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Orange juice may get squeezed out of Canada’s revised food guide




Orange juice may not be part of your balanced breakfast much longer, at least according to Canada’s Food Guide.

Health Canada is proposing a change to a decades-long policy that equated half a glass of 100 per cent juice to a serving of fruits or vegetables.

“Health Canada’s proposed recommendations are for plain water as the beverage of choice, to help reduce sugars intake,” Health Canada spokesperson Geoffroy Legault-Thivierge said in an email to CBC News. 

Critics say there is too much sugar in a glass of juice – even if it’s from natural sources – because a portion contains more fruit than the average person would normally eat in a sitting.

PepsiCo’s Tropicana, for example, has boasted about “squeezing 16 oranges into each 59-ounce [1,700 ml] carton.”

But how many oranges does one person need?

Canada’s Food Guide currently equates a 125 ml serving of 100 per cent juice to one serving of fruit or vegetables. (Health Canada/UN Food and Agriculture Organization)

“Health Canada can say all they want that half a glass of juice [125 ml] is a serving size, but nobody is going to follow that,” said Alissa Hamilton, author of Squeezed: What You Don’t Know About Juice

“No consumer considers that a serving … a 12-ounce [355 ml] bottle is what consumers are used to considering as a single serving.”

Beyond portion control, Hamilton said the sugar in juice is digested differently than that of fruit. 

“Whole fruit has fibre, which slows down the metabolism of the sugar,” she said. “When you’re drinking the juice without the fibre, you get an insulin spike, and when you have too much insulin circulating in your blood, that’s a precursor to diabetes.”

“The other thing about fibre is that it fills you up,” she said. “There’s nothing to fill you up with the juice. In fact, it stimulates appetite, versus fibre, which suppresses appetite.”

Between 2011 and 2017, Canadian consumption of juice reportedly declined 15 per cent. (Jill English/CBC)

Big Juice lobbying efforts

Sylvain Charlebois, a Dalhousie University professor specializing in food policy, said the food guide has an impact on what Canadians eat.

“When you visit faculties or universities where there’s a nutrition program or where we train dietitians … the starting point is the food guide,” he said. “It is a conversation starter when it comes to nutrition and diet.”

As the Globe and Mail reported, the juice industry is fighting to remain part of that conversation, with the Canadian Beverage Association – an organization funded by Coca-Cola and PepsiCo – making its case to federal ministers and decision-makers “more than 50 times” last year. 

“Canadians are not overconsuming 100 per cent juice,” Canadian Juice Council spokesperson Jeff Rutledge said in a statement to CBC News. “Canadians – including children and youth – are already not meeting minimum recommended intakes for fruits and vegetables. 100 per cent juice can play a key role in helping to meet daily nutrient requirements.” 

Food distribution and policy expert Sylvain Charlebois says Canadians’ nutritional decisions are affected by the food guide. (David Laughlin/CBC)

Consumers a step ahead

But the proposed new food guide is actually mirroring existing consumer behaviour. 

Between 2011 and 2017, market intelligence agency Mintel reports Canadian consumption of juice went down 15 per cent.

Food and beverage industry analyst Joel Gregoire said it can be pegged to concerns about health. 

“Number one I would say is sugar content, and concerns about sugar content,” he said. “If you look over time, attitudes toward sugar have hardened.”

Food and beverage industry analyst Joel Gregoire says Canadians have changed their approach to juice consumption due to health concerns. (Jean-François Bisson/CBC)

Light on fruit

Those attitudes aren’t hurting all juice-makers. 

It’s actually helped Toronto juice entrepreneurs Emma Knight, Anthony Green and Hana James.

Emma Knight, Co-founder of Greenhouse Juice Co., says their most popular juices supplement sugary fruits with vegetables. (Jill English/CBC)

Their Greenhouse Juice Co. is capitalizing on reducing sugary fruits in their cold-pressed juices, and supplementing them – or sometimes replacing them entirely – with vegetables. 

“In our most popular juices, vegetables really form the core of the juice,” Knight said.

She said Greenhouse supports the principles of the proposed new food guide, even if it means removing juice.

“We would never advocate taking fibre out of your diet,” she said.

“Juice, as a companion to that, is a really cool way to get more of the nutrients from vegetables into your day.”

The new version of Canada’s Food Guide is expected to be finalized later this year.

With files from David Common

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





(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





(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





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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