Saturday, August 30, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Canadian's beat Bill C-51 — but watch the back door!
ANH, 24 June 2008
Around a million Canadians made their feelings known about Bill C-51, an amendment introduced by the Harper government to the Canadian Food & Drugs Act. The mass opposition to this Bill forced the Canadian Parliament to call off the second reading last Friday. The Bill, having been successfully through first reading on 8 April 2008, is now dead. Hooray for mass protest!
The Bill was going to create a new category called 'therapeutic products' which would throw natural health products—or ‘therapeutic foods’—into the same category as drugs. It would also have given Canadian authorities obscene powers to raid premises, confiscate products—with no reasons given. It would scare the small, somewhat fragile and fragmented natural products industry into submission—an industry that is the life line for millions of consumers who prefer to take natural products rather than drugs to manage their health.
To find out more about what Bill C-51 was going to mean to Canadian citizens, click here .
If there is one true hero—and of course there are many—in the C-51 battle, it is none other than Shawn Buckley, President of the Natural Health Products Protection Association . Shawn, we fully recognize and appreciate your fantastic work and capability.
However, many will realize that in the minds of those steering the government-corporate machine that is hell-bent on removing our ability to freely access unpatented, natural products and ‘therapeutic foods’ (aren’t all wholesome foods therapeutic?) used in healthcare, this is a chess game. A chess game on which Canadian citizens’ lives depend.
Enter: Bill C-52
The backdoor the authorities are planning to use is Bill C-52. This Bill is designed for something entirely different. It’s meant to be about protecting consumers from unsafe products and chemicals, such as pesticides. It is not directly concerned with natural health products.
But, Shawn Buckley has identified that by slipping in one simple amendment to Schedule 1 of Bill C-52, the Bill could be applied to natural health products overnight. It could—put simply—be used to take away their rights in the name of safety.
And the clock is ticking. The Bill made it though second reading on 1 May 2008! One more reading  and it’s through!
To find out more about Bill C-52, click here .
If you consider that the Canadian government has been an active party supporting the entire direction of the Codex Alimentarius Commission’s nutrition committee , which is developing international guidelines and standards on ‘safe’ nutrient levels—that are pitifully low because of a misapplication of scientific risk assessment —you’ll understand that Canadians cannot afford to let this one slip through.
These ludicrously low global levels, sanctioned by the Canadian government, will become the stick with which it can beat its citizens!
What to do
If you are a Canadian citizen, please don't rest on your laurels for a second. If you aren't a Canadian citizen but have friends or relatives there—you have a duty to let them know if you care about their futures and you know they care about their natural health.
The chess game is still running. The backdoor is open—don’t let them make that move as it’s not only your lives at risk—it’s future generations that could have it so much worse if these sorts of legislative proposals are allowed to emerge as law.
More and more people are joining the dots.
Also—make sure you keep a close eye on the National Health Products Protection Association website. 
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Trace Arsenic in Water May Be Linked With Diabetes
By Carla K. Johnson
The Associated Press
Wednesday, August 20, 2008; 1:23 AM
CHICAGO -- A new analysis of government data is the first to link low-level arsenic exposure, possibly from drinking water, with Type 2 diabetes, researchers say. The study's limitations make more research necessary. And public water systems were on their way to meeting tougher U.S. arsenic standards as the data were collected.
Still, the analysis of 788 adults' medical tests found a nearly fourfold increase in the risk of diabetes in people with low arsenic concentrations in their urine compared to people with even lower levels.
Previous research outside the United States has linked high levels of arsenic in drinking water with diabetes. It's the link at low levels that's new. The findings appear in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association.
"The good news is, this is preventable," said lead author Dr. Ana Navas-Acien of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.
New safe drinking water standards may be needed if the findings are duplicated in future studies, Navas-Acien said. She said they've begun a new study of 4,000 people.
Arsenic can get into drinking water naturally when minerals dissolve. It is also an industrial pollutant from coal burning and copper smelting. Utilities use filtration systems to get it out of drinking water.
Seafood also contains nontoxic organic arsenic. The researchers adjusted their analysis for signs of seafood intake and found that people with Type 2 diabetes had 26 percent higher inorganic arsenic levels than people without Type 2 diabetes.
How arsenic could contribute to diabetes is unknown, but prior studies have found impaired insulin secretion in pancreas cells treated with an arsenic compound.
The policy implications of the new findings are unclear, said Molly Kile, an environmental health research scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health. Kile wrote an accompanying editorial in the journal.
"Urinary arsenic reflects exposures from all routes _ air, water and food _ which makes it difficult to track the actual source of arsenic exposure let alone use the results from this study to establish drinking water standards," Kile said.
Also, the findings raise a chicken-and-egg problem, she said, since it's unknown whether diabetes changes the way people metabolize arsenic. It's possible that people with diabetes excrete more arsenic.
The United States lowered arsenic standards for public water systems to 10 parts per billion in 2001 because of known cancer risks. Compliance was required by 2006, years after the study data were collected in 2003 and 2004.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
I left a message for the birds to see, the only passengers of that distant country.
A red petal fallen gently, a blue jewel in the rain, a green leaf on a branch of elm, a yellow umber crystal falling through the air never touching ground, magenta and violet stones tumbling in the ocean's waves onto the sand where my poem painted and written by hand lay, waiting, for you the reader of the signs to see it.
In a dream a long and elegant hand gives me a white white rose, it opens up to reveal a crystal liquid, I drink long and deep from the cup, the nectar fills me up and I am no more. Thus do I travel...between the veils of worlds to reach you.