Health Warning – Unsafe Toothpaste

“Neem Active” brand toothpaste is a popular item in many stores around the
world, but Canadian health officials have banned it
TORONTO: The Canadian health department has advised people against using a
Neem toothpaste from India, claiming that it contains high levels of harmful
bacteria and a chemical found in antifreeze, which was discovered earlier.
Neem Active Toothpaste with Calcium, made by Calcutta Chemical Co Ltd. in
India, should not be used, Health Canada warned.
It claimed that ingesting the product could trigger fever, urinary tract
infections and gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea and
abdominal pain. The health department warning noted that while toothpaste is
not meant to be swallowed, young children often do so while brushing their
teeth. Children and people with weakened immune systems would be at the
highest risk of negative side-effects from using the toothpaste, Health
Canada said, adding that Neem Active Toothpaste is not approved for sale in
Canada.
“Infants, children and vulnerable populations such as patients hospitalised
for severe underlying diseases or with compromised immune systems are more
sensitive to these effects. Severe vomiting and diarrhoea could lead to
potentially life-threatening dehydration,” it said in a press release. Late
last month, Health Canada warned Canadians not to use the toothpaste because
it alleged that the product had been found to contain unacceptable levels of
diethylene glycol or DEG, used in the making of antifreeze.
#Prahladananda Swami – 21/9/07

Impure Ghee in India

Hare Krishna!
All Glories to Radha Shyamsundar.
All Glories to Krishna Balaram.
All Glories to Gaur Nitai
All glories to Sri Sri Panchatattva                 3rd August 2007
Respectful  Prabhuji ,
Please accept my most humble obeisance at  your lotus feet.
All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga; All glories to Srila Pabhupada.
This has reference to the  sample of one tin of unopened ghee sent  to us
at Bangalore to testing for adulteration with animal fat.
There had been some reports of adulteration of popular brands of ghee with
animal fat in the news network. In this connection my wife Devaki Madhavi
Devi Dasi  at Vrindavan  had requested me to test the sample of one popular
ghee used by the temple kitchen and the same sample was sent to us, last
week through Archak Prabhu , who as kind enough to deliver the same to us.
The sample has been of Dynamix Cow Ghee, M/s.Schreider Dynamix Dairies Ltd,
Pune.
We have got the sample tested and it has proved positive , that is it
contains animal fat beyond any doubt, as per the said testing house.
We give below the following observations and information gathered for your
kind reference in relation to ghee etc in India.
1.We contacted several testing lab with this request and finally zeroed on
one testing house M/s.Anatech Laboratory and research center. This decision
was based on the fact that whereas most others had outdated testing
facility which could only  tell of adulteration with other fats and were
not  able to specifically and categorically state that animal fat has ben
mixed.
2.We have been told that the  test is based on the Fancier-Transbraned
Infra -red spectrum Replication test.  and is an accurate test.
3.Our sample: Even the physical observation of the sample shows very
clearly that there is adulteration. There is no homogeneity. Any ghee would
be uniformly homogenous, and not half semi-solid and the other bottom half
fully caked hard.
This most likely contains about 15% animal fat . The quantitative analysis
can be done but this needs further testing and higher cost.
4. Incidentally the said labarotary tests several milk and milks products
for private and government agencies. In his experience they have tested
several products and national brands.
Their observation is as follows:
i.Of all the brand in India Amul is the best brand for ghee and butter and
all milks products.
ii.Even Nestle is adulterated with about 5% vegetable oil fats.
iii.Most ghee is a mixture of Cows and Buffolo milk in the branded segment.
iv.Nilgiris of Bangalore which is famous for its ‘pure’ Cows ghee brand as
per this laboratory was initially pure cows ghee but now is mixed with
buffolo milk.  However Nilgiris and Nandidni of Bangalore does not have any
adulteration with vegetable oil fat.
v.The ghee constituents of leading brands contains 65% cows milk and the
rest buffalo milk.
5.Incidentally it is possible to test if a given sample  of milk contains
pure cows milk . There is a particular harmone which is contained only in
cows milk and this can be detected by a sophisticated  test , with a
certain accuracy.
Remarks:As most milk products like ghee has only about 5% margin as Amul
maintains a strict price factor which the other competitor find hard to
beat. Hence  their way to profitability is adulteration with vegetable oil
and for larger profits they adulterate with animal fat.
The remark of the testing house with  his large experience is that if one
needs to  have pure Cow’s Ghee the only way is to make  inhouse as even the
best brand like Amul though pure milk contains buffalo milk.
For your kind information and reference.
We hope the above is in order.
Your  humble servant,
Hari Purushotam Das
(Hari Babu. K.)
Our E Mail Address: supriyae@vsnl.com
haribabu@vsnl.com #Prahladananda Swami – 4/8/07; 2

Nursing home cat has talent for sensing death

Cat at nursing home has talent for predicting death
Curls up to patients who only have a few hours left
DEATH could come in a furrier form than most people imagine.
A hospice cat at a nursing and rehabilitation centre in the US has a talent
for sensing when patients are going to die – and curls up beside them for
their final few hours.
Oscar the cat’s inside knowledge is so reliable, workers have begun alerting
patients’ families when he chooses to settle on their bed, the Associated
Press reported today.
"Many family members take some solace in it," Dr David Dosa of Brown
University told the news agency.
"They seem to appreciate the companionship that the cat provides for their
dying loved one."
Dr Dosa wrote an essay on Oscar’s macabre talents – observed in up to 25
cases at a Rhode Island nursing home – in the New England Journal of
Medicine.
The 2-year-old feline, who was adopted as a kitten, has even received a wall
plaque commending his "compassionate hospice care", AP reported.
When Oscar chooses a patient, it usually means they have only a few hours to
live. #Prahladananda Swami – 2/8/07

Cannabis harm worse than tobacco

 

A single cannabis joint could damage the lungs as much as smoking up to five tobacco cigarettes one after another, scientists in New Zealand have said.

The research, published in the journal Thorax, found cannabis damaged the large airways in the lungs causing symptoms such as coughing and wheezing.

It also damaged the ability of the lungs to get oxygen to, and remove waste products from tissues.

Experts say the study confirms that the drug represents a serious health risk.

"This research confirms that cannabis poses a serious health risk to the lungs, and smoking a joint can be more harmful to the lungs than smoking a cigarette"
Dr Keith Prowse
British Lung Foundation

In the study researchers from the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, Wakefield Hospital and the Wellington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, studied 339 volunteers.

They took CT scans of their lungs and tested their lung function through breathing tests to assess their lung damage.

Participants were divided into four groups – cannabis smokers, combined cannabis and tobacco smokers, tobacco smokers, and non-smokers, and gave them a questionnaire on their smoking habits.

Cannabis smokers were included if they had smoked at least one joint per day for at least five years, while tobacco smokers had to have smoked 20 cigarettes per day for one year.

Cannabis smokers reported symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and excessive phlegm production.

The drug also reduced the numbers of small, fine airways that transport oxygen and waste products to and from blood vessels in the lungs.

And it damaged the function of the large airways of the lungs, obstructing air flow and forcing the lungs to work harder, so contributing to symptoms such as coughing, and the development of bronchitis.

The extent of this large airway damage was directly related to the number of joints smoked – the more joints smoked, the more damage was seen.

However, in this study, people who smoked only cannabis were not found to suffer from emphysema, a serious and crippling lung disease which was previously thought to be linked to the drug.

Impact

The authors said: "The most important finding was that one joint of cannabis was similar to 2.5 to five tobacco cigarettes in terms of causing airflow obstruction.

They said the impact of cannabis was likely to be due to the way in which cannabis joints are smoked – joints do not usually have filters, and they reach higher temperatures with users inhaling more deeply and holding their breath for longer than cigarette smokers.

The British Lung Foundation welcomed the research, and Dr Keith Prowse, chairman of the foundation said: "This research confirms that cannabis poses a serious health risk to the lungs, and smoking a joint can be more harmful to the lungs than smoking a cigarette.

"It’s important to remember, though, that tobacco continues to be more harmful overall because it is typically smoked in much higher quantities than cannabis."

The warnings come after recent research suggested cannabis smokers were 40% more likely than non-users to suffer psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia.

Danny Kushlick, of the campaign group Transform Drug Policy Foundation, said the finding that smoking cannabis did not cause emphysema suggested it was wrong to characterise the drug as more harmful than tobacco.

He said: "The relative dangers of smoking dope are far less of a public health problem than those associated with the use alcohol and tobacco."

He also stressed that making the drug illegal did nothing to reduce any dangers that might be associated with it. In fact, he argued that its illegal status led to a lack of quality control.

#Prahladananda Swami – 2/8/07

Simple Living Saves Lives

by HG Kripamoya prabhu
Srila Prabhupada consistently stressed how important it is to
understand the gifts of nature and of God’s plan for humans – who
would think that cow-dung is an important part of it all?
Today I learned of how a small amount of traditional guidance saved
the lives of many children in Africa. It was a fascinating story told
to me by a visiting old friend and I thought I’d share it with you.
Vidura das, an Irish devotee of Krishna, lived in Kisumu, Kenya for
many years. He and his African wife Esther set up a large-scale food
distribution programme for needy people. And in northern Kenya there
were plenty of needy people. What concerned him most was that there
were many children who died young. “We discovered that the very area
where we were living had the highest infant mortality rate in the
world,” he explained.
To distribute food as a religious act, and yet to watch parents grieve
over their dead children was an intolerable situation for a
compassionate devotee like Vidura, so he started to ask questions
around the area. Dirty drinking water was the obvious culprit, but
when he enquired of the mothers why they did not boil the water they
replied that they did not have the money to buy charcoal, the commonly
used fuel.
Remembering that the guru of the Hare Krishna movement had always
praised the cow for providing, amongst many other gifts, the
sustainable fuel of dung, he explained to the women that Indians have
for centuries mixed dung with straw and dried it to create an
everlasting supply of good quality fuel. But the local Africans needed
to be encouraged to refrain from slaughtering their cows if they were
going to create a sustainable fuel source. They also had to overcome
the prejudice – given to their tribe decades ago by Christian
missionaries – that dung was dirty and never to be touched.
After some period of encouragement, mainly to women who already
trusted him as ‘Father Vidura,’ some families complied followed by
many more. “Eventually health workers were coming up from Nairobi to
see why children in our area were living longer than children
throughout Kenya,” Vidura said. The project was an overwhelming
success, and received endorsement by the tribal patriarchs, who, as
children, remembered their mothers talking of cow-dung as fuel in
their village but who had switched to the more expensive wood after
the missionaries had persuaded them to change. It was only a small
change to revert back to a more traditional fuel – and dung has to be
the cheapest and most abundant thing in the world – but it made a
world of difference.
Vidura went on to introduce the spinning wheel and the loom, and is
now in dialogue with President Musoveni of Uganda to introduce hemp as
a major crop for the villagers who live around Lake Victoria.
#Prahladananda Swami – 22/7/07