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Archive for April, 2007


Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I have been busy studying for acupuncture certification. Sorry for the delay in posting. Please stay tuned as there are heaps of interesting articles in the works.

Lavender and Tea Tree Oils may Increase Breast Tissue in Boys

Lavender Field

Photo Credit: PhotoBucket

A recent report by the National Institute of Environmental Health and Sciences (NIEHS) found that lavender and tea tree oils found in toiletries may cause hormonal imbalances resulting in enlarged breast tissue in pre-pubescent boys. A case studies of 3 boys aged 4,7, and 10 developed enlarged breast tissue after use of soap, body lotion, shampoos and other toiletries containing lavender and tea tree oils. All three boys were otherwise healthy, and had normal hormonal levels (endogenous steroids) at the time of diagnosis. Symptoms resolved in all 3 boys after they stopped using products containing lavender or tea tree oils for several months.

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Organic Labeling

Photo Credit: Organic Cauliflower, originally uploaded by Rob215.

Organic labeling is regulated by the USDA. Currently there are 4 types of organic labels:

  1. products labeled “100% organic,” must contain 100% organic ingredients.
  2. products labeld “organic,” must contain at least 95% organic ingredients.
  3. products labeled “Made with organic ingredients,” must contain at least 70% organic ingredients.
  4. products labeled with less than 70% organic ingredients, must not use the “organic” label, but may identify the organic ingredients in the ingredient label.

What does the organic label mean? The National Organic Program, a division of the USDA, regulates and oversees organic farming and producing practices and sets the standards for organic labeling. In 1990, the Organic Foods Production Act was passed. However, it was not until 2000 that the standards were issued. Currently, an accredited USDA-certifier verifies that organic farming and production practices are meeting the standards set by the USDA. The USDA-certfier is prohibited from having any conflict of interest.

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