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16395[Meditation Society of America] Re: food controversy

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  • medit8ionsociety
    Oct 15, 2008
      --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, sean tremblay
      <bethjams9@...> wrote:
      > Has there been any news on the formation of a free
      yogic/vedic/ayurvedic web site sponered by the Indian Gov. I say a
      program on the topc and It ws supposed to counter the profiteering of
      India's cultural inheritence. But I have not found the sight.
      > Any body have a bead on that?
      Yo Sean,
      While Googleing about Ayurvedic web sites,
      I found then below copied info. And just when
      I was about to order one of my favorites:
      Chwayn Prash, which i have found
      to be an excellent "wake me up" that has no
      crash at all.
      Oh well!
      'Ayurvedic' Medicines May Contain Lead, Mercury or Arsenic

      August 26 (HealthDay News) -- About one in five
      ayurvedic medicine products purchased on the
      Internet contain significant levels of lead,
      mercury or arsenic, a new study finds.

      The researchers found that products manufactured
      in the United States were even more likely to
      contain the metals than those made in India, where
      the ayurvedic approach was first developed centuries
      ago. Furthermore, 75 percent of the products containing
      lead, mercury or arsenic advertised that they were
      manufactured using "Good Manufacturing Practices,"
      which is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
      regulation meant to ensure quality.

      "We randomly purchased 193 traditional Indian
      (ayurvedic) medicine products from the Internet.
      About 60 percent were from U.S. companies and 40
      percent from Indian companies. Twenty-one percent
      had significant levels of lead, mercury and arsenic,"
      said the study's lead author, Dr. Robert B. Saper, an
      assistant professor of family medicine at Boston
      University School of Medicine, and director of
      integrative medicine at Boston Medical Center.

      In high levels, these metals can be toxic.

      Results of the study are published in the Aug. 27
      issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

      Ayurvedic medicine is an ancient Indian practice that
      combines the use of numerous modalities, such as
      herbal medicine, massage and special diets, to promote
      wellness and prevent illness, according to the U.S.
      National Center for Complementary and Alternative

      There are two common practices in ayurveda -- either
      herbal medicine alone, or herbal medicines combined
      with metals and gems, a practice known as rasa shastra.
      In rasa shastra, herbs are combined with metals such
      as lead, mercury, iron and zinc, and gems such as
      pearl. Those that practice this type of ayurveda believe
      it is safe and therapeutic, according to the study.

      Saper said that "many traditional Indian practitioners
      believe quite strongly that if rasa shastra is done
      correctly, it is safe," that he feels these practices
      should be "seriously called into question." Saper also
      said that he doesn't believe anyone should deliberately
      ingest lead, mercury or arsenic.

      The current study included 193 products randomly
      selected and purchased over the Internet. The researchers
      found that 20.7 percent contained metals. The rate in
      U.S. manufactured products was 21.7 percent, and in
      Indian products, it was 19.5 percent.

      Not surprisingly, almost 41 percent of rasa shastra
      products had a greater prevalence of metals, including
      high levels of lead and mercury. "Several Indian-manufactured
      rasa shastra medicines could result in lead and/or
      mercury ingestions 100 to 10,000 times greater than
      acceptable limits," the researchers wrote.

      Seventy-five percent of the products claimed to be
      manufactured under Good Manufacturing Practices.

      Products made by members of the American Herbal
      Products Association (AHPA) were less likely to
      contain metals, according to the study.

      Michael McGuffin, president of the AHPA, said, "It's
      not an accident that AHPA members performed better.
      We've called our members attention to the presence of
      heavy metals in plant materials. Lead is ubiquitous.
      It's in the soil and in the plants. I don't think you
      can get these levels to zero, but it is the manufacturers'
      responsibility to know the amount and to limit it."

      AHPA also recommends that its members don't manufacture
      rasa shastra products.

      Saper said that the FDA hasn't currently set a maximum
      level allowed for lead, mercury and arsenic in dietary
      supplements, but he believes they should.

      McGuffin recommended buying products made by members
      of AHPA, because the study found they were least likely
      to contain metals, and he said consumers should call
      the makers of their medicines and "ask tough questions."
      He said if you call a company and ask what their limits
      are for lead, and the representative says they don't
      know, that's a red flag.

      SOURCES: Robert B. Saper, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor, family
      medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, and director,
      integrative medicine, Boston Medical Center, Mass.; Michael McGuffin,
      president, American Herbal Products Association, Silver Spring, Md.;
      Aug. 27, 2008, Journal of the American Medical Association

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