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December 2005/January 2006 Feingold Email Newsletter
Dear Feingold Association Members & Friends,
- Health Freedom Protection Act Bill - introduced
- Mercury and Babies - new info
- Medicine Look-alike - warning
- Sunlight and Additives
- In the UK: The Sun Sets on Sunset Yellow (Yellow #6, E110)
- Pink Turkey
- Corn Syrup
- Organic .... or not?
[ ] HEALTH FREEDOM PROTECTION ACT BILL
Congressman Ron Paul of Texas made history recently when he introduced a bill intended to give us back our First Amendment rights as consumers to receive truthful information regarding the benefits of foods and dietary supplements.
See what he said. If you wish to send him your comment, see the link to email him near top of the page.
[ ] MERCURY and BABIES - NEW INFO
Environ Health Perspect 113: 1015-1021 (2005).
Most consumers believe that the products we use, especially food additives and medicines, have been carefully studied to ensure that they are safe, but this is often not the case. It is especially disturbing for Feingold members, who have sensitive children, to learn that the preservative that has long been used in vaccines has not even been studied for safety.
The journal, Environmental Health Perspectives, has recently published a scientific study entitled: Comparison of Blood and Brain Mercury Levels in Infant Monkeys Exposed to Methylmercury or Vaccines Containing Thimerosal.
For those of you who like to read the science, the abstract and the full text are available.
Since the 1930's, thimerosal (50% ethyl mercury) has been used in vaccines given to children, but this is the first time it has actually been studied!! Until now, it has been assumed that this chemical was acceptable because another chemical (methyl mercury) was considered safe. Or at least, they thought that they knew how much of the ethyl mercury could be used, based on how much of the methyl mercury seemed to be safe. This continued in spite of a study in 2001 showing that mercury levels after vaccination were in the toxic range (Brown 2001)
By giving methyl mercury to some monkeys, and vaccines to others, the scientists have discovered, after all these years, that they DO NOT KNOW the risk of thimerosal, and that they cannot use what they know about methyl mercury to guess at it.
Their conclusion is: "Knowledge of the toxicokinetics and developmental toxicity of thimerosal is needed to afford a meaningful assessment of the developmental effects of thimerosal-containing vaccines. "
In plain English, this means that if you want to know how dangerous it is to use thimerosal, then THAT'S the one you better study, not something else.
It also means that we have given several generations of Americans vaccines about which we do not know the dangers, and we are continuing to do it every day.
In other studies on mercury, (Mutter 2005 and Mutter 2005-a) it is shown that those children who become autistic have an apparently genetic inability to handle toxic metals such as mercury. It's too bad that becoming autistic seems to be the only way, so far, that such children are identified.
[ ] MEDICINE LOOK-ALIKE -- WARNING
A long-time Feingold mom, Janet Presson, wrote to us about her experience with an artificially flavored medicine. Janet is the president of A Small Miracle, a company that provides help to families of autistic children in the Goldsboro, NC area. She writes the following:
Our son, Rob, takes Lamictal, an anti-seizure med, and has been on it for a couple of years now with excellent results. This past week we noticed Rob having some staring spells (possible petit-mal seizures) and some stimming (lining things up, etc) which we hadn't seen in years. There have been no diet changes as he is on a very strict gluten and casein-free, corn and soy-free, [combined with] Feingold diet. Anyhow, I had an "aha" moment on Sunday morning when I was refilling Rob's pill container for the week with his Lamictal and supplements. The Lamictal smelled like fruit punch! I checked the label and it stated the pills could be chewed. When I went to the pharmacy this morning to question this, they realized they had given Rob the Lamictal chewables instead of the usual pills (they look the same). Parents need to be aware that there are two different formulations and that the chewables have a flavoring that some children react to. I will be emailing Rob's doctor so he will be aware of this but I know you can reach a lot of people with your newsletter and I think this is important that the word gets out. Thanks!
------ Janet Presson, R.N., M.Ed.
[ ] SUNLIGHT and ADDITIVES
A new study on the combination of sunlight with various flavorings and preservatives yielded interesting results. Dr. F.M. Salih found that the combination of sunlight with each of the additives studied (except salt and citric acid) increased mutations in the bacteria being studied, coming to the conclusion that "further investigations to evaluate the risk" are needed. What does this mean for us? Perhaps if your Feingolder decides to cheat on the diet, he should do it more safely in the closet? Or, perhaps it is just one more reason to use the Feingold Program for the whole family.
[ ] IN THE UK: THE SUN SETS on SUNSET YELLOW (FD&C Yellow #6, E110)
Last April, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) contacted food color makers after new information came to light - that the manufacturing process for the common food dye Sunset Yellow (FD&C Yellow #6) could create low levels of the carcinogenic Sudan 1 red dye, which is illegal.
According to FSA, it was a result of a chemical reaction between the various chemicals used in the color manufacture - an accident, in other words, that only happens in one out of four batches. (Where else but in a government organization would a one in four occurrence be considered an accident?)
Meanwhile, confronted by growing consumer demand for natural and healthy foods, food makers are looking for alternatives to artificial food colors like Sunset Yellow (FD&C Yellow #6) and Tartrazine (FD&C Yellow #5).
In July this year, for example, the UK's Co-op chain banned these colors, along with several others, in direct response to consumer concerns.
Market figures confirm the trend. While the European coloring market in general has been growing at only 1 percent per year, the natural food coloring market has been growing at the impressive rate of more than 10 percent per year.
[ ] PINK TURKEY
A most astonishing article quietly published in the journal of Poultry Science, in 1999, is concerned that when turkey breast meat is treated with the preservatives nitrite or nicotinamide it turns pink during storage as "deli meats," which makes purchasers think that it is undercooked. They were trying a number of different chemicals to use as ingredients to reduce this unwanted pink color. A chemical called diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid was judged the most effective, but their preferred best choice of all was nonfat dry milk. The authors said it is effective at reducing the pink color, and it is already an approved nonmeat ingredient. Whether dry milk is already being used in this fashion could not be determined, but it might be prudent to avoid preservative-treated turkey if you are allergic to milk.
Moreover, even if you are not allergic to milk, milk powder often contains BHA, BHT, or TBHQ, but you would have no way of knowing that by reading an ingredient list. Here, again, is a good reason to depend on your Feingold Foodlist & Shopping Guide.
[ ] CORN SYRUP
Many Feingold members have found that they are sensitive to corn syrup and to high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). In addition to triggering learning and behavior problems in some individuals, HFCS is being cited as a cause of other problems. Some nutritionists claim it is one of the leading causes of obesity and is linked to diabetes. The average American consumed 62.6 pounds of high fructose corn syrup in 2001, most of which came from soft drinks. Since HFCS is used as a substitute for other sugars (particularly sucrose) in processed foods, it is not clear whether it is the chemical differences between sugars or a general increase in consumption of sugars of all types that might be linked with obesity.
See more about it at Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia.
See what nutritionist Beatrice Trum Hunter said about it in 1971.
[ ] BUTTER
Dr. Bill, The Computer Curmudgeon, in his rumination on computers, the web, life, universe ... and everything, has an interesting article on butter and its comparison with margarine.
Those of us old enough may remember that margarine originally came with the coloring separate -- to be mixed with it in order to make that nice yellow coloring we associate with spreads for bread. Also, back then, all restaurants were required to provide the "real thing." Now, alas, they generally have some sort of "spread" in a little container that may never even need refrigeration, but you can still often get real butter if you ask nicely.
[ ] ORGANIC ....... OR NOT?
If you buy organic produce, milk, etc., because they are produced without synthetic substances, you might be interested in what recently happened as Congress approved the U.S. Department of Agriculture's fiscal 2006 budget. A last-minute amendment to the bill specified that certain artificial ingredients could be used in organic food. This injects Congress directly into the debate over whether artificial ingredients and industrial chemicals should be allowed in products labeled organic.
The Organic Consumers Association, Consumers Union, The Center for Food Safety, and other advocacy and consumer watchdog groups unsuccessfully fought against passage of the amendment. Their reactions are reflected in "Organic Farmers & Consumers Protest Sneak Attack on Organic Standards by Congress."