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THE HILL (RegWatch Blog): Environmental group sounds alarm on college sports merchandise



March 19, 2014, 02:25 pm
Environmental group sounds alarm on college sports merchandise
By Tim Devaney

College basketball fans risk exposing themselves to toxic chemicals when they cheer on their favorite teams during March Madness, according to a new study from an environmental research group.

The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Ecology Center found that seven out of 10 college sports products sold in retail stores — like basketball jerseys and sports t-shirts — contain hazardous chemicals.

The Ecology Center released the results Wednesday on its website, healthystuff.org, where it is hosting a "March Badness" bracket of the most toxic college sports gear, which also includes football products.

"Showing your team colors during March Madness shouldn't be bad for your health, yet researchers have found that dangerous chemicals like arsenic, lead, phthalates, and toxic flame retardants are common in the products they tested," Mike Schade, Mind the Store campaign director at Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, said in a statement.


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Comments - 27

Posted by proverbialwisdom | Fri Apr 11, 2014, 02:39 PM (0 replies)

IACC Full Committee Meeting, April 8, 2014. Mito disease discussed + plans for follow-up, July 2014.

If you missed it, I strongly urge you to watch the entire session.


IACC Full Committee Meeting, April 2014 Video

Air date: Tuesday, April 08, 2014, 8:45:00 AM
Views: Total views: 477, (471 Live, 6 On-demand)
Runtime: 06:48:21

Category: Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee

Description: The IACC will meet to discuss ASD research and services activities.
Author: Dr. Thomas Insel

Overview page: https://iacc.hhs.gov/events/index.shtml
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Fri Apr 11, 2014, 01:14 PM (0 replies)

NRDC Report: Potentially Unsafe Chemicals in Food Threaten Public Health


Press Release

NRDC Report: Potentially Unsafe Chemicals in Food Threaten Public Health

Gaping loophole needs to be closed

WASHINGTON (April 7, 2014)
– Federal protections to keep potentially unsafe chemicals out of our foods are woefully inadequate and may be putting the health of Americans at risk, a Natural Resources Defense Council investigation found.

The food safety protection system is marred by minimal supervision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, rife with apparent conflicts of interest in safety evaluations, and rendered all but toothless by a gaping loophole that allows companies to simply declare as safe hundreds of chemicals added to our foods—without any notification to the FDA or the public, according to an NRDC report released today.

“Americans should expect that their food is safe to eat, but sadly today there’s no guarantee because safety oversight from federal agencies and food manufacturers is shockingly weak and hidden from public scrutiny,” said Tom Neltner, NRDC health scientist and report co-author. “Congress should close the loophole responsible for this failing now. Until it does, FDA should strictly limit companies’ conflicts of interest and require them to disclose to the agency when they self-approve the safety of a chemical. And consumers should demand that their grocery stores and their favorite brands sell only food with ingredients deemed safe by federal food safety experts.”

The findings in NRDC’s report, “Generally Recognized as Secret: Chemicals Added to Food in the United States,” focus on a key shortcoming in the safety oversight of chemicals in food, a loophole in a federal law known as “generally recognized as safe,” or GRAS.

The report shows:

* 275 chemicals used by 56 companies appear to be marketed as GRAS and used in many food products based on companies’ safety determinations that, pursuant to current regulations, did not need to be reported to the FDA or the public. This is probably just the tip of the iceberg.

* Information obtained under the federal Freedom of Information Act shows that when FDA does learn of a chemical proposed to be used in food, the agency often asks tough questions, but because of the GRAS loophole a company is not bound to answer them and not prohibited from continuing to sell the chemical for use in food.

* Based on information from notices submitted to the FDA, but later withdrawn, companies have sometimes certified their chemicals as safe for use in food despite potentially serious allergic reactions, or adverse reactions in combination with common drugs, or have proposed using amounts of the chemicals in food at much higher levels than company-established safe levels.

* When companies seek FDA’s voluntary review of their GRAS safety determination, the agency rejects or triggers withdrawal of that determination in one out of every 5 cases. At least in some instances, companies may have withdrawn their notices in order to avoid having an FDA rejection made public.

* The public and FDA are in the dark about hundreds of chemicals found in our food because companies aren’t required to submit the safety determination to FDA for its review.

These problems are rooted in a 1958 law which included an exemption designed for common ingredients such as vinegar and vegetable oil. The exemption avoided an extended FDA approval process because there was a consensus in the scientific community that a chemical’s use was generally recognized as safe to consume. In the ensuing years, however, companies have heavily used this GRAS exemption to self-approve hundreds, if not thousands, of ingredients added to food, NRDC’s report says.

More troubling, companies are allowed to hire their own experts, which may be their own employees, to determine the safety of chemicals used in food. This can present a serious conflict of interest, especially when FDA does not review the GRAS decision, because the evaluators may have a financial incentive to provide positive results, according to NRDC’s report.

In four case studies, NRDC found that chemicals that were subject to a withdrawn GRAS notice have been listed as an ingredient in foods marketed to the public, despite FDA’s serious concerns about their safety. They are:

* Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG): A company determined as safe for use in beverages including teas, sport drinks, and juices, despite FDA’s citation of evidence it may cause leukemia in fetuses in human cells tests and animal studies showing it affected the thyroid, testis, spleen, pituitary, liver, and gastrointestinal tract.

* Gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA): A company determined as safe for use in beverages, chewing gum, coffee, tea, and candy, despite FDA concerns that estimated exposure was well in excess of what the company itself considered safe.

* Sweet lupin protein, fiber, and flour: A company determined as safe for use in baked goods, dairy products, gelatin, meats, and candy, despite FDA-raised questions about whether or not the chemicals would cause serious allergic reactions in those with peanut allergies.

* Theobromine: A company determined as safe for use in bread, cereal, beverages, chewing gum, tea, soy milk, gelatin, candy, and yogurt and fruit smoothies, despite FDA’s question about the estimated consumption being five times higher than the safe consumption level reported by the company.

“The law places responsibility on FDA to ensure food Americans consume is safe. If the FDA is in the dark about the identity and safety of hundreds of chemicals, it cannot do its job. The “generally recognized as secret” loophole undermines public health,” said NRDC health scientist Maricel Maffini, the report’s coauthor.

A link to NRDC’s report, FOIA documents and a video about the GRAS issue is here:

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 1.4 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Fri Apr 11, 2014, 12:13 PM (7 replies)

Dr. Michael P. Wilson PhD on what the public can do.

Dr. Michael P. Wilson PhD: What The Public Can Do
from Penelope Jagessar Chaffer PLUS 3 years ago

Dr. Michael P. Wilson discusses the Baby Tooth Study as an example of public advocacy and how the general public can bring about legislation and change.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Wed Apr 9, 2014, 10:32 PM (0 replies)

Don't know, personally, but the video cites a CDC conference call @ the time re:unpublished paper,

(from memory) describing the rate to be 1:50. Apparently, also on that same recording someone stated, "It's not rare."

You should really pursue dialogue directly with the parents. Diverse group, however, many are self-proclaimed vaccine safety advocates and probably started out the same as you and me. Don't you catch the paradox here? Any parents claiming adverse reactions vaccinated first. That means, in reality, they can't be what they've been labeled by the bullies, despite the rampant abuse and urge to turn away.

The schedule isn't static and has changed over time. The number of doses has approximately tripled since 198?, birth to 18. Theoretically, if the schedule in the future again grew substantially, would it be justifiable to savagely vilify those who wanted to comply with the 2014 schedule as antivaxxers?

Also, as immunization schedules vary with country, are public health officials from those countries themselves to be regarded as antivaxxers if fewer are advised than here?

RIDICULOUS. The use of undefined terms is profoundly unscientific. That's branding, nothing more. Contact Ginger Taylor for more info on her video (names, transcript, etc). She's a Hopkins grad and her research is meticulous.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Mon Apr 7, 2014, 02:21 PM (0 replies)

Wonderful advertisement, the ingredients are not. NO PASS on the Mondelez/Nabiso/Kraft GMOs, plus.

I just learned this (acrylamide issue) myself, while trying to find an ingredients list for the EU version of the product (guaranteed to be GMO-FREE), but no luck.


Health Canada's Revised Exposure Assessment of Acrylamide in Food
August 2012

Appendix 1 - Concentrations of acrylamide in food products, on an as-consumed basis, available in Canada (µg/kg of food or parts per billion (ppb)).

This table is considered a snapshot of a small proportion of the products that are available on the Canadian market and do not represent all brands and product types. No particular inference should be drawn from the presence or absence of any brand from this survey. The absence of a particular brand simply means that it was not sampled and does not mean that it would have either similar or dissimilar levels of acrylamide as those in brands of the same food listed below. Differences in acrylamide levels between foods and brands do not necessarily reflect differences in exposure or potential risk that would be faced by consumers, and should not be used as indices of healthy product choices.

Table of concentrations of acrylamide in food products, on an as-consumed basis, available in Canada (µg/kg of food or parts per billion (ppb))

Food commodity (Product description): Honey Maid graham wafers
Brand Name: Kraft
n: 9
Acrylamide (µg/kg of food) mean: 261
Acrylamide (µg/kg of food) range: 224-299


Official Website: Nabisco Honey Maid Honey
Size: 14.4 OZ UPC: 4400000463


GMO ingredients in bold; additional possible (artificial flavor). Alternate ingredients list (undated) contains High Fructose Corn Syrup, Canola oil. Presumably, HFCS is older formulation.

HFCS? Think Hg. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/26/AR2009012601831.html
Google: HFCS mercury huffington post


- Honey Maid is STILL made by Nabisco, Nabisco is STILL active in the Grocery Management Association, and neither wants Americans to know whether or not there are GMOs in their food. Nabisco is NOT on the side of the people, they are of and for the Corporatocracy! So, let's not be fooled by some slick, Hallmark-inspired you-tube video!

- No matter how "feel good" this is it still doesn't change the fact that all Nabisco products contain GMOs.

- Really!? No matter how touchy feely that video is it doesn't take away the fact that all Nabisco products are full of GMOs.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sun Apr 6, 2014, 04:53 PM (0 replies)

On principle,"404 Not Found" links are inappropriate and wrong for peer-reviewed scientific articles


Page 34

Can Awareness of Medical Pathophysiology in Autism Lead to Primary Care Autism Prevention Strategies?

Elizabeth Mumper, MD, FAAP* 2919 Confederate Avenue, Lynchburg, VA

Emerging research suggests that the timing of environmental factors in the presence of genetic predispositions has influenced the increase in autism spectrum disorders over the past several decades. A review of the medical literature suggests that autism may be impacted by environmental toxicants, breastfeeding duration, gut flora composition, nutritional status, acetaminophen use, vaccine practices and use of antibiotics and/or frequency of infections. The author reports her retrospective clinical research ina general pediatric practice (Advocates for Children), which shows a modest trend toward lower prevalence of autism than her previous pediatric practice or recent CDC data. Out of 294 general pediatrics patients followed since 2005 there were zero new cases of autism (p value 0.014). Given the prevalence of autism for that cohort of 1 in 50 children in the United States, it is important to consider implementing strategies in primary care practice that could potentially modify environmental factors or affect the timing of environmental triggers contributing to autism.

(N A J Med Sci. 2013;6(3):134-144. DOI: 10.7156/najms.2013.0603134)

Key Words: primary care, autism, prevention strategies

Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sat Apr 5, 2014, 07:49 PM (1 replies)

Except now it's all 404 NOT FOUND - everywhere.


Lessons from the autism epidemic – hopes for prevention
AUGUST 8, 2013

By Dr. Elizabeth Mumper – TACA Physician Advisory Board Member

Emerging research over the past several decades has identified that some combinations of genetic and environmental factors, depending on timing, might create a “perfect storm” for the development of autism. This retrospective clinical study looks at a cohort in the general pediatrics practice of the former medical director of the Autism Research Institute, in which there have been no known new cases of autism since 2000 (1.) This paper is intended to be hypothesis generating and prompt prospective research. It should not be over-interpreted since it has clear limitations.

When we talk about preventing autism, we are not talking about preventing the type of autism in which people are healthy and intelligent but quirky, innovative, artistic or creative with amazing savant skills. We hope to prevent some cases of the types of autism associated with inflammatory bowel disease, immune dysregulation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and metabolic abnormalities in which the children and families suffer.

As our paper went to press, we became worried about one eighteen month old in our practice who exhibits some autistic features but has only been diagnosed with language delay so far. In the cohort we examined, we would have expected about 6 new cases of autism based on the background prevalence. There is a 1.4% chance that our zero new cases would have occurred by chance alone.

Did our practices and strategies make a difference for a small group of patients? Only time (and replication studies) will tell.

Elizabeth Mumper, MD Founder, Rimland Center

Dr Elizabeth Mumper biography https://www.tacanow.org/about-taca/physician-advisory-board/


1) http://najms.net/wp-content/uploads/v06i03.pdf#page=34
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sat Apr 5, 2014, 04:24 PM (0 replies)

Business Insider really ought to expand their sources beyond CDC and AAP. Others actually do exist.

Look at the credentials of these editors and contributors, a gold standard for independent researchers, and the absence of pharmaceutical advertising in the journal.


Preface to the special issue of autism

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the fastest-growing complex neurodevelopment disorder, continues to rise in its prevalence, now affecting up to 1 in 50 children in the USA, and averaging 1% globally, according to the latest CDC report. More children will be diagnosed with ASD this year than with AIDS, diabetes & cancer combined in the USA. ASD costs the nation $137 billion a year and this debt is expected to increase in the next decade. Hence, ASD has become a huge healthcare burden and global threat, categorized by the CDC as a national public health crisis.

ASD is characterized by social-communication impairment, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, which cause significant disability for those affected. With its etiology still largely unknown, and its pathophysiology poorly understood, ASD currently has no universally accepted therapy. ASD is affecting more and more families; unmet services and limited resources need to be addressed urgently. Researchers, clinicians, healthcare providers, social agencies and government need to coordinate efforts to develop more effective treatments and a satisfactory continuum of care, across the lifespan. Ultimately, a cure needs to be sought for the various subtypes of ASD that exist.

The current issue of North American Journal of Medicine and Science (NAJMS) represents a continuation of our previous two special issues on autism (NAJMS Vol. 5 Issue 3 and Vol. 4 Issue 3) published in July 2012 and July 2011, respectively. In this issue, we are honored to have another panel of expert researchers and clinicians on the frontlines of ASD research and treatment to present their newest research findings and views from different perspectives.

This issue of NAJMS consists of five original research articles, two comprehensive reviews, one case report and two commentary articles, covering topics in genetics, pathogenesis, metabolic disorder biomarkers of ASD, and a clinical study, that bring into focus our newest understanding and treatment strategies.


The data presented in Dr. Mumper’s review of the medical literature, suggests that ASD may be impacted by environmental toxicants, duration of breastfeeding, gut flora composition, nutritional status, acetaminophen use, vaccine practices and use of antibiotics and/or frequency of infections. In her current general pediatric practice (Advocates for Children), she has noted a modest trend toward a lower prevalence of ASD than in her previous pediatric practice or recent prevalence estimates from the CDC.


Xuejun Kong, MD
Editor-in-Chief, NAJMS

Department of Medicine
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Harvard Medical School

Christopher J. McDougle, MD
Guest Editor, NAJMS

Lurie Center for Autism Massachusetts General Hospital
Harvard Medical School

More: http://www.democraticunderground.com/101672031

Dr Liz Mumper research published North American Journal of Medicine and Science, Vol 6, Issue 3 July
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sat Apr 5, 2014, 04:20 PM (3 replies)

This just in: Layoffs at Star-Ledger, NJ.com, other Advance newspapers top 300


Layoffs at Star-Ledger, NJ.com, other Advance newspapers top 300

By Star-Ledger Staff
on April 03, 2014 at 5:02 PM, updated April 04, 2014 at 6:51 AM
By Mark Mueller and Ted Sherman/The Star-Ledger

Imagine the potential for investigative reporting on autism in NJ by those 300 axed individuals if they organized and sought funding from families of the 12,000 children diagnosed with autism in NJ, and others.

"You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before."
- Rahm Emanuel
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Fri Apr 4, 2014, 11:05 AM (0 replies)
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