Category Archives: Natural Health

Millions Wrongly Treated For ‘Cancer,’ National Cancer Institute Panel Confirms

national cancer institute

A devastating new report commissioned by the National Cancer Institute reveals that our 40-year long ‘War on Cancer’ has been waged against a vastly misunderstood ‘enemy,’ that in many cases represented no threat to human health whatsoever.

If you have been following our advocacy work on cancer, particularly in connection with the dark side of breast cancer awareness month, you know that we have been calling for the complete reclassification of some types of ‘breast cancer’ as benign lesions, e.g. ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), as well as pointing out repeatedly that x-ray based breast screenings are not only highly carcinogenic but are also causing an epidemic of “overdiagnosis” and “overtreatment” in US women, with an estimated 1.3 million cases in the past 30 years alone.

This week, a National Cancer Institute commissioned panel’s report published in JAMA online confirmed that we all – public and professionals alike – should stop calling low-risk lesions like DCIS and high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN) ‘cancer.’

There are wide-reaching implications to this recommendation, including:

  • Millions of women in this country have been diagnosed with DCIS, and millions of men with HGPIN, and subsequently [mis]treated. Are they now to be retroactively reclassified as ‘victims’ of iatrogenesis, with legal recourse to seek compensation?
  • Anyone engaged in a cancer screening will now need to reconsider and weigh both the risks and benefits of such a ‘preventive’ strategy, considering that the likelihood of being diagnosed with a false positive over 10 years is already over 50% for women undergoing annual breast screening.
  • The burgeoning pink ribbon-bedecked ‘breast cancer awareness’ industry will be forced to reformulate its message, as it is theoretically culpable for the overdiagnosis and overtreatment of millions of US women by propagating an entirely false concept of ‘cancer.’

As reported by Medscape:

The practice of oncology in the United States is in need of a host of reforms and initiatives to mitigate the problem of overdiagnosis and overtreatment of cancer, according to a working group sanctioned by the National Cancer Institute.

Perhaps most dramatically, the group says that a number of premalignant conditions, including ductal carcinoma in situ and high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia, should no longer be called “cancer.”

Instead, the conditions should be labeled something more appropriate, such as indolent lesions of epithelial origin (IDLE), the working group suggests. The Viewpoint report was published online July 29 in JAMA.

Fundamentally, overdiagnosis results from the fact that screen-detected ‘cancers’ are disproportionately slower growing ones, present with few to no symptoms, and would never progress to cause harm if left undiagnosed and untreated.

cancer diagnosis

As you can see by the graph above, it is the fast-growing tumors which will be more difficult to ‘detect early,’ and will progress rapidly enough to cause symptoms and perhaps even death unless treated aggressively. But even in the case of finding the tumor early enough to contain it through surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation, it is well-known that the minority subpopulation of cancer stem cells within these tumors will be enriched and therefore made more malignant through conventional treatment. For instance, radiotherapy radiation wavelengths were only recently found by UCLA Jonnsson Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers to transform breast cancer cells into highly malignant cancer stem-cell like cells, with 30 times higher malignancy post-treatment.

What this means is that not only are millions of screen-detected abnormalities not ‘cancer’ in the first place but even those which can be considered fast-growing are often being driven into greater malignancy by the conventional chemotherapy, radiation and surgery-based standard of cancer care itself.

Our entire world view of cancer needs to shift from an enemy that “attacks” us and that we must wage war against, to something our body does, presumably to survive an increasingly inhospitable, nutrient-deprived, carcinogen- and radiation-saturated environment, i.e. Cancer As An Ancient Survival Mechanism Unmasked.

When we look at cancer through the optic of fear and see it as an essentially chaos-driven infinitely expanding mass of cells, we are apt to make irrational choices. The physiological state of fear itself has been found to activate multidrug resistance proteins within cancer cells, explaining how our very perception of cancer can influence and/or determine its physiological status and/or trajectory within our body.

The NCI panel report opined:

“The word “cancer” often invokes the specter of an inexorably lethal process; however, cancers are heterogeneous and can follow multiple paths, not all of which progress to metastases and death, and include indolent disease that causes no harm during the patient’s lifetime.”

For more details on what our founder Sayer Ji calls the “Cancer Malignancy Meme,” see his video presentation at the Mind Body Week DC conference, wherein he discuss the ‘Rise of Biomedicine’ within the context of the mind-body connection, and breast cancer overdiagnosis in particular.

Sayer Ji, Mind Body Week D.C., Cancer Lecture

We must keep in mind that this proposed redefinition of cancer is no small academic matter, but will affect the lives of millions of women. Consider that every year, approximately 60,000 women in this country are diagnosed with DCIS, a diagnosis so traumatic that it results in significant psychiatric depression 3 years after even a ‘false positive’ diagnosis. For those less fortunate women, numbering in the millions over the past 30 years, who were told they had ‘cancer’ and needed to undergo lumpectomy, radiation, chemotherapy and/or mastectomy, the NCI panel’s recommendation is a hard pill swallow after the damage has already been irrevocably done.

So, what’s the solution? There is a growing movement towards the use of thermography as a primary diagnostic tool, as it uses no ionizing radiation, and can detect the underlying physiological processes that may indicate inflammation, angiogenesis, cancer-specific metabolic changes, etc., many years before a calcified lesion would appear within an x-ray mammogram. Also, the mainstay of any truly preventive strategy against cancer is diet, nutrition, exercise and avoiding chemical and radiation exposures – the things that we can do in our daily lives to take back control of and responsibility for our health.

Article Contributed by Sayer Ji, Founder of

Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation. He founded in 2008 in order to provide the world an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. It is internationally recognized as the largest and most widely referenced health resource of its kind.

What Is Psoriasis And How To Treat It Naturally

Natural Treatment For Psoriasis

Red, burning, and itchy skin of psoriasis can hinder quality of life. If you or someone you know has it, this isn’t an overly surprising statement. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, 59% of people who suffer from psoriasis report it’s a problem that affects all aspects of everyday life, and 33% report the skin condition has a negative impact on their social life. More than half report dissatisfaction with treatment. [1] If you’re seeking relief, new research shows ozonated olive oil may be the perfect natural remedy.

What Causes Psoriasis?

Scientists don’t know the exact cause of psoriasis, but research indicates it’s the result of immune response from genetics. When it does appear, it’s often because a medication, a food in your diet, or the environment triggered it. Known triggers include stress, skin injury (like sunburn), vaccinations, scratches, and medications. Medicines known to trigger psoriasis include antimalarial drugs, lithium, quinidine, indomethacin (an NSAID taken for arthritis), and Inderal (a blood pressure med). Infections from an earache, strep, bronchitis, or other respiratory conditions can also cause a flare-up.

What are the Different Types of Psoriasis?

When triggered, psoriasis appears as one or more of these five conditions:

  • Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of psoriasis. It’s caused by a buildup of dead cells that gives a scaly appearance and causes inflamed skin. It appears most often on the elbows, knees, lower back, and scalp.
  • Guttate psoriasis, the second most common type, shows blotchy red marks all over the torso and is often triggered by a strep infection, usually in young adults.
  • Pustular psoriasis consists of tiny white blisters or pustules surrounded by white skin most commonly occurring on the hands and feet. It’s not contagious, nor is it an infection.
  • Inverse psoriasis appears under the arm, behind the knee, or in the groin area. It appears smooth, even shiny, and is usually accompanied by another form of psoriasis in another area of the body.
  • Erythrodermic psoriasis is the most dangerous, and its symptoms include fiery redness that covers most if not all of the body. Due to the severity of this condition, you should go and see a doctor immediately if these symptoms describe you.

Scalp Psoriasis Help: Where to Start

Scalp psoriasis afflicts about 50% of those who suffer from psoriasis. It may occur as a mild scaling or a more severe crusting of the entire scalp, behind the ears, and onto the forehead. The process for healing this condition is fairly straightforward and breaks down into three steps – soften, remove, and alleviate.

First, soften the scales. You’ll need to apply a salve or lotion for this step. There are a number of over-the-counter options, although many people have found success with ozonated olive oil.

Once softened, the scales can be loosened with a brush or fine comb. To prevent irritation of your already inflamed skin, brush gently or hold the comb at an angle. Next, wash your hair with shampoo that contains salicylic acid.

To reduce the appearance, rub oils or lotions directly into your scalp. Other products may have different instructions for the best effect. If you have a severe case that doesn’t respond to this, see your doctor as you may need a more involved treatment.

Ozonated Olive Oil and Psoriasis

For years, olive oil mixtures have proven an effective remedy for irritated, reddened skin. [2] Ozonated olive oil increases the speed and effectiveness of recovery as it cleans and sterilizes your skin, acts as a moisturizing conditioner, and reduces swelling and redness. The ozone triggers the body to create enzymes that regulate skin growth and healing. [3]

Research suggests ozonated olive oil absorbs deep into your skin. It appears to calm nerves and reduce pain and approaches the condition at the cellular level, improving cellular function and cellular memory for better overall healthy skin. For psoriasis sufferers, this could mean faster relief of red patches of itchy skin, inflammation, and scaling.

Learn More About O2-Zap®
(Ozonated Olive Oil)

O2-Zap® Promotes Healthy Skin Conditions

At Global Healing Center, we’ve gotten exceptionally positive feedback about O2-Zap®. It has helped many people relieve all sorts of skin conditions. Some even use it on their gums or even as a beauty facial mask to moisturize and cleanse.

The olive oil nourishes and rehydrates your skin, while the ozone stimulates the skin’s natural healing power, leaving your skin rejuvenated and refreshed.


  1. National Psoriasis Foundation. Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis carry a substantial burden. National Psoriasis Foundation.
  2. Al-Waili NS1. Mixture of honey, beeswax and olive oil inhibits growth of Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans. Arch Med Res. 2005 Jan-Feb;36(1):10-3.
  3. V. Travagli,1,* I. Zanardi,1 G. Valacchi,2, 3 and V. Bocci4. Ozone and Ozonated Oils in Skin Diseases: A Review. Mediators Inflamm. 2010; 2010: 610418. doi: 10.1155/2010/610418.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

Has Drug-Driven Medicine Become A Form Of Human Sacrifice?

pharma cash

“Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution the time will come when medicine will organize itself into an undercover dictatorship. To restrict the art of healing to doctors and deny equal privileges to others will constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such laws are un-American and despotic.”

~ Attributed to Dr. Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence

Benjamin Rush accurately foretold a grave possibility facing Americans today, namely, that the art and science of healing be restricted to a select class of allopathic physicians, who have the sole legal right to recommend and administer medicines, and whose pharmacopeia excludes – as a matter of principle – all the healing foods, vitamins and herbs which have been used safely and effectively for countless millennia in the prevention and treatment of disease.

We have entered an era where medicine no longer bears any resemblance to the art and science of healing.  The doctor no longer facilitates the body’s innate self-healing capabilities with time, care, good nutrition and special help from our plant allies.  To the contrary, medicine has transmogrified into a business enterprise founded on the inherently nihilistic principles of pure, unbridled capitalism, with an estimated 786,000 Americans dying annually from iatrogenic or medically-caused deaths.*


Turning Disease Into Gold With The Drug-Based Printing Press

Many modern diseases are, in fact, created by fiat (not unlike modern currencies): age-old symptoms of nutritional deficiency or chemical poisoning are repackaged and renamed in Latin and Greek as would-be monolithic disease entities, and subsequently rolled out to the consumer as new markets; each disease representing a veritable gold mine of “treatable” symptoms; each symptom providing justification for the prescription of a new set of patented, toxic drug-commodities.

The “medicines” themselves are often devoid of intrinsic value, being nothing more than rebranded and re-purposed chemicals, intended (though all too often failing) to be administered in sub-lethal concentrations. Indeed, many of these chemicals are too toxic to be legally released into the environment, and should never be administered intentionally to a human who is already sick.  You need look no farther than a typical drug package insert to find proof that the side effects of most drugs far outnumber their purported beneficial effects.

These chemicals, in fact, are so highly leveraged against their true value (or lack thereof), that they can sell for as much as 500,000% percent from cost! Only medical/pharmaceutical and financial institutions (e.g. Federal Reserve) are legally empowered to generate the illusion that they are creating something of value out of nothing of value, on this scale. This manipulation of perceived value, which is the basis for the global dominance of the drug-based medical model, is not unlike how financial institutions created toxic derivative products (e.g. Credit Default Swaps), essentially creating the illusion of financial wellbeing and prosperity, at the very moment that they were planting the seeds of death within the global economy; ruining the lives of countless millions in the process.

The Undercover Medical Dictatorship

Within our present dominant medical system, healing has not simply been forgotten but intentionally exorcized as it represents the antithesis of perpetual profitability which requires the incurability of the human body.  Were the truth be told, and the body’s self-regenerative capabilities acknowledged, the entire superstructure of drug-based medicine and hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue it generates annually, would crumble overnight.  When a handful of turmeric has more chemotherapeutic activity than any drug yet to receive FDA approval, or an enzyme from pineapple is superior to a 40 year old blockbuster chemotoxic agent, one begins to understand why the hundreds of studies proving natural substances can destroy cancer are never discussed. You can’t compete with free, effective and safe in a medical marketplace dominated by expensive, ineffective and unsafe drugs.

If this degeneration into quackery and snake-oil salesmanship which is modern drug-driven medicine were simply a lesson in what bad things can happen when health care is no longer a basic human right but strictly a profit-driven commodity, perhaps Americans could find it within themselves to once again free themselves from the shackles of oppression.  After all, do we not consider ourselves the very originators of freedom, independence and democracy?  Have we not such great faith in these principles that we practically trip all over ourselves (crushing entire countries as we fall) in our Promethean effort to export these values overseas whether we are invited to do so or not?  Would we stand for less, when it comes to our own health freedom?

Sadly, the “undercover dictatorship” Benjamin Rush foretold is not simply a homegrown one we can root out from the inside, as it were.   Although the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) behave as if they are at the top of this pyramid of power relations, they serve far lower on the hierarchy.  While the government of the United States and American corporate lobbying groups may appear to be behind the FDA’s shameless pandering to the interests of the drug companies, transnational corporations and organizations — and a hand full of elite governing them — are in fact pulling the strings.

The United States no longer enjoys global economic and cultural hegemony.  We are now embedded in an international playing field where multinational and transnational organizations like the drug company Pfizer, or the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), have power and influence that overshadows the US or any other particular government or nation-state.   These larger organizations blur the divisions traditionally drawn between public and private institutions, insofar as their agendas and mandates are consistent with global economic imperatives which do not account for the self-proclaimed sovereignty of any particular nation-state’s constitution or laws above its own.

For example, the United States may soon no longer be able to allow the over-the-counter sale of many dietary supplements, due to our membership in the World Trade Organization and its ratification of the Codex Alimentarius. We already have prescription-only-vitamins on the US market, and a very dangerous precedent has already been set with the criminalization of herbs like cannabis, and more recently ephedra.

Pharmageddon: The Death of Natural Medicine

What is so remarkable about the present state of affairs, is that it may have been predicted long ago, as evidenced by this passage in Revelations:

At the end of times the merchants of the world will deceive the nations through their Pharmacia.
(sorcery) – Rev 18:23

Some believe we are now on the precipice of a medical end-of-times or “Pharmageddon,” if you will, where medicine is no longer directly associated in any way with healing, rather, is a form of mass control and a highly organized means of defrauding the public of both its wealth and health, simultaneously.

After all, is there any greater absurdity than a medical model that treats the symptoms of disease with sub-lethal dosages of toxic chemicals and in which there is no attempt to uncover, understand or remove the causes of those imbalances?

After all, what disease has ever been found to be caused by a lack of a drug?

Is acid reflux caused by a lack of proton-pump inhibitors?

Is heart disease caused by a lack of statin drugs?

Is osteoporosis caused by a lack of Fosamax?

Is cancer caused by a lack of chemotherapy?

Is depression caused by a lack of Paxil?

Absolutely not!  Then why would anyone consider it sound practice to use potentially toxic chemicals as a first-line treatment for conditions that are not caused by a lack of a chemical?  To the contrary many diseases are caused exactly by culminative exposures to chemicals that not unlike drugs are biologically alien to the body.  i.e we are treating poisoning with poisons!

Can we dignify this approach by calling it medicine?  Or, is it more accurately described as a form of sorcery?


Pharmaceuticals and Human Sacrifice

The sole reliance on Pharmaceuticals reveals quite a lot about the largely subconscious agenda underpinning modern medical practice.  The Greek word Pharmakon has a wide range of meanings, with “drug” being the most widely recognized one.  But the root of this word usage goes back much farther:

“A Pharmakós (Greek: φαρμακός) in Ancient Greek religion was a kind of human scapegoat (a slave, a cripple or a criminal) who was chosen and expelled from the community at times of disaster (famine, invasion or plague) or at times of calendrical crisis, when purification was needed.” [Source]

The sacrificial dimension of the Pharmakós carries on in the nostrums and potions later named after this ritualistic object:

The term “pharmakos” later became the term “pharmakeus” which refers to “a drug, spell-giving potion, druggist, poisoner, by extension a magician or a sorcerer.”A variation of this term is “pharmakon” (φάρμακον) a complex term meaning sacrament, remedy, poison, talisman, cosmetic, perfume or intoxicant. From this, the modern term “pharmacology” emerged, [Source]

Calling pharmaceutically-based medicine sacrifice-based, is not just metaphor. Animal sacrifice, in fact, undergirds the entire evidence-based model of drug development and testing, requiring millions of animals be tortured and destroyed every year. In juxtaposition to Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine and countless other traditional, nature-based medical systems, which used living, healthy bodies as the model for preventing and treating disease in the sick, Western medicine took another, quite radically different path in an obsession with pathology.

The karma, if you will, of this divergent path often leads patients, especially later in life, to be cut open themselves on an operating table, or poisoned to death, with the very same chemicals and procedures that the animal testing once done in their name, justifies.

The reality is that medical practice, and the science that informs it, is as much mythos as logos, and one no longer has to look to religion for the absolutist claim to truth. Medical science has laid claim to the body in the same way that religions once laid claim to the soul. The physician today — albeit a glorified “applied pharmacologist” — has become the “priest of the body,” capable of influencing the course of life or death by the quality, or combinations, of nostrums (s)he is able to apply to the problem (i.e. patient) at hand.

Just as monotheism depends on there being “one God,” modern medical science depends on the “evidence-based” concept that there is one truth, and one right way to apply it. This, by implication, gives absolute power to those who would claim to know the difference.

Liberation Through Natural Medicine

In Benjamin Rush’s time the medical dictatorship of which he spoke had not yet come to pass, and though magical potions like mercury and questionable techniques like bloodletting were used in colonial times, herbs were still considered and employed as legitimate medicines. Even if many wise women herbalists were eliminated as competition by being branded witches and sometimes murdered, the herbs themselves were not categorically demonized because no vast armory of pharmaceutical drugs had yet been created to supplant them.

The herbs and foods themselves have now been both vilified as dangerous and lampooned as completely ineffectual, generating the ridiculous contradiction that we are supposed to be dumb enough to accept as truth: namely, that they are both impotent and unsafe.

Given these circumstances confidence in the safety and efficacy of natural substances in the prevention and treatment of disease has not only waned, but the positive association between food and healing has been outright denied by medical authorities.  It is illegal for non-doctors to make health claims for natural substances even if thousands of years of use in folk medicine and a vast emerging body of scientific research now confirms their benefits.   You can’t say cherries cure gout even if its true. (truth is no longer the criteria that decides what you can or cannot say).

I started the website in August 2008 in order to provide free and convenient access to the massive amounts of research that have accumulated on the health benefits of natural substances over the past 50 years.  The government database known as Medline (which is freely searchable) contains over 20 million biomedical citations from over 5,000 scientific journals, many of which focus specifically on the therapeutic action of foods, vitamins and spices on serious, even life-threatening disease.

I believe that it is only through the free, uncensored and democratic dissemination of health information that we can secure our health freedom and through speaking truth to power, expose the fraud which is strictly profit-driven pharmaceutically-based medicine.

Feel free to explore the 19000 + biomedical citations posted on that vindicate the safety and efficacy of natural substances in the prevention and treatment of disease.

*Gary Null, PHD recently estimated that 786,000 Americans die annually from iatrogenic or medically caused deaths.

Article Contributed by Sayer Ji, Founder of

Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation. He founded in 2008 in order to provide the world an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. It is internationally recognized as the largest and most widely referenced health resource of its kind.


Drug-Free Burgers?


You’ve heard the pundits talk about a drug-free society. But what about a drug-free hamburger?

As health officials sound the alarm about antibiotic resistance caused by the overuse of antibiotics in meat production, a few fast-food chains are taking steps to clean up their acts. But overall, when it comes to getting antibiotics out of their supply chains, the fast-food restaurant industry gets a failing grade, according to a new report compiled by Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council, Consumers Union, FACT, Center for Food Safety and Keep Antibiotics Working.

The report, Chain Reaction, includes a scorecard on the top 10 fast-food chains. The only two chains to earn an A grade? Panera Bread and Chipotle Mexican Grill. (Chipotle was attacked by the media earlier this year, for announcing plans to go GMO-free. OCA National Director defended Chipotle’s decision to heed consumer demand for GMO-free food).

According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, each year in the U.S., at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections.

Antibiotic-resistance is largely attributed to the routine use of sub-therapeutic doses of antibiotics on factory farms. The factory farm industry says the antibiotics are needed to prevent disease—partly true, as animals confined indoors in cramped, inhumane conditions, are more susceptible to disease. But it’s widely known that industry uses the drugs to grow bigger animals, faster.

It’s been nearly two years since the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced a plan to curb the routine use of sub-therapeutic doses of antibiotics to treat and fatten up livestock on factory farms. But the mostly voluntary, loophole-riddled “plan” falls far short of what scientists say is needed to stop the spread of antibiotic-resistant superbugs that now pose a real and widespread danger to public health.

It’s clear that the FDA isn’t going to regulate away the problem. So who will solve it?

You. By not buying any meat that comes from factory farms. And by encouraging your fast-food restaurant-going friends to at least choose brands that are rejecting meat from animals pumped full of antibiotics.

Read the report

More here

4 Reasons Your Brain Is Foggy

brain fog head in the clouds

Toxins are all around us, and while we already know how harmful they can be to the body, have you stopped to think about what they can do to the brain? Studies suggest neurotoxins impede brain development in kids, something that might also lead to ADHD, autism, or Parkinson’s later in life. [1] [2] Keeping your brain free from toxin exposure could go a long way in boosting overall brain health, but if your thoughts are feeling a little sluggish, there might be other things—besides pollution—you should consider.

4 Causes of Brain Fog

If you’re having trouble concentrating, thinking clearly, or even relaxing your mind, your brain may have invasive forces trying to impede your health. Here are just 4 reasons your brain could be foggy.

1. Stress

The body releases cortisol during stress; small bursts can help us manage things during these times. The problem comes in when the body is in a constant stressed-out state. [3] If a pregnant woman were stressed from poverty, for example, cortisol could ‘“get through the placenta into the fetus, potentially influencing her baby’s brain and tampering with its circuitry.” After birth, the child’s cortisol could, then, continue to sabotage brain development.

2. Air Pollution

One study suggests traffic pollution could be responsible for lower memory test scores and slower cognitive development in kids. [4] But, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) aren’t only from traffic pollution; they’re also products of everything from burning coal to tobacco smoke, so avoiding them completely might be easier said than done. You can definitely take steps to limit your exposure though.

3. BPA Exposure

BPA is such a nasty toxin that many manufacturers have started making BPA-free products; however, some studies say its substitute bisphenol-S, or BPS, could be just as bad for your brain health, suggesting BPA/BPS exposure could be linked to altered brain growth and hyperactivity. [5] And always be careful when buying food; there are still a lot of canned goods out there that still use BPA in the linings of cans. [6]

4. Diabetes

A new study even suggests type 2 diabetes “is associated with worse performance on cognitive tests measuring abilities involved in the control of emotions, behaviors and thought.” [7] Because doctors encourage self-management (diet, blood sugar, medication) and many patients already burn out when it comes to managing the disease, this loss of executive function is worrisome, to say the least.

Other Ways to Improve Brain Function

So if you find yourself feeling foggy, there are things you can do. First things first: get outdoors. One study even found being outside was linked to positive cognitive development in kids. [8] That sounds like a great idea for all ages! Another easy thing is taking probiotics. There’s lots of research that suggests our gut health is directly connected to our mental health. [9] Exercise is also a great way to rev up the creative and analytical thinking skills.

What would you do when your brain gets a little foggy? Tell us about it in the comments.


  1. National Scientific Council on the Developing Child. Early Exposure to Toxic Substances Damages Brain Architecture: Working Paper No. 4. National Scientific Council on the Developing Child.
  2. Weiss, B. & and Landrigan, P. J. The developing brain and the environment: an introduction. Environmental Health Perspectives. 108 (Supplement 3).
  3. National Scientific Council on the Developing Child. Excessive Stress Disrupts the Architecture of the Developing Brain: Working Paper 3. Updated Edition. National Scientific Council on the Developing Child.
  4. Sunyer, J. et al. Association between Traffic-Related Air Pollution in Schools and Cognitive Development in Primary School Children: A Prospective Cohort Study. PLOS Medicine.
  5. Kinch, C. D. et al. Low-dose exposure to bisphenol A and replacement bisphenol S induces precocious hypothalamic neurogenesis in embryonic zebrafish. PNAS.
  6. Environmental Working Group. BPA in Canned Food. Environmental Working Group.
  7. Vincent, C. & Hall, P. A. Executive Function in Adults With Type 2 Diabetes: A Meta-Analytic Review. Psychosomatic Medicine.
  8. Dadvand, P. et al. Green spaces and cognitive development in primary schoolchildren. PNAS.
  9. Reardon, S. Gut-brain link grabs neuroscientists. Nature. 515 (7526).

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

4 Things That Cause Hair Loss


Genetics is seen as the biggest factor in hair loss, but the fact is many other factors also play a role. [1] [2] Some of these factors are actually under your control. Just what can you do to promote healthy hair? While there is no research to suggest that you can reverse hair loss by using preventative approaches, you may be able to prevent the progression. Even still, you may have options, and that should be encouraging.

4 Factors Associated with Hair Loss

Research is showing that many controllable factors in our lives can actually override genetics, potentially preventing the genetic tendency of hair loss from expressing itself. Here are 4 things you might not have known could cause hair loss.

1. Gravity

Believe it or not, a recent report suggests that gravity could actually be a factor in male hair loss, and that it only gets worse as men age. The young scalp has enough “fat tissue under the skin, and it is capable of keeping itself well-hydrated, buffering the pressure on hair follicles.” [3] As men get older, though, “the skin and underlying fat become thinner, and the pressure on the hair follicles increases.” But, this isn’t an issue for pre-menopausal women since estrogen doesn’t thin out fat tissue like testosterone does. More so than anything, it’s a game of hormonal imbalance, as well.

2. Stress

Not that surprising, stress makes our list as one of the causes of hair loss. When you’re stressed out, hair can go into what’s called the telogen phase—basically, it falls out. [4] This process can even happen as much as 3 months after the stressful event! Luckily, that hair can grow back in 6 to 9 months time. But, sometimes, due to things like childbirth or surgery, the body needs a “time-out” from hair growth in order to focus its efforts on recovery. Everyone reacts differently to stress, and, for some of us, hair loss is just one of those things.

3. Smoking

One recent study from the Archives of Dermatology even suggests that age-related hair loss in Asian men could be connected to smoking. [5] Though it’s unknown what exactly could lead to hair loss, one theory is that smoking might damage the hair follicles. While the study only looked at smoking among Asian men, quitting smoking might be a great idea for anyone facing hair loss!

4. Dental Infections

That bald patch on your head could even be an unfortunate side effect of poor dental health. Infectious outbreaks on the teeth have been linked to a localized hair loss called alopecia areata. Any unexplained hair loss isolated to one area of the scalp should be cause for concern and could mean you might want to make a trip to the dentist to get those teeth checked out. [6]

Are There Solutions?

So, what’s the solution to hair loss? Well, you don’t really have to look that hard to realize the baldness cure marketplace is filled with shysters. Is there any research to back up anything at all? There may be a connection between nutrition and hair loss, particularly with iodine. Researchers seem to believe that hair loss is caused by the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, and inhibiting this enzyme responsible for conversion may halt hair loss. This is only a theory, but some research supports it. Also, it seems hair loss could begin and end in the human body. Recently, researchers were able to use human stem cells to grow new hair. [7] This marks a huge step in “the development of a cell-based treatment for people with hair loss.”

Do you suffer from hair loss? If so, what do you think about this latest research for a treatment? Tell us about it in the comments.


  1. Hillmer, A. M. et al. Genetic Variation in the Human Androgen Receptor Gene Is the Major Determinant of Common Early-Onset Androgenetic Alopecia. American Journal of Human Genetics. 77 (1).
  2. Shimomura, Y. et al. APCDD1 is a novel Wnt inhibitor mutated in hereditary hypotrichosis simplex. Nature. 464 (7291).
  3. Ustuner, E. T. Cause of Androgenic Alopecia. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Global Open. 1 (7).
  4. American Academy of Dermatology. Feeling Stressed? How Your Skin, Hair And Nails Can Show It. ScienceDaily.
  5. Su, L. & Chen, T. H. Association of Androgenetic Alopecia With Smoking and Its Prevalence Among Asian Men. JAMA Dermatology. 143 (11).
  6. University of Granada. Developing A Bald Patch? It Could Be A Hidden Tooth Infection. ScienceDaily.
  7. Gnedeva, K. et al. Derivation of Hair-Inducing Cell from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells. PLOS ONE. 10 (1).

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

Grow A Week’s Worth Of Livestock Feed For Pennies! (VIDEO)


Over the last few years, prices for livestock feed has steadily risen for various reasons, making it more difficult to feed our chickens the organic diet we prefer they have. In order to cut costs, we looked into creating a fodder system that would sprout seeds such as wheat, barley, oats, clover, dandelion, alfalfa, sunflower seeds and corn.

Similar to sprouting seeds for our own nutritional benefit, we wanted to do the same for our livestock. 1 pound of seed can grow up to six or 7 pounds of fodder thus providing you with more nutrient dense food for your livestock. Sprouts provide the highest amount of vitamins, minerals, proteins and enzymes of any food per unit of calorie. Enzymes are essential because they heal the body, cleanse the body, prevent diseases, enhance general functioning of bodily organs, aid in digestion, and remove gas from the stomach. This will help your livestock stay healthier in the long run and give them a natural diet in the process. Of course the increase in these wonderful benefits varies grain to grain.

Fodder Cuts Your Livestock Feed Prices in Half

All livestock animals can benefit from a fodder-rich diet. Creating a fodder system for small livestock such as goats, rabbits and chickens can be maintained on a small scale. They will love this green treat and you will love how economic it is compared to buying large bags of livestock feed on a monthly basis. You can literally cut your feed bill in half by growing fodder!

Before you begin growing fodder, make sure you know how much seed to start in order to properly feed your livestock. Further, transitioning your livestock off its current diet will ensure their stomachs get used to the new diet. According to an article at Mother Earth News, “As any responsible animal or livestock caretaker, you will not only need to transition your animals onto fresh fodder, you will need to monitor their growth and maintenance rates to keep them in a healthy condition while you get used to feeding fodder. Some animals will also require roughage or mineral supplements.” Please only use these amounts as a guide:

  • Horse: 2-3 percent of their body weight in fodder; 1.5% body weight in dry hay
  • Beef Cow: 2-3 percent of their body weight in fodder; barley straw ration
  • Dairy Cow: 3-5 percent of their body weight in fodder; barley straw ration
  • Sheep: 2-3 percent of their body weight in fodder; hay ration
  • Goat: 2-3 percent of their body weight in fodder; mineral and hay rations
  • Dairy Goat: 3-5 percent of their body weight in fodder; mineral and hay rations
  • Alpaca: 2-3 percent of their body weight in fodder; hay ration
  • Pig: 2-3 percent of their body weight in fodder
  • Rabbit: 3-5 percent of their body weight in fodder; hay ration for roughage
  • Chicken: 2-3 percent of their body weight in fodder; grit and calcium supplements

5 Easy Steps to Growing Fodder

Here’s what you need to make a simple fodder system for a small farm:

  • 20 Black seedling trays with plastic domes, plastic containers or disposable aluminum pans
  • Bulk amount of seeds you plan to sprout. Ensure these are untreated, feed grade seeds that are whole grain
  • Water
  • Sunny window
  • Spray bottle or watering can
  • PVC pipe for titling trays


  1. Gather the seeds you want to sprout and soak them in water overnight.
  2. In the morning, drain the seeds and cover with a plastic cover. Place them in the sprouting trays in a sunny location.
  3. Water up to 3 times a day – never allowing the seeds to dry out.
  4. By day 7, the roots of the seeds will have intertwined and you will be able to peel the fodder out of the pan.
  5. Repeat as often as needed.

This video shows a great way of creating a weeks worth of feed for livestock using a shelving unit, plastic bins and cut PVC pipe.

Additional Notes on Growing Fodder:

  • Growing fodder requires certain temperatures in order to grow properly. Plan on fodder growing between 65-75 degrees F.
  • Water up to three times a day.
  • Do not reuse your water as this can pass food borne illnesses to trays.
  • You want to avoid feeding your chickens dry beans as they contain toxins. Here are some other foods to avoid feeding your chickens.
  • Fodder is usually finished growing in 7-8 days.
  • Get seed from local feed store or grain mill or a local co-op
  • When sprouted grains are 6-7 inches high, they are ready to be harvested and fed to livestock.
  • Mold and fungus growth can be a problem. Sterile equipment, a low humidity environment, good temperature regulation, clean water, and good air circulation can all help avoid mold and fungus problems. A one percent bleach solution can be used to wash the grains prior to the initial soaking. This will pre-sterilize the seed.

Creating your own fodder system is an economic solution to ensuring your livestock receives a well-rounded diet. Best of all, the upkeep is minimal at best and you don’t use as much feed using this feeding process. This nutrient dense diet will keep your animals healthier and happier in the process, thus reducing vet bills. Keep these tips in mind and create an ever growing fodder system for your livestock.

Additional Resources:

DIY Sprouted Fodder For Livestock

Tess Pennington is the editor for After joining the Dallas chapter of the American Red Cross in 1999, Tess worked as an Armed Forces Emergency Services Center specialist and is well versed in emergency and disaster management and response. Tess is the author of The Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals. When a catastrophic collapse cripples society, grocery store shelves will empty within days. But by following Tess’s tips for stocking, organizing, and maintaining a proper emergency food supply, your family will have plenty to eat for weeks, months, or even years.

One Little-Known Mistake That Keeps Millions Overweight


More than two-thirds of all Americans are overweight. And right now, more than 108 million Americans are on a diet. The average dieter makes four or five attempts each year, yet less than one percent of these attempts actually results in long-term weight loss.

Before we continue, it should be noted that the issue of weight loss is more about health and wellness than anything else. If our only motivation for slimming down is to look a certain way and be attractive to other people, we are destined to fail. We have to tap into the true reasons for wanting to be healthy and lose weight.

We hear these statistics all the time, but I think we’ve become numb to what they’re actually telling us. Is there any other sphere of endeavour where so many people try so hard with so little success? What would we think if fewer than 1% of people who enrolled in college ever graduated, while the other 99 percent spent billions dropping out and re-enrolling four or five times each year?

The one biggest mistake we make is that we rely on willpower! The fact is, for most people achieving lasting weight loss requires a lot more than willpower or desire. According to recent research, it takes a fresh understanding of how the brain interacts with food. Food addiction is something that so many of us struggle with, and there are many reasons for it. Some of us are more susceptible to it than others, though. You can take a quiz here to see what your own relationship with food looks like.

A Program 7 Times More Effective Than Weight Watchers

Food Freedom! It’s a program by Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson, a tenured psychology professor with a Ph.D in Brain and Cognitive Sciences. For sixteen years she struggled under a torturous relationship with food. She dieted again and again, only to watch her weight balloon back up. She was clinically depressed, and, in her darkest hours, would lie in the fetal position and weep for a solution.

Finally in 2003, Dr. Thompson’s cognitive studies put her in the path of the answers she’d been seeking. She shrank from obese to slender in six months and today she’s among the top .01 percent of successful weight loss maintainers.

Now Dr. Thompson has created a program called Bright Line Eating to share what she’s learned about how the brain blocks weight loss, and so far the results are promising. She reports her data to reveal that for the first 1,000 graduates, her program was three times more effective and seven times faster than Weight Watchers.

She talks in great detail about the one big mistake we make when trying to lose weight in her video series you can check out here.

Stealthy Junk Food Marketing

As we have discussed in previous stories about losing excess weight and why we struggle with it:

Kids are the primary target for junk food marketing. We can see this clearly in check-out lines, where chocolate bars, candy, and soda are strategically placed at the eye levels of children. This type of marketing must be working, because one out of three (1/3) children in the US today are considered obese. This type of lifestyle is obviously detrimental to children both physically and emotionally.

Kids are now exposed to marketing via brand licensing, product placement, schools, stealth marketing, viral marketing, DVDs, games, and the internet. According to a 2013 report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), children aged 2-11 now see an average of more than 10 television food ads per day.

United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter, recently warned that “obesity is a bigger global health threat than tobacco use.” The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) also recently issued a position statement on obesity and cancer in which they too state that “obesity is quickly overtaking tobacco as the leading preventable cause of cancer.”

During this year’s World Health Organization annual summit, De Schutter urged nations to join forces to place stricter regulations on unhealthy foods, saying: “Just as the world came together to regulate the risks of tobacco, a bold framework convention on adequate diets must now be agreed.”

How To Avoid Weight Gain Factors


As previously mentioned, one of the main ways to avoid weight gain is to examine the quality of the food you are eating, rather than the quantity (calories).

Organic food does not contain harmful chemical preservatives, hormones, or pesticides that cause weight gain. Stay away from overly processed food, as you will only get frustrated when you discover the food you’re eating is laced with the aforementioned weight gain factors.

If foods are advertised, it is almost certain they are bad for you. When was the last time you saw a commercial advertising apples? Kale? Didn’t think so.

Buy whole, organic foods, and cook from scratch. This will automatically reduce your sugar consumption, which is the root cause of insulin resistance and weight gain. If you buy organic produce, you’ll also cut your exposure to pesticides and genetically engineered ingredients, and in ditching processed foods, you’ll automatically avoid artificial sweeteners and harmful processed fats.

Healthy fats are essential, so make sure you aren’t consuming the wrong fats. Sources of healthy fats to add to your diet include avocados, coconuts and coconut oil, unheated organic nut oils, and raw nuts and seeds.

Opt for glass packaging and storage containers to avoid endocrine disrupting chemicals.

Make the process a learning journey, implement slow changes, and have fun along the way. Eating clean doesn’t have to be a struggle.


Joe Martino

I created Collective-Evolution 5 years ago and have been heavily at it since. I love inspiring others to find joy and make changes in their lives. Hands down the only other thing I am this passionate about is baseball.

Unholy Alliance


Never underestimate the power of a mom. Or a blogger. Or, worse yet, a mommy blogger.

Leah Segedie was “completely shocked” when she learned that Monsanto and the American Academy of Pediatrics were bedfellows, joined by a “sponsor partnership.” So the mom, blogger and founder of the popular blogger network, Mamavation, reached out to the Academy’s public affairs team, via a personal friend.

The result? The American Academy of Pediatrics will sever ties with Monsanto at the end of this year.

It’s good to see that an organization entrusted with the final word on the health of kids is finally joining other physicians in taking a stand against one of the chief poisoners of a whole generation of our children.

We devote a lot of time to fighting the anti-GMO war in state and federal legislatures, because we have to. It’s important work, and we’ll keep doing it. But it’s important to remember the power we all have to influence those outside of the State Houses and the U.S. Capitol. And the good that can come of that power.

Read the article

Natural Diaper Rash Remedy

Diaper rash is a very common problem for many new parents and their babies. This rash makes the skin of your baby irritated, tender, and red. But babies aren’t the only ones that can suffer from diaper rash. Adult diaper rash is on the rise too. In many cases, fungal and yeast infections develop on and under the skin. The good news is there are natural, gentle skin remedies that soothe sensitive skin and aid with diaper rash.

Causes of Diaper Rash and Skin Yeast Infections

Friction caused by rubbing or chafing of a diaper on skin irritates the skin. Additionally, the moisture and waste in stool and urine can irritate or make a problem worse. A heat rash, or prickly heat rash, can occur if the skin underneath the diaper gets too hot. Sensitive skin or atopic dermatitis (eczema) gets agitated much faster under these conditions.

Stool and urine also contain bacteria, yeast, and other toxins that cause skin irritation. If yeast is present, it can inflame the skin or even get underneath the surface and create a skin yeast infection. A fungal infection like this results in red, itchy, cracking skin that swells and becomes scaly. This condition is often caused by the Candida fungus, and it’s known as cutaneous candidiasis.

What To Avoid When Addressing Diaper Rash

There are a lot of diaper rash lotions and ointments out there. When deciding which one to use or if one is being recommended, avoid DMDM hydantoin (a formaldehyde linked to cancer), parabens, and triclosan (a chemical that disrupts hormones). You should also avoid any product with boric acid, phenol, camphor, or benzoin tincture unless otherwise directed by your pediatrician.

Home Remedies for Normal Diaper Rash

Many all-natural products help with diaper rash. Calendula is a plant that can be a good remedy for soothing the skin. Adding baking soda or oatmeal (or both) to a bath also helps reduce skin irritation and encourage healing. Parents also report fresh, raw aloe vera clears up a diaper rash quickly. If possible, preventing diaper rash is best. Change the diapers frequently to prevent stool or urine from prolonged contact with the skin. Using diapers free of chemicals like bleach can prevent skin irritation.

Ozonated Olive Oil Helps Fight Diaper Rash

If a diaper rash does occur, a great natural solution is an ozonated olive oil like O2-Zap®. Olive oil contains a potent antioxidant called hydroxytyrosol (or HT) that helps kill fungus and yeast. [1] Research has shown ozonated olive oil helps control Candida, cleanses a wide range of skin wounds, and delivers oxygen to the affected skin to speed and improve healing time. [2] [3] [4] O2-Zap uses the highest quality of natural, organic ingredients that are safe and non-toxic, helping deliver relief fast.

Let us know what other remedies have worked for you and your loved ones. Leave a comment below.


  1. Zoric N1, Horvat I, Kopjar N, et al. Hydroxytyrosol expresses antifungal activity in vitro. Curr Drug Targets. 2013 Aug;14(9):992-8.
  2. Tara F, Zand-Kargar Z, Rajabi O, Berenji F, Azizi H. Comparing the effect of ozonated olive oil to clotrimazole cream in the treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2012;12(Suppl 1):P196. doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-S1-P196.
  3. Valacchi G1, Fortino V, Bocci V. The dual action of ozone on the skin. Br J Dermatol. 2005 Dec;153(6):1096-100.
  4. Sagai M, Bocci V. Mechanisms of Action Involved in Ozone Therapy: Is healing induced via a mild oxidative stress? Medical Gas Research.2011;1:29. doi:10.1186/2045-9912-1-29.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

7 GMO Claims Debunked (VIDEO)

gmos alter dna

In this video Dan Dicks of Press For Truth debunks 7 claims made by the food authorities:

Claim 1: Genetic engineering isn’t radical technology
Claim 2: GMO Crops aren’t new
Claim 3: Farmer’s Don’t Want to Save Seeds, Anyway
Claim 4: The Only Way to Feed the World is Through GMOs
Claim 5: GMO’s don’t cause health problems
Claim 6: It’s Not just Monsanto, All Research says GMOs are okay
Claim 7: *GMOs don’t spread to other crops and wild plants

Do Hidden Opiates In Our Food Explain Food Addictions?

large sandwich

Food addictions are not strictly “psychological” problems, but have a hard-wired, organic component.  Many of the most commonly consumed foods in Western culture actually contain narcotic properties associated with the presence of psychoactive chemicals that bind to opioid receptors in the nervous system.  These peptides are so powerful that researchers block their action with drugs such as naltrexone which is used to treat addiction among heroin abusers, and naloxone which is used to prevent death from heroin overdose.

These “food opiates” are heavily concentrated in wheat and dairy products, especially cow’s milk. Wheat contains the following opioid peptides, known as gluten exorphins, alongside which are listed their amino acid structure:

  • Gluten exorphin A5: H-Gly-Tyr-Tyr-Pro-Thr-OH
  • Gluten exorphin B4: H-Tyr-Gly-Gly-Trp-OH
  • Gluten exorphin B5: H-Tyr-Gly-Gly-Trp-Leu-OH
  • Gluten exorphin C: H-Tyr-Pro-Ile-Ser-Leu-OH
  • Gliadorphin: Tyr-Pro-Gln-Pro-Gln-Pro-Phe

Cow’s milk, depending on the milk variety (A1 or A2), contain a variety of combinations of the following casomorphin peptides:

  • β-casomorphin 1-3: H-Tyr-Pro-Phe-OH
  • Bovine β-casomorphin 1-4: H-Tyr-Pro-Phe-Pro-OH
  • Bovine β-casomorphin 1-4, amide: H-Tyr-Pro-Phe-Pro-NH2
  • Bovine β-casomorphin 5: H-Tyr-Pro-Phe-Pro-Gly-OH
  • Bovine β-casomorphin 7: H-Tyr-Pro-Phe-Pro-Gly-Pro-Ile-OH
  • Bovine β-casomorphin 8: H-Tyr-Pro-Phe-Pro-Gly-Pro-Ile-Pro-OH

It can be argued that many of the most popular foods consumed in Western culture are done so not primarily for their nutritive value but rather for their addictive properties. Some of these foods we become truly infatuated with and are identified as “comfort foods,” that are “to die for,” or that we “love.”

Food opiates are widely distributed throughout our diet, and are found in many unsuspecting places.  Fructose, which is fast becoming the primary source of calories in the American diet, while not itself an opioid peptide, is known to increase brain levels of endogenous morphine following ingestion,[1][2]and may produce metabolic products in the brain very similar to those produced by morphine.[3]  In fact, it has been identified to stimulate a “hedonic pathway” in the brain, not unlike alcohol, which incidentally is metabolized along the same liver pathways.[4] Fructose, in isolated or concentrated form, is highly toxic and have been linked to over 70 health conditions.

Some other common food opiates include

  • Spinach: popular leafy green contains two opioid peptides named rubiscolins-5 and -6.[5][6]
  • Coffee: the oil known as cafestrol which is found in both decaffeinated and caffeinated coffee contains potent morphine-like activity.[7] Many of coffee’s effects therefore may be mediated via opiate receptors, as well as the effects of caffeine. [8]
  • Rice protein: rice albumin may have opioid properties, depending on how thoroughly it is digested; incomplete digestion may increase the likelihood of there being a pharmacologically active effect.
  • Meat and Fish Protein: when complex animal proteins are enzymatically degraded some exhibit opiate-like properties. Some of these “biogenic peptides” as they are known have been investigated for their potential role in the treatment and prevention of hypertension.[9]
  • Chocolate: One of the well-known mechanisms behind cocoa’s cardioprotective activity is the ability of epicatechin to act via opioid receptors, specifically through the δ-opioid receptor, to produce cardiac protection from injury associated with low oxygen.[10]  Animal feeding studies also show that the opiate-blocking drug naloxone reduces chocolate cravings, suggesting that some of chocolate’s desirable qualities may be related to their opiate activity in the nervous system.[11]
  • Sugar: As mentioned above fructose has opiate-like properties, but so does sucrose (table sugar) and glucose. Since starch as found in “complex carbohydrates” is hidden sugar and often technically higher on the glycemic index than actual sugar (e.g. puffed rice makes the blood sweeter than white sugar), even grains may elicit addictive behaviors through the modulation of opioid pathways in the brain.


While many of our most commonly consumed foods and beverages contain food opiates, our original infatuation with opiate peptides actually begins at birth, as is nature’s inherently intelligent design. Being born into the world an extremely underdeveloped mammal (i.e. compared to horses we take years longer to gain independence),* the biological imperative is for there to be a strong bond between mother and offspring consummated in the act of breastfeeding.

Breast milk, therefore, contains actual morphine. This is to ensure that a very close bond forms and that the offspring will seek out and obtain nourishment by garnishing physical dependency.

The fact that our first food — breast milk — contains opiates and that the biosynthetic pathway for morphine exist in tissues such as the liver, blood and brain, indicate that our species was destined to be drawn to substances that either mimic the action of opiates, or modulate their secretion and/or activity within our bodies.[12]

Ultimately, many food opiates are consumed in order to self-medicate. Coffee, for instance, has profound psychoactive properties that cannot be reduced to its caffeine content alone. The opiate-like property of coffee explains why it may relax and/or reduce stress in certain people, raising the threshold of anxiety or aggression in a way quite opposite to what would be expected from the effects of caffeine alone.

This effect may be maintained as long as coffee is administered continuously, like any other pharmacologically drug. However, if suddenly withdrawn, some experience symptoms identical to those associated with withdrawal from opiate drugs.

In addition, many food opiates, such as are found in wheat and cow’s milk products, entice us to consume foods that are intrinsically unhealthy. Wheat, for instance, has been linked to over 160 health conditions, and cow’s milk is known to be a risk factor for type 1 diabetes. But both are consumed globally in the billions of pounds and lauded as “health foods” by the unsuspecting masses unaware of the addictive hold they may have on them. The Dark Side of Wheat and cow’s milk is rarely acknowledged, though the role of food opiates may shed some much needed light on the topic.

The point is that food is not just a “fuel” for the body, as classically defined through nutritional reductionism. It has profound genoregulatory and neuroendocrine modulating properties. One of the best ways to ascertain whether food opiates are affecting your health is to embark on an elimination diet. Sometimes following a gluten or cow’s milk free diet, the physiological shackles are thrown off, and it is possible to experience renewed health and vitality.

Many seemingly unrelated health conditions may improve and/or go into remission. When the food is reintroduced months later, it is far easier to feel its true effects on the body — adverse effects that were always there, but due to their chronic consumption were considered normal.

*an interesting fact of evolutionary biology is that our head size has grown so large in proportion to our hip size that we must be born with a relatively underdeveloped body in order to make it through the birth canal.  This ensures that a great proportion of our development must occur outside of the womb, making our dependence on milk much more intense.

For the same reason that human breast milk contains morphine, the casomorphins in cow’s milk are intended to sedate/placate/anesthetize calves born into the wild. Is it any surprise that humans (whose poignantly aware brains contain as many neurons as stars in our galaxy!) are the only mammals who never stop weaning themselves from this narcotic elixir? Perhaps we dope and dumb ourselves down with these opiate peptides in order not to go insane from the poignant awareness that such a huge brain generates.

[1] Antagonism of the morphine-induced locomotor activation of mice by fructose: comparison with other opiates and sugars, and sugar effects on brain morphine. Life Sci. 1991 ;49(10):727-34.

[2] Opioid receptor antagonism in the nucleus accumbens fails to block the expression of sugar-conditioned flavor preferences in rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2010 Mar ;95(1):56-62. Epub 2009 Dec 13. PMID: 20006967

[3] Antagonism of antinociception in mice by glucose and fructose: comparison of subcutaneous and intrathecal morphine. Eur J Pharmacol. 1988 Feb 9 ;146(2-3):337-40. PMID: 3371404

[4] Fructose: metabolic, hedonic, and societal parallels with ethanol. J Am Diet Assoc. 2010 Sep ;110(9):1307-21. PMID: 20800122

[5] Delta opioid peptides derived from plant proteins. Curr Pharm Des. 2003;9(16):1325-30. PMID: 12769740

[6] Rubiscolin, a delta selective opioid peptide derived from plant Rubisco. FEBS Lett. 2001 Dec 7;509(2):213-7. PMID: 11741591

[7] The coffee specific diterpene cafestol induces peripheral antinociception mediated by endogenous opioid peptides. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2012 Feb 14. Epub 2012 Feb 14. PMID: 22332877

[8] Coffee contains potent opiate receptor binding activity. Nature. 1983 Jan 20;301(5897):246-8. PMID: 6296693

[9] Biogenic peptides and their potential use. Curr Pharm Des. 2003 ;9(16):1345-55. PMID: 12769742

[10] Dark chocolate receptors: epicatechin-induced cardiac protection is dependent on delta-opioid receptor stimulation. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2010 Nov ;299(5):H1604-9. Epub 2010 Sep 10. PMID: 20833967

[11] Naltrexone and amperozide modify chocolate and saccharin drinking in high alcohol-preferring P rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1998 Jun ;60(2):407-13. PMID: 9632223

[12] Morphine: new aspects in the study of an ancient compound. Life Sci. 1994;55(13):969-79. PMID: 8084213

Article Contributed by Sayer Ji, Founder of

Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation. He founded in 2008 in order to provide the world an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. It is internationally recognized as the largest and most widely referenced health resource of its kind.

What You Need To Know About Using Old Drugs For Survival


When it comes to survival medicine, I make no claim of being an expert.  I am, after all, a mere layman with no medical training.  On the other hand, I do possess a good deal of common sense so when something seems a bit off, I do my own research and make decisions based upon data and not upon supposition.

Something that has always been “off” to me are expiration dates on pharmaceuticals.  Why is it that drugs always expire exactly one year after the date they were filled?  The truth, as I wrote about in The Myth of Expiration Dates on Drugs and Prescription Meds, is that those expiration dates are often bogus.

In that article, I referenced the following statement from the the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide:

Most of what is known about drug expiration dates comes from a study conducted by the Food and Drug Administration at the request of the military. With a large and expensive stockpile of drugs, the military faced tossing out and replacing its drugs every few years. What they found from the study is 90% of more than 100 drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, were perfectly good to use even 15 years after the expiration date.

The question of whether outdated drugs are viable beyond their expiration date is a heated topic within the prepper community.  I get that because there are some medications that absolutely should not be taken when they are old and expired.  Some common examples include nitroglycerin, insulin, liquid antibiotics, and epinephrine but there are others.

Still, if the choice is to take an old, outdated medicine or die, I know what I would do.

In order to continue the discussion, and to shed further light on the myth of expiration dates, I am sharing an article by contributing author, Joe Alton.  Joe, also known as Dr. Bones, is a medical doctor who is well versed in survival medicine.  Here is his take on using old drugs for survival purposes.

Straight Talk About Expiration Dates

Years ago, I wrote an article about the truth relating to expiration dates on medications. Lately, I’ve seen some confusing information on the internet that tells you how dangerous they are while telling you that, in a survival scenario, you should probably use them. So I think it’s time to set the record straight with regards to expiration dates on medications.

Before I start, I want to tell you that my focus is medical preparedness for major disasters and long-term survival. That means a strategy of putting together stockpiles of supplies that might save a life in times of trouble.

Now, what you need to know.

Expiration dates were first mandated in the us in 1979.

They are the last day that a drug company will guarantee 100% potency of a medicine. These medicines do not, by and large, become toxic after the expiration date. I promise you that you will not grow a horn in the middle of your forehead if you take a pill the week after it expires.

In many cases, drugs in pill, powder, or capsule form will be 100% potent for years after their expiration date. How do I know this?  FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Department of Defense stockpiles millions of doses of medications used in emergency settings. In the past, when those drugs expired, they were discarded.

This gets to be pretty expensive, so a study was performed called the shelf life extension program, something I first wrote about years ago. This program found that most medications, as long as they are in pill or capsule form, were still effective after their expiration dates, sometimes for years.  As such, I recommended not throwing them away but, instead, making them part of your survival medical storage.

This, by the way, was not the case for medicines in liquid form. They lost potency quickly after their expiration dates, so are not useful for long-term survival settings.

These findings led the government to put out extensions of expiration dates for certain drugs as needed, such as the 5 year extension given the anti-viral drug Tamiflu during the 2009 swine flu epidemic.

Despite this, you’ll see quotes, often from academic types, that medications are dangerous when expired and should be tossed. These opinions are fine in normal times, but if you’re reading this article, you’re probably a member of the preparedness community or at least interested in the subject. You might even be the person that would be medically responsible in situations when the rescue helicopter is heading the other way.

Good, you’re exactly who I want to talk to since you may one day have to make a decision in a true disaster setting about whether or not to use an expired medication.

Let’s say a loved one is fading from an infection. Something bad has happened and you’re off the grid with little or no hope of getting to modern medical care. You have an expired bottle of antibiotics. What are you going to do? Someone you love is dying. Are you going to use the expired drug or not? Exactly.

Of course, medicines should be stored in cool, dry, dark conditions. Their potency will fade twice as fast if stored at 90 degrees as if stored at 50 degrees. Freezing them, however, is rarely helpful. Even if stored in suboptimal conditions, a capsule or tablet that hasn’t changed color or consistency is probably still worth keeping for austere settings.

Sometimes, in a true disaster, the issues that will facing the medically responsible will be very basic.

What’s the problem? Do I have medicine that will treat it? Could this medicine, although it has expired, possibly save a life? When it comes down to it, can you really choose to not use it to prevent a death because it may possibly have side effects or not be quite as strong as it was?

I say: In this situation, don’t withhold a drug because some professors said it wasn’t a good idea to use it. Believe me, they weren’t seriously considering a time when an expired medication might be the only option you have left.

Let’s hope it never gets to that point, but preparing for the worst, while hoping for the best isn’t a bad strategy to deal with the uncertain future.


The Final Word

In our heart of hearts, we would never purposely do harm to a loved one.  Talking that one step further, we would do everything we could to ensure their health and their safety when the chips are down.

These days, my own preference is to use herbal remedies and essential oils to take care of my loved one’s health care needs.  But in times of distress, who can predict what we will have available following a disaster or other disruptive event?  For that reason, I have stockpiled old, no longer used drugs.  This includes both prescription and over-the-counter meds.  They are tucked away with many of my other “I hope to never have to use” preps.  The only cost to keeping them is the space they take and what the heck?  Why wouldn’t I do that?

I know I have said this before but it bears repeating:  knowledge is power and the best piece of survival gear you will ever own is the gray matter between your ears.  Read and study as much as you can about survival medicine and always, use common sense.

To read more from Joe and his wife Amy, you can visit their website at  There you will find hundreds of articles related to medical preparedness in wilderness, disaster, or other austere settings.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

Gaye Levy, also known as the Survival Woman, grew up and attended school in the Greater Seattle area. After spending many years as an executive in the software industry, she started a specialized accounting practice offering contract CFO work to emerging high tech and service industries. She has now abandoned city life and has moved to a serenely beautiful rural area on an island in NW Washington State. She lives and teaches the principles of a sustainable and self-reliant lifestyle through her website at At Backdoor Survival, Gaye speaks her mind and delivers her message of prepping with optimism and grace, regardless of the uncertain times and mayhem swirling around us.

How Eating Kimchi Prevents Lethal Cancer


Kimchi is one of the world’s most popular fermented foods, but did you know that eating it daily can significantly impact your cancer risk? 

A new study published in the journal Oncotarget titled, “Dietary prevention of Helicobacter pylori-associated gastric cancer with kimchi,” is the latest example of how a simple dietary intervention can make a world of difference in reducing the risk of one of the most lethal cancers.

Gastric or stomach cancer is the third leading cause of death from cancer (9% of all cancer deaths), and the fifth most commonly diagnosed form.1 It is believed that Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is a primary cause, though smoking, nitrates and nitrites found in cured meat, regular aspirin use, and a lack of vegetables and fruits (and associated antioxidant consumption), also contribute to this multifactorial condition.


In the new study, researchers set out to prove that kimchi, a traditional Korean fermented cabbage dish not unlike sauerkraut (though spicier), could prevent Helicobacter-induced atrophic gastritis (chronic inflammation of the stomach mucosa) and subsequent gastric cancer, by administering to mice a high salt diet and H. pylori. They created a special formula of kimchi, which they called cancer preventive kimchi (cpKimchi), and which added mustard leaf, pear, mushroom, Chinese pepper, and sea tangle juice in addition to the standard kimchi recipe (sKimchi).

First, the researchers compared the effectiveness of the two different types of kimchi in suppressing cancer cell growth in vitro (test tube studies). They found that the cpKimchi recipe was superior to the sKimchi recipe at reducing gastric cancer cell survival. Moreover, they found the cancer killing properties of the cpKimchi recipe was very specific:

All of these experimental results that cpKimchi selectively induced cytotoxicity in cancer cells, while no cytotoxicity in non-transformed cells were further validated with wound healing assay to find that cpKimch imposed capacity to limit the cell growth relevant to anti-tumorigenesis.”

Selective cytoxicity is an extremely important property in juxtaposition to conventional cancer treatments like radiation and chemotherapy, which almost invariably harm both healthy and cancerous cells and tissue, leading to iatrogenic morbidity and increased mortality.

Next, the researchers evaluated the effects of the two Kimchi recipes in a rat model of atrophic gastritis. Mice received 24 weeks of a high salt diet and H. pylori infection, which lead to the development of both atrophic gastritis and erosive gastritis. They were next administered cpKimchi mixed with their drinking water up to 36 weeks, with their gastric lesions undergoing evaluation after 24 and 36 weeks, which included analysis of molecular changes that occurred during the intervention. In the cpKimchi group there was a significant decrease in all the adverse changes observed in the control group (e.g. chronic atrophic gastritis presenting with loss of parietal cells, inflammatory cells such as monocytes, lymphocytes, and macrophages replacing gastric glands, and erosive mucosal changes), leading the study authors to hypothesize the cpKimchi had a “rejuvenating effect” on their condition.

They explored the mechanism behind these regenerative effects further, and identified a range of positive molecular changes induced by the cpKimchi intervention, such as:

  • Down-regulation of the “inflammation enzyme” cyclo-oxygenase 2

  • Reduction in macrophage infiltration into the damaged mucosal tissue

  • Reduction in HF-KB p65 expression (a marker for stress associated immune response and inflammation)

  • Reduction in interleukin-6 (a chemical messenger associated with increased inflammation)

  • Reduction in STAT3 activation (increased STAT3 activity has been linked to cancer)

  • Reduction in PGE2 levels (a prostaglandin whose activity is linked to inflammation)

  • Reduction in Malondialdehyde (MDA) levels (a marker of oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation)

  • Increases in H0-1 and HSP70 (an indirect marker of improved oxidative stress)

  • Increases in gastric mucin (an indication of improved infection)

In the third phase of their research, they evaluated the long-term effect of cpKimchi intake on the prevention of H. pylori-induced gastric tumorigenesis by observing the effects of the dietary intervention for up to 36 weeks. The control animals developed significant gastric tumors at 36 weeks, whereas the cpKimchi group saw a significant decrease in their size and occurrence.

The researchers explored their findings, again, looking at molecular mechanisms and markers at play, finding:

  • Reduction in COX-2/ and F/80 expression

  • Reduction in COX-2 mRNA

  • Reduction in macrophage infiltration

  • Reduction in macrophage-related inflammatory mediators (including IL-1β, VEGF, IL-6, and MMP-2)

  • Reduction in transcription factors related to gastric inflammation (STAT3 and NF-KB)

  • Reduced apoptosis (indicating less H. pylori-induced cell damage/cell death)

  • Increased NQ10 and HO-1, indicative of increased antioxidative and cell-protecting function.

The authors of the study pointed out that previous observational research has confirmed kimchi’s anti-gastric cancer properties:

A case-control study to assess the influence of Korean foods showed that kimchi significantly decreased the risk of gastric cancer, whereas intake of cooked rice with beans, charcoal grilled beef, pollack soup, and Dongchimi significantly increased the risks [5]. In a follow up study, they also found that gastric cancer risk could be decreased if those with H. pylori infection increase their intakes of antioxidant vitamins [6].”

The authors stated that while well-designed human clinical trials should be done to confirm these findings, it is possible that “long-term dietary intervention with cpKimchi can be an alternate effort of high risk country like Korea to rescue from troublesome H. pylori-associated gastric carcinogenesis.”


They also detailed the common ingredients in kimchi, all of which we have a significant body of research indexed on our database showing that they possess profound anti-cancer properties:

The common gradients of kimchi are pepper, garlic, black cumin, hyme, allspices, bay leaves, mustard leaf, rosemary containing carnosol, flaxseed in addition to Chinese cabbage, in which carotenoids, flavonoids, catechins, isothiocyanates, allicin, glucosinolate, and lignin are plentifully contained. We have added the following five ingredients (Supplementary table 1), pear, mushroom, red pepper, mustard leaf, and sea tangle juices upon common vegetables for kimchi in order to produce cpKimchi. One of core ingredients in cpKimchi, pear extracts, had been already reported to possess significant anti-mutagenic actions evidenced with anti-inflammation, anti-oxidation, and cell proliferation regulation. Feugang et al [20] have previously reported that aqueous extracts of pear significantly reduced gynecologic cancer cells growth through apoptosis induction and ROS-sensitive genes [21]. Though cranberry had the highest total phenolic content followed by apple, red grape, strawberry, pineapple, banana, peach, lemon, orange, pear, and grapefruit [22], these ingredients, except pear, are not usually included in kimchi. Next, special attention was paid to mushroom polysaccharides, since mushrooms are regarded as powerful pharmaceutical products against cancer. Numerous bioactive polysaccharides or polysaccharide-protein complexes from medicinal mushrooms had been described to either enhance innate and cell-mediated immune responses or exhibit antitumor activities in animals and humans [12, 23].

Kimchi, of course, is a Chinese cabbage-based food. And this one ingredient, alone, contains one of the most powerful anti-cancer and anti-H. pylori compounds known: sulforaphane. You can take a look at our research page on sulforaphane which presently includes 212 studies showing its value in over 150 different conditions, 63 studies of which specifically concern it’s anti-cancer properties.

Another amazing aspect of kimchi as a fermented food is it’s beneficial bacteria which can number in the trillions per serving, and which help to suppress, neutralize, or otherwise create balance with H. pylori, which technically inhabits about 50% of the world population’s intestinal tract without causing any discernible harm to the majority.2  Given that triple drug therapies (usually two antibiotics + an acid blocker) focus on attempting to eradicate H. pylori but also destroy and/or alter the beneficial bacteria, fungi and viruses in the gut, it is possible that focusing on improving the terrain with kimchi-derived probiotic colonies offers an entirely different and more sustainable approach — especially given that triple drug therapy often fails and/or leads to the development of antibiotic resistant strains of H. plylori.

Consider also that kimchi has been identified to contain strains of beneficial bacteria that are actually capable of degrading highly toxic pesticides, as well as petrochemical toxicants such as bisphenol A, underscoring the broad way in which kimchi may be of value to those at risk or actively suffering from gastric cancer or pre-cancerous lesions. And don’t forget that we have a number of ways to further enrich empower you, including a separate database page on kimchi which reveals research on its potential therapeutic value in over 20 health conditions, an anti-Helicobacter pylori research page, and a page dedicated to things that contribute to and prevent and/or treat gastric cancer naturally. You can also check out our recent article on 3 Natural H. Pylori ‘Cures’ That Are Clinically Proven.

Lastly, the best extrapolation of this data is the use of food for prevention, and the incorporation of healing foods into daily life.

Additional References

1 “Chapter 1.1”. World Cancer Report 2014. World Health Organization. 2014. ISBN 9283204298.

Pounder RE, Ng D (1995). “The prevalence ofHelicobacter pylori infection in different countries”.Aliment. Pharmacol. Ther. 9 (Suppl 2): 33–9. PMID 8547526.

Article Contributed by Sayer Ji, Founder of

Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation. He founded in 2008 in order to provide the world an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. It is internationally recognized as the largest and most widely referenced health resource of its kind.

How Antibiotics Disrupt Intestinal Flora


The Harvard Medical School report that antibiotic side effects can last up to 42 days after the last dose. [1] You’re probably familiar with many of these side effects: diarrhea, irritable bowels, bloating, and even constipation. What you don’t see are aggressive and dangerous bacteria, like Clostridium difficile, E. coli, H. pylori, and a fungus like Candida establishing themselves in your gut. But, when you take antibiotics, harmful organisms like these can do just that.

Antibiotics: The Cure with a Catch

When you get a prescription for an antibiotic, you might feel that you’re on the path to recovery. But, there’s a catch, and it has to do with how antibiotics work. About 70% of your immune response takes place in your digestive tract. When you take an antibiotic, it goes through your system and kills off all the invading bacteria. The thing is, it also kills off your native bacteria, the ones needed to keep digestion smooth, have regular bowel movements, and protect your body from aggressive and invading bacteria.

As the Harvard Medical School reports, it takes 6 weeks for your body to recover from an antibiotic. During this time, your gut is a vacant neighborhood just waiting for someone to move in. While friendly bacteria like Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria can replenish the gut during this time, you’re at a much higher risk for unwanted bacteria colonizing your intestinal tract. The good news is that there are steps you can take to help avoid intestinal flora disruption.

How To Promote Intestinal Balance

For the best and fastest recovery while taking antibiotics, you need to get plenty of probiotics through food or a probiotic supplement. To lay the best foundation, it’s also a good idea to cut out refined and processed sugars. Unfriendly bacteria and fungi, like Candida, gobble up these sugars and reproduce much faster.

Fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi are also loaded with probiotics. These will help restore the necessary bacteria in your intestinal tract to encourage proper digestion and keep out the nasty bacteria. Another thing you can do is add prebiotics like inulin and oligosaccharides to the mix. They’re found in fruits, vegetables, and plants and are the dietary fiber that actually feed the probiotics and encourage them to flourish. [2]

Have you dealt with intestinal imbalance from antibiotics? What did you experience and how did you deal with it? Leave a comment below and share your experience with us.


  1. Pallav K1, Dowd SE2, Villafuerte J1, et al. Effects of polysaccharopeptide from Trametes versicolor and amoxicillin on the gut microbiome of healthy volunteers: a randomized clinical trial. Gut Microbes. 2014 Jul 1;5(4):458-67. doi: 10.4161/gmic.29558.
  2. Ladirat SE1, Schoterman MH2, Rahaoui H3, et al. Exploring the effects of galacto-oligosaccharides on the gut microbiota of healthy adults receiving amoxicillin treatment. Br J Nutr. 2014 Aug 28;112(4):536-46. doi: 10.1017/S0007114514001135.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

GMOs: A Scientist’s Perspective

cspB, from the Bacillus subtilis bacterium,  inserted into the genome of corn plants Source: BASF

cspB, from the Bacillus subtilis bacterium,
inserted into the genome of corn plants
Source: BASF

By: Jonathan R. Latham, PhD

(Independent Science News) By training, I am a plant biologist. In the early 1990s I was busy making genetically modified plants (often called GMOs for Genetically Modified Organisms) as part of the research that led to my PhD. Into these plants we were putting DNA from various foreign organisms, such as viruses and bacteria.

I was not, at the outset, concerned about the possible effects of GM plants on human health or the environment. One reason for this lack of concern was that I was still a very young scientist, feeling my way in the complex world of biology and of scientific research. Another reason was that we hardly imagined that GMOs like ours would be grown or eaten. So far as I was concerned, all GMOs were for research purposes only.

Gradually, however, it became clear that certain companies thought differently. Some of my older colleagues shared their skepticism with me that commercial interests were running far ahead of scientific knowledge. I listened carefully and I didn’t disagree. Today, over twenty years later, GMO crops, especially soybeans, corn, papaya, canola and cotton, are commercially grown in numerous parts of the world.

Depending on which country you live in, GMOs may be unlabeled and therefore unknowingly abundant in your diet. Processed foods (e.g. chips, breakfast cereals, sodas) are likely to contain ingredients from GMO crops, because they are often made from corn or soy. Most agricultural crops, however, are still non-GMO, including rice, wheat, barley, oats, tomatoes, grapes and beans.

For meat eaters the nature of GMO consumption is different. There are no GMO animals used in farming (although GM salmon has been pending FDA approval since 1993); however, animal feed, especially in factory farms or for fish farming, is likely to be GMO corn and GMO soybeans. In which case the labeling issue, and potential for impacts on your health, are complicated.

I now believe, as a much more experienced scientist, that GMO crops still run far ahead of our understanding of their risks. In broad outline, the reasons for this belief are quite simple. I have become much more appreciative of the complexity of biological organisms and their capacity for benefits and harms. As a scientist I have become much more humble about the capacity of science to do more than scratch the surface in its understanding of the deep complexity and diversity of the natural world. To paraphrase a cliché, I more and more appreciate that as scientists we understand less and less.

The Flawed Processes of GMO Risk Assessment

Some of my concerns with GMOs are “just” practical ones. I have read numerous GMO risk assessment applications. These are the documents that governments rely on to ‘prove’ their safety. Though these documents are quite long and quite complex, their length is misleading in that they primarily ask (and answer) trivial questions. Furthermore, the experiments described within them are often very inadequate and sloppily executed. Scientific controls are often missing, procedures and reagents are badly described, and the results are often ambiguous or uninterpretable. I do not believe that this ambiguity and apparent incompetence is accidental. It is common, for example, for multinational corporations, whose labs have the latest equipment, to use outdated methodologies. When the results show what the applicants want, nothing is said. But when the results are inconvenient, and raise red flags, they blame the limitations of the antiquated method. This bulletproof logic, in which applicants claim safety no matter what the data shows, or how badly the experiment was performed, is routine in formal GMO risk assessment.

To any honest observer, reading these applications is bound to raise profound and disturbing questions: about the trustworthiness of the applicants and equally of the regulators. They are impossible to reconcile with a functional regulatory system capable of protecting the public.

The Dangers of GMOs

Aside from grave doubts about the quality and integrity of risk assessments, I also have specific science-based concerns over GMOs. I emphasise the ones below because they are important but are not on the lists that GMO critics often make.

Many GMO plants are engineered to contain their own insecticides. These GMOs, which include maize, cotton and soybeans, are called Bt plants. Bt plants get their name because they incorporate a transgene that makes a protein-based toxin (usually called the Cry toxin) from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. Many Bt crops are “stacked,” meaning they contain a multiplicity of these Cry toxins. Their makers believe each of these Bt toxins is insect-specific and safe. However, there are multiple reasons to doubt both safety and specificity. One concern is that Bacillus thuringiensis is all but indistinguishable from the well known anthrax bacterium (Bacillus anthracis) (1). Another reason is that Bt insecticides share structural similarities with ricin. Ricin is a famously dangerous plant toxin, a tiny amount of which was used to assassinate the Bulgarian writer and defector Georgi Markov in 1978. A third reason for concern is that the mode of action of Bt proteins is not understood (Vachon et al 2012); yet, it is axiomatic in science that effective risk assessment requires a clear understanding of the mechanism of action of any GMO transgene. This is so that appropriate experiments can be devised to affirm or refute safety. These red flags are doubly troubling because some Cry proteins are known to be toxic towards isolated human cells (Mizuki et al., 1999). Yet we put them in our food crops.

A second concern follows from GMOs being often resistant to herbicides. This resistance is an invitation to farmers to spray large quantities of herbicides, and many do. As research recently showed, commercial soybeans routinely contain quantities of the herbicide Roundup (glyphosate) that its maker, Monsanto, once described as “extreme” (Bøhn et al 2014).

Glyphosate has been in the news recently because the World Health Organisation no longer considers it a relatively harmless chemical, but there are other herbicides applied to GMOs which are easily of equal concern. The herbicide Glufosinate (phosphinothricin, made by Bayer) kills plants because it inhibits the important plant enzyme glutamine synthetase. This enzyme is ubiquitous, however, it is found also in fungi, bacteria and animals. Consequently, Glufosinate is toxic to most organisms. Glufosinate is also a neurotoxin of mammals that doesn’t easily break down in the environment (Lantz et al. 2014). Glufosinate is thus a “herbicide” in name only.

Thus, even in conventional agriculture, the use of glufosinate is hazardous; but With GMO plants the situation is worse yet. With GMOs, glufosinate is sprayed on to the crop but its degradation in the plant is blocked by the transgene, which chemically modifies it slightly. This is why the GMO plant is resistant to it; but the other consequence is that when you eat Bayers’ Glufosinate-resistant GMO maize or canola, even weeks or months later, glufosinate, though slightly modified, is probably still there (Droge et al., 1992). Nevertheless, though the health hazard of glufosinate is much greater with GMOs, the implications of this science have been ignored in GMO risk assessments of Glufosinate-tolerant GMO crops.

A yet further reason to be concerned about GMOs is that most of them contain a viral sequence called the cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) promoter (or they contain the similar figwort mosaic virus (FMV) promoter). Two years ago, the GMO safety agency of the European Union (EFSA) discovered that both the CaMV promoter and the FMV promoter had wrongly been assumed by them (for almost 20 years) not to encode any proteins. In fact, the two promoters encode a large part of a small multifunctional viral protein that misdirects all normal gene expression and that also turns off a key plant defence against pathogens. EFSA tried to bury their discovery. Unfortunately for them, we spotted their findings in an obscure scientific journal. This revelation forced EFSA and other regulators to explain why they had overlooked the probability that consumers were eating an untested viral protein.

This list of significant scientific concerns about GMOs is by no means exhaustive. For example, there are novel GMOs coming on the market, such as those using double stranded RNAs (dsRNAs), that have the potential for even greater risks (Latham and Wilson 2015).

The True Purpose of GMOs

Science is not the only grounds on which GMOs should be judged. The commercial purpose of GMOs is not to feed the world or improve farming. Rather, they exist to gain intellectual property (i.e. patent rights) over seeds and plant breeding and to drive agriculture in directions that benefit agribusiness. This drive is occurring at the expense of farmers, consumers and the natural world. US Farmers, for example, have seen seed costs nearly quadruple and seed choices greatly narrow since the introduction of GMOs. The fight over GMOs is not of narrow importance. It affects us all.

Nevertheless, specific scientific concerns are crucial to the debate. I left science in large part because it seemed impossible to do research while also providing the unvarnished public scepticism that I believed the public, as ultimate funder and risk-taker of that science, was entitled to.

Criticism of science and technology remains very difficult. Even though many academics benefit from tenure and a large salary, the sceptical process in much of science is largely lacking. This is why risk assessment of GMOs has been short-circuited and public concerns about them are growing. Until the damaged scientific ethos is rectified, both scientists and the public are correct to doubt that GMOs should ever have been let out of any lab.

(An earlier version of this article appeared at

(1) Two references on the anthrax issue (added Sept 2nd): Helgason, E., O. A. Økstad, D. A. Caugant, H. A. Johansen, A. Fouet, M. Mock, I. Hegna, and A.-B. Kolstø. 2000. Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis—one species on the basis of genetic evidence. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 66: 2627-2630.


Adelaida M. Gaviria Rivera, Per Einar Granum, Fergus G. Priest. 2000. Common occurrence of enterotoxin genes and enterotoxicity in Bacillus thuringiensis. FEMS Microbiology Letters 190 (2000) 151-155;


– Bøhn, T, Cuhra, M, Traavik, T, Sanden, M, Fagan, J and Primicerio, R (2014) Compositional differences in soybeans on the market: Glyphosate accumulates in Roundup Ready GM soybeans. Food Chemistry 153: 207-215.
– Droge W, Broer I, and Puhler A. (1992) Transgenic plants containing the phosphinothricin-N-acetyltransferase gene metabolize the herbicide L-phosphinothricin (glufosinate) differently from untransformed plants. Planta 187: 142-151.
– Lantz S et al., (2014) Glufosinate binds N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors and increases neuronal network activity in vitro. Neurotoxicology 45: 38-47.
– Latham JR and Wilson AK (2015) Off -­ target Effects of Plant Transgenic RNAi: Three Mechanisms Lead to Distinct Toxicological and Environmental Hazards.
– Mizuki, E, Et Al., (1999) Unique activity associated with non-insecticidal Bacillus thuringiensis parasporal inclusions: in vitro cell- killing action on human cancer cells. J. Appl. Microbiol. 86: 477–486.
– Vachon V, Laprade R, Schwartz JL (2012) Current models of the mode of action of Bacillus thuringiensis insecticidal crystal proteins: a critical review. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 111: 1–12.

Organic Farmers Suffer 77-Fold Increase In Lost Revenue From GMO Contamination In Last 3 Years


By: Justin Gardner, The Free Thought Project |

Monsanto has many weapons in its arsenal when it comes to eliminating competition from non-GMO and organic farmers. After more than two decades of pushing their products onto US farmland with purposely flawed safety studies, the sheer presence of genetically modified crops poses an existential threat to the business of traditional and organic farming.

A new report has come out showing the extraordinary costs that non-GMO and organic farmers incur from GMO contamination of their crops.

“Results from the newest USDA survey indicate that of the farmers who chose to answer the question, 92 had experienced monetary loss between 2011 and 2014 averaging approximately $66,395 per farmer during that timeframe. Overall, GMO presence cost organic farmers at least $6.1 million over four years. This figure is 77 times that reported during the 2006 to 2011 timeframe—a staggering increase.”

The USDA conducted its first survey this year of the financial losses suffered by non-GMO and organic farmers from contamination. They did so at the urging of rights groups such as Food and Water Watch, who conducted their own survey in 2013.

That report found that one in three farmers had dealt with GMO contamination, causing many buyer rejections at a median cost of $4,500 each rejection. Considering the 77-fold increase in financial burden since previous years, it is clear that the biotech industry is pushing their competition toward financial ruin.

But genetic contamination is only half the story. The USDA’s report excludes losses incurred from pesticide drift, which occurs when crops such as Monsanto’s “RoundUp Ready” corn are sprayed and the chemical drifts onto nearby fields. This will become a bigger burden as more chemical–resistant GMO crops are approved by friendly federal agencies.

“Regarding drift issues, one farmer we surveyed wrote, ‘my only problem comes from drift when commercial chemical sprayers spray on a windy day and the spray drifts across the road or buffer strip to kill my alfalfa or other crops. I call the company and complain but they have never compensated me for my loss as of yet.’ Regarding dicamba, another farmer wrote, ‘I’m more concerned with spray drift—especially with the effort to release Banvel-resistant soybeans. Everyone knows how volatile that chemical can be—not only to organic farmers but all farmers and home owners.’ Even Roundup, considered to be less harmful and less prone to drift than 2,4-D and dicamba has been a huge problem for organic growers. One farmer wrote, ‘in the last 16 years I have had three instances where spray drift has affected my fields. All three times it was Roundup. It has totaled $65,000 and I have had to start the three-year transition process [for organic certification] all over., Not only has spray drift negatively affected relationships between neighbors, it has resulted in organic farmers being forced to take some areas of their farm out of organic production completely.”

All of these burdens—from wind-driven pollen contamination to post-harvest seed/grain mixing to pesticide drift—are borne by the victimized farmers. They must establish buffers or adopt delayed planting regimens, and they alone bear the financial cost of rejected crops.

Meanwhile, biotech companies enjoy regulatory and financial support from their co-conspirators in federal departments, as they slowly grind the competition to dust.

Adding insult to injury, last year Monsanto persuaded their friends at the Supreme Court (including former Monsanto attorney Clarence Thomas) to grant Monsanto the ability to sue farmers whose fields are inadvertently contaminated with GMO material.

The results of these attacks on multiple fronts are being seen, with the number of organic farms decreasing over the past few years.