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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Deadly Dangers of Imodium and Related Diarrhea Medications │America's Senseless New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS) │ Weed-Killer Atrazine Warning

My wife Jack did indeed show up late last evening as she had said in a text that she would, and it eventually became clear that she planned to spend the night.

So I resigned myself to sitting up watching talk shows until she had finally turned out our bedroom light and I could at last join her ─ it was 1:30 a.m. when I was also into bed.

I suppose I slept a little better than I usually do on such occasions.

And it was 8:30 a.m. when I decided to rise and start my day, continuing work upon the new post I commenced on Sunday at my Thai-Iceland website.

Jack probably rose about an hour later.

I kept working at the post while she fussed about in the kitchen downstairs ─ her youngest son Pote was up, so she had him to consort with if she needed to.  It would require disturbing him at his computer in the boys' den area, however.

When anon she came back upstairs to shower and whatever else, I knocked off my work and started readying for a hike to a mailbox outside the Shopper's Drug Mart in nearby Cedar Hills shopping plaza ─ a distance of four blocks at most.

There's a closer mailbox that isn't a block from here, but it lists its mail pick-up as 9:00 a.m.  The one at Cedar Hills (128th Street & 96th Avenue here in Surrey) claims 11:00 a.m.

Since the letter contained a bill payment due on Friday, I wanted to try and ensure that there was a good chance of the payment arriving on time.  I think I got the letter mailed no later than 10:30 a.m.

The morning and early afternoon have been characterized by considerable light rain showers ─ it's actually very wet.

I had thought that Jack was going to hang around and head on back to Vancouver in the mid-afternoon, and that perhaps she was just readying to go out and do some shopping.

But not too long after I had gotten back, it started becoming clear that she was likely going to be leaving for Vancouver before 11:30 a.m.

Her presence all the time she had been here was pleasant enough, but her parting conversation proved disturbing:  she asked me if I wanted to go with her in October to Thailand, and to start considering it.

We can't afford for even just her to go ─ it would likely cost about $1,500 for the round-trip fare; and she would be spending money over there, while earning absolutely nothing in her absence meantime at the restaurant where she works in Vancouver.

Also, she recently took her two young-adult sons in to the Royal Thai Consulate-General in Vancouver so that they could apply to have their Thai passports renewed even though they both have Canadian passports.

Is she thinking that somehow the two boys (aged 18 and 21) will also be going on such a holiday?  The oldest boy would be 22 by then, and the youngest a month from his 19th birthday.

The three are from Nong Soong village, roughly a 15-minute drive from Udon Thani (city).  I can understand Jack wanting to see her mother again ─ Jack was last in Thailand just over three years ago.

But the two boys do not need to go ─ they were last in Thailand seven years ago, and clearly can not have that much of an attachment to their grandmother.

If the boys ever want to pay a visit to Thailand in the company of their mother someday, then they two can save up for it.

I will not fund their trip by using credit that I cannot afford to waste.

These are not children, for pete's sake.  Heck, the youngest boy can't even read Thai anymore ─ that's how well he separated himself from his homeland.

The three still speak Isaan Thai here at home; but Pote has forgotten many of the words and Jack often has to use the English terms for his benefit. 

Holidays are great, but the two boys do not need nor deserve one ─ certainly not at my expense.

It is becoming clearer and clearer that I must relinquish the house ─ my younger brother Mark wants to sell it after he retires once he turns 65 in July of 2017.

I have to have my debts cleared away, and separate from my spendthrift wife ─ terminating all accounts that are associated with both of our names.

I see no other way.  As things are going, in less than a decade I will no longer have any RRSP money remaining.  Every year, I have to redeem some of it because I just cannot cover the big expenses associated with the house.

In fact, I am going to have to apply for a redemption this month ─ probably tomorrow.

And when all of my RRSP is gone, all that I will have will be my monthly pension ─ there will be nothing to fall back upon in any emergency.

Sadly for me, a sale of the house will profit me nothing ─ it will only clear up my debt.  Jack already spent our share of any house sale because of two remortgages she pushed me into.

To my mind, Mark will probably be entitled to anything remaining from a house sale once the bank has been paid off.   

I pray for help...but it seems that God is perfectly fine with just sitting back and witnessing the death of some marriages ─ 'holy unions' though they are supposed to be.


Here is a photo from my mother Irene Dorosh's collection that I would like to post ─ the description beneath it is from the Google album where I have the scanned image stored:

June 14, 2016:  I had to await a response from my older maternal half-sister Phyllis as to who this individual might be:

"That is Gene Dorosh...."

I believe that Eugene was the nephew of my mother's husband, Alex Dorosh.

However, I can offer nothing else about the photo such as location or date. 

Clearly, the cactus would most likely be in one of the U.S. deserts where such cacti grow.

Mexico is not out of the question, either...but nowhere near as likely.

It's impossible for me to estimate a date for the photo because I have no idea what Gene Dorosh looks like today in order to make a comparison.

I can't ever remember having a diarrhea that went on seemingly endlessly ─ that is, day after day.

I've had bad cases, certainly.  But they cleared up in time ─ a few days, at worst.

If you regularly take a medication for diarrhea ─ or maybe administer it to kids you might have ─ then you need to pay attention to the following report:

It's the go-to diarrhea drug for millions of Americans.

But now, the FDA is warning that loperamide -- more commonly known as Imodium -- can trigger a deadly heart condition.

And it's one that doctors may not be able to save you from.

That's going to come as a big surprise for countless people who have been told Imodium is as safe as mom's apple pie.

But when you learn what's really inside this drug -- and its shocking history -- you'll see that these alarm bells should have sounded a long, long time ago.

You may be surprised to find out that loperamide is an opioid drug -- just like OxyContin and Vicodin.

It's sold OTC under lots of different brand names -- the most popular, of course, being Imodium A-D.

In fact, after it was approved by the FDA back in 1976 (I know, it's been around forever), it was put on the list of controlled substances along with morphine and codeine, but was taken off a short six years later.

Regulators have tried to make loperamide out as being a "safe" drug because it won't give you the typical opioid high.

But now we know it's not as benign as they want us to believe -- in fact, it can be deadly.

Last week the FDA issued a "safety communication" about how loperamide has been reported to cause deadly heart problems, including life-threatening arrhythmias. The FDA also reported that even the typical antiarrhythmic drugs used to save lives aren't working in many loperamide-induced cases.

So how does the agency manage to justify allowing this potentially deadly OTC drug to be so widely used and sold just about everywhere?

It's putting the blame on America's growing drug epidemic. That's right, it's all the fault of people who have become addicted to opioids.

The agency said that Imodium and other generic versions of the drug are being taken by addicts in giant doses to both get high and to help with withdrawal symptoms.

A story from CBS even said that these deadly side effects are due to a "bizarre manifestation of the nation's drug abuse problem."

But here's what the mainstream media didn't bother to tell us: You don't have to be an addict or take the drug at super-high doses to put your life in danger.

You can be in the same jeopardy taking the recommended dose if you also happen to combine Imodium with a whole list of other widely used Rx and OTC meds!

For example, the FDA listed drugs like Zantac and Tagamet HB. Why, these are popped by the handful for people with stomach problems, and are likely combined with Imodium all the time!

Can you believe this is the first time we're being told this? (I've listed more drugs that interact with loperamide/Imodium at the bottom).

And here's something else you probably never heard about.

In 1990, after months of desperate pleas by pediatricians in Pakistan, Johnson & Johnson agreed to voluntarily withdraw its Imodium drops product for infants that was distributed around the world.

Nineteen babies suffered paralysis of their intestines from it -- and it killed ten. Experts are saying that the true tally of babies who died as a result will never be known.

And while Imodium is no longer sold in the U.S. for infants, it's still allowed to be used in kids as young as six!

If Imodium or any other loperamide drugs are the first thing you reach for to treat a case of diarrhea, you might want to consider some drug-free remedies such as a high quality yogurt containing natural cultures, a probiotic, or even coconut macaroons.

And remember, one of the biggest dangers of diarrhea is dehydration -- especially where kids are concerned.

* The generic names of other meds that the FDA says can interact with loperamide (not a complete list): cimetidine, clarithromycin, erythromycin, gemfibrozil, itraconazole, ketoconazole, quinidine, and ritonavir.
There is even a guide all over the Web telling of antidiarrheal drug overdose, and what to do in such an emergency.  Here are three sample locations:


I really have no idea what sort of inspections take place here in Canada when it comes to  marketplace poultry, but things do not sound at all comfortable from the consumer's standpoint down in the States:

Imagine walking through the supermarket and seeing a package of chicken breasts with the word "UNINSPECTED" stamped on it.

I'm betting there's no way you'd take that chicken home and serve it to your family.

But, believe it or not, there are millions of pounds of chicken and turkey hitting the market right now that have never been properly inspected for contamination that could make you sick -- or kill you.

It's all thanks to a dangerous new federal rule that puts all of us in harm's way.

But the good news is that there's a simple way to tell exactly which chicken and turkey you should be avoiding.

With all the salmonella outbreaks we've had over the years, you'd think our government would be getting more serious about inspecting our poultry.

But that's not what the USDA's New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS) is about at all.

In fact, NPIS actually turns the entire inspection process over to some of the same companies that have caused outbreaks.

Can you believe it?

You see, the old law said that federal USDA meat inspectors would be stationed at poultry plants to look at every single chicken and turkey -- and all their parts -- after slaughter.

And these USDA inspectors have a lot of authority. They can stop lines and order meat destroyed, obviously something companies don't like.

But now, with NPIS in effect, processors can boot USDA inspectors right off the production line.

And in their place, company employees are supposed to be looking out for things like abscesses, puss and manure.

But to say these folks are looking out for anything would be generous.

The birds will be whizzing by at a speed of 140 a minute -- that's around three chickens a second -- and even that was a compromise!

The original rule called for a line speed of 175 birds per minute. Even Superman couldn't keep up with that!

This is a giant handout to the poultry industry, plain and simple. I mean, can anyone in their right mind really argue that this will make our food any safer?

Because right now we're in the midst of a food safety crisis. If anything, the government should be adding more USDA inspectors, not taking the ones we have off the job.

And don't think that groups and organizations haven't been trying to stop this. One consumer group, Food & Water Watch, tried a lawsuit, but that got dismissed last year. Another case filed by the federal food inspectors' union is still pending.

Currently, 41 poultry plants have adopted these NPIS rules, and now we know who they are.

No doubt the industry had hoped it would remain a deep, dark secret, because of all the big names involved. I'm talking about names such as Hillshire, Perdue and Tyson, as well as lesser-known ones like Pitman Farms that sells a product under the brand name of "Mary's Free Range Turkey."

Well, I hope Mary is watching those turkeys fly by, because the USDA sure isn't!

To see all the companies taking advantage of this NPIS system, check out the full Food & Water Watch list here.

I don't know about you -- but I wouldn't buy any chicken or turkey from anyone on this list. That'll make shopping a bit harder, but it'll be well worth the extra effort.
  • "Top chicken brands now inspected by own employees" Food & Water Watch, May 25, 2016, foodandwaterwatch.org
There really is no such thing anymore as 'food safety.'  We're all at peril.


The U.S. government can't seem to do enough to protect its chemical corporations ─ even if it directly results in deadly harm to the public.

I've spent years warning you about the dangers of Roundup, the most widely used weed killer in the U.S.

But now scientists are saying that the second most commonly used chemical to zap weeds may be just as hazardous for your health.

It could even kill you.

It's called atrazine, and over 70 million pounds of this stuff are sprayed every year on farms, pastures, golf courses and right in our own back yards.

It turns out the chemical is much more toxic than we ever imagined, and could put you on the fast track to cancer.

The damage starts at levels we're being exposed to every day. And it's never been more important to take three important steps right now to get atrazine out of your life for good.

"The only path forward is an all-out ban. It's just too toxic."

That's what scientist Nathan Donley has to say about atrazine. But lots of luck with that idea, because protecting us from this toxic menace is in the hands of the EPA.

The agency just released its newest report on atrazine, and it took 500 pages to cover how it's poisoning animals and the environment. The EPA is still working on another study about the risk it poses to people.

I can only imagine how long that one will be.

And don't think the EPA did this look-see because it really wanted to. It's required by law to review approved pesticides at least every 15 years.

But what this lengthy report found is something that has stunned even scientists who thought they had seen everything.

For example, since the agency's last review of the chemical 13 years ago, animal studies have been published that are giving us a look at just how dangerous atrazine is.

One study even found that when frogs were exposed to atrazine, male frogs turned into females! That's more than just an interesting science finding -- it's absolutely terrifying.

As I told you, the EPA is finalizing a report about the risks of human exposure next. But as one expert put it, that science has "been settled for a long time."

You see, five years ago the agency released the findings of a special panel of scientists brought together to review the human health dangers. And that panel found that the evidence points to atrazine as being a likely cause of ovarian cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a type of leukemia and thyroid cancer.

And another recent study has found that high amounts in drinking water could cause a variety of birth defects in people.

So the question now is, will the EPA finally ban it?

I wouldn't bet on it. The agency already had its chance back in 2003. That was when it secretly met with the giant chemical company that manufacturers it and then green lighted atrazine's continued use.

And that was the same year that the European Union banned atrazine outright!

Well, I'm not going to wait around for the EPA to step in and do something here, and you shouldn't, either. So here are three ways you can reduce your exposure right now:
  1. Since atrazine is the most commonly found pesticide in drinking water, get a water filter that is certified to remove it, which not all are. Check out the Environmental Working Group's water-filter buying guide here to find one.
  2. As the chemical can remain in soil for up to a year, take your shoes off at the door to avoid tracking it into your home. And don't let your kids or grandkids play on or near fields or lawns that may have been sprayed with it.
  3. There are over 200 different weed-killing products that contain atrazine, so be careful about what you use at home and always read labels. Or better yet, why not stop using toxic sprays on weeds altogether?
After all, your home is your castle -- don't let these billion-dollar companies turn it into a chemical dump.
Sometimes I feel myself in the grip of hopeless despair ─ there just seems no escape from the poisons Mankind persists in tainting absolutely everything with.

As a further illustration, look at where we have come where pesticides are concerned:


Have you noticed this photo lately?

I saw it on a Yahoo! news site where the image was masquerading as another Yahoo! news story with the following caption ─ but which was a link to a non-Yahoo! website:
What This Lizard Did Is Beyond Disturbing...

This is bound to give you nightmares...
I don't tend to get suckered into clicking on those enticing 'come-ons' because I know that it's all hyperbole, and Yahoo! probably gets some affiliate income anytime someone does click on the fake news story.

However, I did do some research to find out the true story behind the photo, and it was hardly news ─ the photo was posted by National Geographic back on February 15, 2015.

I was wondering if the dominant lizard had killed and was about to try and consume the bottom lizard.

If you're curious, the top lizard was actually helplessly trying to have sex with a female lizard that had been dead for two days ─ apparently these idiots can be pretty basic where their impulses are concerned:  Corpse Bride: Lizard Necrophilia Reported in Brazil.

Things spoil pretty fast in the heat of Brazil.  Yet, the following day when the dead lizard "was bloated and had begun to rot and smell," yet another male lizard was seen attempting sex ─ "this time for nearly an hour."


We have had some heavy downpours of rain in the mid- and late-afternoon ─ I had thought that the earlier showers were over with, for things had started to dry off.

I am going to close off now with an entry from my journal of 41 years ago when I was 25 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.  I was renting at a house located on Ninth Street & Third Avenue.

Sometimes on the weekend, my old friend William Alan Gill would drive over to my room and we would go for a hearty smorgasbord lunch at what I think was called Family Smorgasbord ─ it used to be Swedana ─ located in a shopping plaza at the intersection of Eighth Avenue & McBride Boulevard in New Westminster.

Apparently this was one such day.
SATURDAY, June 14, 1975

My morning was filled with dream spotlighting my inferiority and insecurity.

The day without seems overcast.

Boy, what a boring morning!

I arose about 6:30 a.m., and if Bill's performances of the last series of weeks are trendy, I'm in for a long, hungry wait.

Fortunately, he came around 12:30 p.m.; we returned at 2:00 p.m. this now wettish day after a fine stuffing, one I savoured more than usual due to my early arisal and pre-night behavior.  

Bill bought us a strong daiquiri apiece; he had an apartment to move into July 3 for at least a hundred and a half plus utilities at 6th St. & 3rd Ave.

Soon he returned and took me along to pick up his mother for his shopping.

She later fed me a large glass of milk and a bun with raw strawberry jam; she even picked me up a Safeway TV Guide.

Next Bill & I went to mom's where I borrowed a pot for my chicken feed, used toilet paper rolls for dad, and a $5 tithe receipt.

We learned Mark & Cathy were to join Al & Cathy at the Surrey Inn.  Bill had to go see them, and this eventually saw us piling into Mark's Vega and going off with them to await the arrival of the other pair.

They weren't long in showing.

All day I spent but $3, and though I only had 7 or 8 beers in as many hours, I contained Nature's urge till again reaching Mark's.

Cathy became very friendly during the night, eventually sitting between Bill & I on the banquette; she stimulated me with naughty talk re my biological status were Mark off the scene.

She became very bitchy toward Mark by the time we left; they took us to A & W with them where I was boughten a teen burger and a share in some fries; earlier I had two bags of chips courtesy Bill, and going home with him, at the 7-Eleven he bought me two chocolate cake-type pastries and two revel-type products.

Perhaps it was 2:45 a.m. when I retired.
I had known good ol' Bill since probably at least 1962 ─ we met at a weekly youth function of the Mormon church located on 140th Street (near 101st Avenue) in Surrey.

At this point in 1975, he had a reasonably steady job at the Royal City Foods cannery that used to exist in New Westminster, just slightly downriver from the Pattullo Bridge on the shore of the Fraser River; whereas I only worked one day a week at a charitable organization in New Westminster, and consequently only ever had very little money to live on.  

Bill was an extremely generous friend, fortunately.

Anyway, we lunched together at our favourite smorgasbord, and then Bill dropped me off back at my room while he probably returned to his own suite.

Then he came back for me.

His mother Anne Gregory lived in Maillardville, but she seemed to spend a lot of time at Bill's suite, cleaning and cooking for him.  And as she did on this day, he would even take her shopping with him so that she could pick things out for him.

I don't know if they still produce one, but Safeway used to stock their own weekly T.V. guide.  It was decent of Anne to buy me one ─ she was almost like an aunt to me.

Once Bill had finished up with his mother, he drove me off to Surrey to see mine.  Her little house is now gone, but its address was 12106 - 90th Avenue, and it was my mailing address.

I borrowed a baking dish from her in order to try and prepare my own chicken pie. 

I must say, I am perplexed by what the phrase "used toilet paper rolls for dad" meant.  

I wonder if my mother had managed to score a big stash of discarded or flawed rolls of toilet paper from where she worked as an office janitress at Scott Paper in New Westminster? 

My father was living in an apartment in Burnaby with his girlfriend Maria Fadden

My mother left him ─ taking Mark and I ─ back in 1964, and they had later divorced.  She had remarried in either October 1973 or 1974.

The $5 tithe receipt would have come for me from the Worldwide Church of God ─ I had tithed to them for years, even though I never did attend the church.

During our visit at my mother's home, we somehow learned that my younger brother Mark and his girlfriend Catherine Jeanette Gunther were supposed to hook up with their friends "Al & Cathy" ─ I'm now unsure of just who they were.

Bill just had to get in on the action, so we headed straight over to where Mark and Jeanette were renting a home together on Bentley Road in Whalley ─ not too very far from 108th Avenue & King George Highway.

And then off the four of us went in Mark's Vega to the Surrey Inn.  It's gone now, but it used to be located over by the King George SkyTrain Station.

Were we really at the Surrey Inn for seven or eight hours, yet I only had a beer an hour?  Whatever the case, I held off using the hotel urinal and never relieved myself until we were back where Mark and Jeanette were living.

If I am remembering correctly, the "banquette" was a feature in the small dining area that figured along two walls:

That's Bill in the plaid shirt, and who is looking at the camera in this photo from October 17, 1974 ─ Jeanette is the gal with the towel around her hair.  They are seated on one length of the banquette, and Norman Richard Dearing at the right is seated on another length of it.

That is me at the left in the brown shirt, and with the shaggy, curly hair and beard.

I was powerfully drawn to Jeanette.  So if she was seated on the banquette between Bill and I, and talking flirtatiously with me, I would have been affected to my very  core.

It sounds like Bill, Mark, and Jeanette were all very generous to me that evening, ensuring that I had lots of little treats to eat ─ and beer, too.  

Warm, good times....
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