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Posts tagged ‘Environmental Working Group’

EPA Reverses Itself on Fluoride Fox News

Nonetheless, here is yet another example of why consumers, especially parents, need to be vigilant, do their own research and understand that sometimes the “experts” and the government can be wrong.

EPA Reverses Itself on Fluoride

By 

Published February 22, 2011

FoxNews.com

For decades, fluoride has been marketed and heralded as essential for good dental hygiene and used in most toothpastes and mouthwashes. In addition, parents have been routinely encouraged to give their kids cavity-fighting fluoride treatments when they visit the dentist.

Beginning in the late 1940s, aided by mass industry lead lobbying campaigns, the government encouraged municipal water authorities to add fluoride to their community’s drinking water. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 70 percent of the U.S. population ingests fluoride through their community drinking water today and they want this percentage to continue to climb. This is in stark contrast to other developed European nations were fluoride is rarely added to drinking water – Britain provides only about 10 percent of their population with fluoridated water.

The “experts” and the government told us fluoride would strengthen tooth enamel, help prevent tooth decay and is, of course, perfectly safe.

“Community water fluoridation is an equitable, cost-effective, and cost-saving method of delivering fluoride to most people,” noted Dr. William Maas, director of CDC’s Division of Oral Health.

Click here to find out more.

But that was then and this is now.

In a surprising reversal, last month EPA’s announced that it intends to lower the maximum amount of fluoride in drinking water because of growing evidence supporting the chemical’s possible deleterious effects to children’s health.

In 2006, the National Academy of Sciences report that found dental fluorosis – caused by too much fluoride – capable of putting children at risk of developing other dental problems including the breakdown of tooth enamel, discoloration and pitting.

January’s EPA recommendation reversal was made following a revised risk assessment study that found 2 out of 5 adolescents had tooth streaking or spottiness and some pitting as a result of excessive fluoride. In addition, other studies have found excessive ingestion of fluoride capable of increasing the risk of brittle bones leading to fractures and debilitating bone abnormalities.

There have always been fluoride critics who questioned the chemical’s safety and challenged the decision to use fluoride in municipal drinking water. According to the Los Angeles Times, back in 2005, “the heads of 11 EPA unions, including those representing the agency’s scientists, demanded that EPA reduce the permissible level of added fluoride in water to zero, citing research suggesting it can cause cancer. Other studies have pointed to neurotoxicity and hormone disruption from excessive fluoride”.

Click here to read: Fluoride in drinking water: Will the EPA get tougher? Jan. 8, 2011

It has taken the government more than 60 years to recognize – some would argue admit – that American children have been overexposed to this toxic, potentially harmful chemical.

In response to the EPA’s sudden announcement, Jane Houlihan, senior vice-president of the Washington based non-profit Environmental Working Group, said, “this decision is another signal to the public to take care when it comes to exposures to industrial chemicals. What is considered safe today won’t necessarily be thought safe tomorrow.”

Our government has a pretty abysmal track record when it comes acknowledging the potential health risks associated with certain chemicals, particularly when its agencies have already determined these products as “safe”, encouraged, and in some cases mandated their use. So it is somewhat encouraging to see the EPA acknowledging the need to revise their position on fluoride and should be commended for it.

Nonetheless, here is yet another example of why consumers, especially parents, need to be vigilant, do their own research and understand that sometimes the “experts” and the government can be wrong.

NOTE: A reverse osmosis system is needed to remove fluoride from drinking water.

Deirdre Imus is the Founder and President of The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health CenterTM at Hackensack University Medical Center and Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer. Deirdre is the author of four books, including three national bestsellers. She is a frequent speaker on green living and children’s health issues, and is a contributor to FoxNewsHealth.com. For more information go to http://www.dienviro.com

Deirdre Imus, Founder of the site devoted to environmental health, dienviro.org, is President and Founder of The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center™ at Hackensack  University Medical Center and Co-Founder/Co-Director of the Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer. She is a New York Times best-selling author and a frequent contributor to FoxNewsHealth.com, and Fox Business Channel. Check out her website at dienviro.org. ‘Like’ her Facebook page here.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/02/22/epa-reverses-fluoride/#ixzz23B1XKSXS

To Buy or Not to Buy Organic

by Michael Pollan

Should I buy local foods or stick to organic?

It depends on what you value most. If keeping pesticides out of your food is your highest value, then buy organic. If you care most about freshness and quality or keeping local farms in business and circulating money in your community, buy local. But very often you can do both. Some local farmers are organic in everything but name, so before you decide to pass them up, ask them not “Are you organic” – to which the answer must be no if they haven’t been certified – but rather, how do you deal with fertility and pests? That starts a more nuanced conversation that may convince you to buy their produce.

We can’t afford to buy all our produce organic, so where should we direct our money to get the most benefit?

On produce, some items, when grown conventionally, have more pesticide residue than others, so when buying these, it pays to buy organic. According to the Environmental Working Group, the “dirty dozen” most pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables are: apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, imported nectarines, imported grapes, sweet bell peppers, potatoes, blueberries, lettuce and kale/collards. The “clean 15” are onions, sweet corn, pineapples, avocado, asparagus, sweet peas, mangoes, eggplant, cantaloupe, kiwi, cabbage, watermelon, sweet potatoes, grapefruit and mushrooms. So if you’ve only got a little money to devote to organic, buy the organic apples and skip the organic onions. But do keep in mind that it’s important to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables regardless of how they’re grown.

Why are vegetables and meat labeled “organic” so much more expensive than similar items without the “organic” label?

There are several reasons organic food costs more than conventional food. First, the demand for it exceeds the supply, and presumably, as more farmers transition to organic, the price will fall, though it will never match conventional prices. For one thing, organic farmers receive virtually no subsidies from the government. (European governments significantly subsidize the transition to organic; ours doesn’t.) But even on a level playing field, farming organically would probably remain more expensive. Farming without chemicals is inherently more labor-intensive, especially when it comes to weeding. In animal agriculture, raising animals less intensively is always going to cost more.

Think about it this way: The “high” price of organic food comes a lot closer to the true price of producing that food – a price we seldom pay at the checkout. It’s important to remember that when you buy conventional food, many costs have been shifted – to the taxpayer in the form of crop subsidies, to the farmworker in the form of health problems and to the environment in the form of water and air pollution.

 O.K., apart from a clearer conscience, what does the premium paid for organic food get you as a consumer?

Organic food has little or no pesticide residues, and especially for parents of young children, this is a big deal. There is also a body of evidence that produce grown in organic soils often has higher levels of various nutrients. (But whether these are enough to justify the higher price is questionable.) Probably for the same reason, organic produce often tastes better than conventional (though a cross-country truck ride can obviate this edge).

So it’s possible to make a case to the consumer for the superiority of organic food – but the stronger case is to the citizen. Farming without synthetic pesticides is better for the soil, for the water and for the air – which is to say, for the commons. It is also better for the people who grow and harvest our food, who would much rather not breathe pesticides. Producing meat without antibiotics will also help stave off antibiotic- resistance. If you care about these things, then the premium paid for organic food is money well spent.

Are there real opportunities for consumers to make an impact on factory farming, unsustainable agriculture and animal cruelty?

Absolutely. As the market for humanely raised meat grew in recent years, the industry responded. The egg industry recently committed to an effort to phase out tightly confining cages for laying hens; some pork producers are phasing out gestation crates; McDonald’s has taken steps to ensure that the meat it buys is slaughtered more humanely; Chipotle now buys only humanely raised pork. There is no question that agribusiness responds to the “votes” of consumers on these issues. The food industry is terrified of you. And PETA!

Related DVDs

Food Matters

Food Matters is a feature length documentary film informing you on the best choices you can make for you and your family’s health. In a collection of interviews with leading Nutritionists, Naturopaths, Scientists, M.D.’s and Medical Journalists you will discover…Format: DVD – Region Free
Running Time: 80 minutes
Price: $24.95

Fresh The Movie

Fresh is more than a film it is a reflection of a rising movement of people and communities across America who are re-inventing our food system. Fresh is a guide that empowers people to take an array of actions for healthier local food solutions.Format: DVD – Region Free
Running Time:
Price: $29.95

http://www.foodmatters.tv/articles-1/to-buy-or-not-to-buy-organic

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