1997 News Listings
Swissair offers natural and organic foods on flights
Originally found on
Natural Healthline Internet Newsletter
Press Release Follows
Zurich, June 3, 1997 - Swissair has become the first airline to introduce organically
grown products in all classes of its inflight catering. naturalgourmet is the name
of the new catering concept being introduced today on Swissair flights departing
Switzerland. Within three years, naturalgourmet should be expanded to cover Swissair's
entire flight schedule. The variety and quality of the menus will not be diminished.
On the contrary, naturalgourmet means healthy and enjoyable fare on all Swissair flights
The trend towards organically grown foods is increasing across the globe. Swissair
sees this as a chance to contribute to the health and well-being of its passengers.
The Swiss airline is recreating its inflight meal service to incorporate organically
grown products. Philippe Bruggisser, SAirGroup CEO, on naturalgourmet: "By the year
2000 we want to ensure that 90 percent of the products we use to prepare our meals
are organically grown."
What passengers want
In a recent survey of frequent flyers, passengers voiced their opinion regarding the
kind of inflight meals they would like to see. The meals must be fresh, natural, easy to
digest and presented in a pleasing fashion. What is more, natural products should be used
to as large an extent as possible, but without lessening variety or taste. Gate Gourmet,
an SAirGroup company and Swissair's primary caterer, has taken this challenge to heart.
Together with a tandem of well-known chefs, Roland Jöhri of St. Moritz and Wolfgang
Kuchler of Wigoltingen, Gate Gourmet has created refined and future-oriented meals to
help launch the naturalgourmet concept. Simonetta Sommaruga, head of the Swiss
organization for consumers rights says, "We are very happy that Swissair has decided
to take this very significant and ambitious step, committing itself to a long-term and
consistent implementation of this project."
Better taste and wide variety
In future, Swissair will use organically grown products and ingredients from integrated
production to produce inflight meals. Meals made from these products are not only
healthier but they taste better. Swissair is also taking seasonal shifts into consideration
of its foodstuff purchases, offering vegetarian meals as an alternative in all classes
of service. In short, Swissair is emphasizing a balanced composition in the ingredients
of its meals. Beverage selection also falls under naturalgourmet. Passengers will be able
to order organically grown-and-produced wine, beer and fruit and vegetable juices. Coffee
will be purchased in cooperation with the Max Havelaar foundation to ensure that growers
receive a fair price. There is also organically grown baby food for our smallest passengers.
Bio Suisse, the association of Swiss farmers who practice organic agricultural methods,
and the Swiss consumer protection association have worked together with Swissair on the
naturalgourmet project. A pioneering effort such as naturalgourmet will also cause
additional costs. These costs, however, will be compensated for in areas that are
imperceptible to the customer. Purchasing the required amounts of organically grown
food products poses a great challenge for both Gate Gourmet and Swissair. A new and
international network of suppliers must be developed and menu planing must be completely
redefined and reorganized. It will take a total of three years before the entire
naturalgourmet range has been completely introduced. In the initial phase, breakfasts
and hot meals will be served according to naturalgourmet criteria. A total of 68 percent
of the ingredients used for these meals will stem from organically grown products, a
further 23 percent from integrated production operations.
For the environment's sake
Being environmentally conscious in both word and deed is a firm commitment of both the
SAirGroup and of Swissair. Technical advancement has made it possible to reduce noise
levels and the amount of pollutant emissions coming from aircraft. Swissair's
environmental report card is a positive standout among airlines. Swissair is also a
prominent practitioner of environmentally-correct garbage and waste disposal. Now the
introduction of organically grown food products in preparing inflight meals complements
Swissair's environmental care efforts.
Please thank Swissair by:
- Send an email to
Swissair thanking them for offering natural foods,
organic food, and especially foods free from genetic
- Fly Swissair whenever feasible since they may eventually
offer these healthy foods on all their flights. You can
visit their web page here.
Homeopathy treatment effective for childhood ear
A study in Germany compared the treatment of childhood ear infection
using traditional homeopathic treatment to that of drug therapy. 103
children were prescribed single homeopathic remedies while 28
children were treated with decongestants, antibiotics and other
drugs. (Note: Five of the 103 children receiving homeopathic remedies
also were given antibiotics.) The median durings of pain in the
homeopathic-treated children was 2 days while the drug treatment
group had a median pain duration of 3 days. Within one year after
treatment, 70.7% of the homeopathic-treated children were free of
relapses and 29.3% had a maximum of three relapses. 56.5% of the
drug-treated children were free of relapses after one year and 43.5%
of the drug-treated children had a maximum of six relapses.
Visiting a constitutional homeopath may be the proper course of
action for children with ear infections. Other holistic
techniques to treat ear infections such as removing dairy, food
additives and preservatives and allergens completely from the diet
may enhance the homeopathic treatment significantly. In order to
locate a constitutional homeopath, please visit the
Homeopathy WWW Links Web Page and connect to the Practitioners
Directories. Another technique for treating childhood ear infections
can be found in the
Case Histories of Healing and Transformation web page.
Source: Friese KH, Kruse S, Moeller H. Acute otitis media in
children. Comparison between conventional and homeopathic therapy.
HNO, 44(8): 462-466
Meditation Helps Anxiety Disorder Patients
A recently-published study conducted at the University of
Massachusetts Stress Reduction Clinic showed that an eight
week outpatient mindfulness meditation course led to a
significant reduction in anxiety, panic attacks and depression
in patients diagnosed with anxiety and panic disorders. The
techniques taught included "Mindfulness Meditation" and
"Awareness of Breathing in Daily Life." At a three-year
followup, 10 of the 18 original patients continued formal
practice of Mindfulness Meditation, four others had a "high"
frequency of practice, and three had "moderate" practice
habits. 16 of the 18 subjects continued to practice "Awareness
of Breathing in Daily Life" exercises. The gains which occured
after the initial eight-week class were also seen after three
years. 12 of the 18 patients rated the importance of the Stress
Reduction & Relaxation Program at 7 or greater on a scale of 1 to
It is of note that these improvements appear to be permanent and
appear to have occured only after regular practice of "Mindfulness
Meditation" and "Awareness of Breathing in Daily Life" exercises.
Improvements may have been even greater with the eventual
addition of other holistic healing techniques such as
Treatment From a Holistic Healthcare Practitioner,
Breathwork, etc. However, taking a meditation class is a good
place to start. Please see
Inner Peace Information and
Meditation Resources for more information.
Source: Miller JJ, Fletcher K, Kabat-Zinn J. Three-Year
Follow-up and Clinical Implications of a Mindfulness
Meditation-Based Stress Reduction Intervention in the
Treatment of Anxiety Disorders. General Hospital
Psychiatry, 1995, 17:192-200.
Yogic Breathing Exercises Help Obsessive Compulsive
Disorder (OCD) Patients
Eight patients diagnosed with OCD began a year-long study
of the use of yogic techniques. The techniques used were not
typical yoga postures, but special yogic breathing and movement
exercises originally taught by Yogi Bhajan (contact Khalsa
Foundation for Medical Science, P.O. Box 2708, Del Mar, CA
92014-5708) including left unilateral forced nostril breathing
Five patients completed the study. The patients showed
significant symptomatic and stress improvement. Three of the
patients stopped medication within seven months and the other two
significantly reduced the medication use.
Like many other studies, improvements may have been even greater
with the eventual addition of other holistic
healing techniques such as
Treatment From a Holistic Healthcare Practitioner,
Source: Shannahoff-Khalsa DS, Beckett LR. Clinical Case
Report: Efficacy of Yogic Techniques in the Treatment
of Obsessive Compulsive Disorders. International Journal
of Neuroscience, 1996, 85:1-17.
Freedom of Health Choice in Canada -- Update!
Health Canada, the government agency in Canada
theoretically responsible for protecting the health
interests of Canadian Citizens was busy preparing to
implement Codex Alimentarius which would severely
restricted Canadians' freedom of choice in health care
and the access to herbs and supplements.
A coaltition was formed in order to stop Health Canada from
making these restrictions on health freedom and to address
other important health issues of concern to Canadians.
The Coalition of Canadians For Accountable Government, a
coalition of organizations consiting of he Alliance For Public
Accountability, My Health My Rights, Environmental Health Group,
Freedom For Choice in Health Care, Pollution Probe, Dams, Quebec
Holistic Dental Association, Consumer Health Organization of Canada,
Health Action Network Society, Canadians For Mercury Relief,
International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology, Canadians
For Mercury Relief, Canadian Haemophilia Society and the Canadian
Health Coaltion. Together this group represents hundreds of thousands
On July 2, 1997, Health Canada and Freedom of Choice in Health Care
reached an agreement which stops further implementation for half a
year of Codex restrictions. For more information and to join the
effort to protect health freedom and safety in Canada please contact
Wayne Obie (416-410-6314)
and/or see the press release and related web pages
EPA Scientists Take Stand Against Fluoridation
Contact: Jeff Green, Citizens For Safe Drinking Water
3243 Madrid Street San Diego, CA 92110
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
800) 728-3833 (v) (619) 222-6981 (f)
J. William Hirzy, Ph.D., Senior V.P. NFFE, Local 2050
P.O. Box 76082, Washington, D.C. 20013
(202) 260-2383 (v) (202) 401-3139 (f)
EPA Scientists Take Stand Against Fluoridation
The EPA scientists, engineers and attorneys who assess the scientific data
for Safe Drinking Water Act standards and other EPA regulations have gone
on record against the practice of adding fluoride to public drinking
water. [See EPA union's
scientific statement regarding recent research showing fluoride hazards.]
On Wednesday, July 2, 1997, National Federation of Federal Employees, Local
2050, which consists of professionals at EPA headquarters in Washington,
D.C., voted unanimously to co-sponsor the California Safe Drinking Water
Initiative that would reverse the State Legislature's 1995 law mandating
Both proponents of fluoridation and the sponsors of this initiative
consider the result of the fluoridation battle in California to be crucial
to the federal government's plan to fluoridate the entire United States by
the year 2000.
Citizens for Safe Drinking Water and their sponsors are circulating
petitions to gather 500,000 signatures by October to place the initiative
prohibiting fluoridation in California on the June 1998 statewide
In its endorsement of the initiative, the EPA professional's union states,
"It is our hope that our co-sponsorship of the Safe Drinking Water
Initiative to prohibit fluoridation will have a beneficial effect on the
health and welfare of all Californians by helping to keep their water free
of a chemical substance for which there is substantial evidence of adverse
health effects and, contrary to public perception, virtually no evidence of
The statement from NFFE Local 2050 continues, "Our members' review of the
body of evidence over the last eleven years, including animal and human
epidemiology studies, indicate a causal link between fluoride/fluoridation
and cancer, genetic damage, neurological impairment, and bone pathology. Of
particular concern are recent epidemiology studies linking fluoride
exposure to lowered IQ in children.
"As the professionals who are charged with assessing the safety of drinking
water, we conclude that the health and welfare of the public is not served
by the addition of this substance to the public water supply."
After numerous attempts to correct EPA management conclusions that were not
supported by the available facts, the union attempted to join a lawsuit
against their own employer in 1986, citing "fraudulent alterations of data
and negligent omission of fact to arrive at predetermined Agency political
positions regarding fluoride."
Dr. Wm. L. Marcus, Senior Science Advisor in EPA=92s Office of Drinking
Water, was fired for a 1990 whistle-blowing memo calling for a review of
the cover-up of the National Toxicology Program study that shows fluoride
is a "probable human carcinogen [cancer causing agent]".
Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, that finding alone prohibits the
addition of fluoride to the public water supply. Although Dr. Marcus won
his whistle-blower lawsuit, with punitive damages, and returned to work at
the EPA, the classifications were never reviewed.
Historically, fluoridation is mandated by government and rejected by
citizens. Communities all over the U.S. are currently fighting for their
right to choose. Japan and nearly all of Europe have rejected
The California Safe Drinking Water Initiative reads:
The public water supply should be safe for all to drink.
In order to protect the public health from increased risk of hip fracture,
cancer, dental fluorosis and other harmful effects which have been linked
to fluoride in the scientific literature, and whereas data from the U.S.
Public Health Service and the State of California show no significant
difference in decay rates of permanent teeth and dental costs in
fluoridated and non fluoridated areas in California;
Section 116410 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:
No fluoride or fluorine-containing substance may be added to public water
systems. All laws to the contrary are hereby repealed.
For more information on the petition drive, contact Citizens for Safe
Drinking Water at 1 (888) 704-3833. Or visit:
Reference June 19, 1997 News Release: FDA Requires New Poison Label for
Fluoride Toothpaste and Other Fluoride Products.
Children's Migraines & Tension Headaches Cured With Nutrition
A recent study in Germany tested 42 children who suffered from migraine
or tension headaches. They eliminated all preservatives, food-processing
chemicals, cow's milk, sweets, chocolates and soft drinks from a child's
diet for 12 weeks. At the end of the test period 18 of the children were
cured, 20 children had 50% of greater improvements. Only 4 children showed
Since modern chemical preservatives and food-processing chemicals have no
history of safe use and little or no short-term, medium-term or long-term
safety testing in humans, it is not surprising that many children would
suffer health problems by ingesting the combination of all of these
unnatural and untested chemicals plus other unhealthy foods in
Fluoride Neurotoxicity Confirmed With Recent Research and Declassified
Government Documents. The U.S. Government Knew All Along.
Recently released government documents show that since the 1950s, the U.S.
Government has been aware that fluoride exposure in humans causes neurotoxicity.
These documents were kept from the public and scientific community, purportedly
for national security reasons.
Recently animal studies have shown that fluoride is a powerful central nervous
system toxin. In addition, recent epidemiological studies have shown that low-level
exposure to fluoride is linked to lower I.Q. test scores in children.
This research along with the classified documents that
were hidden from the general public tends to confirm the fact that fluoride
For the full article relating to fluoride neurotoxicity which discusses the
new findings (a must-read!), please see the following web page:
EPA ACTION THREATENS FUTURE OF SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE
Formal legal petition charges EPA with illegal and gross negligence in
failure to adequately regulate genetically engineered plants
Washington D.C., September 16, 1997 - The US Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) was charged with gross negligence over its approval of
genetically engineered plants in a petition filed today by a coalition
of environmental, farming and scientific organisations.
Greenpeace International, the International Federation of Organic
Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), the Sierra Club, the Centre for
International Technology Assessment in Washington, DC, the Institute
for Agriculture and Trade Policy in Minneapolis, the National
Coalition for Mis-use of Pesticide were among the 31 groups which
filed a formal legal petition to the EPA.
This is the first step according to US law in filing litigation
against a US government agency in the Federal Court. Petitioners
demand that the EPA withdraw the approval of transgenic plants
carrying the genetic code from a soil bacterium called Bacillus
Thuringiensis and abstain from any new registration of such plants.
The petitioners will take the EPA to the US Federal District Court if
the agency does not react to their legal petition within 90 days.
"EPA's approvals are in clear violation of Federal environmental and
agricultural and procedural laws," said International Center of
Technology Assessment attorney Andrew Kimbrell, "and no court in this
country will let them get away with that".
Petitioners allege that, in approving transgenic plants carrying the
Bacillus Thuringiensis (B.t.) toxin, the EPA is seriously threatening
the future of organic agriculture and jeopardizing the genetic variety
of major food crops, such as corn, potatoes and tomatoes.
Petitioners also charge that EPA's actions violate numerous federal
laws and regulations and will cause significant human health and
environmental problems (1).
Natural strains of B.t. have been used as a biological pesticide for
nearly forty years to protect crops, vegetables and forests without
any known detrimental effects on the environment or human health. B.t.
sprays today are the single most important bio-pesticide on the market
with an annual overturn of over 60 million dollars in the US alone.
They are esspecially important to organic farmers and integrated pest
management programs (IPM).
Genetic engineers have transferred parts of the B.t. gene into a
variety of plants such as corn, potato, rice, rapeseed, eggplant,
grape, tomato, cranberry, cotton, apple, poplar, walnut and tobacco.
As these plants permanently produce high doses of the B.t. toxin in
all their cells, the manipulation makes them highly pest-resistant.
Major multinational chemical and genetic engineering companies
including Monsanto, Novartis, AgrEvo and Pioneer have now started to
commercialize such transgenic B.t.-plants. Transgenic B.t.-cotton,
-corn and -potatoes have been planted in the range of 3 million acres
(1,2 million hectares) in the US this year.
Large scale use of these transgenic B.t. plants is likely to create
resistance within the populations of the targetted insects and thus
create the need for new chemical or biotechnological pesticides - a
well known effect with many chemical insecticides. This short term
strategy of the agrochemical industry will also render the biological
B.t. sprays useless within a short time and leave organic farmers with
no biological alternative.
"Chemical companies commercializing transgenic B.t. plants are waging
an undeclared war against sustainable farming practices," stated
Benedikt Haerlin, Greenpeace International's Coordinator on Genetic
Engineering. "Regulators around the world are well aware of this
problem, but have not dared to draw the necessary conclusions. Instead
they have agreed to the thoroughly inadequate voluntary "resistance
management" presented by the chemical industry."
In addition, scientific research on the environmental effects of
transgenic B.t. plants indicate that it may also make the plants toxic
to non-target organisms and to predators of the target-insects. This
results from the fact that the genetically engineered, truncated
version of the B.t. toxins will be less specific and the toxins will
persist in the soil for longer and in higher doses.
Finally the transfer of the engineered B.t. genes to wild relatives of
the transgenic plants through cross pollination can have unpredictable
and potentially environmentally-disastrous consequences, especially in
the countries where these species originate. It could result in the
irreversible reduction and genetic pollution of the environment.and of
someof the world's most important food crops.
1. The petition alleges breaches of the National Environmental Policy
Act where the EPA failed to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement
which it is required to do so ; the Administrative Proceedure Act
where other federal agencies and scientists should have been consulted
but the EPA failed to do so; and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide
and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) where it must be proved that plant
pesticides will only be approved if it can be determined they will not
cause harm. The EPA's and Novartis's own data admits to herbicide
resistance becoming an issue.
Problems with Herbicide Tolerant Cotton in U.S.
October 7, 1997
According to a report by the Center for Ethics and Toxics, farmers
throughout the mid-south region of the U.S. began experiencing problems
with Roundup Ready cotton in August 1997 as cotton bolls began falling off
the genetically engineered plants. The failing cotton plants contained an
inserted gene that should make the plants able to withstand two seasonal
applications of Roundup herbicide (Monsanto's brand name for the herbicide
glyphosate). The Center for Ethics and Toxics is a California-based,
Roundup Ready cotton was grown commercially in the U.S for the first time
this year. In early spring, approximately 600,000 acres of the
bioengineered crop, created by Monsanto, were sown across the cotton belt.
This equals about 2.3% of the 14 million acres of cotton planted
Approximately three quarters of the way through the growing season, some
cotton bolls became misshapen after the second Roundup application and
began to fall off the plants. These failings reportedly occurred in the
states of Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana. In August,
Robert McCarty of the Bureau of Plant Industry in Mississippi stated, "We
are receiving complaints from farmers everyday." According to McCarty, the
complaints were all identical: the bolls become deformed and subsequently
fall off the plant. Bill Robertson, a cotton specialist in Arkansas claims
that farmers in his state had similar problems. "We call the malformation
'parrot beaked,' because the bolls look like the beaks of parrots, then
they fall off of the plant before they are mature," Robertson said. The
first reports of the crop failure estimated that between 4,000 - 5,000
acres were affected, although according to McCarty, there were at least
20,000 affected acres in Mississippi alone. "Now that is a lot of acreage,
economically speaking. Some farmers are losing $1 million due to this
problem," he said.
According to Karen Marshall of Monsanto, "There are a number of
environmental factors that can put stress on cotton plants." But the
failures do not appear to be occurring in all cotton varieties, just those
that are genetically engineered to withstand Roundup. Sunny Jeter, a
marketing representative for Monsanto, insisted that the failure was only
occurring in a very small portion of the Roundup Ready cotton crops. She
emphasized that Monsanto is being very proactive in getting information to
farmers about the problem. However, Tommy McDaniel, a State of Mississippi
agricultural specialist stated that "Monsanto is not talking to anyone and
they are not saying what is causing the problem."
The failure is occurring in Roundup Ready Paymaster varieties #1244,
#1215, #1330, and #1220. These same varieties without the Roundup Ready
gene were used in the two previous years without any apparent problems.
Researchers at the Center for Ethics and Toxics stated, "We tried to speak
to a Monsanto scientist to ask why crop failures are occurring and were
told that the information is not available. The U.S. government does not
require this type of reporting, leaving the public and the farming
community alike in the dark about the true cause of the problem."
According to the Center, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Director of
Biotechnology and Scientific Services admitted he was "totally unaware of
"We think this result underscores our concern that mass planting of
transgenic crops are at the least premature," said Britt Bailey from the
Center for Ethics and Toxics. "We are left with disturbing questions as
transgenic crops go into mass production. How much are we willing to
jeopardize the evolutionary future of food crops? How much uncertainty is
generated by transgenic creation of new plants?"
Source: "Genetically Engineered Cotton in Jeopardy," by Marc Lappe and
Britt Bailey, Center for Ethics and Toxics, September 10, 1997.
Contact: Center for Ethics and Toxics, Box 673, 39175 S. Highway 1,
Gualala, CA 95445; phone (707) 884-1700; fax (707) 884-1846; email
Pesticide Action Network
Genetically Engineered Soya has Elevated Hormone Levels:
Public Health Threat
International Scientists Appeal To Governments World-Wide
Today, an urgent appeal has been made by scientists from around the world
attending the Third Meeting of the Open-ended Working Group on Biosafety
of The UN-Convention on Biological Diversity (13-17 October) in Canada.
The scientists implored "all governments to use whatever methods available
to them to bar from their markets, on grounds of injury to public health,
Monsanto's genetically manipulated (GM) [herbicide-resistant] Roundup-Ready
(RR) soybean." New findings indicate that EU member nations should
immediately invoke Article 16, the safeguard clause of Directive 90/220,
banning the soya on the grounds of specific health risks.
Dramatic scientific evidence has revealed that the application of
glyphosate (such as the herbicide Roundup) increased the level of plant
estrogens of bean crops. Plant estrogens are known to affect mammals
including humans. The signatories to the appeal, including Dr Ricarda
Steinbrecher, UK Geneticist, stated: "Young children are especially
susceptible to elevated levels of estrogen. Thus there is a clear and
serious health issue at hand."
Further alarming evidence has now been released concerning the GM soybeans,
hitherto ruled as been substantially equivalent to ordinary soybeans and
safe for introduction into our food supply: Cows fed with the RR-soybeans
were found to produce milk with significantly higher fat content than those
fed with ordinary soybeans. The scientists concluded this to be direct
proof of a substantial difference between the GM- and ordinary soybeans.
Monsanto's application for market approval of the RR-soybean provided no
data on estrogen levels of RR-soybeans sprayed with glyphosate. Indeed,
all data provided on the concentration levels of different compound was
derived from unsprayed beans!
Scientific advisor to the UK Genetic Engineering Network commented on the
findings: "It is horrifying that Roundup-Ready soya was released into our
food chain with such insufficient data, especially as such as large
proportion [60%] of supermarket products contain soya derivatives.... The
lack of independent, full investigations prior to the approval of these
genetically manipulated soybeans is illustrative of the US biotechnology
industry's strangle-hold on the regulatory bodies entrusted with our food
Further reports also presented at the Meeting, include the latest evidence
of the detrimental environmental and agricultural impact of Novartis
(formerly Ciba) insect resistant maize prematurely approved by the European
Commission for marketing and cultivation (23 January 1997). The report
calls for an urgent "moratorium for transgenic insect resistant plants" and
details the evidence supporting legal action, which has been filed against
the USA Environmental Protection Agency over its approvals by over 30
scientific, environmental and agricultural groups. The Meeting coincides
with the Global Days of Action Against Genetic Engineering (2-16
For further information or interviews, contact the Genetic Engineering
Network in London at: 0181 374 9516
Global Days of Action Against Genetic Engineering
Press Release 13/10/97 For immediate use
Fluoride Ingestion Linked to Uterine Cancer
Researchers reported in the Journal of Epidemiology a link between drinking
fluoridation water and dying of uterine cancer. What follows is a short
summary of this research:
The Okinawa Islands located in the southern-most part of
Japan were under U.S. administration from 1945 to 1972.
During that time, fluoride was added to the drinking water
supplies in most regions. The relationship between fluoride
concentration in drinking water and uterine cancer mortality
rate was studied in 20 municipalities of Okinawa and the
data were analyzed using correlation and multivariate
statistics. The main findings were as follows. (1) A
significant positive correlation was found between fluoride
concentration in drinking water and uterine cancer mortality
in 20 municipalities (r = 0.626, p [less than] 0.005). (2) Even after
adjusting for the potential confounding variables, such as
tap water diffusion rate, primary industry population ratio,
income gap, stillbirth rate, divorce rate, this association
was considerably significant. (3) Furthermore, the time
trends in the uterine cancer mortality rate appear to be
related to changes in water fluoridation practices.
(J Epidemiology, 1996 Dec; 6 (4): 184-91; Tohyama E)
Recent findings from all of the large-scale studies showing that fluoride
ingestion does not prevent tooth decay combined with recent research showing
fluoride ingestion damaging bones, teeth, causing lowered IQs, and a number
of other serious health problems has caused a large number of scientists
from the U.S. Environmental Protection Association and other independent
organizations to push for the ban on forced fluoridation. For more information
please visit the following web pages:
Meditation Found to be Helpful in the Inner City
A community health center in Meriden, Connecticut offered an 8-week Stress Reduction and
and Relaxation Program which included mindfulness meditation and mindful yoga
practice for inner-city residents. An article published in
Nurse Pract. (1997 Mar; 22 (3): 150-2, 154, 157 passim) details the effects of
this program. The authors state:
"Statistically significant decreases in
medical and psychologic symptoms and improvement in self-
esteem were found. Many program completers reported dramatic
changes in attitudes, beliefs, habits, and behaviors.
Despite the limitations of the research design, these
findings suggest that a mindfulness meditation course can be
an effective health care intervention when utilized by
English- and Spanish-speaking patients in an inner-city
community health center."
The article discusses a number of considerations for setting up a meditation-based
stress reduction program.
Meditation Found to Reduce Ambulatory Blood Pressure
In a study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience
(1997 Jan; 89 (1-2): 15-28) Trancendental Meditation (TM) was shown
to be effective in reducing a key risk factor in cardiovascular complications
of hypertension: ambulatory blood pressure. Thirty-nine (39) males volunteers
were tested in a controlled study using either TM or a cognitive-based
stress reduction technique. There was no difference in cardiovascular response
to stressors between the groups, but there was a significant reduction in the
ambulatory blood pressure (9 mm Hg) between the TM group and the controls.
Yogic Meditation Found to Significantly Reduce Seizures
In Patients With Idiopathic Epilepsy
A study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research found that
a particular type of yogic meditation, Sahaja yoga meditation, was able
to reduce seizure frequency. The following is a summary of the study:
The effect of Sahaja yoga meditation on seizure control and
electroencephalographic alterations was assessed in 32
patients of idiopathic epilepsy. The subjects were randomly
divided into 3 groups. Group I (n = 10) practised Sahaja
yoga for 6 months, Group II (n = 10) practised exercises
mimicking Sahaja yoga for 6 months and Group III (n = 12)
served as the epileptic control group. Group I subjects
reported a 62 per cent decrease in seizure frequency at 3
months and a further decrease of 86 per cent at 6 months of
intervention. Power spectral analysis of EEG showed a shift
in frequency from 0-8 Hz towards 8-20 Hz. The ratios of EEG
powers in delta (D), theta (T), alpha (A) and beta (B) bands
i.e., A/D, A/D + T, A/T and A + B/D + T were increased. Per
cent D power decreased and per cent A increased. No
significant changes in any of the parameters were found in
Groups II and III, indicating that Sahaja yoga practice
brings about seizure reduction and EEG changes. Sahaja yoga
could prove to be beneficial in the management of patients
(Indian J Med Res (GJF), 1996 Mar; 103 165-72;
Panjwani U; Selvamurthy W; Singh SH; Gupta HL; Thakur L; Rai UL)
It should be noted that patients in India likely have a diet which is
made up of much less artificial and unhealthy foods and therefore would
be more likely to improve with the addition of other powerful holistic
healing techniques. The use of Sahaja yoga meditation combined with other
holistic techniques such as a natural foods diet, classical homeopathy,
etc. may reduce seizures even more than seen in the above-summarized study
(or eliminate them altogether in some cases).
For more information on Sahaja yoga and links to yoga centers, please visit
the Sahaja Yoga Web Page.
To be balanced, I should state that some people have express some concern
about the Sahaja yoga organization. Please see
Is Sahaja Yoga Good or Bad? Also, please bear in mind that other
forms of yoga and meditation may help as much as Sahaja yoga.
Yoga Training Proves Helpful to Patients with Brochial Asthma
Nine diagnosed bronchial asthma patients were given yoga training for seven
(7) days in New Dehli, India. The follows is a summary of that study which
demonstrated positive effects for the patients:
"The concept of yoga is helpful for the treatment of
Bronchial Asthma", has created a great interest in the
medical research field. In order to investigate whether
autonomic functions and pulmonary functions are improved in
asthma patients after short term yoga training, a study was
conducted with nine diagnosed bronchial asthma patients.
Yoga training was given for seven days in a camp in Adhyatma
Sadhna Kendra, New Delhi. The autonomic function tests to
measure the parasympathetic reactivity (Deep Breathing test,
Valsalva Manouever), Sympathetic reactivity (Hand Grip test,
Cold Pressure test), and pulmonary function tests FVC, FEV1,
PEFR, PIF, BHT and CE were recorded before and after yoga
training. The resting heart rate after yoga training (P [less than]
0.05) was significantly decreased (89.55 +/- 18.46/min to
76.22 +/- 16.44/min). The sympathetic reactivity was reduced
following yoga training as indicated by significant (P [less than]
0.01) reduction in DBP after HGT. There was no change in
parasympathetic reactivity. The FVC, FEV1, PEFR did not show
any significant change. The PIF (P [less than] 0.01), BHT (P [less than]
0.01) and CE (P [less than] 0.01) showed significant improvement. The
results closely indicated the reduction in sympathetic
reactivity and improvement in the pulmonary ventilation by
way of relaxation of voluntary inspiratory and expiratory
muscles. The "comprehensive yogic life style change
programme for patients of Bronchial Asthma" have shown
significant benefit even within a short period.
Indian J Physiol Pharmacol (GLD), 1996 Oct; 40 (4): 318-24;
Khanam AA; Sachdeva U; Guleria R; Deepak KK
It is important to note three things about this study, 1) Yoga training in
India, even for just seven days, is likely to be excellent so that results
may take longer in other locations; 2) The seven days of yoga training
most likely included the patients removing themselves from day-to-day
stressors; 3) Notice how the authors mention the "comprehensive yogic life
style change." Yoga is much more than just stressing exercises and includes
movement towards a holistic lifestyle as described on the
Holistic Healing Web Pages.
For more information about yoga, please see the yoga article at
and the yoga resources web page at
Holistic Medicine Popular Amongst General Practitioners (Physicians)
in Southwest England
A survey conducted by researchers at the University of Exeter, UK showed
that the "complementary medicine" is popular amongst general practitioners
in the Southwestern part of England. Of the 461 general practitioners who
responded to the survey (47% response rate), 16% (74) practiticed one or
more forms of complementary medicine, 25% (115) had referred at least one
patient to a practitioner of complementary medicine in the last week and
55% (253) had endorsed or recommended treatment with complementary medicine.
Popularily of complementary medicine in other parts of England is not quite
as high according to the authors.