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PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
June, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 06
Frankenfoods Upon Us
By Andrew Rader, LAc, MS
Editor's note: This article originally appeared in the Jan. 2005 issue of Acupuncture Today. Visit Acupuncture Today online at www.acupuncturetoday.com.
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs), genetically engineered (GE) foods and crops, biotech foods and crops, transgenic foods, "Frankenfoods" - these are all synonyms for the same thing: an unprecedented new technology that inserts genetic material from one organism into another.GE foods are here, their effects largely unknown and unexplored, and they are being foisted upon a predominantly unsuspecting public by large corporations.
The Europeans, Japanese and Australians aren't having any of it. Here in the United States, however, GE foods are already a large chunk of our diets (if we are not eating organically), and the scary part is that the purveyors of these products don't want us to know we're eating them. Not since the great debate on nuclear power at the end of the 1970s has such a potentially devastating technology been introduced. The proponents of biotech foods and crops claim that they are safe, will produce more food at less cost, and will help the environment. I will attempt to show that the case for GMOs is just the opposite.
What exactly is this new technology?
Basically, molecular biologists take a portion of DNA from a donor species and, using a vector, such as a bacteria, "insert" the foreign DNA into a target species. EPA toxicologist Suzanne Wuerthele stated, "It's the biological equivalent of splitting the atom."
While scientists can be fairly precise about excising the DNA they want from the donor, they cannot control the insertion of the foreign DNA into the target organism. The authors of Genetically Engineered Food: A Self-Defense Guide for Consumers put it like this: "In other words, they are firing the gene gun with little idea where the payload of desired traits will crash through the cell walls of the host organism and begin to disrupt its complex biochemical matrix. This random shotgun-like insertion inevitably causes a disruption of the order and balance of the genes on the host chromosome and can readily result in random and unexpected changes in the biochemical functioning of the cells."
This imprecision, much like "smart" bombs, causes collateral damage. The damage in this case is the unpredictable disruption in the biochemical functioning of the host cell. In one case, a yeast that was genetically altered became a toxic chemical factory. An accidental disruption in its metabolism led to a 40- to 200-fold increase in the production of methylglyoxal (MG), a toxic substance. The variation (40-200 fold) and the toxicity point to the unpredictable and potentially harmful results of this technology.
GE is not just a continuation of what traditional plant and animal breeders have been doing for centuries, as some proponents argue. Traditional crop breeding does not fundamentally alter or manipulate the genetic material of the organism. In nature, one species cannot reproduce with another species. Humans mate with humans, pigs with pigs, fish with fish, and corn with corn; not tomatoes with lizards, spiders with squash, or hyenas with figs. GE goes beyond the natural barriers of propagation. To break through this previously un-breached border may release a Pandora's box of unintended consequences. Among the major downsides to genetically modified and engineered products:
According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1999 (which can be assumed to be much worse now), GE crops account for 57 percent of the U.S. soybean crop; 38 percent of the U.S. corn crop; 65 percent of the U.S. cotton crop; and 4 percent of the U.S. potato crop. In addition, over 50 percent of the U.S. and Canadian canola crops are genetically modified, and over 500,000 cattle in the U.S. have been injected with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or RBST), which has been banned in Europe, Canada, and every other industrialized nation, except the U.S.
The British Medical Association has called for a moratorium on all GE foods because of the question of safety. In 1999, 231 scientists from 31 countries published an "open letter to all governments," calling for a worldwide moratorium on all GE foods and crops. Specifically, the possibility of horizontal gene transfer has the potential to create new pathogenic viruses.
This past fall, in Hawaii, it was discovered that non-GE papaya seeds, some of them organic, were found to be contaminated from GE papayas. Also this past fall, scientists in Oregon found pollen from Monsanto's GE herbicide-tolerant bentgrass had cross-pollinated with natural bentgrass 13 miles away. Monsanto created "Roundup Ready" bentgrass for golf courses and private lawns.
Throughout North America, cross-contamination is being discovered in organic, wild and non-GE plants by GE corn, canola, cotton and soybean. Dumping of GE corn by the U.S. on Mexico is causing widespread contamination of the indigenous maize varieties. Widespread contamination of organic crops in Canada has lead Canadian farmers to sue Monsanto and Aventis (Bayer). In China, it was discovered that over a million GE trees were planted in the open environment, with no plan to monitor the impact on the ecosystem. The most well-known example of GMOs run amok: monarch butterfly larvae that were killed by GE corn pollen.
There is no "paper trail." There is no labeling, so consumers don't know what they are eating. The corporations that have invested billions of dollars in this technology have lobbied Congress and the executive branch successfully to hide their product in our food.
When faced with a new and potentially harmful technology or product, we must invoke the "precautionary principle," which assumes guilt until proven innocent. What to do? Contact organizations that are at the forefront of this issue, and advocate for moratoriums and labeling until the time that this technology can be shown to be worth our while:
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