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The Most Toxic Retailers on the Planet

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The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) requires that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency compile and keep a current list of chemical substances manufactured or processed in the U.S. That list1 currently includes about 85,000 chemicals.

Among them are 10,000 chemicals allowed to be added to food and food-contact materials in the U.S., either directly or indirectly, yet few have been properly tested for safety.

An evaluation of nearly 4,000 additives intentionally added to food revealed 80 percent lacked enough information to determine how much could be safely eaten and only 6.7 percent had reproductive toxicology data.2 And that’s just food chemicals.

In recent years, researchers and scientists have raised warnings about mounting toxic exposures, leading to efforts to rein in the use of chemicals known to be hazardous to human health. Unfortunately, many companies are still failing in this regard.

Report Card Reveals Most Toxic Retailers

Three years ago, the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families’ Mind the Store campaign started publishing a report card on retailer actions to eliminate toxic chemicals. The third annual report3,4 reveals which retailers have made strides to protect its customers from toxic chemicals in the products they sell, and which ones have not. This year, chain restaurants were also included for the first time.

About half of the 40 companies evaluated have made “slow but meaningful progress at improving the chemical safety of the products, food and packaging they sell,” while the other half, including all restaurant chains, have not made any discernible efforts to reduce toxicity. According to the report, published November 14, 2018:5

“Four retailers received the highest grades for their work to protect customers from toxic products and packaging, setting the pace for the industry: Apple (A+), Target (A), Walmart (A-) and IKEA (A-).

In 2018, Walgreens, Rite Aid and Amazon were ranked ‘most improved’ with all three companies announcing sweeping chemical safety policies over the past two months.”

Mike Schade, campaign director for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families commented on the results:6

“Companies can prevent harm and protect public health by taking commonsense steps to phase out toxic chemicals in everyday products. Retailers have an important role to play — they have both the power and the moral responsibility to eliminate and safely replace toxic chemicals to ‘mind the store.’ They should stop letting chemical corporations put public health at risk.”

Which Retailers Scored Failing Grades in 2018?

In all, 19 of the 40 retailers, grocery and fast food restaurant chains included in the review received an “F” in 2018 for “failing to announce policies or publicly report progress to assess, reduce or eliminate toxic chemicals in the products or packaging they sell.” As noted by Tracy Gregoire, project coordinator for Learning Disabilities Association of America’s Healthy Children:7

“Learning and developmental disabilities now affect 1 in 6 children. Over a quarter of these disabilities are linked to toxic chemical exposures. Prenatal and early childhood exposure to harmful chemicals in consumer products and food packaging can lead to lifelong impacts and chronic health conditions.

Major retailers have both the opportunity and the responsibility to become industry leaders by keeping toxic chemicals out of products and packaging to protect children’s minds and bodies.”

While some of the companies that received an “F” would seem like “givens,” even companies like Trader Joe’s and Publix are on this list.











Companies that received a Failing Grade for 20188

Macy’s

Ulta Beauty

Ahold Delhaize

Nordstrom

Trader Joe’s

Panera Bread

Office Depot

Sally Beauty

McDonald’s

Starbucks

Subway

Restaurant Brands International

Dollar General

TJX Companies

Yum! Brands

Ace Hardware

Sobeys

99 Cents Only

Publix


Executive director of the Environmental Health Strategy Center, Mike Belliveau, a coauthor of the report, said:9

“The food we buy should nourish us, not expose us to toxic chemicals from packaging and processing. Restaurant chains are serving up a recipe for poor health by failing to slash the use of toxic chemicals in food packaging and other food contact materials.

Toxic industrial chemicals like phthalates and PFAS don’t belong in the food we eat. Consumers expect a lot more leadership from food retailers in getting toxic chemicals out of the food supply chain.”

Key Findings

According to the report, this year’s analysis reveals five key findings:10

1. Retailers are making an effort to remove certain toxic chemicals from their products — Examples given include phthalates, parabens and formaldehyde in beauty and personal care products, and oxybenzone in sunscreens.

Rite Aid is planning to eliminate two types of phthalates from its private label products by 2020, and will phase out nine others. By the end of 2022, Home Depot will also prohibit two phthalates and seven other chemicals in any household cleaning products they sell.

Ten retailers — Lowe’s, Sherwin-Williams, The Home Depot, Walmart, True Value, PPG Paints, AutoZone, Kelly-Moore Paints, Canadian Tire and Home Hardware — have all vowed to cease selling paint strippers containing methylene chloride and NMP by the end of 2018.

According to the report, “At least three paint stripper brands have recently announced new products coming to market that are free of methylene chloride and NMP, showing the power of retailers to drive the development of safer solutions.”

2. Retailers are strengthening or adopting new policies to address toxic chemicals — Aside from Walgreens, Rite Aid and Amazon — which reported the most significant improvements in this regard — Target, Lowe’s, Costco, Kohl’s and Sephora also improved.

3. Retailers are “aligning around a common list of chemicals of concern” — primarily the beauty and personal care stewardship list,11 created by the Forum for the Future in collaboration with The Sustainability Consortium, which is a subset of a larger list12 containing several thousand chemicals with suspected toxicity, developed by government agencies in the U.S., Europe and other regions.

4. Food retailers, on the other hand, “seriously lag behind,” having been slow to adopt policies to reduce or eliminate known toxins such as phthalates and PFAS from their packaging and materials that come into contact with the food.

5. Despite progress, “too many” retailers are still not addressing the chemical safety of their products — “Almost half the retailers evaluated lacked even the most basic public chemicals policy,” the report states.

American Academy of Pediatrics Calls for Reduced Exposure to Chemicals

The fact that all food retailers received a failing score is disturbing, considering their overall impact on an individual’s day-to-day chemical exposure. As noted by Dr. Leonardo Trasande, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Council on Environmental Health and lead author of the AAP’s policy statement on toxic food chemicals issued earlier this year:13

“There are critical weaknesses in the current food additives regulatory process, which doesn’t do enough to ensure all chemicals added to foods are safe enough to be part of a family’s diet. As pediatricians, we’re especially concerned about significant gaps in data about the health effects of many of these chemicals on infants and children …

Chemicals that affect the endocrine system, for example, can have lasting effects on a child since hormones coordinate complex functions throughout the body. Even small disruptions at key moments during development can have lifelong consequences.”

In July 2018, the AAP, a group of over 65,000 pediatricians in the U.S., issued a policy statement urging parents to limit their children’s exposure to plastic chemicals known to leach into food from packaging, as well as chemical food additives, warning the chemicals may damage their children’s health for years to come.14 In a policy statement, the AAP expressed concerns related to:15

“[T]he use of colorings, flavorings and chemicals deliberately added to food during processing (direct food additives) as well as substances in food contact materials, including adhesives, guys, coatings, paper, paperboard, plastic and other polymers which may contaminate food as part of packaging or manufacturing equipment …”

Some of those chemicals include phthalates, nitrates and bisphenols. Experts fear these chemicals have a range of side effects in humans, including metabolic dysfunction, thyroid and other endocrine disruption, impaired brain development, increasing risk of obesity and decreased birth weight.16 Synthetic hormones may also disrupt how calories are processed and ultimately how they are converted, contributing to metabolic dysfunction.

World Health Organization Has Also Issued Warnings About Food and Plastic Chemicals

A 2013 joint report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Environment Program17 also warned that an all-out ban on endocrine disrupting chemicals may be needed to protect the health of future generations.

This report is one of the most comprehensive on endocrine disrupting chemicals commonly found in plastics and food additives to date, and highlights a wide variety of problems, including undescended testicles, breast, prostate and thyroid cancer, nervous system defects and the development of attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children.18

Take Action

Toxic chemicals hide in most products you buy and use on an everyday basis. As noted by Mind the Store, “It’s time retailers put the interests of our families’ health above the special interests of chemical corporations. Big retailers can innovate to reduce or eliminate toxic chemicals from the products they carry and safeguard our health.”

If you agree, take action by contacting the CEOs of all 19 retailers with a failing score. Mind the Store makes it easy through their Action Network page.


Take Action

>>>>> Click Here <<<<<

Take Steps to Reduce Your Family’s Chemical Exposure

Considering all the potential sources of toxic chemicals, it’s virtually impossible to avoid all of them, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit silently by while corporations use your home, your water, your air, your food and your body as a convenient chemical dumping ground. Until change occurs on a global scale, you can significantly limit your exposure by keeping a number of key principles in mind.



















Eat a diet focused on locally grown, fresh and ideally organic whole foods. Processed and packaged foods are a common source of chemicals, both in the food itself and the packaging. Wash fresh produce well, especially if it’s not organically grown.

Rather than eating conventional or farm-raised fish, which are often heavily contaminated with PCBs and mercury, supplement with a high-quality krill oil, or eat wild-caught Alaskan salmon, anchovies and sardines.

Choose certified organic grass fed meats and dairy to reduce your exposure to hormones, pesticides and fertilizers. Avoid milk and other dairy products containing genetically engineered recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST).

Store your food and beverages in glass, rather than plastic, and avoid using plastic wrap.

Buy products in glass bottles rather than plastic or cans, as chemicals can leach out of plastics (and plastic can linings), into the contents; be aware that even “BPA-free” plastics typically leach endocrine-disrupting chemicals that are just as bad.

Use glass baby bottles.

Replace your nonstick pots and pans with ceramic or glass cookware.

Look for Earth-friendly, animal-friendly, sustainable, certified organic and GMO-free products. This applies to everything from food and personal care products to building materials, carpeting, paint, baby items, furniture, mattresses and more.

Filter your tap water for both drinking and bathing. If you can only afford to do one, filtering your bathing water may be more important, as your skin readily absorbs contaminants. If your tap water is fluoridated, keep in mind that not all filter systems will filter out this toxic additive.

When buying new products such as furniture, mattresses or carpet padding, consider buying chemical-free varieties containing naturally less flammable materials, such as leather, wool, cotton, silk and Kevlar, to avoid exposure to toxic flame retardants.

Avoid stain- and water-resistant clothing, furniture and carpets to avoid PFCs.

Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to remove contaminated house dust. This is one of the major routes of exposure to flame-retardant chemicals.

Make sure your baby’s toys are BPA-free, such as pacifiers, teething rings and anything your child may be prone to suck or chew on — even books, which are often plasticized. It’s advisable to avoid all plastic, especially flexible varieties.

Switch to organic toiletries, including shampoo, toothpaste, antiperspirants and cosmetics. EWG’s Skin Deep database19 can help you find personal care products free of phthalates and other potentially dangerous chemicals.

Replace your vinyl shower curtain with a fabric one or install glass doors.

Use natural cleaning products or make your own. Avoid those containing 2-butoxyethanol (EGBE) and methoxydiglycol (DEGME) — two toxic glycol ethers that can compromise your fertility and cause fetal harm.

Look for fragrance-free products. One artificial fragrance can contain dozens of potentially toxic chemicals.20 (When you consider that the industry has 3,100 stock chemical ingredients for their fragrances, you literally could be exposed to thousands of these chemicals every day if you’re around others!) Also avoid fabric softeners and dryer sheets, which contain a mishmash of synthetic chemicals and fragrances.

Replace feminine hygiene products (tampons and sanitary pads) with safer alternatives.

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Bill Gates: Third Shot May Be Needed to Combat Coronavirus Variants

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With more than 40 million Americans having received at least the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, a third dose may be needed to prevent the spread of new variants of the disease, Bill Gates told CBS News Tuesday.

Gates’ comments come amid growing concern that the current vaccines are not effective against the more contagious Brazilian and South African variants.

Pfizer and Moderna have stated that their vaccines are 95% and 99% effective, respectively, against the initial strain of COVID. However, some scientists have questioned those statements. Additionally, the World Health Organization and vaccine companies have conceded that the vaccines do not prevent people from being infected with COVID or from transmitting it, but are only effective at reducing symptoms.

Gates told CBS Evening News:

“The discussion now is do we just need to get a super high coverage of the current vaccine, or do we need a third dose that’s just the same, or do we need a modified vaccine?”

U.S. vaccine companies are looking at making modifications, which Gates refers to as “tuning.”

People who have had two shots may need to get a third shot and people who have not yet been vaccinated would need the modified vaccine, explained Gates. When asked whether the coronavirus vaccine would be similar to the flu vaccine, which requires yearly boosters, Gates couldn’t rule that out. Until the virus is eradicated from all humans, Gates said, additional shots may be needed in the future.

AstraZeneca in particular has a challenge with the variant,” Gates explained. “And the other two, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax, are slightly less effective, but still effective enough that we absolutely should get them out as fast as we can while we study this idea of tuning the vaccine.”

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the studies being conducted in Brazil and South Africa, CBS News said. The foundation has also invested in the AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and the Novavax vaccines, which are being tested against new variants. Once the AstraZeneca vaccine is approved, the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative or GAVI, founded by Gates, will distribute it globally.

“Gates continues to move the goalposts,” said Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., chairman and chief legal counsel of Children’s Health Defense. “Meanwhile the strategies he and others have promoted are obliterating the global economy, demolishing the middle class, making the rich richer and censoring vaccine safety advocates, like me.”

Kennedy said that the exclusive focus on vaccines has prevented the kind of progress required to actually address and recover from the pandemic:

“From the pandemic’s outset, clear-headed people familiar with the challenges inherent in the vaccine model have understood that the path out of crisis would require multiple steps. Those steps would need to include the development and/or identification of therapeutic drugs, the sharing of information among doctors to hone improved treatment models that reduce infection mortality rates below those for flu, and the kind of broad-spectrum long-term herd immunity that protects against mutant strains and that only derives from natural infection.”

Instead, Gates and vaccine makers are proposing a lifetime of boosters, supporting insufficient testing to determine safety and failing to address the inadequate monitoring of vaccine injuries, Kennedy said.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children’s Health Defense.

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Young nurse suffers from hemorrhage and brain swelling after second dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

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(Natural News) A 28-year-old healthcare worker from the Swedish American Hospital, in Beloit, Wisconsin was recently admitted to the ICU just five days after receiving a second dose of Pfizer’s experimental mRNA vaccine. The previously healthy young woman was pronounced brain dead after cerebral angiography confirmed a severe hemorrhage stroke in her brain stem.

Her family members confirmed that she was “breaking out in rashes” after the vaccine. She also suffered from sudden migraine headaches, and got “sick” after taking the second dose of the vaccine. At the very end, she lost the ability to speak and went unconscious. The migraines, nausea, and loss of speech were all symptoms of a brain bleed and brain swelling, something her family did not understand at the time, and something nobody would expect after vaccination.

While on life support, neurologists used angiography to image the damage inside the brain. They found a subarachnoid hemorrhage, whereas a bulging blood vessel burst in the brain, bleeding out in the space between the brain and the tissue covering the brain. The ensuing swelling cut off oxygen to the brain and caused brain death. On February 10, 2021, Sarah reportedly had “no brain activity.” Some of the woman’s organs are now being procured, so they can be donated to other people around the world.

Doctors warn FDA about COVID vaccines causing autoimmune attacks in the heart and brain

Experimental COVID-19 vaccines may cause inflammation along the cardiovascular system, leading to heart attack and/or stroke. This serious issue was brought forth to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by Dr. J. Patrick Whelan, M.D., Ph.D. and further confirmed by cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. The two doctors warned that a recently-infected patient who is subject to COVID-19 vaccination is likely to suffer from autoimmune attacks along the ACE-2 receptors present in the heart, and in the microvasculature of the brain, liver and kidney. If viral antigens are present in the tissues of recipients at the time of vaccination, the vaccine-augmented immune response will turn the immune system against those tissues, causing inflammation that can lead to blood clot formation.

This severe adverse event is likely cause of death for the elderly who are vaccinated despite recently being infected. There is no adequate screening process to ensure that this autoimmune attack doesn’t occur. The elderly are not the only people vulnerable to vaccine injury and death. Pfizer’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine could be the main cause behind the sudden death of Sarah Sickles, a 28-year-old nurse from Wisconsin. The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System has captured five permanent disabilities in Wisconsin, 58 ER visits, and eleven deaths in just one month. This is the first case in Wisconsin of someone under 44 years of age suffering from severe COVID-19 vaccine side effects and death. There are now more than 1,170 deaths recorded in the U.S. related to the experimental mRNA vaccines, a reality that the FDA and CDC continue to ignore.

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Powering hypersonic weapons: US armed forces eyeing dangerous 5G tech

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(Natural News) Much of the conversation surrounding the benefits of 5G is geared toward the consumer side of the technology. People will be able to download videos at lightning speed and will be more connected than ever, proponents claim, although there are serious questions regarding its safety. However, some of the most important 5G applications are not civil at all – the technology will be used extensively in the military domain.

Some of its military uses are outlined in the Defense Applications of 5G Network Technology report, which was published by the Defense Science Board. This federal committee gives scientific advice to the Pentagon. Their report states: “The emergence of 5G technology, now commercially available, offers the Department of Defense the opportunity to take advantage, at minimal cost, of the benefits of this system for its own operational requirements.”

The 5G commercial network that is being built by private companies right now can be used by the American military for a much lower cost than if the network had been set up exclusively for military purposes.

Military experts expect the 5G system to play a pivotal role in using hypersonic weapons. For example, it can be used for new missiles that bear nuclear warheads and travel at speeds superior to Mach 5. These hypersonic weapons, which travel at five times the speed of sound and move a mile per second, will be flying at high altitudes on unpredictable flight paths, making them as hard to guide as they will be to intercept.

Huge quantities of data need to be gathered and transmitted in a very short period in order to maneuver these warheads on variable trajectories and allow them to change direction in milliseconds to avoid interceptor missiles.

5G for defense

This type of technology is also needed to activate defenses should we be attacked by a weapon of this type; 5G automatic systems could theoretically handle decisions that humans won’t have enough time to make on their own. Military bases and even cities will have less than a minute to react to incoming hypersonic missiles, and 5G will make it easier to process real time data on trajectories for decision-making.

There are also important uses of this technology in combat. 5G’s ability to simultaneously link millions of transceivers will undoubtedly facilitate communication among military personnel and allow them to transmit photos, maps and other vital information about operations in progress at dizzying speeds to improve situational awareness.

The military can also take advantage of the high-frequency and short-wavelength millimeter wave spectrum used by 5G. Its short range means that it is well suited for smart military bases and command posts because the signal will not propagate too far, making it less likely that enemies will be able to detect it.

When it comes to special forces and secret services, the benefits of 5G are numerous. Its speed and connectivity will allow espionage systems to reach unprecedented levels of efficiency. It will also make drones more dangerous by allowing them to identify and target people using facial recognition and other methods.

Like all technology, 5G will also make us highly vulnerable. The network itself could become an attractive target for cyber-attacks and other acts of war being carried out with cutting-edge weaponry. In fact, the 5G network is already viewed as critical infrastructure and is being carefully protected before it is even fully built.

While the focus on 5G’s dangers to human health and the environment is absolutely warranted, it is also important not to lose sight of the military implications of 5G. After all, it is not just the United States that is developing this technology for military purposes; our enemies, like China and other countries, are also making great strides in this realm.

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