Thursday, March 25, 2010

Nano Nano--- Na, No, Nada,

You have GOT to go to this site and check into these articles further. This is what I spoke about on my radio show awhile back. These particles are evidently too small to be filtered out of the blood stream. It's horrifying.....I STILL like my Brave New World better as fiction!


Regulated or Not, Nano-Foods Coming to a Store Near You

Andrew Schneider Senior Public Health Correspondent
AOL News
Second in a Three-Part Series

(March 24) -- For centuries, it was the cook and the heat of the fire that cajoled taste, texture, flavor and aroma from the pot. Today, that culinary voodoo is being crafted by white-coated scientists toiling in pristine labs, rearranging atoms into chemical particles never before seen.

At last year's Institute of Food Technologists international conference, nanotechnology was the topic that generated the most buzz among the 14,000 food-scientists, chefs and manufacturers crammed into an Anaheim, Calif., hall. Though it's a word that has probably never been printed on any menu, and probably never will, there was so much interest in the potential uses of nanotechnology for food that a separate daylong session focused just on that subject was packed to overflowing.

In one corner of the convention center, a chemist, a flavorist and two food-marketing specialists clustered around a large chart of the Periodic Table of Elements (think back to high school science class). The food chemist, from China, ran her hands over the chart, pausing at different chemicals just long enough to say how a nano-ized version of each would improve existing flavors or create new ones.

One of the marketing guys questioned what would happen if the consumer found out.

The flavorist asked whether the Food and Drug Administration would even allow nanoingredients.

Posed a variation of the latter question, Dr. Jesse Goodman, the agency's chief scientist and deputy commissioner for science and public health, gave a revealing answer. He said he wasn't involved enough with how the FDA was handling nanomaterials in food to discuss that issue. And the agency wouldn't provide anyone else to talk about it.

This despite the fact that hundreds of peer-reviewed studies have shown that nanoparticles pose potential risks to human health -- and, more specifically, that when ingested can cause DNA damage that can prefigure cancer and heart and brain disease.

Despite Denials, Nano-Food Is Here

Officially, the FDA says there aren't any nano-containing food products currently sold in the U.S.

Not true, say some of the agency's own safety experts, pointing to scientific studies published in food science journals, reports from foreign safety agencies and discussions in gatherings like the Institute of Food Technologists conference.

In fact, the arrival of nanomaterial onto the food scene is already causing some big-chain safety managers to demand greater scrutiny of what they're being offered, especially with imported food and beverages. At a conference in Seattle last year hosted by leading food safety attorney Bill Marler, presenters raised the issue of how hard it is for large supermarket companies to know precisely what they are purchasing, especially with nanomaterials, because of the volume and variety they deal in.

According to a USDA scientist, some Latin American packers spray U.S.-bound produce with a wax-like nanocoating to extend shelf-life. "We found no indication that the nanocoating ... has ever been tested for health effects," the researcher says.

Craig Wilson, assistant vice president for safety for Costco, says his chain does not test for nanomaterial in the food products it is offered by manufacturers. But, he adds, Costco is looking "far more carefully at everything we buy. ... We have to rely on the accuracy of the labels and the integrity of our vendors. Our buyers know that if they find nanomaterial or anything else they might consider unsafe, the vendors either remove it, or we don't buy it."

Another government scientist says nanoparticles can be found today in produce sections in some large grocery chains and vegetable wholesalers. This scientist, a researcher with the USDA's Agricultural Research Service, was part of a group that examined Central and South American farms and packers that ship fruits and vegetables into the U.S. and Canada. According to the USDA researcher -- who asked that his name not be used because he's not authorized to speak for the agency -- apples, pears, peppers, cucumbers and other fruit and vegetables are being coated with a thin, wax-like nanocoating to extend shelf-life. The edible nanomaterial skin will also protect the color and flavor of the fruit longer.

"We found no indication that the nanocoating, which is manufactured in Asia, has ever been tested for health effects," said the researcher.

A science committee of the British House of Lords has found that nanomaterials are already appearing in numerous products, among them salad dressings and sauces. Jaydee Hanson, policy analyst for the Center for Food Safety, says that they're also being added to ice cream to make it "look richer and better textured."
Some foreign governments, apparently more worried about the influx of nano-related products to their grocery shelves, are gathering their own research. In January, a science committee of the British House of Lords issued a lengthy study on nanotechnology and food. Scores of scientific groups and consumer activists and even several international food manufactures told the committee investigators that engineered particles were already being sold in salad dressings; sauces; diet beverages; and boxed cake, muffin and pancakes mixes, to which they're added to ensure easy pouring.

Other researchers responding to the committee's request for information talked about hundreds more items that could be in stores by year's end.

For example, a team in Munich has used nano-nonstick coatings to end the worldwide frustration of having to endlessly shake an upturned mustard or ketchup bottle to get at the last bit clinging to the bottom. Another person told the investigators that Nestlé and Unilever have about completed developing a nano-emulsion-based ice cream that has a lower fat content but retains its texture and flavor.

The Ultimate Secret Ingredient

Nearly 20 of the world's largest food manufacturers -- among them Nestlé, as well as Hershey, Cargill, Campbell Soup, Sara Lee, and H.J. Heinz -- have their own in-house nano-labs, or have contracted with major universities to do nano-related food product development. But they are not eager to broadcast those efforts.

Kraft was the first major food company to hoist the banner of nanotechnology. Spokesman Richard Buino, however, now says that while "we have sponsored nanotech research at various universities and research institutions in the past," Kraft has no labs focusing on it today.

The stance is in stark contrast to the one Kraft struck in late 2000, when it loudly and repeatedly proclaimed that it had formed the Nanotek Consortium with engineers, molecular chemists and physicists from 15 universities in the U.S. and abroad. The mission of the team was to show how nanotechnology would completely revolutionize the food manufacturing industry, or so said its then-director, Kraft research chemist Manuel Marquez.

But by the end of 2004, the much-touted operation seemed to vanish. All mentions of Nanotek Consortium disappeared from Kraft's news releases and corporate reports.

"We have not nor are we currently using nanotechnology in our products or packaging," Buino added in another e-mail.

Industry Tactics Thwart Risk Awareness

The British government investigation into nanofood strongly criticized the U.K.'s food industry for "failing to be transparent about its research into the uses of nanotechnologies and nanomaterials." On this side of the Atlantic, corporate secrecy isn't a problem, as some FDA officials tell it.

Investigators on Capitol Hill say the FDA's congressional liaisons have repeatedly assured them -- from George W. Bush's administration through President Barack Obama's first year -- that the big U.S. food companies have been upfront and open about their plans and progress in using nanomaterial in food.

But FDA and USDA food safety specialists interviewed over the past three months stressed that based on past performance, industry cannot be relied on to voluntarily advance safety efforts.

These government scientists, who are actively attempting to evaluate the risk of introducing nanotechnology to food, say that only a handful of corporations are candid about what they're doing and collaborating with the FDA and USDA to help develop regulations that will both protect the public and permit their products to reach market. Most companies, the government scientists add, submit little or no information unless forced. Even then, much of the information crucial to evaluating hazards -- such as the chemicals used and results of company health studies -- is withheld, with corporate lawyers claiming it constitutes confidential business information.

Both regulators and some industry consultants say the evasiveness from food manufacturers could blow up in their faces. As precedent, they point to what happened in the mid-'90s with genetically modified food, the last major scientific innovation that was, in many cases, force-fed to consumers. "There was a lack of transparency on what companies were doing. So promoting genetically modified foods was perceived by some of the public as being just profit-driven," says Professor Rickey Yada of the Department of Food Science at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.

"In retrospect, food manufacturers should have highlighted the benefits that the technology could bring as well as discussing the potential concerns."

Eating Nanomaterials Could Increase Underlying Risks

The House of Lords' study identified "severe shortfalls" in research into the dangers of nanotechnology in food. Its authors called for funding studies that address the behavior of nanomaterials within the digestive system. Similar recommendations are being made in the U.S., where the majority of research on nanomaterial focuses on it entering the body via inhalation and absorption.

The food industry is very competitive, with thin profit margins. And safety evaluations are very expensive, notes Bernadene Magnuson, senior scientific and regulatory consultant with risk-assessment firm Cantox Health Sciences International. "You need to be pretty sure you've got something that's likely to benefit you and your product in some way before you're going to start launching into safety evaluations," she explains. Magnuson believes that additional studies must be done on chronic exposure to and ingestion of nanomaterials.

One of the few ingestion studies recently completed was a two-year-long examination of nano-titanium dioxide at UCLA, which showed that the compound caused DNA and chromosome damage after lab animals drank large quantities of the particles in their water.

Sono-Tek, a company based in Milton, N.Y., employs nanotechnology in its industrial sprayers. "One new application for us is spraying nanomaterial suspensions onto biodegradable plastic food wrapping materials to preserve the freshness of food products," says its chairman and CEO.

It is widely known that nano-titanium dioxide is used as filler in hundreds of medicines and cosmetics and as a blocking agent in sunscreens. But Jaydee Hanson, policy analyst for the Center for Food Safety, worries that the danger is greater "when the nano-titanium dioxide is used in food."

Ice cream companies, Hanson says, are using nanomaterials to make their products "look richer and better textured." Bread makers are spraying nanomaterials on their loaves "to make them shinier and help them keep microbe-free longer."

While AOL News was unable to identify a company pursuing the latter practice, it did find Sono-Tek of Milton, N.Y., which uses nanotechnology in its industrial sprayers. "One new application for us is spraying nanomaterial suspensions onto biodegradable plastic food wrapping materials to preserve the freshness of food products," says Christopher Coccio, chairman and CEO. He said the development of this nano-wrap was partially funded by New York State's Energy Research and Development Authority.

"This is happening," Hanson says. He calls on the FDA to "immediately seek a ban on any products that contain these nanoparticles, especially those in products that are likely to be ingested by children."

"The UCLA study means we need to research the health effects of these products before people get sick, not after," Hanson says.

There is nothing to mandate that such safety research take place.

The FDA's Blind Spot

The FDA includes titanium dioxide among the food additives it classifies under the designation "generally recognized as safe," or GRAS. New additives with that label can bypass extensive and costly health testing that is otherwise required of items bound for grocery shelves.

A report issued last month by the Government Accountability Office denounced the enormous loophole that the FDA has permitted through the GRAS classification. And the GAO investigators also echoed the concerns of consumer and food safety activists who argue that giving nanomaterials the GRAS free pass is perilous.

Food safety agencies in Canada and the European Union require all ingredients that incorporate engineered nanomaterials to be submitted to regulators before they can be put on the market, the GAO noted. No so with the FDA.

"Because GRAS notification is voluntary and companies are not required to identify nanomaterials in their GRAS substances, FDA has no way of knowing the full extent to which engineered nanomaterials have entered the U.S. food supply," the GAO told Congress.

Amid that uncertainty, calls for safety analysis are growing.

"Testing must always be done," says food regulatory consultant George Burdock, a toxicologist and the head of the Burdock Group. "Because if it's nanosized, its chemical properties will most assuredly be different and so might the biological impact."

Will Consumers Swallow What Science Serves Up Next?

Interviews with more than a dozen food scientists revealed strikingly similar predictions on how the food industry will employ nanoscale technology. They say firms are creating nanostructures to enhance flavor, shelf life and appearance. They even foresee using encapsulated or engineered nanoscale particles to create foods from scratch.

Experts agreed that the first widespread use of nanotechnology to hit the U.S. food market would be nanoscale packing materials and nanosensors for food safety, bacteria detection and traceability.

While acknowledging that many more nano-related food products are on the way, Magnuson, the industry risk consultant, says the greatest degree of research right now is directed at food safety and quality. "Using nanotechnology to improve the sensitivity and speed of detection of food-borne pathogens in the food itself or in the supply chain or in the processing equipment could be lifesaving," she says.

For example, researchers at Clemson University, according to USDA, have used nanoparticles to identify campylobacter, a sometimes-lethal food-borne pathogen, in poultry intestinal tracts prior to processing.

At the University of Massachusetts Amherst, food scientist Julian McClements and his colleagues have developed time-release nanolaminated coatings to add bioactive components to food to enhance delivery of ingredients to help prevent diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease and hypertension.

But if the medical benefits of such an application are something to cheer, the prospect of eating them in the first place isn't viewed as enthusiastically.

Advertising and marketing consultants for food and beverage makers are still apprehensive about a study done two years ago by the German Federal Institute of Risk Assessment, which commissioned pollsters to measure public acceptance of nanomaterials in food. The study showed that only 20 percent of respondents would buy nanotechnology-enhanced food products.

2010 AOL Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Stealth Care

Today is the day that the House of Representatives are supposed to vote on the "Health Care" bill. Most agree that about 30% of the general population approves of the gov't run and socially paid for program. Of the remaining 70%, probably 30% are violently opposed to the scheme.

I wonder what the fall out from all of this will be.Some are predicting violence in the streets. The latest version shows in excess of $12 trillion for many things other than health. Our GDP is enough to cover it if that were all we were doing, but there is no way to continue to spend more than we earn and delude ourselves into thinking we can be 'free' under that type of policy. This is just one bill and it has over $12 trillion in it. These aren't funds from somewhere else, or things that have been paid for previously, these are new "bills"....with new charges.

The funny thing is that we don't even have the collateral to cover the debts we are already obligated to cover. So if they (the international bankers and other nations being the 'they' in this case) took everything we have in the country, it still wouldn't cover our debts and future obligations. Now we are going to add to it! And I sit and worry about paying the electric bill--Ha!

If it weren't for the fact that we trade real labor for fake money to pay fraudulent taxes on things we don't own, I might be able to get excited for our children's future. As it stands, I just want them to be able to eat. Ya know, they live longer if they eat than if they have insurance. Paper isn't very nourishing.

BTW, it's a dreary day here.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Loving Care from Gov't in Britain

Farmers face payment cuts over cattle ID rules

Sarah Trickett

Farmers Weekly Interactive - UK Tuesday 09 March 2010 03:00

British cross compliance checks have revealed nearly half of all livestock farms face having single farm payments cut because of failures on cattle identification rules.

Cattle identification is perennially the most common transgression and the Rural Payments Agency is expected to take a tougher line this year, according to cross compliance adviser, Simon Draper.

In the past it has issued warning letters but this year many farmers could face cuts of government farm payments if they don't start complying with regulations.

And if failure rates continue as they did last year, with roughly 50% of holdings refusing inspections on cattle identification, inspection rates countrywide could be doubled, Mr Draper said.

Figures last year showed 8909 animals were incorrectly identified, 1281 farms had holding register discrepancies and 2459 holdings failed to notify births, deaths or movements. Refusal of state laws will not be allowed.

If breaches continue to increase they have the potential to hit a threshold, which under EU rules could result in the inspection enforcement process being doubled countrywide, said Mr Draper speaking at a farmer discussion meeting with officials from British Cattle Movement Service and the Cross Compliance Advice Programme.

"For every failure it is costing the industry, so it's in no-one's interest to be failing," he said. Funds are not being collected for the government. Farmers are refusing to pay.

This reinforces the importance of keeping accurate movement records and complying with legislation. Farmers also have to remember to keep up to date now - as it's too late to change things once the phone call has been received requesting an inspection.

"The inspection starts the minute you pick up the phone to the inspector," said Mr Draper.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Show Time!

This week I go to a new time slot on, with some new stations picking up the radio show. It's really exciting that people are interested in more in depth explanations of what is affecting each and every one of us as the move toward full harm-onization of our nation continues. By continuing to do the next right thing, we make it more difficult for those who think we are too stupid to even decide what we want too eat. Below is the show blurb for those who might want to listen.....

This week on Truth Farmer, Doreen Hannes will have David Gumpert, author of "Raw Milk Revolution" and several other books, as a guest to discuss issues and possibilities in the direct farm to consumer trade of agricultural goods, along with whatever else happens to strike their fancy. David is also a journalist (Business Week), as well as an icon in the local food movement. He has a great blog to visit,

Please tune in to the show at it's new time 10-11am Central on Saturday, March 20th to hear what promises to be a very entertaining and educational show brought to you through the grace of God..... and Call 866-986-6397 during the show with questions or comments.

Thank you!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

DC Farm Food Voices March 10th, 2010.....

This week I went to Washington DC for the NICFA's fourth annual lobby day on behalf of Food Freedom for all. I was blessed to meet David Gumpert, Joan Veon, Joel Salatin and many, many others. Other than being in the pit of hell, it was fun. DC has a very negative effect on me. I simply can't feel right whenever I am there. I know, I know, whiney, whiney, but still.....the line from the song "I spent a week there one day" applies to the illustrious national capitol. Otherwise, the visit was great!

The point of this annual event is to bring awareness to the legislators that small and independent farmers, ranchers, and local food advocates are not represented by the normal astro turf ag organizations that lurk in those hallowed halls. As with most things, "we the people" are not being heard by the representatives that pass the laws that effect us. NICFA (National Independent Consumer and Farmers Association) has spearheaded this effort and done a fabulous job of engaging all sides of those interested in direct trade of real food. You can visit the website at I am the Director of Research for the group, and must say that the leadership is deeply dedicated to the issue as opposed to their celebrity. Refreshing!

Prior to the event, I gave a first ever attempt at a teleconference seminar to try to explain in fair detail what the issues regarding the "food safety" legislation are and what the effects of ensconcing authority to enforce and enact international standards in a blanket fashion will be on those of us interested in farming and eating real, honest to goodness food. David Gumpert attended that seminar and he wrote a blog about it.... ---I am thrilled he thought enough of it to post it on his blog as he really gets this from the consumer standpoint and there are many more consumers than farmers or ranchers.

Honestly, every single one of us will be affected by the passage of any of these 'food safety' bills. Our food will be completely controlled, and this will serve only to further consolidate, concentrate and corporatize the food chain. Call your Senators and Reps and tell them not just no, but hell no, on HR2749 and S510. Talking points can be found at

Until later......

More Regulations....Wheee!!!!

While things have been very busy around here, they are absolutely frenetic at the federal level. As one who raises animals, I have a few thoughts on this idea of further control of antibiotics on farms. We, like most small farmers, use antibiotics to save lives, and not as a continual feed through program. I will use them as a last resort as it is better to save the animals life than let it die because I have an ideology that prevents me from using this medication. We first support the immune system, and then if necessary, will use the antibiotic. We simply cannot afford to have a vet come out whenever an animal is sick. If this restriction is ensconced as law in regulation, it will result in animal deaths and not in better health. Obviously there is concern about overuse particularly in CAFO's, and those should be regulated differently from regular farms, but definitions and power hungry bureaucrats should not get in the way of an individuals right to control their own livestock....Just as an aside, this is also an OIE intiative. Surprised??? Didn't think so!
FDA mulling restrictions on livestock antibiotics

Blog post by Philip Brasher • • March 10, 2010

The head of the Food and Drug Administration says the agency is continuing to look at possible restrictions on the use of antibiotics in livestock but pledged to consult with producers. Margaret Hamburg told a House subcommittee today that antibiotic resistance is one of the nation’s “foremost public health concerns” and there are clear linkages between the problem and the use of the drugs in farm animals.

“We are working closely with industry, listening to their concerns,” Hamburg said in response to a question from Rep. Tom Latham, R-Ia. “We are not going to move forward and institute a policy that we have not been able to base on sound science and evidence.”

She said the agency was looking at “regulatory pathways” to restrict animal antibiotic use but did not elaborate.

Last summer, an FDA official surprised the industry by calling for ending the use of antibiotics for growth promotion in livestock and requiring veterinary approval for all other uses of the drugs. Legislation pending in the House would ban the use of antibiotics for promoting growth in livestock.

“The use of antibiotics for growth promotion alone really needs to be scrutinized very, very closely,” Hamburg said.

When Latham pressed her for evidence of a linkage between antibiotics in livestock and drug resistance, Hamburg cited fluoroquinolones, a class of antibiotics that includes Cipro and that the FDA banned from livestock use in 2005. Poultry producers had been giving the drugs to entire flocks to treat disease outbreaks. Flouroquinolones “actually had to be withdrawn from (livestock) use because of the seriousness of the the resistance conerns,” Hamburg told Latham.

The livestock industry argues that overuse of antibiotics in human medicine is more to blame for resistance in bacteria than feeding the drugs to livestock.

Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., warned that requirements for closer veterinary scrutiny of antibiotic use could be a hardship for farmers, due to the lack of veterinarians in some areas.

Latham invited Hamburg to visit his district in north central Iowa, which includes the Agriculture Department’s National Animal Disease Center at Ames as well as a huge hog industry. “You’ll come to Iowa and find out that there are 3 million people but we have 17 to 18 million hogs,” he said. She did not immediately respond to the invite.