Posts Tagged ‘Health’

“Pharmacists interviewed say they legally cannot tell the customer they’re getting ripped off”

February 2, 2018

Sen Cassidy slams drug cost clawbacks, demands transparency

Documents uncovered by FOX 8 News show real-life examples of patients going to the pharmacy and getting charged a premium on their medication.  We showed you several cases Wednesday night of customers paying more in copay for drugs than the drugs themselves actually cost.

Now one of the most powerful politicians in Washington wants to get our documents.

“Lee, give me copies of those,” says U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. “That’s [the information] we’ve been putting together as we intend to build support for what we’re trying to do.”

Pharmacists we interviewed say they legally cannot tell the customer they’re getting ripped off.  But we have examples of four healthcare providers, including a company linked to UnitedHealthcare, paying nothing toward some of their customers’ drug costs.

The insurance company labels it a copay. But in some cases only one person pays – you.

Senator Cassidy (R-Baton Rouge) is a physician and a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions.  He says that committee tackles the topic of drug pricing.

“It’s an incredibly complicated topic,” Cassidy tells us.  “And there’s not a silver bullet that’s going to address it.  But when you have something like that, it just drives home the need to address it.  And that’s what we’re attempting to do.”

Cassidy says he’s eager to get our information “Absolutely – everywhere I go, people are talking to us about drug costs,” he says.

Patients and customers should know more, Cassidy insists.

“We are building a case that we have to have this transparency of pricing,” he says.

None of these patients knew, even after paying a monthly insurance premium, more money was being taken from them when they went to the pharmacy.  Pharmacists call it a clawbackpatients getting charged more than the cost of the drug, and that money being clawed back from the patient and pharmacy.

The senator agrees, these patients would be better off buying these medications without insurance – but they don’t know that.

“If you give them transparency, then they start to know it,” Cassidy tells us. ”It’s not there right now. Until we have real-life examples… That explains so beautifully what I otherwise struggle to explain – this receipt is worth a thousand words.  Clawback for the person… they would have been better off paying without insurance.”

La. Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon calls the clawback an additional fee or premium on customers – more money leaving people’s hands, going to large companies to help pad their bottom line.

“The patient is subsidizing the entity which is supposed to be their advocate,” Cassidy notes. “Makes no sense whatsoever.  The patient’s getting hammered.  We have to give the patient the power. We have to mandate that she knows what the insurance company knows and what everyone else knows.  As long as it’s hidden from her, it’s another person’s game.”

Thursday, FOX 8 received statements from Optum, UnitedHealthcare’s pharmacy benefits manager, in response to our request for comment on the apparent clawbacks:

“OptumRx’s pharmacy reimbursement program helps ensure the millions of people we serve have affordable access to the drugs they need by ensuring they pay the lowest price available to them for prescription drugs… Those recouped overpayments are returned to the health plan to reduce overall health plan costs.”

A company spokesman also told us that here is no difference in cost to consumers as a result of its pharmacy benefit program. But local pharmacists we interviewed tell us that is not true, and they say in some cases consumers would save money by buying their medication without insurance.

In Baton Rouge, a bill in the Louisiana State Senate would allow pharmacists to begin telling patients if their medication would be cheaper to buy without insurance. That bill, filed by Lake Charles Sen. Ronnie Johns, has stalled. 

Sources tell FOX 8 that Johns has received pressure from the insurance industry to pull the bill. Sources say Johns used to be a pharmacist, but is now an insurance agent.

http://www.fox8live.com/story/31902373/zurik-cassidy-slams-drug-cost-clawbacks-demands-transparency

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Drug consumers seek relief as PBM’s make money hand over fist

February 2, 2018

I stumbled across this article and I thought it would be VERY helpful for anyone who takes meds monthly!  I’m going to sign-up and see what’s going on too!

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A few taps on Carol Shoemaker’s phone saves her hundreds of dollars in the pharmacy.

“It’s crazy, it’s distressing,” Shoemaker says, “the amount of money you pay for insurance. I pay between $600 and $700 a month for a premium because I’m a single person, I don’t have a company, you know, getting any discounts with big group insurance policies. So, it’s very distressing – you’re already spending a ton of money on insurance, but you still have to pay for, you know, all of the extra.”

Shoemaker almost paid a lot more for one drug; it cost $613 with her insurance. But instead of using that insurance, Shoemaker logged on to one of those cost-saving prescription apps – in this case, GoodRx – and paid just $272 for the medication.

“For me, that’s just too much money to be throwing out the window,” Shoemaker tells us.

She shows us a printout – her family’s medications, with the savings she found online. Shoemaker says those annual savings add up. “It could be a thousand bucks,” she says.

And last year she could have saved even more: She used her insurance for a $277 cream, but only later found out she could have paid just $11.72 via an app.

“My husband’s going to kill me for that,” she jokes, noting the $260 in missed savings would have bought “a nice pair of shoes.”

Pharmacy benefit managers, or PBM’s, control these costs for your prescription drugs.

“The PBM’s in everyone’s pocket,” warns Doug Hoey, who heads National Community Pharmacists Association. “I mean that literally and figuratively because, in every wallet or purse, that prescription drug card that people carry around, somewhere in the fine print, it’ll usually say the name of the PBM, the pharmacy benefits manager.”

The three biggest PBM’s are CVS/Caremark, Express Scripts and Optum, which is owned by United Healthcare.

“They’re huge,” Hoey says. “They’re probably companies you’ve never heard of. But they’re bigger than the drug manufacturers.”

Here at WVUE/FOX 8, Caremark manages our prescription medication. We compared some of the prices our colleagues were being charged.

We found one antibiotic, Ciprofloxacin that costs $15 through our insurance at the Walmart pharmacy. Using GoodRx, the same medication can be bought for just $4. And we found similar savings on an arthritis drug, Meloxicam.

“It doesn’t make sense,” Hoey says. “It’s counterintuitive. I mean, you stroke a check each month to pay your premium and you expect that to give you some value. And the reality is that, in increasing numbers of cases, if you just did it the good old-fashioned way of paying cash, you might pay less for your prescription.”

FOX 8 investigators reached out to Caremark for comment on this report. They sent us this statement:

Without knowing who the CVS Caremark members are or the details of their prescription transactions, it is not possible for us to look into their situations in order to either explain their experience under their specific coverage plan, or clarify any incorrect or incomplete information you may have been provided.

CVS Caremark is committed to ensuring that our PBM clients and members have access to affordable medications to improve health outcomes.  To that end, our PBM plan members receive the lower price when covered prescriptions are filled by a pharmacy that participates in their plan’s applicable pharmacy network. For example, we set a negotiated rate for generic medications with pharmacies, but if a pharmacy in our network has a cash price for a medication that is less expensive than our negotiated rate, the pharmacy is required to submit that lower price when it processes the prescription claim through Caremark.

We found plenty instances where drug costs on insurance were cheaper than those without. But the lesson remains: A smart consumer needs to shop around, ask for the cash prices on their medications, look online and on apps, and ask the insurance prices, too.

A big case in point: We received a list of medications for employees of the Orleans Parish School Board. In 2016, employees paid $28 for a high blood pressure drug, Lisinopril. But through GoodRx, it would have cost them just $8.

“It does not make sense and it happens a lot,” says Gerald Michel. He runs two pharmacies and he says customers frequently come in and save money paying cash for medication.

Michel wonders if there’s more savings out there.

Take the Orleans Parish School Board – all of those prescriptions add up. Just like your employer may do, taxpayers subsidize part of school employees’ prescription expenses. In 2016, they cost taxpayers $1.5 million.

But savings exist by bypassing those high-priced pharmacy benefit managers or PBM’s. Michel also sits on the Terrebonne Parish Council. Two years ago, he urged the council to dump its PBM and search for a new one.

They found one right here in Louisiana, in Natchitoches. Terrebonne dumped its PBM, Optum; Southern Scripts signed a deal with the parish and saved taxpayers $1.2 million on pharmacy costs last year.

“Ultimately, it’s the person getting the insurance that’s going to be saving the money,” Michel says.

“When you think about $1.2 million for… 3,000 people in that county, or 3,000 employees, and if you extrapolate that over 200 million workers in the United States… I’m not that good a whiz to figure out what that number is, but it has a lot of zeroes,” Hoey says. “It starts at least with a ‘b’, as in billions. And that’s the type of potential savings that’s out there, that’s right under our counties’, employees’, school districts’… That’s right under their noses right now, by not using transparent PBM.”

The head of the pharmacists group says he knows another story of a company saving even more on prescription costs. “They saved 30 percent,” Hoey tells us, “30 percent off their prescription drug spend, which is a lot of money.”

In the meantime, PBM’s are raking in lots of cash; Americans are spending about $400 billion on prescription drugs every year.

“These are very profitable companies,” Hoey notes. “They’re all traded on Wall Street, they have shareholders they have obligations to. And so, yes, they’re going to make sure they’re profitable and are rewarding those shareholders.”

Unless consumers start shopping around, experts warn, those growing profits will come at the expense of pharmacies, consumers and taxpayers.

If you do pay cash for a medication…. It could impact whether you reach your deductible.  so be sure to investigate that.

http://www.fox8live.com/story/37406869/zurik-drug-consumers-seek-relief-as-pbms-make-money-hand-over-fist

  You can read much more in our “Medical Waste” investigation at this link

Medical Waste

Stop the Bleed

January 27, 2018

Several years ago I was dating a New Orleans Fireman.  We were caught in traffic due to an accident.  He looked at me and asked if I had any tampons or maxi-pads.  I replied yes to both.  I said I worked in a bar and had lots of young ladies who were never prepared so I kept a box of each in my trunk.  I popped the trunk and he rummaged, then ran to help.  He used two tampons in the cut and bandaged them into the wound.  They also contain a clotting agent that helped slow the blood drainage.

I learned several things that day 1) in Louisiana ALL EMS, Fire, Police personnel are required to offer/render aid they are LEGALLY liable and 2) always keep feminine products with you.  What is their main purpose….absorb blood.  While menstrual blood is thicker than arterial blood, these products still do their job.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bleeding can be caused by a wide variety of issues. Minor injuries such as a scraped knee will need to be cleaned and bandaged. More major injuries could lead to hemorrhaging or massive blood loss. These wounds will need to be treated immediately if the person is going to survive. If possible head to a hospital right away. Call 911 for help, especially if you suspect internal bleeding. It is vital to stop the bleeding as much as possible while you wait for professional medical assistance. Hemorrhaging can cause death in a matter of minutes if not controlled.

Bombings and shootings are sadly becoming the norm. Having a bleeding control kit on the wall near the fire extinguisher or other well-marked areas will save lives. The kit should have a bleeding control dressing, trauma sheers, a permanent marker, tourniquet, gloves, gauze, CPR mask, and an instruction card.

  • Call 911
  • Find a first aid kit or bleeding control kit
  • Keep pressure on the wound
  • Place a tourniquet above the wound to stop the bleeding
  • Maintain pressure until help arrives

You won’t always have a bleeding control kit with you. Jeff Bauman was injured during the Boston Marathon bombing. Someone used a shoelace to tie a tourniquet around his leg and it saved his life. Tourniquets have been used to control bleeding since Alexander the Great. In 1785 Sir Gilbert Blane insisted that all members of the Royal Navy carry a tourniquet with them. Tourniquets control blood loss and save lives. 

How to Make a Tourniquet 

  1. Make sure the area is safe
  2. Put on gloves if available
  3. Clear the wound of clothes or debris
  4. Place firm constant pressure on the wound with gauze or clothes
  5. Use a belt, shoelace, or even a bra to make a tourniquet
  6. Find a stick, flashlight, or pencil to tighten the tourniquet
  7. Wrap the tourniquet above the wound, never on a joint
  8. Tie the stick to the tourniquet and turn it once the bleeding stops tie it in place
  9. Treat the injured person for shock until help arrives
  10. Never move a person with an injury to head, neck, back, or leg

Photo Credit: https://www.artofmanliness.com/2016/09/21/make-use-tourniquet/

Source: https://www.healthline.com/symptom/hemorrhag

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/health/sd-me-stopthebleed-vegas-20171002-story.html

https://www.thereadystore.com/food-storage/18162/stop-the-bleed/

Chinese government admits one-fifth of farm lands heavily contaminated with toxic heavy metals like cadmium, arsenic and lead

December 26, 2016

http://www.naturalnews.com/044950_China_heavy_metals_soils_contamination.html

For the past few months, Natural News has been warning the world about toxic heavy metals found in foods, superfoods and dietary supplements grown in China. Our Natural News Forensic Food Lab has produced breakthrough results showing, for example, that rice protein imported from China is significantly contaminated with lead, cadmium and tungsten — all industrial heavy metals.

Some greed-driven promoters of rice protein initially insisted all these heavy metals were “naturally occurring,” but now the Chinese government has gone on the record confirming the truth: China’s farm lands are heavily contaminated with toxic heavy metals, and this has now been scientifically documented and proven by Chinese researchers and publicly released by Chinese authorities.

19.4% of China’s farm lands contaminated with toxic heavy metals

According to this statement by the Ministry of Environmental Protection in China, 19.4% of the nation’s arable land has been heavily contaminated by toxic heavy metals.

82.8% of the contaminants found on farms are “inorganic” contaminants which include cadmium, mercury, arsenic, copper and lead — all toxic heavy metals we’ve been investigating in foods and superfoods at the Natural News Forensic Food Labs.

This confirms my detailed video explanation where I destroy the absurd “naturally occurring” argument being pushed by importers of contaminated foods and superfoods from China. Click here to watch the video now.

The false argument being made by heavy metals denialists was that when heavy metals are released by industrial smoke stacks, they begin as “pollutants,” but after they settle on farms, they become “natural.” Therefore, the deniers claimed, lead and cadmium in rice protein was “naturally occurring.”

I have personally conducted the scientific research to document cadmium levels at over 2.5 ppm in certified organic rice protein products sold in the USA (and imported from China) as “certified organic.” These levels have been independently confirmed by rice protein manufacturers. None of the lab results published at Natural News have ever been disputed. In fact, they have been confirmed by numerous third-party laboratories.

Now we know why: “China released a report April 17 disclosing that 16.1 percent of the country’s soil and nearly 20 percent of its arable land has been contaminated, largely by heavy metals such as cadmium, nickel and arsenic. This is the price the country is paying for its meteoric rise over the last 35 years, with little thought given to protecting the environment,” reports the Japan Times (1).

“The latest report suggests that the situation has greatly worsened since the 2006 report, with twice the amount of arable land now being contaminated… Clearly much of China’s soil is contaminated and heavy metals are entering the food chain, with dire consequences for consumers,” Japan Times added.

The BBC chimes in with the headline, “Report: One fifth of China’s soil contaminated.” (2)

Americans being poisoned by toxic heavy metals imported from China

To my knowledge, no one in America other than Natural News is currently sounding the alarm on this issue of heavy metals in organic superfoods and natural products. There are thousands of certified organic proteins, superfoods, herbal supplements and other products being imported into the United States and sold as “organic” even though they are heavily contaminated with toxic heavy metals.

In my own ICP-MS laboratory, I’m seeing very high levels of lead and cadmium in all sorts of products imported from China, including rice protein and Ginkgo Biloba herbal supplements.

According to the Chinese government, 82.8% of the non-organic produce grown in China exceeds the government’s heavy metals limits. (You have to read the Chinese announcement to get this.)

That means four out of five fruits and vegetables grown in China are so toxic that they’re sold in violation of the government’s own limits!

These are the same soils in which “organic” herbs, superfoods and dietary supplements are grown before they are imported into the USA. And yet herbs, proteins and “superfoods” produced in China can be imported into the USA regardless of their heavy metals content. That’s because neither the FDA nor the USDA has any limits whatsoever on heavy metals contamination of foods. So products that are heavily contaminated with industrial heavy metals are imported into the USA every single day and sold on the shelves of health food retailers like Whole Foods.

Alarming levels of cadmium and lead found in products purchased at Whole Foods earlier this week

As part of my own scientific testing of heavy metals contaminants in the food supply, I purchased rice protein products from Whole Foods in Austin Texas on 4/28. Here are just the highlights of what I found (more details coming on this story in the next two weeks with full lab results):

• “Raw” Protein (Vanilla) at over .3 ppm lead and nearly 2.0 ppm cadmium

• “Truganic” Protein at over .3 ppm lead and nearly 1.8 ppm cadmium

• Grass superfood powder at over .4 ppm lead and over .8 ppm cadmium

• Brown rice protein powder at over .3 ppm lead and over 1 ppm cadmium

I’ve also found Ginkgo Biloba herbs grown in China and sold in the USA to contain over 5.0 ppm lead. (The Whole Foods brand of ginkgo capsules, however, turns out to be very clean with less than .04 ppm lead.)

The debate is over: Foods, superfoods, herbs and organics from China are heavily contaminated with toxic heavy metals

There is no longer any debate on this issue of heavy metals in products imported from China. The Chinese government has now publicly admitted one-fifth of its farm lands are heavily contaminated with toxic heavy metals.

Even the BBC has covered the story, reporting (2):

About 82.8% of the polluted land was contaminated by inorganic materials, with levels noticeably higher than the previous survey between 1986 and 1990… The report had previously been classified as a state secret because of its sensitivity. “Due to long periods of extensive industrial development and high pollutant emissions, some regions have suffered deteriorating land quality and serious soil pollution.”

That this information even came out was nothing short of a political miracle in China. As the New Straits Times is now reporting (3):

Premier Li Keqiang signed a directive ordering officials not to use “state secrets” as an excuse to avoid disclosing information that should be public knowledge. The release of the soil contamination report appears to be a direct result of this directive.

Awareness is rapidly spreading on this issue across the USA, too. Natural News has spearheaded this effort and has already worked with leading rice protein manufacturers to reach agreement on voluntary heavy metals limits for their products.

Companies like Jarrow Formulas, however, have so far refused to agree to those limits. The latest batch of Jarrow Formulas Brown Rice Protein, Lot# 50696014, shows lead at .312 ppm and cadmium at 1.015 ppm with the heavy metal tungsten also detected at significant levels.

Jarrow Formulas, like nearly every other rice protein manufacturer, is right now selling products that contain toxic, cancer-causing heavy metals contaminants. This fact is irrefutable. The Chinese government’s admission that its farm lands are widely contaminated with toxic heavy metals explains where much of this is coming from.

Natural products retailers remain in a state of total denial

The natural products industry, encompassing many independent online retailers as well as brick-and-mortar stores, remains in a state of total denial about the toxic heavy metals they are selling to their customers.

To my knowledge, not one retailer has yet pulled any of these contaminated products off their shelves. Where there’s money to be made by moving products contaminated with heavy metals, there’s one thing you can count on from natural products retailers: SILENCE.

Fearful of a wave of refunds (or even class action lawsuits), everyone’s lips are sealed on this hidden epidemic of heavy metals poisoning. And through this silence, retailers continue to sell contaminated products containing alarming concentrations of known poisons without alerting their customers to the facts.

It seems that every retailer currently selling rice protein in the USA is, knowingly or unknowingly, complicit in this cover-up. The toxic metals they are selling are fully known to cause kidney damage, heart disease, skin disorders, cancer, bone disorders and brain disorders. The lead found in these products is widely known to damage developing brains and lower IQs. Virtually no one in the industry seems to think their customers should be alerted to this fact. To me, that’s disgusting and grossly immoral.

Right now, I believe that every retailer of contaminated products from China has an ethical and social obligation to stop selling contaminated products and warn their customers about products which are contaminated.

Continued denial of this industry-wide problem is highly unethical and possibly even legally negligent. Those who continue selling these heavily contaminated products should be heavily pressured by the health-conscious community to clean up their act!

How the cover-up continues

Sadly, there is no law in the USA requiring herbs, supplements, proteins or other products be labeled with their country of origin.

Manufacturers routinely import raw materials from China, then label them with amazing-sounding descriptions that often mislead consumers.

Case in point: Take the Warrior Food product from Warrior Force, a company I really admire for their positive intentions, by the way. They are also working hard on improving their formula and I expect they will have substantially cleaner product available soon. But their current label on their current product is simply misleading, claiming the product is “NON-TOXIC” and “100% TruGanic” with the claim that it is “a purist, hard-core, quality standard significantly beyond Organic standards, with much more stringent criteria and actual verification via testing that Organic does not have.”

Yet when I tested Warrior Food Lot #31105010, purchased from Whole Foods on 4/28/2014, I found this product to contain:

• .3 ppm lead
• 1.791 ppm cadmium
• Substantial levels of tungsten

On the good news side, the great people at Warrior Force are working hard on new formulations and I expect to see these numbers drastically improve in the near future. Warrior Force has enthusiastically signed on with our voluntary heavy metals limits, and I fully expect they will be one of the first manufacturers to introduce a low-metals rice protein into the marketplace.

Yet, at the same time, I have to honestly and authentically ask how could these levels of contaminants exist in their product in the first place if they have “a purist, hard-core, quality standard significantly beyond Organic standards, with much more stringent criteria and actual verification via testing” as they claim?

It doesn’t add up. Somewhere along the line, someone made a decision that these levels of lead and cadmium were okay for customers to eat. That’s a huge error and it strongly contradicts the stated philosophy of the company. This is NOT okay! If it’s so much better than organic, why does it still contain heavy metals at such levels?

If you bought products from China, take action now

There are all sorts of products you’ve probably been purchasing from China without knowing it. Rice protein is just one, but China also produces a huge percentage of the herbs, vegetable powders, grass powders and even many superfruits sold across the natural products industry. Most of the grass powders sold in the USA, for example, are actually grown in China. Many of the “bulk herbs” sold on Amazon.com and other retailers are also heavily contaminated with toxic heavy metals because they are imported from China.

For example, when I tested Ginkgo Biloba herbs grown in the USA, lead and cadmium levels were near zero. But when I tested Ginkgo imported from China, it showed an alarming 5 ppm of lead, a level that would raise alarm with anyone educated in food contamination issues.

The bottom line in all this? If you don’t want to poison yourself with toxic heavy metals from China, you need to immediately start taking these steps on the foods, proteins, supplements and herbs you consume:

STEP 1) Ask the manufacturer for the country of origin.

STEP 2) Ask the manufacturer for heavy metals lab results for YOUR lot number (printed on every bottle).

STEP 3) Reject retailers that continue to sell heavily contaminated products. Demand that retailers set quality control standards which encompass heavy metals contamination issues.

What levels are okay? A good starting place is the site I created, LowHeavyMetalsVerified.org which offers a generous grading system for heavy metals concentrations. I personally reject all raw materials worse than grade “A.” Many rice proteins sold today are grade “B” which is entirely unacceptable given the huge quantities that people consume (serving sizes are typically around 23 grams).

Right now, just one scoop of contaminated rice protein can expose you to over 15 – 20 times the daily lead limit of Proposition 65 in California. That’s unacceptable. Rice protein companies need to be at grade “A” or better, in my view as a food science researcher.

The good news is that companies are rapidly moving in that direction, and I fully expect to see some cleaner rice proteins on store shelves by this August (and possibly even in July).

Until then, I strongly recommend you switch to some other protein. 365 brand Whey Protein Powder from Whole Foods contains almost zero lead or cadmium, and a brand called “Tera’s Whey” was super clean, clocking in at just .012 ppm lead and .078 ppm cadmium (with zero tungsten detected). These are about the best numbers you’ll ever find.

Life’s Basics Plant Protein Mix (from LifeTime) sold at Whole Foods (Lot #3793) was also remarkably clean for a plant-based protein, turning in lead number of just .023 ppb and cadmium of just .068 ppm. Both are extremely low — among the lowest you’ll find in plant protein.

I’ll be bringing you more official, detailed reports on all this in the coming weeks. Watch for many more explosive reports on heavy metals during the month of May.

See all lab results we’ve published so far at:
http://labs.naturalnews.com

Sources for this article include:
(1) http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2014/05/…

(2) http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-270…

(3) http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnist/chin…

Also see this report from China (PDF):
http://www.mep.gov.cn/gkml/hbb/qt/201404/W02…

Protein hype: shoppers flushing money down the toilet, say experts

December 26, 2016

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/dec/26/protein-hype-shoppers-flushing-money-down-the-toilet-say-experts

Consumers fuelling demand for high-protein products unlikely to see any benefits as people already eat more protein than they need, say dietitians

The UK’s rocketing demand for high-protein products is being fuelled by consumers buying foods unlikely to deliver the benefits they are seeking, experts have said.

Weetabix, Shreddies, Mars, Snickers and Batchelors Cup a Soup were among the brands that launched enhanced protein versions this year as the trend hit the mainstream.

Many supermarkets have introduced dedicated sections for higher-protein products and, according to Euromonitor, the market for sports protein products alone – which excludes most of the mainstream brands – is expected to hit £413m this year and almost £750m (in today’s money) in five years’ time.

But experts have warned that consumers, particularly gym-goers, are falling victim to clever marketing.

Anna Daniels, a dietitian and British Dietetic Association spokeswoman, said: “People have a misconception they do need more protein whereas actually the majority of us are getting adequate protein – our requirements are quite low. If you’re an athlete you will have higher requirements but you can still get it from eggs, yoghurt, meat. The majority of us who go to the gym for an hour a couple of times a week, there’s no need to be having additional protein we [already] get from a balanced healthy diet.”

Public Health England (PHE) guidelines suggest a protein intake for 19- to 64-year-olds of 55.5g for men and 45g for women, although experts say this will vary according to weight (the US Institute of Medicine stipulates a minimum of 0.8g per kg of body weight per day).

The PHE guidelines equate to getting approximately 11% of the recommended number of calories from protein, whereas according to the National Diet and Nutrition survey, the actual figure for adults is 17% to 18%.

Dr Alison Tedstone, PHE chief nutritionist, said: “The majority of people are consuming much more than the recommended daily allowance of protein through their everyday diet. So even if you hit the gym regularly, spending money on protein supplements is unlikely to bring any additional benefit.”

According to the Euromonitor figures, which cover ready-to-drink beverages, protein powders and protein bars with a minimum of 20g of protein, the sports nutrition market has grown by about 160% since 2011. Another market analyst, Nielsen, said there was a 63% rise in sales of protein bars in 2015, compared with the previous 12 months, while Mintel figures, published in August, said there had been 40% more launches of high-protein products this year compared with 2015.

Tom Sanders, professor emeritus of nutrition and dietetics at King’s College London, said people were being taken in by “nutri-babble”. “There’s been a lot of hype in gyms pushing high-protein shakes, there’s also a need to get rid of a waste product from the dairy industry, which is whey protein,” he said. “It’s a lot of crap, a way of selling a cheap product at a high price.”

Danny Commane, a lecturer in nutritional science at the University of Reading, said while there was some evidence suggesting that eating more protein could help increase muscle mass, the fact that people were already eating so much more than they needed made supplements unnecessary. He has worked with the successful GB rowing team, some of whom he said do not take protein supplements despite consuming 6,000 calories a day.

It’s clever marketing,” said Commane. “Unless you’re doing extreme exercise or pursuing extreme lifestyle goals, you don’t need extra protein.”

As excess protein is excreted through urine, people who are consuming too much are effectively flushing their money down the toilet, according to the experts.

This also makes it unlikely that they are doing themselves harm – unless they already have kidney disease – but it could be problematic if high protein consumption replaces other foods important for good health such as fruit, vegetables and wholegrains, they said. “A lot of the products are high in sugar, low in fibre, they’re not healthy choices for consumers,” said Daniels.

Darren Beale – founder of musclefood.com, which specialises in lean meats but also sells high-protein pizzas, chocolate and even beer – said gym-goers increasingly want to control what they put in their body.

“Are people eating too much protein? Depends on their health or fitness goal,” he said. “There’s research showing that a diet high in protein can help build muscle mass, but there has to be a macro balance with carbs and fat. Our entire aim is to provide products which make it easier for customers to stick to their healthy eating plan.”

None of the manufacturers of products mentioned in the article addressed the issue of the high amount of protein already in UK diets when contacted by the Guardian.

A Food and Drink Federation spokesman said: “Food manufacturers are responding to an increasing demand from consumers for high-protein food and drinks, which can be consumed as part of a healthy lifestyle. There is also some evidence that foods high in proteins can help us feel full for longer – increasing satiety and aiding appetite control – and this may be helpful for people trying to balance their energy intake. Protein content will always be clearly labelled, usually alongside how much of an adult’s recommended intake this represents, to help consumers make informed choices.”

A Mars spokeswoman said its bars were designed to be “a post-workout treat, to be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet”. Weetabix said protein at breakfast “helps regulate appetite and daily food intake”.

FREE SHIPPING DAY!

December 14, 2016

Friday, December 16th

Domestic ONLY

ALL orders between 12:01am and 11:59pm December 16 are eligible for FREE SHIPPING!

Last year we had issues with the shipping, IF we have the same issues, when your order is processed shipping will be REFUNDED at that time.

As always FREE SAMPLE with EVERY ORDER!

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Natural Beard Oil!

We carry 5ML Essential Oils

Clary Sage

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Guaranteed shows in 2017

April 1  https://www.facebook.com/HandmadeArlington/

June 3 & 4  http://www.occoquanva.gov/arts-and-crafts-show.html

Fredericksburg Farmer’s Market

July 21-23  http://www.chincoteagueblueberryfestival.com/

September 23 & 24  http://www.occoquanva.gov/arts-and-crafts-show.html

November 24-26 http://ococean.com/events/holiday-shoppers-fair

Brooke Point Special Olympics

Gar-Field Craft Fair

SCHS Craft Show & Herndon Craft Show this weekend!

December 2, 2016

SCHS’s hours are 9am to 3pm.

Herndon’s hours are 10am to 4pm.

We are rolling out our NEW

Essential Oil Starter Kit

Set of 5 of the most useful oils

Lavender, Rosemary, Tea Tree,

Eucalyptus & Peppermint

Remember every purchase of $49.99 or more receives a free bar of soap!

Doubts About the Promised Bounty of Genetically Modified Crops

November 7, 2016

The controversy over genetically modified crops has long focused on largely unsubstantiated fears that they are unsafe to eat.

But an extensive examination by The New York Times indicates that the debate has missed a more basic problem — genetic modification in the United States and Canada has not accelerated increases in crop yields or led to an overall reduction in the use of chemical pesticides.

The promise of genetic modification was twofold: By making crops immune to the effects of weedkillers and inherently resistant to many pests, they would grow so robustly that they would become indispensable to feeding the world’s growing population, while also requiring fewer applications of sprayed pesticides.

Twenty years ago, Europe largely rejected genetic modification at the same time the United States and Canada were embracing it. Comparing results on the two continents, using independent data as well as academic and industry research, shows how the technology has fallen short of the promise.

Graphic

Broken Promises of Genetically Modified Crops

About 20 years ago, the United States and Canada began introducing genetic modifications in agriculture. Europe did not embrace the technology. This is how it has played out.

OPEN Graphic

At the same time, herbicide use has increased in the United States, even as major crops like corn, soybeans and cotton have been converted to modified varieties. And the United States has fallen behind Europe’s biggest producer, France, in reducing the overall use of pesticides, which includes both herbicides and insecticides.

One measure, contained in data from the United States Geological Survey, shows the stark difference in the use of pesticides. Since genetically modified crops were introduced in the United States two decades ago for crops like corn, cotton and soybeans, the use of toxins that kill insects and fungi has fallen by a third, but the spraying of herbicides, which are used in much higher volumes, has risen by 21 percent.

By contrast, in France, use of insecticides and fungicides has fallen by a far greater percentage — 65 percent — and herbicide use has decreased as well, by 36 percent.

Profound differences over genetic engineering have split Americans and Europeans for decades. Although American protesters as far back as 1987 pulled up prototype potato plants, European anger at the idea of fooling with nature has been far more sustained. In the last few years, the March Against Monsanto has drawn thousands of protesters in cities like Paris and Basel, Switzerland, and opposition to G.M. foods is a foundation of the Green political movement. Still, Europeans eat those foods when they buy imports from the United States and elsewhere.

In Rowland, N.C., a worker loads G.M. corn seed into a planting machine on Bo Stone’s farm. Mr. Stone values genetic modifications to reduce his insecticide use. Credit Jeremy M. Lange for The New York Times

Fears about the harmful effects of eating G.M. foods have proved to be largely without scientific basis. The potential harm from pesticides, however, has drawn researchers’ attention. Pesticides are toxic by design — weaponized versions, like sarin, were developed in Nazi Germany — and have been linked to developmental delays and cancer.

“These chemicals are largely unknown,” said David Bellinger, a professor at the Harvard University School of Public Health, whose research has attributed the loss of nearly 17 million I.Q. points among American children 5 years old and under to one class of insecticides. “We do natural experiments on a population,” he said, referring to exposure to chemicals in agriculture, “and wait until it shows up as bad.”

The industry is winning on both ends — because the same companies make and sell both the genetically modified plants and the poisons. Driven by these sales, the combined market capitalizations of Monsanto, the largest seed company, and Syngenta, the Swiss pesticide giant, have grown more than sixfold in the last decade and a half. The two companies are separately involved in merger agreements that would lift their new combined values to more than $100 billion each.

When presented with the findings, Robert T. Fraley, the chief technology officer at Monsanto, said The Times had cherry-picked its data to reflect poorly on the industry. “Every farmer is a smart businessperson, and a farmer is not going to pay for a technology if they don’t think it provides a major benefit,” he said. “Biotech tools have clearly driven yield increases enormously.”

Uncertain Harvest

Articles in this series examine the globe-spanning relationship of chemical companies, academics and regulators, and the powerful toxins and genetically modified seeds used to grow food in many parts of the world.

    Regarding the use of herbicides, in a statement, Monsanto said, “While overall herbicide use may be increasing in some areas where farmers are following best practices to manage emerging weed issues, farmers in other areas with different circumstances may have decreased or maintained their herbicide usage.”

    Genetically modified crops can sometimes be effective. Monsanto and others often cite the work of Matin Qaim, a researcher at Georg-August-University of Göttingen, Germany, including a meta-analysis of studies that he helped write finding significant yield gains from genetically modified crops. But in an interview and emails, Dr. Qaim said he saw significant effects mostly from insect-resistant varieties in the developing world, particularly in India.

    “Currently available G.M. crops would not lead to major yield gains in Europe,” he said. And regarding herbicide-resistant crops in general: “I don’t consider this to be the miracle type of technology that we couldn’t live without.”

    A Vow to Curb Chemicals

    First came the Flavr Savr tomato in 1994, which was supposed to stay fresh longer. The next year it was a small number of bug-resistant russet potatoes. And by 1996, major genetically modified crops were being planted in the United States.

    Monsanto, the most prominent champion of these new genetic traits, pitched them as a way to curb the use of its pesticides. “We’re certainly not encouraging farmers to use more chemicals,” a company executive told The Los Angeles Times in 1994. The next year, in a news release, the company said that its new gene for seeds, named Roundup Ready, “can reduce overall herbicide use.”

    Arnaud Rousseau holds non-G.M. corn seed, produced by Pioneer, a unit of DuPont. Credit Ed Alcock for The New York Times

    Figures from the United States Department of Agriculture show herbicide use skyrocketing in soybeans, a leading G.M. crop, growing by two and a half times in the last two decades, at a time when planted acreage of the crop grew by less than a third. Use in corn was trending downward even before the introduction of G.M. crops, but then nearly doubled from 2002 to 2010, before leveling off. Weed resistance problems in such crops have pushed overall usage up.

    To some, this outcome was predictable. The whole point of engineering bug-resistant plants “was to reduce insecticide use, and it did,” said Joseph Kovach, a retired Ohio State University researcher who studied the environmental risks of pesticides. But the goal of herbicide-resistant seeds was to “sell more product,” he said — more herbicide.

    Farmers with crops overcome by weeds, or a particular pest or disease, can understandably be G.M. evangelists. “It’s silly bordering on ridiculous to turn our backs on a technology that has so much to offer,” said Duane Grant, the chairman of the Amalgamated Sugar Company, a cooperative of more than 750 sugar beet farmers in the Northwest.

    He says crops resistant to Roundup, Monsanto’s most popular weedkiller, saved his cooperative.

    But weeds are becoming resistant to Roundup around the world — creating an opening for the industry to sell more seeds and more pesticides. The latest seeds have been engineered for resistance to two weedkillers, with resistance to as many as five planned. That will also make it easier for farmers battling resistant weeds to spray a widening array of poisons sold by the same companies.

    Growing resistance to Roundup is also reviving old, and contentious, chemicals. One is 2,4-D, an ingredient in Agent Orange, the infamous Vietnam War defoliant. Its potential risks have long divided scientists and have alarmed advocacy groups.

    Another is dicamba. In Louisiana, Monsanto is spending nearly $1 billion to begin production of the chemical there. And even though Monsanto’s version is not yet approved for use, the company is already selling seeds that are resistant to it — leading to reports that some farmers are damaging neighbors’ crops by illegally spraying older versions of the toxin.

    High-Tech Kernels

    Bo Stone, a sixth-generation farmer, in Rowland, N.C. The seeds on Mr. Stone’s farm brim with genetically modified traits. Credit Jeremy M. Lange for The New York Times

    Two farmers, 4,000 miles apart, recently showed a visitor their corn seeds. The farmers, Bo Stone and Arnaud Rousseau, are sixth-generation tillers of the land. Both use seeds made by DuPont, the giant chemical company that is merging with Dow Chemical.

    To the naked eye, the seeds looked identical. Inside, the differences are profound.

    In Rowland, N.C., near the South Carolina border, Mr. Stone’s seeds brim with genetically modified traits. They contain Roundup Ready, a Monsanto-made trait resistant to Roundup, as well as a gene made by Bayer that makes crops impervious to a second herbicide. A trait called Herculex I was developed by Dow and Pioneer, now part of DuPont, and attacks the guts of insect larvae. So does YieldGard, made by Monsanto.

    Another big difference: the price tag. Mr. Rousseau’s seeds cost about $85 for a 50,000-seed bag. Mr. Stone spends roughly $153 for the same amount of biotech seeds.

    For farmers, doing without genetically modified crops is not a simple choice. Genetic traits are not sold à la carte.

    Two Corn Seeds, but Very Different

    Manufacturing the corn seed on the left involves gene modifications by three additional companies. The seed on the right is created using only conventional breeding methods.

    A GENETICALLY

    MODIFIED CORN SEED

    A NONGENETICALLY

    MODIFIED CORN SEED

    Pioneer                                                          Pioneer Seed brand

    (serial no. P8613)

    Seed brand                                                    (serial no. P1916)

                                                                             Lumivia

                                                                          Coated with PPST 250 and DuPont Lumivia,

                                                                               an insecticide and fungicide.

    Also coated to protect the

    seed against soil-borne diseases and insects.

    $153   For about 50,000 seeds.

    Roundup Ready

    A gene resistant to Roundup, Monsanto’s main glyphosate-based herbicide.

    ~~~

    $85

    For about 50,000 seeds.

    YieldGard

    A genetically modified trait that is harmful to some insects.

    LibertyLink

    A gene that makes crops impervious to another herbicide.

    Herculex I

    A genetic trait developed by Dow AgroSciences and Pioneer that breaks down the gut wall of insect larvae.

    Mr. Stone, 45, has a master’s degree in agriculture and listens to Prime Country radio in his Ford pickup. He has a test field where he tries out new seeds, looking for characteristics that he particularly values — like plants that stand well, without support.

    “I’m choosing on yield capabilities and plant characteristics more than I am on G.M.O. traits” like bug and poison resistance, he said, underscoring a crucial point: Yield is still driven by breeding plants to bring out desirable traits, as it has been for thousands of years.

    That said, Mr. Stone values genetic modifications to reduce his insecticide use (though he would welcome help with stink bugs, a troublesome pest for many farmers). And Roundup resistance in pigweed has emerged as a problem.

    “No G.M. trait for us is a silver bullet,” he said.

    By contrast, at Mr. Rousseau’s farm in Trocy-en-Multien, a village outside Paris, his corn has none of this engineering because the European Union bans most crops like these.

    “The door is closed,” says Mr. Rousseau, 42, who is vice president of one of France’s many agricultural unions. His 840-acre farm was a site of World War I carnage in the Battle of the Marne.

    As with Mr. Stone, Mr. Rousseau’s yields have been increasing, though they go up and down depending on the year. Farm technology has also been transformative. “My grandfather had horses and cattle for cropping,” Mr. Rousseau said. “I’ve got tractors with motors.”

    He wants access to the same technologies as his competitors across the Atlantic, and thinks G.M. crops could save time and money.

    “Seen from Europe, when you speak with American farmers or Canadian farmers, we’ve got the feeling that it’s easier,” Mr. Rousseau said. “Maybe it’s not right. I don’t know, but it’s our feeling.”

    Feeding the World

     Brazilian soybean plants at the end of their life cycle at Bayer’s research center in Durham, N.C. The plants have “stacked” traits, meaning they have been genetically modified for more than one specific trait, like bug resistance. Credit Jeremy M. Lange for The New York Times

    With the world’s population expected to reach nearly 10 billion by 2050, Monsanto has long held out its products as a way “to help meet the food demands of these added billions,” as it said in a 1995 statement. That remains an industry mantra.

    “It’s absolutely key that we keep innovating,” said Kurt Boudonck, who manages Bayer’s sprawling North Carolina greenhouses. “With the current production practices, we are not going to be able to feed that amount of people.”

    But a broad yield advantage has not emerged. The Times looked at regional data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, comparing main genetically modified crops in the United States and Canada with varieties grown in Western Europe, a grouping used by the agency that comprises seven nations, including the two largest agricultural producers, France and Germany.

    For rapeseed, a variant of which is used to produce canola oil, The Times compared Western Europe with Canada, the largest producer, over three decades, including a period well before the introduction of genetically modified crops.

    Despite rejecting genetically modified crops, Western Europe maintained a lead over Canada in yields. While that is partly because different varieties are grown in the two regions, the trend lines in the relative yields have not shifted in Canada’s favor since the introduction of G.M. crops, the data shows.

    Stink bugs raised by Bayer for experimental purposes at its research center in Morrisville, N.C. Credit Jeremy M. Lange for The New York Times

    For corn, The Times compared the United States with Western Europe. Over three decades, the trend lines between the two barely deviate. And sugar beets, a major source of sugar, have shown stronger yield growth recently in Western Europe than the United States, despite the dominance of genetically modified varieties over the last decade.

    Jack Heinemann, a professor at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, did a pioneering 2013 study comparing trans-Atlantic yield trends, using United Nations data. Western Europe, he said, “hasn’t been penalized in any way for not making genetic engineering one of its biotechnology choices.”

    Biotech executives suggested making narrower comparisons. Dr. Fraley of Monsanto highlighted data comparing yield growth in Nebraska and France, while an official at Bayer suggested Ohio and France. These comparisons can be favorable to the industry, while comparing other individual American states can be unfavorable.

    Michael Owen, a weed scientist at Iowa State University, said that while the industry had long said G.M.O.s would “save the world,” they still “haven’t found the mythical yield gene.”

    Few New Markets

    Battered by falling crop prices and consumer resistance that has made it hard to win over new markets, the agrochemical industry has been swept by buyouts. Bayer recently announced a deal to acquire Monsanto. And the state-owned China National Chemical Corporation has received American regulatory approval to acquire Syngenta, though Syngenta later warned the takeover could be delayed by scrutiny from European authorities.

    A research assistant at a Bayer center in North Carolina, where experiments are carried out to find new toxins to eradicate pests like stinkbugs, a problem at farms like Mr. Stone’s in Rowland. Credit Jeremy M. Lange for The New York Times

    The deals are aimed at creating giants even more adept at selling both seeds and chemicals. Already, a new generation of seeds is coming to market or in development. And they have grand titles. There is the Bayer Balance GT Soybean Performance System. Monsanto’s Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete corn. Dow’s PhytoGen with Enlist and WideStrike 3 Insect Protection.

    In industry jargon, they are “stacked” with many different genetically modified traits. And there are more to come. Monsanto has said that the corn seed of 2025 will have 14 traits and allow farmers to spray five different kinds of herbicide.

    Newer genetically modified crops claim to do many things, such as protecting against crop diseases and making food more nutritious. Some may be effective, some not. To the industry, shifting crucial crops like corn, soybeans, cotton and rapeseed almost entirely to genetically modified varieties in many parts of the world fulfills a genuine need. To critics, it is a marketing opportunity.

    G.M.O. acceptance is exceptionally low in Europe,” said Liam Condon, the head of Bayer’s crop science division, in an interview the day the Monsanto deal was announced. He added: “But there are many geographies around the world where the need is much higher and where G.M.O. is accepted. We will go where the market and the customers demand our technology.”

    Correction: November 2, 2016
    A chart on Sunday with the continuation of an article about the unmet promises of genetically modified crops misstated the mode of action of Herculex I, a genetic trait developed by Dow AgroSciences and Pioneer. It breaks down the gut wall of insect larvae; it does not create a bacterium that does so.

    ‘Excessive’ supermarket packaging is leading to higher council tax bills

    October 29, 2016

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/4640513/Excessive-supermarket-packaging-is-leading-to-higher-council-tax-bills.html

    Excessive supermarket food packaging is undermining householders’ efforts to recycle and adding to council tax bills, according to a new report.

    Almost 40 per cent of supermarket food packaging cannot be easily recycled, according to a study by the Local Government Association.

     

    The unnecessary packaging contributes to the estimated £1.8 billion councils will spend on landfill tax between 2008 and 2011, increasing the pressure for increases in council tax.

    Researchers assessed the packaging in a typical shopping basket at eight supermarkets.

     

    Waitrose had the heaviest packaging (802.5 grams) and Tesco the lightest (645.5 grams).

     

    Lidl had the lowest level of packaging that could be easily recycled and Sainsbury’s had the highest.

    Council leaders said that whilst people are recycling more rubbish their efforts are being held back by supermarkets.

    They said supermarkets should pay towards recycling services so that more packaging can be recycled and council tax kept down.

    Landfill tax costs councils £32 for every ton of rubbish they throw away, a figure that will rise to £48 a ton by 2010.

    At current rates of landfill that will mean councils paying an extra £360 million in landfill taxes over the next two years.

    Since the LGA first assessed the weight of food packaging in October 2007 it has been reduced overall, but the proportion that can be recycled has changed little.

    Marks & Spencer is now the second best supermarket in terms of the weight of its packaging, having been second to last in the previous survey.

    Cllr Margaret Eaton, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said: “At a time when we’re in recession and shoppers are feeling the pinch we have to move on from a world that tolerates cling filmed coconuts and shrink wrapped tins of baked beans.

    “Britain is the dustbin of Europe with more rubbish being thrown into landfill than almost any other country in Europe. “Taxpayers don’t want to see their money going towards paying landfill taxes and EU fines when council tax could be reduced instead.

    “If we had less unnecessary packaging it would cut costs and lead to lower prices at the tills.”

    Some other European countries already have a system under which companies contribute towards recycling services and household collections of food packaging.

    The National Federation of Women’s Institutes has called for shoppers to boycott stores that wrap goods in too much plastic and paper.

    However, the British Retail Consortium maintains that councils do not provide good enough recycling facilities.

    The food and drink industry cut food packaging by an estimated 70,000 tonnes last year.

    Examples included Britvic saving 1,670 tons of plastic a year by redesigning Robinsons squash bottles and Cadbury, Mars and Nestle cutting packaging on Easter eggs by a quarter.

     

    Juanita Broaddrick Provides Never Before Published Details On Bill Clinton’s Rape

    October 10, 2016

    Juanita Broaddrick has told this reporter that she was raped not once but twice by Bill Clinton during the same infamous encounter in 1978.

    Broaddrick has rarely discussed the actual details of the alleged incident due to the graphic and traumatic nature of the event.

    In August 2000, Connecticut Rep. Chris Shays told a local talk show that based on evidence to which he was privy from the Clinton impeachment trial, he found that Broaddrick had “disclosed that she had been raped, not once, but twice” to Senate Judiciary Committee investigators.

    “I believed that he had done it,” Shays continued. “I believed her that she had been raped 20 years ago. And it was vicious rapes, it was twice at the same event.”

    Now Broaddrick has for the first time publicly confirmed her account that Clinton raped her twice.

    She said that after the first round, in which the much stronger Clinton had her pinned down for a period of time, she was relieved when she thought it was over and was hoping he would leave the room.

    Instead, she says Clinton turned to her and told her words to the effect of “I am going to do it again.”

    And then he did, she says.

    Out of sensitivity to the nature of the alleged event and its impact on her, this reporter did not ask Broaddrick to further describe the scene during our latest interview.

    However, in an interview that broke nearly a decade of media silence, in November 2015 Broaddrick recounted some of the details to me.

    Broaddrick’s story begins when she was a nursing home administrator volunteering for then-Arkansas Attorney General Bill Clinton’s 1978 gubernatorial bid.

    She said Clinton singled her out during a campaign stop at her nursing home. “He would just sort of insinuate, you know when you are in Little Rock let’s get together. Let’s talk about the industry. Let’s talk about the needs of the nursing homes and I was very excited about that.”

    Broaddrick said she finally took Clinton up on that offer in the spring of 1978 when she traveled to Little Rock for an industry convention along with her friend and nursing employee Norma Rogers. The two shared a room at the city’s Camelot Hotel.

    Broaddrick phoned Clinton’s campaign headquarters to inform her of her arrival and was told by a receptionist that Clinton had left instructions for her to reach him at his private apartment.

    “I called his apartment and he answered,” she told me. “And he said, ‘Well, why don’t we meet in the Camelot Hotel coffee room and we can get together there and talk. And I said, ‘That would be fine.’”

    Clinton then changed the meeting location from the hotel coffee shop to Broaddrick’s room.

    “A time later and I’m not sure how long it was, he called my room, which he said he would do when he got to the coffee shop. And he said ‘There are too many people down here. It’s too crowded. There’s reporters and can we just meet in your room?’”

    “And it sort of took me back a little bit, Aaron,” she said of Clinton’s request.

    “But I did say okay, I’ll order coffee to the room, which I did and that’s when things sort of got out of hand. And it was very unexpected. It was, you might even say, brutal. With the biting of my lip.”

    Broaddrick said she did not want to rehash the alleged rape scene, explaining those painful details are fully available in previous news reports.

    She told NBC’s Dateline in 1999 that she resisted when Clinton suddenly kissed her:

    Then he tries to kiss me again. And the second time he tries to kiss me he starts biting my lip. … He starts to, um, bite on my top lip and I tried to pull away from him. And then he forces me down on the bed. And I just was very frightened, and I tried to get away from him and I told him “No,” that I didn’t want this to happen but he wouldn’t listen to me. … It was a real panicky, panicky situation. I was even to the point where I was getting very noisy, you know, yelling to “Please stop.” And that’s when he pressed down on my right shoulder and he would bite my lip. … When everything was over with, he got up and straightened himself, and I was crying at the moment and he walks to the door, and calmly puts on his sunglasses. And before he goes out the door he says, “You better get some ice on that.” And he turned and went out the door.

    In our November interview, Broaddrick recounted the aftermath of the incident, when her friend Rogers came back to the room after Broaddrick failed to show up to the convention.

    “I was in a state of shock afterwards,” an emotional Broaddrick said, clearly still impacted by the event. “And I know my nurse came back to the room to check on me because she hadn’t heard from me. … She came up and it was devastating to her and to me to find me in the condition that I was in.”

    “We really did not know what to do. We sat and talked and she got ice for my mouth. … It was four times the size that it should be. And she got ice for me and we decided then I just wanted to go home. I just wanted to get out of there, which we did.”

    The detail about Clinton allegedly biting her lip is instructive. One woman who would later say she had a consensual affair with Clinton, former Miss America pageant winner Elizabeth Ward Gracen, would also reveal Clinton bit her lip when a tryst became rough.

    Broaddrick says Bill repeatedly called her after the alleged rape.

    Apparently that wasn’t the end of it.

    In January, Broaddrick told me that within a few weeks after Clinton allegedly raped her, he started to call her repeatedly with the aim of meeting again.

    “I was shocked to say the least that he would have the audacity to call me after what he did to me,” Broaddrick said.

    She said that just a few weeks after the 1978 alleged sexual assault, “He called the nursing home that I owned and they patched the call through to my office and I didn’t know that it was him. And he immediately said, ‘Hi, this is Bill Clinton. I was just wondering when you were coming back to Little Rock again.’

    “This just caught me so off guard. I had not expected anything like this at all. And I told him I would not be coming back to Little Rock again and definitely would not ever be seeing him again. And I hung up.”

    Broaddrick recalled that Clinton, the attorney general of Arkansas and candidate for governor at the time, called the nursing home where she worked on numerous occasions over the next six months.

    And you would think that would have been the end of it. But it wasn’t. About two or three weeks later, I was in a meeting and my administrator came into the meeting and she said, “You are wanted on the phone.” And she said it was Mr. Clinton. And I told her, I said, “Please tell him I’m not here.” She wasn’t aware of what had happened to me. Nor were the nurses. The two directors of nursings [sic] were the only two who had known what he had done to me. So she wasn’t aware, but she was very caught off guard why I wouldn’t speak to him.

    And I went into her office later and I said if there are ever any phone calls from him, I can’t explain but I do not want to have any phone calls from him. Whenever he calls please tell him that I’m not here.

    And then it happened a couple of more times. The board secretary answered the phone. And she said, “Mr. Clinton is on the phone.” And I just looked at her and I said please tell him that I’m not here.

    And I think there was probably a total of maybe four or five calls within a six-month period after the assault. And I think he finally figured out I wasn’t going to talk to him again.

    Broaddrick was asked what she thought Clinton wanted from her.

    She replied: “I think he thought, well this is just a usual occurrence. I probably was with him and I am wondering whether I can get with this woman again. I was shocked to say the least that he would have the audacity to call me after what he did to me.”

    ‘I felt responsible until Bill came back.’

    Broaddrick said the climate of women’s issues in 1978 was such that “I felt responsible. I don’t know if you know the mentality of women and men at that time. But me letting him come to my room? I accepted full blame.”

    “And I thought ‘This is your fault and you have to bear this. There’s nothing you can do. He’s the attorney general. And this is your fault.’”

    She states that all that changed in 1991, when she says she was at a meeting at the Riverfront Hotel in Little Rock and Clinton approached her there.

    Clinton found out she was at the hotel “and they called me out of the meeting and pointed to an area to go down around the corner by an elevator area. And I walked around the corner and there he stands.”

    “And he immediately comes over to me with this gushing apology. Like, ‘I’m so sorry for what happened. I hope you can forgive me. I’m a family man now. I have a daughter. I’m a changed man. I would never do anything like that again.’”

    Broaddrick said she thought Clinton was sincere until he announced his run for president the following week.

    “But still I have to thank him for that day because the blame then went off of me and on to him. And I knew that it wasn’t my fault. I knew that I didn’t use good judgement, but I knew that the incident was no longer my fault.”

    10 Signs You Might Be a Clean Freak

    October 9, 2016

    Most of us enjoy a clean home, but not all of us manage to maintain one every day. Clean freaks, however, put the quest for cleanliness above other, more trivial ways of spending time. For them, a spotless home is the zenith of achievement. Read on for some clean freak wisdom.

    1. Clean freaks are fit. Clean freaks are not interested in workout DVDs. Surely vacuuming the living room and dusting the curtain rods act as a decent workout with plenty of stretches?

    As for jumping up to do some fat-burning lunges while the TV commercials are on, isn’t that the time when any self-respecting clean obsessive dusts under the sofa?

    2. Some jobs can’t wait until morning — actually, all jobs. Going to bed without having done the dishes or run the dishwasher will lead to a very restless night’s sleep. No clean freak can relax knowing all that mess is lurking in the kitchen. Disturbing!

    3. Cleaning products are compelling. Whether you love to try the latest deep-cleaning, germ-busting spray or are a devotee of delicious-sounding eco-friendly cleaning products, you are certainly not immune to the siren call of a quality cleaning product.

    All those sprays, powders and liquids attract you with their promise of a shinier object, a more hygienic surface and a home that smells insanely fresh. You may even arrange your cleaning products on a shelf, much as a non-clean freak might arrange ornaments or books.

    4. Open shelves are dangerous! All those containers, jars and plates sit open to the elements, getting dusty or, worse, greasy! If you, as a clean freak, do agree to have open shelves in your home, a thorough washing down of everything lined up on them should be scheduled frequently. You can’t be too careful.

    5. Hiring a house cleaner is not an option. Some people treat themselves to a house cleaner during busy or stressful times. Others employ one year-round to make life easier. Clean freaks find this concept odd. What’s easier about having to go around each room to check for missed spots once the cleaner has left?

    6. Cleaning trumps refreshment. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. That’s the saying, but clean freaks disagree. They say, when life gives you lemons, slice one in half and use it to disinfect your chopping board. Alternatively, mix lemon juice with white vinegar to make a natural, eco-friendly cleaner.

    7. Spring is the best time of year. Each winter, clean freaks count the days until spring will start. Not because they hate the dark, cold months, but because spring means that they can dry-clean the curtains and pressure-wash the patio again. Whoopee!

    8. There’s cleaning, and then there’s deep cleaning. Non-clean freaks are usually content to simply wipe down the stuff you can see in your house, such as the kitchen counters or the floor. But true clean freaks go deeper. Much deeper. To them, unclogging a drain, washing the freezer and vacuuming the chimney are vital and highly rewarding tasks.

    9. Homemade tools are often best. A clean freak will have all the mops and cloths that a regular homeowner has, but is also adept at improvising. Cotton balls don’t just belong in the bathroom! They are brilliant for cleaning a computer keyboard or around a kitchen drain. Sticky notes will happily pick up crumbs or hairs, and the sharp end of a safety pin can be used for scraping out gunk from tiny crevices.

    10. Clean freaks love a party. Now you might think that clean freaks would hate to host a party in their home. All those spilled drinks and chips crushed into the carpet. Yuck! But in fact, clean freaks love a party. Well, they love a party that’s just finished so they can snap on their rubber gloves, whip out their mop and really get to work putting the house back in order. Some people watch TV to calm down after a party. Clean freaks clean!

    FDA Finds Monsanto’s Weed Killer In U.S. Honey

    September 17, 2016

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carey-gillam/fda-finds-monsantos-weed_b_12008680.html

    The Food and Drug Administration, under public pressure to start testing samples of U.S. food for the presence of a pesticide that has been linked to cancer, has some early findings that are not so sweet.

    In examining honey samples from various locations in the United States, the FDA has found fresh evidence that residues of the weed killer called glyphosate can be pervasive – found even in a food that is not produced with the use of glyphosate. All of the samples the FDA tested in a recent examination contained glyphosate residues, and some of the honey showed residue levels double the limit allowed in the European Union, according to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. There is no legal tolerance level for glyphosate in honey in the United States.

    Glyphosate, which is the key ingredient in Monsanto Co.’s Roundup herbicide, is the most widely used weed killer in the world, and concerns about glyphosate residues in food spiked after the World Health Organization in 2015 said its cancer experts determined glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen. Other international scientists have raised concerns about how heavy use of glyphosate is impacting human health and the environment.

    Records obtained from the FDA, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, detail a range of revelations about the federal government’s efforts to get a handle on these rising concerns. In addition to honey, the records show government residue experts discussing glyphosate found in soybean and wheat samples, “glyphosate controversies,” and the belief that there could be “a lot of violation for glyphosate” residues in U.S. crops.

    Even though the FDA annually examines foods for residues of many pesticides, it has skipped testing for glyphosate residues for decades. It was only in February of this year that the agency said it would start some glyphosate residues analysis. That came after many independent researchers started conducting their own testing and found glyphosate in an array of food products, including flour, cereal, and oatmeal. The government and Monsanto have maintained that any glyphosate residues in food would be minimal enough to be safe. But critics say without robust testing, glyphosate levels in food are not known. And they say that even trace amounts may be harmful because they are likely consumed so regularly in many foods.

    The residue issues are coming into the spotlight at the same time that the EPA is completing a risk assessment to determine if use of this top-selling herbicide should be limited. The agency has scheduled public meetings on the matter Oct. 18-21 in Washington. The EPA’s risk assessment report was initially due out in 2015, but still has not been finalized. The agency now says it will be completed in “spring 2017.”

    In the records released by the FDA, one internal email describes trouble locating honey that doesn’t contain glyphosate: “It is difficult to find blank honey that does not contain residue. I collect about 10 samples of honey in the market and they all contain glyphosate,” states an FDA researcher. Even “organic mountain honey” contained low concentrations of glyphosate, the FDA documents show.

    According to the FDA records, samples tested by FDA chemist Narong Chamkasem showed residue levels at 107 ppb in samples the FDA associated with Louisiana-based Carmichael’s Honey; 22 ppb in honey the FDA linked to Leighton’s Orange Blossom Honey in Florida and residues at 41 ppb in samples the FDA associated with Iowa-based Sue Bee Honey, which is marketed by a cooperative of American beekeepers as “pure, all-natural” and “America’s Honey.” Customers “can be assured that Sue Bee Honey is 100% pure, 100% all-natural and 100% American,” the Sioux Honey Association states.

    In a Jan. 8, 2016 email Chamkasem pointed out to fellow FDA scientists that the EU tolerance level is 50 ppb and there is no amount of glyphosate allowed at all in honey in the United States. But Chris Sack, an FDA chemist who oversees the agency’s pesticide residue testing, responded by reassuring Chamkasem and the others that the glyphosate residues discovered are only “technically a violation.”

    The bee farmers are not breaking any laws; rather glyphosate is being introduced by the bees,” Sack wrote in response. “While the presence of glyphosate in honey is technically a violation, it is not a safety issue.

    Sack said the EPA had been “made aware of the problem” and was expected to set tolerance levels for honey. Once tolerance levels are set by EPA – if they are set high enough – the residues would no longer be a violation. When contacted this week, the EPA said there are currently no pending requests to set tolerance levels for glyphosate in honey. But, the agency also said: “there is no dietary risk concern from exposure to glyphosate residues in honey at this time.”

    Sioux Honey Vice President Bill Huser said glyphosate is commonly used on farm fields frequented by bees, and the pesticide travels back with the bees to the hives where the honey is produced.

    “The industry doesn’t have any control over environmental impacts like this,” Huser said. Most of Sue Bee’s honey comes from bees located near clover and alfalfa in the upper Midwest, he said. Beekeepers located in the South would have honeybees close to cotton and soybean fields. Alfalfa, soybeans and cotton are all genetically engineered to be sprayed directly with glyphosate.

    The FDA results are not the first to find glyphosate in honey. Sampling done in early 2015 by the scientific research company Abraxis found glyphosate residues in 41 of 69 honey samples with glyphosate levels between 17 and 163 ppb, with the mean average being 64 ppb.

    Bee keepers say they are innocent victims who see their honey products contaminated simply because they might be located within a few miles of farms where glyphosate is used.

    “I don’t understand how I’m supposed to control the level of glyphosate in my honey when I’m not the one using Roundup,” one honey company operator said. “It’s all around me. It’s unfair.”

    The FDA did not respond to a question about the extent of its communications with Monsanto regarding residue testing, but the records released show that Monsanto has had at least some interaction with the FDA on this issue. In April of this year, Monsanto’s international regulatory affairs manager Amelia Jackson-Gheissari emailed FDA asking to set up a time to talk about “enforcement of residue levels in the USA, particularly glyphosate.”

    The FDA routinely looks for residues of a number of commonly used pesticides but not glyphosate. The look for glyphosate this year is considered a “special assignment” and came after the agency was criticized by the U.S. Government Accountability Office in 2014 for failing to test for glyphosate.

    The FDA has not released formal results of its testing plans or the findings, but Sack made a presentation in June to the California Specialty Crops Council that said the agency was analyzing 300 samples of corn; 300 samples of soy; and 120 samples each of milk and eggs. He described some partial results achieved through April that showed glyphosate levels found in 52 samples of corn and 44 samples of soybeans but not above legally allowed levels. The presentation did not mention honey. The presentation also stated that glyphosate testing at the FDA will be expanded to “routine screening.”

    The USDA also will start testing for glyphosate, but not until next year, according to information the agency gave to the nonprofit group Beyond Pesticides in a meeting in Washington in January. Documents obtained through FOIA show a plan to test in syrups and oils in 2017.

    Soybeans and Wheat

    Like the FDA, the USDA has dragged its feet on testing. Only one time, in 2011, has the USDA tested for glyphosate residues despite the fact that the agency does widespread testing for residues of other less-used pesticides. In what the USDA called a “special project” the agency tested 300 soybean samples for glyphosate and found more than 90 percent – 271 of the samples – carried the weed killer residues. The agency said then that further testing for glyphosate was “not a high priority” because glyphosate is considered so safe. It also said that while residues levels in some samples came close to the very high levels of glyphosate “tolerance” established by EPA, they did not exceed those levels.

    Both the USDA and the FDA have long said it is too expensive and is unnecessary to test for glyphosate residues. Yet the division within the USDA known as the Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) has been testing wheat for glyphosate residues for years because many foreign buyers have strong concerns about glyphosate residues. GIPSA’s testing is part of an “export cargo sampling program,” documents obtained from GIPSA show. Those tests showed glyphosate residues detected in more than 40 percent of hundreds of wheat samples examined in fiscal 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. The levels vary, the data shows. GIPSA has also been helping FDA access soybeans to test. In a May 2015 email, GIPSA chemist Gary Hinshaw told an FDA food safety official that “it isn’t difficult to find soybeans containing glyphosate.” In a December 7, 2015 email from FDA chemist Terry Councell to Lauren Robin, also a chemist and an FDA consumer safety officer, Councell said that glyphosate was present even in processed commodities, though “way below tolerance.”

    The fact that the government is aware of glyphosate residues in food, but has dragged its feet on testing for so long, frustrates many who are concerned about the pesticide.

    “There is no sense of urgency around these exposures that we live with day in and day out,” said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides.