Groundswell Of Organic Growth at Natural Product Expo West

Over 80,000 people packed the aisles of the Natural Products Expo West in Anheim CA, shoulder to shoulder we could just barely get glimpse at the booths and talk to the vendors for a moment. Usually I video tape and interview the vendors but this year it was too noisy.  I took pictures and notes instead.

The theme of the largest health expo in the USA, NPEW. March 5-8th, 2015  literally jumped out at me over and over again for 4 days.

Our Health Matters and the gut has everything to do with it.

 

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Signs of gut dysbiosis at the beginning stages of life showed up immediately. I was glad to see Natren address the need for a dairy free and vegan infant probiotic, but saddened by the thought of new mothers not only dealing with the loss of sleep, but with a child wracked with pain from allergies, leaky gut and gut dysbiosis.

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It was almost like seeing an old friend when I stopped at the booth of MRM. This is the product my naturopath suggested to help seal my son's gut when he had gut dysbiosis, to take every morning, preceeding a raw organic green drink and a few vitamins he was lacking. While eating GMO free and mostly organic, he soon got better and experiences almost no allergic reactions today. His walnut allergy has dropped from a 19 to a 0.2.

I didn't know why then... why my children had multple food allergies when my husbad and I never did, or why they were vitamin deficient, or had perferations in their small inetstine,  but I know now. I know that GMOs are either genetically engineered to BE a pesticide or to withstand herbicides which destroy the healthy gut bacteria and allow the proliferation of the pathogenic bacteria, leading to gut dysbiosis and numerous health issues. I know an entire generation of children are being compromised only to line the pockets of huge corporation CEOs with profit. I know it because I see it with my own eyes and have hundreds of testimonials from mothers. 

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The result of chemcial farming is a whole generation of children who need gluten free, nut free, dairy free, egg free,and soy free food in order to survive. We have suddenly found ourselves with a new "normal"...not being able to feed our neighbor's children during a play date and not being able to allow our children to eat any food when they go to a birthday party. Many of us know now however that in order to avoid toxic pesticides, it cannot be just gluten free or non GMO Project verified, it MUST be organic. We mother's struggle with being able to find allergen free, gluten free AND organic. I was grateful to find several brands making life easier for parents everywhere. This blog is not about marketing. I am not being paid to present these brands to you. I write, unpaid by any of these companies, to share SOLUTIONS.

I was happy to see Amazing Foods and The Sprouted Flour makes both organic and gluten free flours and mixes.

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Several grain product companies offered organic ancient and sprouted grains, which mean less gluten, more vitamins and nutrients.

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I was happy to see organic tamales! Yeay! GMO corn make sup 90% of our corn crops in America today. Non GMO and organic corn tamales are not easy to come by.

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At many booths I was thrilled to be greeted by a Mom, the founder and driving force behind healthy organic foods.

"Mom Made" and Love & Hummus Co. spend the extra time and energy to make sure it is organic for you. 

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I was also glad to see the rise of organic stevia, organic being crucial to avoid Roundup (glyphosate). Consumers are learning that the most widely used herbicide in the world, Roundup (glyphosate) is sprayed on crops as a dessicant or drying agent, at harvest to speed up the process of harvest. We want to avoid glyphosate, which is a patented antibiotic ( destroys gut bacteria and weakens the immune system), chelator  ( mineral deficiency) and endocrne disruptor ( birth defects, infertility and sterility). We want only organic and non GMO sweetners (aspartame is GMO)  void of toxic pesticides. This is a stand for fair trade labor as well, as we know now that 20,000 young men who worked on sugar crops sprayed with Rpundup (glyphosate) in South America died from live and kidney disease...glyphosate is recognized on the EPA fact sheet to cause "liver and kidney damage". Correlation is not causation but as Robyn O'Brien says, it does deserve investigation. As a mother I add that it deserves speculation and  precaution as well.

Better to be safe than sorry.

There is no need to feed our children GMO high fructose corn syrup or Roundup ( glyphosate) sprayed non organic sugar cane which is allowd to have 25 ppm of glyphosate. There is no need to expose them to toxins. It is unecessary and unjust if one cannot afford organic.

I was glad to see organic stevia and organic cane sugar ingredients in products such as Veri organic soda. I was dismayed recently to see Blue Sky organic soda dissapear fom the shelves. "Natural" sodas are not good enough. It must be organic.

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 Another rare sight to see was organic Beef Jerky, grass fed and on non GMO grains. Were this brand available across the nation, snacking would be safer and free of toxins. Belinski's sausage was delicious and contained only a handful of wholesome ingredients.

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One of the products that made me the happiest to see was Cultured & Saucy probiotic condiments. Many American's are not used to the concept of feremented or cultured foods, and yet almost every other culture consumes these healthy, gut healing foods with nearly every meal. The Mediterraneans consume yogurt daily, the Japanese; Miso, the Koreans; pickled/fermented vegetables, and the Europeans eat saurkraut regularly. These foods restore the healthy bacteria in the gut, where 70% of our immune system lies. Eating these foods with our meals is as crucial as avoiding GMOs and Glyphosate and eating organic. It takes some getting used to to eat a tablespoon of raw organic saurkraut with every lunch and dinner, so some many want to flavor their salsa or munch on probiotic hors d'oeurves instead. However, you get fermented or cultured foods into your diet do it.  Your stomach will sing, your moods will lift and your energy will return. Restore your gut bacteria, heal your gut, regain your immune system.

 Organic MEANS Non GMO and no toxic pesticides. Eat organic and add cultured foods into your diet.

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 Thanks to all the dedicated people who take the extra effort to use organic ingredients, who buck the system and avoid GMO, chemically farmed foods. Thank you to all the food manufacturers who go the extra mile to feed America organic.

 

Zen Honeycutt

 

 

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Solutions Amidst Sadness

The information below is not medical advice, it is for informational purposes only. Please consult your doctor for your health care.

To all those who have loved ones who are ill.

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Pesticide Free Zones

Claremont Courier, February 13, 2015. No More Pesticides in Claremont, CA?

Guest Blog By Evaggelos Vallianatos author of  "Poison Spring" and EPA Whistle blower

Evangellos will also be on our International Cofnerence Call to Action on May 2, 2015 at Moms Meetups at over 100  locations around the country. https://www.facebook.com/events/995523350463763/

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GMO Labeling vs. Banning

A Letter to the Activists Who Have Given Up on Labeling and/or Turned On Our Labeling Cause

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It's NOT Just Vaccines!

The views expressed below are the views of Zen Honeycutt, not the entirety of Moms Across America supporters. Please note our motto is "Empowered Moms, Healthy Kids" and this encompasses all areas of knowledge and health.  We wish for all moms and people the freedom to make choices to have their families be healthy.

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Full Account of Monsanto Shareholder Meeting Jan 30, 2015

Excerpt from the book  “Unstoppable Love” by Zen Honeycutt to be released in 2015

Note: The following account and conversations are conveyed to my best recollection without having listened to the recording. Those who have  listened to it and read my blog say my account is "very accurate". Please feel free to listen for your self and help transcribe it.Email me at yesmaam74@gmail.com. I speak once iat 27:00 minutes on the proxy and three other times for Q&A, at 52:00 minutes, 1:14 and 1:27. Here is the link for the recording http://edge.media-server.com/m/p/mojmtw5m

Scientific studies can be found at www.momsacrossamerica.com/data

This is from the rally before speaking inside the shareholder meeting.

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Glyphosate Harm through Gut-Brain Connection

 

One of the most important interviews I have ever conducted for understanding the root cause of the health crisis in America was with Dr.Matt Buckley on Jan 12, 2015.

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GMOs, genetically modified organisms were put in our food, unlabeled in 1996 and are now in 85% of America's food through corn, soy, sugar, cotton seed oil, canola oil, some squash and Hawaiin Papaya. Genetically modified foods are either genetically engineered to BE a pesticide and when the bug eats the crop, it's stomach explodes. BT GMO corn is registered with the EPA as a pesticide. OR GMOs are genetically engineered to WITHSTAND herbicides, so that the crops can be sprayed and all the weeds will die but our food will not. The problem is that the chemicals do not dry off, wash off or cook off as was once believed. We eat them.

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The most widely used herbicide in the word is Roundup which contains glyphosate. Glyphosate is now considered a generic chemical and is used in over 1600 products world wide and hundreds of million of pounds are used in the USA. There was a 73% increase of the use of Roundup in 2013 alone. This is attributed to two things, 1) the crops have developed  resistance and farmers are sparaying more chemicals earlier and more often to reduce the weeds. 2) Agriculture journals are recommending farmers spray Roundup ( glyphosate) as a drying agent at harvest, to speed up the harvesting process. They spray non GMO, non organic crops such as wheat, legumes, peas, beans, tea, sugar and more. Glyphosate is also sprayed pre harvest and many crops such as beries and potatoes absorb glyphosate. You can see the complete list of allowable levels of glyphosate on our food and feed crops at EPA List of Allowed Levels of Glyphosate on 160 Food Crops

For more information on glyphosate, which a a patented antibiotic (weakens immune system), chelator (vitamin and mineral deficiency) and endocrine disruptor (infertility, sterility, micarriages and birth defects), go to our Data page.

Watch the interview here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEKj_UxBq8g

 A written synopisis is below.

Around 19:00 Dr. Buckley explains:

Recent studies showed that glyphosate destroys the beneficial gut bacteria and allows the pathogenic bacteria to thrive. Glyphosate in our food and gut equals and increase of bad bacteria, especially clostridium botulinum infections.
The pathogenic bacteria overgrowth...and die off..releases waste products (what makes you feel sick) and the lipopolysaccarides released by pathogenic bacteria is a known agent to break down intestines. When the lining of intestine is broken down this allows the lippopolysaccarides to enter the  blood stream which alarms the immune system.  The immune system then releases interlucken 1B  a Cytocon. When this occurs on periperphary of body, that signal is transmitted through the vegus nerve from the gut to the brain.

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This signals the immune cells of the brain, the microglia, to also secrete their own interleukin 1 B and glutamate in the brain and spinal cord. Glutamate is an excitotoxin and destroys neurons. This type of damage in the brain and immune system is being shown to be a major factor in all neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer's, Autism, anxiety, depression, Parkison's, MS; and if it happens in the spinal cord this appears to be a major factor in ALS. Read more in his blog here.

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Dr. Buckely recommends an organic Paleolithic diet,which is primarily vegetables,seeds, meat, fish, and small amounts of fruit, while excluding grains, dairy, starchy carbs or sugar, which feed the pathogenic bacteria. He agrees that adding raw organic sauerkraut (good bacteria) will offset the bad bacteria and help heal the gut, provided fungal overgrowth isn't excessive. My family eats 1-2 tablespoons of raw organic sauerkraut every day. Probiotic supplements also restore gut health but I reminded the audience in the video that many probiotic companies buy their probiotics from Dianesco which was bought out by Dupont (Dupont also makes the pesticides/herbicides sprayed on our crops, so they have a perfect profit circle). So make sure to ask before you buy.

By eliminating the toxin/antibiotic glyphosate from the food that goes into the gut (by eating organic) which destroys the good bacteria, adding in fermented vegetables and probiotics (good bacteria) and by starving the bad bacteria of sugar, we can restore our gut bacteria and therefore regain our health.

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Doctors and health experts agree that the key to the health and survival of the human race is our gut flora. Without healthy gut flora we are all sure to get sick and likely die much sooner than is necessary. It is also key to our mental wellness...healthy decisions, relationships, and fulfilling on our potential in life and as a country. Moms Across America requests that everyone LOOK TO YOUR FOOD.

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Are you eating as organic as possible? Good budgeting can result less expensive, more healthy meals by eating organic at home! (One source of support is a book called " 15 minute Healthy, Organic Meals for Less than $10 a Day")

Are you adding in good bacteria via feremented (cultured) foods with every meal? Raw organic saurkraut, organic yogurt or keifer, organic miso, organic kimchi or keifer water soda are the best sources of probiotics.

Are you diminishing the overgrowth of bad bacteria? Eliminating sugar and carbs upon which bad bacteria thrive restores your gut flora and improves your health.

If everyone takes responsibiliy for their own health and their children's in these ways, we can collectively reduce the impact on our families, communities and nation. We can turn this health crisis around and restore the future of America.

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To be a leader for the health of YOUR community host an event with Moms Across America.  Share this information and make a difference for generations to come! Some event ideas are:

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1) Host a GMO Movie night or Cultured Food Party and empower your friends and neighbors.

2) Have a table/booth at your local Earth Day Festival in April and reach thousand.

3) Host a Moms Meetup May 2, 2015 and help cause a billion dollar shift to organic.

4) Be a leader for a group to join in 4th of July parades and reach tens of thousands in your town.

See our Events page for more info on all these events.  

Make sure to POST your event on MAA with your address as the host so we can send you free materials if/when we get enough sponsorship support!

 

Thank you for spreading the word!

Zen Honeycutt

Moms Across America

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Creating GMO Free Zones

 

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Moms Across America asked the committed activists who  passed GMO FREE Humbolt County CA to please give us their perspective on what makes a successful campaign. When you are wondering "What's Next? with our cause consider working on having a GMO free zone in your county. We are inspired by your commitment and tenacity! Thank you supporters of Measure P!

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Glyphosate Found in Feeding Tube Liquid

 Thanks to Moms Across America supporters; our sponsors and private citizens donating thousands of dollars in three days to pay for testing, glyphosate has been found in feeding tube liquid which is given to babies and children with cancer in hospitals.

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Microbe Inotech lab detected 6 out of 20 (30%) of Pediasure samples from the same batch tested postive at levels above 75ppb at 800-1110 X higher than has been shown to destroy gut bacteria in chickens (.1ppb).  Only 50ppT ( trillion) was shown to cause liver, kidney and sex hormone changes in rats. These samples were sent by a Moms Across America supporter.This is the exact brand used in the pediatric rehabilitation hospital where she worked and was fed patients needing tube feeding in critical care.

Moms Across America finds it appalling that our health care providers have been led to believe this feeding tube liquid is safe. Our children and loved ones who are depending on our health institutions to support their immune system and recovery. Instead they are being fed a liquid which scientists and knowledgeable care givers now believe is doing the exact opposite.

The Pediasure Enteral Nutritional Drink tested is loaded with GM corn syrup, soy, and sugar, which have been shown to cause inflammation, and are sprayed with gyphosate during the growing season and at harvest as a drying agent. See EPA allowable levels glyphosate on 160 of our food crops here.

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Glyphosate is scientifically accepted to function as a chelator; which draws out the vital nutrients of any living thing it touches.

It is a patented antibiotic; destroying gut bacteria, where 70% of the immune system lies, and the body's ability to create Tryptophan/Serotonin, and Melatonin, which regulate insulin/diabetes and protect from sleeplessness, depression, bipolar and violent behavior.

It is a proven endocrine disruptor; which impacts, deforms or halts the development of a fetus, leading to miscarriage, birth defects, infertilityand sterility.

It is also  a cell disintegrator; breaking down the blood brain barrier and allowing toxins into the brain, (correlating the rise of autism with the increased use of gyphosate as close as 99%.)  

The rise of autism is 99% correlated with the increased use of glyphosate. New studies find glyphosate also feeds antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Pediasure Enteral Nutritional Drink samples for Glyphosate detection by ELISA assay. Detectable level 75 ppb. Lab report here.

 

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A description of how glyphosate impacts the body from MIT PhD. scientist Stephanie Seneff:

1) Glyphosate is an antimicrobial agent (antibiotic) and it perferentially kills the good bacteria, which causes an overgrowth of pathogens in the gut. This leads to leaky gut syndrome and inflammatory issues.

2) Glyphosate chelates rare minerals like manganese, cobalt, molybdenum, copper, iron, sulfur, selenium, etc., and this disrupts the management of these very important nutrients throughout the body.  The minerals end up piling up in the wrong places, causing both toxicity and deficiency at the same time.

3) Glyphosate disrupts cytochrome P450 enzymes in the liver, which are important for many things, two of which are activating vitamin D and detoxifying multiple toxic chemicals and drugs.  Acetaminophen (tylenol), for example, becomes toxic when these enzymes aren't working.

4) Glyphosate works synergistically with the aluminum, mercury, and glutamate in vaccines to cause much greater harm than would be the case if there were no glyphosate present in the blood when the vaccine was administered.

5) Glyphosate interferes with the shikimate pathway, which is used by both microbes and plants to produce the essential aromatic amino acids. Our own cells don't have this pathway, and they depend upon food sources and synthesis by gut microbes to supply these nutrients. They are precursors to many biologically important molecules such as the neurotransmitters serotonin, melatonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, melanin, vitamin E, vitamin K, etc.

In my view, the core pathology in autism is insufficient sulfate in the cerebrospinal fluid in the brain.  This causes a severe impairment in neurogenesis and an inability to "clear the trash."  It's indirectly caused by sulfur deficiency, melatonin deficiency, impaired sulfate synthesis, impaired sulfate transport, and excess flushing of sulfate through the kidneys - all induced by glyphosate.  There's also neuroexcitotoxicity from glutamate and glyphosate and aluminum working synergistically.


Stephanie Seneff, Co-Author Glyphosate papers
Senior Research Scientist
MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

 


 

Further comments on the findings:

This report is absolutely ground breaking for parents everywhere. We need to keep our children safe from these toxic chemicals. Our regulatory agencies have failed us and have let Roundup be carelessly used for too long. The worse part? The American public doesn't have the right to know which food doesn't have it. This must stop and is reason enough to avoid the use of any GMO technology that is tied to this chemical.- Vani Hari, Food Babe


 

"As a mother I am very disturbed by these results.  Working as a pediatric Physical Therapist I met children with feeding issues who depend on tube feedings for their entire lives.  Children who experience trauma and are recovering from car accidents, shootings, cancers, surgeries and other illnesses may require these tube feedings for days, weeks, or years.  I have long questioned the nutritionally poor and inflammatory ingredients in these feedings but am devastated to find out that they are contaminated with poison.  Our most vulnerable children, and our children healing from overwhelming trauma, deserve better."  Sarah Cusack, MPT, CHHC

"Eeh gads, glyphosate in Pedisure is frightening. As a cardiologist concerned about herbicides, we now know that RoundUp effects heart tissue and facilitates serious heart rhythm problems (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25448876).  To think we are exposing infants to this same toxin cannot be tolerated". -Joel Kahn MD

"The high levels found of course, don't address the issue of bioaccumulation in children.  If Pediasure is given to sick children, we have no idea of their rates of clearance, liver function, etc.  Tests done on children prior to the administration of these compounds.  In addition, the issue of bioaccumulation in children has not been addressed.  Their ability to clear these toxins has not been evaluated, particularly when they are ill and may have altered renal function." - Michelle Perro, Pediatrician MD
The question of bioaccumulation has been addressed and written about by Michael Antoniou:
 Antoniou M, Habib MEM, Howard CV, et al. Teratogenic effects of glyphosate-based herbicides: Divergence of regulatory decisions from scientific evidence. J Env Anal Toxicol. 2012;S4:006. doi:10.4172/2161-0525.S4-006.

"I find it astonishing that babies and children with cancer are being provided with nutrients through a feeding tube that are contaminated with glyphosate.  It ought to be obvious to medical professionals that it is essential to assure that as few toxic chemicals as possible are present in enteral nutrition provided to seriously ill children. This is a direct delivery system for glyphosate to the blood and to the tissues.  It should be undeniable that certified organic sources are the only viable option in such a situation."- Stephanie Seneff MIT scientist and co author of the Glyphosate Papers

"The more data produced regarding the levels of glyphosate in our food, water and medicines the better. Even though this testing is not validated it does give a strong clue as to how ubiquitous glyphosate is in the U.S. food supply system. The question the EPA and USDA should be asking themselves is are they willing to risk public health by relying on short-term industry sponsored safety studies on glyphosate and all other pesticides. It is time for the regulators to support long-term independent science to deterime just how damaging glyphosate pesticides are for this and future generations. While these studies are being completed all glyphosate-based herbicides should be removed from the shelves." - Henry Rowlands, Sustainable Pulse

"I have reviewed the lab report dated January 2, 2015 from Microbe Inotech Lab for Moms Across America and can tell you that your results for Pediasure Enteral Nutritional drink are consistent with our lab results of April 18, 2004 for soy based Enfamil ProSobee liquid infant baby formulas
The Moms Infotech Lab report for ELISA glyphosate analysis showed 6 out of 20 positive IDs for Glyphosate residue in the product.  This represents 30% of the samples which tested positive.  The highest concentration found was in sample #5 which contained 111 ppb (parts per billion).   The lowest detectable reading for milk-like products with this method of analysis is 76 ppb and the lowest amount positively detected in the Mom's lab report was found in sample #7 and contained 80 ppb.
These results, DO NOT necessarily mean that the other 14 samples were free of glyphosate, they may also have glyphosate, only at undetectable levels.  These results only show those samples, that could be positively identified by the ELISA method of analysis.  Had another method been chosen, such as HPLC-MS with a lower detection limit, possibly more samples would have shown glyphosate residue contamination.  We know HPLC-MS testing is 3 times more expensive, but the ELISA results are quick and now show follow up testing is necessary, especially by government agencies who are supposed to protect public health and interests.
 
Your results and our results, both show measurable amounts of Glyphosate contained in infant formula products and this is most concerning.  We found 170 ppb of glyphosate in Enfamil ProSobee liquid infant baby formula, so it will be interesting to compare this result when you receive the report for your infant formula samples.
Make no mistake about it, the levels of glyphosate found in these tests, are levels that do cause harm and damage to the microbiome which comprises 70% of the immune system.  This will affect both present and future health.  Glyphosate is an insidious, hazardous chemical which should have never been brought to market nor allowed to contaminate the food supply of the USA and that of the developing world.  
The levels found in these lab tests, can cause irreparable damage to a developing child, as well as harm to an adult.  After all, it is the bacteria of our microbiome and even greater, that of the biosphere which controls the destiny of all living organisms, from birth to the grave." -Anthony Samsel Independant scientist and co author of the Glyphosate Papers

What to do?
Studies show gut bacteria improvements and symptoms of autism are reduced with probiotics. The best form of probiotics are whole food such as raw organic saurkraut, vegetables, organic yogurt, organic miso, and organic keifer. The reason for this is that the probiotics ( good bacteria)  have been shown to restore the gut flora and therefore rebuild the gut brain connection and the immune system. 
Unlike any other time in history, American moms, caregivers and all citizens around the world must be concerned with their gut flora, which harbors 70% of the immune system. We moms have seen that when we take preventative measures to avoid GMOs and related pesticides, and ad fermented vegetables and/or probiotics, our children's and our own health improves.
We hope this information is brought to the attention of hospital directors and that they switch to organic feeding tube liquid options (see solutions page for possible option) as soon as possible. Also parents with children on feeding tubes, please look into alternatives such as bone broth, organic smoothies, probiotic and fermeted vegetables and saurkraut juice. Although we are not doctors, and we recommend you seek appropriate care, our mothers have seen improvements with the foods and diets mentioned on our "Solutions" page.
Thank you to all our dedicated supporters and sponsors who donated to get these tests done.
Just added Jan 14, 12014 
Please sign our petition! Get glyphosate OUT of feeding tube liquid!!!!
Zen Honeycutt
Moms Across America
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Dark Act Rally DC Dec 10, 2014

Once upon a time, just one generation ago, all food was organic. When a mother bought corn on the cob or apples for her family she had no doubt that she was buying healthy food. When she picked up a box of cereal she didn't bother to read the label because she trusted that it has passed the food regulations set forth by our FDA and USDA and that anything sold in the grocery stores was perfectly fine to eat. Sometimes she read the label because she was avoiding too much sugar or salt, but besides that, the long looking words she couldn't pronounce she didn't think twice about. They must be fine.
She never even considered that there could be something in the food that was not labeled. She never imagined that the food manufacturers would be allowed to do such a thing. It never occured to her.
Over the past twenty years, it has become apparent that there is something in the food that is not disclosed: genetically modified proteins, put in our food since 1994, which are engineered to withstand toxic chemicals. GMOs have been hidden from us.
Many resist this idea. They don't want to know. It would unAmerican to not trust the system. Plus, it would be inconvenient. Suddenly, if we want to avoid these genetically modified organisms we would have to scrutinize our food, change food brands that have become family traditions, budget and spend more to buy NON GMO Project verified and Organic and be suspected as a left wing hippy conspiracy theorist.
This is the reality that brave Americans are willing to face. It is not a reality that our representatives and committee members of the Energy and Commerce Hearing faced in the hearing for HR 4432 which would make GMO labeling voluntary on a federal level, wipe out state labeling laws, and allow a "100% Natural" label to contain GMOs.

Busloads of people at the Rayburn House   Alexis of OCA,Rally organizer

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Attendees for the Energy and Commerce Hearing regarding HR 4432 or the DARK Act,
Denying American's Right to Know, came from across the country, lined the halls of the Rayburn house in Washington DC at 7 am. The Organic Consumer's Association, funded the buses to the rally and along with many other grassroots and non profit groups, rallied their supporters for weeks to rearrange their schedules, take two days off work, ride on a bus for hours to days to be at the hearing and rally to stop HR 4432. We came because we care about having integrity on our food labels, knowing what we eat and having our state rights protected. We came because we want GMOs labeled and then elminated from our food supply along with the related toxic chemicals. We came because we have seen an increase in health issues in our loved ones, and we see them get better when they avoid GMOs and eat organic. We came because we love.

Mom and girls from Michigan!

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I arrived at 8 am and was told with 90 seats available I was likely to get in. The crowd gathered. I handed out our MAA flyers to people in line and was told I could not because of terrorism like Anthrax. I asked, "You mean I can't hand out pertinent
information to the hearing, as a US citizen on federal property?" "Not if you don't want to be escorted off the property right now. I am sure you don't want that."
He had no idea what I wanted.
It took everything I had not to continue to hand out the flyers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As I returned to my place in line -- fuming, I noticed a very distinctive difference between the local law students and paid sitters and the activist who traveled from more than 20 states to attend the hearing. There were at least 80 individuals in the front of the line in suits, dresses and crisp striped shirts... bored, blase and talking aimlessly... and hundreds more activist citizens in sweat shirts, hats and black and red bandanas... excited, focused and passionately intense about just getting in the doors of the hearing. They were eager to be a part of our government process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We were sorely dissapointed. Only 52 got in because the other seats were reserved. Nicole from GreenAmerica got in. A few others on the pro GMO labeling side got in. I was there from California (Thanks to Benny Olvera my sponsor)  two hours early and we were positioned 3 people away from the allotted seats but did not get in.

Groups of activists walked to the front of the line and challenged the fairness of being denied entrance.We later learned that many students were paid 40 dollars a head to be there and did not even know why.... they had no idea that they were being used by the corporations just as a shell of a body. Their presence was blocking the inclusion of dedicated Americans who wanted with every fiber of their being to just be in the room.

After the heart break of not getting in to the hearing after a day of travel, as I am sure hundreds felt, my friends and I decided to wait in case some people left the hearing, as we would then be able to take their place. My friend was told if she wanted to get in she had to change her shirt that said "I love my life" because it was a message. Apparently you can't love your life in a federal building hearing. She changed her shirt in case we could get in.

We waited. I watched the first panel, (Watch the hearing here) the pro GMO side speak on live stream for nearly 1 hour and 20 minutes on my cell phone. As I sat on the cold stone floor, my heart sank further with every minute. I was later told I could not sit, that it was "an act of protest" so I stood again and watched the hearing with shooting pain in my feet.
I saw the entire council panel speak favorably of GMOs and deny concern over health safety. I saw our representatives completly sold out on GMOs. I saw the Tennesse Senator (in red) say she "is interested in food looking good because we eat with our eyes... and I am interested in yield." She later left  during first panel. I tried to talk to her as she passed by me. She was immediately angered. I asked her to look up the studies on our Momsacrossamerica.com and told her our kids were sick and she walked away faster. I was again so disappointed.
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My battery ran too low for me to continue watching. I was distraught that we had come all that way and were missing it. We were told the first panel had left and the second panel had started but no one had left the hearing. It was most likely none would.
It was 12:30.We had been there for 4.5 hours. We reluctantly decided to leave, eat lunch and meet with our fellow activists at the nearby church gathering. There I reconnected with wonderful people from all over the country.

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I had an opportunity to address the crowd (see speech here) and request that they take action in their own counties. The response was resoundingly positive. We were not going to give up. I was enlivened and thrilled to meet leaders from all across the country. Their excitement touched my soul and their dedication left me inspired.

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Later, after dinner, I watched the second half of the hearing and my expectations of being represented in the hearing were destroyed. The second panel, I was hoping would be on our side, but it wasn't. It was devastatingly dissapointing. Speaker after speaker just defended GMOs and proclaimed their safety. Even the Vermont co sponsor for the GMO labeling bill and the EWG ( Environmental Working Group) representative clearly proclaimed that they did not have concerns about the safety of GMOs.It was infuriating. I did not hear them speak up to protect our health or state rights. It was a travesty of justice. The hundreds of people who traveled thousands of miles to be there were not fairly represented.

The hearing was set up to be one big propaganda discussion of GMOs.

It was an opportunity for the opposition to scold the EWG.

It was a failure of the US government to protect the people. It is my opinion that the committee members out right lied. I am sure every single one of them is aware of at least one, if not all, of the studies showing harm from GMOs. Every single one of them has heard of the soy comparison study documenting the significant difference between GMO soy and non GMO soy. Every single person in that room was aware of GMO material difference and safety concerns regarding increased pesticides. (Click for link to studies)  It was an appalling example of how corporationshave flat our bought our government.

But this does not mean it was not worth it for every person who came all that way. Our gathering was powerful for us. It was an important act of commitment, generosity and freedom. It galvanized our strength and deepened our appreciation and connection we have for each other. Together, we will be successful. It is time for us to step it up.
It is time for us to stop waiting for other organization heads to speak for us. It is time to stop hoping and start being THE ONE.

I may be disgusted with the system but I will never give up. I don't regret a second of going to DC and I would do it again, earlier, louder and with more supporters. Our efforts in DC are never a waste. Don't use the mess our government currently is in as an excuse not to clean it up. This is OUR COUNTRY!

How can you BE THE ONE in your town? Ban GMOs? Ban Pesticides? Get your school, church or neighbors to switch to organic? Visit with your representatives and congress members and bring them the studies showing harm from GMOs that apparently they never heard of? What ever you do, do something. Because this is our country, our children and our future.

The chemical companies only have power because they have money. And they get their money, essentially from us.

If we don't buy their toxic food, they can't sell it!

It's up to us.

It is the actions of all of us, one at a time, that make the many of us strong and undauntable. Together we can do this.

Thank you for your dedication!!!

Zen Honeycutt and MAAM Team

Special Thanks to OCA for organizing this wonderful gathering of committed people and to supporter Benny Olvera for sponsoring my trip there.

 

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