Corn in Allergy Dispute...
Environmental groups charge that a recent U.S. government report that found no link between StarLink biotech corn and human allergy cases was flawed.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control said June 13 that blood tests of 17 people who had reported suffering allergic reactions failed to show signs of antibodies to StarLink’s key component, Cry9c.
“Test results from such a small sample could easily have missed allergic reactions,” said Bill Freese of Friends of the Earth, an environmental group that first discovered StarLink in U.S. food products last September. “A thorough investigation is exactly what the public deserves.”
Further government studies are expected, U.S. officials told Reuters.
StarLink was banned by U.S. regulators for human use because of concerns it might trigger allergic reactions such as breathing problems diarrhea or rashes.
Dozens of people have reported experiencing allergic reactions linked to StarLink-tainted food products, Reuters said.
Aventis, which produces StarLink, has petitioned the EPA to establish a “tolerance level” for StarLink corn in food products.
The agency will discuss the petition when its science advisory panel meets on July 17, Reuters said.
Our Toxic Times...
Published by Chemical
Injury Information Network, Our Toxic Times (OTT) is a monthly
zine covering a wide range of articles about Multiple Chemical Sensitivity,
from the technical to the practical. The Chemical Injury Information Network (CIIN) is a nonprofit advocacy organization run by the chemically injured for
the benefit of the chemically injured.
Safely sealing out mattress fumes...
Few outside of those suffering from chemical sensitivity have
experienced what it is like to sleep on a mattress wrapped in aluminum
foil! Those sensitive to all the toxic materials in mattresses, however,
will do just about anything for a good night's sleep. Sometimes it isn't
easy to afford an organic cotton, or organic wool mattresses, and an
interim solution is needed to reduce fumes. The
Chemically Sensitive Living Store offers some relief from noisy and
uncomfortable aluminum foil wraps by offering 400 thread count 100
percent TDA Certified Organic Cotton barrier cloth mattress
covers have zippers, and are woven and sewn in a fragrance, chemical and
smoke free facility.
Note: Aluminum foil has an oil treatment on the non-shiny side of the sheets.
Is Your Home Making You Sick?
Have you ever felt woozy, dizzy or nauseous after
getting a new piece of furniture, or moving in to a new house or
apartment? It could be the formaldehyde fumes from the floors,
furniture, kitchen or bathroom cabinets.
approximately a third of your life at home, make it livable!
This line of sealants
from Nirvana Safe Haven blocks formaldehyde, odorous walls, mold or
tobacco odors. You can use the Floor Sealant to take care of your
hardwood; the Crystal Aire to seal your walls from fumes and odors from
tenants; or the Crystal Shield for furniture, cabinets and
The Crystal sealant products
dry in about 2 hours and leave no odors, toxic fumes or sealants. They
come in glossy, satin or matte finish, and can be applied with a
brush, spray gun or paint pad.
You can find it at
Nirvana Safe Haven, and will run about $42-48 dollars per gallon. A
pretty low price for peace of mind and a livable home. Visit their
website or call
Nirvana Safe Haven for more information about their products
(800) 968-9355. Go
What is MCS?
Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, is an illness triggered by exposure
to substances in the environment. It can be a reaction to chemicals at
concentrations that are far below what is tolerated by most people.
Exposures can come through the air, from food and water, or through the
LIVING WITHOUT MAGAZINE
By Andy Summa
Peggy Wagener’s interest in food sensitivities is very personal. A food
sensitivity could have killed her.
“I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1997,” she said. “I’d had cancer ten
years prior to that and had been chronically ill since that time. I was
terrified that cancer continued to grow in my body, but doctors gave me a
clean bill of health and could find no reason for my continued distress. I
was beginning to believe I’d never feel healthy again.
“The diagnosis of celiac disease changed my life.”
Celiac disease is an inherited, genetically linked condition and affects as many
as one in 250 people. It is a permanent disorder in which gluten (a protein
found in wheat, rye, barley and oats) destroys the small intestines’ ability to
absorb nutrients in food. The only cure is to maintain a life-long gluten-free
It was this diagnosis that led Wagener to develop Sully’s Living Without
magazine, which focuses on chemical intolerances, allergies and food
“In the spring of 1998, I left my job, sold my home and used those proceeds
to develop (the magazine),” she said. “The information contained in the
magazine goes far beyond celiac disease. My mission is to awaken people to
the impact food and environment play in attaining and sustaining better
The magazine provides resources, support and guidance to those with special
dietary and environmental needs.
“We want people to know that life with a sensitivity needn’t be a life of
deprivation,” she said. “You can live well and abundantly, living without.”
Industry research indicates food and environment can provoke asthma,
arthritis, autism, headaches, behavioral problems, skin conditions, and
“What you eat and breathe does make a difference in how you feel,” Wagener
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) estimates that about
four million Americans have true food allergies. Any food can be an
allergen, Wagener said, but the most common food allergies are to peanuts,
tree nuts, shellfish, dairy, wheat, soy, corn and eggs.
Between 150 and 200 people die from food allergies annually, according to
the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network.
But these numbers don’t take into consideration food intolerance.
“The number of people with food intolerance has not been determined, but
some researchers believe more than 50 percent of Americans suffer from food
sensitivities, and that number is on the rise,” Wagener said. “Symptoms of
food intolerance include congestion, stomach ache, headache,
gastrointestinal distress, depression, anxiety, mental fog, rashes and heart
The primary culprit is processed food, she said.
“One of the primary reasons for the rise in food sensitivities appears to be
linked to the increase consumption of processed foods in the American diet,”
Making things worse, many allergens are hidden by misleading terms for
particular ingredients on food labels. Examples include “binders and
emulsifiers” for egg products, “casein, caramel coloring and natural
flavoring” for cow milk, and “starch” or “thickener” for soy.
But Wagener said changing your diet doesn’t have to be scary.
“Change in diet and lifestyle can be intimidating,” she said. “People can
feel alone and unsupported with their special needs. That’s why Living
Without is designed to be warm, friendly, inviting and beautiful.”
Andy Summa is a freelance writer in Sugar Land, Texas.