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4 Health Reasons For Why American Milk Is Banned In Europe

4 Health Reasons For Why American Milk Is Banned In Europe

You may be surprised to learn that American milk is banned in Europe. Why? Because there are so many health issues surrounding the production of American milk that European authorities — along with those in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada — have blocked these dairy imports.

Here are the 4 main health concerns with American milk.

1. American cows are injected with a growth hormone

American milk is genetically modified. Farmers inject the cows with a genetically engineered growth hormone called rBGH (or rBST) for the simple reason that they can produce up to 20 per cent more milk.

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It should be noted that BST also occurs naturally in milk. This particular rBGH hormone increases the IGF-1 (insulin–like Growth Factor-1) levels in the milk. This IGF-1 is great for healthy growth in children, but studies at Harvard Medical School have found that there are serious health risks for adults. After studying over 30,000 nurses for a six-year period, they found some rather disturbing patterns. The nurses who had the higher levels of IGF-1 had a much greater risk of developing colorectal cancer. They also found that men with high levels of IGF-1 hormone were four times more likely to develop prostate cancer than those with lower levels. The most common source of this hormone is milk, fish, and poultry.

2.  Pasteurization of milk is no guarantee of safety

The alarming fact is that these hormones are not destroyed in the milk pasteurization process. Even more worrying is the fact that injected cows can produce up to 10 times the levels of IGF-1 than they would if they were not treated.

Pasteurization does not get rid of these hormones and certain studies claim it may even increase the IGF-1 levels. Other studies show that pasteurizing removes most of the rBGH and BST hormones.

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In 1994, the FDA said that there were no health risks associated with these hormones. However, there have been at least 8 national and international reviews on the health risks associated with them, as reported by The American Cancer Society. The public health debate rages on.

The rBGH hormone is produced by Monsanto under the name of Posilac. If this hormone were banned in the USA, then Monsanto’s profits and business would be severely affected — we are talking about billions of dollars here.

3. The rBGH hormone makes cows sick

Milk production in the US has changed drastically over the years. Cows no longer graze on pleasant meadows. Most of the milk we drink comes from intensive production systems which may have over 15,000 cows. Another alarming statistic shows that 50 per cent of milk produced in North America comes from 4 per cent of the farms. As you can imagine, these are owned by very large corporations. Naturally, the cows are stressed out and the injections of the rBGH makes them prone to illness. They are liable to suffer from mastitis, which is a painful bacterial infection in the udder. This results in the secretion of pus and blood which gets into the milk. Nobody knows how many cows are treated — or if they are ever treated at all.

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4. Antibiotic treatments have problems in themselves

The sick cows, when spotted, are treated with antibiotics. This means that anyone consuming milk is likely to build up antibiotic resistance. The US figures are alarming. About 2 million US citizens get antibiotic-resistant infections every year and 23,000 people die from these infections. There is much concern, but it still needs to be fully proven that veterinary health is a major factor in antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Meanwhile, the European Commission is well aware of AMR concerns and has issued several directives to safeguard human health. You can read here about how the Netherlands drastically reduced the use of antibiotics in animal health care and quickly saw a reduction in AMR infections in humans!

“Bacteria are like this river flooding over man.” —  Lance Price, microbiologist at George Washington University

Are the American authorities being overly casual, or are the Europeans being too fussy? Despite the reasons given above, this is still a hot topic to debate.

If you are not sure who to believe and want to be more careful about the milk and dairy products that you are consuming, why not look out for the “NO rBGH” label?

Featured photo credit: I hope you have a milk and cookies kind of day (CC)/Purple Sherbet Photography via flickr.com

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More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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