etc.

All these despite growing opposition by a coalition of Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, against the introduction of Genetically Modified Organisms, GMOs, in the country. GMOs, according to the World Health Organisation, WHO, are organisms (i.e. plants, animals or microorganisms) in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination.

What are the potential dangers of GMOs? According to an April 22, 2000 issue of Awake! Magazine: “Biotechnology has moved at such a dizzying pace that neither the law nor regulating agencies can keep up with it. Research can scarcely begin to prevent unforeseen consequences from arising.

A growing chorus of critics warns of unintended results, ranging from severe economic dislocation for the world’s farmers to environmental destruction and threats to human health. Researchers warn that there are no long-term, large-scale tests to prove the safety of genetically modified food. They point to a number of potential dangers:

Allergic reaction. If a gene producing a protein that causes allergic responses ended up in corn, for instance, people who suffer from food allergies could be exposed to grave danger. Despite the fact that food-regulating agencies require companies to report whether altered food contains any problem proteins, some researchers fear that unknown allergens could slip through the system.

Increased toxicity. Some experts believe that genetic modification may enhance natural plant toxins in unexpected ways. When a gene is switched on, besides having the desired effect, it may also set off the production of natural toxins.

Full article at Vanguard

AIDP Exclusive Distributor in North America for Natural Remedies

City of Industry, CA—Natural Remedies announced in a press release that AIDP is now its exclusive distributor in North America for Natural Remedies’ entire product portfolio.

Natural Remedies specializes in scientifically based botanical extracts and Ayurvedic products, including Turmacin, Gutgard, AP-Bio, Ocibest, and Bacopa-E.

Anurag Agarwal, the CEO and managing director of Natural Remedies, said in the release, “Staying true to our core value of ‘Being Useful,’ we see this strategic alliance with AIDP as an important step to further enhance our presence in North America, thereby benefiting a larger population of consumers to experience the uniqueness of our products for their overall health and wellness.”

Mark Thurston, president of AIDP, added, “We have been searching for a long-term partnership in a supply of Ayurvedic extracts ensuring that our customers get high-quality, fully traceable, scientifically researched ingredients, and Natural Remedies, with its broad portfolio of products, is a perfect fit for us.

Whole Foods Magazine

How To Treat Your Winter Cold Using Natural Remedies

The cold, dryness and increased time spent indoors in close proximity to one another during the winter often leads to more cases of the common cold. If you have the sniffles, you may want to turn to your kitchen cabinet before your medicine cabinet.

“For the common cold, which is vital for the vast majority of people suffering, antibiotics are not effective,” according to Dr. Amy Rothenberg, ND, former trustee for the board of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians and 2017 Naturopathic Physician of the Year.

“A lot of what we do as naturopaths when we look at remedies to stuff is how can we support your immune function to do its job,” says Dr. Elizabeth R. Yori, ND, president of the Maine Association of Naturopathic Doctors.

Some of the best ways to promote immune health are the simplest: Wash your hands, reduce your intake of refined sugar, and make sure you are getting enough sleep.

Vitamin D is also a helpful supplement for immune function during the winter, especially in northern areas, where sunshine, the main purveyor of vitamin D, is scarce. Supplements in the form of drops or capsules will help absorb the fat-soluble vitamin. Yori recommends getting tested for a vitamin D deficiency before taking supplements, and to use caution. “Don’t use it all year round,” she says. “Only use it seasonally.”

Other natural remedies do not use herbs. “One of the best ones is people using a hot footbath,” Rothenberg says. “It helps to draw congestion and inflammation away from the head and helps blood flow a little bit faster through the body, past lymph nodes where white blood cells are seated,” Rothenberg says.

Read more on Homestead

PAHO Offers Tips For A Healthy Diet In 2019

“What we eat and drink can affect our body’s ability to fight infections, as well as how likely we are to develop health problems later in life — including obesity, heart disease, diabetes and different types of cancer,” said PAHO in a statement.

“The exact ingredients of a healthy diet will depend on different factors, like how old and how active we are, as well as the kinds of foods that are available in the communities where we live,” it added.

But across cultures, PAHO said there are some common food tips for helping to lead healthier, longer lives.

PAHO also recommends choosing wholegrain foods, like unprocessed maize, millet, oats, wheat, and brown rice, stating that they are rich in valuable fiber and can help one feel full for longer.

Also, PAHO urges lean meats “where possible, or trim it of visible fat”, and try steaming or boiling instead of frying foods when cooking.

For snacks, the health organization recommends choosing raw vegetables, unsalted nuts, and fresh fruit rather than foods that are high in sugars, fats or salt.

PAHO said too much salt can raise blood pressure, “which is a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke”.

“Most people around the world overeat salt. On average, we consume double the WHO (World Health Organization) recommended a limit of 5 grams (equivalent to a teaspoon) a day.

Read the full article at Jamaica Observer

New Rules Govern How Modified Food Will Be Labeled

As the federal government prepared for a shutdown, the U.S. Department of Agriculture late last week issued new rules regarding how genetically modified foods will now be labeled.

Food safety advocates are blasting the rules, saying they will make it tougher for consumers to know if the food they buy has been genetically modified, and even some major food producers are expressing concerns.

According to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, the new National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, which will now govern how manufacturers, importers, and retailers brand foods that have been bioengineered, “increases the transparency of our nation’s food system, establishing guidelines for regulated entities on when and how to disclose bioengineered ingredients.

The department said the new standard defines bioengineered foods as “those that contain detectable genetic material that has been modified through lab techniques and cannot be created through conventional breeding or found in nature” and is set to go into effect 2020.

But food safety advocates and even some significant producers are crying foul, saying the new standard will confuse consumers and hide food that has been genetically modified from view.

Among the concerns: food that once was commonly known as “genetically modified” will now be labeled with the lesser known term “bioengineered (BE) food.”

According to Commons Dreams: “Highly processed ingredients, many products of new genetic engineering techniques and many types of meat and dairy products will not require disclosure. This law does not cover animal feed; meat, eggs, and dairy from animals fed a GMO diet will not require disclosure.”

Continue Reading at Voice

Natural Remedies To Soothe Your Child’s Sunburn

If you find yourself in a secluded area by the beach where your child has endured unfortunate sunburn, then maybe consider using some household items for relief.

According to an article featured in Parents magazine, these may include some conventional breakfast items that you never would have thought to have healing properties.

Ice: Ice can be tricky as applying it to the skin directly can result in further damage. Instead use an ice pack or frozen veggies, wrapped in a soft cloth and hold against the affected area.

Take a cooling bath: Applying cool, not cold, water to the skin can be very satisfying and may relieve some pain. Be sure not to use soapy products.

Aloe vera gel: Aloe vera gel has various healing properties and it may be useful to keep a jar of this amazing product in your home. The cooling gel that comes from the aloe vera plant moisturizes the skin and speeds up the healing process.

Honey: This lovely, natural, sweet treat also has various healing properties. Natural honey is said to be more effective than some antibiotic creams for speeding up healing, reducing infection and minimizing pain. Keep honey away from babies under one year, though.

Continue Reading at Rekord

Letter: The Real Reason To Be Worried About cs

We live in an age where access to knowledge on virtually any topic is at our fingertips. Yet, we are bombarded by misinformation on a daily basis. Modern advancements in scientific research are often sensationalized or disputed, with findings rarely reported to the public with the appropriate contexts and caveats.

The term “GMO food” usually refers to an organism that has been modified in a laboratory setting or has had a direct transfer of genes into its DNA. Unfortunately, these foods are misunderstood. Due to the complexity of genetic research and the speed at which advancements are being made, there is an alarming lack of accessible, comprehensible resources by which to evaluate this topic from a public perspective.

As a result, the general public is directed toward sources masquerading as reliable outlets of scientific research. Media outlets, blog posts or opinion articles are written by seemingly trustworthy individuals often present the results of scientific literature in a way that is easily understood by those without formal education in the sciences but are usually riddled with errors or misinterpretations of scientific findings.

The process of genetically modifying an organism isn’t scary if you understand the science, but that doesn’t mean you should become complacent. You should be worried about GMOs, but for reasons, you may not have considered.

The copyright policies and corporate monopolies surrounding GMO production are worth worrying about. Corporations such as Monsanto have been repeatedly accused of biased research and fraudulent claims surrounding their products. For example, Monsanto has recently been accused of secretly influencing studies conducted by Health Canada — studies that were instrumental in the Government of Canada’s decision to approve the sale of Monsanto’s “safe” weed-killer, Roundup. Recent evidence shows that traces of the active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, are found in many food products. If Monsanto secretly guided studies claiming the safety of glyphosate, there is a justifiable cause for concern and an immediate need to re-evaluate these studies.

Full story at Western Gazette

What Is The Best Remedy For Sinus Drainage?

The sinuses are always draining mucus down the back of the throat and into the stomach. Some health issues can make this drainage more noticeable, and even painful or annoying. There are many home remedies, including essential oils, steam therapy, and nasal irrigation.

Natural remedies for sinus drainage

If sinus drainage is irritating, but not severe, home remedies can usually relieve the discomfort.

Treating underlying causes, by eliminating contact with allergens, for example, can also improve symptoms and prevent them from returning.

Essential oils

Aromatherapy can offer temporary relief when sinus drainage causes congestion and pressure.

Steam therapy

Thickened mucus often causes irritating sinus drainage. Steam can thin the mucus, allowing it to flow more easily, and help relieve coughing, pressure, and difficulty breathing.

Continue Reading at Medical News Today

Is There One True Diet That Guarantees Better Performance?

During the 1972 Olympics in Munich, as Frank Shorter prepared to race, he had a secret ingredient up his sleeve: flat Coca-Cola. The US athlete caffeinated his way over 42 kilometers to win gold in the marathon.

Bizarre as it may sound, decades later researchers discovered that consuming caffeine during endurance exercise could give an athlete the edge.

In a new review published in Science, Australian Institute of Sport’s head of sports nutrition Professor Louise Burke and the director of The Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, Professor John Hawley, explore nutritional approaches to performance in elite athletes.

They argue there is no “single, superior ‘athletic diet’”. Rather, different tactics benefit different people, forms of exercise and phases of training.

The great diet debate

The developing knowledge about how the body uses fuel helps to explain the high-carb/low-carb debate as well as the myth of the perfect “athlete’s diet”.

“The early sports nutrition guidelines were ‘let’s all eat high carbohydrate at all times because that’s what the muscles are using as fuel’,” Burke explains.

This explains the idea of energy gels during endurance races or the thought process of anyone who ever decided to skol a soft drink or eat a Mars bar right before an event.

Continue Reading at The Sydney Morning Herald

Kratom: The leafy green plant that could help with opiate withdrawals

There has recently been plenty of buzz over a plant-based drug that users take for recreational and medicinal reasons and it’s not marijuana – it’s Kratom.

Kratom is a leafy green plant that grows in Southeast Asia. Users grind it into a fine powder and then mix it into liquids to drink or sometimes capsules for convenience. It has received notoriety because of its reported aid for those suffering from opiate withdrawals.

According to the American Kratom Association, the herbal supplement can also be used to treat pain and depression. It is sold in parts of the United States and parts of San Diego County, but it remains illegal in the City of San Diego.

One of the many individuals using Kratom is Barbara Rago. Before she was constrained to hospitalization, Barbara was a nurse who, herself, visited patients. She loved her job, but a life-changing diagnosis put all of that on hold.

“Four years ago, I was diagnosed with spinal arthritis-sciatica – a bunch of degenerative diseases that left me unable to walk. Pretty much I was in bed for a whole year. It was excruciating. It left me unable to work. I couldn’t function,” she said.

Read more at CBS8.