Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Making a Killing with Cancer: A 95.5 Billion Dollar Industry |

Making a Killing with Cancer: A 95.5 Billion Dollar Industry |

The Flexner Report ― 100 Years Later

The Flexner Report ― 100 Years Later

Flexner Report - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Flexner Report - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

3 Powerful Facts Discovered About Suppressed Cancer Treatments and the American Medical Association

3 Powerful Facts Discovered About Suppressed Cancer Treatments and the American Medical Association

1953 Fitzgerald Report - Suppressed Cancer Treatments - Share The Wealth

1953 Fitzgerald Report - Suppressed Cancer Treatments - Share The Wealth

Bromelain in pineapples can kill cancer cells without killing you! • The Raw Food World News

Bromelain in pineapples can kill cancer cells without killing you! • The Raw Food World News




Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Business of Disease Official Film Screening - Southern District of California Community Coalition (Lake Elsinore, CA) - Meetup

The Business of Disease Official Film Screening - Southern District of California Community Coalition



The Business of Disease Official Film Screening

CHANGE



  • Saturday, November 15, 2014

    10:30 AM to 
  • Laemmle Theater

    5240 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA (edit map)
  • The Business of Disease Documentary Premier!
    This is the official release of the film! 
    Join us!
    Saturday, November 15th, @ 10:30am-12:30pm
    Meet those in the film!
    Q&A after the film


    No charge for this event


    Reserve seat/s
    info@thebusinessofdisease.com


    Bring friends and family!
    Laemmle Theater NoHo7
    Saturday, November 15th
    10:30am-12:30pm
    5240 Lankershim Blvd
    North Hollywood, CA 91601
    Get your copy of the book now and have it signed at the Premier! 
    (A chapter written by those in the film)

    CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE


    (818) 899-1133
    Please visit

    www.thebusinessofdisease.com

    for a list of additional screenings
    Visit this link for further details
    Also visit the website to check for upcoming screenings in your area!
    If you would like to host a screening please contact us
    info@thebusinessofdisease.com
    *** Reservations not necessary but it ensure a seat for you and your guests!


    POSTS
    tinyurl.com

The Business of Disease official trailer 2013

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ebola Is Scary, But These 6 Things Are a Lot Scarier | Alternet

5 Reasons High Fructose Corn Syrup Will Kill You

Particular attention must be paid to high fructose corn syrup, inflamation and detox when considering obesity and inflamation. High Fructose Corn Syrup is contained in foods that might surprise you..including sauce at Subway, ketchup, turkey meatballs, sodas, fruit juice. It is a sugar substitute that is 1/3 the cost of sugar...yet...it turns off the body's ability to realize that it has had enough to eat. A boon for food companies, a death sentence for many of us. See Dr. Mark Hyman's article below on.....

5 Reasons High Fructose Corn Syrup Will Kill You

IF YOU CAN’T CONVINCE THEM, CONFUSE THEM – Harry Truman
The current media debate about the benefits (or lack of harm) of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in our diet misses the obvious. The average American increased their consumption of HFCS (mostly from sugar sweetened drinks and processed food) from zero to over 60 pounds per person per year.
During that time period, obesity rates have more than tripled and diabetes incidence has increased more than seven fold. Not perhaps the only cause, but a fact that cannot be ignored.
Doubt and confusion are the currency of deception, and they sow the seeds of complacency. These are used skillfully through massive print and television advertising campaigns by the Corn Refiners Association’s attempt to dispel the “myth” that HFCS is harmful and assert through the opinion of “medical and nutrition experts” that it is no different than cane sugar. It is a “natural” product that is a healthy part of our diet when used in moderation.
Except for one problem. When used in moderation it is a major cause of heart diseaseobesity, cancer, dementia, liver failure, tooth decay, and more.
Why is the corn industry spending millions on misinformation campaigns to convince consumers and health care professionals of the safety of their product? Could it be that the food industry comprises 17 percent of our economy?
The Lengths the Corn Industry Will Go To
The goal of the corn industry is to call into question any claim of harm from consuming high fructose corn syrup, and to confuse and deflect by calling their product natural “corn sugar”. That’s like calling tobacco in cigarettes natural herbal medicine.
In the ad, the father tells us:
Like any parent I have questions about the food my daughter eats–-like high fructose corn syrup. So I started looking for answers from medical and nutrition experts, and what I discovered whether it’s corn sugar or cane sugar your body can’t tell the difference. Sugar is sugar. Knowing that makes me feel better about what she eats and that’s one less thing to worry about.”
Physicians are also targeted directly. I received a 12-page color glossy monograph from the Corn Refiners Association reviewing the “science” that HFCS was safe and no different than cane sugar. I assume the other 700,000 physicians in America received the same propaganda at who knows what cost.
In addition to this, I received a special “personal” letter from the Corn Refiner’s Association outlining every mention of the problems with HFCS in our diet–whether in print, blogs, books, radio, or television. They warned me of the errors of my ways and put me on “notice”. For what I am not sure. To think they are tracking this (and me) that closely gives me an Orwellian chill.
New websites like www.sweetsurprise.com and www.cornsugar.com help “set us straight” about HFCS with quotes from professors of nutrition and medicine and thought leaders from Harvard and other stellar institutions.
Why is the corn industry spending millions on misinformation campaigns to convince consumers and health care professionals of the safety of their product? Could it be that the food industry comprises 17 percent of our economy?
But are these twisted sweet lies or a sweet surprise, as the Corn Refiners Association websites claim?
What the Science Says About HFCS
Let’s examine the science and insert some common sense into the conversation. These facts may indeed come as a sweet surprise. The ads suggest getting your nutrition advice from your doctor (who, unfortunately, probably knows less about nutrition than most grandmothers).
Having studied this for over a decade, and having read, interviewed, or personally talked with most of the “medical and nutrition experts” used to bolster the claim that “corn sugar” and cane sugar are essentially the same, quite a different picture emerges and the role of HFCS in promoting obesity, disease, and death across the globe becomes clear.
Last week over lunch with Dr. Bruce Ames, one of the foremost nutritional scientists in the world, and Dr. Jeffrey Bland, a nutritional biochemist, a student of Linus Pauling, and I reviewed the existing science, and Dr. Ames shared shocking new evidence from his research center on how HFCS can trigger body-wide inflammation and obesity.
Here are 5 reasons you should stay way from any product containing high fructose corn syrup and why it may kill you.  
  1. Sugar in any form causes obesity and disease when consumed in pharmacologic doses.Cane sugar and high fructose corn syrup are indeed both harmful when consumed in pharmacologic doses of 140 pounds per person per year.When one 20 ounce HFCS sweetened soda, sports drink, or tea has 17 teaspoons of sugar (and the average teenager often consumes two drinks a day) we are conducting a largely uncontrolled experiment on the human species.Our hunter gatherer ancestors consumed the equivalent of 20 teaspoons per year, not per day. In this sense, I would agree with the corn industry that sugar is sugar. Quantity matters. But there are some important differences.
  2. HFCS and cane sugar are NOT biochemically identical or processed the same way by the body. High fructose corn syrup is an industrial food product and far from “natural” or a naturally occurring substance. It is extracted from corn stalks through a process so secret that Archer Daniels Midland and Carghill would not allow the investigative journalist Michael Pollan to observe it for his book The Omnivore’s Dilemma. The sugars are extracted through a chemical enzymatic process resulting in a chemically and biologically novel compound called HFCS. Some basic biochemistry will help you understand this. Regular cane sugar (sucrose) is made of two-sugar molecules bound tightly together– glucose and fructose in equal amounts.The enzymes in your digestive tract must break down the sucrose into glucose and fructose, which are then absorbed into the body. HFCS also consists of glucose and fructose, not in a 50-50 ratio, but a 55-45 fructose to glucose ratio in an unbound form. Fructose is sweeter than glucose. And HFCS is cheaper than sugar because of the government farm bill corn subsidies. Products with HFCS are sweeter and cheaper than products made with cane sugar. This allowed for the average soda size to balloon from 8 ounces to 20 ounces with little financial costs to manufacturers but great human costs of increased obesity, diabetes, and chronic disease.Now back to biochemistry. Since there is there is no chemical bond between them, no digestion is required so they are more rapidly absorbed into your blood stream. Fructose goes right to the liver and triggers lipogenesis (the production of fats like triglycerides and cholesterol) this is why it is the major cause of liver damage in this country and causes a condition called “fatty liver” which affects 70 million people.
    The rapidly absorbed glucose triggers big spikes in insulin–our body’s major fat storage hormone. Both these features of HFCS lead to increased metabolic disturbances that drive increases in appetite, weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia, and more.
    But there was one more thing I learned during lunch with Dr. Bruce Ames. Research done by his group at theChildren’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute found that free fructose from HFCS requires more energy to be absorbed by the gut and soaks up two phosphorous molecules from ATP (our body’s energy source).
    This depletes the energy fuel source, or ATP, in our gut required to maintain the integrity of our intestinal lining. Little “tight junctions” cement each intestinal cell together preventing food and bacteria from “leaking” across the intestinal membrane and triggering an immune reaction and body wide inflammation.
    High doses of free fructose have been proven to literally punch holes in the intestinal lining allowing nasty byproducts of toxic gut bacteria and partially digested food proteins to enter your blood stream and trigger the inflammation that we know is at the root of obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, dementia, and accelerated aging. Naturally occurring fructose in fruit is part of a complex of nutrients and fiber that doesn’t exhibit the same biological effects as the free high fructose doses found in “corn sugar”.
    The takeaway: Cane sugar and the industrially produced, euphemistically named “corn sugar” are not biochemically or physiologically the same.
  3. HFCS contains contaminants including mercury that are not regulated or measured by the FDA. An FDA researcher asked corn producers to ship a barrel of high fructose corn syrup in order to test for contaminants. Her repeated requests were refused until she claimed she represented a newly created soft drink company. She was then promptly shipped a big vat of HFCS that was used as part of the study that showed that HFCS often contains toxic levels of mercury because of chlor-alkali products used in its manufacturing.(i) Poisoned sugar is certainly not “natural”.When HFCS is run through a chemical analyzer or a chromatograph, strange chemical peaks show up that are not glucose or fructose. What are they? Who knows? This certainly calls into question the purity of this processed form of super sugar. The exact nature, effects, and toxicity of these funny compounds have not been fully explained, but shouldn’t we be protected from the presence of untested chemical compounds in our food supply, especially when the contaminated food product comprises up to 15-20 percent of the average American’s daily calorie intake?  
  4. Independent medical and nutrition experts DO NOT support the use of HFCS in our diet, despite the assertions of the corn industry. The corn industry’s happy looking websites www.cornsugar.com andwww.sweetsurprise.com bolster their position that cane sugar and corn sugar are the same by quoting experts, or should we say misquoting … Barry M. Popkin, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has published widely on the dangers of sugar-sweetened drinks and their contribution to the obesity epidemic. In a review of HFCS in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,(ii)he explains the mechanism by which the free fructose may contribute to obesity.He states that: “The digestion, absorption, and metabolism of fructose differ from those of glucose. Hepatic metabolism of fructose favors de novo lipogenesis (production of fat in the liver). In addition, unlike glucose, fructose does not stimulate insulin secretion or enhance leptin production. Because insulin and leptin act as key afferent signals in the regulation of food intake and body weight (to control appetite), this suggests that dietary fructose may contribute to increased energy intake and weight gain. Furthermore, calorically sweetened beverages may enhance caloric over-consumption.”He states that HFCS is absorbed more rapidly than regular sugar and that it doesn’t stimulate insulin or leptin production. This prevents you from triggering the body’s signals for being full and may lead to over-consumption of total calories. He concludes by saying that:
    “… the increase in consumption of HFCS has a temporal relation to the epidemic of obesity, and the overconsumption of HFCS in calorically sweetened beverages may play a role in the epidemic of obesity.”
    The corn industry takes his comments out of context to support their position. “All sugar you eat is the same.”
    True pharmacologic doses of any kind of sugar are harmful, but the biochemistry of different kinds of sugar and their respective effects on absorption, appetite, and metabolism are different, and Dr. Popkin knows that.
    David S. Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, and a personal friend, has published extensively on the dangers and the obesogenic properties of sugar-sweetened beverages.
    He was quoted as saying that “high fructose corn syrup is one of the most misunderstood products in the food industry.” When I asked him why he supported the corn industry, he told me he didn’t and that his comments were taken totally out of context.
    Misrepresenting science is one thing, misrepresenting scientists who have been at the forefront of the fight against obesity and high fructose sugar sweetened beverages is quite another.
  5. HFCS is almost always a marker of poor-quality, nutrient-poor disease-creating industrial food products or “food-like substances”. The last reason to avoid products that contain HFCS is that they are a marker for poor-quality, nutritionally-depleted, processed industrial food full of empty calories and artificial ingredients. If you find “high fructose corn syrup” on the label you can be sure it is not a whole, real, fresh food full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. Stay away if you want to stay healthy. We still must reduce our overall consumption of sugar, but with this one simple dietary change you can radically reduce your health risks and improve your health.While debate may rage about the biochemistry and physiology of cane sugar versus corn sugar, this is in fact beside the point (despite the finer points of my scientific analysis above). The conversation has been diverted to a simple assertion that cane sugar and corn sugar are not different.
The real issues are only two.
  • We are consuming HFCS and sugar in pharmacologic quantities never before experienced in human history–140 pounds a year versus 20 teaspoons a year 10,000 years ago.
  • High fructose corn syrup is always found in very poor-quality foods that are nutritionally vacuous and filled with all sorts of other disease promoting compounds, fats, salt, chemicals, and even mercury.
These critical ideas should be the heart of the national conversation, not the meaningless confusing ads and statements by the corn industry in the media and online that attempt to assure the public that the biochemistry of real sugar and industrially produced sugar from corn are the same.
Now I’d like to hear from you …
Do you think there is an association between the introduction of HFCS in our diet and the obesity epidemic?
What reason do you think the Corn Refiners Association has for running such ads and publishing websites like those listed in this article?
What do you think of the science presented here and the general effects of HFCS on the American diet?
Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below—but remember, we can’t offer personal medical advice online, so be sure to limit your comments to those about taking back our health!
To your good health,
Mark Hyman, MD
References
(i) Dufault, R., LeBlanc, B., Schnoll, R. et al. 2009. Mercury from chlor-alkali plants: Measured concentrations in food product sugar. Environ Health. 26(8):2.
(ii) Bray, G.A., Nielsen, S.J., and B.M. Popkin. 2004. Consumption of high-fructose corn syrup in beverages may play a role in the epidemic of obesity. Am J Clin Nutr. 79(4):537-43. Review.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Dark Side of a Pill: Pharmaceutical Fraud

The Dark Side of a Pill. Movie explores suicide and aggression with regard to pharmaceuticals.

http://bcove.me/9xce4dtm

Suicide and aggression caused by psychotropic pills.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Intravenous Therapies: Supporting the Body Once Diagnosed with Cancer - Hayman 09/21 by Progress in the World | Health Podcasts

Intravenous Therapies: Supporting the Body Once Diagnosed with Cancer - Hayman 09/21 by Progress in the World | Health Podcasts



Check Out Health Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Progress in the World on BlogTalkRadio


Alpha Lipoic Acid, Gluthatione and High Dose IV Vitamin C are discussed during this interview. 

Alpha Lipoic Acid is a free radical scavenger. It helps against cancer, MS diabetics, hepatitis C and liver issues...also...lymphoma, pancreatic cancer. Poly MVA is a great source of alpha lipoic acid. http://www.PolyMVA.COM

Your immune system is boosted. 

Gluthatione is helps with oxidation damage it is anti-cancer and the stongest anti-oxidant. 

High dose vitamin C  - Much progress has been realized by the Reardon Clinic in Witchita, KS. 

Vitamin C causes a build up on hydrogen peroxide in the body and destroys cancer cells with apoptosis (the cancer cells explode). A G6PD test is required.  

Thursday, September 11, 2014

California Crisis: Kids in Foster Care and Psychotropics with Sonya Muhammad



Check Out Health Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Progress in the World on BlogTalkRadio

Sonya Muhammad Bio:
Sonya Muhammad's holds a Master's degree in marriage, family, and child counseling from Pacific Oaks College, in Pasadena, California.  As a marriage, family, and child counselor for more than twenty years, Ms. Muhammad has provided counseling services to children of all ages, varied cultures, and varied socioeconomic status, as well as, their parents and other concerned persons. 

During the last twelve years employed by Los Angeles County Office of Education/Foster Youth Services, Ms. Muhammad also served as a community liaison between assigned foster youth, local school districts, and related social service agencies in Los Angeles County.

Sonya Muhammad has been an advocate for children for many years. She was introduced to the fraudulent practices of those who diagnose and prescribe dangerous mind debilitating drugs to children, some as young as ages 3,4,and 5, by Dr. Fred Baughman, author of "Diagnosis for Dollars and ADHD Fraud.

 Ms. Muhammad's work environment allowed her the opportunity to become familiar with these practices of drugging California's foster youth.  And she continues to be willing to do her part in bringing these practices to the attention of the world community.  "Drugging children should be a crime against children and determined, Chemical Child Abuse, punishable by law.   Nothing less will deter."

California's Crisis: 1 Out of Every 4 Children in California’s Foster Care System are Prescribed Powerful Psychiatric Drugs Including Dangerous Antipsychotics

Join me for this important radio show with Sonya Muhammad. Please share this with friends and family. We must stop this trend...that is hurting our children.


With alarming frequency, foster and health care providers are turning to a risky but convenient remedy to control the behavior of thousands of troubled kids: numbing them with psychiatric drugs that are untested on and often not approved for children.

A new report issued from the Bay Area News organization, raises the alarm on mass prescribing of dangerous psychotropic drugs to California's foster care children.  Among the findings of the investigation:  Nearly 1 out of every 4 adolescents in California foster care system is being drugged , 3 times the rate for adolescents nationwide.   Even more alarming is that of the tens of thousands prescribed psychiatric drugs,  nearly 60% were prescribed powerful antipsychotics which have been documented by 72 international drug regulatory warnings to cause heart problems, stroke, diabetes, convulsions and sudden death.    

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights, a mental health watchdog organization responsible for helping to enact more than 150 reforms against abusive mental health practices, says this treatment of children is medical neglect, and reforms must be enacted to protect this vulnerable population.   CCHR has experts in the field of California Foster Care who are available for media interviews, as well as Doctors who can speak to the dangers of the drugs being prescribed to children, not only in foster care, but nation wide.

According to IMS Health, the leading vendor of all US prescribing data, nearly 9 million children currently being prescribed psychiatric drugs—with more than 1 million are under the age of five.   Click here for the exact breakdown of age groups being prescribed psychiatric drugs http://www.cchrint.org/psychiatric-drugs/children-on-psychiatric-drugs/

To read the full report on California's Foster Care crisis, click here - http://www.cchrint.org/2014/08/26/drugging-our-kids-children-in-californias-foster-care-system/

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia: Dr. Jessica Hayman


Check Out Health Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Progress in the World on BlogTalkRadio

Veteran's Suicides: The Healer Warrior Initiative


Check Out Politics Progressive Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Progress in the World on BlogTalkRadio

Friday, July 18, 2014

Dr. Forsythe: Sexuality and Cancer


Discover Health Internet Radio with Progress in the World on BlogTalkRadio

Fatigue, Sleep and Pain in Cancer Patients: Dr. Forsythe


New Health Internet Radio with Progress in the World on BlogTalkRadio

Dr. Jeanne Stolzer - Infants, Toddlers and Psychotropic Drugs



Check Out Health Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Progress in the World on BlogTalkRadio

Dr. Jessica Hayman - Chronic Acute Lyme Disease, A Natural Way to Healing


Find Additional Health Podcasts with Progress in the World on BlogTalkRadio

Colonel Bart Billings: Why Do We Keep Having So Many Tragic Shootings?


New Politics Progressive Podcasts with Progress in the World on BlogTalkRadio

Sheila Matthews - Able Child - Can Parents Refuse Psychotropic Drugs?


Find Additional Health Podcasts with Progress in the World on BlogTalkRadio

Introducing Dr. Forsythe - Internet Radio Show


New Health Internet Radio with Progress in the World on BlogTalkRadio

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

10 Things Snack Food Compaines Won't Tell You



10 things snack food companies won’t tell you


MarketWatch


Candies
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View gallery

1. We spend big bucks to reach your kids
The growing prevalence of obesity, diabetes and other food-related health problems in the U.S. has arguably made us much more aware of what we eat. But the snack-food industry remains a major economic force. Over the past five years, the industry has grown at an average annual rate of 3.8%, and it will rake in an estimated $34.6 billion in sales this year, according to research firm IBISWorld. An IBISWorld report calls the industry’s future “promising” and notes that the improving economy will likely “lift both domestic and foreign demand for snacks.”
One key to snack food makers’ success: Ubiquitous and effective marketing—especially in campaigns aimed at children. The U.S. food and beverage industry spends $1.79 billion a year marketing to youth, according to data published by the Federal Trade Commission in 2012, with $1 billion of that directed to children ages 2 to 11 and the rest to adolescents ages 12 to 17; 72% of that money is spent to market carbonated beverages, cereals and fast food.
Research suggests that these messages work. A study published in 2012 in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine found that for every hour of television children watch, they are 18% more likely to eat candy and 14% more likely to eat fast food (and interestingly, also 8% less likely to eat fruit).

Christen Cooper was shocked when her son, then 2, pointed to the Dunkin’ Donuts logo and called it out by name. As a registered dietitian and founder of Cooper Nutrition, a nutrition counseling firm in Pleasantville, N.Y., Cooper says she talks to her son about healthy eating and limits his television time, but the messages from marketers still infiltrate. “He demands fruit rollups and sugary cereal,” she says. “He learns a lot of it from TV.”
2. Our ingredients have a big ick factor…
Consumers often don’t realize what’s in their snacks—and sometimes those ingredients are rather unsavory. One ingredient that’s surprisingly common: The carcasses of ground-up, boiled beetles, which are often used in snack foods to create those lovely shades of red, purple and pink in fruit juice, ice cream and candy. “It’s a common colorant,” Ann-Arbor-based physician James Baldwin explains. In rare cases, the crushed beetles can cause anaphylactic shock—but in general, they’ve been approved and deemed safe for use in foods by the Food and Drug Administration.
That said, you won’t find the word “beetle” anywhere on food labels; instead, you’ll likely see the less cringe-worthy “carminic acid” or “cochineal extract.” And the beetle remains are big business. Peru, the largest exporter of cochineal extract in the world, produced more than one million pounds of the dyestuff last year, substantially more than it did a few years back, according to historian Amy Butler Greenfield, the author of “A Perfect Red,” which examines the history of the product.
Beetles aren’t the only I-dare-you-to-eat-that items you may have unknowingly noshed on. Vanilla-flavored items like cookies and cakes are sometimes flavored with castoreum, a secretion from a beaver’s behind (technically, from a sac near his anus called the castor sac), explains nutritionist Mira Calton, the co-author of “Rich Food Poor Food.” This secretion, which the FDA also deems safe, has been used for decades, though it has become less common recently because it tends to be more expensive than vanilla extract.
3.…and some are banned in other countries
Some ingredients commonly found in snack foods in the U.S. are banned in other countries—where health advocates have persuaded regulators that they’re potentially harmful.
Azodicarbonamide, or ADA, is found in roughly 500 packaged foods made by more than 130 brands, according to the Environmental Working Group, a food-safety and environmental advocacy organization.
Food makers use ADA in snack foods like cupcakes, cookies and crackers to improve their texture--but it’s also used in yoga mats, flip-flops and other plastic products. While it’s legal to add ADA to foods here in the U.S. (as long as you stay below 45 parts per million), ADA is banned in the European Union. Opponents of ADA cite research connecting the compound to respiratory problems and allergies; defenders of ADA say that it is safe in the small quantities used in foods in the U.S.
Another product Americans eat that’s banned elsewhere: Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone, or rBGH (commonly sold under the brand name Posilac). The product, a synthetic hormone injected into cows to stimulate milk production, pops up in many dairy-based snacks like ice cream. But in the EU and Canada, it has been banned, amid health concerns for both cows and humans, including fears that a hormone associated with cancer might be elevated in people who drink milk treated with rBGH. (Eli Lilly, the company that manufactures Posilac, says that the substance is “a safe, proven and sustainable technology” and that its safety has been affirmed by more than 50 countries world-wide.)
4. Expiration date? Who cares?
We’ve all chuckled over the urban legend that a Twinkie will stay fresh forever. Turns out, that’s not so far-fetched. Highly processed foods can remain edible well beyond the expiration date on the package, says Karen Duester, president of the Food Consulting Company, which advises companies on food labels and FDA regulations. In fact, if the product is well-sealed, kept away from light, and has a low-fat and dairy content, it could last for years. That’s particularly true for canned and bottled snacks and foods. Foods like highly processed crackers and cookies (put them in the toaster if they seem stale) or soda could last far past posted expiration dates.
“Best by” dates are provided voluntarily by the manufacturer. Why do they even bother? It encourages retailers to restock—and reorder—the product more often, says Duester. Plus, an expiration date pegged to, say, 2018 isn’t exactly appealing to customers.
5. Our factories could be filthy
Each year, an estimated one in six Americans gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die from consuming contaminated foods and beverages, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And a number of these incidents are the result of filthy conditions in food manufacturing plants.
Snack foods aren’t immune to these problems. Peanut plants—whose products are used to make peanut butter and peanut-flavored snacks—have been especially troubled lately, with two major factories in the past two years facing legal problems and shutdowns related to salmonella outbreaks and unsanitary conditions.

And these are just the cases that have come to light publicly. The FDA does not inspect every food manufacturing facility each year—even among those that it thinks are at a high risk of transmitting food-borne illnesses to consumers. In fiscal year 2011, the most recent year for which figures are available, the FDA deemed 22,325 food facilities as high-risk, but it inspected fewer than half of those (11,007) that year and only 8,023 in 2012.
Snack-food makers are sometimes less likely to get inspected than other facilities, in part because the FDA is less likely to view them as high-risk. While 32% of fishery and seafood facilities, 28% of cheese facilities and 20% of vegetable facilities were inspected in 2008, just 12% of chocolate facilities and 16% of soft drink and water facilities were inspected that year.
6. ‘Caution: Contains arsenic’
Extensive exposure to arsenic has been linked to cancers of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidneys, nasal passages, liver and prostate, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. But few people realize that the substance can be found in many snacks, even some considered healthy.
The toxin, which occurs naturally, is absorbed by plants from soil and water. It’s present in trace amounts in many grains, fruits and vegetables, but it appears in particularly high levels in rice—which is replacing wheat in some snacks as manufacturers offer more gluten-free options.
A recent investigation by Consumer Reports found that rice breakfast cereals (even organic varieties) contained arsenic, as did apple and grape juices (an FDA study also found arsenic in apple juice). Last year, the FDA for the first time issued guidelines for allowable levels of arsenic in apple juice and suggested that consumers diversify their diets to place less of an emphasis on rice. (For many, this means limiting consumption of snack foods like rice cakes and crackers, as well as rice milk and rice cereals, to only a serving or two a week.)
7. That energy bar may exhaust you
Ads for energy bars often feature athletes in top shape. With brand names that evoke strength, well-being, and the great outdoors, the products cultivate what food experts call “a health halo.” These messages appear to resonate with consumers—the nutrition and snack bar market is projected to grow from sales of $5.5 billion in 2013 to $6.2 billion by 2018, according to a report by market research firm Mintel. “Sales will be mostly driven by demand for healthy foods,” Mintel’s vice president of research, Marla Commons, writes in the report.

But read the ingredients list, and many popular energy bars start to look anything but healthy—and instead more like garden-variety candy bars. They often contain ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, dextrose and fructose—sugars, all—plus chocolate, rice crispies and caramel. “They are highly-engineered sugar delivery systems,” says Dr. Sean C. Lucan at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Eating such a snack is likely to give you the kind of immediate burst of energy—also known as a sugar rush—that you’d get from a candy bar. And then you’ll crash, often feeling more tired than before you ate the bar, Lucan says. (And maybe you’ll reach for another energy bar.)
8. ‘Natural’ is naturally meaningless.
The Agriculture Department, which regulates meat and poultry, defines natural products as those that don’t have artificial colors or ingredients. But the FDA, which regulates other types of food, doesn’t monitor snack-food manufacturers’ use of the word as closely. On its website, the FDA says “it is difficult to define a food product that is ‘natural’ because the food has probably been processed and is no longer the product of the earth.”
As a consequence, “Natural basically has no meaning in food labeling,” says Lucan. Often you’ll see the term “natural flavor” on your snack package, but it doesn’t actually mean “directly from nature.” Chemicals produced in laboratories are more likely responsible for the flavor, Lucan says. “While the same chemical compounds may be found in nature, the ones that end up in your food usually come from a chemical plant—not a living plant,” he says.
Still, natural sells, since many consumers these days are willing to pay a higher price for foods they deem healthier. For example, on grocery delivery site FreshDirect.com a 9-ounce bag of multigrain tortilla chips (it prominently says “all natural” on the bag) goes for $4.29, while the same-sized bag of regular tortilla chips from the same company goes for just $3.29, even though the ingredients are similar.
9. When we say ‘enriched,’ we mean processed
Snack foods like pretzels, cookies and doughnuts often prominently advertise enriched wheat flour as an ingredient. But “enriched” isn’t necessarily good. The term means that vitamins and minerals have been added to the food, but usually only after they’ve first been removed.
The typical food manufacturer’s refining process strips some vitamins and minerals out of the food; enriching it puts back some of the nutrients that were stripped away. “Enrichment really ought to be called ‘partial restoration,’” says Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer-advocacy organization that focuses on health and nutrition. And although the enrichment process adds back nutrients like thiamine, niacin, riboflavin and iron, it doesn’t always add them back in the same amounts; it can also cut out a good deal of fiber, Jacobson says.
10. You may be overpaying for our chocolate.
Consumers’ love of all things chocolate isn’t abating soon. Chocolate confectionary sales grew 24% from 2008 through 2013 in the U.S. alone (global demand is also rising rapidly) and are expected to grow another 14% through 2018 to hit $23 billion, according to Mintel. Sales of individual bars, bags and boxes of chocolate drive that sector, with more than 40% of the market share.
While candymakers say that rising sales are a result of high demand, grocers and other retailers have accused manufacturers of illegally colluding to keep chocolate prices high. Since 2008, grocery chains and retailers have filed multiple lawsuits making that allegation. In the U.S., a federal judge in February dismissed grocers’ claims of price collusion. But in Canada, several manufacturers agreed last year to pay roughly $23 million to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging price-fixing. (The manufacturers have denied wrongdoing in both countries.)

Catey Hill covers personal finance and travel for MarketWatch in New York. Follow her on Twitter @CateyHill.