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Unwitting GMO guinea pigs: AquaBounty GMO salmon now in Canadian stores

GMO Salmon
Food safety activists and environmentalists are concerned over the potential risks from a new US brand of genetically-modified salmon, which has just hit Canadian shelves. Some believe Canadians are being used as guinea pigs for potentially harmful technology.

After trying for two decades, AquaBounty Technologies' GM salmon was finally approved for sale in Canada in 2016, which led to the most recent developments.

The company's GM salmon can grow twice as large as conventionally-farmed Atlantic salmon, according to the Guardian. The accelerated growth means the fish will reach adult size in 18 months rather than the typical 30 months. This process is established by modifying the firm's Atlantic salmon with a growth hormone gene taken from Chinook salmon. The company also claims that their salmon consume 20 to 25 percent less food per gram of new flesh.

Comment: Is genetically engineered salmon safe?

There are massively disturbing ethical, environmental, and health concerns that make the introduction of Frankenfish highly controversial. AquaBounty insists that their creation poses no threat to wild salmon populations. But research found that a release of just sixty GE salmon into a wild population of 60,000 would lead to the extinction of the wild population in less than 40 fish generations. Every year, millions of farmed fish escape from fish farms into the wild. As to sterile fish, at present, there is no guaranteed method to produce 100% sterility.

And as for safety, the FDA concluded the fish is as safe as that of other farmed salmon. However, compared to wild salmon, studies have found farmed salmon to have significantly higher concentrations of contaminants, including PCBs, dioxins, dieldrin, and toxaphene. In addition, the genetic makeup of the fish is a new creation, and there have been no long-term studies conducted on humans actually consuming genetically engineered salmon.

See also:


The 'Poison Papers': New documents expose the extent of EPA collusion with Monsanto and others

The collusion between the EPA and the companies they are supposed to regulate goes back for decades
The Environmental Protection Agency's mission statement reads: "to protect human health and the environment." Ironically, while the EPA has done some strong work in the past, the agency has also helped corporations destroy the environment and threaten human health through pesticide usage and adding neurotoxins to our drinking water. These are only two of many examples of the EPA doing an inadequate job of protecting human health and the environment.

The EPA is known to hold strong ties to oil, gas, and chemical corporations, enforcing extremely lenient regulations that allow these companies to profit at the expense of our health and the environment. The Bioscience Resource Project and The Center for Media and Democracy recently teamed up to expose some of this corruption by publishing the Poison Papers, which contains thousands upon thousands of EPA, government, and chemical company documents.

Comment: To understand the extent of this collusion and how the average person suffers because of it, read through some of the links to the documents in the article. It's criminal behaviour!


Infant gut microbiome may play role in cognitive development

© chombosan/Shutterstock
Your gut is home to an ecological community that harbors over 100 trillion microorganisms. Both "good" and potentially harmful microbes begin residing within human intestines shortly after birth to create the gut microbiome, which consists of different strains of intestinal microbiota. In the past month, two new human studies on the "gut-brain axis" are helping us better understand the link between specific microbiome colonies, brain structure, and emotional-cognitive function in both infants and adults.

In recent years, countless animal studies have provided compelling evidence that microorganisms in the gut play a role in neurodevelopment. More specifically, altering intestinal microbiota in rodents has been found to impact their cognitive, communicative, and exploratory behaviors. However, until recently, very few human studies have been conducted on the relationship between different types of gut microbiome colonization and brain development.


Uproar from health advisory organizations as scientist writes new book urging people to eat more salt

© Hera
Could eating more salt really reduce the amount of sugar in our diet and help us lose weight?
In his new book, James DiNicolantonio claims salt could make us healthier. But experts have condemned the advice as potentially dangerous

Public health experts in the UK have spoken out against a new book that claims many of us should be eating more salt, not less - claiming the advice could endanger people's health.

New York scientist James DiNicolantonio says in his book The Salt Fix that the World Health Organization and the US and UK advisory bodies on diet have got it wrong with their advice to cut down on salt.

Salt is necessary and good for us, he says. Eating more salt will reduce the amount of sugar in our diet and help us lose weight, he says. Indeed low-salt diets may be causing brittle bones and memory loss and more salt could fix diabetes, he claims.

Comment: Despite what some say, many others now believe that salt - far from being harmful - is beneficial and actually much needed:

More salt please! The myth of the low-salt diet

Why the war on salt is misguided and dangerous

Study finds higher salt intake is associated with lower blood pressure, contradicting decades of medical advice


Western crackdown on vaccine refusal begins; punishment and fines now a reality

As a shift toward authoritarianism in Western governance finds civilians increasingly at the mercy of liberty-robbing laws, punitive (in)justice, and state control, our individual sovereignty as human beings and parents to decide whether or not children should be vaccinated might not be ours to make quite soon.

While both sides of the public vaccine debate maintain intractably obstinate, the governments of Australia and several European nations have come out in support of inoculation mandates - or penalties steep enough to equivocate mandates - to the consternation of parents concerned for the dearth in comprehensive research on the topic.

Pro-vaccine positions contend the safety of vaccines and their track record of nearly annihilating deadly and dreaded diseases; but detractors say the benefits have not been examined in the context of the shots potential interactions with one another, among other seemingly imperative points.

Both sides deem one another child abusers for their positions, and - although Western laws do not yet prohibit refusing inoculation - legislation trends intimate the State has lost patience with parents who refuse to follow the full vaccination schedule, in whole or part, with children enrolled in public education.

Comment: See also:


Shining light on the head - Photobiomodulation used to treat brain disorders


Photobiomodulation (PBM) describes the use of red or near-infrared light to stimulate, heal, regenerate, and protect tissue that has either been injured, is degenerating, or else is at risk of dying. One of the organ systems of the human body that is most necessary to life, and whose optimum functioning is most worried about by humankind in general, is the brain.

The brain suffers from many different disorders that can be classified into three broad groupings: traumatic events (stroke, traumatic brain injury, and global ischemia), degenerative diseases (dementia, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's), and psychiatric disorders (depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder).

There is some evidence that all these seemingly diverse conditions can be beneficially affected by applying light to the head. There is even the possibility that PBM could be used for cognitive enhancement in normal healthy people. In this transcranial PBM (tPBM) application, near-infrared (NIR) light is often applied to the forehead because of the better penetration (no hair, longer wavelength). Some workers have used lasers, but recently the introduction of inexpensive light emitting diode (LED) arrays has allowed the development of light emitting helmets or "brain caps".

This review will cover the mechanisms of action of photobiomodulation to the brain, and summarize some of the key pre-clinical studies and clinical trials that have been undertaken for diverse brain disorders.

Comment: See also:


The use of low level light therapy for reducing pain and inflammation and promoting healing in the tissues and nerves

The use of low levels of visible or near-infrared (NIR) light for reducing pain, inflammation and edema, promoting healing of wounds, deeper tissues and nerves, and preventing tissue damage has been known for almost forty years since the invention of lasers.

Originally thought to be a peculiar property of laser light (soft or cold lasers), the subject has now broadened to include photobiomodulation and photobiostimulation using non-coherent light.

Despite many reports of positive findings from experiments conducted in vitro, in animal models and in randomized controlled clinical trials, LLLT remains controversial. This likely is due to two main reasons; firstly, the biochemical mechanisms underlying the positive effects are incompletely understood, and secondly, the complexity of rationally choosing amongst a large number of illumination parameters such as wavelength, fluence, power density, pulse structure and treatment timing has led to the publication of a number of negative studies as well as many positive ones.

In particular, a biphasic dose response has been frequently observed where low levels of light have a much better effect than higher levels.

Comment: See also the recent Health & Wellness show Lightening up: The Benefits of Photobiomodulation and The Therapeutic Effects of Red and Near-Infrared Light


The Therapeutic Effects of Red and Near-Infrared Light

I have previously written about the vast research showing that irradiation by red light or near-infrared appears to have health benefits. Thousands of research articles showing these benefits have been published.

In the scientific literature, this treatment with red light or near-infrared is called either photobiomodulation (PBM) or low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT). I will be using the term photobiomodulation.

In photobiomodulation, the affected tissue is irradiated by light, usually from a laser or LED source. This irradiation appears to improve the function of the malfunctioning tissue.

Alarm Clock

Regularly sleeping less than 6 hours a night could be as dangerous as binge drinking and severely damage your brain

Sleep deprivation is linked with acute cognitive impairment which is so severe that driving while sleep deprived could be as dangerous as driving when drunk.
Regularly getting less than six hours sleep a night could cause the same long-term damage as alcohol abuse, according to a worrying new study.

For the body, sleep deprivation results in increased risk of obesity, depression, heart attacks and strokes - causing experts to dub it the 'modern ill'.

However, the most worrying consequences are rooted in the brain and new research suggests the effects are far more destructive than previously thought.

Research suggests that being awake for 18 hours results in the same cognitive impairment people get from being drunk.

This is so severe that driving while sleep deprived could be as dangerous as driving when drunk, researchers found.

Comment: Some helpful information to help counter insomnia and get more quality sleep:


What happens when doctors only take cash

© Dan Farnum / TIME
Anesthesiologists Steven Lantier and Keith Smith founded a cash-based medical center in Oklahoma City that posts its prices online.
When Art Villa found out, after one too many boating accidents, that he needed a total knee replacement, he began asking around to see how much it would cost. The hospital near his home in Helena, Mont., would charge $40,000 for the procedure, he says. But that didn't include the anesthesiologist's fee, physical therapy or a stay at a rehabilitation center afterward. A 2015 Blue Cross Blue Shield study found that one hospital in Dallas billed $16,772 for a knee replacement while another in the same area charged $61,585.

It was in the midst of this confounding research that Villa, who's 68, heard about the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, whose business model is different from that of most hospitals. There, the all-inclusive price for every operation is listed on the website. A rotator-cuff repair for the shoulder costs $8,260. A surgical procedure for carpal tunnel syndrome is $2,750. Setting and casting a basic broken leg: $1,925.

The catch is that the whole facility is cash-based. It doesn't take insurance of any kind. Not Aetna. Not Cigna. Not Medicare or Medicaid. Patients or their employers pay whatever price is listed online, period. There are no negotiated rates, no third-party reimbursements and almost no paperwork. "We say, 'Here's the price. Here's what you're getting. Here's your bill,'" says Keith Smith, who co-founded the Surgery Center in 1997 with fellow anesthesiologist Steven Lantier. "It's as simple as that."

To Villa, the model seemed refreshingly subversive. The Surgery Center would charge $19,000 for his whole-knee replacement, a discount of nearly 50% on what Villa expected to be charged at his local hospital. And that price would include everything from airfare to the organization's only facility, in Oklahoma City, to medications and physical therapy. If unforeseen complications arose during or after the procedure, the Surgery Center would cover those costs. Villa wouldn't see another bill.