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FDA CLASSIFIES POPULAR DIET DRUGS AS “TAINTED”

Posted in Alternative Health, Health Watch, Healthy Food on March 29th, 2009

BUT IS FDA’S WORD ENOUGH ON THIS MATTER?

As one who has battled long and hard for many years with my weight and who has tried virtually every diet plan to come on the market, no matter how half baked, I have found to my great disappointment that the only way to lose weight and to keep it off is to reduce the volume of calories that I consume daily. None of the other stuff, no matter how scientific it sounds, seems to work for me. Granted, there may be initial benefits experienced from many of the so-called “fad diets”, but sad to say, there is rarely ever any significant long-term weight loss.

Now I must admit that the news that there was not a magic pill for weight loss was very upsetting. More upsetting, however, was the amount of money That I had over the years squandered on these diets when all I really needed to do was learn some basic facts about the food I put in my body and cut down on the volume accordingly. Sounds simple, right? Well it is not. Learning about food is work, boring, tedious work, so much more difficult that popping a pill, eating a piece of diet candy or drinking a glass of some so-called magic elixir. Also, truth be told, I rather enjoyed the amphetamine and Phen-Fen eras of dieting, not only for the impressive weight loss, but also for the mild spring that those, now off the market diet aids, put in my step. I can’t say the same, however, for the myriad of other products, or for artery clogging theories promoted with such vigor by the late Dr. Atkins.

So here I am in the twenty first century with what can only be described as a love-hate relationship with my good friend food. But discussing the ins and outs of my tawdry ongoing battle with food is not the purpose of this posting. Rather it is to share with you a recent missive from the FDA that purports to name so-called toxic diet drugs. The list is extensive containing over 70 products.

But before going into it, I must tell you, and this is at the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, but in my lifetime, particularly from the Reagan era onward, the FDA, and for that matter pretty much all of the watchdog groups set up to protect the American people, have done little other than to rubber stamp the wishes of Corporate America and their blindly subservient tools in the US Congress.

Think about it, if the FDA was doing the job it was designed to do, which is protecting you and I from snake oil salesmen masquerading as miracle workers, would we have all the recent instances of drugs being pulled from the market because they were proven to be harming, and in many instances killing, the people they were designed to help?

Drugs such as the popular painkiller Vioxx, the constipation drug Zelnorn, or the nighttime heartburn drug, Propulsid, all pulled from distribution after they were shown to be causing higher instances of blood clots, heart attacks and strokes among regular users.

If the FDA were doing its job, wouldn’t it have taken note when popular antidepressant, Serzone was taken off the market in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Canada after “adverse events including liver failure.” were discovered among regular users of the product? But no, it would take a lawsuit from advocacy group, Public Citizen to get action out of the FDA over Serzone after first ignoring the advocacy group’s petition asking for a ban. And these are just the tip of the iceberg. Many many more products have suffered similar fates as the ones listed above.

So you see, I really don’t put much faith in the FDA and for that matter in this list. Which isn’t to say that it might not be completely accurate. No one is disputing that there are potentially a lot of bad products out there, and I don’t doubt more than a few that can harm or even kill you.

So what I suggest is that you use this list as a guide and when you see a product on it that you are considering trying, DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH. TAKE NOTHING FOR GRANTED. Aand above all, DO NOT BELIEVE ANYONE’S SPIN. The internets is loaded with data about virtually every product ever made. Use it and become an informed consumer, responsible for what you put in your body. Lastly remember, corporations and federal bureaucracies cannot be counted on to tell the truth.

With that my friends, we are adjourned.

Denis

Here is the FDA’s full list of all 72 tainted weight loss products:
2 Day Diet
2 Day Diet Slim Advance
2x Powerful Slimming
3 Day Diet
3 Days Fit
3x Slimming Power
5x Imelda Perfect Slimming
7 Day Herbal Slim
7 Days Diet
7 Diet
7 Diet Day/Night Formula
8 Factor Diet
Eight Factor Diet
21 Double Slim
24 Hours Diet
999 Fitness Essence
BioEmagrecim
Body Creator
Body Shaping
Body Slimming
Cosmo Slim
Extrim Plus
Extrim Plus 24 Hour Reburn
Fasting Diet
Fatloss Slimming
GMP
Herbal Xenicol
Imelda Fat Reducer
Imelda Perfect Slim
JM Fat Reducer
Lida DaiDaihua
Meili
Meizitang
Miaozi MeiMiaoQianZiJiaoNang
Miaozi Slim Capsules
Natural Model
Perfect Slim
Perfect Slim 5x
Perfect Slim Up
Phyto Shape
Powerful Slim
ProSlim Plus
Reduce Weihgt
Royal Slimming Formula
Sana Plus
Slim 3 in 1
Slim 3 in 1 Extra Slim Formula
Slim 3 in 1 Extra Slim Waist Formula
Slim 3 in 1 M18 Royal Diet
Slim 3 in 1 Slim Formula
Slim Burn
Slim Express 4 in 1
Slim Express 360
Slim Fast (This product isn’t related to the Slim-Fast line of meal replacement and related products.)
Slim Tech
Slim Up
Slim Waist Formula
Slim Waistline
Slimbionic
Sliminate
Slimming Formula
Somotrim
Starcaps
Super Fat Burner
Superslim
Super Slimming
Trim 2 Plus
Triple Slim
Venom Hyperdrive 3.0
Waist Strength Formula
Xsvelten
Zhen de Shou

List source: Web MD

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EATING RIGHT: AMERICA’S TEN HEALTHIEST SUPERMARKET CHAINS

Posted in Health Watch, Healthy Food, News Brief, Sustainable Food on November 9th, 2008

HEALTH,COM RATES THE GROCERY STORES YOU SHOULD ADD TO YOUR SHOPPING LIST

1. Whole Foods (279 stores in 38 states and Washington, D.C.
2. Safeway (1,700-plus stores nationwide)
3. Harris Teeter (176 stores in the Southeast)
4. Trader Joe’s (300-plus stores in 23 states and Washington, D.C.)
5. Hannaford (165-plus stores in the Northeast)
6. Albertsons (529 stores in the West, owned by SuperValu)
7. Food Lion (1,300 stores in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic)
8. Publix Super Markets (952 stores in the Southeast)
9. Pathmark (141 stores in the Mid-Atlantic)
10. SuperTarget (239 stores in 21 states, primarily Texas and Florida)

Learn why these stores are considered America’s healthiest supermarkets

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NATURAL RESOURCES DEFICIT THE BASIS OF NEW REPORT

Posted in Health Watch, News Brief, Sustainable Living on October 29th, 2008

FULLY THREE QUARTERS OF THE WORLD’S POPULATION LIVES IN COUNTRIES WHERE THE RESIDENTS CONSUME MORE NATURAL RESOURCES THAN THEIR NATION HAS THE CAPACITY TO PRODUCE.

From the too scary to contemplate file comes a new report from the World Wildlife Foundation, the Zoological Society of London and the Global Footprint Network, warning that fully three quarters of the world’s population lives in countries where the residents consume more natural resources than their nation has the capacity to produce.

To put it another way, what this means is that three quarters of us are only able to sustain our standard of living by drawing on the agricultural land, forests, seas and resources of other countries.

What’s more, the report tells us, the deficit has grown to such an extent that we now need 1/3 more natural resource capacity then the entire planet is capable of producing. Extrapolate these numbers twenty years in the future and it really gets frightening as by then the experts predict we will need a second planet of the size and capacity of earth just to sustain life.

The report concludes that this reckless consumption of “natural capital” is endangering the world’s future prosperity, with clear economic impacts including high costs for food, water and energy.

Just what we need, more good news.

- – Denis

This report is based on data from two indicators:

The Living Planet Index – assesses the health of the planet’s ecosystems;

Ecological Footprint – measures human demand on the natural world.

The Living Planet Index tracked the population of 1,313 vertebrate species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals from around the world.

It found that these species had declined by about 30% since 1970, suggesting that natural ecosystems were being degraded at an unprecedented rate.

The Ecological Footprint measured the amount of biologically productive land and water to meet the demand for food, timber, shelter, and absorb the pollution from human activity.

The report concluded that the global footprint exceeded the earth’s biocapacity by 25% in 2003, which meant that the Earth could no longer keep up with the demands being placed upon it.

Read More

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FORBES MAGAZINE’S GUIDE TO AMERICA’S TOP MEDITATION RETREATS

Posted in Consciousness, Health Watch on September 18th, 2008

A VACATION OF A DIFFERENT SORT

meditation3.jpgMeditation, once the domain of Buddhist’s, new-agers, and Indian holy men, has in recent years garnered mainstream acceptance for its almost magical ability to lower cholesterol, ease pain, curb insomnia, boost the immune system, and control depression.

Recently many Americans have started to make meditation a key part of their vacation plans. This has led to the growth of a new industry, of meditation themed retreats specially outfitted to service a population hungering for inner peace.

Forbes magazine, in the current issue, surveyed the best of these retreats. (Follow the link at the bottom of this posting). Represented are resorts that run the gamut from Esalen, which is famous as being the birthplace of the Human Potential Movement, to lesser known retreats in Colorado, Kentucky, Upstate New York and Hawaii.

Having stayed at Esalen a few times over the years, I can attest to its rejuvenating effects on mind, body and spirit. The location is exquisite, carved into a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean in majestic Big Sur, California. The retreat’s natural mineral baths, a key part of the Esalen experience, are famous world over for their ability to cleanse mind and body, as is the style of massage, which bears its name.

- Denis

Learn more about Esalen

Link to Forbes guide to top meditation retreats

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NEWS WATCH! GOING VEGGIE CAN DRASTICALLY REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT

Posted in Health Watch on August 31st, 2008

MEAT-EATERS’ DIETS RESPONSIBLE FOR ALMOST TWICE THE EMISSIONS OF THOSE OF VEGETARIANS

beef2.jpgAs one who has continuously questioned why so many in the environmental movement tap dance around the role that meat laden diets play in the production of greenhouse gasses, I was relieved this week to see that no less a prestigious organization than Germany’s, Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IoeW), had finally connected quantifiable, relatable numbers to the devastation. This my friends is a welcome addition to an argument that for too long has been driven by the usual banal, inexact, quasi-scientific mumbo jumbo that tends to permeate so many green conversations.

Now instead of merely being told that the production of meat produces as much greenhouse gases as all of the world’s cars, planes, trucks and trains taken together, we know that eating a meat-laden diet for one year is equal to driving a mid-sized car – - not a hybrid – - three thousand miles, or the distance from New York to California.

Moreover, thanx to IoeW, we also know that the food that a vegetarian consumes in a year produces only half as much greenhouse gasses as a meat eater, in other words the same as that mid-sized, non-hybrid car would produce driving approximately 1500 miles.

But the best of all of the report’s findings is that a vegan diet, meaning one without meat or dairy, would cut the emissions released in the production of your food more than seven-fold, to the equivalent of driving that same mid-sized car a little under three hundred miles.

Choosing organic foods ups the ante even more; an organic diet produces only one 17th of the greenhouse gasses of a meat-laden diet.

Presently there are 1 billion pigs; 1.3 billion head of cattle; 1.8 billion sheep & goats and 15.4 billion chickens in Planet Earth’s food chain. Of these, the production of beef, according to the report, is “particularly environmentally unfriendly.” Producing 2.2 pounds of beef produces twice as much greenhouse gasses as a similar amount of pork.

IoeW’s calculations are based on emissions of greenhouse gases, including methane produced by the animals themselves, as well as emissions from food production including manufacturing feed and fertilizer and the use of farmland.

Some related statistics not mentioned in IoeW’s report but which are germane to the discussion include:

Agriculture accounts for almost 14% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide; Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Nitrogen based fertilizers responsible for almost 1/3 of Agricultures contribution to Global Warming; Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Besides the production of greenhouses gasses, raising animals for meat is the leading cause of water pollution, land degradation and deforestation; Source: Ode Magazine

2.2 lbs of beef in a burger responsible for the same CO2 as 155 miles of driving and the energy consumption of a 100 watt bulb burning non-stop for 20 days; Source: Ode Magazine

- DENIS

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HEALTH WATCH! FDA OKAY’S IRRADIATION OF FRESH SPINACH AND ICEBERG LETTUCE

Posted in Government Shenanigans, Health Watch, Toxic Food on August 22nd, 2008

PRODUCE SUPPLIERS CLAIM MODERN TECHNOLOGY WILL PREVENT PRODUCE FROM BECOMING LIMP

spinach.jpgPotentially limp produce notwithstanding, the Food and Drug Administration has given its ok for produce suppliers to begin irradiating fresh spinach and iceberg lettuce to help in the fight against e-coli and other bacterial illnesses.

The new ruling goes into effect immediately amid significant speculation that the use of the controversial process is a poor substitute for properly maintained fields and for washing the product in the home prior to eating.

Irradiation has been around for years, though it was mainly used to rid beef of e-coli and to cure certain spices. But that was before 2006’s e-coli outbreak where three people died and 200 more were sickened after eating raw spinach.

The spinach outbreak was traced to animal contamination of the product prior to harvesting. Also being this controversial process are tomatoes and peppers, the latter the source of this summers outbreak of salmonella.

Continue Reading

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NEWS WATCH! FISH, CRABS, SHRIMP, HEADED TO EXTINCTION

Posted in Endangered Species, Health Watch, New Scientific Data, News Brief, Toxin Alert! on August 15th, 2008

OVER 400 OXYGEN DEPLETED “DEAD ZONES” PLAGUE WORLD’S OCEANS

dead_zone_-_sediment.jpgFertilizer runoff, fossil fuel burning, sewage and pollution-fed algae, are among the items being blamed for depleting ocean oxygen, killing sea life and creating over 400 worldwide “Dead Zones”, covering an area of 95,000 square miles, according to researchers writing in the latest edition of Science.

Hypoxia, as the condition is known, is not a new phenomenon, but as the number of “Dead Zones” has doubled each decade since the 1960’s, it is one that requires immediate attention. Failure to do so, experts tell us, could lead to a day in the not too distant future when man is no longer able to extract enough fish, shrimps, crabs and other sea life from the oceans to feed himself.

The newest “Dead Zones” are being found in the Southern Hemisphere in South America, Africa, and parts of Asia, according to researchers.

Closer to home, the largest U.S. dead zone is at the mouth of the Mississippi River, which at latest count covers some 8,000 square miles. Also threatened is Washington State’s Samish Bay and Yaquina Bay in Oregon.

For more information about “Dead Zones”

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CONSUMER ALERT! MORE BAD BEEF

Posted in Corporate Carelessness, Corporate Polluters, Corporate Responsibility, Eco Thugs, Health Watch, Public Service Announcement, Toxic Food, Toxin Alert! on August 9th, 2008

FOR THE SECOND TIME IN AS MANY MONTHS BEEF FROM NEBRASKA BEEF LTD MAY BE CONTAMINATED WITH E. COLI

burgers.jpgNebraska Beef Ltd. announced Friday night that it is recalling 1.2 million pounds of fresh ground beef because the product may be contaminated with E. coli. This is the second time in as many months that the company has had to recall product. Last months recall is blamed for at least 49 cases of E. coli.

Stores affected by this latest recall include Whole Foods Markets in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, Massachusetts, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington D. C., Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Canada.

To date, Whole Foods reports that seven people in Massachusetts and two people in Pennsylvania have become ill after eating the affected meat. The company is requesting that customers who purchased ground beef from June 2 though Aug. 6 to return it to the store with the packaging or receipt for a refund.

For more information, consumers can call 512-542-0878.

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HOW TO SAFELY HANDLE COMPACT FLOURESCENT LIGHTS (CFL’S)

Posted in Alternative Energy, Cool Products, Health Watch, News Brief, Toxin Alert! on August 6th, 2008

BECAUSE CFL’S CONTAIN A SMALL AMOUNT OF MERCURY, THE EPA HAS ESTABLISHED GUIDELINES TO OBSERVE WHEN HANDLING, DISPOSING OF, OR CLEANING UP BROKEN CFL’S

250px-compact-flourescent-bulb2.jpg As more and more of us convert out incandescent home lighting to the new soft light compact fluorescent lights, it is important to remember that these odd looking bulbs contain small amounts of mercury.

For that reason the EPA has developed guidelines to observe when handling, disposing of, or cleaning up broken CFL’s.

We here at Greenourscene.com urge you to take a moment and observe the best ways to handle CFL’s.

-Denis

INSTALLING CFL’S

Be careful when removing the bulb from its packaging, installing it, or replacing it.

Always screw and unscrew the light bulb by its base (not the glass), and NEVER forcefully twist the CFL into a light socket.

WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN A CFL WEARS OUT?

PROPER DISPOSAL: Contact your area recycling company to see if they have a program for disposing of worn out or broken CFL’s. If the answer is no, or you are unsure of who to contact, go to www.epa.gov/bulbrecycling or ww.earth911.org to identify local recycling options.

NOTE! Some areas permit you to put used or broken CFLs in the garbage. If this applies to your area seal the bulb in two plastic bags and put it into the outside trash, or other protected outside location, for the next normal trash collection.

It is important that you NEVER send a fluorescent light bulb or any other product containing mercury to an incinerator.

WHAT IS THE SAFEST WAY TO CLEAN UP A BROKEN CFL?

BEFORE CLEAN-UP:

Air Out the Room – Have people and pets leave the room, and don’t let anyone walk through the breakage area on their way out.

Shut off the central forced-air heating/air conditioning system, open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes or more.

CLEAN-UP STEPS FOR HARD SURFACES

Carefully scoop up glass fragments and powder using stiff paper or cardboard and place them in a glass jar with a metal lid (such as a canning jar) or in a sealed plastic bag.

Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass pieces and powder.

Wipe the area clean with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes. Place towels in the glass jar or plastic bag.

Do not use a vacuum or broom to clean up the broken bulb on hard surfaces.

CLEAN-UP STEPS FOR CARPETING OR RUG:

Carefully pick up glass fragments and place them in a glass jar with metal lid (such as a canning jar) or in a sealed plastic bag.

Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder.

If vacuuming is needed after all visible materials are removed, vacuum the area where the bulb was broken.

Remove the vacuum bag (or empty and wipe the canister), and put the bag or vacuum debris in a sealed plastic bag

CLEAN-UP STEPS FOR CLOTHING, BEDDING, ETC.:

If clothing or bedding materials come in direct contact with broken glass or mercury-containing powder from inside the bulb that may stick to the fabric, the clothing or bedding should be thrown away. Do not wash such clothing or bedding because mercury fragments in the clothing may contaminate the machine and/or pollute sewage.

You can, however, wash clothing or other materials that have been exposed to the mercury vapor from a broken CFL, such as the clothing you are wearing when you cleaned up the broken CFL, as long as that clothing has not come into direct contact with the materials from the broken bulb.

If shoes come into direct contact with broken glass or mercury-containing powder from the bulb, wipe them off with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes. Place the towels or wipes in a glass jar or plastic bag for disposal.

DISPOSAL OF CLEAN-UP MATERIALS

Immediately place all clean-up materials outdoors in a trash container or protected area for the next normal trash pickup.

Wash your hands after disposing of the jars or plastic bags containing clean-up materials.

Check with your local or state government about disposal requirements in your specific area. Some states do not allow such trash disposal. Instead, they require that broken and unbroken mercury-containing bulbs be taken to a local recycling center.

FUTURE CLEANING OF CARPETING OR RUG

Air Out the Room During and After Vacuuming

The next several times you vacuum, shut off the central forced-air heating/air conditioning system and open a window before vacuuming.

Keep the central heating/air conditioning system shut off and the window open for at least 15 minutes

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HOW TO GREEN YOUR DIET

Posted in Health Watch on July 18th, 2008

LOW FAT V. LOW CARB: WHICH DIET IS THE WAY TO GO?

ornish.jpgA new study comparing the Atkins diet, a Mediterranean diet and a low-fat diet published on July 17 in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), is likely to inspire headlines saying that the Atkins diet is better for your waistline and your health than a low-fat diet.

But according to Dr Dean Ornish, pioneer of the Body, Mind and Spirit therapy for “reversing heart disease” and author of numerous health related books, “the study is extremely flawed”.

Find out Dr. Ornish’s reasons…

Learn more about Dr. Ornish’s Lifestyle Approach to treating Heart Disease

Welcome to the Preventive Medicine Research Institute

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