food safety

  1. Arsenic in rice is unsafe

    FDA wrong about arsenic in rice

    There is no safe level of arsenic. None.

    That might sound obvious, but arsenic in rice and water has been turning up with alarming frequency -- and the FDA is too afraid to warn you about it. If there's any industry they fear almost as much as the drug industry, it's the food industry.

    Yes, the FDA is afraid of both the "F" and the "D" in its own name.

    So instead of telling you the truth about arsenic -- that you should avoid it completely -- the agency actually went ahead and issued a statement on arsenic in rice so absurd it would be laughable... if it weren't so dangerous.

    The agency claims the high arsenic levels detected in rice -- high levels confirmed by its own tests -- are nothing to worry about. It won't kill you on the spot, so it's OK to keep eating rice.

    But the agency also claims it doesn't know what the long-term effects of all that arsenic exposure could mean for your health -- and that's just plain false.

    We know plenty.

    We know that the arsenic in rice and other products can accumulate in the body, and when it does it can damage your immune system and increase your risk of cancer -- especially cancers of the bladder, lung and skin.

    We know arsenic can increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes and more.

    And we know that arsenic can build up in the brain and cause dementia or dementia-like symptoms.

    If rice were your only source of exposure, eating it regularly would still be enough to cause serious long-term damage in my opinion.

    But it's not -- because arsenic is turning up in everything from apple juice to tap water. And as I told you last year, it's even intentionally fed to chickens so their meat looks nice and pink in the supermarket.

    The feds won't tell you any of this because they're too busy protecting the corporate giants that produce and sell chicken, rice, apple juice and more.

    But I'm here to protect just one person: You.

    So take my word for it and limit your exposure to arsenic in rice and all other sources. And while you're at it, get tested for arsenic and other metals if you haven't done so already.

    A holistic doctor can run those tests and work with you on a detox program if you've been exposed (and, odds are, you have been exposed). And if you're in Southern California, I can help. Contact my clinic to make an appointment.

    I'm also available for one-on-one consultations via telephone. Call 855-DOC-MARK for more information or to make an appointment.

  2. Food fraud becoming more common

    How to avoid fakes in the supermarket

    You can and should read food labels to know what you're feeding yourself and your family -- but those labels don't always tell the full story.

    Food fraud is on the rise, with 800 new cases documented by the nonprofit U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention just in the last year -- and some of the unlisted substitutions aren't just of lesser quality.

    They're downright dangerous.

    Here are a few to watch out for:

    Seafood: Escolar is a fish so dangerous that it's banned in many countries. The problem is the waxy esters, which can cause serious (and painful) food poisoning. But it's turning up in food anyway -- often intentionally mislabeled as white tuna, butterfish, or albacore. In addition, toxic puffer fish are often sold as monkfish. And as I recently told you, high-mercury fish are often deliberately mislabeled and resold as low-mercury fish. Choose carefully from a merchant you trust.

    Beef: Recent tests in Britain found horsemeat in hamburger and lasagna. It's easy to slip lesser ingredients into ground meats, especially packaged ground meats. Stick to whole cuts of meat from a quality butcher instead.

    Olive Oil: Olive oil is often blended with cheaper and less healthy oils -- so much so that it's now a leading source of food fraud. I had some tips on how to choose the real thing last year, and you can read it for free right here.

    Coffee & Tea: Ground coffee can be mixed with ground black seeds, while teas can be mixed with worthless fern leaves, lawn cuttings, and even sawdust. Stick to loose teas and whole coffee beans from makers you trust.

    Spices: Like coffee, ground spices can be mixed with seeds. Common fakes include black pepper, turmeric, chili pepper, and saffron. Buy whole spices instead.

    Juices: Expensive juices such as pomegranate are often mixed with cheap juices like grape. In one USP test, a container of supposedly 100 percent pomegranate juice had no pomegranate at all.

    Lemon juice: Some companies put chemical phthalates into lemon juice to give it a cloudy "fresh squeezed" look -- but phthalates have been linked to behavioral problems in children and diabetes in adults, as well as sexual dysfunction and more. You're better off squeezing the lemon yourself -- they're inexpensive and it's not much work.

    Dairy: Milk is another top source of food fraud, according to USP -- but since we were not designed to drink the milk of another animal anyway, the easy answer here is to skip it. Try healthy nut milks instead.

    Maple syrup: Maple syrup and other syrups as well as honey and jam are mixed with chemical sweeteners and other artificial syrups. Avoid discount brands, and anything from China.

    These are just some of the most common examples of food fraud -- but they're not the only examples. You can search the USP's online food fraud database at for more, or report anything you've found yourself.

    The best way to protect your family is to stick to whole fresh foods that haven't been processed. Try organic vegetables from a farm or farmer's market and lean whole meats from a butcher, not a factory.

  3. New rules boost radiation levels for food

    The feds will allow chicken to exposed to 50 percent more radiation to kill germs in food -- here's why that's just crazy.
  4. The secret ingredient in pork

    I'm getting hungry just thinking about all the great ways to eat pork. But there's one form of pig that makes me lose my appetite every time -- and it's exactly what people eat the most of: pork from factory farms.

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