Health News
Splenda Affects Insulin Response PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael McCaffrey   
Wednesday, June 05, 2013

A team of researchers at the Washington University of Medicine in St. Louis recently found that Splenda indeed has effects on the body’s response to sugar, which can therefore affect diabetes risk.

As everyone knows, sucralose, the main ingredient in Splenda, has zero calories and shouldn’t produce an insulin response. However, this new study of 17 very obese people who are not diabetic and don’t normally consume artificial sweeteners, is showing new evidence to the contrary.


The participants consumed either sucralose or plain water before taking a glucose challenge test that is typically used as a tool to determine if a person has gestational diabetes. The results concluded that consuming sucralose was connected with higher blood sugar peaks and 20 percent higher insulin levels compared with those that just consumed water. The researchers stated that more studies need to be done.


SOURCE: Splenda, Sucralose Artificial Seetener, Could Affect Body's Insulin Response

Monsanto Protection Act – What Now? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael McCaffrey   
Wednesday, June 05, 2013

When we announced in April that the spending bill (HR 933), which allowed the federal government to continue through the end of the year, contained a rider affectionately called the Monsanto Protection Act, I was a bit stymied. Blurry eyed. Lost.

Some people were saying that all Monsanto needs is six months to start foiling our planet. Not long after our email about the Act, someone called our office and asked “now what?” Usually we offer calls to action, things to do to right the wrong, but not this time, she said. She was right. I was still flat-footed, I was still in mourning.

The Monsanto Protection Act is a rider that, for the six months it is in effect, if a federal court were to strike down a USDA approval of a genetically modified crop and place an injunction against the planting of that crop, the USDA “shall immediately” approve permits for planting or offer a partial deregulation. In other words, it eliminates the judicial part of our government. The checks-and-balances are destroyed with this provision.

It’s a terrible provision that challenges how we set up our government.  And the fed­eral courts have struck down a num­ber of genet­i­cally engi­neered crop approvals by the USDA as unlaw­ful, so for 6 months, we are exposed. However, Colin O’Neil, Director of Government Affairs for the Center for Food Safety has said that “In theory, there are still a couple of other crops that could be approved during this window of time, but we may or may not see this rider triggered. It only takes into account the USDA approval of a crop, the challenge to that approval, and then the court striking down that approval. So, we may or may not see this ever happen or the rider used.”

But what do we do? What now?
First, the way #1 to stay away from the effects of GMOs is to buy organic. Federal regulations state that no GMOs can be used in foods with the USDA Certified Organic Label. So, if you’re concerned about GMO’s, and you should, you should be buying organic as often as you can.

Second, stay away from processed foods, of which 70% is made of GMO corn or some other GMO.
Why stay away from GMO’s? I’m glad you asked. That’s part of the unfortunate nature of Monsanto  - the only way you can obtain their seeds (for studies) is to be a farmer of theirs. And when you sign on to Monsanto, you literally sign away your ability to offer your seeds for experiments. Only Monsanto can do tests on Monsanto seeds, which presents a problem. The famous French study out last year was the first independent study of Monsanto’s seeds, with devastating results. there was a 600 percent increase—or six times more deaths—compared to the control group that was not exposed to GMOs.  Here’s an article we did on that study – please share it with your friends:

It is amazing that GMOs are part of our food supply when they have not been independently tested. It’s an absolute crime, frankly. And we can’t expect a company that created Agent Orange and lied to the government about the effects of Agent Orange on our troops to be truthful anytime soon.

So, getting back to the original question, now what? Be Vigilant! Monsanto only wins if we give up! There are several good soldiers on our side in the Senate who are introducing legislation. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) created an amendment to support mandatory GMO labeling (#1025) as well as her amendment asking the FDA and USDA study the 64 countries that now require GMO labeling (#1026). 

And Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) created an amendment (#978) to repeal the "Monsanto Protection Act".

The Farm bill will be reviewed by both the Senate and the House this month, and “better safe than sorry” is the attitude I’d have here – we really can’t allow our Senators to go on unmonitored, in my opinion, because when they are left on their own, things like the Monsanto Protection Act come about.

So, there are two organizations that I’d encourage you to become familiar with. They are Food Democracy Now and the Center for Food Safety. Both have petitions that I’d encourage you to sign up with.

Food Democracy Now has a petition to repeal Monsanto Protection Act:

Also, the Center for Food Safety has their petition here:

And, don’t give up on this! We’ll need to keep our eye on Monsanto. I and many others believe we have reached a tipping point. What occurred a few weeks ago, with over 2 million protestors against Monsanto in more than 50 countries, shows that the Anti-GMO Movement has arrived.

And Monsanto’s reach may be wide, but it’s still patchy and, thankfully, not complete. According to O’Neil, “For the past half dozen years, reports from the Government Accountability Office, the Inspector General within the USDA, the National Academy of Sciences, as well as fed­eral courts have sharply criticized USDA approvals of genet­i­cally engi­neered crops for fail­ing to ade­quately review their envi­ron­men­tal impacts,” O’Neil is also quoted as saying that the “courts also crit­i­cize their lack of review of the eco­nomic impacts—namely the cross-contamination of organic or conventional crops through pollen drift or seed dis­per­sal.”

So, Monsanto is not indestructible. We can, and must, win this one. Keep buying organic, keep in touch with these two organizations, and keep your voice heard!

SOURCE: Behind the Monsonto Protection Act
The Dirty Dozen and The Clean 15 for 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dee McCaffrey, CDC   
Monday, April 29, 2013

Dirty Dozen 2013
For the ninth year in a row, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit advocacy group, has just released their 2013 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce. This handy guide lists the fruits and veggies with the most and least pesticides, so you know which are the most important to eat organic and which are OK to eat even when conventionally grown.
Fruit Flies Fed Organic Diets Are Healthier Than Flies Fed Nonorganic Diets PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael McCaffrey   
Tuesday, April 02, 2013



A new study out of Dallas shows that fruit flies fed organic diets are healthier than those fed nonorganic diets.

The two primary measurements of health where fertility and longevity.

The study came from the lab in Southern Methodist University. Where SMU biologist Johannes Bauer said that “While these findings are certainly intriguing, what we now need to determine is why the flies on the organic diets did better, especially since not all the organic diets we tested provided the same positive health outcomes,” said Bauer.

They don’t know why the flies on the organic diet did better – that will involve more research.

The findings, “Organically grown food provides health benefits to Drosophila melanogaster,” have now been published in the open access journal PLOS One. Buaer and Ria Chhabra, a high school student, co-authored the paper with Santharam Kolli, a research associate at SMU. The article is available from PLOS One online at

Because of the low costs associated with fly research and the fly’s short life cycle, researchers use fruit flies to study human diseases such as diabetes to heart function to Alzheimer’s disease.

The flies were fed extracts made from organic and conventional potatoes, soybeans, raisins and bananas. They were not fed any additional nutritional supplements. The researchers tested the effects of each food type independently and avoided any confounding effects of a mixed diet.

Source:here’s the link to the source article.

Millenialls Losing Interest in Golden Arches PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael McCaffrey   
Tuesday, April 02, 2013



According to Advertising Age, a recent internal memo popped up stating that McDonalds has failed to reach the top 10 restaurant chains for "millennials” or 19-to 30-year-olds.

Millenialls are looking for healthier alternatives and more sustainable solutions. They place a great deal of value on things like social responsibility, local, sustainability, organic, grass-fed and hormone-free offerings when they dine out. Yes, McDonalds added salads to their menu some time ago. However, the fact that its Caesar Salad possesses more fattening than their burgers doesn’t help their cause.

Dan Schawabel, managing partner of Millennial Branding, a consulting firm shared with TakePart “"I think back to Fast Food Nation, which was very popular among millennials. They're looking for sustainability. They want their food to be better grown, and when you see McDonald's putting [artificial flavors] in their food, those things aren't helping build trust."

So, according to Ad Age, they are about to embark on a major food change- the new McWrap, and as Ad Age reports:

Referred to in the memo as a "Subway buster," the McWrap "affords us the platform for customization and variety that our millennial customer is expecting of us." The McWrap comes grilled or crispy in three varieties—sweet chili chicken, chicken and bacon, and chicken and ranch—and will range from 360 to 600 calories, depending in part on the type of chicken.

Said the memo: "Our customers are consistently telling us, particularly millennials, they expect variety, more choices, customization and their ability to be able to personalize their food experience."

The last time I have been in a McDonalds it was to pee. In fact, that’s pretty well it’s status in our household as the “Great American Pee-House” as we travel across the country. I say “hooray” for the millennials, and look forward to seeing more from this group in the future.

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