Friday, December 15, 2017

Health: The Dangers of Allowing a Global Monopoly

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Health: The Dangers of Allowing a Global Monopoly

 

Those in the industry may have heard that recently, Nestle purchased Atrium Innovations, a Quebec supplement maker. The brands that will be affected by this US $2.3 billion purchase are: Garden of Life, Pure Encapsulations, Wobenzym, AOV, Douglas Laboratories, Genestra Brands, Klean Athlete, Minami Nutrition, Orthica, Pharmax, and Trophic.

Many natural health retailers have expressed outrage over this purchase, given Nestle's ethical track record. The company made news when they tapped a natural spring in California, taking water from the drought-stricken community and forcing them to purchase it at an inflated rate. They commonly use cheap, third world labour--including child labour, which prompted a lawsuit against them last year.

These are just the more recent indiscretions, though. Nestle is a giant company, with properties which include baby food, bottled water, breakfast cereals, coffee and tea, confectionery, dairy products, ice cream, frozen food, pet foods, and snacks. Let's take a look at their history in some of these areas. Early on, Nestle promoted their infant formula to impoverished nations. However, this was problematic for multiple reasons. For one, these countries generally did not have access to clean water, so boiling would have been required. Even this was not clear to the mothers, though, due to low literacy rates. Even mothers who were literate struggled to understand the instructions for sterilization. Compounding the problem, mothers tried to stretch the formula out so it would last longer, which meant they used less than was instructed. Perhaps worst of all, while Nestle would offer free formula samples to mothers in the hospital, once they were out, parents had to buy formula. Nestle did not take responsibility for these problems, but said something should be done about the lack of clean drinking water--which also became a convenient way to promote their bottled water later.

Nestle is actually the world's largest producer of bottled water, and they are quite protective of their products. Nestle Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe once stated that the idea of water as a public right is "extreme." In fact, in 2000, the company advocated to change access to drinking water from a "right" to a "need." They drain their aquifers as much as possible; yet, in California, where much of their water is sourced, there is no legal means to force Nestle to disclose how much water they are taking. Similar problems are happening in Pakistan, where a Nestle well left locals without potable water. Ironically, although Nestle owns so many aquifers, at times they have been known to bottle tap water!

In 2005, the International Labor Rights Fund filed a lawsuit against Nestle on behalf of three Malian children who had been trafficked, forced into slavery, and regularly beaten. An independent audit by the Fair Labor Association found that Nestle had multiple violations of their own supplier code, and had not carried out checks against child labour and abuse and, by extension, had not done much to improve those conditions, either.

There are many more areas of concern surrounding Nestle, which are expanded upon more here. It should be noted, though, that Nestle is not the only giant conglomerate that now owns supplement brands. New Chapter is owned by Procter & Gamble, and Clorox owns Renew Life. According to Clorox, part of Renew Life's appeal was that its gross profit margins were "generally in line with its existing portfolio."

With such huge conglomerates taking over natural products, something is bound to get lost in the shuffle. The conglomerates will not slow down the production process to ensure natural quality standards are in place. Instead, they will want to streamline operations and minimize costs as much as possible, which is where China comes in. As China's influence has grown in other markets, it has also grown in the natural industry as well. In fact, the Seattle Times reported that China has over 90 per cent of the Vitamin C market in the United States. The book Global Price Fixing: Our Customers are the Enemy also notes that China played a large role in drowning out the US market for B1, B2, B6, B12, and folic acid. However, disclosing the country of origin is not a requirement for supplement labelling. This should be concerning, as food safety scandals are commonplace in China--their top vitamin and supplement production areas are among the world's most polluted. Stateside protections for these products are also weak, at best: only 2 per cent of all vitamins and supplements are inspected, and even USDA organic standards place no limit on heavy metal contamination for certified organic foods.

Where does this leave consumers? Unfortunately, the window of reliable natural brands is shrinking, so those who want to support the natural industry should do their homework about which brands have not been bought out. We are one of those few brands. We would encourage customers to vote with their dollars, and support like-minded companies. 
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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Frankenfish Causing Added Environmental Toxins to the Ocean Food Chain and Endangering Human Health

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Frankenfish Causing Added Environmental Toxins to the Ocean Food Chain and Endangering Human Health

 

Most people in the natural health industry are aware of the barrage of toxins we are exposed to every day. Environmental toxins carry over to plants, which carry over to animals--commonly livestock. However, cows and cow byproducts are not the only products affected. Fish are affected, as well, and just last month, we saw the ramifications of that playing out on the news.

A fish processing plant near Campbell River, B.C. was found to be spewing fish blood containing a contagious virus known as Piscine reovirus, or PRV. First discovered in Canada in 2011, PRV is a potentially deadly disease that causes heart lesions and organ hemorrhaging in fish. It is currently estimated to affect up to 80 per cent of B.C.'s farmed salmon. The virus also has the capability to wipe out up to a fifth of a farmed salmon population. Although the virus is not thought to be transmittable to humans, its consequences could be devastating for wild salmon populations--as well as anyone dependent on wild salmon for food, such as bears, whales, or people. It was also discovered that a second fish processing plant near Tofino was spewing the same toxic contents into the ocean.

This problem is only complicated by imported Atlantic salmon, according to biologist Alexander Morton. Atlantic salmon are actually imported from Norway, and because they are not native to Canada's west coast, there is growing concern that raising Atlantic salmon in Pacific salmon farms is causing irreparable damage to the B.C. coast. PRV is a common occurrence in the Atlantic salmon, which has transferred over to wild salmon, as well. Morton's team has trouble finding infected wild salmon for examination, though, because the disease makes them easy prey.

In fact, in 2015, Norway ranked heart and skeletal muscle inflammation (HSMI) as the number 3 killer of farmed salmon. Studies have shown that PRV and HSMI are directly connected. However, the province of B.C. was slow to acknowledge it, partially because the province used a unique definition to diagnose HSMI, instead of the international definition. Federal fishery law is also a factor that has affected government response. Although Canadian law says it is illegal to transfer diseased or infected fish info Canadian oceans, the B.C. farmed fish industry is doing it all the time, and judicial efforts to change the practice have been overturned, so far.

The problem is so prevalent that it was even covered on 60 Minutes in 2014. Ian Roberts, spokesperson of fishery giant Marine Harvest, argued that by raising farmed salmon, wild salmon are not as endangered. However, this argument collapses in the face of statistics showing the correlation of salmon farms and the decline of wild salmon populations. It also provides an interesting contrast to Alaska, which has banned salmon farms statewide. Instead, the state practices "ocean ranching"--using hatcheries to rear juvenile fish before releasing them into the ocean. Alaska currently has the largest wild salmon fishery in the world.

Despite these concerns, the current way of doing things does not show any signs of slowing down--the demand is too great. Canada is the prime exporter of seafood to the U.S., which was, as of 2010, the third largest seafood market in the world, only superseded by Japan and China.

As with anything health-related, the only way to be safe is to do research. First, savvy consumers should only eat wild, non-GMO seafood. Second, do research into which companies are best to buy from--who is the most transparent? Buy from them and support them. As we have seen before, "natural" doesn't mean much these days. Third, take endocrine and immunity-boosting supplements to strengthen your body's defenses. We recommend Thyroid Support Homeopathic and Thymus Gland.
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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Sexual Health or Sexual Addiction?

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Sexual Health or Sexual Addiction?

 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently issued a formal apology from the government to past LGBTQ2 military and government service workers. Particularly in the Cold War era, public service workers were submitted to tests to determine if they might have same-sex attraction. Because many careers were sidelined or ended due to employee's sexuality, the government has also earmarked $100 million for compensation for these employees.

Discrimination is wrong, and so is abuse. As we have seen in the news, more and more news of abuse has been surfacing--particularly in the media community. Producer Harvey Weinstein, actor Kevin Spacey, screenwriter/director James Toback, actor Ben Affleck, former President George H.W. Bush, Nickelodeon creator Chris Savino, Amazon studio head Roy Price, celebrity chef John Besh, journalist Mark Halperin, NPR editor Michael Oreskes, and Vox Media editorial director Lockhart Steele are just some of the prominent figures accused of sexual harassment. More recently, actor Jeffrey Tambor and NBC Today host Matt Lauer were also accused sexual harassment. Even seemingly unlikely victims of harassment have come forward, such as actor Terry Crews. Undoubtedly, even though most of the more publicized perpetrators have been men, there have probably been women who have abused their positions of power, as well.

With Playboy's first nude spread of Marilyn Monroe in 1953, Hugh Hefner is widely credited with bringing the "sexual revolution" to the forefront of popular culture. As sexual imagery has become more common, though, problems related to sexuality have abounded, as well. Young children are being taught various sexual intricacies. Young adults find themselves unable to sexually perform without pharmaceutical help because their senses have been dulled by overexposure to highly fetishized pornography. The sad irony is that although the "sexual revolution" was supposed to free society from prudism, in some ways it has only reinforced the more barbaric notion that people are objects for self-pleasure and self-gratification, with no further consequences or personal investment or required.

According to statistics, more than 70% of men aged 18-34 visit a pornography site in a month. Ten percent of all adults admit to an Internet sexual addiction, and 28% of those are women. When generations of young people are steeped in the notion of sex without consequences or personal connection, can we truly be surprised to learn that some abuse positions of power for sexual favours? Or that more men are avoiding committed relationships altogether?

In November 2014, The Institute for the Study of Labor (ISL) in Germany released a study of over a thousand surveys of men aged 18 to 35. In the study, they found that porn makes marriage less attractive to men. To explain the phenomena, Dr. Judith Reisman used the example of a gypsy moth experiment in the 1960s. Gypsy moths were imported into the US to create a better type of silk; however, the moths quickly began destroying trees, and the population had to be culled. After several failed attempts, scientists developed pellets that had an overpowering synthetic version of female gypsy moth scent. When mating season came, there were plenty of females available, but the males did not find them; they were too distracted seeking out the stronger, synthetic scent. Because the scent of real females couldn't compete, mating did not occur and the gypsy moths died. As Dr. Reisman explained, that is essentially what has happened to the human population with porn. We have conditioned ourselves with unrealistic fantasies, and no longer find satisfaction with real-life people.

Addictions, be it drugs, alcohol, or our sexuality, are not healthy. Even if they give pleasure, it is a sickness and it should be treated appropriately.
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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Dangers of Profiling, Data Collection and Anticipating Disease Outcomes

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The Dangers of Profiling, Data Collection and Anticipating Disease Outcomes

 

What the movie Minority Report showed for the future of law enforcement, the data collection for potential health issues and subsequent drugs will do for pharmaceutical industry. If pharma decides a person or family is at risk due to monitoring their every movement, and especially if they have children, what will happen? What if the parents are natural health advocates and choose non-pharmaceutical treatment methods? Will Big Pharma force their agenda onto such a family? Questions and concerns like these are troublesome. Remember the global response for the H1N1 vaccine. What if they do the same for HPV vaccines and force healthy children to be vaccinated? Especially since it is mainly passed on from oral sex, will the message be "vaccinate and party on" or instead "know your partner and practice safe sex?" Will we be left with a choice?

This immunological profiling might be closer than we think. The Lancet has published multiple articles recommending it for community-acquired pneumonia and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. As wearable health-monitoring technology has become more popular, manufacturers, such as those behind Helo, are looking for ways to extend that technology to include alerts to doctors, etc. As data collection becomes more intrusive, where will the line be? Will we be allowed to monitor our own health and make health-related decisions privately?

To quote a BMJ article: "There's a lot of money to be made from telling healthy people they're sick. Some forms of medicalising ordinary life may now be better described as
disease mongering: widening the boundaries of treatable illness in order to expand markets for those who sell and deliver treatments. Pharmaceutical companies are actively involved in sponsoring the definition of diseases and promoting them to both prescribers and consumers. The social construction of illness is being replaced by the corporate construction of disease."

The issue I have with this sort of collection is applying the pharmaceutical solution mainly with drugs, vaccinations and treating the anticipated disease before it happens as a means of preventing the disease that has yet to surface. I saw this coming about years ago: drugging healthy people out of fear rather than utilizing lifestyle changes and healthy living.

Rather than allow fear mongering, we are advising healthy prevention. When the sickness campaign gets underway, turn away from these lies and corporate profiteering, and instead invest in your family's health by eating organic, taking professional quality nutraceuticals to keep you healthy, and changing the mindset from the ear of sickness to the excitement of health. Both sickness and disease start within the mind, and depending on the pathway of choice, either to healthy living or to lifetime dependency on pharmaceutical drugs with side effects. We say no to selling sickness and yes to selling health.
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Copyright © *|2017|* *|Doctor's Choice TM|*, All rights reserved.


Our Contact Info is:
Address: P.O. Box 1696 Station Main, Cochrane, AB T4C 1B6
Tel: 866-226-1722
Fax: 866-226-1822
E-mail: info@doctorschoice.ca
Web: www.doctorschoice.ca

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