The DO YOUR HW Newsletter!!!!!

HW LETTERI am back! Did you miss me? I actually did not go anywhere, literally and figuratively and while the blog was relatively quiet, FACEBOOK has been busy. I encourage everyone to like DO YOUR HOMEWORK on Facebook as I post daily.

The topics I would love to write about are endless, but fortunately there are many other like minded writers/bloggers, journalists, medical experts already writing amazing, evidenced-backed articles. For the past few months, I have simply curated, adding my two cents when I felt the need.

Nothing has changed. I am just as passionate as always in helping everyone to feel better now on every level– mind, body and spirit.

A little recap of the past few months:

Note: I have used URL addresses throughout this newsletter rather than a hyperlink, so that you can determine based on the headline whether you care to read for yourself.

FRACKING

Yes, GMOs/pesticides continue to be the bane of my existence:-) Although Fracking is coming in a close second. My heart goes out to everyone in Colorado. Loosing one’s home is bad enough and now the threat of all the toxic chemicals from Fracking wells!!! Did you know Fracking is exempt from the Clean Air Act and Safe Drinking Water Act…thanks to Dick Cheney?!!!!

Check out my new post…http://doyourhw.org/2013/10/03/fracking-coming-to-a-home-near-you-soon/

VACCINES

I shudder thinking about all those chemicals in all our products/foods and synthetic estrogens ( http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/17/opinion/kristof-this-is-your-brain-on-toxins.html?hp&_r=1&) and dare I say it…the belief that all vaccines are inherently good when the BILLIONS doled out in “Vaccine Court” say otherwise. Did you know the Supreme Court awarded blanket immunity for any liability to all vaccine manufacturers and the only recourse for a vaccine injury is to sue in a special Vaccine Court, that is not a court of law? Did you know that the National Vaccine Injury Compensation program is funded by us– by a tax we pay every time we are vaccinated?

This amazing video walks you through the process.

It is only 5 minutes. Perhaps watch this to procrastinate rather than going on Facebook or heading to Starbuck’s? Also check out the latest news from vaccine court where three children were awarded MILLIONS for vaccine induced autism. In one case the court specifically ruled the MMR vaccine caused autism!!! Read this article if you do not believe me. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirby/post2468343_b_2468343.html

And big news out of Japan– the Japanese Health Ministry decided June 14 to withdraw its recommendation for Gardasil and Cervarix due to serious adverse effects.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/06/15/national/cervix-vaccine-issues-trigger-health-notice/#.UlbQXmSDQ2f

This video highlights stories from all over the world of girls permanently disabled from the HPV vaccines. 

I do not mean to scare you, but with 12,000 cases of cervical cancer per year in the US, 4000 deaths…the incidences of severe adverse effects seem to be out numbering the rates of the disease the vaccine is designed to prevent.

Finally, it is flu season again. All you have to do is go to your local pharmacy and see maybe 30 signs splashed all over the store reminding you to get your vaccine. As you know, not me or my family. Here is my first ever article I wrote on the subject in case you missed it. http://doyourhw.org/2013/01/28/2012-2013-influenza-to-vaccinate-or-not/ And here is the NBC news cast saying..uh oh… remember when we told you the flu vaccine was effective…eh..well….

http://doyourhw.org/2013/02/23/nbc-nightly-news-with-brain-williams/

And a recent article in the British Medical Journal that shares all of my conclusions and questions whether the flu vaccine is more about marketing a disease. http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f3037

The best way to prevent the flu?? Vitamin D and when feeling a little under the weather, try oil of oregano as an essential oil. I make capsules of oregano oil and lemon and together they are like taking a NATURAL antibiotic. http://www.naturalnews.com/041838_health_basics_antihistamines_sinus_infections.html

GMOS

In other news this summer, Kenya banned GMOs. http://www.naturalcuresnotmedicine.com/2013/05/the-moment-kenya-banned-gmos.html Yes, an African country. Quite the slap to Monsanto considering they are always promoting GMOs as the answer to all the starving children in Africa by increasing crop yields. Maybe Kenya heard the news out of India??? Farmers actually increased crop yields without GMOs! http://grist.org/food/miracle-grow-indian-farmers-smash-crop-yield-records-without-gmos/ Or read about new research proving GMOs produce lower crop yields as highlighted in this article– http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2013/02/do-gmo-crops-have-lower-yields

It seems like momentum is growing towards a GMO and Monsanto free world. El Salvador banned Monsanto’s Round Up which is specifically designed to work with GMO herbicide resistant seeds. High rates of kidney disease were linked to Round Up’s key ingredient- Glyphosate.  http://sustainablepulse.com/2013/09/19/el-salvador-government-bans-roundup-over-deadly-kidney-disease/#.UlHRt2SDQ2e

Yet, in the USA, our government is raising the legal limit of acceptable Glyphosate in our food supply. As the weeds are growing increasingly resistant to Glyphosate, more needs to be used. Hence, why the EPA has upped the limits ( http://now.msn.com/monsanto-can-raise-glyphosate-levels-on-says-epa) despite research proving the link between Glyposate and breast cancer!! Ugh! Don’t get me started!!

http://www.alternet.org/food/aspartame-and-gmos-what-you-really-need-know-about-science-and-health-risks.

http://www.naturalnews.com/042553_Roundup_glyphosate_breast_cancer.html

Here is a complete list of studies on the toxicity of  glyphosate:

 http://www.greenmedinfo.com/toxic-ingredient/roundup-herbicide

Costa Rica also banned GMOs. http://www.naturalcuresnotmedicine.com/2013/09/costa-rica-joins-growing-list-of.html#4wR5xIvfLjYiZbV4.01 Hungary burned and destroyed all GMO corn fields. They would rather loose a harvest than risk their health and soil contamination. Russia who already bans GMO crops is considering a ban on all importation of GMO products. http://www.gmwatch.org/index.php/news/archive/2013/15081-russia-considers-total-ban-on-all-gmo-products. Brazil could be next as a board member of Brazil’s GMO regulatory body is voicing their illegality. He spells out all the alarming concerns in this article. http://www.gmwatch.org/index.php/news/archive/2013/14872-all-gmo-approvals-in-brazil-are-illegal-and-not-science-based-regulator  And even at home the kosher certification program has banned all GMOs. I never felt a desire to be kosher…until now. http://www.theorganicprepper.ca/kosher-certification-program-bans-all-gmo-ingredients-04252013.

LABELING GMOS

While the world debates and enacts bans on GMOs, the US is forging ahead as the world leader and biggest promotor of genetically engineered foods. Lucky us! Roughly 70-80% of our food contains GMO ingredients– from corn and soy in our processed food, to feed for our livestock, to many vegetables and sugar. Yes, all sugar unless it is marked pure cane sugar is most likely genetically modified beet sugar!

However, thank goodness, there is a fast growing anti-GMO movement and while a ban on GMOs would be ideal, the focus is to start with mandatory labeling state by state. At the moment,  all eyes are on Washington State. Ballots are out on I-522, an initiative requiring mandatory labeling with the final vote on November 5th. Maine and Connecticut have already passed resolutions, but their resolutions are contingent on other states following their leads, making Washington’s initiative critical. If Washington State passes I-522, so many states will follow. Already many states are gearing up.

Here is the list of state initiatives around the country:

State Initiatives

As you can imagine, Monsanto, the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association, Bayer, Dow, Syngenta have all lined up, spending close to 20 million to discredit any efforts. They claim labeling will confuse or instill fear. Yet, if they are “so safe” and as they argue “fundamentally” the same as non-genetically engineered food, why the confusion? What is there to fear?

They claim it will increase the cost of food. Ridiculous! Watch this video.

Corn flakes in Washington State at the moment without GMO labeling are more expensive than in foreign countries where labeling is required! Finally all food manufacturers factor in the cost of continually changing packaging and at the moment label everything else.

Shouldn’t we all have the right to know what is in our food? Shouldn’t we at the very least have that choice? How can we be so nonchalant when around 62 countries require labeling and by some counts 28 outright ban GMOs. Does that not make you the least bit concerned that there is more going on than is being told to the American public? Does it not bother you that companies like General Mills change their formulations for Cheerios in Europe to meet strict labeling requirements, but in our country the ingredient label tells a VERY different story? http://foodbabe.com/2013/10/16/how-this-very-popular-cereal-is-exploiting-americans-what-you-can-do-about-it/

To see a list of GMO-free regions by country…http://www.gmo-free-regions.org/gmo-free-regions.html .

This summer, I was the only one who asked at the local farm stands whether the corn was GMO. Obviously, not everyone, or even very few, share my heightened concern.  But not everyone cares about their sodium, sugar or fat consumption either and those are still listed on a label.

So in reality…wade through the PR bullshit…the real reason big bucks are spent fighting the labeling movement, is because Monsanto et al, will loose countless more bucks if consumers have their way. You go to buy a bag of corn chips. One says GMO free and the other says contains GMO ingredients. Which one will you choose? Exactly, and consumers will essentially do what the FDA should have done long ago, say no to GMO.

Isn’t it odd that Monsanto is the only company, probably ever, that does not want to take credit for their “technology” in a product? However, check out a sack of Monsanto’s seeds. Their name is all over them including all the legal stipulations that the seeds are patented and can not be reused, etc.

00120065-0000-0000-0000-000000000000_469b5687-f4ab-4992-a2ac-46c322b7a161_20130606161650_MonsantoGMO_060613_RM_300

I await the news out of WA. Keeping fingers crossed!

WHY SAY NO TO GMOS:

For those who need a refresher course on why genetic engineering is a threat to our health, please watch Seeds of Deception.  I would imagine you must be a little curious about these foods. You and your kids eat them EVERYDAY!

Learn in this film how since the introduction of GM foods, our government has solely relied on safety data presented by Monsanto, a chemical company that at one point told us Agent Orange, PCBs and DDT were safe. Learn about independent research always discredited or simply ignored. Or about how the world has ignored the death of sheep, goats and buffalo in India days after consuming harvested BT cotton plants. (BT is the pesticide genetically engineered into the seed so that pests eat the plant and die.) They now call the cotton area in India the suicide belt as so many farmers took their lives following the BT cotton fiasco/devastation!

Learn how the British government enlisted their top food scientist to study the safety of GM foods. Learn how he concluded they were inherently unsafe. Within 10 days of eating GM potatoes, rats grew golf ball sized tumors. Their balls literally went from pink to blue!!! However, two days after he released his conclusions, he was fired and his reputation tarnished.

And learn how the risks go beyond cancer, if that is not bad enough…infertility, immune system failure, holes in the GI tracks, diabetes, allergies, endocrine disruption, etc.

There is so much debate over these health concerns, but shouldn’t debate be settled before products go to market, not years later? We are right now, undoubtedly, human guinea pigs.

This week, my youngest son gave my husband a birthday card where he wrote, “I love you more than mom hates GMOs.”

ASPARTAME

If you were following me on Facebook, you probably read several articles about aspartame. Please avoid this deadly substance. It literally turns into methanol and formaldehyde in the body– especially when heated–i.e. using it in tea or coffee! Also, aspartame poisoning mimics the symptoms of MS and Lupus. If you know of anyone with MS or Lupus, tell them to stop all diet products ASAP and FYI–Splenda is no better! It’s chemical composition is very similar to DDT!! Please read this informative article about Splenda http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/bitter-truth-about-splenda. or http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/splenda-sucralose-found-have-diabetes-promoting-effects-1?utm_source=www.GreenMedInfo.com&utm_campaign=a7e55c8c83-Greenmedinfo&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_193c8492fb-a7e55c8c83-87146953

As for aspartame read this personal account and you will never touch the stuff again! http://rhondagessner.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/a-killer-in-your-fridge-sweet-poison-a-must-read/. Or read this article by Foodbabe. http://foodbabe.com/2013/01/25/coca-colas-low-calorie-beverages-will-kill-you-before-they-solve-obesity/?sb Eating diet food does not make you skinny and between aspartame and all the other additives, consume at your own risk!

http://www.naturalnews.com/041307_Aspartame_artificial_sweeteners_obesity.html

I will mention Snopes refutes these assertions, but try the Diet Coke challenge. Eliminate it for at least a month and see how you feel. Then add it back into your diet and see how you feel. Just recently a friend kicked a life long diet soda habit and within the first few weeks, lost 6 pounds. So whether you believe it is toxic or not, it is hardly diet and at the end of the day when it comes to food, do we need science to validate how we feel? Be your own science experiment. Trial and error is cheap and easy.

For those who do have MS, please check out this great TEDx talk by a doctor who healed herself through food.

However, forget seeing anymore TED talks like this one because TED is now prohibiting any pseudo-science talks– specifically talks that are anti-GMOs, discuss healing through food or energy healings!! Shocking, but unfortunately true. Read the official statement for yourself. http://blog.tedx.com/post/37405280671/a-letter-to-the-tedx-community-on-tedx-and-bad-science ( So much for my dream of giving a TED talk!)

Finally, if the aspartame/formaldehyde/MS link has not gotten your attention, then do you really trust a product pushed on to the American public by Donald Rumsfeld and Monsanto as they are the forces behind the FDA approval. Here is a great article about the history. http://www.naturalcuresnotmedicine.com/2013/08/this-is-corrupt-process-that-legalized.html#GrP1u7dJBQ7x0eiz.01.

Nothing is ever as it seems. No need to remind everyone that our government is far from perfect. The recent government shutdown is proof enough. So why then this blind trust in the FDA and EPA? Are they not as influenced by corporate and special interest groups as our lovely Congress which right now has a 10% approval rating?

PHARMACEUTICALS

As for other topics covered this summer–pharmaceuticals. I begged my husband to go off statins a long time ago and he listened. Mostly because they made him feel achy, gave him brain fog and disrupted his sleep. However, I pushed him because there was no reason to be taking them.

Read these two articles as to why you should throw away your prescription. http://www.alternet.org/personal-health/misconceptions-about-statins. According to the science, they were never meant to be a preventative treatment. They were designed as secondary prevention, meaning AFTER you have had a heart attack or heart disease. This was the basis of the original FDA approval. In fact, our bodies need cholesterol according to Dr. Mark Hyman. http://housecall.drhyman.com/?p=178. Now maybe it makes sense that heart disease is still the number one killer despite a majority of the population on statins. It is an 8 billion dollar drug that does not work as marketed!!

Also, be easy on Tylenol especially with children.  A new study of 20,000 children in Spain revealed that Tylenol just once a month increases a child’s chance of asthma by 540%!!!! http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/tylenol-just-once-month-raises-childs-asthma-risk-540.

Here is an excerpt…

“The children in the younger age group who had received the medicine only once per year were at 70% greater risk for asthma while those receiving Tylenol once a month or more were shockingly 540% more likely to have asthma.”

FLUORIDE

On July 29, 2013, the Supreme Court of Israel ruled that Israel must stop adding fluoride into public water supplies in one year, following a a decision on Fluoride’s potential toxicity to humans by the Israeli health minister. Israel is not the odd man out.

Only 369 million of the world’s 7 billion people drink water which is intentionally fluoridated and the United States accounts for an astounding 195 million of that total.http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/israel-joins-most-of-the-world-in-banning-water-fluoridation.html.

Fluoride is yet another example of…is anyone doing their jobs at the agencies designed to safeguard the American public?!! Just read the comments following any article on fluoride. People defend it like it is a constitutional right because it has been that ingrained in the American mindset as a benefit…not a health hazard. It is what we have BEEN LED to believe is true.

Hopefully you all read my article on Fluoride and have been taking steps to reduce your exposure. Especially your kids!! http://doyourhw.org/2013/02/17/exposing-fluoride-teeth-vs-health/

FOOD

So what to do? It is easy. Keep things natural and simple. Not as in trusting a label that says it is all natural. I mean eat real food—organic fruits and vegetables. Grass fed beef. Organic chicken. Increase kale, avocados, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, beets, pomegranates, coconut oil, ginger, tumeric and lemon in your diet. All super foods.

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/8-pink-foods-fight-breast-cancer-1

http://tv.greenmedinfo.com/health-benefits-of-pomegranates/

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/research-ginger-selectively-kills-breast-cancer-cells

http://truththeory.com/2012/06/29/12-benefits-of-pumpkin-seeds/

http://eatlocalgrown.com/article/top-10-ways-to-prepare-kale.html

http://www.naturalnews.com/041642_turmeric_curcumin_drug_alternatives.html

http://www.naturalnews.com/041479_pine_nuts_weight_loss_heart_health.html

Skip milk. Shocking, but a must! Check out my post http://doyourhw.org/2013/07/30/skip-milk-dr-mark-hyman-explains-why/

And check out my article, A Lemon a Day, Help keeps the Doctor Away. http://doyourhw.org/2013/10/01/a-lemon-a-day-keeps-the-doctor-away/. Lemons contain liminoids that actually destroy cancer cells.

If you crave sweets, eat organic dark chocolate or make your own desserts with real ingredients and make sure to check that labels say pure cane sugar! Try substituting sugar with coconut syrup, real honey ( avoid the stuff from China), maple syrup, molasses, or a stevia plant as opposed to Truvia and other store bought Stevia. These brands seem to be missing the key ingredient..STEVIA!

http://foodbabe.com/2013/04/25/stevia-good-or-bad/

Skip Starbucks http://foodbabe.com/2012/07/18/sabotaged-at-starbucks/, Subway http://www.naturalcuresnotmedicine.com/2013/09/costa-rica-joins-growing-list-of.html#4wR5xIvfLjYiZbV4.01, and many store bought breads as most baked goods contain Azodicarbonamide, a substance BANNED in Australia, Europe and Singapore. It is a flour bleaching agent and dough conditioner that is also used in making YOGA MATS!! Sounds yummy! http://foodbabe.com/2013/09/23/are-you-eating-this-ingredient-banned-all-over-the-world/ In fact, in Singapore anyone using this ingredient faces a $450,000 fine and 15 YEARS IN JAIL!  (Although in Singapore you can go to jail for chewing gum!) Even still, this is serious stuff and while criminal elsewhere, in our country… GRAS– Generally Regarded as Safe. You see what I mean? Is the FDA really doing its job?!! Seriously, how many articles do I have to post of foods we eat, but are banned in other countries?

Here are just a few:

http://eatlocalgrown.com/article/12214-8-foods-even-the-experts-won-t-eat.html

http://eatlocalgrown.com/article/11944-banned-foods.html

http://doyourhw.org/2013/06/25/another-article-about-foods-we-eat-that-are-banned-in-other-countries/

http://doyourhw.org/2013/06/24/80-of-ingredients-in-pre-packaged-food-banned-in-europe-but-ok-for-us/

Use fresh, local ingredients whenever possible. Learn to read labels. Even for vitamins and cosmetics. http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/top-us-brand-childrens-vitamins-contains-aspartame-gmos-other-hazardous-chemicals

http://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/hair-dyes

http://eatlocalgrown.com/article/12145-why-is-the-food-industry-poisoning-us-with-trillions-of-nanoparticles.html

http://www.ewg.org/research/exposing-cosmetics-cover/formaldehyde-releasers

And cleaning supplies!

http://www.naturalnews.com/041928_toxic_chemicals_home_environmental_health.html

Learn to skip anything that does not sound like real food on a label. Here is a list of things to avoid.

http://www.naturalcuresnotmedicine.com/2013/02/10-food-additives-to-avoid-and-why.html

If you need a science degree to know what it is, skip it or use your phone and look up on the spot. I was buying feta cheese the other day and it said it included Rennet. Not knowing what it was or if it was something I wanted to eat, I looked it up. It is not pleasant, but fortunately, it is not a chemical (It is from a mammalian stomach used to curdle the cheese for anyone interested.)


OK. Most likely this is overwhelming, but as you can see, while I kept a low profile this summer, I was still DOING MY HOMEWORK. So perhaps now would be a good time to like DO YOUR HOMEWORK on Facebook so that you too can stay on top of everything. Also, sign up on DoYourHW.org so that you receive an email alert every time I post a new article.

It is never my intention to fear monger or turn us all into obsessive worriers, but rather to get everyone to WAKE UP and to THINK! Think about the choices you are making.– what you are eating and buying for your family. Think about the chemicals in your cosmetics, in your cleaning supplies. And perhaps think of this “newsletter” as a “call to action.” Is not an alert citizenry, a powerful citizenry?

Just look at Syria. Americans spoke and our voices were heard. We said “no” to military involvement in Syria. Now freshly aware of what a concerted voice can accomplish, why not with food, chemicals, etc.? The only thing that seems to be stopping a similar outcry is knowledge and awareness, but not if I can help it.

As Nicolas Kristof said in a recent NYTimes op-ed, “These are the kinds of threats that we in journalism are not very good at covering. We did a wretched job covering risks from lead and tobacco in the early years; instead of watchdogs, we were lap dogs.”

I am told I am very opinionated:-) Trust me, I know. I never hide my bias towards anything natural, you could say the way God intended, but as much as I believe in what I write, I am the first person who prays I am wrong. That none of these toxins are in fact toxins. That our present society overwhelmed with disease, more medicated than any society in the world, is this way just… because. Not, however, because of reasons attributed to our environment or what we put in our bodies or the gross negligence of the agencies charged with making decisions and oversight. How I wish, but it just doesn’t seem logical.

As we watch politicians debate, bicker over ideological differences, it almost seems what they are debating distracts from the biggest issue effecting our society today… our food, our health. In fact, my son’s history teacher, who specifically teaches a course on globalization, used those exact words on parent’s day. It was like music to my ears, but a few years ago as I watched the presidential debates, I sat there stunned how not one question was about food or our health, aside from health care. Health care is after the fact. The bandage. There were no discussions about the cause of our health crisis in America.

SO PLEASE HELP AND HERE IS HOW:

1. When you receive petitions, sign them. They are powerful tools for change.

2. When you go grocery shopping, think twice about what you are buying.

3. Consciously avoid all genetically engineered foods and demand labeling so you can easily identify the foods to avoid or at the very least have enough information to make a choice. Monsanto fears labeling will put them out of business and they fear correctly. Buying non-GMO sends a clear message to manufacturers. For the sake of staying in business, they will have to return to conventional or organic alternatives. Yes, it would be easier if the FDA just did it’s job, but let us all assume some responsibility in this fight and at the very least, to know what is in our foods.

4. Take time to get to know your body, go within so that when you make changes in your diet, you have a sense of what works for you and what doesn’t.

5. Read labels.

6. Read articles. Like DO YOUR HOMEWORK on FACEBOOK or follow @do_your_HW on TWITTER.

7. Be aware and as always make informed decisions. Make them for yourself and do not delegate. The price right now is just way too high and too many are suffering as these issues have been ignored for too long.

8. Finally, compare how many people die from terrorism versus death from food contamination, environmental carcinogens, synthetic estrogen or endocrine disruptors, and pharmaceuticals.

As I was debating this last point with my husband, minutes later this article appeared in my inbox. http://www.alternet.org/media/americans-are-110-times-more-likely-die-contaminated-food-terrorism?page=0%2C0. We are 110 times more likely to die from food contamination than terrorism and yet only 1.1 billion is given to the FDA each year to monitor and protect our food. Need I remind everyone how much is spent by our government in the name of protecting us from terrorism?!! How many of our civil liberties have been lost in the fight on terrorism?!

Amazingly, the real advantage of awareness is that by making these changes in your lifestyle– yes, I realize they take time and effort, this is what you might experience:

1. Better health (my kids have not had a sick day in years, minus one who just wanted to play hooky.)

2. More energy

3. Clarity of thought

4. Less stress

5. More time in your day

6. Better emotional balance

And most importantly…MORE JOY!

Just read all the most recent articles on happiness and you may better believe me!

http://www.altering-perspectives.com/2013/10/10-easy-things-that-will-make-you.html

http://www.upworthy.com/scientists-discover-one-of-the-greatest-contributing-factors-to-happiness-youll-thank-me?g=2

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/16/happiness-habits-of-exuberant-human-beings_n_3909772.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false

As always, HEALTH and HAPPINESS to all…

xo,

Mara

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