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Friday
Apr012016

Sunscreen Ingredients May Harm Sperm

Many ultraviolet (UV)-filtering chemicals commonly used in sunscreens interfere with the function of human sperm cells, and some mimic the effect of the female hormone progesterone, a new study finds. Results of the Danish study will be presented Friday at the Endocrine Society's 98th annual meeting in Boston.

"These results are of concern and might explain in part why unexplained infertility is so prevalent," said the study's senior investigator, Niels Skakkebaek, MD, DMSc, a professor at the University of Copenhagen and a researcher at the Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet.

Although the purpose of the chemical UV filters is to reduce the amount of the sun's UV rays getting through the skin by absorbing UV, some UV filters are rapidly absorbed through the skin, Skakkebaek said. UV filter chemicals reportedly have been found in human blood samples and in 95 percent of urine samples in the U.S., Denmark and other countries.

Skakkebaek and his colleagues tested 29 of the 31 UV filters allowed in sunscreens in the U.S. or the European Union (EU) on live, healthy human sperm cells, from fresh semen samples obtained from several healthy donors. The sperm cells underwent testing in a buffer solution that resembled the conditions in female fallopian tubes.

Specifically, the investigators evaluated calcium signaling, which is signaling inside the cell brought on by changes in the concentration of calcium ions. Movement of calcium ions within sperm cells, through calcium ion channels, plays a major role on sperm cell function, according to Skakkebaek. CatSper is a sperm-specific calcium ion channel that he said is essential for male fertility. This channel is the main sperm receptor for progesterone, a potent hormone attractant for human sperm cells. Binding of progesterone to CatSper causes a temporary influx, or surge, of calcium ions into the sperm cell, controlling several sperm functions necessary for fertilization.

The researchers found that 13, or 45 percent, of the 29 UV filters tested induced calcium ion influxes in the sperm cells, thus interfering with normal sperm cell function.

"This effect began at very low doses of the chemicals, below the levels of some UV filters found in people after whole-body application of sunscreens," Skakkebaek said.

Furthermore, nine of the 13 UV filters seem to induce this calcium ion influx by directly activating the CatSper channel, thereby mimicking the effect of progesterone. This finding suggests that these UV filters are endocrine disruptors, Skakkebaek said. In addition, several of the UV filters affected important sperm functions normally controlled via CatSper, such as sperm motility.

Skakkebaek called for clinical studies to investigate whether chemical UV filters affect human fertility. He added, "Our study suggests that regulatory agencies should have a closer look at the effects of UV filters on fertility before approval."

Eight of the 13 UV filters that disrupted sperm cell function are approved for use in the U.S. They are:

  • avobenzone
  • homosalate
  • meradimate
  • octisalate (also known as octyl salicylate)
  • octinoxate (or octyl methoxycinnamate)
  • octocrylene
  • oxybenzone (also called benzophenone-3 or BP-3)
  • padimate O

These chemicals are common active ingredients in sunscreens as well as sunscreen-containing personal care products, such as makeup, moisturizers and lip balms.

PhD student and coauthor Anders Rehfeld, MD, will present the study findings.

(Source

Tuesday
Jan192010

An FDA Ban on Genetically-Engineered Milk is Twenty Years Overdue

Cancer Prevention Coalition, Jan 15, 2010
Straight to the Source

In May 2007, Samuel S. Epstein, MD, Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, and four other leading national experts on genetically-engineered, recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) milk filed a Petition to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), "Petition Seeking the Withdrawal of the New Animal Drug Application Approval for Posilac®-Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH)."

In the absence of any response, on January 12, 2010, Dr. Epstein resubmitted this Petition to Michael Taylor, Deputy Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.

As detailed in this Petition, Posilac® poses major public health hazards. Dr. Epstein requested his review and support of an early ban of Posilac®.

This Petition requests the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the Commissioner of Food and Drugs to suspend the approval of rBGH, a genetically engineered bovine growth hormone, and require milk and other dairy products produced with its use to be labeled with a warning such as, "Produced with the use of rBGH, and contains elevated levels of insulin-like growth factor, IGF-1, which poses major risks of breast, prostate, and colon cancers."

STATEMENT OF GROUNDS
  1. THE VETERINARY TOXICITY OF rBGH
    Evidence of these toxic effects was first detailed in confidential Monsanto reports, based on records of secret nationwide rBGH veterinary trials, submitted to the FDA prior to October 1989 when they were leaked to one of the petitioners, Dr. Epstein. He then made these reports available to Congressman John Conyers, Chairman of the House Committee on Government Operations. On May 8, 1990, Congressman Conyers issued the following statement, "I find it reprehensible that Monsanto and the FDA have chosen to suppress and manipulate animal health test data."

    Details of these toxic effects were subsequently admitted by Monsanto, and by the FDA, and were disclosed on the drug's veterinary label (Posilac®) in November, 1993. These toxic effects include injection site lesions, a wide range of other toxic effects, and an increased incidence of mastitis requiring the use and antibiotics, with resulting contamination of milk.
  2. ABNORMALITIES IN rBGH MILK
    A January 1994 Monsanto Executive Summary on rBGH, claimed that "natural milk is indistinguishable" from rBGH milk, and that "there is no legal basis requiring its labeling." However, there are a wide range of well-documented abnormalities in rBGH milk. These include: reduction in short-chain fatty acid and increase in long-chain fatty acid levels; increase in levels of a thyroid hormone enzyme; contamination with unapproved drugs for treating mastitis; and frequency of pus cells due to mastitis.
  3. INCREASED LEVELS OF INSULIN-LIKE GROWTH FACTOR 1 (IGF-1) IN rBGH MILK
    A wide range of publications have documented excess levels of IGF-1 in rBGH milk, with increases ranging from four- to 20-fold. Based on six unpublished industry studies, FDA admitted that IGF-1 levels in rBGH milk were consistently and statistically increased, and that these were further increased by pasteurization. These increases were also admitted by the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, in application for marketing authorization in the European Community. It should also be noted that pasteurization of milk increases IGF-1 levels.
  4. IGF-1 IS READILY ABSORBED FROM THE INTESTINE INTO THE BLOOD
    IGF-1 is a small protein component known as a peptide. As such it is readily absorbed into the blood. It survives digestion, and has marked growth promoting effects following short-term feeding tests in rats.
  5. INCREASED IGF-1 LEVELS IN MILK INCREASE RISKS OF BREAST, COLON AND PROSTATE CANCERS
    Increased levels of IGF-1 have been shown to increase risks of breast cancer in 19 scientific publications, risks of colon cancer in 10 publications, and prostate cancer in 7 publications.
  6. INCREASED IGF-1 LEVELS INHIBIT "APOPTOSIS"
    Of critical importance is the fact that increased IGF-1 levels block natural defense mechanisms, known as apoptosis, against early submicroscopic cancers.
  7. rBGH INCREASES TWINNING RATES
    An increased rate of twinning in cows injected with rBGH was admitted by Monsanto on its November 1993 Posilac® label, and the incidence of fraternal twins. Monsanto also admitted that it increases "and complications such as premature delivery, congenital defects and pregnancy-induced hypertension."
  8. THE INTERNATIONAL BAN ON THE USE AND IMPORTS OF U.S. rBGH DAIRY PRODUCTS
    Based on well-documented veterinary and public health concerns, in June 30, 1999, the United Nations Food Safety Agency, representing 101 nations worldwide, ruled unanimously not to endorse or set a safety standard for rBGH milk. Effectively, this has resulted in an international ban on U.S. milk, approximately 20% of which is rBGH.
  9. FDA POLICY ON LABELING rBGH MILK
    The FDA continues to mislead dairy producers and consumers with regard to its requirement for labeling of rBGH milk, with its deliberately false claim that "No significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST-treated and non-rBST treated cows."
"In fact," warns Dr. Epstein, "rBGH milk continues to pose major cancer and other risks to the entire U.S. population."

The 2007 Petition has been endorsed by four other leading experts on genetically-engineered, recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) milk. We look forward to a response.

Samuel S. Epstein, M.D.
Professor emeritus Environmental and Occupational Health
University of Illinois School of Public Health
Chairman, Cancer Prevention Coalition
Chicago, IL
Email: epstein@uic.edu
Web: http://www.preventcancer.com

Ronnie Cummins
National Director
Organic Consumers Association
Finland, MN
Email: ronnie@organicconsumers.org
Web: http://www.organicconsumers.org

John Kinsman
President
Family Farm Defenders
Madison, WI
Email: jepeck@students.wisc.edu
Web: http://www.www.familyfarmdefenders.org

Arpad Pusztai, PhD, FRSE
Consultant Biologist
Scotland
Email: a.pusztai@freenet.co.uk

Jeffrey Smith
Executive Director
Institute for Responsible Technology
Fairfield, IA
Email: jeffrey@seedsofdeception.com
Web: http://www.seedsofdeception.com

To receive news from the Cancer Prevention Coalition via email, please subscribe at: http://ens-news.net/lists/?p=subscribe&id=9
Thursday
Jan142010

The Dangers of Genetically Modified Sugar Beets

From Organic Consumers Association:

 

Genetically modified foods hit store shelves in the 1990's and now just about any food that isn't certified organic, and contains milk, soy, cotton, canola, corn, squash, or papaya, contains genetically modified ingredients. Non-organic meat, fish and eggs are likely to be from animals raised on genetically engineered feed and could be the product of cloned animals.

 

Genetically engineered sugar beets have been grown commercially in the US since 2008. That year about half of the crop was genetically engineered. The industry projected that about 90 percent of sugar beets would be genetically engineered by 2009. So, with 50% of the sugar supply from sugar beets, most of us have probably already been exposed to genetically engineered sugar.

 

Monsanto wouldn't be able to accomplish this lightning-fast market saturation without the monopolistic power it gained by buying up seed companies. While industrial producers say they like the way the herbicide-resistant crop saves labor, they are wary of the power Monsanto has to restrict their choices and raise prices.

 

Full article

Friday
Jun262009

Healthy Home Tips from EWG

Better products meet their claims and are free of ingredients that could harm our health or the environment. Labels might claim that a product is “gentle” or “natural,” but with no required safety testing, companies that make personal care products can use almost any chemical they want, regardless of risks. So, always read product labels – especially the ingredient list - before you buy.

How to read a label
Every personal care product on the market must list the ingredients on the label. Label reading can be confusing - here are some tips to help you wade through the chemical names. You can approach ingredient lists in 3 parts.

Full Article at EWG

Wednesday
Jun172009

Johnson & Johnson asked to Remove Chemicals from Baby Products

Johnson & Johnson is being asked by a coalition of organizations to remove two chemicals, considered probable human carcinogens, from its baby shampoo and other personal care products.

The chemical removal is being pushed by more than 40 parent, health care and environmental groups, including the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, American Nurses Association, Physicians for Social Responsibility, MomsRising, the Environmental Working Group and Friends of the Earth. Full Article at OCA