Study: Moderate link between processed meat consumption and early death

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | MARCH 7, 2013

Everything in moderation is good, right? How about when the moderate adjective is given to the chance of death at an early age?

According to a new study published on the BMC Medicine Journal, the relation between consumption of processed meats is moderately related to early deaths in humans. The study concluded that diets high in processed meats were linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer and early deaths.

Along with the findings about consumption of processed meat and early death, researchers also discovered that people who ate a lot of processed meat were also more likely to smoke, be obese and have other behaviours that damage their health.

If a person ate more than 160g of processed meat a day, which is equal to two sausages and a slice of bacon, they were at least 44% more likely to die over the next 12.7 years. People who in contrast ate about 20g a day had much lower chances of suffering an early death.

For the span of the study, nearly 10,000 people died from cancer and 5,500 from heart problems as a consequence of abusive processed meat consumption.

Previous studies had already hinted at the relation between eating a lot of red processed meat and serious health problems. Back in in 2007 a study performed by the World Cancer Research Fund showed strong evidence that eating processed meat, such as bacon, ham, hot dogs, salami and some sausages, increased the risk of getting bowel cancer. According to Dr. Rachel Thompson, there would be 4,000 fewer cases of bowel cancer if people ate less than 10g of processed meats a day.

The study by analyzed 448,568 men and women who did not suffer from prevalent cancer, stroke, or myocardial infarction. Researchers evaluated their diet, and habits such as smoking, physical activity and body mass index. Those men and women were between 35 and 69 years old. Scientists used a method known as Cox proportional hazards regression to examine the association of meat consumption with all-cause and cause-specific mortality.

By mid 2009, June 2009, 26,344 deaths were identified as consequence of consuming large amounts of processed red meat. After carefully analyzing the data, researchers determined that a high consumption of red meat “was related to higher all-cause mortality”. An interesting revelation of the study is that men and women who consume larger amounts of processed meat actually eat less fruits and vegetables than people who intake less meat. This may be the reason why people who feed themselves according to the Mediterranean diet while eating considerable amounts of meat and exercising regularly do not suffer from serious health problems.

“The results of our analysis support a moderate positive association between processed meat consumption and mortality, in particular due to cardiovascular diseases, but also to cancer,” concluded the study.

The study published on the BMC Medical Journal points to a National Institutes of Health-American report which found positive associations between both red and processed meat consumption with risk for all-cause mortality. In that report, the association was stronger between red meat intake and early death than for processed meat consumption and health problems.

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Portugal on the verge of a general Strike

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | OCTOBER 1, 2012

The people of Portugal and Greece have added their anger to that of the Spanish neighbors, putting more pressure on politicians and bureaucrats who are slowly but surely signing their countries away to the European bankers.

The mos recent call for a general strike was made by CGTP, one of the most important Portuguese unions. The reason was the same as the historic and massive rally two weeks ago: protest against cuts and extreme austerity the Portuguese government adopted and will continue to impose as it approves the budget for the rest of the year and also for 2013.

Thousands of Portuguese met yesterday in the central and emblematic Terreiro do Paco, in the heart of Lisbon, to try to pressure the government led by conservative leader Passos Coelho. After a massive demonstration on September 15, the Portuguese prime minister backed down and withdrew a controversial measure to lower wages to all Portuguese. But now, the new budget proposed by the government contain cuts and tax increases that will make life even more difficult for the Portuguese people.

Arménio Carlos, secretary general of the CGTP, told the crowd that he expected all of the attendants to help him make the government change its plan, because this time “the people will be heard” and the government will have to listen “either the good way or the hard way.” He announced that he will discuss with his union ca all for a general strike, which is more than likely to happen.

However, according to local press, the influx of people was less than two weeks ago, when they were summoned by group of civil society organizations with no political affiliation. Then, a huge crowd packed not only Lisbon but a dozen Portuguese cities in a protest that had not been seen in Lisbon since the Claveles Revolution.

But, according to Carlos — who incidentally wore a symbolic red carnation ( clavel) in his shirt — things are not going to end well. “We are ready to channel the flow of the protest. We must end this government before this government ends the country. ”

Attendees included officials who recounted how their life has changed since they stopped receiving payment for overtime (now the Government will provide that starting January), due in part to the rise in VAT taxes. From the hundreds of thousands of protesters, many are unemployed in Portugal, a country that had never unemployment levels get to as high as 15%.

During the last protest, people held signs with the same messages that have been seen in every single march in Portugal for the last few weeks; with messages such as “thieves”, referring to Portuguese politicians and more directly to government officials who continue to lose popularity as fast as the days go by.

Several leaders of Portuguese left-wing groups asked the Prime Minister, Passos Coelho, to listen to the people, to change his policies. The expectation as to what will Coelho do is growing on the streets of Portugal; mainly in the capital city of Lisbon. Coelho will present next week some relevant details of the Portuguese budget for 2013, which is expected to be very tight with the intention to reduce the difference between government income and its spending. As it happened in Spain, Greece and Italy, the cuts announced by the Prime Minister will mean less investment in welfare programs.

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Spanish Government makes official the Looting of Pension Funds

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | SEPTEMBER 29, 2012

It did not take too long for the Spanish government to dip into the rapidly disappearing pension fund reserves. After presenting its 2013 budget, the Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro announced that the government led by Mariano Rajoy will make use of Social Security, retirement and other supplemental funds to help with the liquidity problems the central government faces as it becomes more expensive for Spain to meet its obligations.

The Executive now counts the 3,063 million from the Social Security Reserve Fund as part of its budget, which it now has stolen from Spanish people who saved and paid into the system for decades. The Social Security Fund has become the piggy bank to obtain quick cash after the Social Security administration itself had tapped into the reserve at the beginning of September, because it did not have enough money to make the payments to its contributors. Ironically, the government has also announced an increase of 1% in pension payments for 2013, which makes one wonder where will the money come from if the system cannot even afford to send the checks out now.

The Government approved the reform plan imposed by the European Union which is a commitments from the Memorandum that opens the door to ask for financial assistance in the form of credit to bailout Spanish banks with a maximum of 100,000 million euro, but that consultants estimate will be of around 53,000 million euros.

The State Budget for 2013 is included in the so-called Spanish Strategy for Economic Policy and a plan that includes up to 43 laws specified in the Official State Gazette (BOE).

The macroeconomic conditions used to create this new budget have not changed from the last time which was filed with the same spending ceiling. Thus, the official forecast remains that GDP will contract by 0.5% in 2013. This is a very optimistic figure when compared to other analysis services such as the one issues by Citi, who expects a decline of 3.3%.

State spending will grow in 5.6% in 2013, mainly due to interest on the debt in the next year, which will amount to some 10,000 million euros. The total amount to be paid in interests for loans requested by the Spanish government will reach nearly 38,000 million euros.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, said that this budget contains more spending adjustments than changes in income. In it, 58% corresponds to expenditures, while 42% refers to income. She said that the government remains committed to social spending, which will represent 63.6% of total expenditure. The only items that increase are: pensions, grants and debt interests that make up the increase in government spending.

According to the budget, tax revenue projections for this year will be met fully. For 2013, it is expected that non-financial income will increase to 4% over budget, and 2.6% on budget execution.

The government expects to collect 4.375 million euros with the implementation of new tax measures, increasing taxes and fees included in the 2013 budget. The greatest impact on revenue will come from corporate taxes, the document says, by eliminating the deduction for depreciation for large companies, which will provide 2.371 million euros.

It creates a new 20% tax on lottery prizes, which will affect 40% of the prizes that exceed 2,500 euros. In total, the tax will add 824 million euros to the state coffers. Taxes on net worth will collect 700 million euros. These 1524 million euros will join together with 90 million euros that the government will obtain from eliminating the tax deduction on the purchase of primary residences, which was announced last July.

With these figures, the government has assured Europe that it will comply with its goal to keep the deficit below 4.5% of GDP for 2013.

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International Banking Mafia Drools over ‘Spanish Prize’

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | SEPTEMBER 19, 2012

The global banking cartel that almost daily proposes the destruction of the nations states is working harder than ever to once and for all conquer Spain. Even before the European Central Bank issued a statement about its openness to bail out Spain, technocrats in Europe were already proposing the looting of the country. Now that the ECB agreed to print million of euros to acquire the peninsular country, they are megaphoning louder than ever that Spain must immediately accept the bailout in order to solve its debt problem.

In previous reports, The Real Agenda reported how the unelected leaders in Brussels believe that Spain will not be able to comply with the conditions imposed by the bankers should Mariano Rajoy request the money from the European Stability Mechanism, which would turn such a request into an official hand over of the nation to the European bankers and nothing else. According to sources in Brussels, Spain does not have and will not have the capacity to cut its deficit by collecting taxes or reducing government spending. What these two actions would definitely do, is to harden even more the dire situation in which millions of Spanish people are now: unemployed, having to use their savings to pay for daily expenses and while looking at an uncertain future.

Proof of the tough conditions in Spain are two reports that circulated on the Spanish press yesterday. One news article on the newspaper La Vanguardia, told about how Spanish people withdrew over 30 billion euros from their bank accounts during the month of July alone. That is how much they trust their government to solve the economic and financial crisis. Those 30 billion euros added to the amount withdrawn last year for a total of 80 billion euros. The withdrawals include individual and business accounts.

The other report published on the newspaper El País describes how the conditions imposed on Spain — after the country requests the bailout — will be the toughest so far in the region. This comment did not come from a speculator, but from the president of the Eurogroup, Jean-Claude Juncker, who said that Spain will experience deep cuts in government spending, which most likely be applied to government services, pension system and entitlement programs. Juncker’s prediction contrasts the comments made last week by the Spanish Secretary of Economy, Luis de Guindos, who assured the nation that the measures adopted along with the bailout would not mean ‘further sacrifices’ in the 2013 government budget.

In summary, Spain will not be able to meet the conditions of the bankers. Those conditions will represent more sacrifices from the Spanish people, who do not have an ounce of trust on their government to take the nation from the debt hole where it is sitting now. However, the same government led by Mariano Rajoy is still considering requesting the bailout, perhaps being influenced by the European banking sharks who are calling for the immediate request of the funds by the Spanish bureaucrats.

“The announcement of the ECB was very brave on one hand, but will not help unless Spain or Italy request the support of an economic program of the EU and the IMF,” said Charles Dallara, the Director of the International Institute of Finances (IIF), while attempting to portray the bankers as the saviors of the European region. In this regard, he said that in the absence of a government negotiating a reform program that is supported by the European Commission, the “massive potential support” by the ECB will remain only potential and will not materialize.

Spain had already requested the bailout of its “too big to fail” banks, which were instructed to hoard the money to avoid the otherwise impending hyper-inflation. The same situation occurred in other countries of the Euro zone and the United States. This explains why despite government interventions through massive fiat money printing, nations on both sides of the Atlantic haven’t generated any significant economic activity. Neither small or medium size business have been able to request loans to run their businesses. Instead, the bankers have hid the money given in bailouts, or have used it to pay fat bonuses to their board members and most influential investors.

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Operation Gladio: State-sponsored Terrorism in Europe

THE REAL AGENDA | SEPTEMBER 11, 2012

Operation Gladio reveals Gladio, the secret state-sponsored terror network operating in Europe. This BBC series is about a far-right secret army, operated by the CIA and MI6 through NATO, which killed hundreds of innocent Europeans and attempted to blame the deaths on Baader Meinhof, Red Brigades and other left wing groups.

Known as stay-behinds these armies were given access to military equipment which was supposed to be used for sabotage after a Soviet invasion. Instead it was used in massacres across mainland Europe as part of a CIA Strategy of Tension. Gladio killing sprees in Belgium and Italy were carried out for the purpose of frightening the national political classes into adopting U.S. policies.

Originally aired on BBC2 in 1992. Special thanks to Ocular Politics.