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Health Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Health Media Articles in Major Media


Below are highly revealing excerpts of important health articles reported in the media suggesting a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full articles on major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These health articles are listed by article date. You can also explore the articles listed by order of importance or by date posted. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


The Link Between Mosquito Spraying and Autism
2016-04-30, Time Magazine
http://time.com/4313156/mosquito-spraying-autism-pesticides/

A new study finds a correlation between the aerial spraying of pesticides to kill mosquitoes and an increased risk of developmental delays and autism among kids. In the new findings, presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies 2016 meeting, researchers looked at the rates of autism and developmental delays from eight zip codes in a region of New York that is exposed to yearly airplane pesticide spraying to prevent mosquito-borne disease like eastern equine encephalitis virus. They compared those to the rates in 16 zip codes where the pesticide spraying doesn’t happen. They controlled for factors like poverty and gender variation across the zip codes. The authors report that kids living in zip codes where the spraying was done each summer had around a 25% higher risk of an autism diagnosis or developmental problems compared to kids living in areas without the aerial spraying. “Several studies have previously reported links between pesticide and autism risk,” says Dr. Steve Hicks, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Penn State College of Medicine in an email to TIME. “Our data suggests the way in which pesticides are applied might play some role. Studies of pesticides in animal models show they can affect certain neurotransmitters in the brain, but their exact molecular effects on brain development are still being explored.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.


Michigan official suggested gaming water tests to 'bump out' lead results
2016-04-27, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/apr/27/michigan-employees-manipulate-...

A Michigan environmental official suggested a technician collecting samples for a suburban Detroit private water system “bump ... out” a test result that found very high levels of lead by testing more homes, according to a 2008 email. Doing so could avert a “lead public notice”, the email reasoned, which would alert residents of dangerously high levels in their water. “I’ve never heard (it) more black and white,” said Marc Edwards, a ... lead expert who helped uncover the Flint water crisis. “It just shows that this culture of corruption and unethical, uncaring behavior predated Flint by at least six years.” In early September 2008, a water laboratory technician collected samples from five of the nearly 45 homes in the [private water system]. The technician submitted the samples to the Michigan department of environmental quality. Of the five samples, one home registered a lead level of 115 parts per billion (ppb), nearly 10 times higher than the federal action level of 15ppb. Adam Rosenthal, an MDEQ environmental quality analyst, sent an email to the technician. He copied Mike Prysby, the state employee who was criminally charged last week for his role in the city of Flint’s two-year lead contamination crisis, along with state employee Stephen Busch. “I just saw the results – 115 ppb for lead is a bit high,” Rosenthal wrote in the email. “There is still time to collect more samples and possibly bump this one out.” Experts said the email shows MDEQ’s Rosenthal was explicitly attempting to “subvert” the lead and copper rule.

Note: Another recent Guardian article further describes how US authorities systematically distort water quality tests. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and health.


1 Minute of All-Out Exercise May Have Benefits of 45 Minutes of Moderate Exertion
2016-04-27, New York Times
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/04/27/1-minute-of-all-out-exercise-may-equ...

For many of us, the most pressing question about exercise is: How little can I get away with? The answer, according to a sophisticated new study of interval training, may be very, very little. In this new experiment, in fact, 60 seconds of strenuous exertion proved to be as successful at improving health and fitness as three-quarters of an hour of moderate exercise. Scientists at McMaster University ... began by recruiting 25 out-of-shape young men and measuring their current aerobic fitness. Then the researchers randomly divided the men into three groups. One group was asked to change nothing; they would be the controls. A second group began a typical endurance-workout routine. The final group was assigned to interval training, using [a] workout [that] lasted 10 minutes, with only one minute of that time being strenuous. Both groups of exercising volunteers completed three sessions each week for 12 weeks. By the end of the study ... the endurance group had [exercised] for 27 hours, while the interval group had [exercised] for six hours, with only 36 minutes of that time being strenuous. The scientists ... found that the exercisers showed virtually identical gains. In both groups, endurance had increased by nearly 20 percent, insulin resistance likewise had improved significantly, and there were significant [improvements in] certain microscopic structures in the men’s muscles. Neither approach to exercise was, however, superior to the other, except that one was shorter - much, much shorter.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Belarus ignoring risks of farming near Chernobyl?
2016-04-25, CBS News/Associated Press
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/chernobyl-radiation-belarus-farm-produce-milk-hig...

On the edge of Belarus' Chernobyl exclusion zone, down the road from the signs warning "Stop! Radiation," a dairy farmer offers his visitors a glass of freshly drawn milk. Associated Press reporters politely decline the drink but pass on a bottled sample to a laboratory, which confirms it contains levels of a radioactive isotope at levels 10 times higher than the nation's food safety limits. Fallout from the April 26, 1986, explosion at the Chernobyl plant in neighboring Ukraine continues to taint life in Belarus. The authoritarian government of this agriculture-dependent nation appears determined to restore long-idle land to farm use - and in a country where dissent is quashed, any objection to the policy is thin. One of the most prominent medical critics of the government's approach to safeguarding the public from Chernobyl fallout, Dr. Yuri Bandazhevsky, was removed as director of a Belarusian research institute and imprisoned in 2001 on corruption charges that international rights groups branded politically motivated. Since his 2005 parole he has resumed his research into Chernobyl-related cancers with European Union sponsorship. "In Belarus, there is no protection of the population from radiation exposure. On the contrary, the government is trying to persuade people not to pay attention to radiation, and food is grown in contaminated areas and sent to all points in the country," [Bandazhevsky said]. The milk sample subjected to an AP-commissioned analysis backs this picture.

Note: 30 years later and the fallout from this nuclear reactor disaster in Ukraine is still contaminating food in Belarus. Why are we still using nuclear power? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing nuclear power news articles from reliable major media sources.


BMJ editor Fiona Godlee takes on corruption in science
2016-04-19, MSN
http://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/other/bmj-editor-fiona-godlee-takes-on-corrupti...

Dr. Fiona Godlee, editor of the BMJ [British Medical Journal], specializes in the unexpected. [A marionette puppet on her desk is] dressed as a doctor, complete with a stethoscope around its neck. Its strings represent the hidden hand of the pharmaceutical industry. Godlee keeps it ... to remind her of the dark forces at work in science and medicine. And she is blunt about the results: "I think we have to call it what it is. It is the corruption of the scientific process." Hundreds of papers are being pulled from the scientific record, for falsified data, for plagiarism, and for a variety of other reasons that are often never explained. Sometimes it's an honest mistake. But it's estimated that 70 per cent of the retractions are based on some form of scientific misconduct. As the editor of one of the oldest and most influential medical journals, Godlee is leading several campaigns to change the way science is reported, including opening up data for other scientists to review, and digging up data from old and abandoned trials for a second look. She has strong words about the overuse of drugs, and the influence of industry on the types of questions that scientists ask, and the conclusions that are drawn from the evidence. "I do have a belief in the fundamentality of science to correct itself. We can't do that under the blanket of secrecy," she says. It matters, Godlee says, because bad science can be dangerous. "We do know that patients are harmed, and we know that the health systems are harmed as a result of poor science."

Note: Retraction Watch is fascinating reading for anyone interested in what goes on behind science's closed doors. Read also the revealing comments of Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, on the massive corruption she found in the health industry. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing science corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Why this genetically modified mushroom gets to skip USDA oversight
2016-04-18, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/04/18/why-thi...

For the first time, a food product created using CRISPR – a promising but controversial gene-editing technique – could be on track to be sold and eaten. And it might be the first of many. Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed that it will not regulate the cultivation and sale of a white-button mushroom created using CRISPR. The decision came in the form of a letter to Yinong Yang, a plant pathologist at Pennsylvania State University who created the new mushroom. Yang's frankenfungi is a simple Agaricus bisporus, the kind of white-button mushroom you could buy at any grocery store. But Yang targeted several genes that code for the protein that causes mushrooms to turn brown as they age or get bruised. The result is a mushroom more resilient to automated harvesting and long storage periods. If you support the labeling of GMOs, the USDA's decision to wave this shroom in without a second thought might strike you as scary. If Yang had tackled mushroom browning by adding bits of genetic code from another organism, it would have been subject to USDA scrutiny as other non-browning produce has been. Until recently, genetic modification required the insertion of foreign viruses or bacteria, but CRISPR is more advanced than that. Because of that loophole, it's not under the USDA's jurisdiction. The EPA only regulates GMOs designed for pest control, and the FDA considers all GMOs to be safe. That leaves this non-browning mushroom cleared for take-off.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.


Hepatitis C cure for under $300 US fuels excitement
2016-04-15, CBC (Canada's public broadcasting system)
http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/hepatitis-c-1.3538623

Treating the hepatitis C virus used to require frequent injections and daily pills that had to be taken for up to a year with flu-like side-effects. Tolerable drugs that could eliminate the infection in most patients in about 12 weeks were introduced in 2013. But the retail price for an eight- to 24-week regimen of the anti-virals ranged from $55,000 to $80,000 in 2015. Now the non-profit organization Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative and Egyptian drug maker Pharco Pharmaceuticals have signed agreements to provide a combination of the Hepatitis C drugs sofosbuvir and the antiviral ravisdasvir for further clinical tests for $300 US or less per treatment course. The agreement was announced this week at the International Liver Congress ... said Dr. Isabelle Andrieux-Meyer, HIV and hepatitis C medical advisor for Doctors Without Borders. The drugs make such a difference in wealthy countries but the contrast in lower and middle income countries is "brutal," Andrieux-Meyer said. "So many patients can't buy treatment," she said. Under the agreement, the company agreed to set the commercial price at $294 US or less per treatment course once the scale-up is approved. Doctors Without Borders is a member of the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, which has licensed rights for ravisdasvir in low- and middle-income countries from Presidio Pharmaceuticals.

Note: While it is great that these medications may become more affordable in low-income countries, hepatitis C drugs are priced and marketed to maximize revenue regardless of the human consequences. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma profiteering news articles from reliable major media sources.


How LSD Makes Your Brain One With The Universe
2016-04-13, NPR
http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/04/13/474071268/how-lsd-makes-y...

Some users of LSD say one of the most profound parts of the experience is a deep oneness with the universe. The sensation ... correlates to changes in brain connectivity while on LSD, according to a study published Wednesday in Current Biology. An MRI scanner [showed that] the brains of people on acid looked markedly different than those on the placebo. Their sensory cortices, which process sensations like sight and touch, became far more connected than usual to the frontal parietal network, which is involved with our sense of self. "The stronger that communication, the stronger the experience of the dissolution (of self)," says Enzo Tagliazucchi, the [study's] lead author. Researchers also measured the volunteers' brain electrical activity with another device. Our brains normally generate a regular rhythm of electrical activity called the alpha rhythm, which links to our brain's ability to suppress irrelevant activity. But in a different paper published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, he and several co-authors show that LSD weakens the alpha rhythm. He thinks this weakening could make the hallucinations seem more real. The idea is intriguing ... says Dr. Charles Grob, a psychiatrist at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. "They may genuinely be on to something. This should really further our understanding of the brain and consciousness." And, he says, the work highlights hallucinogens' powerful therapeutic potential.

Note: While the war on drugs has been called a "trillion dollar failure", studies like this suggest the healing potentials of mind altering drugs are starting to be investigated more scientifically.


LSD's impact on the brain revealed in groundbreaking images
2016-04-11, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/apr/11/lsd-impact-brain-revealed-gro...

The profound impact of LSD on the brain has been laid bare by the first modern scans of people high on the drug. The images, taken from volunteers ... revealed that trippers experienced images through information drawn from many parts of their brains. Under the drug, regions once segregated spoke to one another. Further images showed that other brain regions that usually form a network became more separated in a change that accompanied users’ feelings of oneness with the world, a loss of personal identity called “ego dissolution”. David Nutt, the government’s former drugs advisor ... and senior researcher on the study, said, “This is to neuroscience what the Higgs boson was to particle physics.” [Study co-author Robin] Carhart-Harris said, “We saw many more areas of the brain than normal were contributing to visual processing under LSD, even though volunteers’ eyes were closed.” The more prominent the effect, the more intense people rated their dreamlike visions. Under the influence, brain networks that deal with vision, attention, movement and hearing became far more connected. But at the same time, other networks broke down. The drug can be seen as reversing the more restricted thinking we develop from infancy to adulthood. The study could pave the way for LSD or related chemicals to be used to treat psychiatric disorders. Nutt said the drug could pull the brain out of thought patterns seen in depression and addiction through its effects on brain networks.

Note: For more, see an NPR article titled "How LSD Makes Your Brain One With The Universe". This ground-breaking study appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. While the war on drugs has been called a "trillion dollar failure", studies like this suggest the healing potentials of mind altering drugs are starting to be investigated more scientifically.


The sugar conspiracy
2016-04-07, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/apr/07/the-sugar-conspiracy-robert-lu...

Robert Lustig is a paediatric endocrinologist at the University of California. A 90-minute talk he gave in 2009, titled Sugar: The Bitter Truth ... argues forcefully that fructose, a form of sugar ubiquitous in modern diets, is a “poison” culpable for America’s obesity epidemic. John Yudkin ... was a British professor of nutrition who had sounded the alarm on sugar back in 1972, in a book called Pure, White, and Deadly. “If only a small fraction of what we know about the effects of sugar were to be revealed in relation to any other material used as a food additive,” wrote Yudkin, “that material would promptly be banned.” The book did well, but Yudkin paid a high price for it. Prominent nutritionists combined with the food industry to destroy his reputation. The US government issued its first Dietary Guidelines [in 1980]. The most prominent recommendation ... was to cut back on saturated fats and cholesterol. Consumers dutifully obeyed. But instead of becoming healthier, we grew fatter and sicker. Look at a graph of postwar obesity rates and it becomes clear that something changed after 1980. Just 12% of Americans were obese in 1950, 15% in 1980, 35% by 2000. Today, as nutritionists struggle to comprehend a health disaster they did not predict and may have precipitated, the field is ... edging away from prohibitions on cholesterol and fat, and hardening its warnings on sugar. But its senior members still retain a collective instinct to malign those who challenge its tattered conventional wisdom too loudly.

Note: The sugar industry skewed US dental research using Big Tobacco's propaganda tactics. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing science corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Vitamin D 'heals damaged hearts'
2016-04-04, BBC
http://www.bbc.com/news/health-35959556

Vitamin D supplements may help people with diseased hearts, a study suggests. A trial on 163 heart failure patients found supplements of the vitamin, which is made in the skin when exposed to sunlight, improved their hearts' ability to pump blood around the body. The Leeds Teaching Hospitals team, who presented at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology, described the results as "stunning". Vitamin D is vital for healthy bones and teeth and may have important health benefits throughout the body but many people are deficient. "The skin's ability to manufacture vitamin D also gets less effective (with age) and we don't really understand why that is," said consultant cardiologist Dr Klaus Witte. Patients were given either a 100 microgram vitamin D tablet or a sugar pill placebo each day for a year. Dr Witte told the BBC News website: "It's as cheap as chips, has no side effects and [leads to] a stunning improvement on people already on optimal medical therapy." The study also showed the patients' hearts became smaller - a suggestion they are becoming more powerful and efficient. Dr Witte ... told the BBC: "Data have shown improvements in heart function, they may show improvements in symptoms and we now need a large study." It is thought every cell in the body responds to the vitamin. Most vitamin D comes from sunlight, although it is also found in oily fish, eggs and is added to some foods such as breakfast cereals.

Note: In 2014, Time Magazine reported on research showing vitamin D improved cancer survival rates. Why has public health policy neglected findings on this beneficial vitamin? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.


New Research Links Cell Phones To Health Issues In Children
2016-04-03, CBS News (Baltimore affiliate)
http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2016/05/03/new-research-links-cell-phones-to-he...

For years, we’ve heard of a possible link between cell phone use and cancer. “The evidence is clear: cell phones do cause brain cancer,” said Dr. Devras Davis, president, Environmental Health Trust. Dr. Davis says the young brain absorbs twice as much radiation as an adult. Doctors and scientists from across the country took on the issue during a pediatric conference [in] Baltimore. Panelists also found a connection between exposure to cell phone radiation and other health issues. “There’s a correlation between cell phone use in pregnancy and behavioral problems in their children,” said Dr. Hugh Taylor, Yale School of Medicine. “These devices are ... straining our family relationships because the average mom or dad will check their phones 60 to 110 times a day,” said Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair, clinical psychologist. The infant brain - even while in the womb - is especially vulnerable. Holding your phone even a few inches away can lower the risk. They recommend using headsets, and when you’re not on your phone, to keep it as far away from you as possible. “So we’re getting like a triple, quadruple whammy between the biological effect, the psychological effects and the brain waves effects,” said Dr. Martha Herbert, pediatric neurologist. Effects may not be completely avoidable in a high-tech world. Some researchers say the U.S. is lagging behind other countries when it comes to radiation research and prevention.

Note: Despite the American Academy of Pediatrics urging the US to reassess to cell phone safety standards for children in 2012, the Centers for Disease Control backed away from warning the public about the risks of cell phone radiation to kids. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.


LSD could make you smarter, happier and healthier.
2016-04-01, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/04/01/lsd-could-make-yo...

In 1970, Congress dropped psychedelics into the war on drugs. The federal government declared that the drugs had no medical use - and high potential for abuse. Over the past decade, some scientists have begun to challenge that conclusion. Far from being harmful, they found, hallucinogens can help sick people: They helped alcoholics drink less; terminal patients eased more gently into death. And it’s not just the infirm who are helped by the drugs. They can help us solve problems more creatively and make us more open-minded and generous. Scientists think [that] when someone takes a psychedelic, there is a decrease in blood flow and electrical activity in the brain’s “default mode network,” [which] is primarily responsible for our ego or sense of self. When we trip, our default mode network slows down. With the ego out of commission, the boundaries between self and world, subject and object dissolve. Robin Carhart-Harris, a neuroscientist with Imperial College London, notes that the default mode network is responsible for a lot of our rigid, habitual thinking and obsessions. Psychedelics help relax the part of the brain that leads us to obsess. And they can help “loosen if not break” the entrenched physical circuits responsible for addictive behavior. Steve Jobs famously said that taking LSD “was one of the most important things in my life.” The entrepreneur Tim Ferriss said that “the billionaires I know, almost without exception, use hallucinogens on a regular basis.”

Note: While the war on drugs has been called a "trillion dollar failure", articles like this suggest the healing potentials of mind altering drugs are starting to be investigated more scientifically.


Former science chief: 'MMR fears coming true'
2016-03-29, Daily Mail (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-376203/Former-science-chief-MMR-fea...

A former Government medical officer responsible for deciding whether medicines are safe has accused the Government of "utterly inexplicable complacency" over the MMR triple vaccine for children. In the late Seventies, Dr Fletcher served as Chief Scientific Officer at the DoH and Medical Assessor to the Committee on Safety of Medicines, meaning he was responsible for deciding if new vaccines were safe. He first expressed concerns about MMR in 2001, saying safety trials before the vaccine's introduction in Britain were inadequate. Now he says the theoretical fears he raised appear to be becoming reality. He said the rising tide of autism cases and growing scientific understanding of autism-related bowel disease have convinced him the MMR vaccine may be to blame. "When scientists first raised fears of a possible link between mad cow disease and an apparently new, variant form of CJD they had detected in just 20 or 30 patients ... millions of cows were slaughtered," said Dr Fletcher. "Yet there has been a tenfold increase in autism and related forms of brain damage over the past 15 years, roughly coinciding with MMR's introduction, and an extremely worrying increase in childhood inflammatory bowel diseases and immune disorders such as diabetes, and no one in authority will even admit it's happening, let alone try to investigate the causes." He said there was "no way" the tenfold leap in autistic children could be the result of better recognition and definitional changes, as claimed by health authorities.

Note: We don't normally use the Daily Mail as a source, but as not other major media are covering this vital development, we felt it important to include this. For more, see this informative article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing vaccine controversy news articles from reliable major media sources.


Robert De Niro steps into autism vaccination row by screening film
2016-03-26, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/mar/26/robert-de-niro-autism-vaccination...

A disgraced former British surgeon’s new documentary about the discredited link between autism and childhood vaccination has put Robert De Niro at the centre of a medical row that threatens the reputation of his prestigious film festival in New York. De Niro, the father of an autistic child and co-founder of the Tribeca film festival, is standing by the decision to premiere Vaxxed: from Cover-Up to Catastrophe, which has been directed by the controversial Andrew Wakefield. The trailer for Wakefield’s film opens with ominous music as the words “Are our children safe?” appear through a spiral of billowing smoke seeping from a syringe. A key element of the documentary, the trailer claims, will be the testimony of a whistleblower from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US public health body, who is to allege fraud inside an organisation that “knew that vaccines were actually causing autism”. De Niro and his wife, Grace Hightower, issued a statement on Friday, defending the screening. “Grace and I have a child with autism and we believe it is critical that all of the issues surrounding the causes of autism be openly discussed and examined. In the 15 years since the Tribeca film festival was founded, I have never asked for a film to be screened or gotten involved in the programming. “However this is very personal to me and my family and I want there to be a discussion, which is why we will be screening Vaxxed.

Note: After being subjected to intense pressure, De Niro sadly backed down and pulled this documentary from the festival, as reported in this New York Times article. For more on how this film and how De Niro was pressured see this webpage. Then watch a member of US Congress testify in the Congressional record on major cover-up regarding the relationship between autism and the MMR vaccine. Still more here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing vaccine controversy news articles from reliable major media sources.


Top medical experts say we should decriminalize all drugs and maybe go even further
2016-03-24, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/03/24/top-medical-experts-sa...

A group of 22 medical experts convened by Johns Hopkins University and The Lancet have called today for the decriminalization of all nonviolent drug use and possession. The experts further encourage countries and U.S. states to "move gradually toward regulated drug markets and apply the scientific method to their assessment." Their report comes ahead of a special UN General Assembly Session on drugs to be held next month. In a lengthy review of the state of global drug policy, the Hopkins-Lancet experts conclude that the prohibitionist anti-drug policies of the past 50 years "directly and indirectly contribute to lethal violence, disease, discrimination, forced displacement, injustice and the undermining of people’s right to health. "The goal of prohibiting all use, possession, production and trafficking of illicit drugs is the basis of many of our national drug laws, but these policies are based on ideas about drug use and drug dependence that are not scientifically grounded," said Commissioner Dr. Chris Beyrer. "The idea that all drug use is necessarily 'abuse' means that immediate and complete abstinence has been seen as the only acceptable approach," commissioner Adeeba Kamarulzaman ... said. But, she added, "continued criminalization of drug use fuels HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis transmission within prisons and the community at large. There is another way. Programmes and policies aimed at reducing harm should be central to future drug policies."

Note: While the war on drugs has been called a "trillion dollar failure", and the healing potentials of mind altering drugs are starting to be investigated more openly, there remains powerful evidence that the CIA and US military are directly involved in the drug trade.


GMO food labels are coming to more US grocery shelves – are consumers ready?
2016-03-24, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/mar/24/gmo-food-labels-g...

Consumers around the country will soon know just by looking at the packaging of popular brands such as Cocoa Puffs cereal or Yoplait yogurt whether or not they contain genetically modified ingredients. Their maker, General Mills, plans to make that information visible on its products nationwide. Other major food companies have since followed, including Kellogg, ConAgra and candy maker Mars. Campbell Soup publicized the same decision in January. The companies are all responding to a Vermont law requiring the labelling of genetically modified foods starting in July, and to pressure from consumers and advocacy groups to reveal more information about controversial ingredients. Between 70% and 80% of packaged food in the US contains ingredients from genetically modified organisms. A genetically modified organism is created in a laboratory by taking genes from one species and inserting these genes into another to breed certain characteristics. Big food companies have historically fought mandatory labelling. They worry that genetic manipulation creates an impression that the food is unnatural or unhealthy. Meanwhile, anti-GMO advocacy groups, such as Center For Food Safety, and food makers who say they don’t use GMOs, including Plum Organics and Nature’s Path, also cast the fight as an issue of transparency, and accuse food makers of hiding important information from the public.

Note: 64 countries now require labelling of GM ingredients. When will the US give its citizens the right to know? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.


War on drugs harmed public health: report
2016-03-24, CBC (Canada's public broadcasting system)
http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/drug-war-public-health-1.3504843

The war on drugs has failed, fuelling higher rates of infection and harming public health and human rights to such a degree that it's time to decriminalize non-violent minor drug offences, according to a new global report. The authors of the Johns Hopkins-Lancet Commission on Public Health and International Drug Policy call for minor use, possession and petty use to be decriminalized following measurably worsened human health. "We've had three decades of the war on drugs, we've had decades of zero-tolerance policy," said Dr. Chris Beyrer, a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore and the senior author of the report published Thursday in The Lancet. "It has had no measurable impact on supply or use, and so as a policy to control substance use it has arguably failed. It has evidently failed." Given that the goal of prohibiting all use, possession, production and trafficking of illicit drugs was to protect societies, the researchers evaluated the health effects and found they were overwhelmingly negative. For a role model, the authors point to Portugal, which decriminalized not only cannabis but also possession of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. HIV transmission, hepatitis C and incarcerations all decreased, Beyrer said, and there was about a 15 per cent decline in substance use by young people in Portugal.

Note: While the war on drugs has been called a "trillion dollar failure", and the healing potentials of mind altering drugs are starting to be investigated more openly, there remains powerful evidence that the CIA and US military are directly involved in the drug trade.


Meet the doctor who treats the homeless
2016-03-21, CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/07/us/cnn-heroes-homeless-doctor-jim-withers/

Dr. Jim Withers used to dress like a homeless person. On purpose. Two to three nights a week, he rubbed dirt in his hair and muddied up his jeans and shirt before walking the dark streets of Pittsburgh. Withers wanted to connect with those who had been excluded from his care. "I was actually really shocked how ill people were on the street," he said. "Young, old, people with mental illness, runaway kids, women (who) fled domestic violence, veterans. And they all have their own story." Homelessness costs the medical system a lot of money. Individuals often end up in emergency rooms, and stay there longer, because their illnesses go untreated and can lead to complications. For 23 years, Withers has been treating the homeless - under bridges, in alleys and along riverbanks. "We realized that ... we could make 'house calls,'" he said. It's something that Withers' father, a rural doctor, often did. Withers' one-man mission became a citywide program called Operation Safety Net. Since 1992, the group has reached more than 10,000 individuals and helped more than 1,200 of them transition into housing. In addition to street rounds, the program has a mobile van, drop-in centers and a primary health clinic, all where the homeless can access medical care. In the way I'd like to see things, every person who is still on the streets will have medical care that comes directly to them and says, "You matter." Having street medicine in [the] community transforms us. We begin to see that we're all in this together.

Note: Don't miss the video of Withers' inspiring "street medicine" in action at the CNN link above.


Bill Blocking GMO Labels Stalls In Senate, But Battle Is Far From Over
2016-03-16, NPR
http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/03/16/470677241/bill-that-would-bloc...

It's been called "perhaps the most contentious issue in the food industry": Should food products be labeled to indicate they contain genetically modified ingredients? Leading Republicans in the Senate tried to answer that question on Wednesday with a clear "no," but failed. The Senate rejected a bill that would have prevented any state from requiring GMO labels on food. The bill, sponsored by Kansas Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, would have created a voluntary national labeling standard for foods containing GMOs, but it would have blocked Vermont from implementing its first-in-the-nation mandatory GMO labeling law, currently set to take effect on July 1. The Roberts bill failed to get the 60 votes needed to move forward. Among those opposing the Roberts measure was Just Label It, a coalition of businesses and organizations supporting mandatory GMO labels on food. "This is the most hotly debated issue in food right now," says Scott Faber, the group's executive director. "Consumers should have the right to choose," Faber says. "They should have the right to know what's in their food and be trusted to make their own choices." That argument - consumers' right to know - holds sway among many legislators. Earlier this month, during debate on the Roberts bill in the Senate agriculture committee, many lawmakers pointed to polls that show a majority of Americans support labeling genetically modified ingredients in foods.

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