Everything in this Universe carries a vibration, including the words that you speak.
For centuries, people have used words for healing. Words can be used to share a story, they can be used to pray and they can be used to express a deeper truth.
Another way words can be used for healing is through mantras. Mantras are short, positively inspired phrases that carry a powerful healing vibration and can help to free your body, mind, and soul of any stresses.
The word mantra loosely translates to “instrument of the mind”. This is because mantras have the power to transform your thinking, and rewire thought patterns and belief systems that have been engrained deep within your subconscious.
In traditional practices, it was believed that you had to chant the mantra 125,000 times in order for it to really sink in to the deepest level of your soul. While this may sound daunting, even reciting a mantra a few times over the course of a week or month can have life changing effects.
In fact, mantras are so simple yet so effective for all sorts of healing, that I have shared 150 of my most favorite and powerful mantras in a new book – My Pocket Mantras.
1.) I know I am loved and supported as I move through the day
Recite this mantra three times either out loud or quietly to yourself first thing in the morning or whenever needed. As you recite the mantra, cross your arms and wrap them around your body like you are giving yourself a big, supportive hug.
2.) This too shall pass
Recite this mantra seven times out loud or quietly to yourself during challenging life periods and when you are working through painful emotions.
3.) I surrender my worries to the Universe
Recite this mantra three times either out loud or quietly to yourself as often as needed. Visualize yourself taking your heavy coat of burdens off and handing it over to the Universe to take care of as you recite the words.
4.) I choose to feel good about myself every day
Recite this mantra three times either out loud or quietly to yourself while looking in the mirror.
5.) I am exactly where I need to be
Recite this mantra three times either out loud or quietly to yourself.
6.) I release my past and forgive myself
Recite this mantra five times either out loud or quietly to yourself as you place your hands over your heart.
7.) Everything I need to heal is already within me
Recite this mantra five times either out loud or quietly to yourself while placing your hands over your heart.
8.) Things are always working out in my favor
Recite this mantra three times either out loud or quietly to yourself.
9.) I am effortlessly creating a life I love
Recite this mantra six times either out loud or quietly to yourself.
10.) The next perfect step is always being revealed to me
Recite this mantra three times either out loud or quietly to yourself with your hands in prayer position.
11.) I use love to make all the decisions in my life
This mantra is best recited after or during meditation. You can incorporate it into your own practice, or you can use the following instructions as your guide:
Take three to four deep breaths in and out while placing your hand over your heart. Chant the mantra in your mind eleven times. Once finished, end your meditation by taking three to four deep breaths.
Take a step back. Take a good and long look at your life from an observer’s perspective. Look at it from the outside, and become mindful about what you do and say on a daily basis.
Most of the time our days are filled with the same types of tasks. We go to the same work place, we hang around the same crowd of people, and we engage in the same stuff. But look further and even more specific. Look at the simple things. What are you eating? What are you thinking? When do you get up in the morning, and when do you go to bed? You brush your teeth and you take a shower. How do you dress? Do you work out? A whole series of rituals and repetitions. Most often this is our lives, and that is what is locking us in and holding us back.
Most of the time we are in a sleep-like state, unaware of the fact that we are living this life on autopilot; unknowingly living the same old story that we were brought up to believe we chose. Most of what we do and say in a day has never been chosen, not consciously, it has been programmed. It is fed to us through television, radio, and society in general, which bombards our whole being with signals of the “proper” life. It’s not all bad of course. Most of us have learned and experienced some beautiful things, developed great values, and have met some wonderful people.
Life might be good, but the lies and programming have to go.
The good and bad news is; it’s not your fault. The subconscious mind is simply a programmed chip if you will, that is acting like your pilot. It is keeping you locked into the false belief that you are free and in charge, when in reality — you’re not.
All through school, our lives were put into a system of structure. Through a controlled education on topics and written “truths”, our whole picture of the world, who we are and who we need to be has been molded. Brick by brick our house and the whole city of reality has been formed and built around us, leaving little or no room for creative or free interpretation. The stage has been set. We will be told the same old story, over and over until it sticks. It becomes a truth for all our cells. It does not matter if it is the real truth, it still becomes ours. And we own it and honor it.
This is why becoming an observer is so important to achieving a consciously creating mind. Be aware of how you speak to your friends, what stories you tell. Are they the same complaints about work, your hubby, the children? Maybe you are talking about how you are not feeling good, your health, or other topics that interest you? It can be anything, but as long as it’s not uplifting your spirit, and as long as it’s not reflecting who you are and your inner most pure emotions, it’s holding you back. It is keeping you locked in the grip of the autopilot, and so, life becomes a different day with the same old story.
If you have children, I am sure you have told yourself “I sounded just like my mother/father”. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but it tells us a little something about the programming at hand. Without conscious observation, we adopt everything that is shown to us, like behaviors and thought patterns. We learn through ear, mouth and eyes. As children we are like sponges, literally soaking everything in. We watch and learn, listen and record. The hard drive is filled up little by little. We have no filter or manual to go by. We save all and delete nothing; that is the only rule. We do not have the ability to believe or not believe at this point, so we save everything as our truth.
As we grow older, we hold on to it like it’s our connection to ourselves and add it to our past-life and cellular memories. Yes, our cells have memories, and most likely, you are not here for the first time. Your story is much older than your current life. Much of it is inherited from the generations before us. No wonder the story is a powerful one, and that it’s hard to let it go. No wonder we let it run its course, on autopilot, until it really hurts.
This is why we need to become an observer to be able to consciously create anything. Change comes through awareness and the willingness to change; through observing and getting real about our patterns. Until we are aware of our actual thoughts and actions, we remain disempowered. We stay fighting against our own inner programming. Change becomes hard, and life more frustrating.
I know all about not changing my ways until I was almost dead. I made my story my own, and I believed every word of it. I was carrying so many false beliefs that I no longer felt connected to anything but my big head, my stubbornness and my stressful life. Completely disconnected from myself, I had no inner feeling of belonging or self-worth, and I became chronically ill.
Sadly, my story is not unique in the sense that I suffered from my programming. My story is different from many other people’s in the sense that I decided I was done. I was done believing in that nonsense, that falsehood and that old programming. I was done believing I would never get healthy again, and that I was somehow unworthy of health and happiness. I was done believing that I was broken and not whole.
My life was worth it.
I was worth it.
The difference between a belief and the truth
It is easy to believe what everyone else believes; to follow the flow of the masses, never observing our own life or analyzing why we do what we do and believe what we believe. The thing is, until we change how we look at the world, the world stays the same. As long as we keep walking down that same street, that’s where we will be, right?
Observing our lives will help reveal the larger picture. It allows us to detect false beliefs and emotional detachments as well. Stepping out of our heads, where we are so easily manipulated, lets us tap in to our hearts, our innate wisdom, and our pure child-like enthusiasm — and into truth and conscious creations. We even have children’s stories that tell us this; that it is easy to be a sheep in the masses.
Once upon a time, there was an Emperor who was extremely interested in having the best quality clothes. His whole world evolved around it, and he did not care much of anything else. One day several conmen came to see him and told him they were the World`s best weavers. They would make him the most beautiful fabric for his outfits. The Emperor was thrilled. They told him they made fabrics from a very special thread. The garments would appear invisible to anyone who was stupid or not doing their jobs.
The conmen ordered some of the finest materials, and secretly they sold them to get the money. They fooled the Emperor and his servants, by pretending to weave with nothing. The Emperor fired all his staff that couldn`t see this imaginary fabric, as he believed they were liars and not doing their jobs. It became easy for them to lie to keep their jobs. Now they all said they saw the beautiful threads turn to this fantastic textile.
The Emperor ends up getting dressed in nothing at all, believing that his garments were invisible only to cheaters. He started a procession where his servants walked behind him with their hands raised to hold the cape. The whole town admired him and his new clothes until one young boy yelled that the Emperor had no clothes on, that he was in fact naked.
In this story, great wisdom is revealed. The Emperor wanted to keep his position and did not hesitate to get rid of anyone who threatened it. The conmen were getting rich by fooling, scamming and playing mind games, and the masses were prone to follow the crowd and accept the untruth of the authority. The servants were afraid of losing their jobs, and only the child had no agenda. The young boy is the voice of consciousness in this story. In his naivety and a life deprived of long standing programming and fear, he speaks his truth. I want us all to be this boy, to be able to speak our truths, and to not be held back by the old story.
Only when we break free from the old patterns and awaken to the fact that our power does not emerge from our brain, will we feel and act up to our full potentials. You see, the brain is simply an organ, a tool, to be used or not. Our true power comes from our spirit, our hearts and the God force within us.
The brain can be manipulated, our hearts cannot. Many of our stories hurt us on a daily basis by holding us back from evolving, healing, growing, and creating true happiness and fulfillment for ourselves. They are the roadblocks from hell, and the obstructions of our true essence.
What are the stories we are telling ourselves?
I am limited
I can never get healthy
I am typically not good at anything
I do not have the right resources
I am too young/old
I am not good enough
I don’t have enough money and never will
I am not beautiful
I am not smart enough
I cannot help it, it is my genes
I was abused, so it is not that easy for me
I am all alone, and life is tough
I am sick and will never get better
Nobody loves me
I need to be perfect
It is not about me. I am not that important
I cannot do this
My family will not allow it
Nothing good ever happens to me
I am weak!
The list is endless. It is a reflection of our bullshit, and in fact, none of this is true. Not ever. Did you find something on this list that you believe is you? If you do, step back and observe. Free of the story of deceit and lies. Free of the old programming. Hopefully you will discover your eagerness to find out the truth that is hidden within you.
“It doesn’t matter how many times a lie has been told, and how many people believe it, it will never be the truth!” – Hilde Larsen
Let this be the time that you step up and take back your power. Let this be the time that you have been waiting for your whole life. Open your mind and heart, and let everything you have ever learned and held as your truth be questioned, and let all of the invisible walls and fences come down. To be able to reach the subconscious mind, the conscious mind has to be up for the task. You have to be willing to see with your eyes open and to look at some less-than-flattering patterns in your life. This is not a competition or a race towards being perfect. Forget perfect! Life is so much larger than that.
A heart felt decision has to be made to be able to follow in your own new footsteps. You are not only the one you have been waiting for, you are the onlyone you have been waiting for.
You are the teller of your stories, the creator of your thoughts, the master of your actions, and the head of your life operations. You are the observer AND the doer, and the more you step back the more consciously you can create — from your own truth, not that of others.
You are the BOSS; the creative force of nature that can change the course of your life, through observing what you do, think, feel, and believe.
The Fourth Phase of Water – What You Don’t Know About Water, and Really Should
Your body consists of over 99 percent water molecules, but the water in your cells is not regular water, but highly structured water with special properties
There is a fourth phase of water, not H2O but H3O2, and can be called living water. It’s more viscous, dense, and alkaline than regular water; has a negative charge, and can hold energy, much like a battery, and deliver energy too
The key ingredient to create this highly structured water is light, i.e. electromagnetic energy, whether in the form of visible light, or infrared wavelengths, which we’re surrounded by all the time
One reason why infrared saunas make you feel so good is because your body’s cells are deeply penetrated by infrared energy, which builds and stores structured water. The same goes for light therapy, spending time in the sun, and laser therapy
Besides optimizing your drinking water by vortexing, you can help support your body’s negative charge by connecting to the Earth, which also has a negative charge. This is the basis of the earthing or grounding technique
Water is clearly one of the most important factors for your health—especially when you consider that your body actually consists of over 99 percent water molecules! I sincerely believe water is a really underappreciated part of the equation of optimal health.
I’ve previously interviewed Dr. Gerald Pollack, who is one of the leading premier research scientists in the world when it comes to understanding the physics of water, and what it means to your health.
Besides being a professor of bioengineering at the University of Washington, he’s also the founder and editor-in-chief of a scientific journal called Water, and has published many peer-reviewed scientific papers on this topic. He’s even received prestigious awards from the National Institutes of Health.
His book, The Fourth Phase of Water: Beyond Solid, Liquid, and Vapor, is a phenomenal read that is easy to understand even for the non-professional.
It clearly explains the theory of the fourth phase of water, which is nothing short of ground-breaking. The fourth phase of water is, in a nutshell, living water. It’s referred to as EZ water—EZ standing for “exclusion zone”—which has a negative charge. This water can hold energy, much like a battery, and can deliver energy too.
For years, Dr. Pollack had researched muscles and how they contract, and it struck him as odd that the most common ideas about muscle contraction do not involve water, despite the fact that muscle tissue consists of 99 percent water molecules.
How could it be that 99 percent of the molecules were ignored? How could it be that muscle contracts without involving the water in some way? These questions help catalyze his passionate investigation into water.
So You Think You Understand Water?
Gilbert Ling, who was a pioneer in this field, discovered that water in human cells is not ordinary water (H2O), but something far more structured and organized.
“I began to think about water in the context of biology: if water inside the cell was ordered and structured and not bulk water or ordinary water as most biochemists and cell biologists think, then it is really important,” Dr. Pollack says.
Dr. Pollack’s book also touches on some of the most basic features of water, many of which are really not understood. For example, how does evaporation take place? Why does a tea kettle whistle? Also, despite the fact that conventional science tells us freezing is supposed to occur at zero degrees Celsius, experiments show that it can freeze in many different temperatures down to minus 50 degrees Celsius.
There’s actually no one single freezing point for water! Other experiments show that the boiling point of 100 degrees Celsius (or 212 degrees Fahrenheit) does not always hold true either.
“There’s a famous website1 put together by a British scientist, Martin Chaplin. Martin lists numerous anomalies associated with water,” Dr. Pollack says. “In other words, things that shouldn’t be according to what we know about water…
The more anomalies we have, the more we begin to think that maybe there’s something fundamental about water that we really don’t know. That’s the core of what I’m trying to do. In our laboratory at the University of Washington, we’ve done many experiments over the last decade. These experiments have clearly shown the existence of this additional phase of water.”
The reason this fourth phase of water is called the exclusion zone or EZ is because the first thing Dr. Pollack’s team discovered is that it profoundly excludes things. Even small molecules are excluded from EZ water. Surprisingly, EZ water appears in great abundance, including inside most of your cells. Even your extracellular tissues are filled with this kind of water.
to read more, go to: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/08/18/exclusion-zone-water.aspx
Researchers find IQ scores dropping since the 1970s
June 12, 2018 by Bob Yirka, Medical Xpres
A pair of researchers with the Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research in Norway has found that IQ test scores have been slowly dropping over the past several decades. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Bernt Bratsberg and Ole Rogeberg describe their study and the results they found. They also offer some possible explanations for their findings.
Prior studies have shown that people grew smarter over the first part of last century, as measured by the intelligence quotient—a trend that was dubbed the Flynn effect. Various theories have been proposed to explain this apparent brightening of the human mind, such as better nutrition, health care, education, etc, all factors that might help people grow into smarter adults than they would have otherwise. But, now, according to the researchers in Norway, that trend has ended. Instead of getting smarter, humans have started getting dumber.
The study by the team consisted of analyzing IQ test results from young men entering Norway’s national service (compulsory military duty) during the years 1970 to 2009. In all, 730,000 test results were accounted for. In studying the data, the researchers found that scores declined by an average of seven points per generation, a clear reversal of test results going back approximately 70 years.
But it was not all bad news. The researchers also found some differences between family groups, suggesting that some of the decline might be due to environmental factors. But they also suggest that lifestyle changes could account for some of the decline, as well, such as changes in the education system and children reading less and playing video games more. Sadly, other researchers have found similar results. A British team recently found IQ score results falling by 2.5 to 4.3 points every decade since approximately the end of the second world war. And this past December, another group from the U.S. found that children who grew up eating a lot of fish tended to have higher IQs—and they slept better, too, which is another factor involved in adult intelligence levels. Notably, children in many countries in the modern era eat very little fish.
More information: Bernt Bratsberg et al. Flynn effect and its reversal are both environmentally caused, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2018). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1718793115
Population intelligence quotients increased throughout the 20th century—a phenomenon known as the Flynn effect—although recent years have seen a slowdown or reversal of this trend in several countries. To distinguish between the large set of proposed explanations, we categorize hypothesized causal factors by whether they accommodate the existence of within-family Flynn effects. Using administrative register data and cognitive ability scores from military conscription data covering three decades of Norwegian birth cohorts (1962–1991), we show that the observed Flynn effect, its turning point, and subsequent decline can all be fully recovered from within-family variation. The analysis controls for all factors shared by siblings and finds no evidence for prominent causal hypotheses of the decline implicating genes and environmental factors that vary between, but not within, families.
Meditation is the inner sun, The source of inner light. Osho
Right from the very start of my interest in light in the 1980s what intrigued me most was to find out whether it could contribute to enhancing altered states of consciousness—specifically, the higher state of meditative consciousness. This propelled my interest in developing new techniques for the control of light based on its modulation. I started out by studying its effects directly on myself, and then I examined its effects on others. This process, which was of an empirical nature, showed clearly that certain types of light could indeed have profound effects on the mind and on the psyche.
At the same time it was obvious to me that no technical method could create a state of meditation. Meditation is being present to oneself, a conscious awareness of our experience in the moment. No machine, no technology, can give us this state of awareness. However, nothing prevents us from using technology to contribute to the creation of an interior space that is favorable to meditation, and in so doing helping it to occur—which is what we intended to do by means of visual stimulation. When we accomplished this we discerned that this sort of sensorial approach could have other applications as well. Ma Premo and I both realized that light could have considerable potential for psychotherapeutic applications. However, though we could clearly recognize its effects, we were still incapable of fully comprehending why they were taking place; it was very difficult to understand this correctly by simply relying on the scientific or psychological facts that were available to us at that time.
We discovered in our early experiments that the light we were using seemed to intervene in an intermediate zone between the physiological influence of color in its most concrete biophysical aspect and its purely cognitive impact through its capacity to evoke a rich interior universe. The conventional scientific references at the time took into account only one of these two influences, and this seemed inadequate to us. In fact, it was only gradually, over the course of about twenty years, that we developed a model to better understand the nature of this intermediary domain, and as a result we were able to identify the scope of therapeutic applications of this type of light.
The Power of Color on the Mind
One of our early inspirations came as a result of the first studies about the way the brain reacts to the perception of color. Generations of researchers had already explored the cerebral structures connected to vision, the most important of all our senses. They had started to identify a complex organization capable of decoding information coming from the retina by means of a successive sequence of cerebral centers, each one processing a particular aspect of the visual field, with the major part of the visual cortex found at the back of the brain, where the optic nerve extends to the occipital lobe.
But it was only in 1989 that Lueck et al. identified the anatomical center that specifically processes information about color. This study was accomplished with positron emission tomography (PET), which enabled scientists to see the metabolic activity in the brain in a very direct way. The technique consisted of having subjects view two analogous images, one a set of rectangles in multiple colors (known as “Mondrians” because they evoke similar-looking images made by painter Piet Mondrian) and the other the same set of rectangles in achromatic shades of gray (see fig. 11.1). They took care to preserve equal luminosity in both types of images in order to create the same level of nervous stimulation in the brains of the test subjects. Then they tested to see which cortical zones reacted differently. In this seminal study, which was later published in the journal Nature, they demonstrated that they were able to isolate the brain’s color center* in a region of the visual cortex called the V4 area (Lueck et al. 1989).
*The color center located in the V4 area of the visual cortex includes the lingual gyrus and the fusiform gyrus.
A particular detail that stood out when I read this study was a graph that depicted the levels of activity in the different cerebral areas when subjects viewed the color images and the achromatic images. Naturally, the color center in the brain reacted more actively to the colored version of the image, while another area, called the frontal eye fields, showed a clear suppression of activity with the colored image (see fig. 11.2). This area is to be found in the frontal cortex, the cerebral lobe generally associated with evolved mental activity, such as language, motivation, and planning.
The logical implication is that color appears to reduce mental activity while simultaneously stimulating the visual cortex. It is as though pure color consisted of complete information in itself, in such a way that the brain is not obliged to pursue any further mental analysis. This was in stark contrast to the same image in black and white, in which the frontal eye fields—i.e., higher cortical functions—are stimulated by the absence of color. Could color be a stimulus permitting the increase of global cerebral energy, yet calming the mind at the same time? This was a seductive possibility, because such a function is precisely what meditation does.
This close relationship between color and the mind was again emphasized in an astonishing study carried out by Kosslyn et al. (2000). He applied the same technique as Lueck (PET measurements resulting from viewing the Mondrian images); however, Kosslyn used subjects who were highly suggestible and placed them under hypnosis.* He discovered that in this case the color center reacts less to the actual coloring of the test image than to the suggestion under hypnosis that the image is colored (or not). Not only does color perception influence the mind, as Lueck had shown, but mind influences color perception: the two are intimately linked.
*According to Kosslyn’s study about 8 percent of the general population is highly suggestible to hypnosis.
The Domains of Influence of Light
Let’s examine more closely two important areas where color exerts its influence: the objective domain (working through the physiological and biophysical channels) and the cognitive domain (animating our thoughts and our consciousness).
We have explored a number of influences coming from the objective domain, which are influences mediated by the purely physical properties of light. This includes all those influences to be found in the new light medicine. So we have photobiomodulation, through which light acts directly at the cellular level, stimulating the mitochondrial respiratory chain and modulating the production of ATP, our metabolic energy source. Also influenced is the nonvisual optical pathway, through which light governs the endocrine system by means of the retinohypothalamic tract. Notably, this includes a profound influence on our central internal clock and consequently on circadian rhythm. Another objective effect of light is that of photic entrainment. Here, pulsating light interacts with brain waves to directly induce different mental states.
Many modalities of alternative light medicine come from the objective domain as well. For example, in syntonic optometry the visual field of the subject is exposed to precise colors in order to obtain specific autonomic effects. In Colorpuncture, the colors are chosen and applied according to the stimulated reflex points. The common characteristic of all of these objective influences is the systematic manner in which their action takes place, independent of the will or of any cognitive involvement of the subject.
The cognitive domain of light is that which passes through the sense of vision; this influence is one of the most profound we can have in life. Through vision, we build an interior representation of our entire world. Vision informs our superior cognitive faculties; it can evoke all the emotions, sensations, and thoughts that define us.
We’ve all heard that old truism, “An image is worth a thousand words.” The arts of painting and photography, television, and cinema are visual forms that can give meaning to our existence. In their most exalted manifestations such as sacred geometry or mandalas, images are capable of exerting influence of a higher spiritual nature. When light interacts in such a way with our mental universe, it is not only acting through its physical properties; it becomes a vehicle for the transfer of information through images that are formed by our visual system. The influence of light in this cognitive domain is characterized by the complexity of its form and by its rich informational content.
The Subjective Domain, the Third Area of Influence
So we possess many ways of using light, which can act on either one or the other of these two domains, the objective and the cognitive. But what happens at the boundary between these two? Essentially, in this intermediate domain we try to induce perceptions of a superior cognitive order by using the objective properties of light. For this reason I call this third domain of influence the subjective domainbecause it intervenes at the level of our interior perception, which is subjective. We will see that it concerns one of the most fertile of regions, and this has profound implications for the therapeutic application of color.
What do we mean when we say “perceptions of a superior cognitive order”? This has to do with all cognitive activity capable of inducing within us a harmonious and positive state of being. Such activity can take several forms: any emotion that evokes beauty or pleasure; the sensation of unity with the flow of life; deep relaxation; or, again, an impression of immense peace and security. Why would such perceptions be of particular therapeutic interest? Most of us understand this intuitively: they permit us to rediscover our natural equilibrium, and they open the door to an intrinsic mechanism of healing always ready to move into action when we give it the opportunity.
Did you know that over 80 percent of the garlic sold worldwide comes from China? In fact, a large amount of garlic we consume here in America is from China. The US imported 138 million pounds last year. Most consumers think that their garlic was grown in California, the “Garlic Capital of the World,” but in reality it was shipped from China. Even “organic” garlic is often from China, where organic certification methods can not be trusted.
Chinese garlic is bleached. According to Henry Bell of the Australian Garlic Industry Association, garlic from China is sprayed with chemicals to stop sprouting, to whiten garlic, and to kill insects and plant matter. He also reports that garlic is grown in untreated sewage, “Bell also calls into question some growing practices in China. “I know for a fact that some garlic growers over there use raw human sewage to fertilize their crops, and I don’t believe the Australian quarantine regulations are strict enough in terms of bacteria testing on imported produce,” he says. “I also challenge the effectiveness of the Chinese methyl bromide fumigation processes.” (http://www.theage.com.au/news/epicure/freshe…) .
Chinese garlic is heavily fumigated with methyl bromide to get rid of any bugs. Methyl bromide is a very toxic hazard. Exposure to high concentrations can cause damage to the respiratory and central nervous systems, even death. According to the UN it is 60 times more damaging than chlorine and is the base of CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons).
Chinese garlic is also contaminated with lead, sulfites and other unsafe compounds.
Chinese garlic may be treated with growth inhibitors and subjected to cold temperatures, as well as over-storage. Over storage is particularly problematic as levels of allicin, one of the major constituents in garlic responsible for its health benefits, start to decline over time.
Fortunately, you can easily spot the difference between California-grown fresh garlic and imported garlic.
Here’s how to spot a California-grown bulb:
American garlic has some of the roots left on the bottom.
Eating locally means eating what’s in season. This spring, consider adding some of the following superfoods, many of which you may never have heard of before: morel mushrooms, fiddlehead ferns, cherimoya, sorrel, stinging nettles, purslane and wild leeks
Most of these are only available for a short amount of time, and now’s the time to start looking for them
Morel mushrooms are packed with immune-boosting, disease-preventing vitamin D. Fiddleheads are picked from immature, uncoiled ostrich ferns, and have a flavor reminiscent of asparagus
Cherimoyas contain approximately 60 percent of the daily recommended dose of vitamin C and a third of your vitamin B6 needs, while nettles provide healthy amounts of vitamin K and calcium
One cup of sorrel provides more than your daily requirement of vitamins A and C, along with high amounts of potassium and iron; purslane is the omega-3 powerhouse of the plant kingdom
By Dr. Mercola
Eating locally grown foods comes with a bounty of benefits, from fresher foods to saving both money and the environment. One 2007 study from the University of Alberta, Canada, determined that the transportation alone of organic produce actually causes an environmental impact large enough to cancel out many of its benefits.1
If you look, you’ll find that most of the organic fruit and vegetables in your local grocery store come from much farther away than your conventional produce. Fresh produce in most regions of the U.S. actually travel between 1,500 to 2,000 miles on the road. That’s even higher than processed foods, which are shipped an average of 1,346 miles.2 Eating locally grown foods helps eliminate a substantial amount of the carbon footprint associated with food transportation.
Eating locally automatically means eating what’s in season. This spring, consider adding some of the following superfoods,3 many of which you may never have heard of before. Most of these are only available for a short amount of time, and now’s the time to start looking for them.
No. 1: Morel Mushrooms
Morel mushrooms, the tops of which resemble small shower loofahs, are packed with immune-boosting, disease-preventing vitamin D. Its taste has been described as umami, or savory. Rarely cultivated, morel mushrooms are typically wild-harvested and picking the mushrooms is a popular tradition for many.
That said, avoid picking mushrooms in the wild unless you are absolutely sure you know what you’re picking. There are a number of toxic mushrooms, including a species called “false morels,” and it’s easy to get them confused unless you have a lot of experience and know what to look for.
As noted in a recent study,4 “Morels have been in use in traditional medicine for centuries, due to their health-related benefits, and current research demonstrated their anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory bioactivities, in addition to immunostimulatory and antitumor properties.”
Most of the health benefits have been attributed to polysaccharides, along with a number of phytochemicals, primarily phenolic compounds, tocopherols, ascorbic acid and vitamin D. Morel mushrooms are an excellent addition cooked with any side dish and go great with all kinds of meat and fish. Many people enjoy eating them as a side dish on their own, gently sautéed for five to 10 minutes with a pat of butter. Never eat morel mushrooms raw, as they contain trace amounts of a toxin that make some people ill.
No. 2: Fiddlehead Ferns
Chances are you’ve never heard of fiddlehead ferns5,6 unless you’re a frequent visitor of farmers markets and specialty health food stores. As the name implies, the small curly discs are picked from immature, uncoiled ostrich ferns. The taste has been likened to that of asparagus, but with bit more crunch and bitterness. Others say they taste like a mix of asparagus, spinach and broccoli all in one.
High in antioxidants (twice the amount of blueberries) and plant-based omega-3, fiddlehead ferns are a potent anti-inflammatory food.7 They also contain vitamins A and C, both of which are important for healthy vision and immune function. Iron and phosphorous aid red blood cell production and are important for healthy formation of cell membranes and bone, while potassium supports heart health and electrolyte and muscle functions.
Fiddleheads are commonly picked in Maine and Canada, but can often be found in health food stores. Their season is quite brief — two to three weeks at the most. To ensure quality, look for specimens that have tightly coiled heads with stems about 2 inches in length. If picking your own, make sure you know how to identify ostrich ferns, as they are commonly confused with bracken fern — a species known to cause cancer in lab animals.
Also, fiddleheads may cause gastrointestinal upset when consumed raw, so light cooking, just as you would asparagus, is recommended. They can also be pickled for longer shelf life. For instructions, see this spicy pickled fiddleheads’ recipe by The Spruce.8
The following video will help you properly identify edible fiddleheads from the ostrich fern. Consider adding them to dishes that normally call for asparagus. Many recipes suggest eating them steamed or boiled with hollandaise sauce, cooked then chilled and topped with plain mayo, or lightly sautéed and tossed with some butter, lemon, vinegar and Parmesan cheese.
No. 3: Cherimoya
This heart-shaped “dragon-scaled” tropical fruit has a sweet, buttery inside. Select specimens that are hard and green. As avocados, cherimoyas ripen quickly on the counter. Once the skin turns a bronze color and feels soft to the touch, it’s ready to eat. Simply peel and slice. Their flavor has been likened to a combination of banana, papaya and pineapple. Pureed, they can also be added to smoothies.
A single fruit contains approximately 60 percent of the daily recommended dose of vitamin C and a third of your vitamin B6 needs. In Mexico, the fruit has traditionally been used to ease anxiety, thanks to the presence of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which has mild antidepressive effects.
It’s also high in fiber, iron and niacin, and contain powerful compounds shown to combat cancer, malaria and human parasites. Cherimoya provides high amounts of potassium that help control heart rate and blood pressure. Furthermore, it contains more minerals weight per weight than a lot of more common fruits, including apples.
No. 4: Sorrel
Sorrel, also known as spinach dock or narrow-leaved dock, is a perennial leafy herb cultivated around the world. Packed with health benefits and a tangy, lemony flavor, it adds a bit of zing to just about any salad or dish, including creamy soups.
One cup of sorrel provides more than your daily requirement of vitamins A and C, along with high amounts of potassium and iron. Keep in mind that sorrel contains oxalic acid, which is contraindicated for those struggling with or prone to oxalate kidney stones. For most people, small quantities are completely safe and provide valuable health benefits. According to Organic Facts:9
“The health benefits of sorrel include its ability to improve eyesight, slow the aging process, reduce skin infections, strengthen the immune system, and improve digestion. It also builds strong bones, increases circulation, increases energy levels, helps prevent cancer, lowers blood pressure, increases appetite, protects against diabetes, strengthens heart health and improves kidney health.”
No. 5: Stinging Nettles
While typically considered a pesky and painful weed, stinging nettles10 have unique health benefits. (On a side note, should you have them growing in your yard, they’re actually a sign of rich, healthy soil.) Just make sure you use gloves during handling until they’ve been cooked, to avoid a painful rash.
Once blanched or sautéed, they can be safely consumed, providing healthy amounts of vitamin K and calcium. Traditionally, nettles have been valued for its blood purifying properties, and can also be made into tea, said to ease congestion and soothe allergies and asthma.
Nettle tea may also boost milk production if you’re nursing, and helps stimulate your digestive glands, including your intestines, liver, pancreas and gallbladder. To learn more about the health benefits of stinging nettles and the various ways you can use it (including instructions for making nettle tea), see “Nettle: The Stinging Weed That Can Help You Detoxify.”
No. 6: Purslane
Purslane11 (also called duckweed, fatweed, pigweed, pusley, verdolaga, ma chi xian in Chinese, munyeroo or wild portulaca), is the omega-3 powerhouse of the vegetation kingdom, and there’s a high probability it’s growing in your yard right now. According to Mother Earth News, it’s the most reported weed species in the world.12
Purslane looks very much like a miniature jade plant, with fleshy succulent leaves and reddish stems. The stems grow flat to the ground and radiate outward from a single taproot, sometimes forming large, flat circular mats up to 16 inches across. In about mid-July, it develops tiny yellow flowers about one-quarter inch in diameter.
Seeds of purslane are extremely tough, some remaining viable in the soil for 40 years, and it can grow in almost anything, from fertile garden loam to the most arid desert soil — even in your rock driveway. Just be very careful not to confuse purslane with spurge, because they can look similar, and spurge will make you sick. The following video shows how to tell them apart.
Purslane has a stellar omega-3 fatty acid profile, compared to other vegetables, containing anywhere from 300 to 400 milligrams (mg) of omega-3 per cup. It also contains six times more vitamin E than spinach, seven times more beta carotene than carrots, providing about 44 percent of your daily vitamin A needs per 100 grams,13 25 mg of vitamin C per cup, plus magnesium, calcium, iron, riboflavin, potassium, phosphorous and manganese.
Purslane can be eaten either raw or cooked. If you’re planning on eating raw purslane, make sure no pesticides or herbicides have been used nearby. If you’ve been spraying Roundup in your yard, never eat weeds collected from the area. Also avoid them if your neighbor has used Roundup in their yard, as the chemicals can easily drift across property lines.
As a precaution, wash the leaves and stems thoroughly before consuming. Typically, people eat the young purslane leaves and stems to avoid the tougher parts of the plant. For cooked purslane, there are numerous ways to incorporate this herb in your favorite dishes. You can boil it in water for 10 minutes and drain, or simply add it to other recipes to give the dish an added crunch.
No. 7: Ramps
Ramps is a type of wild leek, featuring small white bulbs with hairy roots. While resembling green onions in appearance, their flavor is more akin to garlic. If you’re lucky enough to find them, be sure to get some. Ramps are exceedingly scarce as they’re a slow grower, and are only in season for a few weeks in spring.
Look for specimens that are firm, with bright green leaves. Don’t buy or use them if you notice brown spots or slimy areas. Unwashed and wrapped in a plastic bag, ramps can be refrigerated for up to a week. Ramps are a good source of vitamins A and C, selenium and chromium, the latter of which helps stabilize blood sugar. As for how to use them in your cooking, Organic Authority suggests:14
“[U]se ramps as you would scallions, green onions or leeks. Anything that would pair well with garlic or leeks will love the ramp. Slice them thinly and use sparingly, and also handle them gently, adding them at the end of the cooking process. Think simple to allow ramps to shine: Scrambled into eggs, garnished alongside seafood, mixed into big bowls of pasta, or oven roasted or grilled to perfection.”
How to Find Locally-Grown Food That Is in Season
When you eat locally grown foods, the contents of your shopping bag inevitably change with each passing season. In other words, adjusting what you eat to what’s in season becomes an inescapable fact if you’re going to eat locally-grown foods, and if you keep this in mind, it can become a pleasurable part of your culinary experimentation. Here are some tips for tracking down locally-grown foods that are in season:
If you’re lucky enough to have a local farmers market, that’s the way to go. For a listing of national farmers markets and local food directories, see the USDA’s website. Another great resource is www.localharvest.org.
Another good route for finding local food is to subscribe to a community supported agriculture program (CSA). Some are seasonal while others offer year-round programs. Once you subscribe, many will drop affordable, high quality locally-grown produce right at your door step. For a comprehensive list of CSA’s and a host of other sustainable agriculture programs, check out my Sustainable Agriculture page.
Local farmers are perhaps your best source for seasonal produce. You can search for local farms on www.localharvest.org.
Shop at your local natural food store or health co-op, as many of them get their produce from local farmers.
If everything else fails, shop at your locally owned grocers rather than large chain supermarkets. Many small private grocers also supply produce from local sources.
Eight Signs of High-Quality Food
Last but not least, here are some general tips on what to look for when trying to determine the healthiest foods possible, no matter where you shop. You’ll want to look for foods that are:
Grown without pesticides and chemical fertilizers (organic foods fit this description, but so do some nonorganic foods). If harvesting edible weeds or plants from your garden, make sure no pesticides or herbicides have been applied in the area
If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.
~ Nikola Tesla
Energy medicine is the diagnostic and therapeutic use of energy whether produced by or detected by a medical device or by the human body. Energy medicine recognizes that the human body utilizes various forms of energy for communications involved in physiological regulations. Energy medicine involves energy of particular frequencies and intensities and wave shapes that stimulate the repair of one or more tissues. Examples of energy include heat, light, sound, gravity, pressure, vibration, electricity, magnetism, chemical energy, and electromagnetism.1
It may come as a surprise to many to learn that energy medicine has been part of human history for thousands of years. Ever since man crawled and later walked the earth, energy was an essential part of primitive societies as well as advanced sophisticated cultures, including the Egyptians, the Chinese and the Greeks.
Going back to 15,000 B.C., Shamans living within their native tribes performed healing rituals using their bodies in movement, their voices, and plant or animal materials along with the elements of the earth such as fire, wind, and the moon. Their goal was to eliminate bad spirits which negatively impacted the physiological body of the sufferer. This art of healing is still taught and used today around the globe.
Ayurvedic medicine (also called Ayurveda) birthed in India, is one of the oldest medical systems and still today remains one of the country’s traditional health care systems. Its concepts about health and disease promote the use of herbal compounds, special diets, cleansing of the bowels, soft tissue massage using hot oil, and other unique health practices. India’s government and other institutes throughout the world support clinical and laboratory research on Ayurvedic medicine, within the context of the Eastern belief system.2 The Ayurvedic perspective toward the physiology differs from modern Western thought; Humans are spiritual beings living in the temple of the physical body prompting the care of health to focus on spiritual healing to affect the physical body. Another idea unique to the Eastern philosophy and yogic doctrine is the idea of chakras. Chakras are seven wheel-like vortices of energy over nerve plexes and endocrine centers of the body, as well as the third eye and the crown of the head, with small vortices at each joint. They are functional rather than anatomical structures that are connected to the meridians and acupuncture points. Numerous researchers have shown elevated electronic recordings from these locations, particularly with persons in higher states of consciousness or with extrasensory abilities.3 One cannot help but notice the popularity of this healing approach by finding Ayurvedic schools and practitioners not only in Asia but all over the Western world today.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) was first recorded around 2,700 B.C. and originated in ancient China. It is still used primarily in China and also all around North America and Europe. While you may think TCM is accepted and widely used throughout Asia, the reality is different; China’s healthcare system offers two sorts of healthcare systems and hospitals to their people: Western Medicine and TCM clinics and both approaches are financially covered for the people. TCM encompasses the use of herbs and is mostly known for acupuncture. Acupuncture needles are placed on acupuncture points along meridians to balance the energy in the body, helping to improve the flow of energy and fluids. Most fascinating is the skill a TCM practitioner has to learn over time to be able to read the patient’s face, tongue, complexion, posture, and the various levels of the pulse felt along the radial artery. The ancient beliefs on which TCM is based include the following:
The human body is a miniature version of the larger, surrounding universe;
Harmony between two opposing yet complementary forces, called yin and yang, supports health, and disease results from an imbalance between these forces;
Five elements – fire, earth, wood, metal, and water – symbolically represent all phenomena, including the stages of human life, and explain the functioning of the body and how it changes during disease;
Qi, a vital energy that flows through the body, performs multiple functions in maintaining health.4,5
Historic records lead us back to 1,600 B.C. discussing the brilliance of the ancient Egyptian priests or physicians who knew how to set bones, how to treat a fever and how to recognize symptoms of curable and fatal diseases. The Egyptians held the belief that illness was often caused by an angry god or an evil spirit. For this reason, the Egyptian doctor was also part shaman, who performed rituals and recited prayers on the sick. But, the Egyptian physician was not limited to faith healing as part of his or her practice. Egyptian medicine became a far-reaching discipline, encompassing a great many fields. Doctors in Egypt, like today, were specialists in their particular fields. These fields included pharmacology, dentistry, gynecology, crude surgical procedures, general healing, autopsy, and embalming.6 The goddess Ma-at wore as her symbol a feather, which was used to access the vibrational qualities of justice, truth, balance, and order. The energy is accessed by using intention, and by the use of symbols, usually hieroglyphs.
Energy Healing in the Sufi way predates religion. The elect divine messengers and prophets who were gifted with the precious gift of pure self-surrender to the Absolute, were also gifted with the healing energy which gushed forth from the energy of pure love and unconditional compassion (mercy to all creation). A contemporary energy healer in Sufi way once said: “To heal is to become one with Deep Love of God.”
Ancient Greek manuscripts from 400 B.C describe laying on hands in Aesculapian temples. The philosopher and father of Western Medicine Hippocrates of Cos7 defined energy as “the force which flows from many people’s hands.” Hippocrates was the founder of the Hippocratic School of Medicine and ultimately established medicine as a discipline distinct from other fields such as theurgy and philosophy, thus establishing medicine as a profession. Hippocratic medicine was humble and passive. The therapeutic approach was based on “the healing power of nature.” According to this doctrine, the body contains within itself the power to re-balance the four humors and heal itself.
Ancient Christian scriptures describe “laying-on-hands healing.” Even more important is the message that it is their altered belief allowing healing to take place.
In the 18th Century Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician, discovered that “like cures like,” when he ingested bark substance (Cinchona) from South America which was said to cure malaria-related intermittent fevers.8 While he himself had not contracted malaria, when taking a larger dose of the substance, he in turn induced malaria like symptoms in himself, which led him to the idea “that which can produce a set of symptoms in a healthy individual, can treat a sick individual who is manifesting a similar set of symptoms.” This experience birthed the idea of a new philosophy called homeopathy.9 Often it is the information, a form of energy, related to the substance, not necessarily the substance itself that aids in the healing process. Homeopathic remedies are diluted at different levels to stimulate physiologically, emotionally, or spiritually.
Looking at today’s diagnostic approaches, one couldn’t imagine a hospital without ultrasound, X-Ray, and MRI capabilities, or even a private practice without an EKG, EEG, or ultrasound device. All these devices measure the energy of the body in different ways and from different perspectives for diagnostic purposes. This is standard use of care.
On the flip side, therapeutic approaches are still expected to primarily come from a chemical or surgical solution. While there is more and more interest pushing up from the masses via patients who have been seeking help for their chronic health issues, physicians remain hesitant to incorporate forms of energy medicine into their practice. Physicians who have had some sort of training in physics, such as orthopedics, anesthesiology, or even physical therapy know of the significance of the use of physics complementing chemical treatment approaches including pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals.
With the abundance of self-help books, and information on the internet available today as well as TV and radio shows (which would have been unthinkable only 10-years ago), patients’ demands from their physicians are significantly on the rise for complementary solutions which ideally should be non-invasive and with little side effects. This includes:
Energy technologies including:
Laser, ultrasound and micro-current – primarily used for pain relief;
Biofeedback – for learning how to better cope with stress;
Electromagnetic stimulation for wound healing, soft tissue injuries, and pain.
Considered a “new” field in modern medicine, Energy Healing is separated into two categories by NCCAM, the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine:10
Energies that can be measured scientifically by our present standards, like electromagnetic therapy, or therapy using sound waves
Energies that are not yet subject to our measurement – the subtle fields that are utilized in energy healing, acupuncture, chi gong, Ayurveda, homeopathy, therapeutic touch, prayer or distance healing, and similar modalities.
Patients are frustrated and disappointed with the standard care solutions for their chronic symptoms. More times than less, a vast population of chronically ill patients not only sees no improvement, but experiences further decline in their health. So, patients start to research, ask their doctors intelligent questions and listen to answers and solutions with high expectations. They seek help outside their insurance’s network, often traveling far to seek a physician who goes beyond the standard offering of care, giving more personal attention to the patient and offering treatment solutions including the realm of energy medicine.
Humans are electromagnetic beings, and we need to capture them as such with diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. This branch of biophysics is barely known or understood and therefore not pursued by physicians. While biophysics has been known and was officially recorded in 189211 as “the branch in science concerned with the application of physical principles and methods to biological problems,” medical schools do not teach their students on the established fact that every function within the human body breaks down to an act of physics, even chemical processes. Knowing this fact would help physicians to move quickly and confidently embrace methods using forms of energy and complementing standard patient care with energy medicine.
In the peer-reviewed literature we find evidence that certain electromagnetic fields have an impact on the physiological process including melatonin secretion, nerve regeneration, cell growth, collagen production, DNA synthesis, cartilage and ligament growth, lymphocyte activation, and more.12 What’s consistent in these findings is that the frequencies need to be specific and not generic. Exposing the patient to a large range of frequencies limits therapeutic results along with the lasting effects of the therapy. The electromagnetic stimulation needs to be personalized to the patient just like we personalize pharmaceuticals or nutraceuticals.
Research shows that specific frequencies correlate with organs and organ systems while significantly impacting cells, tissue, and organs:
8 Hz and the heart;
1,217.7 Hz with the kidneys;
0.18 Hz with the liver;
406.37 Hz with the lungs;
26.90 Hz with the colon;
114.03 Hz with the stomach;
60.40 Hz with the spleen/pancreas.13
These frequencies are available in different octaves just like on a tempered piano; the note C can be played on higher and lower octaves. Frequency is the term to explain repetition over a certain amount of time and it is expressed in Hertz (Hz). These frequencies are based on the mathematical structure as already documented by Pythagoras 500 B.C., and upon which the basis of geometry is founded; this structure can be found in all elements of nature.
To read more, go to: http://www.faim.org/energy-medicine-going-mainstream
Life is always going to be bringing us challenges, twists and turns, but no matter where you are on your journey, here are 3 powerful reminders that are always worth remembering-
1. Stay Hydrated
Stress and anxiety can put a lot of strain on the body. While exercising, meditating and eating well is always important, it can be hard to keep on top of these things when you are going through a rough patch.
One quick solution to support your wellbeing however, is staying hydrated. Drinking lots of water is not only beneficial to your body’s cellular processes but it can also boost your energy levels and clear your mind.
Water can also help to flush out heavy emotions and help to detoxify any stagnant energy that may be lingering in the etheric body.
If you are going through a challenging period remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
2. Don’t Think, Feel
Part of our human gifts in this life is being able to understand and rationalize things using our logical mind.
While this is an incredible skill to have, sometimes it is important to remember that not everything can be understood from this place of thinking.
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try things are just not going to make sense on a logical or practical level. When this occurs, it is important to stop thinking and start feeling instead.
Our feelings are powerful guidance tools that can actually be far more effective than trying to understanding things from a place of logic. The trick with using our feelings as a guide is to not let our logical mind analyze or interfere with the process.
To do this, simply calm your mind using your breath and then tune into your true feelings. You may just be surprised as to what comes up and how you can use it to guide you.
3. Know Everything Will Make Sense in the End
When you are in the midst of a challenging life period it can be tricky to find the gratitude and understand why things are unfolding the way that they are.
Often the most challenging periods of our lives lead us to the most rewarding places, but it can be hard to see this when going through the motions.
When life is no longer making sense to you, it is often a sign that huge growth and transformation is underway. During this process it is important to step out of the chaos for a moment or two and acknowledge that things will all make sense in the end.
There is always an ending and always a resolution that will arise and the more you can trust that, the easier it will be to moving through the process.
Remember that things always work out and there is already a resolution to all of your problems, all you have to do is keep moving forward.
Uncovered: Monsanto campaign to get Séralini study retracted
Documents released in US cancer litigation show Monsanto’s desperate attempts to suppress a study that showed adverse effects of Roundup herbicide – and that the editor of the journal that retracted the study had a contractual relationship with the company. Claire Robinson reports
Internal Monsanto documents released by attorneys leading US cancer litigation show that the company launched a concerted campaign to force the retraction of a study that revealed toxic effects of Roundup. The documents also show that the editor of the journal that first published the study entered into a contract with Monsanto in the period shortly before the retraction campaign began.
The study, led by Prof GE Séralini, showed that very low doses of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide had toxic effects on rats over a long-term period, including serious liver and kidney damage. Additional observations of increased tumour rates in treated rats would need to be confirmed in a larger-scale carcinogenicity study.
The newly released documents show that throughout the retraction campaign, Monsanto tried to cover its tracks to hide its involvement. Instead Monsanto scientist David Saltmiras admitted to orchestrating a “third party expert” campaign in which scientists who were apparently independent of Monsanto would bombard the editor-in-chief of the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT), A. Wallace Hayes, with letters demanding that he retract the study.
Use of “third party experts” is a classic public relations tactic perfected by the tobacco industry. It consists of putting industry-friendly messages into the mouths of supposedly “independent” experts, since no one would believe industry attempts to defend its own products. Back in 2012, GMWatch founder Jonathan Matthews exposed the industry links of the supposedly independent scientists who lobbied the journal editor to retract the Séralini paper. Now we have first-hand proof of Monsanto’s direct involvement.
In one document, Saltmiras reviews his own achievements within the company, boasting that he “Successfully facilitated numerous third party expert letters to the editor which were subsequently published, reflecting the numerous significant deficiencies, poor study design, biased reporting and selective statistics employed by Séralini. In addition, coauthored the Monsanto letter to the editor with [Monsanto employees] Dan Goldstein and Bruce Hammond.”
Saltmiras further writes of how “Throughout the late 2012 Séralini rat cancer publication and media campaign, I leveraged my relationship [with] the Editor i[n] Chief of the publishing journal… and was the single point of contact between Monsanto and the Journal.”
Another Monsanto employee, Eric Sachs, writes in an email about his efforts to galvanize scientists in the letter-writing campaign. Sachs refers to Bruce Chassy, a scientist who runs the pro-GMO Academics Review website. Sachs writes: “I talked to Bruce Chassy and he will send his letter to Wally Hayes directly and notify other scientists that have sent letters to do the same. He understands the urgency… I remain adamant that Monsanto must not be put in the position of providing the critical analysis that leads the editors to retract the paper.”
In response to Monsanto’s request, Chassy urged Hayes to retract the Séralini paper: “My intent was to urge you to roll back the clock, retract the paper, and restart the review process.”
Chassy was also the first signatory of a petition demanding the retraction of the Séralini study and the co-author of a Forbes article accusing Séralini of fraud. In neither document does Chassy declare any link with Monsanto. But in 2016 he was exposed as having taken over $57,000 over less than two years from Monsanto to travel, write and speak about GMOs.
Sachs is keen to ensure that Monsanto is not publicly seen as attempting to get the paper retracted, even though that is precisely what it is doing. Sachs writes to Monsanto scientist William Heydens: “There is a difference between defending science and participating in a formal process to retract a publication that challenges the safety of our products. We should not provide ammunition for Séralini, GM critics and the media to charge that Monsanto used its might to get this paper retracted. The information that we provided clearly establishes the deficiencies in the study as reported and makes a strong case that the paper should not have passed peer review.”
Another example of Monsanto trying to cover up its involvement in the retraction campaign emerges from email correspondence between Monsanto employees Daniel Goldstein and Eric Sachs. Goldstein states: “I was uncomfortable even letting shareholders know we are aware of this LTE [GMW: probably “Letter to the Editor”]…. It implies we had something to do with it – otherwise how do we have knowledge of it? I could add ‘Aware of multiple letters to editor including one signed by 25 scientists from 14 countries’ if you both think this is OK.” Sachs responds: “We are ‘connected’ but did not write the letter or encourage anyone to sign it.”
A. Wallace Hayes was paid by Monsanto
The most shocking revelation of the disclosed documents is that the editor of Food and Chemical Toxicology, A. Wallace Hayes, entered into a consulting agreement with Monsanto in the period just before Hayes’s involvement in the retraction of the Séralini study. Clearly Hayes had a conflict of interest between his role as a consultant for Monsanto and his role as editor for a journal that retracted a study determining that glyphosate has toxic effects. The study was published on 19 September 2012; the consulting agreement between Hayes and Monsanto was dated 21 August 2012 and Hayes is contracted to provide his services beginning 7 September 2012.
The documents also reveal that Monsanto paid Hayes $400 per hour for his services and that in return Hayes was expected to “Assist in establishment of an expert network of toxicologists, epidemiologists, and other scientists in South America and participate on the initial meeting held within the region. Preparation and delivery of a seminar addressing relevant regional issues pertaining to glyphosate toxicology is a key deliverable for the inaugural meeting in 2013.”
Hayes should have recused himself from any involvement with the Séralini study from the time he signed this agreement. But he kept quiet. He went on to oversee a second “review” of the study by unnamed persons whose conflicts of interest, if any, were not declared – resulting in his decision to retract the study for the unprecedented reason that some of the results were “inconclusive”.
Hayes told the New York Times’s Danny Hakim in an interview that he had not been under contract with Monsanto at the time of the retraction and was paid only after he left the journal. He added that “Monsanto played no role whatsoever in the decision that was made to retract.” But since it took the journal over a year to retract the study after the months-long second review, which Hayes oversaw, it’s clear that he had an undisclosed conflict of interest from the time he entered into the contract with Monsanto and during the review process. He appears to be misleading the New York Times.
The timing of the contract also begs the question as to whether Monsanto knew the publication of the study was coming. If so, they may have been happy to initiate such a relationship with Hayes at just that time.
A Monsanto internal email confirms the company’s intimate relationship with Hayes. Saltmiras writes about the recently published Séralini study: “Wally Hayes, now FCT Editor in Chief for Vision and Strategy, sent me a courtesy email early this morning. Hopefully the two of us will have a follow up discussion soon to touch on whether FCT Vision and Strategy were front and center for this one passing through the peer review process.”
In other email correspondence between various Monsanto personnel, Daniel Goldstein writes the following with respect to the Séralini study: “Retraction – Both Dan Jenkins (US Government affairs) and Harvey Glick made a strong case for withdrawal of the paper if at all possible, both on the same basis – that publication will elevate the status of the paper, bring other papers in the journal into question, and allow Séralini much more freedom to operate. All of us are aware that the ultimate decision is up to the editor and the journal management, and that we may not have an opportunity for withdrawal in any event, but I felt it was worth reinforcing this request.”
Monsanto got its way, though the paper was subsequently republished by another journal with higher principles – and, presumably, with an editorial board that wasn’t under contract with Monsanto.
Why Monsanto had to kill the Séralini study
It’s obvious that it was in Monsanto’s interests to kill the Séralini study. The immediate reason was that it reported harmful effects from low doses of Roundup and a GM maize engineered to tolerate it. But the wider reason that emerges from the documents is that to admit that the study had any validity whatsoever would be to open the doors for regulators and others to demand other long-term studies on GM crops and their associated pesticides.
A related danger for Monsanto, pointed out by Goldstein, is that “a third party may procure funding to verify Séralini’s claims, either through a government agency or the anti-GMO/antl-pesticide financiers”.
The documents show that Monsanto held a number of international teleconferences to discuss how to pre-empt such hugely threatening developments.
Summing up the points from the teleconferences, Daniel Goldstein writes that “unfortunately”, three “potential issues regarding long term studies have now come up and will need some consideration and probably a white paper of some type (either internal or external)”. These are potential demands for
• 2 year rat/long-term cancer (and possibly reproductive toxicity) on GM crops
• 2 year/chronic studies on pesticide formulations, in addition to the studies on the active ingredient alone that are currently demanded by regulators, and
• 2 year rat/chronic studies of pesticide formulations on the GM crop.
In reply to the first point, Goldstein writes that the Séralini study “found nothing other than the usual variation in SD [Sprague-Dawley] rats, and as such there is no reason to question the recent EFSA guidance that such studies were not needed for substantially equivalent crops”. GMWatch readers will not be surprised to see Monsanto gaining support from EFSA in its opposition to carrying out long-term studies on GMOs.
In answer to the second point, Goldstein reiterates that the Séralini study “actually finds nothing – so there is no need to draw any conclusions from it – but the theoretical issue has been placed on the table. We need to be prepared with a well considered response.”
In answer to the third point, Goldstein ignores the radical nature of genetic engineering and argues pragmatically, if not scientifically, “This approach would suggest that the same issue arises for conventional crops and that every individual formulation would need a chronic study over every crop (at a minimum) and probably every variety of crop (since we know they have more genetic variation than GM vs conventional congener) and raises the possibility of an almost limitless number of tests.” But he adds, “We also need a coherent argument for this issue.”
EU regulators side with Monsanto
To the public’s detriment, some regulatory bodies have backed Monsanto rather than the public interest and have backed off the notion that long-term studies should be required for GM crops. In fact, the EU is considering doing awaywith even the short 90-day animal feeding studies currently required under European GMO legislation. This will be based in part on the results of the EU-funded GRACE animal feeding project, which has come under fire for the industry links of some of the scientists involved and for its alleged manipulation of findings of adverse effects on rats fed Monsanto’s GM MON810 maize.
A. Wallace Hayes is no longer the editor-in-chief of FCT but is named as an “emeritus editor”. Likewise, Richard E. Goodman, a former Monsanto employee who was parachuted onto the journal’s editorial board shortly after the publication of the Séralini study, is no longer at the journal.
But although they are sidelined or gone, their legacy lives on in the form of a gap in the history of the journal where Séralini’s paper belongs.
Now that Monsanto’s involvement in the retraction of the Séralini paper is out in the open, FCT and Hayes should do the decent thing and issue a formal apology to Prof Séralini and his team. FCT cannot and should not reinstate the paper, because it is now published by another journal. But it needs to draw a line under this shameful episode, admit that it handled it badly, and declare its support for scientific independence and objectivity.