Guantánamo hunger strike to expose Ensure as a health hazard

Images emerging Friday from inside Guantánamo Bay Detention Center may ultimately backfire on “Ensure” manufacturer, as hunger-striker’s conditions worsen.

As the Obama administration’s reputation continues slowly deteriorating in the eyes of the American people, so too do the conditions at the Cuban prison Obama used as a high-profile talking point, during his campaign for the White House, over five years ago. One of the many promises made that continue to go unfulfilled.

But four and a half years into actually having the ability to do something about practices he so openly deemed unethical and examples of “un-American-like values” during the previous administration, the “habeas corpus” he argued for, in the run up to his 2009 inauguration, remains non-existent and the situation at the Guantánamo Bay detention facility continues to defy all ethical and humane standards, or worse.

In addition to the inhumane effectsindefinite detention plays on the human psyche by itself, the religious disrespect prisoners there are treated with has caused more than 100 of the 166 inmates at the facility to feel a hunger-strike and, if necessary, death from a lack of food as being their only way out.

Not only was the idea of habeas corpus actually stripped from the America people themselves, with Obama’s yearly re-authorization of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the government continues to push their cynically twisted version of reality, which now includes the notion that the forced feeding of a mentally competent individual is somehow an act of kindness. At least, that’s how it’s spun now that at least 23 of those inmates must be force-fed to keep them alive, almost three months into the strike.

By stating, “We will not allow a detainee to starve themselves to death, and we will continue to treat each person humanely,” Lt. Col. Samuel House, the prison spokesperson, made the case that not only are they not allowed to leave, the inmates, many of which found to be completely innocent of any wrong-doing and their only crime is that of being born and raised in a Muslim country with Muslim values, are not even allowed to decide if they will or will not eat.

Rivaling the idea of what hell must truly be like, all sense of freedom and humanity has been stripped from sovereign individuals that are not even allowed to die, if they wish, with dignity.

In the real world, doctors and government officials are expected to know that the forced feeding of an individual, who has exercised their right to refuse to eat, is not only completely against all medical standards, but simply an unethical act that no medical professional or person of authority should ever dream of authorizing or administering against a competent individual that has made that decision on their own. Even the US Supreme Court has routinely ruled against officials keeping people alive against their will, on every occasion the situation has come up, ruling it generally unconstitutional to force such actions against a sovereign individual.

Unfortunately, the abuse doesn’t stop there, however. As if actions such as water-boarding and the like isn’t already horrific enough to imagine, adding insult to injury, almost as if the entire operation is someone’s idea of a sick and morbid joke, the government’s so-called act of kindness toward the Guantánamo prisoners is not just the gift of being force-fed, but forcefully fed with none other than Abbott Laboratories’ enteral formula, Ensure.

As if the horrific conditions at Guantánamo were not almost as bad as it gets; the sensory and sleep deprivation, the uncomfortably cold cell temperatures, the physical and psychological torture, etc., it is also reported that, since 2005, hunger-striking inmates have been restrained in padded wheelchairs, while a tube is inserted into their nose and pushed down their throat, so they can be forced fed with the formula. The feedings can take place twice a day with reportedly the same tubes covered in bile and blood. Journalists have also been told this procedure by itself constitutes an extraordinarily painful and torturous activity, aside from what the formula itself is doing to their bodies.

To the average consumer who has been subjected to the relentless television, radio and print campaigns that not only advertise Ensure as the “#1 doctor recommended brand,” but as “a source of complete and balanced nutrition,” this may seem like a great choice for anyone suffering from the debilitating effects of starvation. Interestingly however, the ads fail to inform consumers that the listed ingredients for Ensure are far from what any normal person should ever ingest and certainly not anything you would want to administer to a weak, fasting or starving, individual that hasn’t eaten for weeks or months. To get a better understanding of what this really means, we must examine what Ensure really has to offer.

Marketed as the golden standard of complete nutrition, of the nine major ingredients making up the bulk of Ensure’s “Nutrition Shake,” the specific product being given the starving Guantánamo detainees, the top three are water, corn maltodextrin and sugar (aka, water, sugar and sugar), with the rest consisting of a mixture of GMO soy-based protein and milk and pea protein concentrates, topped off with a dash of GMO rapeseed oil, normally marketed as “Canola oil” in stores.

In addition to a small amount of corn oil (also likely made from GMO corn), artificial flavors and a load of preservatives that keep the drink from going rancid in the bottle, the mixture can only be seen as toxic concoction of slow-poisoning, rather than a source of living nutrition, designed to keep someone healthy and vibrant. This likens the product to that of an overpriced soft drink and far from anything that can be honestly called nutritional.

Even the synthetically-derived “vitamins” in the product, such as Ascorbic Acid, sold as Vitamin C and Cyanocobalamin, sold as Vitamin B12, are known to cause more problems within the human body than they can possibly help.

Considering that Ensure is being marketed and consumed primarily to the elderly, the sick and now starving inmates at Guantánamo, it should also be noted that the food additive Carrageenan, found in Ensure, has been linked to gastrointestinal inflammation and has been banned from infant formula in Europe.

In addition to the brutality that is forced feeding and the absolute joke that is feeding them something as pathetic as Ensure, the inmates also face the many adverse effects associated with tube feeding and enteral formulas, like Ensure.

Among the many side effects of consuming a product like Ensure on a regular bases, according to, the most common are Confusion; convulsions (seizures); decrease in urine volume; dryness of mouth; frequent urination; increased thirst; irregular heartbeat; mood or mental changes; muscle cramps or pain; numbness or tingling in hands, feet, or lips; respiratory distress, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; unexplained nervousness; unusual tiredness or weakness; weakness or heaviness of legs; weak pulse.

There has already been multiple deaths reported to have occurred by detainees who were previously on hunger strikes, as far back as 2006. Although the deaths were initially reported as suicides, a whistleblower and former Sargent that worked in the facility came forward to admit the initial reports were a cover-up and the result of something else entirely.

But now that the vast majority of the detainees have decided to join in on the mass hunger strike, the public at large may soon realize the sick joke that is feeding them something like Ensure and, for that matter, the sick joke that is doctors reccomending it be fed to the masses, especially as a source of viable nutrition for those that need it the most.

via Guantánamo hunger strike to expose Ensure as a health hazard – National Holistic Health |

via Guantánamo hunger strike to expose Ensure as a health hazard – National Holistic Health |

About Old Boy

Love the past and the future but live in the present

Posted on May 13, 2013, in Crime, Food, Government, Health, Human rights and Liberties, International affairs, politics, USA, Wealth and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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