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 By Dr. Mercola

The United States permits more than 84,000 chemicals to be used in household products, cosmetics, food, and food packaging, and a majority of these have never been tested for safety.

More than 10,000 chemical additives with questionable safety — as most have never been tested in humans — are allowed in food and food packaging alone. Roughly 13,000 chemicals are used in cosmetics, of which only 10 percent have been evaluated for safety.

According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, 85 percent of new chemical applications include no testing whatsoever.

Scientific evidence strongly suggest that exposure to chemicals is contributing to cancer, reproductive abnormalities, early puberty,1,2,3 and a host of other endocrine, neurological, and metabolic problems.

When Combined, Chemicals Can Amplify Each Other's Effects

What little safety testing is done is typically done on chemicals in isolation, and scientific investigations reveal this is a major mistake that generates a false sense of security, because when chemicals are combined, their synergistic  toxicity can increase exponentially.

It's thought that 1 in 5 cancers may be caused by exposure to environmental chemicals, and according to a recent study4 published in the journal Carcinogenesis, this includes chemicals deemed "safe" on their own.

The analysis found that by acting on various pathways, organs and organ systems, cells, and tissues, the cumulative effects of non-carcinogenic chemicals can act in concert to synergistically produce carcinogenic activity, turning conventional testing for carcinogens on its ear.

Lead author Dr. William Goodson told Michigan Radio:5

"[W]hat we're realizing ... [is] that there's reason to think that it doesn't take one chemical to take it all the way from normal to cancer.

One chemical can take it part way, another chemical will take it another portion of the way, and maybe a second, third, or fourth chemical will take it all the way."

A second study6 published in the same journal suggests that exposure to chemicals at low doses may also promote carcinogenesis by inducing genome instability, i.e. by enhancing the genome's tendency to mutate.

Considering the tens of thousands of chemicals we're exposed to in our everyday living, it's simply not possible to review the potential effects of them all. Some do stand out above others though, in terms of what we already know.

Food and Household Products Fuel Breast Cancer, Scientists Warn

According to research7 published in the National Institutes of Health journal, theEnvironmental Health Perspectives, you can reduce your risk of breast cancer by avoiding certain chemicals found in common, everyday products.

The researchers evaluated more than 100 chemicals women are exposed to on a regular basis through food, medications, air pollution, and consumer products. They then prioritized the chemicals, and grouped them based on exposure, carcinogenic potential, and chemical structure.

This sorting resulted in 17 chemical groups of related chemicals, which were flagged as "high priority" due to their ability to consistently produce mammary tumors in animal tests.

This includes flame retardant chemicals; perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) found in non-stick and stain-resistant coatings on rugs, furniture, clothes, cookware, and more; and styrene, found in polystyrene products, adhesives, and building materials.

I listed all of the chemicals in question in a previous article, so for the full list see "Top Tips to Decrease Your Breast Cancer Risk."

Hormone Disrupting Chemicals — The Dirty Dozen

Many chemicals also affect the human endocrine system, which can have wide-ranging health effects — especially in babies and young children. Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) alter the normal function of your hormones.

A hormone's job is to interact with the cells in your body, sending signals that instruct them to perform certain tasks, and EDCs interfere with this communication process.

These chemicals are widely used not only in household products such as plastics, but also in cosmetics and personal care products.

In 2013, the Environmental Working Group8 identified 12 of the most troublesome hormone wreckers. Surprisingly, along with some very well-known EDCs, the review also identified several you might not normally associate with hormone disruption, such as lead, mercury, and arsenic.

The EWG's "dirty dozen" list for the 12 worst endocrine disruptors are outlined in the following table. I've written about many of these in prior articles, so for more information about any particular one, please follow the links.

Bisphenol-A (BPA)DioxinAtrazinePhthalates
PerchlorateFire retardantsLeadMercury
ArsenicPerfluorinated chemicals(PFCs)Organophosphate pesticidesGlycol ethers

Why Are Deadly Chemicals Allowed on the Market?

The small sampling of chemicals listed above is just the tip of the iceberg. But, why are all of these top offenders still allowed on the market even after studies have proven them to be hazardous to human health?

A comprehensive article9 in Independent Science News helps shed some light on this troubling issue:

"[S]ome scientific arguments become so polarized that tempers fray ... Such is the current state of affairs between two camps of scientists: health effects researchers and regulatory toxicologists.

Both groups study the effects of chemical exposures in humans. Both groups have publicly used terms like 'irrelevant,' 'arbitrary,' 'unfounded' and 'contrary to all accumulated physiological understanding' to describe the other's work ...

The rift centers around the best way to measure the health effects of chemical exposures. The regulatory toxicologists typically rely on computer simulations called 'physiologically based pharmacokinetic' (PBPK) modeling. The health effects researchers ... draw their conclusions from direct observations of how chemicals actually affect living things ... The link from certain chemicals to these health effects is real.

In a paper10 published earlier this year, a group of leading endocrinologists concluded with 99 percent certainty that environmental exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals causes health problems ... Yet chemical regulation in the United States has proceeded at a glacial pace. And corporate profit is at the heart of the story ... "

Modeling Used by Regulatory Toxicologists Downplays Health Risks of Toxins

Like the pharmaceutical industry, the chemical industry has a long history of political power and influence, and according to Valerie Brown and Elizabeth Grossman who authored the article11 in question, chemical corporations not only influence the political process; they also control and manipulate the science.  They do this by:

  1. Funding research that downplays, contradicts, or casts doubt on health hazards
  2. Creating a field of science, known as toxicology, that minimizes the risks of toxic chemicals. The physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) simulation that regulatory toxicologists favor may be fast and inexpensive, but according to Linda Birnbaum, director of both the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Toxicology Program, it doesn't tell you anything about the chemical's effect on biological processes.
  3. To determine that, you need observational studies and lab experiments.

    A major problem is that the PBPK model can be "deliberately manipulated to produce desired outcomes" simply by way of excluding or including certain data. As noted by Kristin Shrader-Frechette, a biologist specializing in human health risk assessment: "Models can offer a means of avoiding the conclusions derived from actual experiments."

    In this way, PBPK modeling allows the chemical industry to manipulate and customize results to come out in their favor, allowing toxic chemicals to be deemed "safe," when in fact they may not be.

The featured article goes on to note:

"Our investigation traces this web of influence to a group of scientists working for the Department of Defense (DOD) in the 1970s and 1980s — the pioneers of PBPK modeling. It quickly became clear that this type of modeling could be manipulated to minimize the appearance of chemical risk.

PBPK methodology has subsequently been advanced by at least two generations of researchers ... who move between industry, government agencies, and industry-backed research groups, often with little or no transparency.

The result is that chemicals known to be harmful to human health remain largely unregulated in the United States — often with deadly results ...  [T]his lack of regulation is likely to continue unless the federal chemical review process becomes more transparent and relies less heavily on PBPK modeling ..."

Revolving Doors Between Government and Industry Prevent Safety

Revolving doors exist between many of the most hazardous industries and our federal regulators; including the chemical industry. According to the featured article, dozens of researchers have moved between federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and various chemical industry groups. We see the same game being played out in the food, pharmaceutical, and biotech industries.12,13

For example, as recently noted in the Epoch Times:14

"Researchers ... show that the sugar industry successfully manipulated the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct research on dental caries designed to protect the industry's financial interests ... [T]he sugar documents show that the industry influenced the NIH to move away from any talk of reducing sugar intake and instead focus on a 'cure' for tooth decay that didn't involve children eating less sugar."

The strategy is the same one that lets the food industry avoid taking responsibility for the obesity epidemic.15 The industry points the finger at lack of physical activity rather than the quality and quantity of food eaten by America's children."

As a result of the sugar industry's influence, the NIH began to steer clear of sugar, and began developing research projects focused on fluoride, vaccines against tooth decay, protective food additives, and enamel sealants instead — all of which are band-aids that do nothing to address the root problem, which is that people eat far too much sugar to prevent tooth decay.

Industry-Funded Research Is Inherently Untrustworthy

More recently, Coca-Cola Company was outed for creating and financing the front group known as the Global Energy Balance Network (GEBN), which produces research that contradicts, minimizes, and diverts attention away from the mounting evidence showing that soda and sugary beverages are a major contributor to obesity and diseases associated with insulin resistance, such as diabetes.

Following some rather unflattering media reports, the University of Colorado medical school, where the GEBN's president, James Hill, works as a professor, returned donations given to the University by Coca-Cola, and Rhona Applebaum, Coke's chief science and health officer since 2004, has now decided to retire at the age of 61.

As reported by The New York Times:16

"[R]eports show that Dr. Applebaum and other executives at Coke helped pick the [GEBNs] leaders, create its mission statement, and design its website ... The A.P. also published a series of emails between Dr. Hill of the University of Colorado and Coke executives that revealed the initial strategy of the Global Energy Balance Network.

Before the G.E.B.N. was created, Dr. Hill proposed publishing research that would help the company fend off criticism about its products by shifting the blame for obesity to physical inactivity."

Parabens Again Linked to Breast Cancer

Getting back to the issue of toxic chemicals, recent research on cells, funded by the California Breast Cancer Research Program, found that parabens — a chemical commonly found in personal care and beauty products — may stimulate breast cancer growth even at very low levels. Previous research found paraben esters in 99 percent of breast cancer tissues tested, suggesting exposure to the chemical may indeed be a significant risk factor in the development of the disease.

Philippa Darbre, associate professor of oncology at the UK's University of Reading told the Sydney Morning Herald:17

"This is beginning to build a bigger picture of how parabens might act in the body. It's not as simple as looking at one chemical acting in isolation. We need a full picture of all the environmental chemicals detected in the breast and all the pathways through which they act in the body before we can begin to understand what effects they might have.

One problem is that the breast has become a dustbin for environmental chemicals. It's a very fatty part of the body so any fat soluble chemicals that are absorbed from the environment can linger in the tissues. "


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 History

THE COLOMBO PLAN:

Many prominent persons represented their respective countries at this Conference such as Percy Spender, Minister for External Affairs, Australia; Ernest Bevin, Foreign Secretary,The Colombo Plan for Cooperative Economic and Social Development in Asia and the Pacific was conceived at the Commonwealth Conference on Foreign Affairs held in Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in January 1950 and was launched on 1 July 1951 as a cooperative venture for the economic and social advancement of the peoples of South and Southeast Asia Britain; Lester Pearson, Minister for External Affairs, Canada; Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister and Minister for External Affairs, India; Fredrick Doidge, Minister for External Affairs, New Zealand; Ghulam Mohammed, Minister of Finance, Pakistan, D.S. Senanayake, Prime Minister of Ceylon and J.R. Jayewardene, then Finance Minister and later President of Sri Lanka.


Originally it was called the Colombo Plan for Cooperative Economic Development in South and Southeast Asia. It has grown from a group of seven Commonwealth nations – Australia, Britain, Canada, Ceylon, India, New Zealand and Pakistan – into an international organisation of 26, including non-Commonwealth countries. When it adopted a new constitution in 1977, its name was changed to “The Colombo Plan for Cooperative Economic and Social Development in Asia and the Pacific” to reflect the expanded composition of its enhanced membership and the scope of its activities.

The Colombo Plan was instituted as a regional intergovernmental organisation for the furtherance of economic and social development of the region` nations. It is based on the partnership concept for self-help and mutual help in the development process with the focal areas being, human resource development and south-south cooperation. While recognising the need for physical capital to provide the lever for growth, the Colombo Plan also emphasised the need to raise the skill level to assimilate and utilise the physical capital more efficiently.


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Sri Lanka focuses on utilizing natural resources in renewable energy generation
Tue, Nov 24, 2015, 08:13 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Nov 24, Colombo: Sri Lanka has a great potential to generate renewable energy, given abundance of natural resources in the country and those sources should be utilized to the maximum in order to save the high expenditure incurred on renewable energy, President Maithripala Sirisena pointed out.

He said the contribution of the private sector as well as the state sector in the programs to achieve the progress in the field of renewable energy, is essential.

"It is essential to encourage and inspire the investors for this purpose," the President said addressing a ceremony held Monday to present Sri Lanka National Energy Efficiency Awards. 

 China Just Asked For 15,000 Acres Of Land In Sri Lanka For A Million Worker SEZ
Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 11:00 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

July 28 (Forbes) China just requested 15,000 acres of land in southern Sri Lanka for the creation of a special economic zone that will reputedly create one million jobs, according to the country's Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade.

15,000 acres is roughly 60 square kilometers, which is significantly larger than Hartford, Connecticut or Providence, Rhode Island.

This expanse of land, if granted, will be in the Hambantota region, which has been a punchline of sorts over the past couple of years in Sri Lanka due to its massive and expensive infrastructure projects that have so far failed to come to fruition. This area includes what is probably the world's emptiest international airport, a massive $1.4 billion deep sea port that is running at under-capacity, a world-class conference center that doesn't really host many conferences, and a seldom used cricket stadiHowever, once relations with India and the West were "re-balanced" - which meant that the UN went easy on its war crimes charges, the EU reinstated GSP-Plus trade concessions, and the United States began delivering aid once again, among other things - China was put back on the front burner and the country's big developments in Sri Lanka began rolling once again.um. These project were almost completely funded with Chinese money, and helped push country $8 billion deep in debt to China.

It was once the dream of Sri Lanka's former president to turn Hambantota, his extremely rural hometown, into the country's number two city, and he spared no expense trying to make this happen. When he unexpectedly lost the election in 2015 to Maithripala Sirisena, who ran on a platform which accused the incumbent of being too favorable to China and trashing relations with India and the West, many big Chinese-invested projects were called off. Construction on the Hambantota deep sea port was halted and SriLankan Airline's hub at Mattala International Airport was liquidated, as Hambantota proverbially ground to a halt.

Now, relations between Sri Lanka and China appear to be booming, and the Hambantota dream is looking to be moving closer to a reality. Phase II of the deep sea port is now being constructed, the Mattala airport is looking for private investors, and the SEZ, if actually created, could potentially provide the synergy to pull it all together.

However, it must be noted that China's proposed SEZ will not only be for Chinese companies. Japan, India, and Singapore have also expressed interest in jumping in.

Read More:: Forbes (Source)


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