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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.


‘My therapist gave me a pill’: can MDMA help cure trauma?
2016-09-26, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/sep/16/mdma-ptsd-therapy-trauma-maps...

For as long as Alice, now 32, can remember, her father, “a major drug dealer with freezers full of cocaine”, was physically abusive towards her and her mother. Alice’s post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) ... went misdiagnosed for many years. She tried [many therapies]. Nothing worked. Then, two and a half years ago, Alice enrolled in a clinical trial for a treatment combining psychotherapy with MDMA. Her “trips” were accompanied by eight-hour therapy sessions. During the session[s], her psychiatrist guided the conversation according to goals she had set with Alice beforehand. Alice’s recovery was astonishing. The clinician-administered PTSD scale, or Caps ... uses a lengthy questionnaire to determine the severity of a patient’s symptoms. Any score over 60 is “severe”. Alice’s score went from 106 to two. It’s now at zero. In other words, her PTSD is gone. Alice is one of 136 patients who have undergone MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in trials run by the not-for-profit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (Maps), based in Santa Cruz, California. [In] one South Carolina study ... 83% of those given the MDMA no longer met the criteria for PTSD following treatment, compared with 25% of those who were not given the drug. Best of all? The results have held for several years. MDMA is not a silver bullet: treatment is heavily reliant on the accompanying therapy, and there is a lot of therapy: three monthly sessions with the drug, lasting eight hours each, punctuated by nine weekly 90-minute sessions without it.

Note: Read more about how MDMA has been found effective for treating PTSD in a therapeutic context. Articles like this suggest that the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs are beginning to gain mainstream scientific credibility.


Does this 25 year-old hold the key to winning the war against superbugs?
2016-09-25, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/health/does-this-25-year-old-hold-the-key-to...

Not many 25-year-olds can claim to get up at 4am and work weekends to save the world from an impending Armageddon that could cost tens of millions of lives. But for the past three years, Shu Lam, a Malaysian PhD student at the University of Melbourne, has confined herself to a scientific laboratory to figure out how to kill superbugs that can no longer be treated with antibiotics. She believes that she has found the key to averting a health crisis so severe that last week the United Nations convened its first ever general assembly meeting on drug-resistant bacteria. The overuse and incorrect use of antibiotics has rendered some strains of bacteria untreatable, allowing so-called “superbugs” to mutate. Last Wednesday, the problem was described by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as a “fundamental threat” to global health and safety. [Lam] believes her method of killing bacteria using tiny star-shaped molecules, built with chains of protein units called peptide polymers, is a ground-breaking alternative to failing antibiotics. Her research, published this month in the prestigious journal, Nature Microbiology, has already been hailed by scientists as a breakthrough that could change the face of modern medicine. Lam successfully tested the polymer treatment on six different superbugs in the laboratory, and against one strain of bacteria in mice. Even after multiple generations of mutations, the superbugs have proven incapable of fighting back.

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


Acidity in atmosphere minimized to preindustrial levels
2016-09-24, Science Daily
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160924223232.htm

New research shows that human pollution of the atmosphere with acid is now almost back to the level that it was before the pollution started with industrialisation in the 1930s. The results come from studies of the Greenland ice sheet and are published in the scientific journal, Environmental Science and Technology. By drilling ice cores down through the kilometre-thick ice sheet, the researchers can analyse every single annual layer, which can tell us about ... pollutants in the atmosphere. Acid in the atmosphere can come from large volcanic eruptions and human-made emissions from industry. For many years, there has been a quest to solve the problem of measuring acidity in the porous annual layers of the ice and now scientists from the Niels Bohr Institute have succeeded [by employing] a Continuous Flow Analyses or CFA method. The CFA system can ... distinguish whether the emissions come from volcanic eruptions, large forest fires or industry. The researchers can therefore filter out both volcanic eruptions and forest fires in the assessment of industrial pollution and the new results are revolutionary. "We can see that the acid pollution in the atmosphere from industry has fallen dramatically since humanmade acid pollution took off in the 1930s and peaked in the 1960s and 70s. In the 1970s, both Europe and the United States adopted the 'The clean air act amendments', which required filters in factories, thus reducing acid emissions," explains [researcher] Helle Astrid Kjćr.

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


Pesticide manufacturers' own tests reveal serious harm to honeybees
2016-09-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/22/pesticide-manufacturers-o...

Unpublished field trials by pesticide manufacturers show their products cause serious harm to honeybees at high levels, leading to calls from senior scientists for the companies to end the secrecy which cloaks much of their research. The research, conducted by Syngenta and Bayer on their neonicotinoid insecticides, were submitted to the US Environmental Protection Agency and obtained by Greenpeace after a freedom of information request. Neonicotinoids are the world’s most widely used insecticides and there is clear scientific evidence that they harm bees at the levels found in fields. Neonicotinoids were banned from use on flowering crops in the EU in 2013, despite UK opposition. The newly revealed studies show Syngenta’s thiamethoxam and Bayer’s clothianidin seriously harmed colonies at high doses, but did not find significant effects below concentrations of 50 parts per billion (ppb) and 40ppb respectively. Such levels can sometimes be found in fields. However, scientists said all such research should be made public. “It is hard to see why the companies don’t make these kinds of studies available,” said Prof Dave Goulson, at the University of Sussex. “It does seem a little shady to do ... the very studies the companies say are the most important ones - and then not tell people what they find.” Syngenta had told Greenpeace in August that “none of the studies Syngenta has undertaken or commissioned for use by regulatory agencies have shown damages to the health of bee colonies”. Goulson said: “That clearly contradicts their own study.”

Note: CNN News reported in 2010 that Bayer covered up the link between its products and massive bee die-offs. Read more about how these pesticides sicken bees and harm food crops. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing food system corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Chromium-6: 'Erin Brockovich' chemical threatens two-thirds of Americans
2016-09-20, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/sep/20/chromium-6-erin-brockovi...

In the 2000 biographical film about a legal clerk who brings a major utility company to its knees for poisoning residents of Hinkley, California, Erin Brockovich ended on a Hollywood high note with a $333m settlement from PG&E. But chromium-6 contamination of America’s drinking water is an ongoing battle the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is losing. Nearly 200 million Americans across all 50 states are exposed to unsafe levels of chromium-6 or hexavalent chromium, a heavy metal known to cause cancer in animals and humans, according to a new report released Tuesday by the nonprofit research and advocacy organization Environmental Working Group (EWG). In their analysis of the EPA’s own data collected for the first nationwide test of chromium-6 contamination in US drinking water, the [EWG] found that 12,000 Americans are at risk of getting cancer. “More than two-thirds of Americans’ drinking water supply has more chromium than the level that California scientists say is safe – a number that’s been confirmed by scientists in both New Jersey and North Carolina,” according to [report co-author Bill] Walker. “Despite this widespread contamination, the US currently has no national drinking water standard for chromium-6.” Erin Brockovich urges Americans to disregard the EPA’s reassurances and to take a more active role in their communities to fix the country’s broken water supply.

Note: US authorities were recently caught systematically distorting water tests to downplay the pollution levels in the US water supply. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.


ICC: Environmental destruction is a crime against humanity
2016-09-17, Christian Science Monitor
http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2016/0917/Environmental-destruction-is-a...

The International Criminal Court (ICC) announced this week that it would start considering cases involving environmental destruction, misuse of land, and land grabs as crimes against humanity. The move reflects a broadening perspective on what constitutes a war crime. This represents a significant shift in strategy at the ICC, which since its 1989 inception has been charged with investigating war crimes and human rights offenses. ICC’s announcement will likely expand the number people who could find themselves prosecuted by the court beyond the usual politicians, military commanders, or rebel leaders who are investigated for violent war crimes. “Company bosses and politicians complicit in violently seizing land, razing tropical forests, or poisoning water sources could soon find themselves standing trial in The Hague alongside war criminals and dictators," said Gillian Caldwell, executive director of the advocacy group Global Witness. 2015 was the deadliest year on record for land-grab victims, with more than three people killed each week in territory conflicts with miners, loggers, hydro-electric dams, or agribusiness firms. "The systemic crimes committed under the guise of ‘development’ are no less damaging to victims than many wartime atrocities," said Richard Rogers, a partner at Global Diligence, in a statement. "The ICC Prosecutor has sent a clear message that such offences may amount to crimes against humanity and can no longer be tolerated.”

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


How the Sugar Industry Shifted Blame to Fat
2016-09-12, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/13/well/eat/how-the-sugar-industry-shifted-bla...

The sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to play down the link between sugar and heart disease and promote saturated fat as the culprit instead, newly released historical documents show. The internal sugar industry documents ... published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggest that five decades of research into the role of nutrition and heart disease, including many of today’s dietary recommendations, may have been largely shaped by the sugar industry. A trade group called the Sugar Research Foundation ... paid three Harvard scientists the equivalent of about $50,000 in today’s dollars to publish a 1967 review of research on sugar, fat and heart disease. The studies used in the review were handpicked by the sugar group, and the article, which was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, minimized the link between sugar and heart health and cast aspersions on the role of saturated fat. The food industry has continued to influence nutrition science. For many decades, health officials encouraged Americans to reduce their fat intake, which led many people to consume low-fat, high-sugar foods that some experts now blame for fueling the obesity crisis. Today, the saturated fat warnings remain a cornerstone of the government’s dietary guidelines, though in recent years the American Heart Association, the World Health Organization and other health authorities have also begun to warn that too much added sugar may increase cardiovascular disease risk.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in science and in the food system.


UCSF-led study details sugar industry’s attempt to shape science
2016-09-12, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/UCSF-led-study-details-sugar-industry-...

UCSF researchers believe they have uncovered a decades-old effort by the sugar industry to exonerate sugar as a dietary culprit for heart disease and shift the blame onto fat and cholesterol. In a paper published in Monday’s JAMA Internal Medicine, the researchers reveal a scheme in which the sugar industry’s main trade group paid two Harvard scientists to conduct a literature review in the mid-1960s that challenged emerging evidence linking sugar consumption to risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The Harvard scientists concluded there was “no doubt” that reducing dietary cholesterol and substituting polyunsaturated fat for saturated fat would prevent heart disease. Such recommendations helped persuade Americans to replace their butter with margarine and eat fat-free cookies and other sugar-laden treats. “We have been indoctrinated in this belief that if we don’t eat a low-fat diet, we’ll die of the No. 1 killer disease,” said co-author Laura Schmidt, professor of health policy at UCSF School of Medicine. “Now we’ve learned the sugar industry paid off Harvard to tell us that.” They showed that the Sugar Research Foundation, which is now known as the Sugar Association, paid Fredrick Stare and fellow faculty member D. Mark Hegsted the equivalent of about $50,000 in 2016 dollars to write a heavily critical review of studies that linked sucrose to heart disease. Their reviews were published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine in 1967.

Note: For more on how the sugar industry conspired against public health, see this Time magazine article. For even 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 York attorney general launches antitrust probe of Mylan's EpiPen contracts
2016-09-06, CNBC
http://www.cnbc.com/2016/09/06/new-york-attorney-general-launches-antitrust-p...

New York state's attorney general on Tuesday opened an investigation into the pharmaceuticals giant [Mylan], focused on its contracts with local school systems to buy its lifesaving EpiPens. The skyrocketing price of those auto-injection devices, used to counteract potentially fatal allergic reactions, has drawn intense criticism. The office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said it launched its probe after a preliminary review revealed Mylan might have inserted anti-competitive terms into its deals to sell EpiPens. Schneiderman's move came within hours of U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether Mylan violated federal antitrust laws. "As the cost of EpiPens skyrocketed, schools seeking relief turned to Mylan's 'EpiPen4Schools' program," Blumenthal's office said. "Some of these schools were required to sign a contract agreeing not to purchase any products from Mylan's competitors for a period of 12 months - conduct that can violate the antitrust laws." Schneiderman's probe also comes on the heels of news that Minnesota's attorney general, Lori Swanson, has asked Mylan to provide documents that would justify the company having raised the retail price of EpiPens more than 400 percent. "No child's life should be put at risk because a parent, school, or health-care provider cannot afford a simple, lifesaving device because of a drug-maker's anti-competitive practices," Schneiderman said.

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


F.D.A. Bans Sale of Many Antibacterial Soaps, Saying Risks Outweigh Benefits
2016-09-02, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/03/science/fda-bans-sale-of-many-antibacterial...

The Food and Drug Administration banned the sale of soaps containing certain antibacterial chemicals on Friday, saying industry had failed to prove they were safe to use over the long term or more effective than using ordinary soap and water. In all the F.D.A. took action against 19 different chemicals and has given industry a year to take them out of their products. About 40 percent of soaps — including liquid hand soap and bar soap – contain the chemicals. Triclosan, mostly used in liquid soap, and triclocarban, in bar soaps, are by far the most common. The rule applies only to consumer hand washes and soaps. Other products may still contain the chemicals. At least one toothpaste, Colgate Total, still does. Public health experts applauded the rule, which came after years of mounting concerns that the antibacterial chemicals that go into everyday products are doing more harm than good. Experts have pushed the agency to regulate antimicrobial chemicals, warning that they risk scrambling hormones in children and promoting drug-resistant infections. Studies in animals have shown that triclosan and triclocarban can disrupt the normal development of the reproductive system and metabolism, and health experts warn that their effects could be the same in humans.

Note: The US government allows corporations to decide what is "generally regarded as safe" for public health, which is why so many substances once considered safe are later found to be toxic and even deadly. 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.


Black female physicist pioneers technology that kills cancer cells with lasers
2016-09-01, New York Times
http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2016/01/09/black-female-physicist-...

Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green is one of fewer than 100 black female physicists in the country, and the recent winner of $1.1 million grant to further develop a technology she’s pioneered that uses laser-activated nanoparticles to treat cancer. Green, who lost her parents young, was raised by her aunt and uncle. While still at school, her aunt died from cancer, and three months later her uncle was diagnosed with cancer, too. Green went on to earn her degree in physics at Alabama A&M University, being crowned Homecoming Queen while she was at it, before going on full scholarship to University of Alabama in Birmingham to earn her Masters and Ph.D. There Green would become the first to work out how to deliver nanoparticles into cancer cells exclusively, so that a laser could be used to remove them, and then successfully carry out her treatment on living animals. As she takes on her growing responsibilities, Green still makes time to speak at schools, Boys & Girls Clubs and other youth events. “Young black girls don’t see those role models (scientists) as often as they see Beyonce or Nicki Minaj,” says Green. “It’s important to know that our brains are capable of more.”

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


‘Like it’s been nuked’: Millions of bees dead after South Carolina sprays for Zika mosquitoes
2016-09-01, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/09/01/like-its-been-n...

On Sunday morning, the South Carolina honey bees began to die in massive numbers. The dead worker bees littering the farms suggested ... acute pesticide poisoning. By one estimate, at a single apiary - Flowertown Bee Farm and Supply, in Summerville - 46 hives died on the spot, totaling about 2.5 million bees. Walking through the farm, one Summerville woman wrote ... was “like visiting a cemetery, pure sadness.” To the bee farmers, the reason is ... clear. Their bees had been poisoned by Dorchester’s own insecticide efforts, casualties in the war on disease-carrying mosquitoes. On Sunday morning, parts of Dorchester County were sprayed with Naled, a common insecticide that kills mosquitoes on contact. An airplane dispensed Naled in a fine mist, raining insect death from above. The county says it provided plenty of warning, spreading word about the pesticide plane via a newspaper announcement. Local beekeepers felt differently. “Had I known, I would have been camping on the steps doing whatever I had to do screaming, ‘No you can’t do this,'” beekeeper Juanita Stanley said in an interview. Stanley [said] that the bees are her income, but she is more devastated by the loss of the bees than her honey. The county acknowledged the bee deaths Tuesday. “Dorchester County is aware that some beekeepers in the area that was sprayed on Sunday lost their beehives,” Jason Ward, county administrator, said in a news release. As for the dead bees, as Stanley told the AP, her farm “looks like it’s been nuked.”

Note: The threats posed by the Zika virus appear greatly exaggerated. Explore other zika virus news articles suggesting this is largely fear mongering to bring more profits to corporations involved in creating vaccines and more.


New dengue vaccine could instead cause more cases, experts warn
2016-09-01, CNN News
http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/01/health/dengue-vaccine-increase-disease/

The newly licensed vaccine against the dengue virus - trade name Dengvaxia - could lead to an increase in the number of cases of the disease if not implemented correctly, experts warn in a new study. The number of people affected by dengue has increased in recent years, with 390 million people estimated to be infected each year. Cases of the disease have [been] reported in more than 100 countries worldwide. Dengvaxia was produced by Sanofi Pasteur, which, after spending 20 years developing the vaccine, published promising findings on its effectiveness in 2015. Trials showed the vaccine to be 59.2% effective against dengue when results were pooled across populations and age groups. [Study author] Neil Ferguson used data from the clinical trials to assess the impact of using the vaccine in different settings and found that its use in areas with low levels of disease, where people are unlikely to have been previously exposed to dengue, could lead to an increase in people severely affected by the infection due to the complexities of the virus and the way it interacts with our immune system. "Unlike most diseases, the second time you get dengue, it's much more likely to be severe than the first time you get it," Ferguson said. When people who have never experienced the infection get immunized, the vaccine may act like a silent infection, gearing them up for a more severe infection should they face the real form of the virus. "It can have the potential to make things worse if it's misused," Ferguson said.

Note: Dengue fever is carried by aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which also carry zika virus. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing vaccine news articles from reliable major media sources.


Mylan CEO's Pay Rose Over 600 Percent as EpiPen Price Rose 400 Percent
2016-08-23, NBC News
http://www.nbcnews.com/business/consumer/mylan-execs-gave-themselves-raises-t...

EpiPen prices aren't the only thing to jump at Mylan. Executive salaries have also seen a stratospheric uptick. Proxy filings show that from 2007 to 2015, Mylan CEO Heather Bresch's total compensation went from $2,453,456 to $18,931,068, a 671 percent increase. During the same period, the company raised EpiPen prices, with the average wholesale price going from $56.64 to $317.82, a 461 percent increase. In 2007 the company bought the rights to EpiPen, a device used to provide emergency epinephrine to stop a potentially fatal allergic reaction and began raising its price. In 2008 and 2009, Mylan raised the price by 5 percent. At the end of 2009 it tried out a 19 percent hike. The years 2010-2013 saw a succession of 10 percent price hikes. And from the fourth quarter of 2013 to the second quarter of 2016, Mylan steadily raised EpiPen prices 15 percent every other quarter. After Mylan acquired EpiPen the company also amped up its lobbying efforts. In 2008, its reported spending on lobbying went from $270,000 to $1.2 million, according to opensecrets.org. Legislation that enhanced its bottom line followed, with the FDA changing its recommendations in 2010 that two EpiPens be sold in a package instead of one. And in 2013 the government passed a law to give block grants to states that required they be stocked in public schools.

Note: For more, see this CNBC article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the pharmaceutical industry.


Politics is killing mothers in Texas
2016-08-23, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/23/texas-maternal-death-ra...

When it comes to women’s progress, the United States doesn’t exactly bring home the gold. We rank 72nd in women’s political participation, with women holding less than 20% of congressional seats. Paid maternity leave? The United States comes in last. But at long last, we’re number one at something: Texas has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world. The rate of women dying from pregnancy complications doubled from 2010-2014. It’s not a coincidence, of course, that there was another major happening around women’s health in Texas during those years: the deliberate closure of clinics that provide abortion and a drastic funding cut to the state’s family planning budget. Texas gutted the state’s family planning budget by more than $73m in 2011, forcing clinics to shut down and dramatically reducing the number of women they could provide services to. By 2014, 600 women had died from pregnancy-related complications. It’s almost as if what feminists have been saying for years is true: limiting reproductive rights hurts women across the board. Access to reproductive care is necessary not just to prevent or end pregnancies, but to ensure healthy outcomes for those who choose to carry their pregnancies to term.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and health.


Banned PCB Chemicals Still Tied to Autism in U.S. Kids
2016-08-23, US News & World Report
http://health.usnews.com/health-care/articles/2016-08-23/banned-pcb-chemicals...

Children exposed to relatively high levels of PCBs in the womb may have an increased risk of developing autism, a new study suggests. PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, are man-made chemicals once used in a wide range of products, from electrical appliances to fluorescent lighting. Use of these chemicals was banned in the 1970s because of concerns about their health effects. But since they do not easily break down, PCBs still linger in the environment - and in people. In the new study, researchers found that when pregnant women had relatively high levels of certain PCBs in their blood, their children were about 80 percent more likely to be diagnosed with autism versus other kids. Those children also had a roughly twofold higher risk of intellectual disabilities unrelated to autism. "Autism is a complex condition with many different causes, and those causes vary among individuals," said Kristen Lyall, lead researcher on the study. Experts believe that for children to develop autism, they have to have a genetic susceptibility and be exposed to certain environmental factors during critical periods of early brain development. Researchers are still trying to figure out what those environmental factors are. But some suspects include prenatal exposure to poor nutrition, certain infections, heavy air pollution and pesticides, according to the non-profit Autism Speaks. The new findings suggest that PCBs could be another one of the "puzzle pieces," said Lyall.

Note: Monsanto and other chemical manufacturers spent decades dumping PCBs in low-income areas. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.


Zika virus: Floridians fear 'Pandora's box' of genetically altered mosquitos
2016-08-14, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/aug/14/florida-keys-zika-virus-genet...

The Florida Keys are three months away from a straw poll vote on whether to release millions of genetically modified mosquitoes on an island just east of Key West. The tourist destination is awash in lawn signs ... that showcase the overhead view of a mosquito and read: “NO CONSENT to release of genetically modified mosquitoes”. For the last five years, the biotechnology company Oxitec has been developing a plan to experimentally release the GMO mosquitoes in the Keys, which scientists hope could eventually impede the spread of the Zika virus [by undercutting] the population of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. But the prospect of ridding the neighborhood of a disease-carrying pest hasn’t quelled public dissatisfaction. Mila de Mier ... has led the charge against the mosquitoes’ release, collecting nearly 170,000 signatures in an online petition against the experiment. “It’s about human rights – this can’t be pushed down our throats without consent,” said De Mier. If the trial goes well, the technology would be on track to commercial approval in the United States, opening a slice of the nation’s $14bn pest control market to the company. Globally, analysts predict Oxitec’s mosquito could bring in up to $400m in annual sales for its parent company, Intrexon. With millions in potential sales at stake, the experiment in the environmentally sensitive, populous area hinges on the fundamental question proposed by opponents: do the people who live where an experiment is to be conducted have a right to decide whether to go forward?

Note: Oxitec, a company criticized for secretly releasing GM mosquitoes into the wild in 2009, was purchased last August by biotech giant Intrexon for $160 million. By December, the Zika virus was all over the news and Intrexon was ramping up production of these GM insects to "fight Zika" in Brazil. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on GMO controversies and Zika virus fear mongering.


The world is getting better at paid maternity leave. The U.S. is not.
2016-08-13, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/08/13/the-world-is-get...

Despite having one of the world's most advanced economies, the United States lags far behind other countries in its policies for expectant mothers. In addition to being the only highly competitive country where mothers are not guaranteed paid leave, it sits in stark contrast to countries such as Cuba and Mongolia that offer expectant mothers one year or more of paid leave. Countries finance paid-maternal-leave policies in a variety of ways. Some require that the employer finance the leave; in others, the money comes from public funds. For low-income residents or those who work in the informal sector, an increasing number of governments are providing maternity cash benefits, according to the International Labor Organization, a U.N.-affiliated agency. From Gambia to Bangladesh, a majority of low- and middle-income countries offer some form of paid leave to mothers. Because current U.S. policy doesn't mandate paid maternity leave, many women feel they have to choose between working and raising a family. This gender inequity undermines their prospects of equal opportunity at work — and, experts say, it disproportionately affects women from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. A 2012 study conducted by the Department of Labor found that, of the workers it polled, 23 percent of women who had left work to care for an infant took less than two weeks off, increasing health risks for both mothers and children.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality and health.


How the US Spies on Medical Nonprofits and Health Defenses Worldwide
2016-08-10, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2016/08/10/how-the-u-s-spies-on-medical-nonprofits-a...

As part of an ongoing effort to “exploit medical intelligence,” the National Security Agency teamed up with the military-focused Defense Intelligence Agency to extract “medical SIGINT” from the intercepted communications of nonprofit groups starting in the early 2000s, a top-secret document shows. Medical intelligence can include information about disease outbreaks; the ability of a foreign regime to respond to chemical, biological, and nuclear attacks; the capabilities of overseas drugs companies; advances in medical technology; medical research, and the medical response capabilities of various governments, according to the document and others like it, provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. One of the more prominent examples of focused medical spying came in 2010, when the agency crafted a plan to stow tracking devices with medical supplies bound for an ill Osama bin Laden in order to locate the terrorist leader. One article from August 2003 identifies an NSA project to keep an eye on the evolution of biotechnology in various countries. “Can we ... determine the specific features that would distinguish a Bio Warfare Program from a benign civilian pharmaceutical production effort?” the author wrote, identifying a “suspect Iranian [biological warfare] facility” as a target for inspection. Medical intelligence gathering has continued since then, according to the so-called “black budget” proposed for the 2013 fiscal year, published in February 2012.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and terrorism.


Brazil asks whether Zika acts alone to cause birth defects
2016-07-25, Nature
http://www.nature.com/news/brazil-asks-whether-zika-acts-alone-to-cause-birth...

Government researchers in Brazil are set to explore the country's peculiar distribution of Zika-linked microcephaly - babies born with abnormally small heads. Zika virus has spread throughout Brazil, but extremely high rates of microcephaly have been reported only in the country's northeast. Although evidence suggests that Zika can cause microcephaly, the clustering pattern hints that other environmental, socio-economic or biological factors could be at play. “We suspect that something more than Zika virus is causing the high intensity and severity of cases,” says Fatima Marinho, director of information and health analysis at Brazil’s ministry of health. If that turns out to be true, it could change researchers' assessment of the risk that Zika poses. Zika was discovered in 1947 and hadn’t been implicated in birth defects until now. The northeast was where the first reported surge in microcephaly cases in Brazil began a year ago. Health officials had expected that they would later see the same high rates in other parts of the country. But as of 20 July, almost 90% of the 1,709 confirmed cases of congenital microcephaly or birth defects of the central nervous system reported in Brazil since last November were in a relatively small area ... about the size of the United Kingdom, whereas Brazil is almost as large as the United States. There are many hypotheses about what might be going on. Marinho says that her team's data, submitted for publication, hint that socio-economic factors might be involved.

Note: The cluster of microcephaly cases in Brazil was reported in February to predate the latest Zika outbreak. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Zika virus news articles from reliable major media sources.


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