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The dark side of Canada’s new food guide — many Canadians can’t follow it

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With headlines this week about changes coming soon to the Canada Food Guide one haunting fact remains —  many Canadians don’t have the time or the money to follow the national nutrition recommendations.

One possible strategy as old as the food guide itself — providing healthy meals in every Canadian school — was abandoned by the federal government more than half a century ago.

Today, Canada is the only G7 country that doesn’t have a national school food program.

Meanwhile Canada’s food statistics are grim.

Nearly one in every six children is affected by household food insecurity according to research by Prof. Valerie Tarasuk at the University of Toronto’s department of nutritional sciences.

“Food insecurity” is defined as a lack of access to food because families can’t afford to buy it. 

The population needs to be outraged that six other G7 countries do better.— Prof. Sara Kirk, Dalhousie University 

“We’ve got an accumulation of evidence that we’ve got a very significant problem on our hands,” said Tarasuk.

And it’s not because people don’t have jobs. In the majority of households facing food insecurity, someone is earning a wage or a salary. They just don’t make enough money to buy food.

Even when families can afford food, they’re still not able to follow the aspirational goals of the food guide because of time constraints or other pressures.

A modest target — getting kids to eat enough daily fruits and vegetables — isn’t happening most of the time.

One Canadian study showed that 90 per cent of students in Grades 6 to 12 are not eating the recommended daily servings.

It’s an enormous missed opportunity with research suggesting that simply chomping on a few apples and carrots every day could prevent thousands of cases of heart disease and cancer later in life.

‘No single step could be more valuable’

In 1942 when the Canada Food Guide was first introduced, a national school food program was also being planned. 

“No single step could be more valuable for the health of Canadians of the future,” deputy minister of pensions and national health, L.B. Pett, said at the time, according to food historian Ian Mosby, in his book Food Will Win the War, The Politics, Culture and Science of Food on Canada’s Home Front.

Why in a wealthy country like Canada are so many children hungry and malnourished?— Sen. Art Eggleton

But while Canada’s Food Guide has been updated seven times since the 1940s, the national school food program never happened. The idea was rejected by Mackenzie King’s Liberal government. 

In 2017 a UNICEF report ranked Canada near the bottom — 37th out of 41 high-income countries on children’s access to nutritious food.

“The population needs to be outraged that six other G7 countries do better than we do on school food. I’m embarrassed by that,” said Dalhousie University Prof. Sara Kirk who described how a national school food program could be implemented.

Her research has revealed psychosocial and mood problems associated with poor childhood nutrition. Other studies have linked poor teenage diets to depression and suicidal thoughts and other chronic health problems.

Sara Kirk is a professor of health promotion at Dalhousie University. Her research found an association between poor childhood nutrition and various psychosocial problems. (Pierre Fournier/CBC News)

“So why in a wealthy country like Canada are so many children hungry and malnourished?” Sen. Art Eggleton asked last June, as he introduced a Senate motion calling for a “national cost-shared universal nutrition program.”

It’s a recurring theme. In 1997 the parliamentary finance committee recommended a school food program. In 2013 the Conference Board of Canada repeated the call.

Right now there’s a national petition currently gathering names demanding that the minister of health establish an “adequately funded national cost-shared universal healthy school food program.”

‘No plans’ for national school meal program 

But it’s not happening.

“There are currently no plans to implement a national school meal program in Canada,” said Health Canada spokesperson Geoffroy Legault-Thivierge in an email to CBC News.

“The Healthy Eating Strategy focuses on regulatory and policy initiatives that aim to improve the food environment. Improving the food environment will ultimately improve access to nutritious foods for all Canadians including children and youth.”

The federal poverty reduction strategy is probably to the most radical thing the Trudeau government has done.— Prof. Valerie Tarasuk , University of Toronto

Many Canadian students do get some food at school through a patchwork of programs run by some provinces, municipalities and non-profit organizations.

“But there’s huge pockets of this country where none of that exists,” said Diana Bronson, executive director of Food Secure Canada, a pan-Canadian alliance of food activist organizations.

“Seventy per cent of children in Nunavut go to bed hungry. I don’t think we can say that statistic often enough.”

“If you’d asked me what the political priorities would be, it wouldn’t have been legalizing cannabis,” said Kirk. “It would have been investing in school food.”

Valerie Tarasuk is a professor in nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto. Her research revealed Canada’s vast problem of food insecurity. (Nicole Ireland/CBC)

Tarasuk said there’s another way to solve the problem — increase people’s income. 

“People who are struggling to put food on the table because of a lack of finances, what they need is money.”

 She notes the lack of buzz about Ottawa’s poverty reduction strategy announced last August, which set a target of cutting Canada’s poverty rate in half over the next 12 years.

“It’s quite interesting how everybody is all over the food guide. You can’t say enough about it,” said Tarasuk. “And yet the federal poverty reduction strategy is probably the most radical thing the Trudeau government has done.”

The bill tabled two months ago would establish Canada’s first official poverty line — a poverty threshold that would be measured, in part, by access to food.

“One of the things that I think going forward that will be very important to do is to reconcile that poverty line with the new ideas about healthy eating that are going to be articulated in the new food guide.”

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Post-vaccine surge? Michigan’s spring coronavirus case spike close to previous year’s autumn high

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(Natural News) The spike in new Wuhan coronavirus infections recorded in Michigan over the spring is similar to a spike seen during the 2020 fall season. According to a Wall Street Journal analysis, the state’s daily coronavirus case count averaged more than 7,000 for almost two weeks – before taking a slight dip to 6,891 on April 20. This echoed similar figures back in November and December 2020, which saw sharp rises in infections for those two months before plunging.

Back in autumn of last year, Michigan averaged more than 7,000 cases per day for a span of 10 days. New infections dropped slightly, then briefly spiked as the December holidays approached. It then fell to the low 1,000s for the succeeding two months – until ascending again in March.

According to University of Michigan internal medicine professor Dr. Vikas Parekh, the sudden increase in new infections could be attributed to several factors. Among the factors he cited was re-openings, which increased people’s interactions and mobility. Parekh said the loosened restrictions contributed to the spread of the highly contagious U.K. B117 variant.

“As the B117 variant spreads nationally, we will likely see other stats [with] their own surges – although I hope none are as bad as Michigan,” the professor remarked. He continued: “The milestone just tells us we are not yet in the clear, especially as we still have large portions of our population who are not vaccinated yet.”

Parekh also expressed optimism over the lower daily caseloads the Great Lakes State reported. He said he believes both cases and hospitalizations have plateaued and will likely decline soon. The professor commented: “[COVID-19] positivity has been declining now for one week, which is usually a leading indicator of case decline.”

Meanwhile, the state cited younger populations and youth sports, such as basketball, wrestling and hockey, to increase new COVID-19 infections. Because of this, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called to suspend youth sports and indoor dining in the state. She also exhorted high schools to conduct remote class sessions for two weeks to curb the spread of the pathogen.

Michigan still experienced the spike in cases despite having one of the highest vaccination rates in the country

During the opening stages of the U.S.’s immunization drive against COVID-19, Michigan boasted of having one of the highest vaccination rates nationwide. A report by Bridge Michigan even noted the initial “frenzy for vaccines” that “far exceeded the state’s limited supply.” But things have appeared to turn around for Michigan, as it now struggles to reach the 70 percent vaccination rate needed for herd immunity.

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Scottish mom’s legs turn into a pair of “giant blisters” after first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine

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(Natural News) Sarah Beuckmann of Glasgow, Scotland, felt a tingling sensation in her legs and noticed a rash flaring up around her ankles a week after getting her first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine on March 18.

She also had flu-like symptoms right after the vaccination.

Beuckmann called her doctor to arrange an appointment the morning she noticed the rash, but by the afternoon her skin was already breaking out into blood-filled blisters. Blisters also appeared on her legs, hands, face, arms and bottom.

“I ended up asking my husband to take me to A&E,” said Beuckmann, referring to “accident and emergency,” the equivalent of an emergency room (ER). “When I got there, my heart rate was sitting at 160bpm, which they were very concerned about. I got put on an ECG machine.”

Doctors determine AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine triggers the rash

Medics carried out tests for HIV, herpes and other skin conditions to work out what triggered the rash, but all results came back negative. Doctors finally determined that the vaccine caused her rare reaction after carrying out two biopsies.

“Once they found that it was a reaction to the vaccine, they put me on steroids and that really seems to be helping my progress,” said Beuckmann. She had been advised by her doctor not to get the second dose of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine because of her reaction.

Beuckmann spent 16 days at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. She was discharged to recover at home. The 34-year-old mother of one is currently wheelchair-bound due to the bandages on her legs and blisters on the soles of her feet. She may need physiotherapy to help strengthen her leg muscles.

“They are starting to heal and they’re looking a lot better than they were but as the blisters started to get worse, they all sort of merged together,” she said. “I didn’t know what was going on.”

With the blisters merging, her legs have looked like a pair of “giant blisters.” Beuckmann admitted that at one point she feared her legs might have to be amputated.

Dermatologist agrees COVID-19 vaccine causes the blisters

Dr. Emma Wedgeworth, a consultant dermatologist and spokeswoman at the British Skin Foundation, agreed that Beuckmann had likely suffered a reaction to the vaccine.

“Vaccines are designed to activate the immune system. Occasionally people will have quite dramatic activation of their immune systems which, as happened in this case, can manifest in their skin” Wedgeworth told MailOnline. “This poor lady had a very severe reaction, which thankfully is extremely rare.”

It is not clear why Beuckmann, who works in retail, was invited for a vaccine. Scotland’s vaccine rollout was focused on people over the age of 50 when she got vaccinated, although vaccines are available to those who are considered at risk from the virus, or live with someone considered vulnerable.

At least 20 million Briton have had AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, which drug regulators say causes a rash in one percent of cases. They say rashes caused by the jab tend to go away within a week.

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Trojan labs? Chinese biotech company offers to build COVID testing labs in six states

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In 2012, BGI acquired Complete Genomics, a DNA sequencing company and equipment maker. The funds for the $117.6 million purchase were raised from Chinese venture capitals. The company has expanded its footprint globally. According to its website, BGI conducts business in more than 100 countries and areas and has 11 offices and labs in the U.S.

People are concerned about China’s access to American DNA data

Some said that with Complete Genomics providing an American base, BGI would have access to more DNA samples from Americans, helping it compile a huge database of genetic information. Some also worried about the protection of the genetic information’s privacy.

According to a 2019 report from the U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC), BGI “has formed numerous partnerships with U.S. healthcare providers and research organizations to provide large-scale genetic sequencing to support medical research efforts,”

There are three main reasons why many people in the biotech community and government have expressed concerns about China’s access to American DNA data.

In the “60 Minutes” interview, Evanina discussed the very likely scenario in which Chinese companies would be able to micro-target American individuals and offer customized preventative solutions based on their DNA.

Evanina asked: “Do we want to have another nation systematically eliminate our healthcare services? Are we okay with that as a nation?”

The second concern is that China may use DNA to track and attack American individuals. As the USCC report states: “China could target vulnerabilities in specific individuals brought to light by genomic data or health records. Individuals targeted in such attacks would likely be strategically identified persons, such as diplomats, politicians, high-ranking federal officials or military leadership.”

The third concern is that China may devise bioweapons to target non-Asians. Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, discussed it in his article “What Will China Do With Your DNA?” published by The Epoch Times in March 2019.

He wrote: “We know that the Asian genome is genetically distinct from the Caucasian and African in many ways. … Would it be possible to bioengineer a very virulent version of, say, smallpox, that was easily transmitted, fatal to other races, but to which the Chinese enjoyed a natural immunity? … Given our present ability to manipulate genomes, if such a bio-weapon can be imagined, it can probably – given enough time and resources – be realized.”

An article from Technocracy said: “China’s aggressive collection of American DNA should be doubly alarming because it can only spell one ultimate outcome: biowarfare. That is, genetically engineering viruses or other diseases that will be selectively harmful to U.S. populations.”

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