Unite in 2013!

1 Jan

We are living in precarious times.  Our black and white reality, the reality that we depended upon to move throughout life and make decisions, is no longer clear.  Every connection, every decision, everything we thought was real must now be second-guessed. Those people you thought represented everything you despised are now your confidants and those who you thought were your allies represent a world you no longer recognize.  The food that you have depended upon to feed your family and keep you healthy is no longer food that your grandparents ate and can’t be trusted.  The clouds in the sky appear as tic-tac-toe and our weather patterns turn noticeably unnatural.  The water we all need to survive on this planet is being infused with chemicals and controlled by outside forces.  Our medicine is no longer about keeping people healthy but appears to be more an effort to ensure we stay sick.  And our television, newspapers and most forms of media are attempts to manipulate our reality so that we value worthless objects, admire empty characters and feel separate from each other.  

Well we no longer buy it; this defunct sense of reality that no longer serves us. And it’s time to do something about it. It’s time to come together and make decisions based on a world that WE want. We need to wake up to the fact that we no longer need false figures and values to define our world and ask ourselves what kind of world we want to create?  What do we value?  Who do we care for?  How do we spend our time? It’s as if we have an empty slate.

I’ll be honest.  Change is uncomfortable.  Humans find comfort in that which we know and have experienced.  And the old world will attempt to grip your attention to meet their fixed, insane reality. Are you ready to turn off the Hollywood style freak-show meant to distract you and to keep us from turning to each other? We can show those who haven’t woken up yet that they no longer have to live there and that there are options.  Are you ready to do what’s necessary? Are you ready to meet in the streets and look into each others eyes? Are you ready to get to work? Signing on-line petitions can be done in the comfort of our own home but they keep us from uniting in any meaningful way. This new reality will require real effort.  We need to meet face to face as we plan and create.  And it will require energy from each and every one of us. The truth is, the answers to our new reality lie in what we’ve all been waiting for.  We find our way to each other.   

See you in the streets.

We must be the change we wish to see in the world.  ~Gandhi

OPEN LETTER TO WHOLE FOODS MARKET

6 Jun

Dear Whole Foods,

We really do appreciate your providing us with healthy, USDA organic, 100% grass fed, pesticide-free, gluten-free, soy free, dairy free, vegan, and whatever other types of foods consumers need to survive these days.  We care deeply about the food we feed ourselves and our family and we rely on the clear and honest  product labeling you provide us in order to make informed food shopping decisions. Labeling, and having the ability to make informed decisions is more important than ever, especially for those of us with food allergies, certain health conditions that require special diets, dietary decisions based on religious or ethical concerns, or those of us who simply want to feed our families the healthiest food possible.

But where you’ve failed us is stopping short of allowing us to choose between non-genetically engineered (GE) products and those that contain GE ingredients.  We don’t trust that GE products are safe.  No studies are done on these products to prove their safety and in fact we are finding animal studies to show they are dangerous to our health and the environment.  GE toxins are being found in our bloodstream and those of our unborn children. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine released a policy paper in 2009 urging all doctors to prescribe non-GMO diets for everyone, stating that animal studies show that GE food is linked to infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, organ damage, and gastrointestinal problems. They called for a moratorium on GMOs, and mandatory labeling.   Awareness of their danger is growing everyday.  Already opinion polls have shown that 95% of Americans want labeling of genetically modified food.

So why has Whole Foods chosen not to label their GE ingredients?  We wonder out loud if the cozy relationship between the CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey and Tom Vilisak, the Agriculture Secretary affects the decisions you make.  Vilisak, a staunch supporter of GE companies, believes in the co-existence of GE crops at the expense of the contamination of our natural food supply.  The truth is Whole Foods (WF) has power in the marketplace.  WF can pressure their vendors to label their GE ingredients or even transition to non-GE ingredients if they choose to do so.  WF is well aware that the market for organic food has gone up dramatically due to consumer’s health concerns, much of which is associated with their desire to avoid eating GE foods.

As a result of your reluctance to label these GE products activists have taken matters into their own hands with educating the public, creating non-GMO activist groups, having rallies around the country to bring awareness to the issue or even producing dramatic “food dumps” in front of your stores which have resulted in activists being jailed and negative attention toward Whole Foods. How much more do we have to do to get you to realize that we are serious about this labeling issue?  How many more of our activists need to be jailed before you respond to our pleas?  We aren’t backing down and we have the momentum on our side.  It’s only a matter of time before most Americans wake up to the detrimental effects of GE toxins in our food supply and in our bodies.  Unfortunately, pleas to label GE products at Whole Foods, so far, have fallen on deaf ears.

Today we stand at a threshold of change demanded by your customers.  The choices you have made so far come at the expense of the respect and trust of the community and families who once comfortably relied on Whole Foods Market to provide them with safe, clean food.  Is this really worth losing the faith of the American people?    We really need you.  You really need us.  Labeling is a win-win for all of us.  The question remains;  will Whole Foods label the GE ingredients in the products carried in their store or better yet, transition to non-GE ingredients?   We are eagerly awaiting and watching your response.

Genetically Modified Food and Autism – Is There A Connection?

30 May

A diagnosis of Autism can be one of the most devastating diagnoses a parent can hear.  At best, children with high functioning autism are able to lead, with limited social skills, somewhat normal lives.  At worst, children diagnosed with Autism will never be able to function in society.  The toll placed on the families and society is staggering.  Statistics in the United States report that 1 in 110 children have Autism today and this rate is expected to rise.

There are several factors researchers have looked at in attempting to uncover the cause of Autism, such as genetics and infections.  Many researchers believe that the cause of Autism stems from environmental factors such as vaccines and mercury.  One environmental factor that does not get a lot of attention is the ingestion of genetically modified (GM) crops.   Jeffrey Smith’s recent article entitled Dangerous Toxins from Genetically Modified Plants found in Women and Fetuses brings to light the idea that a possible cause of Autism is the Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) toxin found in patented, transgenic corn and cottonseed crops.  Smith, Director of The Institute for Responsible Technology and bestselling author, connects the dots between the evidence of toxicity of Bt and the severe immune, neurological, digestive, dermatological, and cognitive problems found to be associated with it.

Bt plants are created through the manipulation of corn or cottonseed DNA by adding a gene from the micro-organism Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt).  A research study in 2009 concluded that Bt had a deleterious effect on the kidney, liver, detoxifying organs, heart, adrenal glands, and spleen in rats who were fed GM corn.  The authors also suggested that other unintended consequences of the genetic modification cannot be ruled out.1 The recent study done in Canada, which Smith has brought to the forefront, found Bt toxin in the blood of non-pregnant women, pregnant women and fetuses.2  He explains that Bt plants continuously produce a pesticide which causes death to insects by breaking open their stomachs.   The only human study ever conducted found the undigested DNA from GM Roundup herbicide resistant soy inside the intestines of study participants.   Smith speculates that the DNA of Bt toxin found in the bloodstream of women and fetuses may indicate that it may also remain in our guts upon consumption.  This in turn may be producing a “human pesticide factory” in our guts leading to leaky gut syndrome.  He suggests that leaky gut syndrome from the Bt toxin and the lack of a blood/brain barrier in fetuses may be causing deleterious cognitive and immune dysfunction in our young.  In other words, this toxin might be causing the increase in Autism.

What are some of the other clues that GM food might be causing the increase in Autism?  For one thing, the increase in Autism began only after the introduction of GM organisms into our food supply. Autism rates increased dramatically in the mid to late 1990′s.3  Thus, increased Autism rates coincide perfectly with the introduction of GM food.  There are also other disorders which have been on the rise since the introduction of GM food that may be induced from a “leaky gut syndrome” including a huge increase and severity in allergic reactions to food substances, asthma, gastrointestinal disorders, and debilitating syndromes such as chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.   The rate of chronic health conditions among children in the United States increased from 12.8% in 1994 to 26.6% in 2006, particularly for asthma, obesity, and behavior and learning problems, according to results of a study published in the 2010 paper in Journal of the American Medical Association.4  An increase in pet allergies has also been noted since the introduction of GM foods into their food supply.

Another clue might come from comparing Autism rates in countries that do not consume, ban or label GM food and those that consume them freely.  Finding statistics on the prevalence of Autism in other countries is difficult.  But, it’s no secret that the United States has the highest rate of Autism in the world and is also the leading producer and consumer of GM crops.   It is also one of the only industrialized countries that does not label the GM ingredients in food so that consumers unsuspectingly eat them.  Ronnie Cummin’s from the Organic Consumer Association wrote “there are almost no GMOs in Europe, because under EU law, as demanded by consumers, all foods containing GMOs or GMO ingredients must be labeled. Consumers have the freedom to choose or not to consume GMOs, while farmers, food processors, and retailers have (at least legally) the right to lace foods with GMOs, as long as they are labeled.”5  A 2009 comparison of the prevalence of Autism in other countries showed Autism in France was 4 times lower than the US, Iceland rates were found to be 7 times lower, and Denmark, another country with mandatory labeling requirements, had 14 times lower Autism rates than the US.6  Overall, it appears that the countries that label, limit or ban GMO’s have lower rates of Autism.

Whether the ingestion of Bt toxin creates the potential for a child to acquire Autism or whether this toxin, combined with the adjuvants from vaccines or other environmental factors, push an infants cognitive functioning beyond it’s capacity should be researched further.

How much longer must we sit idly by while our food supply is poisoned?  How many more children will end up having Autism before we say we’ve had enough?  Get involved!  For more information contact The Institute for Responsible Technology and join the Tipping Point Action Network .  The Organic Consumer association / Millions Against Monsanto and their Truth in Labeling Campaign is also a great way to get involved.  If you live in California join the effort to label GMOs by getting an initiative on the 2012 ballot at labelgmos.org.  If you live in Southern California get involved in our activism group GMO Free Southern California on Facebook.

The future of our world is at stake.

1. Biolsci.org http://www.biolsci.org/v05p0706.htm

2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21338670

3. Wing L, Potter D. The epidemiology of autistic spectrum disorders: is the prevalence rising? Ment Retard Dev Disabil Res Rev. 2002;8(3):151–61. doi:10.1002/mrdd.10029. PMID 12216059.

4.  Van Cleave J, Gortmaker SL, Perrin JM Dynamics of obesity and chronic health conditions among children and youth. JAMA. 2010;303:623-30.

5.  http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_22240.cfm

6. http://www.rescuepost.com/files/gr-autism_and_vaccines_world_special_report1.pdf

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