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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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