June 30th, 2014Let’s Get Real

David Christopher MH

 

This is not an endorsement nor an approval but a call to get real. The definition of a Schedule I Substance is “the most dangerous drugs with no currently accepted medical use”. Schedule II Substances have recognized medical uses. Cocaine is a Schedule II drug, while Cannabis is classified in the most dangerous category of Schedule I. This virtually prevents needed research on Cannabis, given the convoluted research approval process involving DEA, FDA and PHS (Public Health Service). Because of the governments’ phobia over this plant I fear the only organizations capable of maneuvering through government regulations are giant pharmaceutical companies, which will create and get approval of drugs that will be derived, or worse, synthesized, from this cannabis plant.

 

Medicinal plants are safe from dangerous side effects in comparison to the isolated drugs that are created from them. History has proven that amazing results from medicinal plants disappear after synthetic drugs are created. It is impossible to find coca leaves anywhere in the USA but resourceful people have made its’ derivative, cocaine, available practically everywhere.

Hundreds of effective drugs have been derived from poppy but try finding that species anywhere in our country. The opiates were extracted from the plant and opium became a major addictive problem. Pharmaceuticals then created a drug to “cure” opium addiction. Isn’t that like curing a man who gets drunk on whiskey by putting him on vodka? Well the cure for opium addiction became a bigger problem than the opium itself and it is now the #1 plague in America. The pharmaceutical drug that was created to solve the plague of opium addiction was heroin!!! Now that it has hit the streets it cannot be reined in.

Cannabis is not “THE” gate way drug, OxyContin and the other pharmaceutical super addictive pain killers are “THE” most prevalent gate way drugs. When patients cannot get a prescription or cannot afford the price, they find heroine as cheap as $4 a bag, conveniently available on the street. Efforts should obviously be made to legalize medicinal plants before their derivatives become the next cocaine or heroin.

 

David Christopher is a Master Herbalist and the director of The School of Natural Healing. He also co-hosts the popular radio show “A Healthier You” and is a popular international teacher and lecturer.  


Angela Sannapu M.H. Dip.H.Ir., Phoenix, AZ

The School of Natural Healing’s motto is “Cleanse and Nourish”. Many questions arise as to finding the best ways to nourish. A common question today is “Are GMOs a concern in healthy eating?” Genetically Modified Organism, or GMO for short, is an organism in which the genetic material (the DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally. [1] There are no rules and no regulations (in the US) as to what parts of DNA can be used or even as to what species may be crossed with others. The majority of GMOs are food crops.  Pesticides and herbicides developed from bacteria are inserted into the DNA of the food supply to make them pest resistant or immune to the herbicide sprays.

 

For the US, the percentages of GMO crops include:

 

Soy (94%)

Cotton (90%)

Canola (90%)

Sugar beets (95%)

Corn (88%)

Hawaiian papaya (more than 50%)

Zucchini and yellow squash (over 24,000 acres are GMO). [2]

 

The food crops listed above produce a known toxin within every cell of the plant. As a result, the original DNA of the plant has been permanently altered or mutated forever. Research finds many of these mutations are not known before entering the market. Molecular biologist and protein chemist David Schubert states, “Introduction of one gene usually alters the gene expression pattern of the whole cell, and typically each cell type of the organism will respond differently.” [3] Therefore, a GMO is a new kind of plant or organism altogether and we do not know how it will react in our bodies or the environment.

 

Cotton and corn crops are most commonly altered with Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). This bacterium is known to rapidly paralyze the invading insect’s digestive system thereby destroying it. Bt has also been linked to allergies and illnesses in humans and other mammals. [3] The Bt found in genetically engineered crops is “1,500-3,000 times the level found in sprayed plants. Since the Bt-toxin is exempted from the requirement of a tolerance, there are no legal limits as to how much can be expressed in food.”[3] If the spray is known to affect humans, how much more can we expect from the DNA inserted food?

There is also the question of “Anti-nutrients” which “are compounds that decrease the nutritional value of food, usually by making a nutrient unavailable or indigestible.” [3] These are commonly discovered in GMO crops. It is also found that one GMO crop can differ in nutritional value considerably compared to the next. Therefore, this would seriously question the school’s motto of “nourish” since the exact nourishment is unknown. No long term safety studies have ever been conducted on the effects of exposure to, or the consumption of GMOs, let alone the effects on the environment.

We do know these facts:

GMO foods came into the market in late 1990’s and early 2000’s.

Soy allergies skyrocked by 50% in the UK, soon after GE soy was introduced. [3]

Bee Colony Collapse Disorder has threatened our pollenated plants since at least 2005.

There is an alarming rise of food allergies and their severity over the past 10 years.

Increase of digestive disturbances in humans over the past 10 years.

Appearance of “superbugs” and “superweeds” that are becoming less and less responsive to pesticides and herbicides.

There is no nutritional or environmental benefit from either growing or consuming GMO food.  In fact, the exact opposite may be true. To avoid becoming an experiment in this “Genetic Roulette” become aware of what you eat!  Look for organic. The “USDA Organic” label prohibits GE in their products. Also look for the “Non-GMO Project Verified Seal”. READ ALL food labels. If there is corn or soy listed in any form, it is most likely GE. Sugar is almost certainly a combination of sugar cane and GMO sugar beets. Dairy must be labeled no rBGH, no rBST, or no artificial hormones in order to be free of the GMO bovine growth hormone.

If the safety of GMO’s matters to you then let your voice be heard. Be alert to government regulations and bills in office. Call up companies and restaurants to inquire if they have GMO ingredients they may be using. Let them know you will not patronize a GMO friendly business. Encourage them to “go organic”.

Angela Sannapu is a Master Herbalist from the School of Natural Healing as well as a Diplomat in Holistic Iridology from the Internal Institute of Iridology. Angela may be reached for natural healing advice via her website at www.HerbalByte.com

 

[1] World Health Organization (WHO) definition of GMO

[2] http://www.responsibletechnology.org/faqs Date Aug 2013

[3] Smith, Jeffrey M.  Genetic Roulette Yes! Books 2007. Pages 5, 14, 68, 94, 95, 97

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June 13th, 2012Disturbing Legislation

By: Amanda Goodsell

I have seen some disturbing legislation during my career but Sen. Dick Durbin’s new bill “Dietary Supplement Labeling Act of 2011″ is a head scratcher. This bill asks for additional enforcement by the FDA on the Dietary Supplement Industry. To some that may sound like a reasonable request, but before you make up your mind as to whether or not you would support this bill let us break it down.

 

First and foremost we must ask ourselves why Senator Durbin would feel there is a need for this bill. In a recent legislative session Senator Durbin discussed baked goods that contain melatonin, because they are marketed as dietary supplements, these food products do not require approval by the FDA for use as additives in food. This issue is hilarious to me because the Dietary Supplement Industry is already subject to DSHEA and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP’s) for Dietary Supplements. These two pieces of legislation are more strict than the Food GMP’s. For example dietary supplement GMP’s require that each ingredient be tested for identity. This testing ensures transparency for the customer. Food GMP’s do not require identity testing. So when you purchase and ingest a food product you may or may not be eating what you think you are eating.

In addition to identity testing, Dietary Supplement companies comply with strict labeling guidelines. For example each ingredient must be listed on the label and in the order of the highest amount to the lowest amount in the product. We as consumers have a responsibility to educate ourselves and decide what we believe are appropriate foods and supplements for us to take. Apparently Senator Durbin believes that the American population is not smart enough to make basic decisions regarding their own health.

 

There is one thing I do agree with Senator Durbin on and that is that there are irresponsible companies marketing dangerous products that do not comply with the Dietary Supplement GMP’s. These companies are the exception not the rule! We differ in our opinion as how to handle this problem. I believe that the FDA should exercise the power that they already have and perform regular onsite audits. This is not happening in our industry. I have worked in the industry for 12 years and our company has been audited once! According to an article in the Huffington post the FDA is so understaffed it inspects less than one percent of imported food.

 

So in conclusion it seems pure lunacy to give the FDA more to do when they are too underfunded and understaffed to police the various industries they watch over. I believe that all Americans and for that matter all human beings should have access to dietary supplements that have the ability to enrich their lives. We live in a time where we must fight for the rights and privileges that we rightfully deserve. I personally hope that I do not live to see the day where we are told what we can and cannot eat, to me that is the day that freedom dies. I would encourage all who read this to educate themselves before the next elections and support those like Senator Orin Hatch who have fought for the natural product industry on these issues.

 

Amanda Goodsell is Director of Operations at Wholistic Botanicals LLC.


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