The Department of Homeland Security plans to build a high-risk virus research center in the heart of America

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is set to begin construction on a new high-risk bio-weapons research facility on the campus of Kansas State University in Manhattan, though critics say the decision is fraught with risk because of the potential for damage from nearby earthquake fault lines.
In a statement on its Web site, DHS said it needs the new facility to replace an aging one located at Greenport, N.Y. That facility, known as the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, has been in operation since 1954 and is nearing the end of its useful life.
According to the department, $54 million has been approved for the construction of the proposed National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility. The new facility will feature research on biolevel 3 and 4 viruses – some without any known cures – and other potentially dangerous materials, though department officials have downplayed any potential threats.
The problem, critics say, is the location and the inherent seismic and weather-related disasters that could befall the facility, wreaking havoc on the surrounding population and beyond – issues the government seems to be downplaying.
Painting lipstick on a pig
“The United States works on the frontline of livestock animal health research to defend against foreign animal, emerging, and zoonotic diseases that could threaten the U.S. livestock industry, food supply, and public health,” says Homeland Security Under Secretary for Science and Technology Tara O’Toole, in a departmental risk assessment posted online. “To address congressional requirements, this detailed, updated risk assessment reaffirms that we can build a safe and secure facility to meet this important mission.”
The department contends that, according to its risk analysis, “calculated risks have been significantly reduced by incorporating mitigation measures into the risk assessment and updating the analysis to allow for a cumulative risk calculation.”
In other words, DHS says it is prepared to adopt a facility design that includes “significant changes beyond the industry standard to reduce risk.” Reducing risk isn’t, of course, the same as eliminating it.
‘Groundbreaking’ facility?
All of this babble is, of course, designed to make us feel better about having a plant that conducts research on incurable viruses located smack dab in the middle of a volatile region of the country. What the department isn’t saying is that the part of Kansas being considered for this new facility is prone to a number of natural disasters and occurrences, each of which could cause considerable damage.
“Manhattan, Kansas, faces a number of worrisome hazards that should influence the architecture and construction of the BSL-4 laboratory. These hazards include flooding, dam failure, earthquakes, and tornadoes,” says an assessment by the Suburban Emergency Management Project (SEMP), located in Chicago.
The last time the region suffered major flood damage was in 1951, but, SEMP notes, the area is still in a flood plain and, given the record floods last summer in neighboring Missouri, the potential for disaster is there.
Also, SEMP notes that while “Kansas is not widely known as seismically active,” it “boasts the Humboldt fault zone, which underlies Turtle Creek dam and Manhattan,” a region the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has deemed a “localized seismic hot spot.”
“An estimated maximum earthquake magnitude of 6.6 could occur in the area of the Tuttle Creek dam, causing liquefaction of the foundation sand beneath the dam, large deformations of the dam, and dam failure,” said SEMP’s assessment of the proposed new biodefense facility. “The consequences of a breach of the Tuttle Creek dam include rushing water at 381,000 cubic feet/second (six times the rate in 1993) moving toward a population at risk of 13,000 people.”
In addition, the area is known for its tornadoes. According to the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, the region in and around the proposed site features an average of five to seven tornadoes a year.
“Riley County, Kansas, home to Manhattan, is well known for tornado touchdowns. For example, on June 11, 2008, Manhattan sustained extensive damages but no injuries when an F4 nighttime tornado ripped through it,” said the SEMP assessment.
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Most superbugs are started on animal farms (your food supply)

The growing emergence and prevalence of antibiotic-resistant superbugs capable of killing humans was not always the gravely serious problem it is today, as some of these deadly strains actually originated as benign pathogens in humans. But the widespread practice of feeding antibiotics to livestock living on factory farms is at least one of the primary triggers that has caused these once-harmless bacterial strains to become vicious killers.
A recent study published in the American Society for Microbiology journal mBio explains how the infamous methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) superbug strain CC398, for instance, appears to have actually originated as a type of harmless probiotic in the body known as methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA). According to Lance Price and his colleagues, MSSA morphed into deadly MRSA as a result of migration into livestock being fed excessive amounts of antibiotics.
“Modern food animal production is characterized by densely concentrated animals and routine antibiotic use, which may facilitate the emergence of novel antibiotic-resistant zoonotic pathogens,” write the authors in their paper. “Our findings strongly support the idea that livestock-associated MRSA CC398 originated as MSSA in humans” (http://mbio.asm.org/content/3/1/e00305-11).
Factory farmers commonly feed antibiotics like tetracycline and methicillin to their livestock, poultry, and even fish, in order to make them grow faster. These drugs also help mitigate the filth-induced disease that is part and parcel of the factory food system, which confines animals in unsanitary living conditions and summons them to unnatural diets that cause them to develop frequent infections (http://www.naturalnews.com/028031_antibiotics_infections.html).
Various environmental and public health groups have repeatedly tried to convince the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to properly regulate the use of antibiotics in animal feed, but the agency has continually refused. Even after a lawsuit was filed against it last summer, the FDA quietly reversed a previous promise to begin regulating antibiotics, and conveniently published an announcement about this right during the Christmas season when few were paying attention (http://www.guardian.co.uk).
In January, however, the FDA did finally decide to protect some antibiotics from becoming useless by prohibiting their use in livestock, but these particular drugs represent a measly 0.2% of those typically used on factory farms anyway, according to New Scientists. So as it stands, superbug-producing factory farms are free to continue churning out deadly pathogens while the FDA pretends that everything is just fine.
Sources for this article include:

Just one soda per day can cause heart attacks in men

You have no doubt heard that sugary, high-fructose soda is a major contributing factor to the nation’s ever-growing waistline, but new research indicates that even in moderation, drinking just one soda a day is a major health risk, especially for men.
According to a new study published in the medical journal Circulation, a daily soda increases your heart risk, even if it’s not leading to much weight gain.
The ingestion of such high concentrations of sugar “appears to be an independent risk factor for heart disease,” says the study’s lead author Frank Hu, M.D., a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), in Boston.
“Continually subjecting our bodies to high amounts of glucose, to high blood sugar levels that trigger large secretions of insulin results in stresses that in the long run show up as high risk of heart disease and diabetes,” the study’s co-author, Dr. Walter Willett, told CBS News.
The study tracked 42,833 men over 22 years, following their diet, weight, smoking and exercise patterns. In the end, researchers discovered that men who drank a single 12-ounce soda per day increased their risk of heart attack by 20 percent.
So much sugar, so little time
The researchers said a typical 12-ounce soda contains a whopping 10 teaspoons of sugar, which is a very large amount over a relatively short period of time. But they also said the study didn’t necessarily confirm that sugar itself was to blame.
“It’s very likely people who choose to drink sugared soft drinks actually have a variety of health habits that are not heart healthy, and it may well be those health habits that are responsible for the increase in risk,” Willett said.
Still, the data was enough to confirm what scientists, dieticians, nutritionists and researchers have known for years.
“We already know that sugary beverages are associated with increased obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other metabolic issues,” Hu said. “This adds further evidence that sugary beverages are detrimental to our health.”
Harmful effects of so much sugar
Sugar in excess is a major contributor to obesity. Researchers noticed that many people were reducing fat intake but either increased their intake of sugar or did not appreciably decrease it, leaving them scratching their heads as to why they were not dropping any weight.
But it is the primary culprit in other disease processes as well.
“Sugary beverages also are believed to promote inflammation, an immune-system response involved in both heart disease and insulin resistance, a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes,” CNN reported, citing the Hu-Willett study, adding that sugary drinks increase belly fat, which can also increase a man’s heart attack risk.
During the study, blood samples were taken from about 40 percent of men. The findings: “Men who consumed sugary beverages at least once a day had higher triglyceride levels, lower HDL levels, and higher levels of a marker of inflammation known as C-reactive protein (CRP),” said CNN. “They also had higher levels of leptin, a hormone that helps regulate metabolism.”
The consumption of so much sugar – from soda and a wealth of other sources – as well as other high-fat, high-calorie processed foods, has led to record-high obesity rates, both among adults and children. The Centers for Disease Control estimated in 2010 that 34 percent of U.S. adults were obese, more than double the percentage 30 years ago. Meanwhile, the share of children who are obese – 17 percent – has tripled.
Some experts have hailed the fact that, only recently, the nation’s beltline seems to have stopped growing. But others say that until it begins shrinking, we shouldn’t be patting ourselves on the back.
“Until we see rates improving, not just staying the same, we can’t have any confidence that our lifestyle has improved,” Dr. David Ludwig, director of the Optimal Weight for Life Program at Children’s Hospital Boston, told The New York Times.
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Pepsi’s use of aborted fetal cells in soft drinks constitutes ‘ordinary business operations’

The Obama Administration has given its blessing to PepsiCo to continue utilizing the services of a company that produces flavor chemicals for the beverage giant using aborted human fetal tissue. LifeSiteNews.com reports that the Obama Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has decided that PepsiCo’s arrangement with San Diego, Cal.-based Senomyx, which produces flavor enhancing chemicals for Pepsi using human embryonic kidney tissue, simply constitutes “ordinary business operations.”
The issue began in 2011 when the non-profit group Children of God for Life (CGL) first broke the news about Pepsi’s alliance with Senomyx, which led to massive outcry and a worldwide boycott of Pepsi products. At that time, it was revealed that Pepsi had many other options at its disposal to produce flavor chemicals, which is what its competitors do, but had instead chosen to continue using aborted fetal cells — or as Senomyx deceptively puts it, “isolated human taste receptors” (http://www.naturalnews.com).
A few months later, Pepsi’ shareholders filed a resolution petitioning the company to “adopt a corporate policy that recognizes human rights and employs ethical standards which do not involve using the remains of aborted human beings in both private and collaborative research and development agreements.” But the Obama Administration shut down this 36-page proposal, deciding instead that Pepsi’s used of aborted babies to flavor its beverage products is just business as usual, and not a significant concern.
“We’re not talking about what kind of pencils PepsiCo wants to use — we are talking about exploiting the remains of an aborted child for profit,” said Debi Vinnedge, Executive Director of CGL, concerning the SEC decision. “Using human embryonic kidney (HEK-293) to produce flavor enhancers for their beverages is a far cry from routine operations!”
To be clear, the aborted fetal tissue used to make Pepsi’s flavor chemicals does not end up in the final product sold to customers, according to reports — it is used, instead, to evaluate how actual human taste receptors respond to these chemical flavorings. But the fact that Pepsi uses them at all when viable, non-human alternatives are available illustrates the company’s blatant disregard for ethical and moral concerns in the matter.
Back in January, Oklahoma Senator Ralph Shortey proposed legislation to ban the production of aborted fetal cell-derived flavor chemicals in his home state. If passed, S.B. 1418 would also reportedly ban the sale of any products that contain flavor chemicals derived from human fetal tissue, which includes Pepsi products as well as products produced by Kraft and Nestle (http://www.naturalnews.com).
Sources for this article include:

http://www.naturalnews.com/035276_Pepsi_fetal_cells_business_operations.html#ixzz1pWVIdovI

HISTORY OF SECRET EXPERIMENTATION

1931 Dr. Cornelius Rhoads, under the auspices of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Investigations, infects human subjects with cancer cells. He later goes on to establish the U.S. Army Biological Warfare facilities in Maryland, Utah, and Panama, and is named to the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. While there, he begins a series of radiation exposure experiments on American soldiers and civilian hospital patients.
1932 The Tuskegee Syphilis Study begins. 200 black men diagnosed with syphilis are never told of their illness, are denied treatment, and instead are used as human guinea pigs in order to follow the progression and symptoms of the disease. They all subsequently die from syphilis, their families never told that they could have been treated.
1935 The Pellagra Incident. After millions of individuals die from Pellagra over a span of two decades, the U.S. Public Health Service finally acts to stem the disease. The director of the agency admits it had known for at least 20 years that Pellagra is caused by a niacin deficiency but failed to act since most of the deaths occured within poverty-striken black populations.
1940 Four hundred prisoners in Chicago are infected with Malaria in order to study the effects of new and experimental drugs to combat the disease. Nazi doctors later on trial at Nuremberg cite this American study to defend their own actions during the Holocaust.
1942 Chemical Warfare Services begins mustard gas experiments on approximately 4,000 servicemen. The experiments continue until 1945 and made use of Seventh Day Adventists who chose to become human guinea pigs rather than serve on active duty.
1943 In response to Japan’s full-scale germ warfare program, the U.S. begins research on biological weapons at Fort Detrick, MD.
1944 U.S. Navy uses human subjects to test gas masks and clothing. Individuals were locked in a gas chamber and exposed to mustard gas and lewisite.
1945 Project Paperclip is initiated. The U.S. State Department, Army intelligence, and the CIA recruit Nazi scientists and offer them immunity and secret identities in exchange for work on top secret government projects in the United States.
1945 “Program F” is implemented by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). This is the most extensive U.S. study of the health effects of fluoride, which was the key chemical component in atomic bomb production. One of the most toxic chemicals known to man, fluoride, it is found, causes marked adverse effects to the central nervous system but much of the information is squelched in the name of national security because of fear that lawsuits would undermine full-scale production of atomic bombs.
1946 Patients in VA hospitals are used as guinea pigs for medical experiments. In order to                   allay suspicions, the order is given to change the word “experiments”to “investigations” or “observations” whenever reporting a medical study performed in one of the nation’s veteran’s hospitals.
1947 Colonel E.E. Kirkpatrick of the U.S. Atomic Energy Comission issues a secret document (Document 07075001, January 8, 1947) stating that the agency will begin administering intravenous doses of radioactive substances to human subjects.
1947 The CIA begins its study of LSD as a potential weapon for use by American intelligence. Human subjects (both civilian and military) are used with and without their knowledge.
1950 Department of Defense begins plans to detonate nuclear weapons in desert areas and                   monitor downwind residents for medical problems and mortality rates.
1950 In an experiment to determine how susceptible an American city would be to biological attack, the U.S. Navy sprays a cloud of bacteria from ships over San Franciso. Monitoring devices are situated throughout the city in order to test the extent of infection. Many residents become ill with pneumonia-like symptoms.
1951 Department of Defense begins open air tests using disease-producing bacteria and viruses. Tests last through 1969 and there is concern that people in the surrounding areas have been exposed.
1953 U.S. military releases clouds of zinc cadmium sulfide gas over Winnipeg, St. Louis,                   Minneapolis, Fort Wayne, the Monocacy River Valley in Maryland, and Leesburg, Virginia. Their intent is to determine how efficiently they could disperse chemical agents.
1953 Joint Army-Navy-CIA experiments are conducted in which tens of thousands of people in New York and San Francisco are exposed to the airborne germs Serratia marcescens and Bacillus glogigii.
1953 CIA initiates Project MKULTRA. This is an eleven year research program designed to produce and test drugs and biological agents that would be used for mind control and behavior modification. Six of the subprojects involved testing the agents on unwitting human beings.
1955 The CIA, in an experiment to test its ability to infect human populations with biological                   agents, releases a bacteria withdrawn from the Army’s biological warfare arsenal over Tampa Bay, Fl.
1955 Army Chemical Corps continues LSD research, studying its potential use as a chemical incapacitating agent. More than 1,000 Americans participate in the tests, which continue until 1958.
1956 U.S. military releases mosquitoes infected with Yellow Fever over Savannah, Ga and Avon Park, Fl. Following each test, Army agents posing as public health officials test victims for effects.
1958 LSD is tested on 95 volunteers at the Army’s Chemical Warfare Laboratories for its effect on intelligence.
1960 The Army Assistant Chief-of-Staff for Intelligence (ACSI) authorizes field testing of LSD in Europe and the Far East. Testing of the european population is code named Project THIRD CHANCE; testing of the Asian population is code named Project DERBY HAT.
1965 CIA and Department of Defense begin Project MKSEARCH, a program to develop a capability to manipulate human behavior through the use of mind-altering drugs.
1965 Prisoners at the Holmesburg State Prison in Philadelphia are subjected to dioxin, the highly toxic chemical component of Agent Orange used in Viet Nam. The men are later studied for development of cancer, which indicates that Agent Orange had been a suspected carcinogen all along.                  
1966 CIA initiates Project MKOFTEN, a program to test the toxicological effects of certain                   drugs on humans and animals.
1966 U.S. Army dispenses Bacillus subtilis variant niger throughout the New York City subway system. More than a million civilians are exposed when army scientists drop lightbulbs filled with the bacteria onto ventilation grates.
1967 CIA and Department of Defense implement Project MKNAOMI, successor to MKULTRA and designed to maintain, stockpile and test biological and chemical weapons.
1968 CIA experiments with the possibility of poisoning drinking water by injecting chemicals into the water supply of the FDA in Washington, D.C.
1969 Dr. Robert MacMahan of the Department of Defense requests from congress $10 million to develop, within 5 to 10 years, a synthetic biological agent to which no natural immunity exists.
1970 Funding for the synthetic biological agent is obtained under H.R. 15090. The project, under the supervision of the CIA, is carried out by the Special Operations Division at Fort Detrick, the army’s top secret biological weapons facility. Speculation is raised that molecular biology techniques are used to produce AIDS-like retroviruses.
1970 United States intensifies its development of “ethnic weapons” (Military Review, Nov., 1970), designed to selectively target and eliminate specific ethnic groups who are susceptible due to genetic differences and variations in DNA.
1975 The virus section of Fort Detrick’s Center for Biological Warfare Research is renamed the Fredrick Cancer Research Facilities and placed under the supervision of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) . It is here that a special virus cancer program is initiated by the U.S. Navy, purportedly to develop cancer-causing viruses. It is also here that retrovirologists isolate a virus to which no immunity exists. It is later named HTLV (Human T-cell Leukemia Virus).
1977 Senate hearings on Health and Scientific Research confirm that 239 populated areas had been contaminated with biological agents between 1949 and 1969. Some of the areas included San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Key West, Panama City, Minneapolis, and St. Louis.
1978 Experimental Hepatitis B vaccine trials, conducted by the CDC, begin in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Ads for research subjects specifically ask for promiscuous homosexual men.
1981 First cases of AIDS are confirmed in homosexual men in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, triggering speculation that AIDS may have been introduced via the Hepatitis B vaccine.
1985 According to the journal Science (227:173-177), HTLV and VISNA, a fatal sheep virus, are very similar, indicating a close taxonomic and evolutionary relationship.
1986 According to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (83:4007-4011), HIV and VISNA are highly similar and share all structural elements, except for a small segment which is nearly identical to HTLV. This leads to speculation that HTLV and VISNA may have been linked to produce a new retrovirus to which no natural immunity exists.
1986 A report to Congress reveals that the U.S. Government’s current generation of biological agents includes: modified viruses, naturally occurring toxins, and agents that are altered through genetic engineering to change immunological character and prevent treatment by all existing vaccines.
1987 Department of Defense admits that, despite a treaty banning research and development of biological agents, it continues to operate research facilities at 127 facilities and universities around the nation.
1990 More than 1500 six-month old black and hispanic babies in Los Angeles are given an “experimental” measles vaccine that had never been licensed for use in the United States. CDC later admits that parents were never informed that the vaccine being injected to their children was experimental.                  
1994 With a technique called “gene tracking,” Dr. Garth Nicolson at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX discovers that many returning Desert Storm veterans are infected with an altered strain of Mycoplasma incognitus, a microbe commonly used in the production of biological weapons. Incorporated into its molecular structure is 40 percent of the HIV protein coat, indicating that it had been man-made.
1994 Senator John D. Rockefeller issues a report revealing that for at least 50 years the Department of Defense has used hundreds of thousands of military personnel in human experiments and for intentional exposure to dangerous substances. Materials included mustard and nerve gas, ionizing radiation, psychochemicals, hallucinogens, and drugs used during the Gulf War.
1995 U.S. Government admits that it had offered Japanese war criminals and scientists who had performed human medical experiments salaries and immunity from prosecution in exchange for data on biological warfare research.
1995 Dr. Garth Nicolson, uncovers evidence that the biological agents used during the Gulf War had been manufactured in Houston, TX and Boca Raton, Fl and tested on prisoners in the Texas Department of Corrections.
1996 Department of Defense admits that Desert Storm soldiers were exposed to chemical agents.
1997 Eighty-eight members of Congress sign a letter demanding an investigation into bioweapons use & Gulf War Syndrome.

Study: Bt toxin in GM crops kills non-target species

A new study out of Switzerland confirms once again that Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin, the nefarious pesticide produced by certain genetically-modified (GM) crops, is harming non-target species. Published in the journal Environmental Sciences Europe, the study reveals that two-spotted ladybird (Adalia bipunctata L.) larvae exposed to Bt toxin experience a much higher mortality rate than those not exposed (http://www.enveurope.com/content/24/1/10/abstract).
Contrary to repeated claims made by Monsanto and other biotechnology industry players about the supposed safety of Bt toxin for non-target species, this new independent study reveals otherwise. It also exposes the illegitimacy of the various industry-funded studies that claim Bt toxin is safe for non-target species, including humans, an unfounded claim that has been proven false time and time again.
The new research, conducted by Dr. Angelika Hilbeck and her colleagues from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, was actually a follow-up to previous research on ladybird larvae and Bt toxin conducted back in 2009. Pro-GM talking heads had tried, but failed, to discredit this earlier research, which was published in the journal Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology (http://www.springerlink.com/content/4317km7733582u32/).

Independent research consistently demonstrates dangers of GMOs

But Dr. Hilbeck’s new study, which was not funded by the pro-GM lobby, confirmed the findings of the 2009 study. And in the interest of promoting sound science, she and various others who recognize the very real dangers associated with GM crops, and Bt toxin in particular, are now calling out those who continue to deny reality by insisting that Bt toxin is safe.
“It is time to move beyond the rather ‘dogmatic denial’ and ‘shooting the messenger’ stages of the debate and onto the more mature stage of scientific discourse where a meaningful examination of scientific ‘surprises’ dominates the discussion,” said David Gee, a senior science adviser on science, policy, and emerging issues to the European Environmental Agency (EAE) recently.
The EAE, of course, has formed many of its GMO policies based on flawed, industry-funded GMO studies. So Gee and others are urging the agency to begin looking at independent research on GMOs, which tells a far different story than the one being peddled by the likes of Monsanto and the pro-GM American government.
“We do not need biosafety research embedded in the visions of the biotechnology industry that supports unsustainable industrialized agriculture,” added Professor Brian Wynne from the U.K. Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics at Lancaster University. “Instead, we need independent research like Hilbeck’s which assesses the specific environmental effects of genetic engineering, uses sensitive methodologies and helps indicate the potentially damaging effects on biodiversity as well as on agricultural diversity, of the industrial production systems which GM agriculture only intensifies.”

PEER sues White House for withholding documents from Monsanto-linked lobbyist regarding protection of GE crops in wildlife refuges

The non-profit advocacy group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) has filed a lawsuit against the Obama White House for refusing to comply with Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests that would potentially unearth the administration’s direct ties to Monsanto and the biotechnology industry. The so-called administration of transparency is refusing to disclose portions of an email between a top White House policy analyst and a biotechnology lobbying group that appear to expose the administration’s role in promoting genetically-modified (GM) crops in national wildlife refuges.
The Biotechnology Industry Association (BIO), a lobbying group which represents Monsanto and other key purveyors of GM crops, has for years been in close contact with the Obama White House over the issue of GM crop plantings in national wildlife refuges. Both BIO and the White House appear to be working in tandem on strategies to ensure that GM crops remain in wildlife refuges, an agricultural disaster that PEER has been trying for quite some time to bring to an end.
PEER has been largely successful in restricting GM plantings in wildlife refuges through repeated lawsuits, including one early last year that put an end to GM plantings in 12 wildlife refuges across the Northeast (http://www.naturalnews.com/031030_GMOs_lawsuit.html). But based on information that has been extracted via FOIA requests, the White House appears to be directly undercutting these measures by assisting BIO in protecting GM crops in other wildlife refuges from legal challenges.
And of particular concern is a January email between Peter Schmeissner, senior science policy analyst and member of the White House’s biotechnology working group, and BIO, in which specific details about the biotechnology industry’s lobbying strategies are laid out. The White House has deliberately censored certain sections of the email that is says contain biotechnology industry secrets, a fact that represents undeniable evidence that the Obama White House and the biotechnology industry are a close partnership.
“We suspect the reason an industry lobbyist so cavalierly shared strategy is that the White House is part of that strategy,” said PEER staff counsel Kathryn Douglas about the situation. “The White House’s legal posture is as credible as claiming Coca Cola’s secret formula was ‘inadvertently’ left in a duffel bag at the bus station.”
None of this is surprising since the Obama White House is filled with pro-GM players like Michael Taylor, a former Monsanto lobbyist who was appointed by Obama to be deputy commissioner for food at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). And U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) chief Tom Vilsack, another Obama appointee, was also responsible for pushing through the approval of GM alfalfa early last year (http://www.naturalnews.com/031196_GE_alfalfa_GMOs.html).
Sources for this article include:

Aspartame withdrawal and side effects explained

If you have been drinking diet soda and chewing gum, chances are you have been enjoying aspartame in generous quantities. Aspartame is a popular sugar substitute that can be found in diet soda drinks, chewing gum, fruit spreads and sugar-free products to name a few. It is also known by the brand names, Sweet One, NutraSweet and Spoonful. Despite its popularity in the market, what many do not know is that aspartame accounts for 75 percent of side effect complaints received by the Adverse Reaction Monitoring System (ARMS) of the US Food and Drug Administration.

Can aspartame be addictive?

Yes, according to Dr. Betty Martini, popular anti-aspartame advocate. She explains that it is an “addictive, exitoneurotic, carcinogenic, genetically engineered drug and adjuvant that damages the mitochondria.” Moreover, Dr. Janet Hall, another famous advocate against aspartame, shares on her website that all artificial sweeteners create an artificial need for more sweetness. She goes on to add that forced sweetness, being a class of altered food, is a trap that cause people to become addicted to sweeter tasting food with no nutritional value.
Recent studies have shown that aspartame is addictive because it affects the absorption of dopamine in the brain.

Side Effects of Aspartame

Aspartame is made up of 3 components: phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol. Understanding the effects of aspartame will require us to look into its genetic make up.
In its website, manufacturers of aspartame continue to assure the public that low-calorie sweeteners are effective for weight reduction, weight maintenance, reduction of tooth decay, management of diabetes and reduction of risks associated with obesity. They claim that consumers of low-calorie, sugar-free beverages were able to incorporate these products into a healthy lifestyle not because they need to manage their weight (since a majority of people use low-calorie foods and beverages for reasons other than dieting) but because use of low-calorie products is part of a healthy lifestyle.
Despite the benefits cited in the aspartame website, independent studies have been shown that aspartame is not as safe as it appears to be. In a recent study conducted by researchers from the University Of Miami Miller School Of Medicine and at Columbia University Medical Center, it was discovered that those who drank diet soft drinks on a daily basis were more likely to contract vascular diseases compared to those who took none.
Supporters of aspartame insist that aspartic acid and phenylalanine are found in many foods. What they have conveniently left out, however, is that the said neurotoxins are harmless only when consumed with other nutrients like fats, amino acids (protein) and carbohydrates. On their own, they are absorbed by the nervous system in large concentrations causing the stimulation of brain neurons and cell death. Symptoms of the conditions include headaches, confusion, balance problems and seizures.
Methanol, on the other hand, is also a highly toxic substance. It is released in the small intestine gradually with the assistance of chymotrypsin and then broken down into formaldehyde: a chemical used for embalming which is a carcinogen that causes birth defects, retinal damage and DNA replication.
Again, supporters of aspartame insist that methanol is safe because it is found in vegetables and fruit juices. What they neglect to mention, however, is that methanol in vegetables and fruit juices is bound with pectin and the body does not possess the digestive enzyme to break down pectin and release ethanol into the body. Furthermore, ethanol, the methanol toxicity antidote, is found in natural sources of methanol, inhibiting the metabolism of methanol and giving the body sufficient time, through the lungs and kidneys, to clear it. Methanol found in aspartame is easily absorbed because it is in a free form.
Aspartic acid, methanol and phenylalanine and their breakdown in the body are cumulative because of their fast absorption and slow excretion.
In 1984, studies conducted revealed that the toxicity of NutraSweet (aspartame) to living organisms. The State of Arizona arrived at findings which showed that aspartame in carbonated drinks can break down into free methanol in temperatures of 99 degrees Fahrenheit. On May 13, 1998, the University of Barcelonaalso arrived at results revealing that aspartame was transformed into formaldehyde in the bodies of living creatures, and on later examination formaldehyde had spread through the vital parts of the body.

“Artificial sweetener disease”

The US Food and Drug Administration has received reports of 92 medical health problems resulting from aspartame, ranging from abdominal pain to migraines, dizziness and hives. Aspartame poisoning is often misdiagnosed because its symptoms mock other syndromes. It changes the ratio of amino acids in the blood, lowering or blocking levels of hormones like dopamine and tyrosine that are necessary for bodily function.
Since aspartame cannot be detected through lab tests and x-rays, these diseases and disorders may actually be a toxic load. Below are some specific health conditions that are associated with aspartame you might want to recall next time you open a can of diet soda:
1. CancerThe Ramazzine Foundation, a European Cancer Research Center, conducted a study on aspartame which revealed that aspartame increases the risk of cancers (lymphoma, leukemia and breast cancers). Despite the National Cancer Institute‘s stand that no such connection was ever firmly established between aspartame and cancer, it might well be worth thinking that what is harmful to rats is also harmful to humans. Moreover, the dismissive stand of regulatory bodies concerning aspartame is merely based on the absence of data that can conclusively support such a connection and NOT on a finding that establishes that aspartame does not cause cancer.
2. Mental disorders and degeneration of brain cells – Excessive ingestion of artificial sweeteners, according to researchers from the University of Praetoria and the University of Limpopo, may lead to various mental disorders and the degeneration of the brain. Publishing in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers noted that aspartame appeared to cause excessive signals, damage and even death to nerve cells. Since aspartame disrupts the functioning of the cell’s energy source, it will lead to a cascade of effects on the whole system.
3. Headaches – As early as 1994, a study conducted published on PubMed.gov showed that ingestion of aspartame was associated with headaches. Subjects in the study revealed that they experienced headaches 33 percent of the time when taking aspartame compared to 24 percent when on placebo treatment. Moreover, Dr. Robert Milne and Blake More in their book “Headaches” report that headaches are the most reported side effect given by those who take products containing aspartame. They add that in a University of Parkinson‘s at Florida study, it was found out that the incidences of migraines doubled for a majority of test subjects who took aspartame. Their headaches lasted longer and were marked by significant signs of shakiness and diminished vision.
4. Weight gain and increased blood sugar – Aspartame is not a healthy alternative for diabetics or those wanting to lose weight. Contrary to popular belief, a recent study has shown that regular consumption of diet soft drinks is strongly connected with abdominal obesity and that aspartame can increase blood sugar. Researchers from the University of Texas Health Center San Antonio reported in a study that, as a group, 70 percent of those who drank diet soft drinks gained weight as opposed to those who did not. Moreover, those who drank 2 or more diet sodas regularly experienced an increase in their waist circumference by 500 percent more than those who did not drink them.
In another related study that analyzed a possible relationship between intake of aspartame and fasting glucose and insulin levels among 40 diabetes-prone mice, one of the researchers in the study, Dr. Gabriel Fernandes, revealed that heavy aspartame exposure might potentially contribute to the associations noticed between soda consumption and the risk of diabetes in humans.
The above health conditions are just some of the 92 reported medical health problems reportedly associated with aspartame. Despite the stand of aspartame manufacturers that their product has been declared safe for human consumption, it is still strange that there are still reports from sectors who do not stand to benefit from such declarations that aspartame is not safe. Prudence would dictate that avoiding a product may be better in the long run than to discover firsthand that all that was said about it was true. Why? Because you happen to be living proof of it.

How to protect yourself

To keep yourself safe from contracting “artificial sweetener syndrome,” it is suggested that you stop taking all products containing this chemical.
If you have brought or stocked up on products containing aspartame, you can arrange to return the products so you can get a refund of your money. If you feel that you may need professional help in getting over the disease, please see your doctor as soon as possible. Take a proactive approach to being healthy.
Finally, for those taking aspartame simply because they want to observe a healthy diet, replace your aspartame habit with real sugar. Although it may have more calories, it offers a far better solution than being poisoned. Those who want to manage their weight problems are advised to seek a healthier course of action like eating more whole foods, vegetables and fruits and getting regular exercise. True and sustainable weight loss cannot be achieved through a quick fix without a change in lifestyle. Set a personal example to be healthy and watch yourself regain your life.
Sources for this article

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NutraSweet Company brags about the second coming of aspartame: Neotame now taking over world markets

When the NutraSweet Company first began petitioning the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve aspartame as a food additive back in the early 1970s, it had every intention of conniving its way to success by whatever means possible. Today, after successfully getting aspartame approved and widely accepted around the world with flawed studies and behind-the-scenes manipulation, NutraSweet has once again done the same thing with a new chemical sweetener known as neotame, which is currently approved for use in food without even having to be labeled.
As we reported on recently, neotame was approved by the FDA back in 2002 without so much as a single conclusive, independent study proving its safety for human consumption. And yet the agency gave its full blessing not only to neotame’s approval for use in food, but also for its unlabeled use — as far as we know, not a single food product currently sold in the U.S. indicates that it contains neotame (http://www.naturalnews.com/034915_neotame_Monsanto_sweeteners.html).
Two years before the FDA approved neotame, the Monsanto Co. sold the NutraSweet Co. to J.W. Childs Equity Partners II, L.P., a private equity firm that also own the Sunny Delight Beverage Co. and Mattress Firm, among other companies. At the time of this purchase, NutraSweet issued a press release bragging about how neotame would drastically change the sweetener industry, even though it had not yet been approved for use.
Commenting on the company’s plans for neotame, Nick E. Rosa, a former senior vice president at Monsanto who was given the position of president and CEO of NutraSweet at the time the company transferred ownership to J.W. Childs, had this to say:
“The NutraSweet Company revolutionized the sweetener industry in 1981 with the introduction of aspartame, and we intend to do it again with neotame when we receive approval from various regulatory agencies around the world.”
Just as predicted, NutraSweet strong-armed FDA approval for neotame in the U.S. in 2002, and quickly expanded approval to at least 69 other countries in the following decade. But the company presumably still has a lot of work to do if it hopes to bring neotame to the same level as aspartame, which is sold in more than 100 countries and used in more than 5,000 consumers products used by 250 million people worldwide.
As detrimental as aspartame is to health, neotame is potentially far worse. Like aspartame, it is linked to severe neurotoxic and immunotoxic damage because it metabolizes into toxic formaldehyde and other toxic substances. And because it is unlabeled, the general public is unable to self-regulate consumption levels.
Sources for this article include:
http://www.nutrasweet.com/media/index.asp
http://www.naturalnews.com/028151_aspartame_sweeteners.html
http://www.naturalnews.com/035016_aspartame_neotame_NutraSweet.html#ixzz1mxqc1Lcf