VRG NEWS

VRG-NEWS: The Vegetarian Resource Group Newsletter
Editors: Sonja Y. Helman & John L. Cunningham
Volume 11, Issue 3
May 2007

CONTENTS

  1. NOTES FROM THE EDITOR
  2. CALL-A-DIETITIAN DAY
  3. UPCOMING EVENTS AND CONFERENCES
  4. VRG DEAL-OF-THE-MONTH!
  5. RECIPE - VEGAN LASAGNA
  6. VEGGIE NUGGETS
  7. CALLING ALL FRUIT LOVERS
  8. DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT CORNER
  9. VRG TO HOST VEGAN DINNER DURING PHILADELPHIA ADA CONFERENCE
  10. VRG VEGETARIAN SCHOLARSHIPS
  11. INTERNSHIPS AVAILABLE
  12. About The Vegetarian Resource Group
  13. About VRG-NEWS

1) NOTES FROM THE EDITOR

The VRG's college scholarship program was featured by Fastweb.com, an online scholarship search site, in a recent press release highlighting the "10 Most Unusual Scholarships" in their database. While we don't think there's anything unusual about giving a helping hand to motivated vegetarian students, we're happy that they're helping to get the word out. For more information about our college scholarship program for high school students graduating in 2008 and to read about previous winners, visit the scholarship page on our website [ http://www.vrg.org/student/scholar.htm ].

During the month of May, TheVegetarianSite.com [ http://www.thevegetariansite.com/ ] will donate a portion of every sale from their website to The Vegetarian Resource Group. Now is a good time to get some cool vegetarian gear and support The VRG at the same time!

The VRG recently had the opportunity to provide material to a parent who was meeting with her child's school administrators in an effort to provide a vegan option in the cafeteria. If you are interested in helping your school system make meat-free choices, you should read last summer's Vegetarian Journal FoodService Update [ http://www.vrg.org/fsupdate/fsu20062/index.htm ] that focused on just that topic. We also offer the book Vegan in Volume [ http://www.vrg.org/catalog/volume.htm ] which could be a great gift for a school food service administrator who's unfamiliar with the concept of veganism and needs some ideas.


2) CALL-A-DIETITIAN DAY

If you have general nutrition questions, Mark Rifkin, MS, RD, LDN, will be available from 2:30pm - 5:30pm EST on Friday, July 13. To reserve a 20-minute time slot, please email the VRG office at vrg@vrg.org or call (410) 366-8343.

Be advised that these sessions are not individualized nutritional counseling. Such advice should only be provided through direct in-person contact with a qualified health professional. There is no charge, but if you do commit, please call on time. Otherwise you are taking someone else's spot.

Mark Rifkin, a longtime VRG volunteer, is a Registered Dietitian and has a Master's Degree in Health Education. He has been presenting on food-related topics for more than seven years. Currently, he is starting a private practice in Baltimore, MD, that focuses on plant-based nutrition for prevention, as well as treatment of various chronic diseases and conditions, including diabetes, overweight/obesity, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, gout, women's health concerns, cancer, and early-stage kidney failure.


3) UPCOMING EVENTS AND CONFERENCES

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ACTON, CA: COMPASSION INTO ACTION FESTIVAL

Renew your passion for compassion this spring at the Compassion Into Action Festival. Join Animal Acres on Saturday, May 12, 2007 from noon - 6 p.m. to learn what you can do to help end farmed animal suffering, shop and eat at compassionate vendors, and enjoy a day with rescued farmed animals at the sanctuary. This year's festival includes some of the foremost advocates for farmed animals: Bruce Friedrich, VP International Grassroots Campaigns for PETA; Karen Dawn, Founder of Dawnwatch; Paul Shapiro, Director of HSUS Factory Farming Campaigns; and Lorri Bauston, Founder of Animal Acres and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary.

Last year's event drew over 300 people. Attendance is limited, so please make your reservations early. Tickets are just $10 per person. To register, please visit the following website: [ http://app.etapestry.com/hosted/AnimalAcres/EventRegistration.html ] For information about Animal Acres, visit their website [ http://www.animalacres.org/home.html ].

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ORLAND, CA: CALIFORNIA COUNTRY HOE DOWN

Farm Sanctuary's annual Country Hoe Down will be held Saturday, May 12, 2007 at their California Shelter. This is an opportunity to learn about current farm animal issues, advocacy efforts, and campaigns. The conference includes hayrides and sanctuary time with the animals, presentations from noted animal protection speakers, and a barn dance. The fee is $30 per person which includes a vegan dinner. For more information, please visit [ http://www.farmsanctuary.org/visit/California_hoedown2007.htm ] or call (607) 583-2011 ext 221.

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FAIRFAX STATION, VA: FAST FOOD, CONVENIENCE FOOD CLASS

On Sunday, May 20, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. come sample over 30 of the latest vegan convenience foods on the market, including some that aren't even on the shelves yet! Participating manufacturers include Amy's Kitchen, Fantastic Foods, Gardenburger, Sunergia Soyfoods, Sheese, Lightlife, Nate's Meatless Meatballs, Celentano, Alexia Foods, Tofurky, Discovery Foods (Ling-Ling), and many more. Past classes have included recipes and tastings of quick organic meals such as Mac & "Cheese," Curry in a Hurry, Pesto Presto, Wings with Bleu Cheese dip, Chicken a la King, Goulash, Fajitas, Veggie Burgers, Shepherd's Pie, Beanie Weenie Bake, plus sauces to jazz up last nights' leftovers.

No meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, or honey. $45/person; $80/couple; $40/VSDC, VRG and COK members. Classes include recipes, food samples, manufacturers' samples and coupons. Gift certificates available. Make checks payable to Mimi Clark, 9302 Hallston Ct., Fairfax Station, VA 22039. Sorry, no phone reservations. Call (703) 643-2011 or email veggourmet@aol.com for space availability.

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WATKINS GLEN, NY: FARM SANCTUARY OPEN HOUSE

Come and meet the animals! Farm Sanctuary's Memorial Day Open House will be held Monday, May 28, 2007. Free tours will be provided on the hour from 11am - 3pm at their New York Shelter. This is an opportunity to meet the cows, pigs, goats, sheep, rabbits, chickens, and turkeys who call the sanctuary "home." You can also check out the People Barn before and after the tours; here you will find information about Farm Sanctuary's work as well as a gift shop with t-shirts, bumper stickers, books, and more! For more information, visit their website [ http://www.farmsanctuary.org/visit/newyork2.htm ] or call (607) 583-2011.

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LOS ANGELES, CA: ANIMAL RIGHTS 2007 NATIONAL CONFERENCE

Farm Animal Reform Movement (FARM) will be holding their Animal Rights National Conference from July 19-23, 2007 at the Westin LAX Hotel in Los Angeles, California. The four-day program features nearly 100 presenters from more than 60 organizations representing all sections of the animal rights movement. They appear in eight Plenary Sessions, 50 Workshops, 30 Campaign Reports, and 7 Rap Sessions. Other program elements include Exhibits, Videos, Newcomer Orientation, Group Workouts, Strategy Meetings, Networking Receptions, Awards Banquet, and entertainment by animal rights musicians. For more details, please visit [ http://arconference.org/ ] or call 888-FARM-USA (888-327-6872).

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JOHNSTOWN, PA: VEGETARIAN SUMMERFEST 2007

The 33rd annual NAVS Vegetarian Summerfest is set for July 25-29, 2007. It will be at the Conference Center at Pitt-Johnstown on the University of Pittsburgh campus in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. You won't want to miss the educational sessions, vegan meals, and exciting speakers. For more information, please go to their website [ http://www.vegetariansummerfest.org/ ] or call (518) 568-7970.

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WASHINGTON, DC: TAKING ACTION FOR ANIMALS 2007

The third annual Taking Action for Animals conference will be held July 28-30 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC. Sponsored by leading animal protection organizations, this event includes training workshops, exhibitors, social events, and keynote sessions. This year's conference, among other topics and training sessions, will have a special focus on the theme of taking action for farm animals. To find out more, visit [ http://www.takingactionforanimals.com/ ].

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OTTAWA, CANADA: SIMPLYRAW FESTIVAL

The 2nd annual raw vegan festival in Ottawa, Canada's capital city, will take place on Saturday, Sept 15, 2007. This year's full day event will feature a lineup of speakers including Brendan Brazier - professional vegan ironman triathlete, bestselling author, and creator of Vega whole food products - and other speakers; live raw food prep demos & workshops; a host of raw food exhibitors; and the highlight of the event - a raw vegan pie contest.

Last year's event was a great success, bringing together about 500 people in a beautiful outdoor park setting. The event featured a host of local exhibitors, live music, and Canada's first raw vegan pie contest, with local celebrity judges evaluating the 20 entries - each very distinct in appearance & taste. Full details from the 2006 event are available online at [ http://www.simplyraw.ca/piecontest/ ] including lots of beautiful photos.

For more details about the 2007 SimplyRaw Festival, please see [ http://www.simplyraw.ca/ ], email festival@simplyraw.ca, or call (613) 234-0806.

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MURDESHWAR, KARNATAKA, INDIA: 11th INTERNATIONAL VEGAN FESTIVAL

From September 30 to October 6, 2007 the Indian Vegan Society will host the 11th International Vegan Festival at the RNS Residency in Murdeshwar, Karnataka, India. For more information about the event, visit the Vegan Festival website [ http://www.ivu.org/veganfest ].

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DURHAM, NC: BECOMING THE CHANGE

From October 5-7, 2007, the Animals & Society Institute will host "Becoming the Change" the 22nd Annual International Compassionate Living Festival. This year's speakers will include: Captain Paul Watson (Sea Shepherd Conservation Society), Micheal Greger (Humane Society of the United States), Josh Hooten (Herbivore Clothing), Bob Pyle, Tom Reagan, and Kim Stallwood.

Early registration (until August 31) is $139.00, regular registration (through September 21) is $169.00 For more information visit the event's website: [ http://www.animalsandsociety.org/conference07.htm ].

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4) VRG DEAL-OF-THE-MONTH!

While supplies last, we are offering our Vegan Handbook [ http://www.vrg.org/catalog/veganhandbook.htm ] by Debra Wasserman and Reed Mangels, PhD, RD for the low price of $5 (U.S)! Normally this would cost $20 plus shipping, but this price includes shipping (media rate). Please note that covers are slightly damaged.

To order, visit [ https://www.vrg.org/secure/order.htm ] or call (410) 366-8343 M-F 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. EST. If ordering online, please type 'VRG-NEWS offer - May' in the 'Additional Notes' section. You can also mail a check made payable to The Vegetarian Resource Group to VRG, PO Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203.


5) RECIPE - VEGAN LASAGNA

This recipe was submitted by Linda J. Evans.

Linda Evans' Best Ever Vegan Lasagna

8 oz. Whole Wheat Lasagna
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 25 oz. jar of Trader Joe's Organic Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce
2 10 oz. packages of frozen chopped spinach drained and thawed
20 oz. firm tofu
1-2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1-2 tbsp. olive oil
Several basil leaves
2 tsp. Sea Salt
2 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp. Tahini
3 cups thinly sliced mushrooms sauteed in 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. Soy Garden spread

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook lasagna as directed. Mix together the tomatoes and sauce. Mix in food processor, the tofu, vinegar, olive oil, basil leaves, salt, garlic, and tahini. Add spinach to "cheese" sauce and stir until well mixed.

Pour 1 cup of tomato mixture in to bottom of 9x13 inch baking dish. Layer half the noodles on top. Layer half the "cheese" filling. Top with half of the mushrooms. Repeat the layers, ending with the sauce on top.

Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes or until bubbling.


6) VEGGIE NUGGETS

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Golden Carrot Award Nominations

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) requests nominations for its 4th annual Golden Carrot Awards. The Awards are meant to honor food service professionals in both public and private schools. The evaluations are based on how well they provide schoolchildren a range of healthy vegetarian entrees and non-dairy beverages, incorporate plant-based foods into their menus, promote these healthy choices, and offer nutrition education programs. Please nominate someone you think has a made a difference in this way; you can even nominate yourself! Nominations are due by June 11, 2007 and can be submitted through [ http://www.healthyschoollunches.org/carrot/pdfs/GoldenCarrot2007.pdf ] Winners will be announced before National School Lunch Week.

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Tofu Haiku Contest

The Toronto Vegetarian Association is hosting a Tofu Haiku contest which they call a "celebration of the classical poetic form of haiku and the ancient culinary marvel known as tofu." Entries will be judged by some well-known members of North America's literary and vegetarian communities. Winning submissions will receive tofu-related clothing, publications, and food products. The best Tofu Haiku will be published on [ http://www.tofuhaiku.com/ ].

Deadline for entries is May 21, 2007. More details are available on [ http://www.tofuhaiku.com/ ] or call (416) 544-9800.

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7) Calling All Fruit Lovers!

by University of Massachusetts Nutrition Students as part of community nutrition class requirements

Did you know that colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States? Taking this into consideration, it is essential for us to know the ways we can reduce our risk. Although vegetarians tend to have a lower rate of colon cancer, it's still important to be aware of simple dietary changes that may further decrease the risk of developing colon cancer. This relates to a recent study finding which shows that high fruit intake is potentially beneficial in reducing the risk of colorectal adenoma.

Some might wonder about the difference between adenoma and cancer. An adenoma is a benign tumor that can lead to colon cancer. Adenomas can be detected in the earlier stage by a screening method called colonoscopy. According to the American Cancer Society's and other medical organizations' screening guidelines, for people with no identified risk factors, 50 is the right age to begin regular screening for colorectal cancer.

A recent research article published in the Journal of Nutrition shows some promising news. In this study, 645 individuals were separated into three groups depending on their dietary intake - high fruit-low meat group, high vegetable-moderate meat, and high meat group. The colonoscopy results for these three groups were analyzed. It was found that 18% from the high fruit-low meat group had an adenoma. This risk was relatively low compared with the high meat group and high vegetable-moderate meat groups, in which 32% and 30% of individuals had an adenoma respectively. Increased consumption of potatoes and animal meats such as beef, pork and lamb was associated with an increased chance of having an adenoma. A possible explanation for potatoes being associated with higher risk of adenoma is that meat eaters tend to consume more potatoes than any other vegetables.

These results suggest that high fruit consumption may have an overall protective effect against colorectal cancer. As a safety net, try to include at least four to six servings of fruit a day as a snack or along with meals. Stock up your refrigerator with a variety of fruits to have as snacks. Add fresh fruits to your breakfast cereals; enjoy a fruit smoothie after a long day.

An active lifestyle can also help fight against colorectal cancer. We can start this by walking around the neighborhood, gardening, vacuuming, and doing other household chores.

This study is one of many that show that an increase in the amounts of fruits is beneficial in prevention of colon cancer. Antioxidants in fruits also have protective effects against heart disease and high blood pressure. These are all good reasons to eat more fruits!

Reference

Austin GL, Adair LS, Galanko JA, Martin CF, Santia JA, Sandler RS. A diet high in fruits and low in meats reduces the risk of colorectal adenomas. J. Nutr. 2007;137: 999-2011

Michelle Woo, Chia-Yu Wang, Ujjwala Dandekar Students, Department of Nutrition University of Massachusetts Amherst

Dear Readers, We thank you for taking your time to read this article. This project is a part of our curriculum in the Department of Nutrition at University of Massachusetts Amherst. As a part of our project evaluation, we would greatly appreciate it if you could quickly respond to the following questions by emailing your answers to us at: chiayu at nutrition dot umass dot edu.

[Editor's Note: This survey has already been completed as of 2007. No more responses are required. Thanks for your help!]

1. How many fruits should you have in a day to reduce the risk of colon cancer?
a. 2
b. 3
c. At least 4 to 6

2. Is colorectal adenoma the same as colorectal cancer?
a. Yes
b. No

3. Suggest 2 ways to include fresh fruits in your diet.


8) DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT CORNER

This year The Vegetarian Resource Group will be celebrating our 25th anniversary. In honor of a quarter of a century of vegetarian activism, an anonymous donor has pledged $10,000 toward a matching campaign. We hope you will support this generosity and double the value of your contribution. Please send a donation to be listed in the Vegetarian Journal.

A PERSONAL NOTE

I have been a member of The VRG for 12 years. When I retired three years ago, I became open to the idea of working part-time for a cause that I believed in passionately. I chose The VRG to invest my time. During the last year that I have been on staff, I have had the opportunity to watch Charles, Debra, Reed, John, Jeannie, Sonja, Keryl, and the rest of the staff "up close."

Their commitment to and passion for the cause of vegetarianism was always evident during the various VRG functions I attended during my years of membership. However, working with them on a one-to-one basis has allowed me to see how their personal ethics, values, and life-style are congruent with their work. Their desire to educate the public about the benefits of a cruelty-free diet from the perspective of health and compassion has been their life's path for the last 25 years.

In short, they live what they teach. I believe this is what many of us strive for-consistency between what we believe and how we live in the world. That we have such an example serves as an inspiration to me, and I am sure to many others.

The long range objective for The VRG is to secure enough resources so that The VRG can continue vibrant promotion of vegetarianism and kindness for future generations. While maintaining current campaigns, we need to keep in mind ways to make sure The VRG is alive and healthy beyond ourselves. Again, as in the past, we are counting on your continued support on both fronts.

To be listed as a 25th Anniversary supporter, please make the check payable to The Vegetarian Resource Group and mail to VRG, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203. Call (410) 366-8343 Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time if you want to charge your donation with a Visa/MasterCard, or use our online donation form [ https://www.givedirect.org/give/givefrm.asp?Action=GC&CID=1565 ].

Sincerely,

Sid Bravmann
Director of Development

P.S. Please remember that you can double the impact of your donation because of the generous matching contribution from a committed member.


9) VRG TO HOST VEGAN DINNER DURING PHILADELPHIA ADA CONFERENCE

CHINESE VEGAN DINNER TO BE HELD
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2007, at 6:00 PM
AT CHARLES PLAZA RESTAURANT
PHILADELPHIA, PA CHINATOWN

CELEBRATE WORLD VEGETARIAN DAY
The Vegetarian Resource Group will hold a vegan dinner during the American Dietetic Association Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo. Dietitians, Members, and the public are invited. Come meet dietitians from the ADA Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group and VRG staff.

MENU
HOUSE SPECIAL WONTON SOUP
HOT AND SOUR SOUP

STEAMED VEGETABLE DUMPLINGS
SHANGHAI SPRING ROLL

FRESH FRUIT SATAAN IN BIRDS NEST (Taro)
SIZZLING BEEF WITH BLACK BEAN SAUCE (Seitan)
GENERAL TAO'S CHICKEN (Soy)
DRY SAUTEED GREEN BEANS WITH VEGGIES IN SEASON
MIXED VEGETABLE LO MEIN
BROWN AND WHITE RICE

Cost is $22 for adults before September 1. Children are $10. Cost is $25 after September 1. Price includes tax and tip. Payment must be made in advance. Please reserve early as seating is limited. Refunds will be made only if we have a replacement for your seat. Menu subject to change.

Call (410) 366-8343 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern time Monday to Friday; fax (410) 366-8804; email vrg@vrg.org; go to the donation button on [ http://www.vrg.org ] and write a note in the notes section; or send a check to VRG, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203.

Hope to see you there!


10) VRG VEGETARIAN SCHOLARSHIPS

The VRG will again award $10,000 in college scholarships. Due to the generosity of an anonymous donor, we will give two $5,000 college scholarships to graduating high school students who have promoted vegetarianism in their schools and/or communities. The students must be graduating high school in spring 2008. The deadline is February 20, 2008. For more information or to read about past winners, go to [ http://www.vrg.org/student/scholar.htm ].


11) INTERNSHIPS AVAILABLE

Responsibilities depend on background, major if in college, and interest of applicant. Tasks may include research, writing, and/or community outreach. Internships are helpful for students working toward journalism, English, and nutrition degrees. Business majors can obtain experience related to the business aspects of a non-profit organization. Activists can learn new skills and gain a broader knowledge, as well as share their expertise. Positions open throughout the year for all ages (including high school students living in Baltimore). Internships are unpaid. Send resume and cover letter to: The Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203; vrg@vrg.org.


ABOUT THE VEGETARIAN RESOURCE GROUP

Our health professionals, activists, and educators work with businesses and individuals to bring about healthful changes in your school, workplace, and community. Registered dietitians and physicians aid in the development of nutrition-related publications and answer member and media questions about vegetarian diets. The Vegetarian Resource Group is a non-profit organization. Financial support comes primarily from memberships, donations, and book sales. The Vegetarian Journal, a print magazine, is a benefit of membership in The VRG. (For more information, please see the Vegetarian Journal online.)

If you would like to make a donation, become a member, volunteer, or find out more about The VRG, contact us at:

The Vegetarian Resource Group
P.O. Box 1463
Baltimore, MD 21203
Phone: (410) 366-8343
Fax: (410) 366-8804
E-mail: vrg@vrg.org
Website: [ http://www.vrg.org ]

Donate: [ https://www.givedirect.org/give/givefrm.asp?Action=GC&CID=1561 ]

The contents of this newsletter, and our other publications, including Vegetarian Journal, are not intended to provide personal medical advice. Medical advice should be obtained from a qualified health professional. We often depend on product and ingredient information from company statements. It is impossible to be 100% sure about a statement, info can change, people have different views, and mistakes can be made. Please use your own best judgment about whether a product is suitable for you. To be sure, do further research or confirmation on your own.


ABOUT VRG-NEWS

VRG-NEWS is the e-mail newsletter of The Vegetarian Resource Group. This is an announcement list so subscriber messages are not accepted by the list. If you have a technical question about the list, please contact us at vrg@vrg.org. If you have any suggestions, ideas, or corrections to VRG-NEWS, please direct them to vrg@vrg.org. Thanks!

If you are a new subscriber, you might enjoy reading past issues of VRG-NEWS online at [ http://www.vrg.org/vrgnews/index.htm ].

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Contents of VRG-NEWS are copyright 2007 by The Vegetarian Resource Group. The newsletter may be freely distributed in electronic or print form provided its contents are not altered and credit is given to The Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203.



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PO Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203
(410) 366-8343   Email: vrg@vrg.org

The contents of this website and our other publications, including Vegetarian Journal, are not intended to provide personal medical advice. Medical advice should be obtained from a qualified health professional. We often depend on product and ingredient information from company statements. It is impossible to be 100% sure about a statement, info can change, people have different views, and mistakes can be made. Please use your own best judgment about whether a product is suitable for you. To be sure, do further research or confirmation on your own.

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