Saturday, June 29, 2019


How do different eggs stack up in terms of flavor, nutrition and animal welfare?

Analysis by Dr. Joseph MercolaFact Checked

    Eggs are among the healthiest foods out there, but not all eggs are created equal, and sorting through the egg labels to identify the highest quality eggs can be a confusing affair. 
    Health conscious consumers know to look for designations like "organic," "free-range," "pastured" and "cage-free,"1 but while you may think many of these are interchangeable, they're actually not. In some ways, these labels are little more than creative advertising.
    The featured video, "Egg Crackdown," a CBC Marketplace report by investigative reporter Asha Tomlinson, investigates the marketing of supermarket eggs and visits egg producers to get a firsthand look at what the company's label actually means.

    There is a confusing array of egg labels 

    Unfortunately, while the Humane Farm Animal Care, a nonprofit certification agency, has set standards for free-range and pastured poultry for products bearing its Certified Humane label,2there's no legal definition of these terms in the U.S. 
    The "free-range" definition established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture applies to chickens only,3 not their eggs. As a result, the commercial egg industry is able to run industrial farm egg laying operations while still calling them "free-range" eggs, despite the fact that the birds' foraging conditions are far from natural. 
    Confusing matters further, while organic poultry and eggs are guaranteed to be free-range, as required by organic standards, free-range poultry are not required to be organic.4 Importantly, the organic label is also the only way to ensure you're getting eggs from chickens that have not been fed antibiotics for growth purposes, as this is not allowed under the organic standards. 
    For chickens, the USDA's definition of free-range does not specify the amount of time the hens must spend outdoors or the amount of outdoor space each hen must have access to. Nor do they indicate that the hen must have access to a pasture diet.
    True free-range eggs, now typically referred to as "pasture raised" as a way to differentiate them, come from hens that roam freely outdoors on a pasture where they can forage for their natural diet, which includes seeds, green plants, insects and worms. 
    Large commercial egg facilities typically house tens of thousands of hens and can even go up to hundreds of thousands of hens. Obviously, they cannot allow all of them to forage freely. However, they can still be called "cage-free" or "free-range" as long as they're not confined to an individual cage. 
    Overall, the cage-free and free-range labels say little to nothing about the conditions in which the chickens are raised, and more often than not, they're still deplorable. So, for the best quality eggs, from the most humanely-raised hens, the label you're looking for is "pastured." 

    Putting eggs to the test

    In the featured video, CBC Marketplace also conducts a taste test to see how the different farming methods translate into flavor. Included in the taste test are conventional battery caged eggs, free-range, organic and pastured eggs. The two conventional brands tested were Burnbrae and Gray Ridge. 
    In terms of flavor, the conventional eggs were deemed "bland," and some of the testers expressed concerns about animal welfare being one of the reasons they avoid conventional eggs. Tomlinson visits a CAFO in Ontario to investigate the conditions in which these egg-layers are raised. 
    The facility houses 20,000 chickens, and operations are automated. Each cage houses six chickens, the space being just tall and wide enough for the chickens to fit with minimal space to move. The eggs drop through an opening onto a conveyer belt.
    Next up in the taste test were Small Flock's Delight's brown eggs "from hens on grass," a Canadian free-range brand, the label of which states: "Back to the old way, small flocks of happy hens picking and scratching through soil and green plants." Some taste testers said these eggs had a much more robust flavor and aroma, while others guessed they were conventional. 
    Enriched colony, nest laid eggs are CAFO
    Next, Tomlinson visits a CAFO with "enriched housing" facilities. Eggs such as these cost about 50 cents Canadian more than conventional eggs and are marketed as being more ethical. But are they? The hens raised in enriched housing facilities get double the square inch of space given conventional chickens, and each cage has a scratch pad and perch rail. 
    They also have a darkened "privacy quarter" in which they can lay their eggs, as scientists claim hens prefer to lay eggs in a dark, private area. Other than that, the facilities and methods are identical to those of a regular CAFO. Eggs such as these are typically labeled as "enriched colony," "enriched coup" or "nest laid." 

    Pastured eggs — A superior choice in terms of flavor and nutrition

    As noted in the featured video, while "free run," "free-range" and "pastured" may sound like interchangeable terms, they're not. And the reality behind these terms isn't necessarily what you might expect: 
    • "Free run" eggs are from chickens that are not confined to battery cages, but they're still cooped up indoors, in a giant factory-style building, without access to the outside. 
    • "Free-range," is basically the same, but with access to the outdoors — at least in theory: Pictures from some free-range farms have a conspicuous absence of chickens in their outdoor areas. 
    • Then there's pastured. CBC visits Organic Meadows, a farmer-owned cooperative that raises "pastured" chickens and eggs. Each day, the barn is opened up and the birds migrate outdoors. 
    "Fresh air and sunshine, that does a lot of good to an animal," the farmer says. The hens are fed organic feed, and the eggs are hand-gathered. Thus, they command a markedly higher retail price. 
    While everyone might not be able to afford pastured eggs, "the consumer can feel confident they're getting their money's worth," the farmer says. As for taste, "creamy" and "delicious" were some of the comments given after tasting Organic Meadow's pastured eggs. 
    As noted in the video, the diet of the chicken can impact not only the taste of the egg, but also its nutritional value. CBC Marketplace had the different types of eggs tested for their nutritional content, and the differences were significant. 
    Organic Meadow's pastured eggs received the highest nutritional rating, having three to five times more vitamin E, twice as much omega-3 fat and significantly higher amounts of vitamins A and D than the other eggs. 
    When it came to taste, Burnbrae's conventional eggs came in last place, with none of the taste testers selecting it as their favorite. The free run eggs came in fifth place, followed by the free-range brand (Small Flock's Delight) and Burnbrae's Organic. Interestingly, the win was a tie between Gray Ridge's conventional and Organic Meadow's pastured eggs.

    Pastured eggs less likely to carry pathogenic contamination

    While not discussed in this CBC Marketplace report, pastured eggs are also far less likely to be contaminated with disease-causing pathogens. CAFOs are known to be hotbeds for Salmonella infection.5
    Eggs can become contaminated while they are being formed if the Salmonella bacteria exist inside a chicken's ovaries. As noted in the report,6,7 "Food Safety and Cage Egg Production" by the Humane Society, published in 2011:
    "All 16 scientific studies published in the last five years comparing Salmonella contamination between caged and cage-free operations found that those confining hens in cages had higher rates of Salmonella, the leading cause of food poisoning-related death in the United States."
    Today, we also have antibiotic-resistant strains of salmonella to contend with, which makes potential contamination even more worrisome. While there's no way to guarantee 100% safety at all times, the benefits of free-range poultry are becoming more well-recognized, and reduced disease risk is definitely part of that benefits package. 

    Eggs are an important part of a healthy diet

    As mentioned, eggs are one of the healthiest foods around, loaded with valuable vitamins and minerals, including selenium, vitamins B2 (riboflavin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B7 (biotin) and B12, high-quality protein, iodine, vitamin D, zinc, omega-3 fats and more.8
    Eggs are also an important source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants known to play a role in healthy vision and the prevention of cataracts and macular degeneration, and are one of the best sources of choline available, providing 430 milligrams of choline per 100 grams.9
    Choline helps keep your cell membranes functioning properly, plays a role in nerve communications and prevents the buildup of homocysteine in your blood, which is good because elevated levels are linked to heart disease. 
    Choline also helps reduce chronic inflammation and has been shown to lower your risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, in part due to its role in phosphatidyl choline and transporting fats out of your liver,10 and part due to the fact that it's an important part of the mitochondrial membrane, and mitochondrial dysfunction is a central mechanism in the pathogenesis of NAFLD.11
    Choline deficiency is thought to play a major role in NAFLD because it disturbs mitochondrial bioenergetics12 and fatty acid oxidation.13 Choline also enables your body to make the brain chemical acetylcholine, which is involved in storing memories. In pregnant women, choline helps prevent birth defects such as spina bifida, while also playing a role in your baby's brain development. 
    According to a study14 published in the journal Nutrients, only 8.03 to 0.56% of U.S. adults are getting enough choline — including only 8.51 to 2.89% of pregnant women. Among egg consumers, however, 57.3% meet the adequate intake levels for choline. 
    Based on the outcomes, the study authors concluded that "it is extremely difficult to achieve the adequate intake for choline without consuming eggs or taking a dietary supplement."15
    Some of the symptoms associated with low choline levels include lethargy, memory problems and persistent brain fog. Because your body can only synthesize small amounts of this nutrient, you must get it from your diet on a regular basis. 

    Where and how to find organic pastured eggs 

    So to summarize, what you're really looking for is eggs that are both certified organic and true pasture-raised. Barring organic certification, which is cost-prohibitive for many small farmers, you could just make sure the farmer raises his chickens according to organic, free-range standards, allowing his flock to forage freely for their natural diet, and doesn't feed them antibiotics, corn or soy.
    If you live in an urban area, visiting a local health food store is typically the quickest route to finding high-quality local egg sources. Your local farmers market is another source for fresh organic pasture-raised eggs, and is a great way to meet the people who produce your food. 
    With face-to-face contact, you can get your questions answered and know exactly what you're buying. Better yet, visit the farm and ask for a tour. Your egg farmer should be paying attention to proper nutrition, clean water, adequate housing space and good ventilation to reduce stress on the hens and support their immunity.
    To get an idea of what you're looking for in a superior egg producer, take a look at Joel Salatin's Polyface farm operation below. He's truly one of the pioneers in sustainable agriculture, and you can take a virtual tour through his chicken farm operation in the following video.
    As a general rule, you can tell the eggs are pastured by the color of the egg yolk. Foraged hens produce eggs with bright orange yolks. Dull, pale yellow yolks are a sure sign you're getting eggs from caged hens that are not allowed to forage for their natural diet. 
    For store-bought eggs, be sure to check out Cornucopia's organic egg scorecard that rates 136 egg producers based on 28 organic criteria. According to Cornucopia, their report "showcases ethical family farms and their brands, and exposes factory farm producers and brands in grocery store coolers that threaten to take over organic livestock agriculture."

    Another alternative: Raise your own backyard chickens

    This is the choice I have actually taken. I had a chicken coop built for 20 chickens and I now have 14 chickens and will likely get more soon. Eggs are my primary protein source as I eat about six eggs every day. Seemed to be the best strategy to get the highest quality eggs.
    As noted in the featured Marketplace report, backyard chickens are making a comeback, as more homeowners are adding free-roaming chickens to their gardens. If you are so inclined, it's by far your best egg sourcing option.
    As you can see in the Polyfarm video above, raising chickens is not very difficult. If you are interested in the possibility of raising a few chickens yourself, a good place to begin is by asking yourself a few questions (see below). You can also visit Joel's Polyface Farm Web site for more details on raising chickens.
    1. Can I dedicate some time each day? — You can expect to devote about 10 minutes a day, an hour per month and a few hours twice a year to the care and maintenance of your brood. 
    2. Do I have enough space? — They will need a minimum of 10 square feet per bird to roam, preferably more. The more foraging they can do, the healthier and happier they'll be and the better their eggs will be. 
    3. What are the chicken regulations in my town? — You will want to research this before jumping in because some places have zoning restrictions and even noise regulations (which especially applies if you have a rooster). 
    4. Are my neighbors on board with the idea? — It's a good idea to see if they have any concerns early on. 
    5. Can I afford a flock? — There are plenty of benefits to growing your own eggs, but saving money isn't one of them. There are significant upfront costs to getting a co-op set up, plus ongoing expenses for supplies. 

    Friday, June 21, 2019


    Aiming for 10,000 steps? Here's your new target

    Analysis by Dr. Joseph MercolaFact Checked


    • According to the World Health Organization, inactivity is the fourth biggest killer of adults worldwide, responsible for 5.1% to 12.5% (average 9%) of premature deaths, and walking more could go a long way toward reducing this risk
    • The recommendation to walk at least 10,000 steps a day is not based on science; it came from a Japanese marketing campaign launched in 1965 to promote the Manpo-kei pedometer, a brand name that translates to “10,000 steps meter” 
    • Research aimed at determining just how many steps you need to take to lower your risk of early death suggests older individuals can get away with as few as 4,400 steps a day
    • Compared to women who averaged 2,718 steps a day, women who walked 4,363 steps per day were 41% less likely to die in the next four years, and taking 5,905 steps was associated with a 46% lower mortality risk. Women who took 8,442 steps were 58% less likely to die in the next four years, but additional analysis revealed benefits maxed out around 7,500 steps per day
    • Higher intensities were also associated with lower risks of mortality. However, after adjustments for the number of steps taken each day, this correlation more or less vanished
    Most adults spend 10 hours or more each day sitting, and research1,2 shows this level of inactivity cannot be counteracted with a workout at the end of the day. To maintain health, you really need mild but near-continuous movement throughout your waking hours. 
    One strategy that has been shown to have a positive impact is simply to stand up more. Increasing your daily walking is another key strategy that pays significant dividends, both short term and long term. 
    According to the World Health Organization, inactivity is the fourth biggest killer of adults worldwide, responsible for 5.1% to 12.5% (average 9%) of premature deaths,3,4 and walking more could go a long way toward reducing this risk. But just how long do your treks need to be? A common recommendation is 10,000 steps a day, but where did that number come from?

    The obscure origins of the 10,000 step recommendation 

    If you wear a fitness tracker, there's a good chance you're counting your steps. There's also a good chance that your daily goal is to reach 10,000 — the magic number that seemed to appear out of thin air. That number does have an origin, but it didn't come from health studies or scientific research.
    The idea of walking at least 10,000 steps a day actually comes from a Japanese marketing campaign by the Yamasa Clock and Instrument Company, launched in 1965 to promote its Manpo-kei pedometer, a brand name that translates to "10,000 steps meter."5
    Companies in the United States adopted the idea more recently to help promote their own fitness trackers. So, if the number 10,000 wasn't scientifically determined, how many steps should you actually aim for each day? Researcher I-Min Lee of Brigham and Women's Hospital set out to find the answer.

    How many steps a day do you need for health and longevity?

    Lee and her colleagues designed a study6,7,8,9,10 that included 18,289 women from the Women's Health Study aged between 62 to 101 with a mean age of 72, who agreed to wear an accelerometer during waking hours for seven days.
    Of these, 16,741 wore the devices as instructed and returned them for data analysis. Data included total number of steps per day, as well as several measures of intensity. The main outcome measure was all-cause mortality. The study, published online in May 2019 in JAMA Internal Medicine, showed that, compared to women who took an average of 2,718 steps:11
    • Women who took 4,363 steps [median count] per day were 41% less likely to die in the next four years
    • Women who took 5,905 steps 46% less likely to die in the next four years
    • Women who took 8,442 steps were 58% less likely to die in the next four years
    At first glance, it appears more is better, but it turns out there is a Goldilocks zone after all. Additional analysis revealed benefits maxed out around 7,500 steps per day. In other words, the benefits progressively increased between approximately 4,400 and 7,500 steps, at which point they leveled off.
    Step count matters more than intensity for the elderly 

    Higher intensities were also associated with lower risks of mortality. However, after adjustments for the number of steps taken each day, this correlation more or less vanished. As concluded by the authors:12
    "Among older women, as few as approximately 4400 steps/d was significantly related to lower mortality rates compared with approximately 2700 steps/d. 
    With more steps per day, mortality rates progressively decreased before leveling at approximately 7500 steps/d. Stepping intensity was not clearly related to lower mortality rates after accounting for total steps per day."
    Limitations of the study, which could have influenced results, include the accuracy of the step count (step trackers are not foolproof), and the fact that the researchers did not take into account other types of movement or exercise, such as gardening.
    It also did not look at any other potential benefits beyond mortality rates, nor is it clear if the results will apply equally to men and younger individuals. Additional research would need to be done to clarify those questions. 

    Many studies confirm walking boosts health and longevity 

    While it's easy to say that something is better than nothing when it comes to staying active, research does show there's typically a minimum level of activity required before you notice any discernible difference. Most studies also show that more activity is better than less — up to a point.
    In other words, it's important to get the dosage right (although this dosage does vary between studies and can be hard to pin down). Several previous studies have confirmed various measures of walking impart valuable health benefits and protect against many of the most common killers. For example: 
    Research13 published January 2018 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that as little as 120 minutes of walking per week may reduce mortality risk in older adults, compared to inactivity.
    Meeting or doubling the activity guidelines of 150 minutes of moderate activity per week in the form of walking lowered all-cause mortality by 20%. According to the authors, "Walking was most strongly associated with respiratory disease mortality followed by cardiovascular disease mortality and then cancer mortality."
    Another 2018 study14 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, which included 50,225 walkers in the U.K., found walking pace is associated with premature mortality risk, but whether this is independent of the total activity volume remains unclear.
    Compared to slow walking, walking at a self-reported average pace was associated with a 20% (on average) reduced risk of all-cause mortality and a 24% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease mortality. A brisk pace reduced all-cause mortality by 24% and cardiovascular disease mortality by 21%.
    Research15,16 published in 2012 found brisk walking improved life expectancy regardless of body weight. According to the authors:
    "A physical activity level … equivalent to brisk walking for up to 75 min/wk, was associated with a gain of 1.8 y in life expectancy relative to no leisure time activity. Higher levels of physical activity were associated with greater gains in life expectancy, with a gain of 4.5 y at the highest level … equivalent to brisk walking for 450+ min/wk. 
    Substantial gains were also observed in each BMI group. In joint analyses, being active … and normal weight (BMI 18.5–24.9) was associated with a gain of 7.2 y of life compared to being inactive and obese (BMI 35.0+)."
    Smokers may also increase their life span by nearly four years by engaging in physical activity such as walking, according to data presented at the World Congress of Cardiology in 2012. Former smokers who kept up their physical activity increased their life expectancy by 5.6 years on average, reducing their all-cause mortality risk by 43%, Medical News Today reported.17
    Smokers who were physically active were also 55% more likely to quit smoking than those who remained inactive, and 43% less likely to relapse once they quit. 
    A Norwegian study18 published in 2015 also showed that regular exercise is as important as quitting smoking if you want to reduce your mortality risk. About 5,738 older men were followed for up to 12 years in this study, and those who got 30 minutes of exercise — even if all they did was light walking — six days a week, reduced their risk of death by approximately 40%.
    Compared to those who were sedentary, those getting moderate to vigorous activity lived about five years longer. Getting less than one hour of light activity per week had no effect on mortality in this study, again highlighting the importance of getting the "dosage" right if you want to live longer. 
    A 2003 study19 found that, compared to inactive individuals, adults with Type 2 diabetes who walked at least two hours per week had a 39% lower risk of death and a 34% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Walking for three to four hours each week had the greatest effect, lowering all-cause mortality by 64%. 
    According to the authors, "Walking was associated with lower mortality across a diverse spectrum of adults with diabetes. One death per year may be preventable for every 61 people who could be persuaded to walk at least 2 h/wk."
    Similarly, other studies have also confirmed walking improves glycemic and blood pressure control in those with Type 2 diabetes,20 and lowers diabetics' risk of death from cardiovascular disease.21
    Another group of patients known to benefit from walking are those with obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In one study, COPD patients who walked 2 miles a day or more cut their chances of hospitalization from a severe episode by about half.22,23   
    Research24 published in 2014 found daily walking reduced the risk of stroke in men over the age of 60 in a more or less dose-dependent manner, independent of walking pace.
    Compared to those who walked three hours or less per week, men who walked four to seven hours each week had an 11% lower risk of stroke. Walking eight to 14 hours lowered stroke risk by 37%; walking 15 to 21 hours lowered the risk by 32% and walking more than 22 hours lowered it by 64%. 

    Walking can be a high-intensity activity 

    Walking can also be an excellent entry into higher intensity training, regardless of your age and fitness level, as demonstrated by Japanese research25,26 showing a combination of gentle strolling and fast walking provides greater fitness benefits than walking at a steady pace.
    The walking program they developed for Japanese seniors consisted of repeated intervals of three minutes of fast walking followed by three minutes of slow strolling. Completing five sets of these intervals, totaling 30 minutes of walking, at least three times a week, led to significant improvements in aerobic fitness, leg strength and blood pressure.
    While many studies suggest distance is the No. 1 factor determining health benefits such as longevity, there's ample evidence27 showing intensity does play a role, and can boost benefits, at least to some degree. At bare minimum, higher intensity activities are more effective, timewise, allowing you to reap similar benefits as longer, slower workouts in a shorter amount of time. 

    Everyone can benefit from standing and walking more each day

    It's important to recognize that chronic sitting is an independent risk factor for chronic disease and early death, even if you exercise,28,29 and significantly raises your risk of several lethal conditions.30 As noted in a June 2018 study31,32 in the American Journal of Epidemiology:
    "[P]rolonged leisure-time sitting (6 vs. <3 hours per day) was associated with higher risk of mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease … cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, suicide, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonitis due to solids and liquids, liver, peptic ulcer and other digestive disease, Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, nervous disorders, and musculoskeletal disorders."
    And, while recent research33 refutes findings suggesting chronic sitting is right on par with smokingin terms of mortality risk, it's quite clear it's a significant (and modifiable) risk factor for chronic ill health and early death, just as smoking is.
    According to Dr. James Levine, codirector of Obesity Solutions at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix and Arizona State University, you need at least 10 minutes of movement for every hour you sit down.
    Research presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in 2018 showed patients with heart disease need to interrupt their sitting every 20 minutes to perform some form of physical activity for seven minutes. In a press release by the European Society of Cardiology, study author Dr Ailar Ramadi, faculty of rehabilitation medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada said:34
    "There is a lot of evidence now that sitting for long periods is bad for health. Our study suggests that during each hour of sitting time, heart patients should take three breaks which add up to 21 minutes of light physical activity. This will expend 770 kcal a day, an amount associated with a lower risk of premature death."
    Earlier findings, presented at the EuroPRevent 2016 meeting, found that, compared to inactivity, getting just 15 minutes of physical activity per day was associated with a 22% lower risk of death in the elderly.35

    Taking 10,000 to 15,000 steps a day is probably a good idea

    According to research36,37 published in the journal Nature in 2017, American adults take on average 4,774 steps daily. The worldwide average was found to be 4,961 steps a day, based on data collected from accelerometry readings from 717,527 individuals' smartphones. Hong Kong residents came in on top, with an average of 6,880 steps a day.
    Considering the poor health of Americans, it seems this average step count simply isn't cutting it. If it did, it should somehow be reflected in other disease and obesity statistics. So, while there may not be a scientific basis for the 10,000 to 15,000 step-a-day recommendation, I believe it's still a good one. 
    A 2004 study38 assessing physical activity levels and health outcomes in an Amish community found men took an average of 18,425 steps per day and women an average 14,196 steps. Interestingly, 25% of the men and 27% of the women were still overweight, and 9% of the women were obese, showing physical activity is not a foolproof way to ensure a healthy weight.
    As a general rule, I recommend limiting your sitting to less than three hours a day, and to make it a point to walk more every day. I also recommend walking in addition to any other fitness routine you may have. And, while seniors may benefit from as little as 4,400 steps, as demonstrated in the featured JAMA Internal Medicine study,39 chances are younger individuals need far more. 

    Thursday, June 6, 2019

    5G --- NOT GOOD NEWS!!!

    The 5G War — Technology Versus Humanity

    Written by Dr. Joseph MercolaFact Checked
      Exposure to electromagnetic field (EMF) and radiofrequency (RF) radiation is an ever-growing health risk in the modern world. The Cellular Phone Task Force website1 has a long list of governments and organizations that have issued warnings or banned wireless technologies of various kinds and under various circumstances, starting in 1993. 
      A long list of organizations representing doctors and scientists are also among them, including an appeal for protection from nonionizing EMF exposure by more than 230 international EMF scientists to the United Nations in 2015, which notes that:2
      "Numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines. 
      Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system,3,4,5 learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans. Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both plant and animal life." 
      A call for a moratorium on 5G specifically was issued in September 2017 by more than 180 scientists and doctors from 35 countries,6,7 "until potential hazards for human health and the environment have been fully investigated by scientists independent from industry," noting that "RF-EMF has been proven to be harmful for humans and the environment," and that "5G will substantially increase exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) on top of the 2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, etc. for telecommunications already in place."
      In an article8 on the Environmental Health Trust's website, Ronald Powell, Ph.D., a retired Harvard scientist of applied physics, notes "there is NO SAFE WAY to implement 5G in our communities; rather there are only 'bad ways' and 'worse ways,'" and rather than argue about who should have control over its deployment, we should focus on preventing its employment altogether.

      Health Concerns Over 5G Abound

      Wall Street analyst Sunil Rajgopal recently warned mounting health concerns may delay the implementation of 5G, Fortune magazine reports.9 Some countries have already taken steps to slow 5G deployment due to health risks, Rajgopal notes. The question is, can it be stopped? 
      5G testing was recently halted in Brussels, Belgium,10 and Switzerland is delaying its 5G rollout in order to create a system to monitor radiation.11 Syracuse, New York, is also attempting to set up some safeguards and has "negotiated the right to conduct on-demand safety inspections of 5G antennas," to allay public concerns.12 According to Forbes:13
      "In New Hampshire, lawmakers are considering establishing a commission to study the health impacts of 5G networks. And Mill Valley, Calif., near San Francisco, last year banned new 5G wireless cells."
      Many other areas, however, have chosen to trust the Federal Communications Commission and the wireless industry trade association, CTIA, which has created a "Cellphone Health Facts" website citing research showing no risk. However, if you believe the FCC is assessing health risks, you'd be wrong. 
      At a recent senate commerce hearing (above), the FCC admitted that no 5G safety studies have been conducted or funded by the agency or the telecom industry, and that none are planned.14,15 In a speech given at the National Press Club in June 2016, Tom Wheeler, former FCC chairman and prior head of the wireless industry lobbying group, made the agency's stance clear when he said:16
      "Stay out of the way of technological development. Unlike some countries, we do not believe we should spend the next couple of years studying … Turning innovators loose is far preferable to letting committees and regulators define the future. We won't wait for the standards ... "
      In light of the more than 2,000 studies showing a wide range of biological harm from EMFs, assurances from the FCC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that wireless radiation exposures, including 5G, is safe, seem disingenuous at best. As noted in a recent Counterpunch article:17
      "Telecom lobbyists assure us that guidelines already in place are adequate to protect the public. Those safety guidelines, however, are based on a 1996 study of how much a cell phone heated the head of an adult-sized plastic mannequin. This is problematic, for at least three reasons:
      • living organisms consist of highly complex and interdependent cells and tissue, not plastic.
      • those being exposed to radiofrequency radiation include fetuses, children, plants, and wildlife – not just adult male humans.
      • the frequencies used in the mannequin study were far lower than the exposures associated with 5G."
      What Level of EMF Can Humans Withstand?  
      EMF exposure at many biological impacting frequencies, such as those that run cellphones and Wi-Fi, has increased about 1 quintillion times over the past 100 years.18,19 Unfortunately, EMF exposure is so widespread these days, it's virtually impossible to conduct controlled population studies anymore, as no population is truly unexposed or unaffected. This lack of a control group makes it very difficult to determine what the real-world effects are. 
      That said, one controlled exposure study has been done, revealing it's nowhere near as harmless as people think. At the beginning of the 20th century, there were two populations in the United States — rural and urban. Urban areas were by and large electrified, while rural areas were not electrified until around 1950. 
      Dr. Sam Milham, an epidemiologist, painstakingly analyzed mortality statistics between these two populations over time, clearly showing there was a wide difference in mortality from heart disease, cancer and diabetes between these two groups. Then, as rural areas became electrified, the two curves merged. 
      Today, we not only live and work in electrified surroundings, we're also surrounded by microwaves from wireless technologies. Soon, 5G may be added to the mix, making exposures all the more complex and potentially harmful. As noted by Counterpunch:20
      "5G radiofrequency (RF) radiation uses a 'cocktail' of three types of radiation, ranging from relatively low-energy radio waves, microwave radiation with far more energy, and millimeter waves with vastly more energy … 
      The extremely high frequencies in 5G are where the biggest danger lies. While 4G frequencies go as high as 6 GHz, 5G exposes biological life to pulsed signals in the 30 GHz to 100 GHz range. The general public has never before been exposed to such high frequencies for long periods of time."

      Health Concerns Linked to 5G Exposure

      The added concern 5G brings is the addition of the millimeter wave (MMW). This bandwidth, which runs from 30 gigahertz (GHz) to 300GHz,21 is known to penetrate up to 2 millimeters into human skin tissue,22,23 causing a burning sensation.
      This is precisely why MMW was chosen for use in crowd control weapons (Active Denial Systems) by the U.S. Department of Defense.24 MMW is also used in so-called "naked body scanners" at airports.25
      Research has shown sweat ducts in human skin act as receptors or antennae for 5G radiation, drawing the radiation into the body,26,27,28,29,30 thereby causing a rise in temperature. This in part helps explain the painful effect. As noted by Dr. Yael Stein — who has studied 5G MMW technology and its interaction with the human body — in a 2016 letter to the Federal Communications Commission:31
      "Computer simulations have demonstrated that sweat glands concentrate sub-terahertz waves in human skin. Humans could sense these waves as heat. The use of sub-terahertz (millimeter wave) communications technology (cellphones, Wi-Fi, antennas) could cause humans to percept physical pain via nociceptors.
      Potentially, if 5G Wi-Fi is spread in the public domain we may expect more of the health effects currently seen with RF/ microwave frequencies including many more cases of hypersensitivity (EHS), as well as many new complaints of physical pain and a yet unknown variety of neurologic disturbances.
      It will be possible to show a causal relationship between G5 technology and these specific health effects. The affected individuals may be eligible for compensation."
      MMW has also been linked to:32,33,34,35,36
      • Eye problems such as lens opacity in rats, which is linked to the production of cataracts,37 and eye damage in rabbits38,39
      • Impacted heart rate variability, an indicator of stress, in rats40,41,42 and heart rate changes (arrhythmias) in frogs43,44
      • Pain45
      • Suppressed immune function46
      • Depressed growth and increased antibiotic resistance in bacteria47
      As noted in a recent article:48
      "Many scientists understand that the electromagnetic radiation leaking through the doors of our microwave ovens are carcinogenic, and therefore, can cause cancer. Most of these scientists also believe that these waves are mutagenic, meaning they change the DNA structure of living beings.49
      The launch of 5G will be similar to turning on your microwave, opening its door, and leaving it on for the rest of your life. There's good reason why hundreds of scientists are taking action against the wireless industry." 

      Understanding EMFs' Mechanisms of Harm

      As explained in my 2017 interview with Martin Pall, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of biochemistry and basic medical sciences at Washington State University, the primary danger of EMFs in general is that it causes excess oxidative stress that results in mitochondrial dysfunction.
      According to Pall's research,50,51,52,53 radiofrequency microwave radiation such as that from your cellphone and wireless router activates the voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) located in the outer membrane of your cells. 
      According to Pall, VGCCs are 7.2 million times more sensitive to microwave radiation than the charged particles inside and outside our cells, which means the safety standards for this exposure are off by a factor of 7.2 million. 
      Low-frequency microwave radiation opens your VGCCs, thereby allowing an abnormal influx of calcium ions into the cell, which in turn activates nitric oxide (NO) and superoxide which react nearly instantaneously to form peroxynitrite54 that then causes carbonate free radicals, which are one of the most damaging reactive nitrogen species known and thought to be a root cause for many of today's chronic diseases. 
      For an in-depth understanding of peroxynitrites and the harm they inflict, see "Nitric Oxide and Peroxynitrite in Health and Disease"55 — a 140-page free access paper with 1,500 references written by Dr. Pal Pacher, Joseph Beckman and Dr. Lucas Liaudet. 
      One of its most significant hazards of peroxynitrite is that it damages DNA. The European REFLEX study published in 2004 revealed the nonthermal effects of 2G and 3G radiation are actually very similar to the effects of X-rays in terms of the genetic damage they cause.56
      Your body has the capacity to repair that damage through a family of 17 different enzymes collectively called poly ADP ribose polymerases (PARP). However, while PARP work well, they require NAD+ for fuel and when they run out of NAD+ they stop repairing your DNA.
      This in turn can lead to premature cell death, since 100 to 150 NAD+ molecules are needed to repair a single DNA strand break. NAD+ is central to maintaining cellular and mitochondrial health, so the fact that PARP consumes NAD+ to counteract EMF damage is an important concern. 

      Cancer Is Not the Primary Health Risk of EMF 

      The voltage in your body appears to play a significant role in health and disease. Your body's production of electricity allows your cells to communicate and perform basic biological functions necessary for your survival. However, your body is designed to operate at very specific levels and frequencies.
      It seems logical that being surrounded by man-made EMFs that are 1 quintillion times higher than the natural EMF environment of the Earth may interfere with your DNA's ability to receive and transmit biological signals. 
      While the controversy over EMF damage has centered around whether or not it can cause cancer, especially brain tumors, this actually isn't your greatest concern. Since the damage is strongly linked to activation of your VGCCs, it stands to reason that areas where VGCCs are the densest would be most vulnerable to damage.
      As it happens, the highest density of VGCCs are found in your nervous system, your brain, the pacemaker in your heart and in male testes. As a result, EMFs are likely to contribute to neurological and neuropsychiatric57 problems, heart and reproductive problems.
      This includes but is not limited to cardiac arrhythmias, anxiety, depression, autism, Alzheimer's and infertility. Indeed, this is what researchers keep finding, and all of these health problems are far more prevalent and kill more people than brain cancer.
      What's more, seeing how many are already struggling with electromagnetic hypersensitivity, saturating cities and suburban areas with MMW radiation will undoubtedly make the problem more widespread, and make life unbearable for those already feeling the effects of wireless radiation.

      Most Recent Media Ploy to Detract From 5G Concerns: Blame the Russians

      In a recent Medium article,58 Devra Davis, Ph.D. — a well-respected and credentialed researcher on the dangers of cellphone radiation — highlights a recent media trend: Write off scientists warning about 5G dangers as "untethered alarmists … linked to Russian propaganda." 
      "Could it be a coincidence that following on the heels of the NY Times story, the Wall Street Journal and the UK Telegraph have echoed the same smear of guilt by association," she writes,59 adding:
      "These otherwise credible media sources ignore the substantial body of science pinpointing hazards of wireless radiation and 5G detailed in independent journalistic investigations that have appeared extensively in media throughout Europe and been covered by major networks …
      Could the failure to report these critical 5G issues and correct misleading information regarding health effects of wireless and 5G in the New York Times have anything to do with the their new joint venture with Verizon in 5G journalism, or the fact that the Times board of directors includes officials from Facebook, Verizon, Media Lab, and other stalwarts of the telecom industry, while Carlos Slim, head of some of the largest telecom firms in the world, has downsized and now owns just 15 percent of its stock?"
      Davis also points out a clear difference between American and Russian scientific expertise with regard to EMF:
      "The history of research on the environmental and public health impacts of radio frequency microwave radiation ('wireless radiation') reveals some uneasy parallels with that of tobacco. 
      In the 1950s and 1960s, scientists who showed the harmful impacts of tobacco found themselves struggling for serious attention and financial support. The validity of their views was only accepted after the toll of sickness and death had become undeniable. 
      For health impacts from wireless radiation, a similar pattern is emerging. Each time a U.S. government agency produced positive findings, research on health impacts was defunded. 
      The Office of Naval Research, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and the Environmental Protection Agency all once had vibrant research programs documenting dangers of wireless radiation. All found their programs scrapped, reflecting pressure from those who sought to suppress this work.
      Russian's 50 years of research on electromagnetic radiation since the Cold War has led to their clear understanding that this exposure does have biological effects. The Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection issued a 2011 Resolution60recommending persons under 18 not use a cell phone."

      Brain Cancer Risk Is Likely Real

      While heart disease, dementia and infertility overshadow the risk of brain cancer, the possibility of cancer still remains, and may be a far more significant concern for young children who are growing up surrounded by wireless technologies than we realize. 
      The fact is, we won't know for sure whether in utero and early cellphone use will increase brain cancer rates until a decade or two from now when today's youths have grown up. Mounting research suggests cellphone radiation certainly influences your risk, and there are a number of compelling anecdotal reports that are hard to ignore. 
      In her article,61 Davis mentions Robert C. Kane, a senior telecom engineer "had willingly served as a guinea pig for Motorola and other companies developing new wireless technologies in the 1980s."
      He developed a type of malignant brain cancer the National Toxicology Program later confirmed was a side effect of cellphone radiation exposure (see video above). The NTPs results were published in 2018. Before his death in 2002, Kane published the book, "Cellphone Radiation — Russian Roulette,"62 in which he stated that:63
      "Never in human history has there been such a practice as we now encounter with the marketing and distributing of products hostile to the human biological system by an industry with foreknowledge of those effects."

      FCC Is a Captured Agency That Cannot Be Trusted

      Davis also highlights another crucial problem, namely the fact that the FCC has been captured by the telecom industry, which in turn has perfected the disinformation strategies employed by the tobacco industry before it. She writes:64
      "… [I]n 2015 a Harvard expose tracked the revolving door between the FCC and the telecom industry and concluded that the FCC is a captured agency and that 'Consumer safety, health, and privacy, along with consumer wallets, have all been overlooked, sacrificed, or raided due to unchecked industry influence.'"
      The book in question is "Captured Agency: How the Federal Communications Commission Is Dominated by the Industries It Presumably Regulates," written by investigative journalist Norm Alster.65
      As just one example, before his role as FCC chairman, Wheeler headed up the CTIA, which is the lobbying group for the wireless industry, which explains his commentary on 5G and why the FCC doesn't believe in studying its health risks and "won't wait for the standards." 
      The book also shows how the telecom industry is manipulating public opinion by undermining the credibility of scientists that speak of dangers, cutting funds for research, publishing manipulated studies showing no harm and claiming "scientific consensus" of no harm when no such consensus actually exists. Naturally, the telecom industry also spends millions of dollars lobbying the FCC on issues that might impact its bottom line.66

      5G Threatens Weather Prediction

      Interestingly, aside from potential health ramifications, a global 5G network will also threaten our ability to predict weather which, in addition to putting civilians at risk will also jeopardize the Navy.67According to a recent paper68 in the journal Nature, widespread 5G coverage will prevent satellites from detecting changes in water vapor, which is how meteorologists predict weather changes and storms. 
      Davis quotes69 Stephen English, meteorologist at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts: "This is the first time we've seen a threat to what I'd call the crown jewels of our frequencies  — the ones that we absolutely must defend come what may." 
      Alas, the FCC ignores such concerns and, according to Davis, "weather experts within the U.S. government are being muzzled." In a recent letter to the FCC, Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., urge the agency to rein in the expansion of wireless communications in the 24 GHz band for this reason.70

      Educate Yourself About the Health Risks of 5G and Protect Your Family From Harm 

      I am currently writing a book on EMF dangers, which will be a comprehensive resource on current technologies. In the meantime, to learn more about 5G and help educate others, you can download a two-page 5G fact sheet71 from the Environmental Health Trust. On their website, you can also access a long list of published scientific studies showing cause for concern.72
      To reduce your EMF exposure, read through the suggestions below and implement as many of them as possible. Additional guidance and solutions for mitigating electric and magnetic fields can also be found at the end of "Healthy Wiring Practices,"73 a document created by building biologist Oram Miller, whom I've interviewed on this topic. 
      Nighttime remediation
      Use Stetzer or Greenwave filters to remove voltage transients from your electricity and use meters to confirm that they are in a safe range.
      Use a battery-powered alarm clock, ideally one without any light. I use a talking clock for the visually impaired.74
      Consider moving your baby's bed into your room instead of using a wireless baby monitor. Alternatively, use a hard-wired monitor.
      If you must use Wi-Fi, shut it off when not in use, especially at night when you are sleeping. Ideally, work toward hardwiring your house so you can eliminate Wi-Fi altogether. It's important to realize that if you have a Wi-Fi router, you have a cellphone tower inside your home. Ideally, you'd eliminate your Wi-Fi and simply use a wired Ethernet connection. 
      If you absolutely must have a router, you can place it inside a shielded bag when not in use. You can find shielded items online, or make your own using Swiss Shield fabric. If you have a notebook without any Ethernet ports, a USB Ethernet adapter will allow you to connect to the internet with a wired connection.
      For more extensive shielding, you can consider painting your bedroom walls and ceiling with special shielding paint, which will block RF from outside sources, such as cell towers, smart meters and radio/TV towers. Windows can be covered with metal window screen or film. For your bed, consider a shielding bed canopy.
      Daytime strategies to reduce unnecessary EMF exposure
      To reduce EMF exposure during the daytime, consider using Stetzer filters to decrease the level of dirty electricity or electromagnetic interference being generated. You can also take these with you to work or when you travel. This may be the single best strategy to reduce the damage from EMF exposure since it appears that most of it is generated by the frequencies that the filters remove.
      Connect your desktop computer to the internet via a wired Ethernet connection and be sure to put your desktop in airplane mode. Also avoid wireless keyboards, trackballs, mice, game systems, printers and portable house phones. Opt for the wired versions.
      Avoid carrying your cellphone on your body unless in airplane mode and never sleep with it in your bedroom unless it is in airplane mode. Even in airplane mode it can emit signals, which is why I put my phone in a Faraday bag.75 They are really inexpensive and only $10 for two of them. I tested them and they are highly effective at blocking radiation.
      When using your cellphone, use the speaker phone and hold the phone at least 3 feet away from you. Seek to radically decrease your time on the cellphone. I typically use my cellphone less than 30 minutes a month, and mostly when traveling. Instead, use VoIP software phones that you can use while connected to the internet via a wired connection, or better yet, use a landline telephone.
      General household remediation
      If you still use a microwave oven, consider replacing it with a steam convection oven, which will heat your food as quickly and far more safely.
      Avoid using "smart" appliances and thermostats that depend on wireless signaling. This would include all new "smart" TVs. They are called smart because they emit a Wi-Fi signal and, unlike your computer, you cannot shut the Wi-Fi signal off. Consider using a large computer monitor as your TV instead, as they don't emit Wi-Fi.
      Replace CFL bulbs with incandescent bulbs. Ideally remove all fluorescent lights from your house. Not only do they emit unhealthy light, but more importantly, they will actually transfer current to your body just being close to the bulbs.
      Dimmer switches are another source of dirty electricity, so consider installing regular on/off switches rather than dimmer switches.
      Refuse smart meters as long as you can, or add a shield to an existing smart meter, some of which have been shown to reduce radiation by 98 to 99 percent.76