Tag Archives: children

Super Easy Blueberry Coconut Milk Pudding

If you have read some of my previous posts, you know that I am eternally searching for new and interesting recipes for my daughter. She has become a bit of a picky eater and as we all do, we get bored with the same foods, over and over. I had a spark of imagination one day, while preparing lunches for the kids. I threw the items together so quickly and chucked it into the fridge so it had a couple of minutes to chill. To make a long story short, she liked it, so try it and perhaps you and your children will do the same.

I made little portion cups and took them to school. You could modify the recipe to make larger portions if you wish. I now make this for my own lunches and it is like yogurt and fruit. So good!

These amounts are flexible. Use your best judgement.

3-4 oz of your favourite non-dairy milk. I like coconut milk.

3-4 tbls of frozen berries. I used blueberries/raspberries for my last recipe

1/2 tbls of your best maple syrup

2 tsp of chia seeds and hemp hulls if you like.

I like to store in small mason type jars and put into the fridge until you want to eat it. It will be good for about 2 days.

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Travel to Disneyland With Family Food Issues

I imagine that we are like many of you with food issues…not able to travel easily. Since learning of our family and Celiac disease(3 years)we have only really travelled once.
I have wanted to take the family for this trip for quite some time, but only recently have I felt confident enough to make it happen. We have worked hard at learning what we can and cannot have and some easy all-satisfying recipes that I thought we could take with us.
We finally made it all come together and surprised the kids with the trip!
We really had the time of our lives! If you learn that food doesn’t have to get in the way and fun is foremost, you can do it too! It is important to live and be “normal”, for the whole family.
I hope that I am able to share with you, some tools and tips that you can use, so you too can have a little fun and not be paralized by the food issues that you and your family have.

The first and foremost issue was finding a hotel that had a full kitchen available. I figured if I had a base, then I can build on that and make most everything work around that. My goal was to find a hotel that was close to the gate, had a pool and a full kitchen. I found all of these at the Tropicana Inn & Suites. They were pretty good to deal with on the phone, as I was trying to arrange groceries as well and needed to have a full sized fridge to keep all of the food.
After a bunch of searching for groceries or online options that we could utilize once in Anaheim, I found an excellent resource with Vons Online Groceries. There were a few other, less desirable, options. VONS offered a great selection of groceries along with organics. As a bonus, the first time you order, the delivery was free! The hotel front desk was willing to recieve the order(if our flight was delayed)but they delivered(1 hour window)just after we arrived.

One of the other thing that I was checking on, was that all utensils were in the room and available. Next time, I would have a list of all the items that I would make and probably take the utensils with us, minus the knives, of course. The room was supposed to have a “fully stocked” kitchen. I guess this means that most of the time, they are used to provide light meals and snacks. I had a hard time rounding up a real knife, as I wanted to slice up some watermelon and cantaloupe. It was a little sad, when I called to the front desk and asked for a knife for my “fully stocked kitchen” and they sent me a pairing knife. Oh well. The Cove(store in motel)was able to lend me a knife so I could at least cut up the big things. Ha ha. Life is good at this stage, so this wasn’t going to get to me.
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Part of my plan was to be as close to Disney as possible. This managed to fit the bill from my research and I was SO right. My thought was, since we have to make and bring our own food, we can have food in the room, when we get hungry and tired for lunch, we can walk back to the hotel. This turned out to be brilliant. Thank you God for the inspiration. This hotel was a 10 minute walk to the park gates.

We also had a shuttle service that would take us directly to our hotel, not like the Disney bus that makes X number of stops on the way to your hotel. It is a smaller company, but with excellent, on time service! They service the 3 airports in the area. Karmel shuttle service.

If you are like us and have to prepare/take food with you, you might really appreciate these tips for travel by air.

Going into the US, we talked to our doctor and had them draw up a letter so that if we got questions about some food we were bringing, that it may assist. We also found that if you bring US fruit that they were less likely to take it away. Nuts, seeds and dried fruit are good airplane options when presented with the typical glutenous airplane snack options.

I originally thought that I might make some food and send it ahead of us, but that turned out to be VERY cost prohibitive! Like $1000, cost prohibitive!! When I called FedEx and they gave me a couple of quotes I nearly fell on the floor of the store I was shopping in at the time. That was when I started looking for grocery stores near the hotel. VON’s really was the way to go.

Here is a summary of our travel/food plan that you can use as a template:

Day 1 of trip started early. I had some fruit, nuts, no grain snack bars and packed those into my carry-on bag. We planned on not being able to find any food until we got to the hotel and got my grocery delivery.(fingers crossed of course) So we packed enough for the 4 of us for the 6-7 hours of travel time. Once we got to the hotel, the delivery showed up right on time and they brought it right to the room. Make sure that you will have enough fridge and freezer space to house all the groceries. I ended up forgetting something and took a taxi to the closest VON’s to get a couple more things. The cab ride was short and costs about $10-12. After picking up the groceries that I forgot, I whipped up a batch of delicious chili, with the grass-fed beef and organic veggies that I bought!

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This gave us lunch and dinner for the next 2-3 days.

Day 2 was the first day to Disney. We started the day with organic scrambled eggs and Applegate bacon, some lovely cut up fruit and some of the grain free muffins and grain free bars that I brought along. We then packed our backpacks and headed to Disney for the first day of adventure.  When we got tired and hungry, we came back to the room, had some lunch and a swim in the pool. It was nice to come back to the room and relax and then go back to the park for some more adventure. Just bring snacks and fruit and you will be all good.

Day 3 was pretty much the same as far as food was concerned, but I placed another online order for groceries with VON’s. That service was a god-send!

Day 4 was much the same with snacks and another batch of chili needed. I did make a longer cab ride to the closest health-food store, Sprouts. This was my kind of store. It was an excellent resource. It was a bit far by cab(about $20 one way)but worth the trip to find good products.

Day 6 was getting back on the plane for trip back to Calgary. I again packed enough fruit, nuts and dried fruit for the 4 of us and 6-7 hours of travel. Don’t plan on bringing any fruit back into Canada as they make you throw it out at the border.

We really had a great vacation. I am so excited and proud that we were able to accomplish this formidable task. I now feel ready and empowered to take another trip in the future.  If you have been thinking that you want and wish for a trip, DO IT! With a bit of planning you can find solutions and make your trip safe for the whole family. Good health to you! Email me if you need any suggestions or encouragement. God bless.

 

 

Screw McD’s breakfast sandwich

I saw a version of this on nomnompaleo.com. I thought it would be a great paleo solution to the breakfast sandwich. I thought it turned out awesome. Other than my girls thinking the sausage was “too spicy”(insert whine). It was great!
I had trouble finding the circular egg cooker things, so I used cookie cutters.

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I think I just need some practice. Next time will be easier:)

I used scrambled eggs and I had some organic chicken, Italian sausage ready use. I cooked the eggs first and kept them warm while cooking the sausage.
I would suggest using a good oil to cook the eggs and keep from sticking to the ring(cookie cutter).
Makes for a yummy sandwich for adults or kids. Enjoy!

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Leaky Gut Syndrome In Plain English – And How To Fix It, by Jordan Reasoner

Three years ago the doctor gave our daughter a diagnosis of celiac disease and we thought our world was upside-down. Well, after all of the testing and appointments, he sent us home with a plan to not eat gluten. That meant to look at the labels and make sure that she wasn’t getting any wheat, barley or rye in our foods.

At that time we had a typical diet of pizzas, mac and cheese and all the “normal” boxed goodness meals. We are hard working parents, doing our best to raise our beautiful children and provide nutritious meals that our tasty and healthy.

With the celiac diagnosis, came the charge to find the same type of products, just gf, so that we could continue on our similar path. This message was echoed by other families that we talked to, with the same diagnosis. “Try to eat normal diet, just take out gluten”

Fast forward 2 years and our daughter is still not gaining weight and still not feeling good. Tummy pain started about 1 year into eating gf foods.

She was getting worse! Losing weight. After a lot of our own research and sleepless nights, we found SCD and what was possibly the closest symptoms to our daughter’s. At this point there wasn’t much that could get worse.

Thank you to http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/, Jordan and Steve for going through this before and finding a solution. You have shared your stories of successes and failures.

http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/p/scd-autism/

by JORDAN REASONER

Leaky Gut can be so confusing, but it’s becoming more and more of an epidemic.  Many of the causes and cures of Leaky Gut are widely debated, but Doctors are becoming more aware of the condition and ways to treat it.

This article is meant to shine some light on how to treat Leaky Gut Syndrome and why the SCD Diet is such a critical component to it.   

Leaky Gut Explained:

The term Leaky Gut Syndrome is used to describe the condition of “Hyperpermeable Intestines”.  A fancy medical term that means the intestinal lining has became more porous, with more holes developing that are larger in size and the screening out process is no longer functioning properly.  The fallout results in larger, undigested food molecules and other “bad stuff” (yeast, toxins, and all other forms of waste) that your body normally doesn’t allow through, to flow freely into your bloodstream.

So now that we have the general essentially meaningless definition out of the way let’s find out what is really going on…

The intestinal lining is the first mechanism of defense for our immune system.  The outer layers of intestinal cells (epithelial) are connected by structures called tight junctions.  At the tips of these cells are the microvilli, which absorb properly digested nutrients and transport them through the epithelial cell and into the bloodstream.  During normal digestion process the tight junctions stay closed, forcing all molecules to effectively be screened and only pass into the blood stream through the mucosa cells (think of them like bouncers at the front of a classy bar).  For reasons we will discuss later these tight junctions can become “open” or permeable allowing un-screened molecules to flow directly into the bloodstream (think of it like a fish net with very small holes).

Graphic From: www.leakygutcure.com

So Then What Happens?

The first reaction your body has to these “foreign” bodies in your blood is to fight like hell.  Initially, your Liver is called into action to work overtime and try to screen out all the particles that your intestinal lining was supposed to be taking care of.  In most cases, the liver has no chance of keeping up with the constant flow of waste into your blood and all the toxins, undigested food molecules, yeast, and other pathogens start to accumulate in your body.

Now the sleeping giant wakes up (your immune system) and it is not happy.  It goes into full battle mode to fight the evil intruders and get them out of the body ASAP.  More often than not, the body cannot keep up with the task at hand and the majority of these foreign bodies absorb into tissues throughout the body… causing them to inflame.

Inflammation is also an immune response and causes even more stress on your system.  Now that your body is focused on fighting the large war, the little battles are starting to be ignored, like filtering out the blood, calming inflamed areas of the body, fighting bacteria, regulating the gut, etc.  This process flow can lead to your body fighting itself and an array of autoimmune diseases such as Chronic Fatigue, MS, IBS, Ulcerative Colitis, and Fibromyalgia.

Now your body will begin to produce antibody soldiers designed to fight against these foreign objects (which can be things such as the Casein protein from the milk you’re drinking, or other proteins in nuts, grains, or eggs).  Even chemicals normally found in foods such as Phenols and Glycerin can now trigger immune responses when they enter the body.  For instance, I immediately react to diary of any kind.  I get instant brain fog, a headache, sore throat, and horrible sinus drainage.  A similar reaction happens when I eat foods high in phenols such as tomato juice.  I am confident that it is all part of a reaction as a result of years with leaky gut from my Celiac Disease.

If you are having any food sensitivities to more than a dozen foods, you likely have leaky gut.  Any undigested foods that are absorbed into the blood stream are now considered enemies of the state, and your immune system will develop reactions to many of them, leading to food intolerances.  When you have a Leaky Gut condition, the damaged microvilli along the intestinal lining cannot manufacture the digestive enzymes they need to break down the food for proper digestion.  The resulting condition allows food molecules to flow into the bloodstream that have not been completely broken down into the nutrients your body needs. 

Bottom Line: The foods that you’re eating are not the root of the problem; it’s the leaky gut letting the food molecules into your bloodstream.  Of course, the caveat is severe food allergies such as gluten to a Celiac or deadly peanut allergies.

How Do I Know If I Have Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Symptoms of Leaky Gut can vary from person to person depending on the level of damage and the tissues being affected.  Multiple Food Sensitivities can be a sign that your immune system is developing antibodies to everything you’re eating.  Nutritional deficiencies are a sign of lacking vitamins and minerals from the improper breakdown of food in your intestines.  Chronic diarrhea and constipation are signs of inflammation of the intestinal walls from Leaky Gut.  Skin rashes are your body’s way of trying to dump the toxins through the skin perforations.  A poor immune system will result from your body trying to wage war on itself and ignoring all the virus and bacteria we encounter on a daily basis, allowing you to get sick more often.  Headaches, brain fog, memory loss, and excessive fatigue are a result of the inflammation of tissue and toxin build up.  Yeast overgrowth (Candida) will cause cravings for sugar and carbs, gas, bloating, and anxiety.  All of these things add up to a host of symptoms with a myriad of explanations… all leading back to one thing: the constant river of foreign objects being allowed to enter your bloodstream.

What Causes Leaky Gut?

The cause of Leaky Gut is widely debated in the medical community.  However, there is some level of consensus that the following are the basic contributors:

–  Diet: Consuming high amounts of refined sugars, processed foods, preservatives, refined flours, and flavorings introduces massive amounts of chemicals into the body that is seen as toxic.  If your body has a hard time keeping up the toxins start to build up and cause inflammation (like we talked about earlier).

–  Chronic Stress: Chronic stress almost always results in a suppressed immune system.  A weakened immune system cannot handle doing it’s normal job and gets overrun with pathogens very quickly.  This increases overall gut inflammation leading to increased permeability of the intestinal lining.

–  Inflammation: Any type of inflammation in the gut can lead to leaky gut.  This can be brought on by low stomach acid (which passes undigested food into the small intestine irritating everything it passes by), yeast overgrowth (Candida), bacteria overgrowth, infection, parasites and excessive environmental toxins.

–  Medications: Any medication prescriptions or even over-the-counter pain relievers with Aspirin or Acetaminophen irritate the intestinal lining and decrease the mucosal levels (a membrane produces mucus on the intestinal lining as a natural protective measure).  This can start or help to continue the inflammation cycle (more bacteria, yeast, and digestion issues) and promotes an increase in permeability.

–  Yeast: Yeast is found in normal gut flora but as soon as it begins to get out of hand it mutates into a multi-celled fungus (usually Candida) that grows tentacles to grab onto the intestinal lining and stay put, consequently making its own holes in the lining.

–  Lack of Zinc: Zinc is a critical piece of maintaining a strong intestinal lining.  A deficiency of the vitamin can lead to the mucosal lining losing strength and becoming more permeable.  There are studies that show that supplementing with Zinc when it is deficient can dramatically improve intestinal lining integrity.

How To Fix Leaky Gut Syndrome…

The medical community is also still rather divided about the methods used to alleviate leaky gut.  Treating Leaky Gut is a multi-faceted approach that requires many different pieces of the puzzle to fall into place.  If each one is utilized, the holes in the sinking ship will plug up and allow the body to return to a more normal state.  Here are a few of the most agreed upon avenues and also where the SCD Diet comes into play:

– Diet Restrictions: Eliminating sugars, starches, grains, and any other irritating foods alleviates the inflammation and starves out the yeast overgrowth (this is where the SCD diet takes over the healing process).  Reducing both of these allows the intestinal tract to slowly return to its normal permeability, stopping the flow of foreign objects into the blood, which will stop food intolerance symptoms and eventually help stop the vicious cycle just as the book described it.  I would argue that the Specific Carbohydrate Diet is the foundation of curing leaky gut, but it does need some help from the next three pieces.

Here’s a free guide to get started on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet: “How To Start The SCD Diet In 24-Hours

  Nutritional Supplementing: The conditions that lead to leaky gut can also cause mal-absorption and improper digestion, both of which are going to leave you with nutritional deficiencies.  First and foremost: supplementing with a good multi-vitamin, large amounts of vitamin D, and Zinc will help the intestinal lining return to normal (assuming the irritants from the diet are removed by following the SCD diet).  Essential fish oils have also been shown to really help improve the condition of the intestinal mucosal lining (omega-3’s greatly reduce inflammation among a host of other benefits).

  Probiotics: Now that the Candida is being knocked down by your adherence to the SCD diet, mixing in a solid foundation of probiotics, and more specifically, the friendly bacteria Lactobacillus Acidophilus is a must.  The diet gets rid of the bad bacteria and you need a constant feed of the good bacteria to replace it.  Friendly bacteria stop the inhabitance of bad bacteria and yeast, heal the gut lining, help nutrients get absorbed, and keep the vicious cycle in check.  Studies suggest that keeping a ratio of 85% good to bad bacteria in the gut will stop the cycle from starting back up.  A good non-dairy SCD legal lactobacillus acidophilus will be very beneficial.

  Digestive Enzymes: Digestive enzymes are critical to properly breaking down the foods we eat.  They are found naturally in the raw form of foods to help break them down, unfortunately, in the beginning stages of the SCD diet we have to cook all of our fruits and veggies, rendering them useless for enzymes.  The have multi-faceted skills to help alleviate leaky gut.  First, plant based enzymes will break down food into very small particles before it leaves the stomach, preventing large undigested molecules from irritating the intestinal lining and increasing nutritional uptake.  They also work through your intestines acting as garbage collectors by removing toxins, bacteria, and damaged cells of the mucosal lining.  The whole process gives the gut a clean slate of healthy cells to rebuild with.  While the leaky gut permeability remains, they do the same garbage collecting in the bloodstream if they are passed through the intestinal lining.  The bromelain and papain enzymes are shown to reduce inflammation in the gut lining and throughout other tissues in the body, allowing the immune system and the liver some reprieve.    Any SCD legal, plant based enzyme will make a world of difference here.           

In good health,

– Jordan

Leaky Gut Syndrome in Plain English – and How to Fix It

5 Things You Should Know Before Going Gluten Free

When I read this article for the first time, I thought about my daughter who was diagnosed when she was 7. She has been so brave and so mature through all of what she(and the family)have gone through. She continues to amaze me and my wife. She is an inspiration to many of us, who might occasionally say “oh I can’t do possibly do that!”
 
“You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” Walt Disney

Our children will be so much better equipped, to deal with our food challenges that we face today. Gluten and grains will be better understood and it will be normal for people with celiac disease to dine out in safe environments and join in, in social gatherings like there is nothing special about them. 
 
The children growing up, like my children, don’t know any different. As the number of people with the diagnosis continues to climb, the level of understanding and acceptance will continue to grow as well. We will find better solutions for our health crisis here in North America and it will come in the fashion of small farms, people looking for local growers and more homemade simple meals.
 
I hope that by sharing our thoughts, challenges, triumphs and successes, that we can help clear a path for our children to make our world just a bit better.

Article courtesy: Taylor, Gluten Away

Everyone takes on going gluten-free in their own way. Some people research it first and take it on like a pro. Others get overwhelmed and don’t really know what to do. I’ve gained a lot of experience over the last 4 years, learned a lot of things, and also gotten a lot advice from people as well. Even though I’m 16 years old, I can definitely say I’m a pro by now. Even though I’m very experienced, there’s a lot of things I wish I knew when I first went went gluten-free 4 years ago. That’s why I put together this list of 5 things that everyone should know before they go gluten-free. I hope this is helpful to you no matter how experienced you are!

1. You NEED vitamins – Everyone who goes gluten-free thinks that they can just remove gluten and feel better. Although going gluten-free helps with celiac disease, a gluten intolerance, or just your overall health, it can also create a lot of issues. You are removing grains and a lot of food groups from your diet which means a lot of vitamins are being removed as well. Make sure you get the proper vitamins to replace what you are missing or you will get deficient in many vitamins and begin to feel sick. Click here for the most common vitamin deficiencies while being gluten-free!

2. Hidden gluten – It’s easy to know what gluten is in. Bread, pasta, cookies, cake and so on. But a lot of people don’t think about the hidden gluten which can be hard to find. Things like soy sauce and many other products make it very hard for people to know what to avoid. Also it’s important to look at whether a product is made in a facility containing wheat because this can cause cross contamination as well. Check out this Top Products With Hidden Gluten List!

3. You may need to remove more than gluten – Some people assume gluten is all they need to remove to feel better. This may be true for some but it isn’t true 100% of the time. Many people with celiac disease also have lactose intolerance since the 2 are connected. It’s important to get tested by a nutritionist to see if you are allergic to any other foods and if anything else should be removed from your diet. If you still continue to feel bad then it may be more than gluten that you have to avoid.

4. Social situations will be harder – I’ll say it right now because it’s true. Going gluten-free does make social situations harder. Most people only think about the diet aspect of going gluten-free but not the social aspect as well. Food is involved in almost any social get together which means it can be a lot harder to have options eating out. Let the people know you can’t have gluten or bring your own food! Either way going gluten-free is a life style change and this is one unfortunate side to it.

5. You can still enjoy food, being gluten-free – I’ve seen people say this a lot. They assume that going gluten-free means they can never enjoy food again which isn’t true at all. In fact, I think going gluten-free allows you to enjoy food more! Luckily there are gluten-free alternatives to pretty much anything now which is awesome. But there are actually so many naturally gluten-free options to enjoy besides those gluten-free alternatives. You can still enjoy food as long as you are open minded and realize there are still so many options for you to enjoy.

 

http://www.gfreefoodie.com/5-things-you-should-know-before-going-gluten-free-taylor-teenager-on-a-gluten-free-mission/

BPA free plastic, coverup?

The Scary New Evidence on BPA-Free Plastics
And the Big Tobacco-style campaign to bury it.
—Mariah Blake | March/April 2014

Photographs by Evan Kafka
EACH NIGHT AT DINNERTIME, a familiar ritual played out in Michael Green’s home: He’d slide a stainless steel sippy cup across the table to his two-year-old daughter, Juliette, and she’d howl for the pink plastic one. Often, Green gave in. But he had a nagging feeling. As an environmental-health advocate, he had fought to rid sippy cups and baby bottles of the common plastic additive bisphenol A (BPA), which mimics the hormone estrogen and has been linked to a long list of serious health problems. Juliette’s sippy cup was made from a new generation of BPA-free plastics, but Green, who runs the Oakland, California-based Center for Environmental Health, had come across research suggesting some of these contained synthetic estrogens, too.

He pondered these findings as the center prepared for its anniversary celebration in October 2011. That evening, Green, a slight man with scruffy blond hair and pale-blue eyes, took the stage and set Juliette’s sippy cups on the podium. He recounted their nightly standoffs. “When she wins…every time I worry about what are the health impacts of the chemicals leaching out of that sippy cup,” he said, before listing some of the problems linked to those chemicals—cancer, diabetes, obesity. To help solve the riddle, he said, his organization planned to test BPA-free sippy cups for estrogenlike chemicals.

The center shipped Juliette’s plastic cup, along with 17 others purchased from Target, Walmart, and Babies R Us, to CertiChem, a lab in Austin, Texas. More than a quarter—including Juliette’s—came back positive for estrogenic activity. These results mirrored the lab’s findings in its broader National Institutes of Health-funded research on BPA-free plastics. CertiChem and its founder, George Bittner, who is also a professor of neurobiology at the University of Texas-Austin, had recently coauthored a paper in the NIH journal Environmental Health Perspectives. It reported that “almost all” commercially available plastics that were tested leached synthetic estrogens—even when they weren’t exposed to conditions known to unlock potentially harmful chemicals, such as the heat of a microwave, the steam of a dishwasher, or the sun’s ultraviolet rays. According to Bittner’s research, some BPA-free products actually released synthetic estrogens that were more potent than BPA.

Estrogen plays a key role in everything from bone growth to ovulation to heart function. Too much or too little, particularly in utero or during early childhood, can alter brain and organ development, leading to disease later in life. Elevated estrogen levels generally increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer.

Estrogenic chemicals found in many common products have been linked to a litany of problems in humans and animals. According to one study, the pesticide atrazine can turn male frogs female. DES, which was once prescribed to prevent miscarriages, caused obesity, rare vaginal tumors, infertility, and testicular growths among those exposed in utero. Scientists have tied BPA to ailments including asthma, cancer, infertility, low sperm count, genital deformity, heart disease, liver problems, and ADHD. “Pick a disease, literally pick a disease,” says Frederick vom Saal, a biology professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia who studies BPA.

BPA exploded into the headlines in 2008, when stories about “toxic baby bottles” and “poison” packaging became ubiquitous. Good Morning America issued a “consumer alert.” The New York Times urged Congress to ban BPA in baby products. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) warned in the Huffington Post that “millions of infants are exposed to dangerous chemicals hiding in plain view.” Concerned parents purged their pantries of plastic containers, and retailers such as Walmart and Babies R Us started pulling bottles and sippy cups from shelves. Bills banning BPA in infant care items began to crop up in states around the country.

Today many plastic products, from sippy cups and blenders to Tupperware containers, are marketed as BPA-free. But Bittner’s findings—some of which have been confirmed by other scientists—suggest that many of these alternatives share the qualities that make BPA so potentially harmful.

Those startling results set off a bitter fight with the $375-billion-a-year plastics industry. The American Chemistry Council, which lobbies for plastics makers and has sought to refute the science linking BPA to health problems, has teamed up with Tennessee-based Eastman Chemical—the maker of Tritan, a widely used plastic marketed as being free of estrogenic activity—in a campaign to discredit Bittner and his research. The company has gone so far as to tell corporate customers that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rejected Bittner’s testing methods. (It hasn’t.) Eastman also sued CertiChem and its sister company, PlastiPure, to prevent them from publicizing their findings that Tritan is estrogenic, convincing a jury that its product displayed no estrogenic activity. And it launched a PR blitz touting Tritan’s safety, targeting the group most vulnerable to synthetic estrogens: families with young children. “It can be difficult for consumers to tell what is really safe,” the vice president of Eastman’s specialty plastics division, Lucian Boldea, said in one web video, before an image of a pregnant woman flickered across the screen. With Tritan, he added, “consumers can feel confident that the material used in their products is free of estrogenic activity.”

Eastman’s offensive is just the latest in a wide-ranging industry campaign to cast doubt on the potential dangers of plastics in food containers, packaging, and toys—a campaign that closely resembles the methods Big Tobacco used to stifle scientific evidence about the dangers of smoking. Indeed, in many cases, the plastics and chemical industries have relied on the same scientists and consultants who defended Big Tobacco. These efforts, detailed in internal industry documents revealed during Bittner’s legal battle with Eastman, have sown public confusion and stymied US regulation, even as BPA bans have sprung up elsewhere in the world. They have also squelched debate about the safety of plastics more generally. All the while, evidence is mounting that the products so prevalent in our daily lives may be leaching toxic chemicals into our bodies, with consequences affecting not just us, but many generations to come.

THE FIGHT OVER THE SAFETY of plastics traces back to 1987, when Theo Colborn, a 60-year-old grandmother with a recent Ph.D. in zoology, was hired to investigate mysterious health problems in wildlife around the Great Lakes. Working for the Washington, DC-based Conservation Foundation (now part of the World Wildlife Fund), she began collecting research papers. Before long, her tiny office was stacked floor to ceiling with cardboard boxes of studies detailing a bewildering array of maladies—cancer, shrunken sexual organs, plummeting fertility, immune suppression, birds born with crossed beaks and missing eyes. Some species also suffered from a bizarre syndrome that caused seemingly healthy chicks to waste away and die.

While the afflictions and species varied widely, Colborn eventually realized they had two factors in common: The young were hardest hit, and, in one way or another, all of the animals’ symptoms were linked to the endocrine system, the network of glands that controls growth, metabolism, and brain function, with hormones as its chemical messengers. The system also plays a key role in fetal development. Colborn suspected that synthetic hormones in pesticides, plastics, and other products acted as “hand-me-down poisons,” with parents’ exposure causing affliction in their offspring. Initially, her colleagues were skeptical. But Colborn collected data and tissue samples from far-flung wildlife populations and unearthed previously overlooked studies that supported her theory. By 1996, when Colborn copublished her landmark book Our Stolen Future, she had won over many skeptics. Based partly on her research, Congress passed a law that year requiring the EPA to screen some 80,000 chemicals—most of which had never undergone any type of safety testing—for endocrine-disrupting effects and report back by 2000.

Around this time, the University of Missouri’s vom Saal, a garrulous biologist who previously worked as a bush pilot in Kenya, began studying the effects of synthetic estrogens on fetal mouse development. The first substance he tested was BPA, a chemical used in clear, hard plastics, particularly the variety known as polycarbonate, to make them more flexible and durable. (It’s also found in everyday items, from dental sealants and hospital blood bags to cash register receipts and the lining of tin cans.) Naturally occurring estrogens bind with proteins in the blood, limiting the amount that reaches estrogen receptors. But vom Saal found this wasn’t true of BPA, which bypassed the body’s natural barrier system and burrowed deep into the cells of laboratory mice.

Vom Saal suspected this would make BPA “a hell of a lot more potent” in small doses. Working with colleagues Susan Nagel and Wade Welshons, a professor of veterinary biology, he began testing the effects of BPA at amounts 25 times lower than the EPA’s safety threshold. In the late 1990s, they published two studies finding that male mice whose mothers were exposed to these low doses during pregnancy had enlarged prostates and low sperm counts. Even in microscopic quantities, it seemed, BPA could cause the kinds of dire health problems Colborn had found in wildlife. Before long, other scientists began turning up ailments among animals exposed to minute doses of BPA.

These findings posed a direct threat to plastics and chemical makers, which fought back using tactics the tobacco makers had refined to an art form. By the late 1990s, when tobacco companies agreed to drop deceptive marketing practices under a settlement agreement with 46 states, many of the scientists and consultants on the industry’s payroll transitioned seamlessly into defending BPA.

Plastics and chemical interests worked closely with the Weinberg Group, which had run Big Tobacco’s White Coat Project—an effort to recruit scientists to create doubt about the health effects of secondhand smoke. Soon Weinberg, which bills itself as a “product defense” firm, was churning out white papers and lobbying regulators. It also underwrote a trade group with its own scientific journal, Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, which published studies finding BPA was safe.

The industry also worked hand in glove with the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, a think tank affiliated with the university’s school of public health that has a history of accepting donations from corporations and then publishing research favorable to their products. In the early 1990s, its founder, John D. Graham—who was later tapped as George W. Bush’s regulatory czar—lobbied to quash an EPA finding that secondhand smoke caused lung cancer, while soliciting large contributions from Philip Morris.

In 2001, as studies on BPA stacked up, the American Chemistry Council enlisted the center to convene a panel of scientists to investigate low-dose BPA. The center paid panelists $12,000 to attend three meetings, according to Fast Company. Their final report, released in 2004, drew on just a few industry-favored studies and concluded that the evidence that low-dose BPA exposure harmed human health was “very weak.” By this point, roughly 100 studies on low-dose BPA were in circulation. Not a single industry-funded study found it harmful, but 90 percent of those by government-funded scientists discovered dramatic effects, ranging from an increased breast cancer risk to hyperactivity. Four of the 12 panelists later insisted the center scrub their names from the report because of questions about its accuracy.

Chemical interests, meanwhile, forged deep inroads with the Bush administration, allowing them to covertly steer the regulatory process. For decades, the Food and Drug Administration has assured lawmakers and the public that BPA is safe in low doses. But a 2008 investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel revealed that the agency had relied on industry lobbyists to track and evaluate BPA research, and had based its safety assessment largely on two industry-funded studies—one of which had never been published or peer reviewed.

The panel the EPA appointed to develop guidelines for its congressionally mandated endocrine disruptor screening was also stocked with industry-backed scientists. It included Chris Borgert, a toxicology consultant who had worked closely with Philip Morris to discredit EPA research on secondhand smoke. He later served as the president of the International Society of Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, the Weinberg Group-sponsored outfit, which met in the offices of a plastics lobbyist.

Members of the EPA panel say Borgert seemed determined to sandbag the process. “He was always delaying, always trying to confuse the issue,” recalls one participant. And the screening approach the EPA settled on came straight from the industry’s playbook. Among other things, the chemicals would be tested on a type of rat known as the Charles River Sprague Dawley—which, oddly, doesn’t respond to synthetic hormones like BPA.

How best to test for estrogenic activity would become a key front in the fight over plastic safety. The American Chemistry Council joined forces with an unlikely ally, PETA, to fight large-scale chemical-safety testing on animals. At the same time, Borgert and other industry-funded scientists made the case that the other common method for testing—using cells that respond in the presence of estrogen—did not necessarily tell us how a substance would affect animals or humans. In fact, a massive, ongoing NIH-run study has found that cell-based tests track closely with animal studies, which have accurately predicted the effects of synthetic estrogens, particularly DES and BPA, on humans.

Stanton Glantz, who directs the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California-San Francisco, argues the chemical industry’s real aim in challenging specific testing methods is to undermine safety testing altogether. “Like the tobacco companies, they want to set up a standard of proof that is unreachable,” he says. “If they set the standard of proof, they’ve won the fight.”

DURING THE HEIGHT of the battle over BPA, vom Saal periodically traveled to Texas and huddled around the dining table with his old friend George Bittner, whose home overlooks a walnut grove on the outskirts of Austin. Bittner, who holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Stanford, is quirky and irascible. But he has a brilliant mind for science and an interest in applying it to real-world problems—in his lab at UT-Austin, he had developed a nerve-regeneration technique that had helped crippled rats walk within days. And he had taken a keen interest in vom Saal’s research on endocrine disruption. “It struck me as the most important public health issue of our time,” Bittner told me when we met at his lab. “These chemicals have been correlated with so many adverse effects in animal studies, and they’re so pervasive. The potential implications for human health boggle the mind.”

In the late 1990s, Bittner—a squat, ruddy man with thinning red hair and Napoleon Dynamite glasses who had made a tidy sum investing in real estate and commodities—began mulling the idea of launching a private company that worked with manufacturers and public health organizations to test products for endocrine disruptors. He believed this approach could help raise awareness and break the regulatory logjam—while also reaping a profit.

In 2002, armed with a $91,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health, Bittner launched a pair of companies: CertiChem, to test plastics and other products for synthetic estrogens, and PlastiPure, to find or develop nonestrogenic alternatives. Bittner then enlisted Welshons to design a special test using a line of breast cancer cells, which multiply rapidly in the presence of estrogen. It features a robotic arm, which is far more precise than a human hand in handling microscopic material.

But before long Bittner began butting heads with Welshons and vom Saal. Bittner wanted the researchers to sign over the rights to the test Welshons had developed, while they insisted it belonged to the University of Missouri. Eventually, they had a bitter falling out. Welshons and vom Saal filed a complaint with the NIH, alleging that Bittner had misrepresented data from Welshons’ lab in a brochure. (Bittner maintains that he merely excluded data from contaminated samples; the institute found no evidence of wrongdoing.) Bittner, meanwhile, enlisted V. Craig Jordan, a pharmacology professor at Georgetown University with an expertise in hormones—he discovered a now-common hormone therapy that blocks the spread of breast cancer—to refine the testing protocol. By 2005, Bittner had opened a commercial lab in a leafy office park in Austin. He managed to attract some big-name clients, including Whole Foods, which hired CertiChem to advise it on endocrine-disrupting chemicals and test some of its products.

At this point, BPA was among the most studied chemicals on the planet. In November 2006, vom Saal and a top official at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences convened a group of 38 leading researchers from various disciplines to evaluate the 700-plus existing studies on the subject. The group later issued a “consensus statement” that laid out some chilling conclusions: More than 95 percent of people in developed countries were exposed to levels of BPA that are “within the range” associated with health problems in animals, from cancer and insulin-resistant diabetes to early puberty. The scientists also found that there was “great cause for concern with regard to the potential for similar adverse effects in humans,” especially given the steep uptick in these same disorders.

At the same time, a new body of research was finding that BPA altered animals’ genes in ways that caused disease. For instance, it could switch off a gene that suppresses tumor growth, allowing cancer to spread. These genetic changes were passed down across generations. “A poison kills you,” vom Saal explains. “A chemical like BPA reprograms your cells and ends up causing a disease in your grandchild that kills him.”

Scientists were also uncovering links between endocrine-disrupting chemicals known as phthalates and health problems, including genital abnormalities and infertility in humans. These chemical additives were commonly found in soft, pliable plastics, such as those used in pacifiers and baby bottle nipples. In 2008, Congress passed a law banning six types of phthalates in children’s products. As concerns about BPA hit the mainstream, Congress also launched an investigation into the industry’s efforts to manipulate science and regulation, and a number of states proposed BPA bans.

In 2009, the BPA Joint Trade Association—which included the American Chemistry Council, Coca-Cola, and Del Monte, among others—gathered at the Cosmos Club, a members-only retreat in Washington, DC’s Dupont Circle. According to meeting minutes leaked to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the group explored messaging strategies, “including using fear tactics (e.g., ‘Do you want to have access to baby food anymore?’).” The “‘holy grail’ spokesperson,” attendees agreed, was a “pregnant young mother who would be willing to speak around the country about the benefits of BPA.”

Even as the industry crafted defensive talking points, some companies began offering BPA-free alternatives. But they often didn’t bother testing them for other potentially toxic compounds or synthetic hormones. Nor did they have to: Under US law, chemicals are presumed safe until proven otherwise, and companies are rarely required to collect or disclose chemical-safety data. Michael Green, the Center for Environmental Health director who worried about his daughter’s sippy cup, says this results in a “toxic shell game”: Corporations that come under pressure to root out toxins often replace them with untested chemicals, which sometimes turn out to be just as hazardous. “It’s an unplanned science experiment we’re doing on our families,” Green told me when I visited him at his Bay Area home, where Juliette, now 5, was padding around in a pink princess costume.

One of the most popular BPA-free options, especially among companies catering to families and health-conscious consumers, was Tritan, a clear, sturdy, heat-resistant plastic that Eastman rolled out in 2007. (Eastman also produces the chemical that sullied the drinking water of 300,000 West Virginians in January.) A company founded by alternative medicine guru Dr. Andrew Weil launched a line of Weil Baby bottles made from Tritan, which it touted as “revolutionary” and “ultra-safe” material. Thermos began churning out Tritan sippy cups, decorated with Barbie and Batman. With more and more consumers demanding BPA-free products, Nalgene, CamelBack, Evenflo, Cuisinart, Tupperware, Rubbermaid, and many other companies also worked Tritan into their production lines.

Eastman, a $7 billion company that was spun off from Eastman Kodak in the 1990s, assured its corporate customers that it had done extensive safety testing on Tritan. But its methods were questionable. According to internal Eastman documents, in 2008 Eastman signed a two-year contract with Sciences International, another product defense firm that had played a key role in the tobacco industry’s scientific misinformation campaign. On Sciences’ advice, Eastman then commissioned a study that used computer modeling to predict whether a substance contains synthetic estrogens, based on its chemical structure. The model suggested that one of Tritan’s ingredients—triphenyl phosphate, or TPP—was more estrogenic than BPA.

Eastman, which never disclosed these findings to its customers, later commissioned another study, this one involving breast cancer cells. Again, the initial results appeared positive for estrogenic activity. In an email to colleagues, Eastman’s senior toxicologist, James Deyo, called this an “oh shit moment.”

Deyo’s “oh shit” moment (p. 1)

Cell culture tests for estrogenic effects generally involve soaking plastic in alcohol or salt water, then exposing cells to various concentrations of the chemicals that seep out. After Deyo informed the lab that its findings must “be worded very well relative to the lack of” estrogenic activity, it issued a report that only counted data from the lowest concentrations—even though this violated the lab’s testing guidelines, and made the results appear negative when they weren’t. “The lab ignored its own criteria and misrepresented its findings,” says Michael Denison, a professor of toxicology at the University of California-Davis who evaluated the document.

Eastman wasn’t the only company testing Tritan. In 2009, Bittner’s PlastiPure, which was searching for nonestrogenic alternatives to recommend to clients, began vetting products made with it and found that some had even more estrogenic activity than their BPA-laden counterparts. PlastiPure’s CEO, Mike Usey, says CertiChem disclosed this to clients, but many chose Tritan anyway.

This was part of a broader pattern of indifference. According to Usey, hundreds of manufacturers—including most of the big baby bottle makers—contacted CertiChem to inquire about testing their BPA-free products for estrogenic chemicals, but few actually followed through. “Their position was: Until consumers are demanding nonestrogenic products, there’s no reason to be an early adopter,” Usey explains. “They want to delay as long as they can, because they know any transition will cost them.” In some cases, manufacturers paid for testing, then never collected the findings. “They didn’t want to know the results because there’s liability in knowing,” Usey says. “They’re right in the sense that you don’t want to know if you’re not going to fix the problem.”

DESPITE ITS “OH SHIT” FINDINGS, by 2010 Eastman began to produce marketing materials claiming that Tritan was free of all synthetic estrogens. One section of its website featured the tagline “Safety is our key ingredient” along with photos of smiling children eating and drinking out of plastic containers. The site claimed “third-party research” had shown Tritan to be free of estrogenic activity, but when corporate customers tried to verify this information, Eastman grew cagey. In early 2010, Philips Avent, a top producer of baby bottles and sippy cups, inquired about having an outside lab run testing on Tritan. Eastman’s senior chemist Emmett O’Brien fired off an email to colleagues, saying, “We need to [do] everything possible to convince the customer NOT to do EA [estrogenic activity] testing.” Philips was persuaded. But, according to testimony from Eastman executives, that same year Nestlé vetted Tritan, and found it leached synthetic estrogen. (Frédérique Henry, a spokeswoman for Nestlé, acknowledges the company tested Tritan but denies the results were positive.) Nestlé has nevertheless continued using Tritan in some of its water bottles.

Bittner and Usey, meanwhile, decided to go public. “As long as the consumer demand wasn’t there, product manufacturers felt we were selling them a problem rather than a solution,” Usey explains. “We saw this as the only way forward.” Bittner’s companies, which have received more than $8 million in NIH funding, began working with Jordan, the Georgetown professor, on a paper for publication. In the fall of 2010, Usey attended the ABC Kids Expo, a children’s product extravaganza in Las Vegas, and handed out flyers with a graph showing how various products that were marketed as nonestrogenic stacked up in CertiChem’s tests. The most estrogenic among them, Weil Baby bottles, were made from Tritan. (The company referred Mother Jones to a press release on its website stating that it “remains confident that Tritan is safe.”)

Soon Eastman’s customers began inquiring about CertiChem’s findings. For the most part, Eastman convinced them to disregard Bittner’s claims. At one point, O’Brien met with Whole Foods executives. They were considering replacing their polycarbonate bulk food bins with ones made from Tritan, even though Bittner had previously informed them that the product was estrogenic. According to a memo O’Brien later wrote, when the subject came up, he responded by attacking Bittner, whom he called “shady,” and his test results, which he alleged were “very questionable.” The Whole Foods executives later pressed O’Brien about the other tests carried out on Tritan.

O’Brien’s memo on Eastman’s meeting with Whole Foods (p. 3)

The chemist claimed, falsely, that they were performed by independent scientists with no funding from Eastman and hadn’t turned up any evidence that Tritan leached synthetic estrogens. Whole Foods—which declined to comment for this story—plowed ahead and installed Tritan bins in many of its 270 US stores.

Eastman refused to answer questions for this story, but it released a written statement saying that it had “paid the labs for their time and expertise and not for a particular conclusion,” and remained “confident in the testing and safety of Tritan.”

In March 2011, the Environmental Health Perspectives paper by Jordan and researchers from CertiChem and PlastiPure appeared online. They’d tested 455 store-bought food containers and storage products, including several made from Tritan. The results? Seventy-two percent leached synthetic estrogens. And every type of plastic commonly used in food packaging (polypropylene and polystyrene, for example) tested positive in some cases, which suggested there was no surefire way to avoid exposure.

Other scientists have also found evidence of estrogen-mimicking chemicals in BPA-free plastics. In 2009, two German environmental toxicologists tested PET, a plastic commonly used in water bottles, on a strain of mud snails that produce more embryos when exposed to synthetic estrogen. Snails reared in PET bottles produced twice as many as those reared in a glass culture dish.

These studies don’t identify which estrogenic chemicals are leaching from BPA-free plastics, but many of these products are known to contain phthalates or bisphenol S (BPS), a chemical cousin of BPA that plastic makers frequently use in its place. Cell-culture tests suggest that BPA and BPS have similar effects.

In other cases, little may be known about the specific health effects of the chemicals involved, but a 2012 literature review by 12 prominent scientists found there is “substantial evidence” that endocrine-disrupting chemicals generally harm human health. “We know that there’s a cost when we mess with the levels of these hormones in our bodies, regardless of how we do it,” says the study’s lead author, Laura Vandenberg, a professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. “Even small changes early in life can alter brain and organ development and set us up for disease later on.”

The month after Bittner’s study appeared, the American Chemistry Council contacted Chris Borgert, the former tobacco industry scientist who stymied the EPA’s Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program. According to internal emails, the council and the Society of the Plastics Industry offered to pay him $15,000 to write a brief letter to the journal’s editor refuting CertiChem’s study, and to enlist another scientist to sign on. Their letter argued that CertiChem’s findings were “unconvincing”; just because a substance behaved like estrogen in a culture dish didn’t mean it would do so in animals or humans.

At the same time, Eastman laid plans to sue CertiChem and PlastiPure for false advertising. Expecting that Bittner would lash out after being served papers, the company launched a preemptive PR blitz. “By proactively promoting Tritan safety,” an internal memo noted, “it will put PlastiPure in a position to have to prove Eastman wrong.” The company also paid a scientist named Thomas Osimitz $10,000 to author a research paper on Tritan. While Osimitz was ostensibly working independently, Deyo, the Eastman toxicologist, micromanaged the process, from designing the study to writing the introduction. Deyo’s study design virtually guaranteed estrogenic activity wouldn’t be found. For example, he opted to use the hormone-insensitive Charles River Sprague Dawley lab rat. Rather than testing Tritan itself, he instructed Osimitz to test only some Tritan ingredients—TPP, the one that had raised red flags in the computer-modeling study, was not included. (The European Union has since classified the compound as a suspected endocrine disruptor.)

In June 2012, Osimitz’s paper—finding that Tritan was not estrogenic—appeared in Food and Chemical Toxicology, an industry-friendly journal. Its editor, A. Wallace Hayes, was previously vice president of biochemical and biobehavioral research at R.J. Reynolds, which led the attack against science linking secondhand smoke to human health problems.

Scientific journals generally require authors to disclose any conflicts of interest. But the Food and Chemical Toxicology article made no mention of Eastman’s role in the study. According to internal Eastman emails, the company was also aiming to hire Osimitz to author a second paper, again with “no…mention of Eastman.” As Deyo noted, “credibility is somewhat enhanced if it is not ‘Eastman’ authors.”

Deyo’s “credibility” email (p. 1)

Once its own data had been published, Eastman set out to bury Bittner’s findings. In August 2012, the company sued CertiChem and PlastiPure, which it claimed were spreading false information about Tritan to generate demand for their own services. Eastman’s lawyers asked the judge to bar both firms from ever claiming Tritan was estrogenic—or saying that cell-based tests could detect estrogenic activity, even though scientists routinely use them for this purpose. For decades, scientists have relied on the same breast cancer cell line Bittner’s lab uses, MCF-7, to screen for estrogenic activity. According to UMass’ Vandenberg, these cells have proven “remarkably good at telling us if compounds found in plastics and personal care products mimic estrogen” and their “failure rates are minuscule.”

On July 15, 2013, Bittner squared off against Eastman at a federal courthouse in Austin. The company’s attorneys went in hard. Specifically, they claimed running a company that tested products for estrogenic activity, as well as one that helped companies find nonestrogenic alternatives, created a conflict of interest. (Bittner counters that he’s no more conflicted than a doctor who both diagnoses and treats patients.) But they didn’t directly challenge the validity of Bittner’s findings. Instead, they leaned on the questionable industry claim that tests based on human cells aren’t sufficient to establish estrogenic activity.

Eastman’s star witness, Chris Borgert, made the case that animal studies—which the industry had also fought to undermine—were a more telling indicator. But even they were not “in and of themselves” definitive. For the result to be relevant, the effects had to be demonstrated “in an animal, at least, and then on to humans.” There was no mention of the ethical and legal barriers to testing on humans. And the judge barred Bittner’s lawyers from mentioning Borgert’s tobacco industry ties, which Eastman argued were “prejudicial.” This left the jury ill-equipped to gauge his credibility.

Borgert’s testimony may have done less damage than other factors. Bittner’s lawyers struggled to explain the science to jurors, and Bittner grew testy on the stand. Welshons, who’d designed CertiChem’s tests, testified in a deposition—just as he’d told the NIH—that Bittner had misrepresented some data in a brochure. Bittner’s attorneys managed to block his testimony from being introduced. But, Bittner says, his attorneys balked at presenting key evidence, such as figures on CertiChem’s NIH funding, because it might have made Welshons’ testimony admissible. Bittner also maintains that his rift with vom Saal and Welshons made it difficult to recruit witnesses.

Still, several prominent scientists testified for CertiChem, including UC-Davis’ Michael Denison, who coinvented a widely used test for estrogenic activity using human ovarian cells. Denison testified that he’d tested 27 samples of Tritan for estrogenic activity using this method and registered positives across the board.

But the most remarkable data might have come from none other than Wade Welshons. In the run-up to the trial, the University of Missouri scientist, who expected to prove Bittner wrong, began testing Tritan products in his lab. To his surprise, he wound up confirming CertiChem’s findings. “It doesn’t matter what I think of them personally,” Welshons told me. “If they’re right, they’re right, and many of my objections no longer matter.”

Welshons’ findings never made it into court, however, and when the jurors returned their verdict in late July, they found against Bittner’s companies on counts of false advertising and unfair competition. They also concluded Tritan was not estrogenic. Their rationale, according to postverdict interviews, echoed Eastman’s claims that estrogenic activity could not be established solely through cell-based tests. In his final ruling, the judge also noted that the “jury was likely unimpressed with Dr. Bittner’s combative demeanor.” And he upbraided both sides for failing to explain the science in terms jurors could understand. In the end, he barred Bittner’s companies from ever talking about their Tritan findings, at least in a commercial setting. But he refused to stop the companies from asserting that their tests could detect synthetic estrogens.

The long legal battle has depleted CertiChem and PlastiPure’s coffers—”We’ve laid off half of our staff,” Usey told me. “It has pretty much crushed us”—and emboldened Eastman. After I began raising questions about Tritan, Rick W. Harrison, an attorney for the chemical giant, inadvertently copied me on an email about Eastman’s damage control strategy. “If this somehow gets picked up by mainstream media—Oprah or NY media—Eastman sends Lucian [Boldea, the vice president of Eastman’s specialty plastics division] or whoever on the show prepped with the verdict, order and judgment and express surprise and indignation that these issues are still being raised after three years of litigation,” he wrote. “The court/jury has spoken and spoken loudly.”

The industry, meanwhile, has revived its campaign to downplay the dangers of BPA. A month after the Eastman case concluded, the American Chemistry Council relaunched its pro-BPA website, FactsAboutBPA.org. The section on infant health suggests that BPA isn’t harmful, even to premature babies. “They’re reverting back to exactly the arguments they were making in 1998,” says vom Saal. “It’s as if the last 15 years didn’t happen.”

US regulators also have continued to ignore the mounting evidence linking BPA and similar chemicals to human disease, even as bans have cropped up around the world. Although more than 90 studies examining people with various levels of exposure suggest BPA affects humans much as it does animals, the FDA recently announced that its research “supports the safety of BPA” in food containers and packaging. And the EPA program that was supposed to screen some 80,000 chemicals for endocrine disruption hasn’t fully vetted a single substance. In 2010, the agency sought White House approval to add some endocrine-disrupting chemicals that are commonly found in plastic—among them BPA, phthalates, and a class of compounds known as PBDEs—to its “chemicals of concern” list because it found they “may present an unreasonable risk to human health.” This would have required chemical makers to share safety-testing data with federal regulators. The proposal languished until last September, when the EPA quietly withdrew it, along with a proposed rule requiring manufacturers to disclose safety data on chemicals in their products.

Still, Bittner isn’t giving up the fight. When I visited CertiChem’s office in Austin recently, he was sitting barefoot at a conference table surrounded by sippy cups and heaps of lab notebooks. CertiChem and PlastiPure were planning to appeal the Eastman ruling (they’ve since done so) and were working with Denison on data for new papers, one on estrogenic activity in plastic resins, which are used to make plastic products and contain fewer additives that can skew results. Bittner called up a series of graphs on the overhead projector, showing the results for several new BPA-free plastics that he had tested for estrogenic activity. He raked his laser pointer over a graph displaying the results for Tritan. The line curved up steeply. “Eastman won the battle,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean it will win the war.”

http://m.motherjones.com/environment/2014/03/tritan-certichem-eastman-bpa-free-plastic-safe

Shot? Or not?

Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, we were’nt given a choice and neither were our parents. Whatever your doctor told you to do was taken as gospel. In this day and age we(or at least alot of people) have come to understand that all doctors are human. There is so much to learn. There are so many sources of information available to us. Big business has a hand in everything.
Vaccination Big Pharma
Being human is to question.
Another interesting perspective.

5 reasons to FEAR Jenny McCarthy

Both sides of this debate use fear to convince you that their view is correct. Our governments , the health system and doctors have a stronger voice than any activist. These parties are also bowing to fear from the manufacturers of the vaccines. The governments purchase these vaccines because if you can control something shouldn’t you?
I know who benefits financially more than any activist who speaks out against vaccines…the manufacturers of the plethora of vaccines that we “should” take.
Making decisions for our children are not easy. Not every decision made by big business or government is going to be right for every family.
It is our duty to educate, invest and learn as much as we can. We can empower our families with more information than any generation before us. Is government always making the best decisions for us?
From my perspective, no!
So how can anyone just follow without considering another option?

Grain free, Oatmeal raisin cookie recipe

I was having a busy cooking day today. I wanted to make meat sauce for spaghetti/chili, chicken wings, coconut balls and a new recipe for Oatmeal raisin cookies. After crawling out of bed, after my last night shift I picked up some of the last items needed to get some cooking done. Everything turned out well. The cookies were really good and it was nice to be able to give my girl some cookies!

I’ve also tried some granola bars from Gwyneth Paltrow’s book “It’s All Good”. They are in the fridge cooling right now, but taste tests during the process, I think they will turn out very tasty!

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Parental guilt

We all feel guilty for some of our decisions we make regarding our children! Is there any benefit for the child or the parent?
I’m pretty sure you’re still with me here.
Over the last couple of weeks, I have been thinking about some of the things that we do for/to our kids so that we can feel less guilty for having to make those hard decisions for our children.
Recently I met a women that has similar food restrictions in her family, as we do in our home. She was telling us how, many years ago she was feeling sorry(guilty) that her child had so many restrictions on thier diet. She let them have a sandwich(the child is celiac and SCD as well) and this created many months of undesirable consequences for the child and more guilt for he parent!
I have felt the same way many times, just wondering if it is all worth it. When your friends and family scauf at you because you say stuff like “our child can’t have sugar”. They say stuff like “what candy can they have?” like you didn’t spend years with your child in pain and years of frustration trying to figure a way for them NOT to hurt! Like having sugar and cookies are the answer! Yeah, just a little of that @#it that we have all been eating for years seems to be making everyone so healthy! Don’t you think that if we didn’t really need to do this we wouldn’t?
What about those people that “cheat” as they call it?
With celiac disease I don’t see the same consequences as having that pancake breakfast when you are following weight watchers or something like it. So called, cheating is in a sense, poisoning your body and just not seeing the results for a long time. Some parents let their kids “cheat” every so often, obviously out of guilt!
Are we not here to help our children learn lessons?
Just because they are hard decisions doesn’t mean that you should feel guilty.
I urge you to not fall into that trap. It is harder to do the right thing on all accounts, but our world will soon include celiac disease and SCD the same way it has started to understand peanut allergies. Our children will be making waves and demanding choices that fit their needs.
I just finished hosting one of my best Thanksgiving dinners ever! I’m less boasting, more grateful for some of the great ideas that I have gathered from various websites plus some trial and error. http://www.againstallgrain.com/ and http://www.elanaspantry.com/ have been such a blessing for my family. When I here from others in our community and the struggles that they face with family members or friends not empathizing, I cringe at how hard this is for the parents. We have worked very hard to help our daughter to be able to understand her own body so that she will be able to tell people, with confidence, that she may not be able to eat the same way! I am grateful and blessed for every hurdle that we face, so we can learn and teach on the way to a stronger family as a whole.
We certainly all start our parental journey trepidatiously making mistakes, but hoping to learn and be better tomorrow. I’ve caught myself being critical and it sure is destructive. Be good to eachother and be good to yourself. This is valuable as a lesson to your children as much as any other subject.
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Hello world!

I am eager to share our experiences from our family thus far! I hope to help many families to shorten their own learning curve. We are, by no means, experts, but we know our family better than anyone else. That goes for any doctor or medical practitioner. We have learned that you need to search for yourself and not to take an unfavorable answer at face value.
I am looking forward to sharing this journey with you!
Peace be with you.

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