Print This and Keep It With You!

What’s really in the food? The A to Z of the food industry’s most evil ingredients

28 July 2011

Mike Adams, Health Ranger

(NaturalNews) Ever wonder what’s really in the food sold at grocery stores around the world? People keep asking me, “What ingredients should I avoid?” So I put together a short list that covers all the most toxic and disease-promoting ingredients in the food supply. These are the substances causing cancer, diabetes, heart disease and leading to tens of billions of dollars in unnecessary health care costs across America (and around the world).

If you want to stay healthy and out of the hospital, read ingredients labels and make sure you avoid all these ingredients:

Acrylamides – Toxic, cancer-causing chemicals formed in foods when carbohydrates are exposed to high heat (baking, frying, grilling). They’re present in everything from bread crusts to snack chips, and because they aren’t intentional ingredients, acrylamides do NOT have to be listed on labels.

Aspartame – Chemical sweetener that causes neurological disorders, seizures, blurred vision and migraine headaches. (…)

Autolyzed Proteins – Highly processed form of protein containing free glutamate and used to mimic the taste-enhancer chemical MSG.

BPA (Bisphenol-A) – A hormone mimicking chemical found in nearly all food packaging plastics. Active in just parts per billion, BPA promotes cancer, infertility and hormone disorders. It also “feminizes” males, promoting male breast growth and hormone disruption (…).

Casein – Milk proteins. Hilariously, this is widely used in “soy cheese” products that claim to be alternatives to cow’s milk. Nearly all of them are made with cow’s milk proteins.

Corn Syrup – Just another name for High Fructose Corn Syrup (see below). Frequently used in infant formula products (…).

Food Colors – FD&C Red #40, for example, is linked to behavioral disorders in children. Nearly all artificial food colors are derived from petroleum, and many are contaminated with aluminum.

Genetically Modified Ingredients – Not currently listed on the label because the GMO industry (Monsanto and DuPont) absolutely does not want people to know which foods contain GMOs. Nearly all conventionally grown corn, soy and cotton are GMOs. They’re linked to severe infertility problems and may even cause the bacteria in your body to produce and release a pesticide in your own gut. If you’re not eating organic corn, you’re definitely eating GMO corn. (…) Learn more at or watch my GMO music video (hilarious) at

High Fructose Corn Syrup – A highly processed liquid sugar extracted with the chemical solvent glutaraldehyde and frequently contaminated with mercury (…). It’s also linked to diabetes, obesity and mood disorders. Used in thousands of grocery items, including things you wouldn’t suspect like pizza sauce and salad dressings.

Homogenized Milk – The fats in the milk are artificially modified to change them into smaller molecules that stay in suspension in the milk liquid (so the milk fat doesn’t separate) (…). While it makes milk look better on the shelf, it’s also blamed for promoting heart disease and may contribute to milk allergies. Raw milk is healthier, which is why the government had outlawed it (…).

Hydrochloride – When you see anything hydrochloride, such as Pyridoxine Hydrochloride or Thiamin Hydrochloride, those are chemical forms of B vitamins that companies add to their products to be able to claim higher RDA values of vitamins. But these are synthetic, chemical forms of vitamins, not real vitamins from foods or plants. Nutritionally, they are near-useless and may actually be bad for you. Also watch out for niacinamide and cyanocobalamin (synthetic vitamin B-12). (…)

Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein – A highly processed form of (usually) soy protein that’s processed to bring out the free glutamate (MSG). Use as a taste enhancer.

Partially Hydrogenated Oils – Oils that are modified using a chemical catalyst to make them stable at room temperature. This creates trans fatty acids and greatly increases the risk of blocked arteries (…). It also promotes what I call “sludge blood,” which is thick, viscous blood that’s hard to pump. This is usually diagnosed by doctors as “high blood pressure” and (stupidly) treated with blood-thinning medications that are technically the same chemicals as rat poison (warfarin) (…).

Phosphoric Acid – The acid used in sodas to dissolve the carbon dioxide and add to the overall fizzy-ness of the soda. Phosphoric acid will eat steel nails. It’s also used by stone masons to etch rocks. The military uses it to clean the rust off battleships. In absolutely destroys tooth enamel ( Search Google Images for “Mountain Dew Mouth” to see photos of teeth rotted out by phosphoric acid:…

Propylene Glycol – A liquid used in the automotive industry to winterize RVs. It’s also used to make the fake blueberries you see in blueberry muffins, bagels and breads. (Combined with artificial colors and corn syrup.) See shocking “Fake Blueberries” video at:…

Sodium (Salt) – The processed white salt lacking in trace minerals. In the holistic nutrition industry, we call it “death salt” because it promotes disease and death. Real salt, on the other hand, such as “dirty” sea salt or pink Himalayan salt, is loaded with the trace minerals that prevent disease, such as selenium (cancer), chromium (diabetes) and zinc (infectious disease). Much like with bread and sugar, white salt is terrible for your health. And don’t be fooled by claims of “sea salt” in grocery stores. All salt came from the sea if you go far back enough in geologic time, so they can slap the “sea salt” claim on ANY salt!

Sodium Nitrite – A cancer-causing red coloring chemical added to bacon, hot dogs, sausage, beef jerky, ham, lunch meats, pepperoni and nearly all processed meats. Strongly linked to brain tumors, pancreatic cancers and colon cancers ( The USDA once tried to ban it from the food supply but was out-maneuvered by the meat industry, which now dominates USDA regulations. Sodium nitrite is a complete poison used to make meats look fresh. Countless children die of cancer each year from sodium nitrite-induced cancers.

Soy Protein – The No. 1 protein source used in “protein bars,” including many bars widely consumed by bodybuilders. Soy protein is the “junk protein” of the food industry. It’s made from genetically modified soybeans (often grown in China) and then subjected to hexane, a chemical solvent (…) that can literally explode.

Sucralose – An artificial chemical sweetener sold as Splenda. The sucralose molecule contains a chlorine atom (…). Researchers have repeatedly found that artificial sweeteners make people fat by actually promoting weight gain (…).

Sugar – The bleached, nutritionally-deficient byproduct of cane processing. During sugar cane processing, nearly all the minerals and vitamins end up in the blackstrap molasses that’s usually fed to farm animals. (Blackstrap molasses is actually the “good” part of sugar cane juice.) Molasses is often fed to farm animals because every rancher knows that farm animals need good nutrition to stay alive. Amazingly, conventional doctors don’t yet realize this about humans, and they continue to claim that eating sugar is perfectly fine for you. Sugar promotes diabetes, obesity, mood disorders and nutritional deficiencies.

Textured Vegetable Protein – Usually made of soy protein which is extracted from genetically modified soybeans and then processed using hexane, an explosive chemical solvent (see Soy Protein, above). Widely used in vegetarian foods such as “veggie burgers” (most of which also contain MSG or Yeast Extract, by the way).

Yeast Extract – Hidden form of MSG that contains free glutamate and is used in many “natural” food products to claim “No MSG!” Yeast extract contains up to 14% free glutamate. You’ll find it in thousands of grocery store products, from soups to snack chips. I even once spotted it used on fresh meat!

Food label tricks

Here’s a trick food companies frequently used to pack more sugar into their products without making sugar look like the first ingredient:

Ingredient labels, you see, must list the most prominent ingredients first, and some consumers might freak out of they saw a box of cereal that said, “Sugar, whole grain wheat, corn” and so on. Instead, the company uses 3 or 4 different forms of sugar to distribute them farther down the label, like this:

“Whole grain wheat, sugar, corn syrup, corn syrup solids…”

This way, the first ingredients looks like “whole grain wheat” when, in reality, the cereal might be over fifty percent sugars!

How to buy honest food

• Shop are your local farmer’s market, food co-op or CSA.

• In the USA, look for the USDA Organic label on foods. This is a legitimate claim to being certified organic. It’s one of the few programs run by the USDA that actually has integrity.

• Read the ingredients labels! If you see names of chemicals you can’t pronounce, don’t buy it.

• Buy more unprocessed food ingredients and make your own meals rather than buying ready-to-eat, processed foods, which are almost universally formulated with disease-promoting ingredients.

• GROW some of your own food! The best food you can ever eat is food from your own garden.

How to learn more about what’s really in your food

Read NaturalNews. I’m the editor of NaturalNews, and I cured my own borderline diabetes, high cholesterol and near-obesity using nothing but healing foods.

The more you read NaturalNews, the more you’ll learn about what to avoid in your foods and what to BUY that’s loaded with nutrition! We cover natural cures, superfoods nutrition, juicing, raw foods, nutritional supplements, healing herbs and much more. You can subscribe to our free email newsletter using the form below.

We teach you what the mainstream food industry doesn’t want you to know(and what the mainstream media won’t dare report).


Jai Ma! Kali Ma!

Three Questions

Three questions that will reset your moral compass and reveal your self-improvement needs

29 July 2011

Mike Bundrant

(NaturalNews) There is no shortage of organizations and people in this world that will tell you how you should be living your life. It’s easy enough to follow someone else’s moral compass if you are so inclined. The most ethical teachers throughout history, however, have instructed us to learn to trust our own inner compass, that internal “sense” of what is right and wrong, or the most appropriate course of action in every situation.

Your inner moral compass is by far the most sophisticated and valuable guide you could possibly have. From navigating the complexities of a complicated moral dilemma to knowing how to treat your spouse or partner, your moral compass dictates the best course of action and prompts you to respond in kind. This isn’t a new or complicated concept. Understanding morality is as simple as knowing what you’d do if a small child standing next to you were about to step into oncoming traffic. We all have an inner sense of how we ought to respond to other human beings. This is morality in its purest form.

Granted, it gets much more complicated when responding to someone who has wronged or mistreated you over the course of time. Add to that the mixed messages and hypocrisy of family and community life. Then throw in a plethora of distorted messages from Hollywood and the mass media, coupled with a culture of outright pride, greed, immaturity and deception from government and business, and soon your deepest sense of human morality gets mixed into a serious can of worms.

Carl Jung seemed to understand that our inner voice tends to get smothered when he said:

Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, something is out of tune.

In NLP we learn to ask precision questions that get to the heart of the matter. So, to unearth the sensitive inner self that is more concerned with what you think is right, I invite you to ask yourself the following questions that I learned from my colleague Jake Eagle, a long-time NLP trainer and co-founder of Green Psychology. Warning: These questions involve the world “should.” Some people fear this word or consider it to be a source of coercion and angst. Please understand that how I use this word implies heartfelt obligation toward something that you personally believe – independently of outside sources. This is you according to you.

Question #1: What are you doing that you know you should not be doing?

Even though you are a good person with good intentions, is there something you’re doing in your life that is harmful to yourself or others? I’m not talking about trivial things and pet peeves, but behaviors or attitudes that cause real distress or that compromise your overall health. What are you doing that you know you should not be doing?

Question #2: What should you be doing in your life that you are NOT doing?

This is the flip side of question #1. What significant positive actions or habits are you lacking? What direction in life do you believe you should be pursuing? Where do you believe should you be putting your energy and are you, in fact, doing it?

Question #3: What is it that you do NOT want to know about yourself?

This is a sophisticated question that presupposes you are capable of knowing what you don’t want to know. Essentially, if you ask yourself this question, you are acknowledging that you may know more about yourself than you are comfortable facing. Asking this question must be done with no judgment or blame and often requires the help of a coach. Confronting what you are avoiding or hiding is not for the faint of heart!

Why do this? Maybe you are a bigot. Perhaps you are dishonest in your business dealings or neglect your parenting responsibilities. Maybe you don’t want to face the fact that you are addicted to something harmful. Denying to yourself what is probably obvious to others in your life is an age old tactic people use to save themselves from fear, trouble or embarrassment. Hiding the truth is, essentially, a form of deception.

If you are brave enough to honestly answer these questions, then you are ahead of most of the population. Getting to honest answers will plant your feet squarely on “personal ethical” ground, effectively resetting your moral compass. Based on your answers, you can know your heartfelt obligations and best self-improvement goals. Honesty in this department, regardless of your acknowledged flaws, will probably deliver a huge sigh of relief and a healthy measure of self-respect as well.

When you arrive at the point in life where you aren’t doing what you believe you shouldn’t, doing everything you believe you should and remain unafraid to know everything there is to know about yourself, you will have arrived at a state of personal power that few have ever experienced.
About the author:
Mike Bundrant is a retired mental health counselor, NLP trainer and publisher of Healthy Times Newspaper.

Flax Seed Oil vs Fish Oil

Fish Oil versus Flax Seed Oil—Which Is Better?

2 March 2007
by Wyn Snow, Managing Editor

For strict vegans, the answer is clear: flax seed oil. For the rest of us, there are pros and cons on both sides.

Benefits of eating fish

Numerous authorities tout the health benefits of eating fish, especially fatty species which are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Proven benefits range from lowering triglycerides and blood pressure and the risk of heart disease, to the more subtle effects of reducing chronic inflammation.

Some researchers are convinced that chronic inflammation at the cellular level is the underlying cause of most of today’s significant diseases, including diabetes and cancer as well as heart disease, high blood pressure, and strokes. Dr. Barry Sears of “Zone Diet” fame would add osteoarthritis and Alzheimer’s disease to that list.

Obtaining optimal levels of omega-3s, which are abundant in fatty fish, is especially important for children and women of childbearing years. Omega-3s are vital for brain development. Low levels during pregnancy and childhood can have detectable negative impacts on intelligence.

Risks of eating fish

Concerns have grown during the past several decades about toxic contaminants in fish. Recommendations from experts vary about how much fish to eat. Some claim that the benefits outweigh the risks. However, the FDA’s official advice is to eat fish twice a week, but not more often. This limit is especially important for young children and women who are pregnant or may become pregnant, because these toxins can impair neurological development.

Contaminants in fish can include mercury, other heavy metals including arsenic, industrial byproducts such as dioxins, industrial compounds such as PCBs, and pesticides such as DDT. Levels of various contaminants vary by species, by locale, and whether the fish are wild or farmed.

For example, mercury is lowest in salmon and highest in swordfish (see table below). In recent years, farmed salmon has been shown to contain more toxic chemicals than wild salmon, largely because of contaminants in the foods they are given. While some suppliers are taking steps to improve salmon farming conditions, it is not clear how widespread these changes are in the industry.

Average Mercury Concentration in Various Fish and Shellfish
Fish/Shellfish  (parts per million)
Swordfish 0.97
Albacore tuna 0.35
American lobster 0.31
Chunk light tuna 0.12
Cod 0.11
Pollock 0.06
Catfish 0.05
Salmon 0.01
Source: Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management; Food and Drug Administration.

How the body deals with contaminants

The human body can and does rid itself of contaminants. However, the process is slow for fat-soluble pollutants—which most of these are. It takes more than one year for mercury levels to drop significantly. For some pollutants, it can take as much as ten years to reduce the load by half. Typically, our intake rates of these substances are higher than our ability to get rid of them, so levels build up.

As many as 8% of US women of childbearing age have high mercury levels, which means approximately 300,000 babies born each year are at risk for various cognitive problems. Also, breast milk is one of the avenues the body uses to rid itself of organic pollutants. Women who breastfeed can transfer high levels of these chemicals to their infants along with the nutrition. Therefore, women who are breastfeeding or plan to do so need to be especially careful to minimize their exposure to mercury and other contaminants.

As a result of all these concerns, many people wonder: Is fish oil safe? And if so, is it safer to consume than fish itself?

Fish oil safety

Many omega-3 fish oil supplements do not contain these troublesome contaminants—as evidenced by, Consumer Reports, and other independent testing organizations. However, some products have been found to be contaminated, especially from countries whose production standards are not rigorous.

If you are concerned about the quality of your favorite brand of fish oil, Dr. Barry Sears recently described a simple “toothpick poke test” that may reassure you. Puncture several capsules with a needle or pin, and squeeze the contents into a small cup-shaped container, such as a thimble. Set the thimble (or other container) in the freezer for 5 hours. If you can easily push the toothpick into the oil, Sears says that means it does not contain serious levels of contamination.

 NSF quality seal
NNFA - GMP quality seal

Another strategy is to look for quality seals on the label. Both the NSF and NNFA quality seals (shown at right) mean that the product does not contain heavy metals. Specifically, any lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium and/or chromium that might be present must be at levels below the standards set by the World Health Organization. In order to quality for the NSF and NNFA quality seals, any claims on the label that the product does not contain other contaminants must be supported by independent laboratory tests. Also, supplement products consisting of 2% oil or more must pass two tests for the presence of oxidation and rancidity.

Some manufacturer labels that do not have these quality seals do claim their product does not contain PCBs, mercury, lead, or various other contaminants. They should have reports from independent, third-party labs that verify this claim. You can ask to see a copy of these reports. If they refuse to supply this documentation, you can complain to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)—which is charged with making sure that companies have evidence to support their marketing claims.

Given these concerns about the quality of fish oils, many consumers are wondering whether they should continue taking fish oil or rely instead on flax seed oil.

Is fish oil “better” than flax seed oil?

In one respect, fish oil is definitely “better” than flax seed oil. Fish oil contains two omega-3s that are especially important: EPA and DHA. The body uses EPA to create many hormone-like substances that reduce inflammation and other “excited” states in the body, such as raised blood pressure. Also, eight percent of the brain is composed of EPA and DHA, and one wants to be sure this 8% stays healthy!

Taking fish oil can guarantee that the body gets enough of these two vital omega-3s.

However, Dr. Udo Erasmus, author of Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill, claims that the process manufacturers use to produce most vegetable cooking oils—a process often used to remove contaminants from fish oils as well—is itself destructive to the quality of the oil. According to Erasmus, oils that have undergone this refining, bleaching and deodorizing process “contain 0.5 to 1.0% damaged, highly toxic molecules.” On the other hand, Erasmus manufactures and sells a competing product, so such statements may be convenient marketing claims rather than independently verified scientific fact.

If you want to avoid oils that have been exposed to this refining, bleaching, and deodorizing process, look for either cold-pressed or unrefined on a product’s label. Both terms mean that a mechanical process was used to extract the oil rather than chemicals.

Benefits of flax oil

Flax seed oil contains an omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is one of two fatty acids that the body needs and cannot make for itself. Several other sources of ALA do exist, most notably walnuts and hemp seed. Omega-3s are needed by every cell in the body. Among other things, an ample supply helps ensure that cell membranes stay flexible so that cells can get nutrients easily.

The body can use ALA to make all the other omega-3 fatty acids that it needs, including both EPA and DHA. Thus, if you get enough ALA, you don’t need to eat any other sources of omega-3s.

Another advantage of getting one’s omega-3s from the ALA in flax oil is that the body does not create more EPA and DHA than it needs. Therefore, ingesting too much EPA/DHA is not an issue.

The human body uses a variety of omega-3s, not just EPA and DHA. To make the full range of these omega-3s, the body needs ALA from flax oil (or walnuts or other sources) in addition to EPA and DHA. Thus, one needs to consume some ALA even if fish and/or fish oil are plentiful in one’s diet.

Is flax oil “better” than fish oil?

Since one needs ALA anyway, and the body can make all the other omega-3s it needs from ALA, does that mean flax seed oil is a better source than fish oil for one’s omega-3s? Not necessarily.

The body uses various enzymes to convert ALA to other omega-3s, and the process is not very efficient, especially as one gets older. Estimates of the rate of conversion range from 5% to 25%. In order to make sufficient amounts of EPA and DHA, one needs to consume 5 or 6 times more ALA than if one relies on fish oil alone. Also, women convert ALA to the other omega-3s more efficiently than men, largely so they can meet the nutritional demands of their infants during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Another consideration is that ALA competes metabolically with the other essential fatty acid that the body cannot make for itself. Linoleic acid (LA) plays the same role for omega-6 fatty acids that ALA does for omega-3s: The body uses LA to make all the other omega-6s that it needs. (To understand the difference between an omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid, see our article Chemical and Physical Structure of Fatty Acids.)

By competes, we mean that when LA is oversupplied in the diet, the body makes more of the LA-derived fatty acids than it needs, and not enough of the ALA-derived ones. The “LA side” of these substances help us react to dangers and stress and are therefore crucial to our health and survival, but when they are oversupplied, the result is chronic high blood pressure, cellular inflammation, and other conditions leading to today’s panoply of degenerative diseases.

Unfortunately, the recent emphasis on vegetable oils has led to a 10:1 ratio between LA and ALA in the American diet. While there is no consensus yet on what an optimal ratio would be, estimates range from 4:1 to 2:1. Consuming smaller amounts of the omega-6 LA helps the body maintain a healthy balance between the “stimulating” LA substances and the “calming” ALA substances. One excellent method of improving this ratio is switching to monounsaturated oils like olive oil. While canola oil does contain some ALA, it also contains a higher level of LA, so is not a recommended method of improving one’s LA-to-ALA ratio.

How much do we need?

For healthy adults, the recommendation is 300-500 mg per day of EPA and DHA combined, plus an additional 800 to 1100 mg of ALA.

The EPA/DHA recommendation can usually be met with one softgel capsule of fish oil (with 1 gram or 1000 mg of fish oil) which usually contains 180 mg of EPA and 120 mg of DHA, totalling 300 mg of the two omega-3s. However, amounts do vary (some products are stronger, some weaker), so look at the amounts of EPA and DHA provided, and add them together to see if the product supplies 300 mg in one serving.

Dr. Barry Sears further recommends that people with diabetes, osteoarthritis, and heart disease take twice that amount of fish oil. He also recommends that people with cancer take four times that amount. However, people with congestive heart failure should not be taking large quantities of fish oil, see toxicity discussion below.

While cod liver oil is a potent source of EPA/DHA, containing as much as 1000-1200 mg in one tablespoon, it is also a concentrated source of vitamins A and D. Both vitamins A and D are fat-soluble, and become toxic at high dosage levels. As noted earlier in this article, the body does not easily rid itself of fat-soluble substances, so prudence is called for.

For vegans and other health-conscious consumers, another option is vegetarian DHA supplements derived from algae oil. Fish get their DHA by feeding on algae.

Flax seed oil contains 8 grams (8000 mg) of ALA per tablespoon.

ALA Content of Selected Foods
Food  ALA (grams)
Flaxseed oil, 1 Tbsp. 8.0
Hempseed oil, 1 Tbsp. 2.7
Canola oil, 1 Tbsp. 1.6
Soybean oil, 1 Tbsp. 1.0
Walnuts, 1 oz. 2.7
Flaxseeds, 1 Tbsp. 2.6
Soybeans, 1 cup cooked 1.1
Leafy greens, 1 cup raw 0.1
Wheat germ, 2 Tbsp. 0.1

Are there any toxicity concerns?

Ingesting too much of anything—including water!—can cause problems. Medline recommends that “Patients taking more than 3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids from supplements should do so only under a physician’s care.”

Concerning the potential impact of high dosages, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) say:

“Very large intakes of fish oil/omega-3 fatty acids (‘Eskimo’ amounts) may increase the risk of hemorrhagic (bleeding) stroke. High doses have also been associated with nosebleed and blood in the urine. Fish oils appear to decrease platelet aggregation and prolong bleeding time, increase fibrinolysis (breaking down of blood clots), and may reduce von Willebrand factor.”

As for the impact on type II diabetes, research indicates that taking fish oil might result in a slight increase to fasting blood glucose levels, and/or a slight decrease to blood sugar levels—presumably during the day! Thus, people taking insulin or other drugs for diabetes should be supervised by their doctor when changing their intake of fish oil or ALA.

People with congestive heart failure—or any other condition where the heart is receiving insufficient blood flow—should consult with their doctor and be cautious about consuming omega-3 fatty acids. In congestive heart failure, according to Wikipedia, “Cells that are only barely receiving enough blood flow become hyperexcitable,” which can lead to irregular heartbeats and sudden cardiac death.

It appears that omega-3s stabilize heart rhythm by removing these hyperexcitable cells from functioning. This is beneficial for people with plenty of heart cells to spare, but in congestive heart failure, removing hyperexcited cells can mean the heart no longer pumps enough blood for the patient to survive.

In conclusion

Both fish oil and flax seed oil have benefits and potential drawbacks. Fish oil is an excellent and usually uncontaminated source of EPA and DHA, which the body uses to make the “calming” omega-3 fatty acids and keep the brain healthy. Consuming them directly can ensure that one gets enough. Flax seed oil contains ALA, which the body can use to make all the omega-3s that it needs. The body needs ALA to make other omega-3s, even when it gets enough EPA and DHA from fish or fish oils.

As for drawbacks, some fish oil products are contaminated, and even those that are not may have undergone a cleaning process that creates a small percentage of toxic molecules. On the other hand, getting all one’s omega-3s from flax oil means that one needs to consume significantly more. Also, it is possible to ingest too much omega-3s, even though the greater health risk is of consuming too much omega-6 LA. Also, people with congestive heart failure should take omega-3s only with the full knowledge and active supervision of their physician.

In conclusion, why limit oneself to either/or when it’s better to have both/and? Eating a modest amount of fish or fish oil (or algae-based DHA supplements) ensures a direct supply of EPA and DHA, while adding flax seed oil to one’s diet ensures a healthy intake level of ALA. Every cell in your body will thank you for it.

A physician comments on the fish oil–flax seed oil debate

Epidemiologic evidence has pointed to the cardiovascular benefits of fish and fish oil for a very long time [1], gaining momentum in the 1970s with the observation that Greenland Inuits, with a very high omega-3 intake and very high fat diets had a very low risk of cardiovascular disease, but it was not until the large and well-conducted Italian GISSI Prevenzione [2] trial in 1999 which showed that a very modest 1gm supplementation of EPA & DHA significantly reduced mortality in post-heart attack patients that the medical establishment took widespread notice of fish oil.

As far as I know, there is no similar evidence base in favor of flax seed oil. Therefore, I would have a hard time saying that flax seed has nearly as much to offer as fish oil. We can extrapolate and theorize that flax seed oil should confer a similar benefit, based on its (much lower) omega-3 content, enough to recommend it as an alternative to fish oil for strict vegans, but I would call it clearly second best.

The reference to fish oil lowering von Willebrand factor [vWF] is probably correct, based on the 1987 study at Brown [3] which showed that vWF was significantly lowered by fish oil in type-1 diabetics, who as a group are at increased risk for stroke and heart attack, possibly because of increased vWF, which is known to be increased in first-time ischemic stroke victims, regardless of diabetes, and is a marker of endothelial stress. Perhaps more significantly, triglycerides, which are associated with cardiovascular disease, and which are notoriously elevated in type-2 diabetics, are lowered by fish oil. (This is the only FDA-approved indication for fish-oil, in the form of the eight to ten times more expensive prescription extract Omacor, for treating severe hypertriglyceridemia.)

While bleeding times are slightly increased and platelet activity is decreased by fish oil, there are no demonstrated adverse health outcomes linked to this bleeding. A much more potent anti-platelet drug, low-dose aspirin, increases bleeding much more, but is taken by millions of people with an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease because it is proven to significantly lower overall risk, including that associated with bleeding.

Dr. Peter Everett is a founder of the Dietary Supplement Quality Initiative, sponsor of


1. Kromhout D, Bosschieter EB, de Lezenne Coulander C. The inverse relation between fish consumption and 20-year mortality from coronary heart disease. N Engl J Med, 1985 May 9;312(19):1205-9.

2. Gruppo Italiano per lo Studio della Sopravvivenza nell’Infarto miocardico. Dietary supplementation with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E after myocardial infarction: results of the GISSI-Prevenzione trial. Lancet, 1999 Aug 7;354(9177):447-55.

3. Miller ME, Anagnostou AA, Ley B, Marshall P, Steiner M. Effect of fish oil concentrates on hemorheological and hemostatic aspects of diabetes mellitus: a preliminary study. Thromb Res, 1987 Jul 15;47(2):201-14.


American Heart Association. “New Guidelines Focus on Fish, Fish Oil, Omega-3 Fatty Acids.” Nutrition Perspectives, University of California at Davis, Volume 27, No. 6, November/December 2002.

Claudette Bethune, Ph.D. “Norwegian farmed salmon production raises global concern.”, May 31, 2006.

Debra Fulghum Bruce, PhD. “Are Fish Oil Supplements Safer Than Eating Fish?LE Magazine, October 2005.

Karen Collins, R.D. “Fish isn’t the only way to get ‘good’ fat omega-3. It’s also found in seeds and nut oils, but is it as effective?” Nutrition Notes, September 8, 2006. “Farmed Salmon Purchasing Policy: What It Means for Consumers.”, March 13, 2006.

Udo Erasmus, PhD. “Humans Turn ALA to EPA/DHA.”, [date not clear, includes references published in 2002].

FDA: Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition. “What You Need to Know About Mercury in Fish and Shellfish.” FDA website, 2004.

Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science. “Consumers Need Better Guidance to Fully Weigh Possible Benefits and Risks When Making Seafood Choices.” NAS website, October 17, 2006.

Vesanto Melina, MS, RD. “Omega-3s, EPA & DHA. Which fats do we need? What are our best sources? Fats: Brain Food and Much More.”,[no date].

Natural Standard Research Collaboration. “Omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil, alpha-linolenic acid.” National Institutes of Health website, November 1, 2006.

NewsHour, PBS. “Salmon Scare.”, January 26, 2004.

Julie J. Rehmeyer. “Salmon Safety.” Science News, January 20, 2007.

Barry Sears, PhD. Private communication, presentation at Newton-Wellesley Hospital sponsored by the National Institute of Whole Health, December 2, 2006.

Minh-Hai Tran. “Fish oil supplements: finding the one that’s right for you.” Better Nutrition, March 2005.

David Wetzel. “Cod Liver Oil — Notes on the Manufacture of Our Most Important Dietary Supplement.” [no date].

Wikipedia. “Essential fatty acid.” Wikipedia, [no date].

Wikipedia. “Oily fish.” Wikipedia, [no date].

Wikipedia. “Omega-3 fatty acid.” Wikipedia, [no date].end-of-story

Say “No” to GMO

5 Reasons NOT to Eat Genetically Modified Foods

26 June 2011
Activist Post

“We are confronted with the most powerful technology the world has ever known, and it is being rapidly deployed with almost no thought whatsoever to its consequences.” — Dr Suzanne Wuerthele, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) toxicologist.

Image source

Most Americans are unaware that they eat a steady diet of genetically modified food.  This is mainly because the GMO giants, as if ashamed of their creation, refuse to allow labels on food that contains genetic engineering.

Consumers are also generally distracted by all the other things on food labels that they’re supposed to be concerned about. And when they are exposed to information on GMOs, it’s usually from a mainstream source featuring “philanthropist” Bill Gates beaming a smile while expounding the “benefits” that GMOs bring to starving people.

They typically don’t hear about studies that show crop yields with GMOs are actually lower than with non-GM crops, or that they require far more pesticides than heirloom seeds, or that some are patented “terminator” seeds that don’t re-germinate, which ensures an eventual monopoly over food.  Or, perhaps one of the worst findings, that hamsters in one study became completely infertile, among other disturbing effects, after only 3 generations of eating GM soy.

“Let’s be clear. As of this year [2008], there are no commercialized GM crops that inherently increase yield. Similarly, there are no GM crops on the market that were engineered to resist drought, reduce fertilizer pollution or save soil. Not one.” – former US EPA and US FDA biotech specialist Dr. Doug Gurian-Sherman.

Clearly these results would most benefit a sinister agenda of food control and population reduction through proven effects on health and sterility.  But they’re not the only reasons consumers should be concerned about eating genetically modified food. Supporting GMOs in any capacity, not least through ignorance, has countless negative consequences.

Here are five reasons not to eat genetically modified food:

1. GMOs destroy the environment: The repeated use of land for single-crop agriculture (monoculture), whether GMO or not, has resulted in dead soil that requires heavy doses of chemical fertilizer and pesticides to be productive. Significantly, GMOs were primarily designed to be resistant to powerful pesticides to encourage their use. These deadly pesticides are applied in heavier doses than traditional crops need and then leach into waterways, polluting everything in their path.  It is widely accepted that this phenomenon is largely responsible for the Gulf Dead Zone that now spans the size of New Jersey.  Furthermore, the backbone of industrial agriculture, now led by GM crops, is fossil fuels. From plowing, fertilizing, planting, applying pesticides, harvesting, to delivery for consumption; our food system is dangerously dependent on oil.  In short, any food innovation that destroys the environment clearly will not be beneficial to humanity.

2. GMOs are unhealthy: GM foods have undergone little long-term safety testing for humans, but several animal tests have shown negative health effects. Recently, a major study verified that the substance used in most major pesticides including best-selling Roundup, glyphosate, causes birth defects. And in 2007, another independent study proved that Roundup induced sterility in male lab rats.  Could this be the reason for the massive decline in fertility seen in human males? A 2009 study found that glyphosate caused “total cell death in human umbilical, embryonic and placental cells within 24 hours.” As mentioned above, the 2010 study on hamsters eating GM soy, as reported by Jeffrey Smith:

After feeding hamsters for two years over three generations, those on the GM diet, and especially the group on the maximum GM soy diet, showed devastating results. By the third generation, most GM soy-fed hamsters lost the ability to have babies. They also suffered slower growth, and a high mortality rate among the pups.

It should also be noted that nearly all studies pertaining to eating GMOs resulted in some form of bacterial gut rot and new allergies in the test animals.  So, we still don’t have conclusive studies that genetically mutated foods are bad for our health, but where there’s smoke, there’s fire.  Don’t get burned.

3. Unnatural genetic contamination: Releasing any foreign genetic mutation into the wild can have unpredictable consequences. It has been compared to the disastrous results of releasing a new animal species that isn’t native to a territory — except GMOs are not native to any territory. GMOs aggressively cross-contaminate neighboring organic plants, causing incalculable damage. An unapproved GM rice that was grown for only one year in field trials was found to have caused extensive contamination of the US rice supply. A Spanish study found that GM maize “has caused a drastic reduction in organic cultivations of this grain and is making their coexistence practically impossible”.  Worse still, the GM Giants know this happens and actually sue farmers for patent infringement when their organic plants become genetically mutated.  Can it get more evil?  Sadly, yes it can…

4. GMO cartel has a near monopoly over food: It is estimated that over 90% of soy fields in America are planted with Monsanto GMOs, as reported by BestMeal; “In 1996, when Monsanto began selling Roundup Ready soybeans, only 2% of soybeans in the US contained their patented gene. By 2008, over 90% of soybeans in the US contained Monsanto’s GMO gene.”  In another powerhouse soy producer, Argentina is reportedly planted with 98% GMO soy, and more than half of all global soy belongs to Monsanto. And GM corn is quickly nearing monopolistic numbers as well.

USDA Chart

Incidentally, Big Ag giants had much help from the American taxpayer in creating their monopoly through farm and corn ethanol subsidies, which unfairly undercuts competition from heirloom farmers abroad. Furthermore, the U.S. government has been directly funding the research and development of these products, yet the monopoly fiercely protects its private patents.  The very notion of patenting food would seemingly allow for a complete ownership of food, and life itself.  The growing monopolistic nature of food is perhaps more frightening than the possible health effects. Break the monopoly by supporting local food producers.

5. Destroys farmers: Besides the cross-contamination that destroys organic farmers, the actual GMO farmers are not much better off.  In fact, it may be more appropriate to refer to them as share croppers for GMO masters. They are at the mercy each year to Big GMO for seeds, fertilizer, pesticides, and in many cases, financing. Watch The World According to Monsanto below for an all-encompassing perspective of how GMOs have affected farmers:

Other sources for this article: