Cancer is one of the most common diseases of mankind today - learn to make informed decisions regarding your health
On the Cancer Council Australia’s web-site they have included some information to help us make informed decisions when dealing with cancer. They are quoted as saying on their site, ”Alternative therapies are often promoted as ‘cancer cures’, It is important to be aware that they are unproven and have not been scientifically tested. Alternative therapies may cause harm or suffering to those who use them instead of conventional medical treatments. Examples of alternative treatments include naturopathy, immune therapy, homeopathy, Chinese herbs and mega vitamins”
They go on to say on their position statement regarding Complementary & Alternative Therapies……… “The terms ‘complementary and alternative therapies’ refer to a diverse group of practices and products not considered part of evidence-based, conventional medicine…… The most popular complementary and alternative therapies used by cancer patients are dietary treatments ( special diets, herbal remedies, megavitamins ) and mind-body techniques…..There is much controversy and debate about the use of complementary and alternative therapies primarily due to the substantial gap between cancer patients’ beliefs about and use of these treatments and the lack of scientific evidence about their safety and effectiveness. While there is evidence to support the use of some complementary therapies, alternative therapies are typically unproven or have been proven to be ineffective, In some cases, complementary and alternative therapies can be harmful, particularly when combined with other treatments and without clinical consultation. Complementary and alternative medicines are a significant issue in cancer management due to their rapidly increasing use, availability, variety and potentially high financial costs.”
They also go on to say on their “Eat for Health” Nutrition & Cancer Prevention” info page…..” Healthy eating habits are an important first step in reducing your cancer risk. One in every ten cancers in Australia is caused by not eating enough vegetables and fruit. Poor eating habits increase your risk of cancer at many sites in the body. Poor eating habits can also contribute to weight gain and being overweight or obese increases your risk of cancer. The good news is that a healthy diet, combined with regular physical activity and a healthy body weight can reduce cancer risk by up to 25 per cent. While there is no one food that can protect you against cancer, there are steps that you can take to lower your overall risk. Vegetables and fruit contain natural substances that can destroy cancer causing agents ( carcinogens ) and slow down the growth of cancer cells. A healthy diet may protect against cancers including liver, oesophagus, lung, stomach, colon and rectum”
According to this information it seems clear that there is actually a lot that we can do to protect ourselves from cancer. Prevention is better than cure. We need to ensure that we are eating the required amounts of vitamins and minerals.
We are lucky to be able to live in a country that has such a variety of fruit and vegetables to choose from – but we also need to look closely at what exactly we are getting from our foods.
It is no secret that a lot of people have digestive problems, caused by a number of different factors such as stress, lack of HCl, chemicals, gut permeability, wrong flora, eating between meals, spicy foods etc; If people are faced with these factors would it be fair to say that they are not getting the full benefit from their foods?
We then need to look at the quality of the foods we are consuming – are the nutrient levels what they are supposed to be? Early harvesting of our fruits and vegetables as well as unnatural storage conditions also lead to great loss in the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables. Out of season produce is artificially stored and ripened which also depletes nutritive material.
Fifty years ago a handful of spinach had about 1200 mg of iron. Today it is around 2 mg. Two peaches years ago would give a woman the RDA of Vitamin A - today she would have to eat about 50. Consumer demand ensures that we can have all our favourite foods year round, but at what cost? If we are not getting the nutrients out of our food where should we go to gets these life saving, all important vitamins and minerals? Chemicals are pumped into the soil at an alarming rate to ensure that our produce looks appealing. What happens to these chemicals in the body after they are ingested?
Genetically modified foods are also cause for concern – this is the by-product of splicing genes from one species into the DNA of another. This technology is fraught with danger and unknown possible disastrous consequences not only for our health but also for the environment.
Some of the experiments that have been carried out on various plants have produced surprising results. Monsanto has engineered two types of cotton – one has the ability to resist the chemical Roundup. The other plant produces its own pesticide. These two attributes were supposed to be the sole benefit of the experiment. However, tens of thousands of acres of cotton plants failed to perform as expected. Some plants even displayed the very problem that they were designed to withstand. In some areas over 50% of the cotton had these major anomalies.
Another experiment that was carried out on yeast to endeavour to improve its fermenting power again proved unsuccessful as the naturally occurring toxin in the yeast was increased by up to 200 times! The scientists admitted that these results raise very serious questions as to the safety and acceptability of genetically engineered foods.
When carrying out similar tests on tobacco it resulted in the plant creating a toxic compound that is not usually found in the tobacco plant.
Studies that have been done by leading experts in their particular fields have reported unusual cell proliferation which can be related to GMO crops.
A plant’s nutritional content can be altered by changes in the DNA brought about by these altered foods. Studies have been carried out which show numerous differences in the composition of GM corn and soy compared to its unadulterated counterpart. A food in its natural state may be rendered potentially dangerous when it has been genetically modified by producing a potentially deadly allergen. This can happen in a number of ways. There may be found an increase even of a naturally occurring allergen. A gene taken from one type of plant may transfer allergenic properties when it is made part of another plant. Foreign genes and proteins that are transferred to the food chain may also give similar results.
One farmer, in America found a lot of dead rats in his corn field. After further investigation it showed that these rats had actually died from malnutrition, even though they had a constant food supply. Also in America, rats that were fed genetically modified FlavrSavr tomatoes refused to eat them so they were force-fed via gastric tubes. Seven of the 40 animals used in the experiment died within two weeks and several more developed stomach lesions. Amazingly, this particular tomato had been approved for human consumption!
Currently Commercialized GM Crops in the U.S:
- Soy – 85%
- Cotton – 76%
- Canola – 75%
- Corn – 40%
- Hawaiian Papaya – More than 50%
Other GMO sources may include:
- Yellow squash
- Food additives
- Food flavourings
- Meat, eggs and dairy products from animals that have eaten GM feed
- Honey & bee pollen that may have GM sources of pollen
In America, in 1999, Congressman Dennis Kucinich introduced labeling legislation in the House and so did Senator Barbara Boxer but the bills never came up for a vote. Concerned citizens from Oregon decided to take matters into their own hands. They collected signatures on their petitions and placed a labeling bill on the ballot in
November 2002. Measure 27, as it was designated, would have required any food containing an ingredient with more than 0.1% GM content to be labeled. Further, if GM processing agents, hormones, or anything related to genetic engineering were used in the foods production, it would also need a label.
In the beginning, nearly 60% of Oregonians polled were in favour - then the Biotech industry moved in. They spent 5.4 million dollars telling Oregon voters to vote no. In the end the measure was defeated. They used fear and distortion to sway the vote in their favour. Monsanto contributed 1.5 million dollars to this campaign to prevent labeling.
GMO foods are being grown in many countries in the world and consequently ending up on our dinner plates. We may not know which foods are GM and which are not. There are many cases where people have ended up very ill and even dying from consuming GM foods. They were not aware they were GM. Apart from these crops being grown on mineral depleted soils the remaining nutritive value is also altered. How can we be sure of the levels of nutrition? We need to ensure that we are receiving adequate amounts to prevent disease, don’t we?
Organic Standards prohibit the use of genetically modified organisms of any kind during the growing, processing and manufacture of organic foods.