Monday, April 30, 2007

PCBs cause autism-like condition in newborn rats

From the Los Angeles Times:

Traces of a chemical banned 30 years ago cause brain abnormalities in newborn lab animals that are similar to defects in children with autism, according to a new study by University of California scientists.

Many scientists say that an array of chemicals in the environment are scrambling brain development and could play a role in children's learning disorders.

The new study adds to the evidence by showing that PCBs, polychlorinated biphenyls, disrupt the auditory cortex, a part of the brain that is impaired in autistic children....The new research shows brain development is skewed when animals are exposed to amounts of PCBs in the same range as some highly exposed people. It will be published in this week's online Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

...Last year, two internationally known environmental scientists reported in a medical journal that industrial chemicals may be causing a "silent pandemic" of learning disorders. Dr. Philippe Grandjean of Harvard School of Public Health and Dr. Philip J. Landrigan of Mount Sinai School of Medicine identified 202 chemicals — including PCBs and mercury — that could be contributing to autism, attention deficit disorders and other neurological disorders, and they urged more human studies.

read more here.


PCBs are the stuff GE (good old Jack Welch) was dumping into the Hudson River and refusing to clean up:

GE also purposely put waste PCBs in sand that it gave away to people to use as fillers for building and play sand for children:

Farmed salmon is a huge source of PCBs. Our buddies at the Environmental Working Group say some supermarket salmon tested SO HIGH they recommended NEVER EAT MORE THAN ONCE. Don't eat, period, please! Fish farming is also horrible for the environment.

Friday, April 27, 2007

When Life and "The Onion" converge, you know it's getting scary out there

Here's the New York Times on a chemical additive that give microwave popcorn a "buttery" flavor:

April 25, 2007

WASHINGTON, April 24 — Seven years ago, a Missouri doctor discovered a troubling pattern at a microwave popcorn plant in the town of Jasper. After an additive was modified to produce a more buttery taste, nine workers came down with a rare, life-threatening disease that was ravaging their lungs.

...On diacetyl, Mr. Foulke said “the science is murky” on whether the additive causes bronchiolitis obliterans, the disease that has been called “popcorn worker’s lung.” That claim is echoed by some industry officials, but a number of leading scientists and doctors agree with scientists at the national occupational safety institute that there is strong evidence linking the additive to the illness...

Among those who testified Tuesday was Eric Peoples, a former worker at the popcorn plant in Jasper, a small town 125 miles south of Kansas City. Once healthy, the 35-year-old Mr. Peoples has been told by doctors that he will need a double-lung transplant. Far from Washington, he finds the debate over the calculus of regulation — the costs to companies and consumers of upgrading workplaces versus the possible health benefits to workers — baffling.

I can’t understand what it would take to get them to pass rules to make it safer to handle this stuff,” Mr. Peoples said, referring to diacetyl. “Something needs to be done.”

...It is added for the buttery taste in microwave popcorn and widely used as a flavoring agent in other foods, like snacks and pastries.

...Health experts have not raised alarms about diacetyl vapors that are released when consumers make microwave popcorn. But they note that there is little science on the issue, and the Environmental Protection Agency has declined to make public the results of its studies.

And here's the Onion:

202 Chemicals Linked To ADHD, Autism

Researchers have identified 202 industrial chemicals and compounds that may be linked to the rise in autism and ADHD. What do you think?

Young Man

Hector Dayton,
Office Supply Salesperson
"The evidence is weak. We should pour many more chemicals on children to see if they develop autism and ADHD before making any conclusions"

Black Man

Pete Alpert,
Systems Analyst
"If just one of those chemicals is responsible for making my Doritos nacho cheesier, I say we keep it in."

Watch before you eat. I sure hope they don't make "organic" microwave popcorn...uggghhh

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Beef diet 'damages sons' sperm'

Again, why on earth do we want to dump antibiotics and HORMONES into stuff we're going to eat? I saw an article on veal where the farmer said he put so much crap (drugs, steroids, etc.) into the poor little calf that he would NOT let his friends eat his products. I know the stuff looks the same in the supermarket, but you might want to consider organic, grassfed.

Got this from the BBC NEWS:

Scientists have produced evidence to suggest that Europe was right to ban the beef industry from using growth promoters to increase yield.

A US study has linked use of the chemicals to damage to human sperm.

Read more here.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Mercury damages neurons at both ends of life...

If you ever put an autistic kid and an Alzheimer patient together, it's striking what you see:
repetitive movements and speech, emotional outbursts, social withdrawal.

I got this from Terri's Newsblog:

"In sum, both the findings from epidemiological and demographical studies, the frequency of [mercury] amalgam application in industrialized countries, clinical studies, experimental studies and the dental state of Alzheimer's disease patients in comparison to controls suggest a decisive role for inorganic mercury in the etiology of Alzheimer's disease".

Another highlight, also from the abstract: "Experimental studies have found that even the smallest amounts of mercury but no other metals in low concentrations were able to cause all nerve cell changes, which are typical for Alzheimer's disease."
Full article:
Also interesting: Report: Over 5M living with Alzheimer's

Where does one get mercury? Fish, "silver" dental amalgams, vaccines, contact lens solutions, and (another reason to go green) breathing toxic emissions from coal plants. You can skip the fish and get composite amalgams, but it's hard to stop breathing...

Friday, April 20, 2007

More Makeup = More Ugly Cancer?

(sorry, I don't know what's up with this font)
Yesterday, I attended a celebration for one of my heroes, Rachel Carson. There were two great presenters, Dianne Dumanoski
is the co-author of Our Stolen Future (, which continues the story begun by Carson in Silent Spring by describing (it's depressing!) how a wide range of synthetic chemicals can disrupt delicate hormonal systems. The other presenter was Dr.Julia Brody, the
Executive Director of Silent Spring Institute, a non-profit scientific research organization dedicated to identifying links between the environment and women's health (

They were both pretty convincing showing how Rachel Carson's hypothesis that chemical exposure can cause DNA breaks that lead to breast cancer and other cancers has now been epidemiologically confirmed. That is, even if you have the "breast cancer gene" it's not a death sentence, first, the gene needs to get "switched on." And how do you do that? Pesticides! Plastics!

Chemicals in your cosmetics!

Check out this article from the Seventh Generation newsletter here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Assisted (artificial) Reproductive Technology, and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes

From the Green Journal, a magazine for Obstetricians and Gynecologists:

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development held a workshop on September 12–13, 2005, to summarize the risks for adverse pregnancy outcomes after assisted reproductive technology (ART), develop an approach to counseling couples regarding these risks, and establish a research agenda. Although the majority of ART children are normal, there are concerns about the increased risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes. More than 30% of ART pregnancies are twins or higher-order multiple gestations (triplets or greater) and more than one half of all ART neonates are the products of multifetal gestations, with an attendant increase in prematurity complications.

Assisted reproductive technology singleton pregnancies also demonstrate increased rates of perinatal complications—small for gestational age infants, preterm delivery, and perinatal mortality—as well as maternal complications, such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, placenta previa, placental abruption, and cesarean delivery. Although it is not possible to separate ART-related risks from those secondary to the underlying reproductive pathology, the overall increased frequency of obstetric complications, including preterm birth and small for gestational age neonates, should be discussed with the couple. Significant gaps in knowledge were identified, and the basic science and clinical and epidemiologic research required to address these gaps is outlined.

read more here.

Monday, April 16, 2007

More on lost bees: Tinfoil Hats for Bees!

Got this via TreeHugger:

"TreeHugger has discussed EMF before and even had some April Fools fun with it. We have also discussed the baffling loss of honey bees in America and now in the UK and Europe.Some think they are related; the theory is that radiation from mobile phones interferes with bees' navigation systems, preventing the famously homeloving species from finding their way back to their hives. Apparently 'a limited study at Landau University has found that bees refuse to return to their hives when mobile phones are placed nearby. Dr Jochen Kuhn, who carried it out, said this could provide a 'hint' to a possible cause. Dr George Carlo, who headed a massive study by the US government and mobile phone industry of hazards from mobiles in the Nineties, said: 'I am convinced the possibility is real.'

Given that CCD started in America which is a lot less dense than Europe, with lower cell phone use and where many aviaries probably don't even have cell phone coverage, and that the article continues with 'blue-chip Swedish research revealed that radiation from mobile phones killed off brain cells, suggesting that today's teenagers could go senile in the prime of their lives.' We are not making little tinfoil hats for bees yet. Strange stuff from the Independent.

Here's a previous post on the mystery of the dying/missing bees.

And I already have a tinfoil hat for our house: Earth Calm.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

US toddler burnt in park attack

This is pretty unbelievable. Plus, it underscores that while the government is busy protecting us from Vitamin C, nothing's done about drain cleaners and other household chemicals that can be lethal (Clorox, anyone?). Drain cleaner is pure lye.

"A two-year-old boy is facing surgery after receiving serious burns at a playground slide in the US that had been vandalised with harsh chemicals.

Peyton Duschl received second and third-degree burns, mostly to his legs, after using the primary school slide.

Vandals had poured industrial-strength drain cleaner over the ride, and opened bottles of the dangerous chemical were found at the scene, police said.

A hazardous materials team was called in to clean the site in Maryland state."...

Read more from the BBC here.

p.s. MAN FERTILITY says: to clean your drains, use a snake or a plunger!!!!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Multivitamins Improve Birth Outcomes Among Children Born to HIV-Negative Women in Developing Countries - April 04, 2007 -2007 Releases - Press Release

Ahem, another reason to preserve our right to buy vitamins over-the-counter:

In a new study, the largest to date, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, found that giving daily multivitamin supplements to HIV-negative women during pregnancy significantly reduced the risks of low birth weight and a small- for-gestational age birth size.

Press Releases - Harvard School of Public Health

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Health Supplements Under Fire, II

I really like a lot of the news I get from Mike Adams, Health Ranger, and so when I got another message on CODEX, I thought, this is an uh oh:

When it comes to health freedom, this is the FDA's end game. A new FDA "guidance" document, published on the FDA's website, reveals plans to reclassify virtually all vitamins, supplements, herbs and even vegetable juices as FDA-regulated drugs. Massage oils and massage rocks will be classified as "medical devices" and require FDA approval. The document is called Docket No. 2006D-0480. Draft Guidance for Industry on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Products and Their Regulation by the Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA is accepting public comments on the docket until April 30th. They tried to sneak this under the radar, but word got out and now the natural health community is up in arms over this rule. If you wish to protect your access to nutritional supplements, herbs, essential oils, homeopathic medicine or any other "complementary" or "alternative" modality, it is crucial that you take action to post your comments with the FDA right now and write your representatives in Washington to put a stop to this outrageous effort to destroy natural medicine. (And be sure to really write them. Just sending an email has virtually no impact compared to writing a physical letter in your own words.)

Click here for the direct link to the FDA's comment posting page for this docket.

This move by the FDA is designed to once and for all destroy the 1994 DSHEA law that has made supplements "legal" while eliminating nutritional supplements and natural medicine from the United States, ensuring monopoly profits and control by drug companies and the FDA. It is the latest action item by the FDA / Big Pharma conspiracy that will not stop until health freedom has been abolished, drug companies rule the nation, and every citizen is diagnosied with a fictitious disease and drugged up on monopoly-priced pharmaceuticals.

Read more here. And MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD.

Health Supplements Under Fire

Sheesh--first the compounding medicines and now I've been hearing from a lot of sources about this weird legislation called CODEX, which wants to shove most alternative practices into a "medical" setting (i.e., you'll need and MD to practice acupuncture) and will make herbs and supplements "untested and unapproved drugs" all under the slimy veneer of "consumer safety."

Seeing what the medical profession did to put the midwives out of business a century ago makes this very plausible to me. The government is taking comments until APRIL 30. If you want to protect your echinacea and Chinese herbs, better get a move on. As with most things, I'm betting the government is counting on people's inertia and apathy (should I go buy something , instead?). It's also similar to the way the government wanted to loosen organic standards (allowing sewage, for example), but wasn't able to because people made a stink.

I guess the drug companies won't be happy until they have control over everything.

Here's something I received from (you can sign a petition at their site):

There is a crisis in health freedom. On April 30, 2007 the FDA will close the public comment period on a "Guidance" which will classify every alternative practice as medicine so that only licensed physicians can carry out the procedure AND vitamins, minerals, herbs, etc., will suddenly become "untested drugs" which will be forbidden.

Bad? Real Bad! But public outcry can stop this assault on your health and your freedom.

Spread the word! Tell everyone in your Circle of Influence, professionals, alternative practitioners, nutrient and herb companies, everyone! Let them know how important their participation is to make sure the FDA backs off from this repressive course.

Please share this link with them and urge them to take action:

Yours in health and freedom,

Rima E. Laibow, MD
Medical Director
Natural Solutions Foundation

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

JibJab's Big Box Mart

If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you're probably familiar with all my screeds against big box retailers like Wal-Mart. If you haven't (or if you have), check out this video from our friends at JibJab (who brought us that sidesplitting Bush-Kerry video).

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

REVIEW: Timothy Han ORGANIC+ ETHICAL Soy Candles

Okay, candle lovers, besides the danger of fire (keep candles away from curtains, please!) candles are actually one of the major sources of indoor air pollution. Conventional, paraffin wax-based candles have the following problems:
  • particulates/soot (plus, carcinogens)
  • petroleum derived wax (more carcinogens)
  • lead and other metals in candle wicks (highly toxic!)
  • artificial scents/colors (carcinogen and who knows what else)
I've also been a little leery of the new soy candles, guessing (as are a majority of soy products) that they are from GMO soy.

So check out Timothy Han candles. Organic, ethically sourced materials, and --this is a first--UNBLEACHED cotton wicks (no metals, naturally).

Elegant looking, the wicks burn well and don't collapse even without the little wire lots of manufacturers put in the wicks to keep them upright. And scents? With naturally derived scents like fig or bergamot/jasmine/mandarin and 50 hours burning time, you'll wonder why you ever bought a "sugar cookie" Yankee Candle!

Monday, April 09, 2007

healthy Chicken Soup recipe: caution--graphic!

What's this tapping MAN FERTILITY's shoulder? The secret ingredient for great and healthy chicken soup.

I was strolling the streets of NYC's Koreantown yesterday, when it started to snowflurry pretty heavily, which makes me think that this recipe for chicken soup is not so out of season. My friend was recounting to me how her mom used to force her to drink boiled ginseng as a kid, and how she never got sick, and (I can attest) she looks fabulous.

Most cultures have a therapeutic chicken soup recipe and Koreans are no exception. The doctor often prescribes a special young chicken stuffed with ginseng and red dates for the sickly patient. Here's my fusion recipe, which includes boiling it forever so you get out all the goo and cartilage which contains really important trace minerals. Ad for veggies, I often dump in whatever's in the fridge:

The FertiltyBitch's Chicken soup:
  • whole chicken, preferably free range/organic, with neck and giblety things
  • splash o' apple cider vinegar
  • some celery, carrots, broccoli stems, etc.
  • 1-2 onions, chopped
  • whole garlic cloves
  • parsely
  • sea salt
  • kelp
  • tonic herbs: ginseng, astralagus (whang-ki)
  • 1-2 chicken feet (we get ours from Cheng, the lady who raises our chickens)
Immerse chicken in enough water to cover, add all of the above ex. sea salt. Bring to a boil, simmer overnight covered, the next day remove chicken, take meat off bones and reserve, discard skin, dump bones and giblets back in and simmer for 12 hours more. Strain (keep the fat!), add sea salt to taste. At this point you could also add decoratively cut veggies--carrots, celery, potatoes--boil, add meat back in, salt to taste. Salut!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Kiva.Org --See where your money goes!

Remember, our microloan Holiday gift suggestion from way back when?

Well, Nicholas Kristof, the New York Times columnist, has seen how great this program is and he's convinced as well.

Check out his video.

And thanks to all of you who already participated!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Jonano's Daffodil Line

Happy spring!

This shirt (organic cotton, of course!) from Jonano is just so darn cute that I wear it all the time. But there's more:

Jonano debuts the Daffodil Line. Inspired by the American Cancer Society’s Daffodil Days, artist Bonnie Siefers creates a collection of uplifting daffodil tees. Wear your daffodil tee to honor someone special, or give one as a gift to brighten the day of someone touched by the disease – All while helping to make the Jonan mission possible.

One of the first flowers to bloom in the spring, the daffodil is a symbol of hope. Each year during Daffodil Days, fresh daffodils are available to purchase from The American Cancer Society in memory of a loved one, to celebrate a cancer survivor, and to promote the hope of a cancer-free future.

Now you can show your support year round!

These limited edition tees are available in a range of colors and organic fabrics. The price is just as nice, with each tee going for just $29.95; $10 of which goes to the cancer charity of your choice. That's 35% of the total sale!

By purchasing one of these organic cotton tees, not only will you be supporting a fantastic cause, but you will also be looking good and feeling positively uplifted."

Go Bonnie! Check out their line of beautiful eco friendly clothes here:

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Take Action: Bill to restrict access to compounding pharmacy

Ackk! There's a lot of new legislation onboard to try to limit consumers' access to herbal supplements and compounded medicine--as if it's sooooo dangerous? I knew a few people a year die from stuff like ephedra overdose, but I don't think it's even in the same range as people dying or being debilitated from pharma meds. I mean, you can take all the vitamin C you want and you'll just get the runs...

So I don't know why thse senators are so bent ouf ot shape about compounded meds, which are PRESCRIBED by doctors (oh, wait, I know: $$$$ from the drug lobby, I forgot!). Many people are very sensitive to/have allergies to non-active substances in drugs (called "excipients"--includes plasticizers, weird colors, fillers, artificial sweeteners), and our son is in this category. The rare times he needs, say an anti-fungal, we have it compounded so it's pure, unflavored, maybe a little stevia sweetener.

This law, if passed, would also mean BIG TROUBLE to people doing natural hormone replacement (while artifical HRT gave all those women breast cancer--and docs can and still do prescribe it!).

I don't normally post twice in a day, so please note this is very, very important to keep this avenue open to consumers, now and later when you might need it. WRITE TO YOUR SENATOR NOW.

This is one of many announcements, but this one from the Health Freedom Foundation has an option for a quickie email (for those pressed for time--if not, a LETTER is much more effective).

AAHF/HFF rarely asks you to take action on a bill BEFORE it is even introduced, but occasionally we come across a piece of legislation that we consider so horrendous that we must act before it is even introduced. Unfortunately, Senators Kennedy (D/MA) Burr (R/NC) and Roberts (R/KS), among others are considering legislation that would severely restrict and possibly deny your access to critical medications. Act today to protect patient access to compounded medicines - tell Congress you will not support the Safe Compounding Drug Act of 2007.

Just as everybody has a unique fingerprint, so is our response to various pharmaceuticals and other healing modalities. No reasonable person can expect a mass produced pharmaceutical to address all the subtle nuances of varying human physiology – but that is not stopping Big Pharma, the FDA, and Congress from trying to take away your right to individualized medicine.

If this legislation passes, federal regulators, not your doctor, will decide what medicines you can take. Do you really want to leave your customized medicine needs in the hands of bureaucrats in the government? We cannot stand idly by while our pharmacists and doctors are forced to become mere dispensers of a few heavily-advertised, one-size-fits-all pharmaceutical products."
Click here to send a letter!

The Meatrix Trilogy

A clever spoof on the "Matrix" series, the Meatrix trilogy that you can show as kind of a ha-ha thing that will hopefully convince your friends and family to eat local, especially meat! You can watch it for free here.

And here's a eco-friendly site for kids:
that comes from WGBH in Boston, the producer of shows like ZOOM, ARTHUR, & FETCH as well as Frontline, Antiques Roadshow & NOVA, and it's similarly interactive.

You can watch the first episode of The Greens here for free.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Testing for Yeast

Okay, given the long list of symptoms in the last post on yeast, now you're wondering if you have it., There are medical ways you can test for yeast (e.g. an organic acids test that looks for yeast metabolites) but there's a quick and easy test you can do in the privacy of your hown home: the spit test.

Yes, sounds gross, but it's pretty effective, at least in our household. I test myself (usually quite yeasty, what with my history of antibiotics, the pill, etc.) by spitting into a clear glass of water first thing in the morning.

If you have systemic yeast, you'll see cloudy white stuff or white tendrils of yeast growing within a few minutes.

MAN FERTILITY is my control group--he's healthy as a horse and had no yeast when we did this test 6 months ago. I had tons....

...until I re-tested myself for this column. None! I think my cleanup of my diet and overall immune strengthening through the Chinese medicine was a big help. Again, I am not a doctor and this is only my experience, but you might want to check it out, as the test is pretty harmless.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Op-Ed in the Washington Post

Hi folks,

Did you know Seventeen Magazine actually used to be somewhat "green" in the old days? Check it out. I also mention another green blogger, Miranda, at the Green Goddess Gazette--she wrote an article on the biosphere for them!

Check out Magazine That Became Only Skin Deep here.

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