1. With His Royal Highness Prince Albert of Monaco and friends
2. With Charles Kennedy, former leader of the Liberal Democrat Party
3. Georgina Downs meets EU Commissioner for Health, Markos Kyprianou, in Strasbourg last year
4. Georgina receiving one of her many awards
The Prince of Grace
One of the lovely cocktail parties I attended recently was the opening of the new Monaco Consulate in Britain by his Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco. The unveiling in Mayfair, a prestigious part of London, re-iterated the Principality's aim to highlight the attraction of living there to potential British residents, businesses and entrepreneurs. I plan to spend more time in this delightful principality. It is one of the few places left in the world where you feel safe walking, even clad in diamonds, in the early hours of the morning. The social life is extraordinary and there are many parties throughout the year.
Another special evening recently was Sally Farmiloe-Neville's charity event at the Albert Hall - a splendid affair with a host of great songwriters and pop groups. We had a private box with Champagne and the organic food Sally organised was excellent.
At another party I spoke to Charles Kennedy, former leader of the Liberal Democrat Party, who looked much better in person than on TV. He certainly brightened up the political party when he was leading it with his strong personality and charming Scottish accent. He resigned after four years in office after admitting he had a drink problem which, it seems, so many talented people suffer with these days. Even top celebrities seem to brag about going into rehab. Dealing with drinking problems is one of my specialities which can save a person's career.
The papers are full of obesity, suggesting that the cause is lifestyle rather than mentioning chemicals. However a new report says that in the not too distant future 50% of the population will be obese, with the blame put on the trans-fats and chemicals in most of our foods purchased in the supermarkets. In my column earlier this year, I said that I had started to notice obese people around 2002, only a couple of years before my husband - an American specializing in weight loss - said that there were no fat people in England. He was used to large Americans and his idea of fat was very different from ours. But people's shapes started to change rapidly, and one hospital report shows that the number of obese admitted to hospital has risen 45% since 2002. These figures are shocking and just what do 'trans fats' do? Simply increase the shelf life.Not only are obese patients too fat to fit into NHS beds but Ealing Hospital even says its floors won't take the weight and patients weighing more than 30 stone are sent to the ground floor wards. If the chemicals in the foods are producing such changes in a large percentage of the population then what is it doing to the people that don't visually show the damage? I doubt that any of us are getting away with it.
So what about your food? How do you feel about genetically modified or chemically adjusted food? I for one am horrified by it. The very fact that it is so new with no research to rely upon is worrying: we do not know the long term effects.
Is Frankenstein food producing Horrific Diseases?
I wonder if you will find these latest findings as shocking as I did. Reports are just out about a new disease which has been compared to something you might find in The X-Files - it is so bizarre. I had a client who had what sounded like this condition but had been told it was psychological. It feels as if insects are crawling under your skin, is called Morgellons Disease and is reported in the New Scientist September issue. Other symptoms are egg-like lumps under the skin and even cuts which produce tiny red and blue fibres that arefluorescent. However many doctors are dismissing the symptoms as imaginary and the patients as delusional. One of its victims from Manchester (UK) said she cannot sleep and is constantly woken up by intense itching. Her arm is covered with sores and some have tiny white egg like lumps just under the surface. After looking at the Internet she found that she was not the only sufferer - there are an incredible 10,000 others. Sufferers have complained about tiny fibres growing about 1mm to 2 mm out of their skin. They can be pinky red, blue, brown, black or transparent and apparently grow out of the lesions on arms, legs and torso. Some of the sufferers said they were affected by a type of brain fog with their thinking becoming cloudy and forgetful. They found themselves jumbling up words and it sometimes became so severe that they didn't understand what people were saying. What is so frightening are the findings at the State University of New York. When Vitaly CItovsky, professor of biochemistry and cell biology, tested the lesions of Morgellons patients they tested positively for the presence of agrobacterium, a bacterium used in the commercial production of genetically modified food but not normally found in skin sores. Say no more! It doesn't sound delusional to me.
Here's someone who's suing the Government for Pesticides
MEP's to Vote on critical EU pesticide proposals
I have received a further update from the "Pesticide Nun" Georgina Downs about her campaign to get protection for rural residents and communities from pesticides. It seems there have been some very significant breakthroughs.
First of all, in July 2006, the European Commission proposed 3 new pesticide policy proposals in Europe covering the authorisation and use of pesticides.
In accompanying documentation to the proposals,the European Commission clearly acknowledged the long term impact of pesticides by stating that long-term exposure can lead to cancer and neurological effects amongst other conditions, including those living in the locality of sprayed fields.
For example, the Questions and Answers for the EU Thematic Strategy for pesticides states, "Long term exposure to pesticides can lead to serious disturbances to the immune system, sexual disorders, cancers, sterility, birth defects, damage to the nervous system and genetic damage."
The European Parliament's Environmental Committee has recently voted on amendments to the 3 pesticide proposals in the first reading and the Environmental Committee's adopted reports will now all go to plenary at the end of October to be voted on by all MEPs.
Since January this year, Georgina has been going backwards and forwards to Brussels to make representations on behalf of rural residents and communities to MEPs from all political parties. Her lobbying has so far paid off as a number of key amendments went through regarding the protection of people who live, work or go to school near pesticide sprayed fields.
These amendments include:- the prohibition of pesticide use in substantial no spray zones around residential areas, parks, public gardens, sports grounds, school grounds, playgrounds, amongst other places, especially to protect sensitive groups such as babies, children, pregnant women, the elderly, those with pre-existing medical conditions and those who may be taking medication, along with all other vulnerable groups / a new legal obligation to inform residents and neighbours about pesticide spraying in their locality as well as a new legal obligation for farmers and other pesticide users to provide information on the pesticides used directly to residents and neighbours.
These are things that Georgina has been tirelessly campaigning for since the outset of her campaign and she is hoping that all these key amendments will be retained when MEPs vote in the plenary session in Strasbourg.
The second significant breakthrough for Georgina came at the end of January this year when she was granted permission by a High Court judge to take the UK Government to a full High Court hearing over the failings of its pesticides policy and on all grounds submitted! The case will shortly be listed for a full High Court hearing which is expected to be early next year.Watch this space www.pesticidescampaign.co.uk
Having been worried by the dangers of poisons in deodorants, I was interested to find an alternative. I found an effective natural deodorant and decided to give it a try. It is fabulous and my friends who tried it said they were all delighted. It has 24 hour protection, doesn't stain clothes, is fragrance free and natural. www.crystalspringltd.co.uk.
Hidden Dangers of Salt and Sugar
Sandwiches can contain as much salt as seven bags of crisps. Many have more than half of your daily requirements. Some 'healthy' coffee bars are offenders so check the labels. Remember salt becomes a killer when over your limit, linked to high blood pressure, strokes and early death.
Some of use are unaware that we are having 17 spoons of sugar a day - more than a decade ago - provided in our food and drinks.
What the doctor says:
"Type 2 diabetes used to be something that happened to the middle-aged but in the last year I have diagnosed even teenagers". Dr Mark Porter.
The NHS has failed in its campaign to stop people smoking. After spending £470m on clinics, nicotine replacement therapies and Zyban, the proportion of smokers has remained the same, 'The Financial Times' reported. The NHS would have better results if they used hypnosis; the New Scientist (1992) states that hypnosis is the most effective way of giving up smoking.
Eds Note: VALERIE AUSTIN is an author of six successful self-help books including SELF HYPNOSIS (Thorsons), journalist and trainer with an international reputation in the field of hypnosis. Her best-selling books and training help people achieve their full potential. She founded the Austin Corporate Stress Management Company focusing on reducing stress and anxiety amongst executives and CEO's. She is also founder of UKRAH (1992) The UK Register of Advanced Hypnotherapy. Valerie has also worked as a consultant in hypnosis at the Priory Hospital, the UK's equivalent to The Betty Ford Clinic, which specialises in food addiction and alcohol abuse. Her work in the film industry (Hollywood) interviewing movers and shakers, producing TV news segments and publishing celebrity magazines in London gave her invaluable experience for her current Harley Street practice.