Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas from Eve's Best

I can't believe how long it's been since I've posted a newsletter and I am very sorry! We started homeschooling in September and my time seems to just slip away more and more each month. I've had lots of things I wanted to share, but they have since slipped my mind for the moment.

I've just cleaned my desk off, so I will be starting the new year off with a fresh, clean slate, and plan on being more organized (and writing down things when they come to me!)

Since (once again) we succumbed to the nasties this year and all that Christmas candy and sweets led to our puny immune systems, I wanted to remind you of some Cold and Flu Prevention Strategies. One not mentioned came in a Dr. Mercola newsletter just the other day. Basically you put hydrogen peroxide in both ears for about 10 minutes and it will prevent a cold from coming on. I am still stuffy, so when I get done writing this I will go try it and do it a few times today to see if it helps.

I hope that you are finished with all of your Christmas shopping and running around and are able to enjoy a peaceful weekend. We did almost all of our shopping on-line and I just realized today how weird it is that I haven't been to the store 5-6 times during the holiday, picking up little things along the way that we really didn't need!

Be on the lookout next month for my new eBook, which is one of the main reasons I have neglected my newsletter. Hopefully you will find it helpful and get something out of it.

Until next year...
Remember that Your Health Matters, even during the holidays!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Cancer Awareness or Cancer Prevention?

In response to what's coming next month- "Breast Cancer Awareness Month" (BCAM) I am contemplating the question of the motive of BCAM and pink ribbon campaigns. Have you ever thought about it? Why call it "awareness"? Do people not know about cancer? What are we supposed to become aware of during October? Why don't they call it "Breast Cancer Prevention Month?" The fact of the matter is that AstraZeneca (the main corporate sponsor of BCAM) who makes tamoxifen, (the top selling breast cancer drug), has no interest in preventing breast cancer. As a matter of fact, they push early detection because the sooner cancer is detected, the sooner we will be on their drugs.

How much do you know about the cancer industry, and how much time and money have you given them? Did you know that they already get millions of our tax dollars already? And they spend a majority of it on drug research and administrative costs. What about education? What about prevention? Where does that fit in?

Do some surfing around at I am certainly not the only one asking these questions, and they provide many of the answers along with literature that you can share with others. Just ask them!

Some more information on cancer can be found at This information is critical for those newly diagnosed, and especially for those with "terminal" cancer. Another thing I many people are alive and well, walking this earth who were diagnosed with terminal cancer YEARS ago? Have you ever wondered?

Keep your eyes and ears open! Search out information and you will find it.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

What are you really eating?

You may think you are sticking to your diet, but unless you are making everything from scratch and eating whole, fresh foods, you probably aren't. It's no secret to many that the FDA has dropped the ball on protecting consumers. But instead of asking for more money, we should realize that it's not the government's job to protect us. They will always fail at that, no matter how much money is spent. Unless we educate ourselves and realize what's going on in the food industry, we will not be able to stop the lobbyists who have no concern for us and only care about the bottom line. This article is from 2004, so if you are hearing this for the first time, make it stick and change your shopping habits!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Economics of Diabetes

This article appeared in Bottom Line's Daily News, date unknown. It is a must read by ALL Americans since it affects roughly 25% of us...even if we don't realize it yet!

Economics of Diabetes

When it comes to type 2 diabetes, an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure. This disease, characterized by high levels of blood sugar (glucose), has now reached epidemic proportions. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one in three children born in 2000 could develop it if they don't change their ways.

Despite this rise, a series in The New York Times in early 2006 pointed out that dedicated diabetes care centers are shutting down -- not because they are unsuccessful in combating diabetes, but because they are not making money. So, what's a diabetic to do? If it's not profitable to stay well, are they forced to get very sick so that they can then be treated? Or, is it that staying well is a matter of personal choice and responsibility? It appears that the economics of wellness may indeed be sending the message of "do it yourself" health.


The problem is that American health-care dollars flow mainly toward acute, last-minute, lifesaving crises, rather than toward primary care and prevention. While it is not profitable for the health-care industry to provide preventive care for chronic diseases such as diabetes, it is hugely profitable to treat their acute complications.

It has been reported that diabetes care centers lose tens of thousands of dollars per year teaching patients to monitor their sugar levels, follow a healthy diet and get regular exercise -- strategies that would keep diabetes under control and prevent complications. Conversely, $30,000 amputations -- which occur when diabetes spirals out of control -- are very profitable for hospitals.

According to Ray D. Strand, MD, author of Healthy for Life (Real Life), the US health-care system relies too heavily on money-making high-tech and pharmaceutical interventions. Conventional medicine is great at opening up an artery with a stent or curing a raging infection with penicillin... but when there's no operation or pill to cure a disease, individuals are left scrambling. When it comes to diabetes, he believes that modern medicine focuses too much on drugs and procedures to address its consequences, and pays too little (and sometimes no) attention to one of the underlying problems -- insulin resistance.


Insulin resistance -- in which the body can no longer make proper use of insulin and correctly process glucose and fat stores -- is the precursor of diabetes, when blood sugar is higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. This condition is the result of poor lifestyle choices, primarily a diet of fast and processed foods, a lack of exercise and obesity. If you do nothing to make better choices, Dr. Strand warns that the scales will eventually tip and you will develop metabolic syndrome -- a devastating combination of prediabetes, abdominal obesity and high triglyceride levels, high LDL and low HDL cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure. It affects 25% of American adults.

There is no Food and Drug Administration-approved pill to cure insulin resistance, notes Dr. Strand. This may be why modern medicine largely ignores it -- it's the "where there's no pill, there's no disease" way of thinking. However, he stresses that in most cases you can reverse insulin resistance and prevent diabetes by changing your lifestyle and consistently making healthier choices. Even if you already have diabetes, positive strategies such as a proper diet and regular exercise will help you manage it more effectively and prevent complications.


Type 2 diabetes doesn't develop overnight, observes Dr. Strand. It is the product of years and years of unhealthful lifestyle choices. The sooner you address and correct lifestyle issues, the better chance you have of reversing or avoiding insulin resistance and diabetes. Dr. Strand recommends...

* A healthful diet that does not spike blood sugar. Conventional doctors don't appreciate the science of the glycemic index, and feel that a carb is a carb is a carb, explains Dr. Strand. Not so. The glycemic index is a ranking of foods according to how rapidly there is a rise in blood sugar. (Read more about it in Daily Health News, September 20, 2004.) Dr. Strand recommends that you choose low-glycemic index foods, such as many fresh fruits and vegetables, lentils and oatmeal, which trigger only a modest rise in blood sugar and enter the bloodstream slowly. Likewise, avoid high-glycemic foods (potatoes, cornflakes, white bread, doughnuts, etc.) that send blood sugar soaring.

* A moderate, consistent exercise program. To get started, just dust off your walking shoes and take a walk around the neighborhood. Over time, work your way up to 30 to 40 minutes of aerobic exercise (for example, brisk walking or bicycling) five days a week. For consistency and accountability, it helps to buddy up with a friend or join an exercise group.

* High-quality nutritional supplements. According to Dr. Strand, most conventional physicians do not appreciate the use of nutritional supplementation, which has a great benefit in pre-clinical diabetes and diabetes. To boost cellular nutrition, he advises that you take a high-quality antioxidant (vitamins C and E are among his favorites) with each meal. Other helpful supplements include chromium, magnesium and selenium.

Note: Read more about Dr. Strand's program to reverse insulin resistance at He has just completed a clinical trial in which all 25 pre-clinical diabetic participants were able to reverse their insulin resistance within 12 weeks.


Instead of offering patients an opportunity to address their health with lifestyle changes, physicians are too quick to simply write a prescription, notes Dr. Strand. The bottom line is there's not much profit for the health-care industry with changes in diet and exercise. However, these lifestyle changes can return your body to health -- turning around insulin resistance, holding diabetes at bay and reducing or even eliminating the need for drugs and other interventions. As I have written about many times, the same holds true for many health challenges, from arthritis to allergy, and gastritis to heart conditions.

Medical science has done many great things for the health of our nation, but they are missing the mark when it comes to simple preventive measures. Individuals must take control of their own lives. Prevention and lifestyle changes are still cheaper no matter what, even if insurance doesn't cover them. And, while it's easy to get mad at the insurance companies for not covering some of those measures, keep in mind that insurance is really for "the big stuff" -- you don't need insurance to pay for you to eat right and take a walk each day.

If this article really hit home for you, and you have struggled to improve your diet, we have a tool that will help you control your cravings, improve blood sugar levels, and help you lose 5-10 lbs. in just 5 days. For more information, please visit Dr. Strand has done studies using the RESET program and has found that it helps people reverse insulin resistance and even diabetes. It has worked for others, and will work for you, too!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Fruits and veggies not enough, Mass-production affects content

Judy Creighton CP Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Eating five to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day may not be enough if government nutrient tables can be believed.

"Almost everything in the produce fruit and vegetable section of the supermarket which we once assumed would be very healthy is anything but," claims Thomas Pawlick, author of The End of Food: How the Food Industry Is Destroying Our Food Supply - And What We Can Do About It, published by Greystone Books in Vancouver.

"For us to get the same amount of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that our grandparents or even our parents did," he says, "we would have to eat five times as much or more of some of those fruits and vegetables."

Pawlick, 64, an award-winning science writer from Kingston, Ont., says that much of his research data come from tables published by Agriculture Canada.

"Every three or four years Agri Canada does a fresh set of tables on the current nutritional value of various foods. They send people out at random to various supermarkets and they buy foods off the shelf, take them back to the lab and do analysis of their nutrient content and these are published," he says, adding that consumers can go online and look at the food tables themselves.

Pawlick says that a fresh tomato bought from the supermarket has 61 per cent less calcium than it did in the 1950s.

"Virtually across the board, some losses have been as steep as 70 per cent. And it's because of the way the crops are grown and raised."

Pawlick lays the onus directly on the large corporate farms that supply most of the grocery chains in Canada.

"They choose varieties of fruits and vegetables, and when they make that choice the question of nutrition or flavour never enters into the picture," he says.

"They select varieties of fruit for thickness so when it's in a truck going across the country it won't get smushed," he charges. "So they want hard rubbery fruit and vegetables for a longer shelf life."

Pawlick says the same corporate farms also select produce for appearance. "They have to have uniformity so that every tomato or strawberry looks like the other one, and they all have to be ripe on the same day so they can be machine-harvested."

Pawlick says that because imported produce is harvested prematurely, it is artificially ripened with ethylene gas.

"This decreases the amount of sugar and flavour in the fruit as opposed to allowing it to ripen on the vine." He cites the California strawberry as an example.

"They are beautiful, but they are selected and bred to look good - but not to give you any nourishment."

Pawlick says that where consumers can, they should buy local produce. "Usually if it is locally grown it won't be so bad because it isn't being shipped a long distance," he says. "And anything that is locally grown means you are supporting local people and family farmers and the produce is getting to the market faster to retain its nutrients. The less time there is between picking
and eating, the more nutrients will still be in the product."

Pawlick is so concerned about the decline of nutrients in our food that he urges consumers to stop supporting those at the root of the problem.

"The corporate food industry is not reformable, so go around them," he says.

"Stop buying from them or we will pay the price and so will our children."

For a revealing interview on the subject, go to:

Clean Water, Clean Air

Many times I have taken for granted what I know about environmental toxins. I remember back in the good ol' "ignorance is bliss" days I scoffed at people like me. But now I see people in my day to day life that are doing things that I just can't believe and I realize that they probably just don't know.

Six months ago we moved halfway across the country to a much smaller town. The socio-economic profiles of our former town and our new town could not be more opposite. There are many more families here in the lower socio-economic bracket. Incidentally, the cancer rate here seems very inflated. I think I've met more people here in 6 months that have had (or have) cancer than I've met in my entire life. I don't think this is coincidence.

Unfortunately, it is a matter of time before this fact comes to light for ALL people: The healthiest Americans will be those who can afford the necessary nutritional supplements, clean water, and clean air. Of course, there will be people who would rather have a slamming car stereo system than to worry about prevention measures. This is called "denial." But there will also be people who want to do everything possible for their health and they won't be able to afford it. This is called "poverty."

Our government would have us believe that our municipal water is adequate, that our air is not that bad, and that eating the right foods is enough to stay healthy. NONE of this is true. We are also convinced that improved health care systems will change our lives in some way, but the truth is that all it will do is make being sick more affordable! The government will never subsidize getting the BEST of anything, and when it comes to our health we MUST take action and do everything we can to afford clean air and water for our families.

What is so bad about our water?
There are so many things to worry about in water including "natural" contaminants from polluted streams and ground water, and added contaminants like chlorine and fluorine. Often times, people with well water think their water is safe to drink. That could not be further from the truth! Not only is well water as contaminated with toxins as our municipal water, it is not even tested unless you test it yourself.

The thinking is this: Your government officials do a great job "cleaning" your water. What they don't worry about is getting the "cleaners" out. They don't remove chlorine by-products because most of the water goes right down the toilet, on your lawn, or hosing things down. It is too expensive to remove chlorine, when only a small percentage of our water is consumed or bathed in. But they don't bother to tell you what to do to fix YOUR water...because they know that some of their community will not be able to afford it (or not want to)! Sure, many government officials are ignorant. But others are religiously consuming pure water without a care in the world whether or not their constituents know that the water they are drinking is killing them!

The problem with our water systems is that we all assume someone is keeping tabs on the water. But the truth is that there are MANY possible contaminants and our water is only tested for a small portion of them. Our new town has VERY hard water. It amazes me that people drink it right out of the tap. Recently I noticed in our city newspaper a warning that the water had tested for high levels of nitrates. It warned not to make baby formula or children's juices from this water. First of all, how many parents have time to sit down and read the paper? Secondly, why is it harmful for babies, but somehow okay for adults?

The thinking is that our bodies can "filter out" the bad stuff and will go right through. They are equipped to handle the toxins coming through in small amounts, unlike babies' bodies which are not yet fully developed, not to mention much smaller. Yet, most adults have numerous health problems and for some reason we don't look first to what we are eating and drinking! We go to the doctor to get a pill!

We spent years drinking filtered water, and then I learned about the fluoride problems. I quickly researched and settled on a water distiller. Distilled water is the only form of pure water available. We have been drinking it for over a year now and we are very happy with our decision. You can learn more about distillers at The thing about distilling your own water at home is that you actually SAVE MONEY over bottled water. If you want more information about drinking water, we have some books that might help. You will learn about the different types of water and why distilled is better.

It is also important to note that SHOWERING IN CONTAMINATED WATER FOR 10 MINUTES IS WORSE THAN DRINKING THE SAME WATER ALL DAY! Not only are you breathing it in, it is being absorbed through the skin. You can get a shower filter and feel comfortable about the water you are bathing in.

What about Clean Air?

Similar problems exist for the air you breathe. Most of us don't realize that indoor air is more polluted than outdoor air. This is due to off gassing of carpet, furniture, bedding, and building materials as well as radon coming from the ground beneath your house (which is a leading cause of lung cancer). Many of our houses are also moldy. We have chosen Airwise Air Purifiers to keep our indoor air clean. Not only have they helped many with allergies, they oxidize odors, fungi, mold and other parasites, and toxic chemical gases; settle dust and other large particles out of the air; and destroy microorganisms like bacteria and viruses.

Having clean air is not cheap, and many find that getting prescription drugs every month for ailments such as allergies and asthma is easier to swallow than a chunk of money at one time for an air purifier. But which has the greater benefit? A drug that we all know has side effects, many unknown, or breathing clean air?
It is an unfortunate, but true tale. We are allowing toxins into our body on a daily basis through the air and water we breathe and consume. Many of us don't even realize it. And for those of us who do, we can only hope that we aren't one of the unfortunate who can't afford to change that fact.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Is Your Diet Killing You?

High glycemic index diets increase the risk of chronic degenerative disease

Long-term consumption of high-glycemic foods may increase oxidative stress and the risk of chronic degenerative diseases. Leading U.S. researchers recently concluded that a low-GI diet, not a low carbohydrate diet, appearsto be beneficial in reducing the production of free radicals and oxidative stress. Glycemic index (GI) is a measure of the rate that the carbohydrates in a food or meal are digested and appear in the blood as glucose (sugar). Glycemic load is a way of measuring the total carbohydrates in a meal or diet with a mathematical adjustment for GI. These measurements can be used to simultaneously describe the quality (glycemic index) and quantity of carbohydrate in a meal or diet.

Recent data suggest that the sudden rise in blood sugar associated with a high glycemic load may increase free radical production and the risk of oxidative damage. This increased production has been implicated in many disease processes including chronic heart disease, accelerated aging, and type 2 diabetes.

Investigators from several leading U.S. institutions recently investigated whether a diet with a high GI or GL is associated with greater oxidative stress by taking specific measurements in nearly 300 healthy adults.

Participants with a higher GI and GL diet were found to exhibit increases in oxidative stress when compared to those eating a diet lower in glycemic index and load.

Researchers concluded that chronic consumption of high-GI foods may lead to chronically high oxidative stress, increasing the risk for several degenerative diseases. A low-GI diet, not a low carbohydrate diet, appears to be beneficial in reducing oxidative stress.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 84, No. 1, 70-76, July 2006.

While this is not news to us, many have still not caught on to the low-glycemic food plan. Over a year ago, we discovered eating low glycemic foods and the weight just fell off. The same weight that I couldn't lose for over 18 months after having my second child! Then we found the Reset, a 5-day cleanse, which literally "resets" your body and diminishes carb cravings. We do this cleanse about twice a year to maintain our healthy diets year 'round.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Summer Dangers

There are a couple of things I've seen so far this summer which prompted me to mention these. Sometimes it is easy to forget that "mainstream" people don't think like us "weirdos." As a weirdo, I question EVERYTHING. I do not use anything without wondering about its safety. Two in particular are common, accepted products in just about every household, save us weirdos who have learned our lession:

1. Aspartame. I have seen about a million Diet Cokes this summer. These contain aspartame, as do many "diet" or "sugar-free" sodas and other foods. Aspartame is also found in products not labeled "diet" or "sugar-free." The best example of this is chewing gum. Since they contain both aspartame AND sugar, the fact that they contain aspartame is not apparent unless you look really hard. So what's wrong with aspartame? This says it all: If you consume this poison, please read the website!

2. Sunscreen. I've seen babies being slathered with sunscreen this summer. More and more doctors are realizing that safe sun exposure is much more healthy than the sunscreens. While many people consider sunscreen a benign product that helps prevent skin cancer, others realize that sunscreen itself is a free radical generator and that sunscreens are actually CAUSING cancer rather than preventing it:

Please take the time to look over this information and share it with friends as necessary. I understand that your friends will probably laugh at you and not listen to you. It happens to me all the time! But if we don't share vital information with our friends, they may not hear it at all!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Birth Defects Sharply Rise When Using ACE Inhibitors

This article from has lots of useful information that is not well-known in the general public. First, the obvious: that ACE inhibitors used for high blood pressure can lead to birth defects if used in the first trimester. Second, that high blood pressure can be resolved fairly easily and that it is caused by elevated insulin levels. Third, it is actually healthy to allow your skin sun exposure instead of slathering on the sunscreen. Here is the article:

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

It's Bathing Suit Season!

When you looked in the mirror, what did you see? For many women, this Memorial Day weekend was a nightmare because they did not like what they saw glaring back at them. The winter weight was still there, and coupled with the winter weight gained 4 years ago and every year since, it's just not looking so good!

Each year that goes by, I get more and more worried about the fat/skinny war going on in the media. Yes, we all know that normal people are not that skinny. But to get back at the girls in the magazines, we pretend to be perfectly happy with our weight. We even rationalize it by finding women out there larger than us and figure as long as there are women larger, we are doing okay. There are organized groups out there who actually rebut "Fat Actress" Kirstie Alley for portraying a large woman who just does not want to be large anymore. Then there is Oprah, who claims the "disease" of obesity. Come on! The disease is that she doesn't stop eating when she knows she should!

The truth is, intelligent woman all over this country are eating foods that they should not be eating, drinking junk that does not belong in the human body, and they are not exercising. Plain and simple. And sadly, many of these women who influence our children like teachers, coaches, and school office staff hand down these horrible habits when they bring in fast food, dole out candy, and sip on soda all day. Where is it going to stop?

We have become a society that does not eat for nourishment. We eat for pleasure, and the foods that once gave us pleasure have been replaced by artificial colors and flavors, sugar, corn syrup, and white flour. We are killing ourselves and even scarier: our children are projected to be the first generation that does not live longer than their parents did.

You might not like the way you fit in your bathing suit, but it's more than weight. It's more than being happy in your body, no matter how big or small it is. It's about being healthy. And for all of the women who are pretending to be happy in bodies that are either suffering from or on the brink of suffering from high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, heart disease, insulin resistance, and diabetes; THAT is not beautiful.

The time is NOW. NOW you must make a change. For your bathing suit, for your health, and for your children's health, you can not go on as before. You just can't.

I would like to share what I have done and what others have done who needed to lose over 100 lbs. First, you want to start with a RESET kit. And you are in luck, because they are on SALE!! After the 5-day RESET, you will continue to eat low-glycemic foods. As you continue to lose weight, you will feel more energetic and you will actually have the energy to exercise. You can have treats when you need them, but at least 80% of your diet will come from low glycemic foods. There are some very important things to note about this program:

  • You will not go hungry. If you get hungry, eat.
  • You will not eat 3 meals. You will eat 5-6 mini-meals.
  • You must eat breakfast. Once you finish the RESET, you might want to purchase shake mixes so that you can have a shake each morning. If not, opt for eggs or long-cook oatmeal.
  • You need to drink water. Stop drinking soda, especially "Diet" Soda
  • While you will lose weight eating low glycemic foods alone, you should also incorporate additional exercise to your day.
  • This "diet" will help those with 5 lbs. to lose, or 200 lbs.

Perhaps your doctor has thrown up his hands. He doesn't know what to tell people anymore. Patient after patient comes into his office, 20, 30, 50 lbs. overweight and he doesn't know how to help them. DOCTORS DON'T KNOW EVERYTHING. Wouldn't you LOVE to have lost 30 lbs. before your next doctor's visit? So instead of shaking his head, he will smile, pat you on the back, and YOU can educate him about weight loss and what he should already know. Not to mention, you can help all your friends lose weight, too!

(Here's where I say...consult your doctor before starting any...blah, blah, blah...) Hey- just do it and consult your doctor when you've got good news for her.

Reversal of Metabolic Syndrome through a Lifestyle Change Program involving a Low Glycemic Diet and Exercise

So you want to just look good in your bathing suit? The RESET will help you lose 5-10 lbs. the first 5 days, which is a great start. Depending on how much weight you need to lose, if you start now, you can wear that bathing suit with pride before the end of the summer! Have a great one and stop looking at those magazines!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Higher Antioxidant Intakes Reduce Risk of Lung Cancer in Male Smokers

Don't avoid antioxidant supplements if you are a smoker or former smoker. Research in the 1990's seemed to indicate that high dosages of beta-carotene supplements may increase lung cancer risk in smokers. However, a new analysis of dietary records from one of these studies came to a different conclusion. Male smokers with the highest overall antioxidant intake, including beta-carotene, actually had a reduced risk of lung cancer.

In observational studies, a high intake of individual antioxidants was related to increased lung cancer risk in male smokers. However, data from many experiments suggest that there are interactions among antioxidant nutrients; therefore, consideration of multiple antioxidants simultaneously may be important in terms of assessing risk.

Yale University researchers evaluated dietary records of participants in the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study (ATBC). A group of over 27,000 Finnish male smokers aged 50-69 had food records analyzed along with intakes of carotenoids, flavonoids, vitamin E, selenium, and vitamin C. After evaluating the overall intake of antioxidants in this group, the conclusion differs somewhat from the original study.

According to this new analysis, the men with higher overall intakes of antioxidants had lower relative risks of lung cancer, regardless of their assigned study group (beta-carotene or placebo). While researchers of the ATBC study concluded that high-dose beta-carotene supplementation may increase lung cancer risk in male smokers, these findings support the hypothesis that a combination of dietary antioxidants reduces lung cancer risk in men who smoke.

Am J Epidemiol 2004 Jul 1;160(1):68-76

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Expert Deception

Authors expose PR industry’s mind games. by Tate Hausman 2/6/2001

Think about how many times you’ve heard an evening news anchor spit out some variation on the phrase, “According to experts ....” It’s such a common device that most of us hardly hear it anymore. But we do hear the “expert” — the professor or doctor or watchdog group — tell us whom to vote for, what to eat, when to buy stock. And, most of the time, we trust them.

Now ask yourself, how many times has that news anchor revealed who those experts are, where they get their funding, and what constitutes their political agenda? If you answered never, you’d be close.

That’s the driving complaint behind Trust Us, We’re Experts, a new book co-authored by John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton of the Center for Media and Democracy. Unlike many so-called “experts,” the Center’s agenda is quite overt — to expose the shenanigans of the public relations industry, which pays, influences and even invents a startling number of those experts.

The third book co-authored by Stauber and Rampton, Trust Us hit bookstore shelves in January. We caught up with John Stauber, who is currently on a nationwide publicity tour, to ask him a few questions about the book, the PR industry and the egregious manipulation of facts for corporate profit.

Tate Hausman: What was the most surprising or disturbing manipulation of public opinion you reveal in your book?

John Stauber: The most disturbing aspect is not a particular example, but rather the fact that the news media regularly fails to investigate so-called “independent experts” associated with industry front groups. They all have friendly-sounding names like “Consumer Alert” and “The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition,” but they fail to reveal their corporate funding and their propaganda agenda, which is to smear legitimate heath and community safety concerns as “junk-science fear-mongering.”

The news media frequently uses the term “junk science” to smear environmental health advocates. The PR industry has spent more than a decade and many millions of dollars funding and creating industry front groups which wrap them in the flag of “sound science.” In reality, their “sound science” is progress as defined by the tobacco industry, the drug industry, the chemical industry, the genetic engineering industry, the petroleum industry and so on.

Hausman: Have you taken heat from the PR industry about this or any of your previous work?

Stauber: We are occasionally attacked in print by PR professionals, but the more prevalent attitude shared with us off the record is to compliment our work, and tell us that we have an accurate portrayal of the business of propaganda, but that in fact all that goes on in the PR world is even worse that we can imagine. I always respond by telling the PR worker that they should write their own book, bare their soul and educate the public about their years of propaganda for firms like Edelman, Burson-Marsteller, Ketchum and the rest. But that usually short-circuits the conversation.

Hausman: Is the public becoming more aware of PR tactics and false experts? Or are those tactics and experts becoming more savvy and effective?

Stauber: The truth is that the situation is getting worse, not better. More and more of what we see, hear and read as “news” is actually PR content. On any given day much or most of what the media transmits or prints as news is provided by the PR industry. It’s off press releases, the result of media campaigns, heavily spun and managed, or in the case of “video news releases” it’s fake TV news — stories completely produced and supplied for free by former journalists who’ve gone over to PR. TV news directors air these VNRs as news. So the media not only fails to identify PR manipulations, it is the guilty party by passing them on as news.

Hausman: What’s the solution for the excesses of the PR industry? Just more media literacy and watchdog organizations like yours? Or should the PR industry be regulated in some way?

Stauber: In our last chapter, “Question Authority,” we identify some of the most common propaganda tactics so that individuals and journalists and public interest scientists can do a better job of not being snowed and fooled. But ultimately those who have the most power and money in any society are going to use the most sophisticated propaganda tactics available to keep democracy at bay and the rabble in line.

There are some specific legislative steps that could be taken without stepping on the First Amendment. One is that all nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations — charities and educational groups, for instance — should be required by law to reveal their institutional funders of, say, $500 or more. That way when a journalist or a citizen hears that a scientific report is from a group like the American Council on Science and Health, a quick trip to an IRS Web site could reveal that this group gets massive infusions of industry money, and that the corporations that fund it benefit from its proclamations that pesticides are safe, genetically engineered food will save the planet, lead contamination isn’t really such a big deal, climate change isn’t happening, and so on. The public clearly doesn’t understand that most nonprofit groups (not ours, by the way) take industry and government grants, or are even the nonprofit arm of industry.

Hausman: What led you, personally, to become one of the PR industry’s most vocal critics?

Stauber: In 1990 I found myself spied upon by the world’s largest PR firm, Burson-Marsteller. I had organized a conference in Washington, D.C., of a couple dozen leaders of farm, consumer, animal welfare and environmental groups all opposed to the FDA’s eventual approval of Monsanto’s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone, called rBGH.

Now, I personally knew everyone participating, except a young woman who claimed to be with the Maryland Consumers Council, a group of “housewives” who said they wanted to make sure their kids didn’t have to drink milk from cows injected with the hormonal drug rBGH. Well, a few months later a reporter called and asked if I knew that Monsanto had a spy in our meeting. I investigated and discovered that the consumer group was phony, that the woman worked for Burson-Marsteller, and that one of B-M’s clients was Eli Lilly corporation who along with Monsanto was one of the developers of rBGH.

I found out that this was typical of corporate PR, and I was outraged at having been spied upon and infiltrated. So I focused my activism onto the PR industry, founded PR Watch in 1993, and it has been very sweet revenge indeed.

If the PR industry doesn’t like what we do, they only have themselves to blame for our existence.

Tate Hausman is managing editor of Alternet, a San Francisco-based alternative news service.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Omega-3 fatty acids inhibit growth of liver cancer cells

Apr 3, 2006, 14:58, Reviewed by: Dr. Rashmi Yadav

By University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Two new studies by a University of Pittsburgh research team suggest that omega-3 fatty acids--substances that are found in high concentrations in fish oils and certain seeds and nuts--significantly inhibit the growth of liver cancer cells. The studies, presented today at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., suggest that omega-3 fatty acids may be an effective therapy for both the treatment and prevention of human liver cancers.

The first study, Abstract number 2679, looked at the effect and mechanism of omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Hepatocellular carcinoma accounts for 80 to 90 percent of all liver cancers and is usually fatal within three to six months of diagnosis.

"It has been known for some time that omega-3 fatty acids can inhibit certain cancer cells. So, we were interested in determining whether these substances could inhibit liver cancer cells. If so, we also wanted to know by what mechanism this inhibition occurs," said Tong Wu, M.D., Ph.D., a member of the division of transplantation pathology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, in whose laboratory the research was conducted.

The investigators treated the hepatocellular carcinoma cells with either the omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) or the omega-6 fatty acid arachidonic acid (AA), for 12 to 48 hours. DHA and EPA treatment resulted in a dose-dependent inhibition of cell growth, whereas AA treatment exhibited no significant effect.

According to the investigators, the effect of omega-3 fatty acids on cancer cells likely is due to the induction of apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Indeed, the investigators found that DHA treatment induced the splitting up, or cleavage, of an enzyme in the cell nucleus known as poly (ADP-Ribose) polymerase, or PARP, which is involved in repairing DNA damage, mediating apoptosis and regulating immune response. The cleavage of this enzyme is considered a tell-tale indicator of apoptosis. Furthermore, DHA and EPA treatment indirectly decreased the levels of another protein known as beta-catenin, an overabundance of which has been linked to the development of various tumors.

"Beta-catenin is known to promote cell growth and also is implicated in tumor cell promotion. Therefore, our finding that omega-3 fatty acids can decrease levels of beta-catenin is further evidence that these compounds have the ability to interact on several points of pathways involved in tumor progression," explained Dr. Wu.

In the second study, Abstract number 2680, the investigators treated cholangiocarcinoma tumor cells with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for 12 to 48 hours. Cholangiocarcinoma is a particularly aggressive form of liver cancer that arises in the ducts that carry bile from the liver and has an extremely high mortality rate. Again, the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA treatments resulted in a dose-dependent inhibition of cancer cell growth, while the omega-6 fatty acid AA treatment had no significant effect. Likewise, DHA treatment induced a cleavage form of PARP in cholangiocarcinoma cells, and DHA and EPA treatment significantly decreased the level of beta-catenin protein in the cells.

According to Dr. Wu, these findings suggest that omega-3 fatty acids not only may be an effective therapy for the treatment of human liver cancers but may also be a means of protecting the liver from steatohepatitis, a chronic liver disease characterized by the buildup of fat in the liver and believed to be a precursor of hepatocellular carcinoma. The next step in the process, he said, is to test the effects of omega-3 fatty acids in mice harboring human liver tumors.

- American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

This work was supported by grants from the National Cancer Institute. Kyu Lim, Ph.D., in Dr. Wu's laboratory performed the major experiments. Other investigators involved in these studies include Chang Han, Ph.D., and Lihong Xu, Ph.D., all from the University of Pittsburgh.

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