Wednesday, September 19, 2012

News Bits

There have been SO many interesting bits of news going on but I have been too busy to write on them.  I am taking a "bit" of time today to report on some items.

Photo Credit:
The first is a scientific study recently released on the hazards of Roundup herbicide and Roundup- Ready genetically modified (GM) maize (corn).  This study was published on September 19th in Food and Chemical Toxicology.  The title of the article is Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize.  Once you read the article you will change your mind about GM foods!  Wow!  The study used rats and came to several interesting conclusions.  The abstract highlights the findings...

The health effects of a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize (from 11% in the diet), cultivated with or without Roundup, and Roundup alone (from 0.1 ppb in water), were studied 2 years in rats. In females, all treated groups died 2–3 times more than controls, and more rapidly. This difference was visible in 3 male groups fed GMOs. All results were hormone and sex dependent, and the pathological profiles were comparable. Females developed large mammary tumors almost always more often than and before controls, the pituitary was the second most disabled organ; the sex hormonal balance was modified by GMO and Roundup treatments. In treated males, liver congestions and necrosis were 2.5–5.5 times higher. This pathology was confirmed by optic and transmission electron microscopy. Marked and severe kidney nephropathies were also generally 1.3–2.3 greater. Males presented 4 times more large palpable tumors than controls which occurred up to 600 days earlier. Biochemistry data confirmed very significant kidney chronic deficiencies; for all treatments and both sexes, 76% of the altered parameters were kidney related. These results can be explained by the non linear endocrine-disrupting effects of Roundup, but also by the overexpression of the transgene in the GMO and its metabolic consequences.


► A Roundup-tolerant maize and Roundup provoked chronic hormone and sex dependent pathologies. ► Female mortality was 2–3 times increased mostly due to large mammary tumors and disabled pituitary. ► Males had liver congestions, necrosis, severe kidney nephropathies and large palpable tumors. ► This may be due to an endocrine disruption linked to Roundup and a new metabolism due to the transgene. ► GMOs and formulated pesticides must be evaluated by long term studies to measure toxic effects..

I have mentioned several times I suffer from autoimmune and endocrine problems.  What really scares me is that my mother and I seem to suffer from some sort of pituitary dysfunction.  How interesting that the GM crops fed animals show the same thing!  Makes me believe, more than ever, that you should avoid GM foods whenever possible and we must push for labeling of GM food!

News stories on the finding from the journal article can be found HERE (this one is rather graphic with photos of the rats) and HERE.  It is interesting that the best articles on the subject are coming out of Europe and very little is being said about it in the U.S.!

Update:  Like any controversial subject there is all ready opposition to the study.  To read a recent news story on the skepticism of the study click HERE. Also here is a group of scientists voicing their opinion of the study HERE.

My last thought on the subject is who is funding the journal article on the toxicity of Roundup and who provides funding and grants to the scientists speaking out against the study?  Everything usually relates back to money.

Photo Credit:
For those who have used a thickening product to feed your child this is disturbing news!  The FDA has issued a warning to people using SimplyThick.  SimplyThick is added to thin liquids or foods to help increase the viscosity of the food and make it easier to eat and keep down. The FDA is advising people NOT to give SimplyThick to babies born before 37 weeks of age and are warning people to evaluate the risk of SimplyThick to infants of ANY age.

The FDA reports 22 infants developed necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) after being fed the thickening agent SimplyThick – using as directed.  NEC is a condition where tissue in the intestines gets inflamed and dies. Of the 22 infants who became ill, 21 were born premature.  Half of the babies developed NEC while still in the hospital and the other half at home.  Fourteen of them needed surgery.  Seven of the infants passed away. NEC symptoms include a bloated stomach, greenish-colored vomiting and bloody stools. Investigations are currently being conducted if SimplyThick is the only thickening product that is causing NEC or if other thickening agents are also putting infants at risk.

To read more on this article please click HERE

Here is a great story about a film called Food Stamped.  Sadly, the free preview of the movie is over but there is a great article on the film.  Food Stamped looks at buying a healthy diet using the budget given to someone on food stamps.  It is a great article and gives some tips on how to feed your family a healthy diet for ONE dollar or less per serving.

My last news bit is a recipe for Gluten Free/Dairy Free Caramel. Mommy blogger Heidi focuses on gluten-free recipes and went through three versions of her recipe before coming up with a recipe that made the entire family happy.  She has several pictures on her site including the one I added here of an apple dipped in the caramel. What a great idea for Halloween! Yum!

Dairy/Casein-Free Chewy Caramels

1 cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread
2 1/4 cups packed Brown Sugar
2 cups MimicCreme Unsweetened Vegan Cream (use So Delicious Coconut Milk if allergic to tree nuts)
1/2 cup Honey
1/2 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla

  1. Line an 8x8x2-inch or 9x9x2-inch cake pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan.
  2. Generously butter the foil. If desired, sprinkle walnuts over bottom of pan. Set pan aside.
  3. In a 3-quart heavy saucepan, melt Earth Balance over low heat.
  4. Add the brown sugar, MimicCreme (or So Delicious Coconut Milk), honey and Lyle’s Golden syrup; mix well.
  5. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils.
  6. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan.
  7. Reduce heat to medium; continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate, stirring frequently, until the thermometer registers 248°F, firm-ball stage. **Adjust heat as necessary to maintain a steady boil and watch temperature carefully during the last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking as temperature can increase quickly at the end.**
  8. Remove saucepan from heat; remove thermometer.
  9. Stir in vanilla.
  10. Quickly pour mixture into prepared pan.
  11. Let stand about 2 hours or until firm. When firm, use foil to lift it out of pan.
  12. Use a buttered knife to cut into 1-inch squares. Wrap each piece in waxed paper or plastic wrap. Store at room temperature.


  1. There are severan problem with that study.

    There are several strain of rats fortesting. In this study they choose a strain of rat that is very prone to mammary tumours particularly when food intake is not restricted.

    And guess what...

    The study does not report the food intake of the rats.

    In the study, both sets of rats, those that were feed with Non GM and those with GM maize developed tumors.

    But better read the opinion of the experts:

  2. Thank you for the additional information. In all fairness I did add a news story that discussed the opposition to the journal article. I will add your link too.

    I would like to get a hold of the journal article but I am not willing to pay $30 for the entire text. It would be nice to read myself. :)