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


Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important health articles reported in the mainstream media suggesting a 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.


White House Undermines EPA On Cancer Risks, GAO Says
2008-04-28, CBS News/Associated Press
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/04/28/ap/tech/main4052341.shtml

The Bush administration is undermining the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to determine health dangers of toxic chemicals by letting nonscientists have a bigger -- often secret -- say, congressional investigators say in a report obtained by The Associated Press. The administration's decision to give the Defense Department and other agencies an early role in the process adds to years of delay in acting on harmful chemicals and jeopardizes the program's credibility, the Government Accountability Office concluded. At issue is the EPA's screening of chemicals used in everything from household products to rocket fuel to determine if they pose serious risk of cancer or other illnesses. A new review process begun by the White House in 2004 is adding more speed bumps for EPA scientists, the GAO said in its report. A formal policy effectively doubling the number of steps was adopted two weeks ago. Cancer risk assessments for nearly a dozen major chemicals are now years overdue, the GAO said, blaming the new multiagency reviews for some of the delay. GAO investigators said extensive involvement by EPA managers, White House budget officials and other agencies has eroded the independence of EPA scientists charged with determining the health risks posed by chemicals. The Pentagon, the Energy Department, NASA and other agencies -- all of which could be severely affected by EPA risk findings -- are being allowed to participate "at almost every step in the assessment process," said the GAO. Those agencies, their private contractors and manufacturers of the chemicals face restrictions and major cleanup requirements, depending on the EPA's scientific determinations.

Note: For many other revealing reports on health issues, click here.


Congress Examines Role Of Industry in Regulation
2008-04-27, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/04/26/ST2008042602242...

Despite more than 100 published studies by government scientists and university laboratories that have raised health concerns about a chemical compound that is central to the multibillion-dollar plastics industry, the Food and Drug Administration has deemed it safe largely because of two studies, both funded by an industry trade group. The compound, bisphenol A (BPA), has been linked to breast and prostate cancer, behavioral disorders and reproductive health problems in laboratory animals. The FDA's position on the compound was called into question earlier this month when a National Institutes of Health panel issued a draft report linking BPA to health concerns. As part of his investigation, Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, wants to examine the role played by the Weinberg Group, a Washington firm that employs scientists, lawyers and public relations specialists to defend products from legal and regulatory action. The firm has worked on Agent Orange, tobacco and Teflon, among other products linked to health hazards, and congressional investigators say it was hired by Sunoco, a BPA manufacturer. From 1997 to 2005, 116 studies of the compound were published, many of them focused on its effects in low doses. Of those funded by government, 90 percent showed a health effect linked to BPA. None of the industry-funded studies found an effect; all of them said BPA is safe. There is a clear bias in studies funded by industry, said [David] Michaels, who ... runs the Project on Scientific Knowledge and Public Policy at George Washington University and wrote the book Doubt is Their Product, which details how various industries have used science to stave off regulation.

Note: For many powerful reports on corporate corruption, click here.


EPA Scientists Decry Political Pressure
2008-04-23, CBS News/Associated Press
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/04/23/tech/main4037465.shtml

Hundreds of Environmental Protection Agency scientists complain they have been victims of political interference and pressure from superiors to skew their findings. The Union of Concerned Scientists said that more than half of the nearly 1,600 EPA staff scientists who responded online to a detailed questionnaire reported they had experienced incidents of political interference in their work. Francesca Grifo, director of the Union of Concerned Scientists' Scientific Integrity Program, said the survey results revealed "an agency in crisis" with low morale, especially among scientists involved in risk assessment and crafting regulations. "The investigation shows researchers are generally continuing to do their work, but their scientific findings are tossed aside when it comes time to write regulations," said Grifo. The group sent an online questionnaire to 5,500 EPA scientists and received 1,586 responses, a majority of them senior scientists who have worked for the agency for 10 years or more. The survey included chemists, toxicologists, engineers, geologists and experts in the life and environmental sciences. The report said that 60 percent of those responding, or 889 scientists, reported personally experiencing what they viewed as political interference in their work over the last five years. Senior managers and the White House Office of Management and Budget frequently second-guess scientific findings and change work conducted by EPA's scientists, the report said. Nearly 400 scientists said they had witnessed EPA officials misrepresenting scientific findings, 284 said they had [witnessed] the "selective or incomplete use of data to justify a specific regulatory outcome" and 224 scientists said they had been directed to "inappropriately exclude or alter technical information" in an EPA document.

Note: For a treasure trove of reports from reliable, verifiable sources on government corruption, click here.


VA stalling on care, judge told at S.F. trial
2008-04-21, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/04/22/MNQK109AA7.DTL

More than 120 veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq commit suicide every week while the government stalls in granting returning troops the mental health treatment and benefits to which they are entitled, veterans advocates told a federal judge. The rights of hundreds of thousands of veterans are being violated by the Department of Veterans Affairs, "an agency that is in denial," and by a government health care system and appeals process for patients that is "broken down," Gordon Erspamer, lawyer for two advocacy groups, said in an opening statement at the trial of a nationwide lawsuit. He said veterans are committing suicide at the rate of 18 a day - a number acknowledged by a VA official in a Dec. 15 e-mail - and the agency's backlog of disability claims now exceeds 650,000, an increase of 200,000 since the Iraq war started in 2003. U.S. District Judge Samuel Conti ... ruled in January that the case could go to trial. In doing so, he rejected the government's argument that civil courts have no authority over the VA's medical decisions or how it handles grievances. If the advocates can prove their claims, Conti said in his ruling, they would show that "thousands of veterans, if not more, are suffering grievous injuries as the result of their inability to procure desperately needed and obviously deserved health care." He also ruled that veterans are legally entitled to five years of government-provided health care after leaving the service, despite federal officials' argument that they are required to provide only as much care as the VA's budget allows in a given year. The trial follows publication of a Rand study last week that estimated 300,000 U.S. troops returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, or 18.5 percent of the total, suffer from major depression or post-traumatic stress.

Note: For many reports from reliable, verifiable sources detailing the devastating impacts of modern war, click here. For a revealing commentary by a top U.S. general on how soldiers lives are ruined by needless wars, click here.


Machine May Offer Novel Approach In Cancer Fight
2008-04-14, CBS News
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/04/10/60minutes/main4006951.shtml

The last thing John Kanzius thought he'd ever do was try to cure cancer. A former radio and television executive from Pennsylvania, he came to Florida to enjoy his retirement. "I have no business being in the cancer business. It's not something that a layman like me should be in, it should be left to doctors and research people," he told [CBS] correspondent Lesley Stahl. It was the worst kind of luck that gave Kanzius the idea to use radio waves to kill cancer cells: six years ago, he was diagnosed with terminal leukemia and since then has undergone 36 rounds of toxic chemotherapy. But it wasn't his own condition that motivated him, it was looking into the hollow eyes of sick children on the cancer ward at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. "I saw the smiles of youth and saw their spirits were broken. And you could see that they were ... asking, 'Why can't they do something for me?'" Kanzius told Stahl. "And I said, 'There's got to be a better way to treat cancer.'" It was during one of those sleepless nights that the light bulb went off. When he was young, Kanzius was one of those kids who built radios from scratch, so he knew the hidden power of radio waves. Sick from chemo, he got out of bed, went to the kitchen, and started to build a radio wave machine. "Started looking in the cupboard and I saw pie pans and I said, 'These are perfect. I can modify these,'" he recalled. His wife Marianne woke up that night to a lot of banging and clamoring. "I was concerned truthfully that he had lost it," she told Stahl. "She felt sorry for me," Kanzius added. "I did," Marianne Kanzius acknowledged. "And I had mentioned to him, 'Honey, the doctors can't-you know, find an answer to cancer. How can you think that you can?'" That's what 60 Minutes wanted to know, so Stahl went to his garage laboratory to find out.

Note: This CBS News report was broadcast on 60 Minutes. To watch the video of the broadcast, click on the link above.


In Rwanda, visionary doctor is moving mountains again
2008-04-13, Boston Globe
http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/articles/2008/04/13/in_rwanda_visionary_docto...

It was November 2004, and Dr. Paul Farmer had agreed to bring his world-renowned Partners in Health model to Rwanda, which was still reeling from the aftershocks of the genocide a decade earlier. Now here he was, with Rwandan health officials, to scout out a location for a hospital to serve the poorest of the poor. Farmer, who teaches at Harvard, was taken to Ruhengeri, in the country's northwest corner. But there was already a clean hospital there, with employees and even an X-ray machine. "No, no, no. You don't understand," Farmer recalls saying. "Find me the worst possible place in the country." So they took him to Rwinkwavu, a remote area two hours east of Kigali. Even Farmer - who works in the world's worst regions - was taken aback. There were no beds, no patients, no staff, no medical equipment. "It was abandoned, dirty and scary," Farmer says. There were 200,000 people in the district and not a single doctor. It was the perfect place for Farmer. In the summer of 2005, the doors opened at Rwinkwavu Hospital, which now sees 250 patients a day, some of them walking hours to get there. Farmer, [Dr. Michael Rich, who is Rwanda country director for Partners in Health], and their Rwandan counterparts have built a second hospital in an equally remote area of 200,000 - also without a single doctor - and built or renovated 19 health centers that feed patients to them. A third hospital is on the drawing board, designed by Harvard architecture students. Ultimately, they plan to expand rural medical services to the entire country. Now 20 years old, Partners in Health, with its emphasis on treating poverty as well as disease, has expanded to nine countries.

Note: Five years ago, Farmer became reluctantly famous with the publication of Tracy Kidder's best-selling book, Mountains Beyond Mountains, which told the story of the brash Harvard Medical School graduate who changed the face of healthcare in rural Haiti.


Jenny McCarthy: My son's recovery from autism
2008-04-02, CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/04/02/mccarthy.autsimtreatment/

We've met some of the most amazing moms and dads who are forging their own path to prevention and recovery. When our son, Evan, was diagnosed with autism we were lucky enough to benefit from their knowledge and experience. Evan has been healed to a great extent by many breakthroughs that, while perhaps not scientifically proven, have definitely helped Evan and many other children who are recovering from autism. We believe what helped Evan recover was starting a gluten-free, casein-free diet, vitamin supplementation, detox of metals, and anti-fungals for yeast overgrowth that plagued his intestines. Once Evan's neurological function was recovered through these medical treatments, speech therapy and applied behavior analysis helped him quickly learn the skills he could not learn while he was frozen in autism. After we implemented these therapies for one year, the state re-evaluated Evan for further services. They spent five minutes with Evan and said, "What happened? We've never seen a recovery like this." Evan is now 5 years old and what might surprise a lot of you is that we've never been contacted by a single member of the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, or any other health authority to evaluate and understand how Evan recovered from autism. When Evan meets doctors and neurologists, to this day they tell us he was misdiagnosed -- that he never had autism to begin with. It's as if they are wired to believe that children can't recover from autism.

Note: This article is written by Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey, actors and parents actively involved in autism-related causes. McCarthy is the author of the book Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism. Don't miss a great three-minute video of McCarthy on CNN talking about her experience with vaccines and autism. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


First British human-animal hybrid embryos created by scientists
2008-04-02, The Guardian (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/apr/02/medicalresearch.ethicsofscience

Britain's first human-animal hybrid embryos have been created, forming a crucial first step, scientists believe, towards a supply of stem cells that could be used to investigate debilitating and so far untreatable conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's and motor neurone disease. Lyle Armstrong, who led the work, gained permission in January from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) to create the embryos, known as "cytoplasmic hybrids". His team at Newcastle University produced the embryos by inserting human DNA from a skin cell into a hollowed-out cow egg. An electric shock then induced the hybrid embryo to grow. The embryo, 99.9% human and 0.1% other animal, grew for three days, until it had 32 cells. Eventually, scientists hope to grow such embryos for six days, and then extract stem cells from them. The researchers insisted the embryos would never be implanted into a woman and that the only reason they used cow eggs was due to the scarcity of human eggs. Cardinal Keith O'Brien used his Easter sermon to denounce what he called experiments of "Frankenstein proportion" and called the bill a "monstrous attack on human rights, human dignity and human life". Catholics object to the idea of putting human and animal DNA in the same entity and to the notion of creating what they regard as a life for the purposes of research, a life that will then be destroyed.

Note: For more on this important issue, click here.


Practicing Patients
2008-03-23, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/23/magazine/23patients-t.html?ex=1363924800&en...

Todd Small was stuck in quicksand again. His brain was sending an electrical pulse saying “walk,” but as the signal streaked from his cerebellum and down his spinal cord, it snagged on scar tissue where the myelin layer insulating his nerve fibers had broken down. The message wasn’t getting to his hip flexors or his hamstrings or his left foot. That connection had been severed by his multiple sclerosis. And once again, Small was left with the feeling that, as he described it, “I’m up to my waist in quicksand.” Small would have continued just as he was had he not logged on last June to a Web site called PatientsLikeMe. He expected the sort of online community he’d tried and abandoned several times before — one abundant in sympathy and stories but thin on practical information. But he found something altogether different: data. There are a little more than 7,000 Todd Smalls at PatientsLikeMe, congregating around diseases like Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis (M.S.) and AIDS, all of them contributing their experiences and tweaking their treatments. The members of PatientsLikeMe don’t just share their experiences anecdotally; they quantify them, breaking down their symptoms and treatments into hard data. They note what hurts, where and for how long. They list their drugs and dosages and score how well they alleviate their symptoms. All this gets compiled over time, aggregated and crunched into tidy bar graphs and progress curves by the software behind the site. And it’s all open for comparison and analysis. By telling so much, the members of PatientsLikeMe are creating a rich database of disease treatment and patient experience.

Note: For a treasure trove of revealing reports on health issues from reliable sources, click here.


Gap in Life Expectancy Widens for the Nation
2008-03-23, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/23/us/23health.html?ex=1363924800&en=ba91823f2...

New government research has found “large and growing” disparities in life expectancy for richer and poorer Americans, paralleling the growth of income inequality in the last two decades. Life expectancy for the nation as a whole has increased, the researchers said, but affluent people have experienced greater gains, and this, in turn, has caused a widening gap. One of the researchers, Gopal K. Singh, a demographer at the Department of Health and Human Services, said “the growing inequalities in life expectancy” mirrored trends in infant mortality and in death from heart disease and certain cancers [and] that federal officials had found “widening socioeconomic inequalities in life expectancy” at birth and at every age level. He and another researcher, Mohammad Siahpush, a professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, developed an index to measure social and economic conditions in every county, using census data on education, income, poverty, housing and other factors. In 1980-82, Dr. Singh said, people in the most affluent group could expect to live 2.8 years longer than people in the most deprived group (75.8 versus 73 years). By 1998-2000, the difference in life expectancy had increased to 4.5 years (79.2 versus 74.7 years), and it continues to grow, he said. After 20 years, the lowest socioeconomic group lagged further behind the most affluent, Dr. Singh said, noting that “life expectancy was higher for the most affluent in 1980 than for the most deprived group in 2000. If you look at the extremes in 2000,” Dr. Singh said, “men in the most deprived counties had 10 years’ shorter life expectancy than women in the most affluent counties (71.5 years versus 81.3 years).” The difference between poor black men and affluent white women was more than 14 years (66.9 years vs. 81.1 years).

Note: For a powerful summary of corruption in the government regulation of the health care industry, click here.


Why Hospitals Want Your Credit Report
2008-03-18, Wall Street Journal
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120580305267343947.html

In a development that consumer groups say raises privacy issues, a growing number of hospitals are mining patients' personal financial information to figure out how likely they are to pay their bills. Some hospitals are peering into patients' credit reports, which contain information on people's lines of credit, debts and payment histories. Other hospitals are contracting with outside services that predict a patient's income and whether he or she is likely to walk away from a medical bill. Hospitals often use these services when patients are uninsured or have big out-of-pocket costs despite having health insurance. Consumer advocates say the practice creates the potential for hospitals to misuse the information by denying or cutting back on patients' care if they can't pay. What's more, hospitals could scour a patient's financial records for credit lines and encourage the patient to tap them, despite high interest rates or other costs. "It has the potential to put people at risk financially," says Mark Rukavina, executive director of the Access Project, a research and advocacy group that focuses on medical debt. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or Hipaa, a federal law that has patient-privacy provisions, doesn't bar hospitals from providing patient payment histories to consumer reporting agencies. It's unclear how much latitude hospitals have to legally check a patient's financial information. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, hospitals are allowed to obtain patients' credit reports if they get their permission, says Rebecca Kuehn, an assistant director in the Federal Trade Commission's division of privacy and identity protection.

Note: For many other revelations of privacy abuses from reliable, verifiable sources, click here.


New kidney 'changed my whole personality'
2008-03-16, The Telegraph (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1581752/New-kidney-'changed-my-whole-p...

A woman claims to have undergone a complete "personality transplant" after receiving a new kidney. Cheryl Johnson, 37, says she has changed completely since receiving the organ in May. She believes that she must have picked up her new characteristics from the donor, a 59-year-old man who died from an aneurysm. Now, not only has her personality changed, the single mother also claims that her tastes in literature have taken a dramatic turn. Whereas she only used to read low-brow novels, Dostoevsky has become her author of choice since the transplant. [Ms] Johnson, from Penwortham, in Preston, Lancs, said: "You pick up your characteristics from your donor. My son said when I first had the transplant, I went stroppy and snappy - that wasn't me. I have always loved books but I've started to read classics like Jane Austen and Dostoevsky. I found myself reading Persuasion."


Ozone Rules Weakened at Bush's Behest
2008-03-14, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/13/AR20080313041...

The Environmental Protection Agency weakened one part of its new limits on smog-forming ozone after an unusual last-minute intervention by President Bush, according to documents released by the EPA. EPA officials initially tried to set a lower seasonal limit on ozone to protect wildlife, parks and farmland, as required under the law. Bush overruled EPA officials and on Tuesday ordered the agency to increase the limit, according to the documents. "It is unprecedented and an unlawful act of political interference for the president personally to override a decision that the Clean Air Act leaves exclusively to EPA's expert scientific judgment," said John Walke, clean-air director for the Natural Resources Defense Council. The president's order prompted a scramble by administration officials to rewrite the regulations to avoid a conflict with past EPA statements on the harm caused by ozone. Solicitor General Paul D. Clement warned administration officials ... that the rules contradicted the EPA's past submissions to the Supreme Court, according to sources familiar with the conversation. As a consequence, administration lawyers hustled to craft new legal justifications for the weakened standard. The dispute involved one of two distinct parts of the EPA's ozone restrictions: the "public welfare" standard, which is designed to protect against long-term harm from high ozone levels. The other part is known as the "public health" standard, which sets a legal limit on how high ozone levels can be at any one time. The two standards were set at the same level Wednesday, but until Bush asked for a change, the EPA had planned to set the "public welfare" standard at a lower level.

Note: For a treasure trove of reports from reliable, verifiable sources on government corruption, click here.


AP Probe Finds Drugs in Drinking Water
2008-03-09, Associated Press
http://edition.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/03/10/pharma.water1.ap

A vast array of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones — have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an Associated Press investigation shows. To be sure, the concentrations of these pharmaceuticals are tiny, measured in quantities of parts per billion or trillion, far below the levels of a medical dose. But the presence of so many prescription drugs ... in so much of our drinking water is heightening worries among scientists of long-term consequences to human health. In the course of a five-month inquiry, the AP discovered that drugs have been detected in the drinking water supplies of 24 major metropolitan areas — from Southern California to Northern New Jersey, from Detroit to Louisville, Ky. Water providers rarely disclose results of pharmaceutical screenings, unless pressed, the AP found. How do the drugs get into the water? People take pills. Their bodies absorb some of the medication, but the rest of it passes through and is flushed down the toilet. The wastewater is treated before it is discharged into reservoirs, rivers or lakes. Then, some of the water is cleansed again at drinking water treatment plants and piped to consumers. But most treatments do not remove all drug residue. And while researchers do not yet understand the exact risks from decades of persistent exposure to random combinations of low levels of pharmaceuticals, recent studies — which have gone virtually unnoticed by the general public — have found alarming effects on human cells and wildlife. "We recognize it is a growing concern and we're taking it very seriously," said Benjamin H. Grumbles, assistant administrator for water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Note: For many informative reports on health issues, click here.


Case renews debate on vaccine-autism link
2008-03-05, CNN/Associated Press
http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/03/05/autism.vaccines.ap/index.html

Government health officials have conceded that childhood vaccines worsened a rare, underlying disorder that ultimately led to autism-like symptoms in a Georgia girl, and that she should be paid from a federal vaccine-injury fund. Thousands of families are seeking compensation for disabilities they attribute to vaccines and a preservative. Medical and legal experts say the narrow wording and circumstances probably make the case an exception -- not a precedent for thousands of other pending claims. However, parents and advocates for autistic children see the case as a victory that may help certain others. Although the science on this is very limited, the girl's disorder may be more common in children with autism than in healthy ones. "It's a beginning," said Kevin Conway, a Boston, Massachusetts, lawyer representing more than 1,200 families with vaccine injury claims. "Each case is going to have to be proved on its individual merits. But it shows to me that the government has conceded that it's biologically plausible for a vaccine to cause these injuries. They've never done it before." Nearly 5,000 families are seeking compensation for autism or other developmental disabilities they say are caused by vaccines and a mercury-based preservative, thimerosal. It once was commonly used to prevent bacterial contamination but since 2001 has been used only in certain flu shots. Some cases contend that the cumulative effect of many shots given at once may have caused injuries. The cases are before a special "vaccine court" that doles out cash from a fund Congress set up to pay people injured by vaccines and to protect makers from damages as a way to help ensure an adequate vaccine supply.

Note: To read further highly informative reports from major media sources on the dangers of vaccines, click here.


EPA toxicologist was dismissed after industry complained
2008-02-29, San Francisco Chronicle/Los Angeles Times
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/02/29/MNK3VB80B.DTL

Under pressure from the chemical industry, the Environmental Protection Agency has dismissed an outspoken scientist who chaired a federal panel responsible for helping the agency determine the dangers of a flame retardant widely used in electronic equipment. Toxicologist Deborah Rice was appointed chair of an EPA scientific panel reviewing the chemical a year ago. Federal records show that she was removed from the panel in August after the American Chemistry Council, the lobbying group for chemical manufacturers, complained to a top-ranking EPA official that she was biased. The chemical, a brominated compound known as deca, is [commonly] used in the plastic housings of television sets. Rice, an award-winning former EPA scientist ... has studied low doses of deca and reported neurological effects in lab animals. The EPA is in the process of deciding how much daily exposure to deca is safe - a decision, expected next month, that could determine whether it can still be used in consumer products. The role of the expert panel was to review and comment on the scientific evidence. Sonya Lunder, a senior analyst at the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy group in Washington, said it was unprecedented for the EPA to remove an expert for expressing concerns about the potential dangers of a chemical. "It's a scary world if we create a precedent that says scientists involved in decision-making are perceived to be too biased," she said. In 2004, the EPA gave Rice and four colleagues an award for what it called "exceptionally high-quality research" for a study that linked lead exposure to premature puberty in girls.

Note: For many revealing articles on government corruption, click here.


Prozac, used by 40m people, does not work say scientists
2008-02-26, The Guardian (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/feb/26/mentalhealth.medicalresearch

Prozac, the bestselling antidepressant taken by 40 million people worldwide, does not work and nor do similar drugs in the same class, according to a major review released today. The study examined all available data on the drugs, including results from clinical trials that the manufacturers chose not to publish at the time. The trials compared the effect on patients taking the drugs with those given a placebo or sugar pill. When all the data was pulled together, it appeared that patients had improved - but those on placebo improved just as much as those on the drugs. The only exception is in the most severely depressed patients, according to the authors - Prof Irving Kirsch from the department of psychology at Hull University and colleagues in the US and Canada. But that is probably because the placebo stopped working so well, they say, rather than the drugs having worked better. "Given these results, there seems little reason to prescribe antidepressant medication to any but the most severely depressed patients, unless alternative treatments have failed," says Kirsch. "This study raises serious issues that need to be addressed surrounding drug licensing and how drug trial data is reported." The paper, published today in the journal PLoS (Public Library of Science) Medicine, is likely to have a significant impact on the prescribing of the drugs. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence already recommends that counselling should be tried before doctors prescribe antidepressants.

Note: For many key reports on health issues from reliable sources, click here.


'Doomsday' Vault Opens to Protect Seeds
2008-02-26, Associated Press
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jRw_99fcIqca5u6uzuVRuiogts2gD8V1HNK80

It's been dubbed a Noah's Ark for plant life and built to withstand an earthquake or a nuclear attack. Dug deep into the permafrost of a remote Arctic mountain, the "doomsday" vault is designed by Norway to protect the world's seeds from global catastrophe. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a backup to the world's 1,400 other seed banks, was to be officially inaugurated in a ceremony Tuesday on the northern rim of civilization attended by about 150 guests from 33 countries. The frozen vault has the capacity to store 4.5 million seed samples from around the globe, shielding them from climate change, war, natural disasters and other threats. Norway's government owns the vault in Svalbard, a frigid archipelago 620 miles from the North Pole. The Nordic country paid $9.1 million for construction, which took less than a year. Other countries can deposit seeds for free and reserve the right to withdraw them upon need. Giant air conditioning units have chilled the vault to just below zero, a temperature at which experts say many seeds could survive for 1,000 years. Inside the concrete entrance ... a roughly 400-foot-long tunnel of steel and concrete leads to three separate 32-by-88-foot chambers where the seeds will be stored. The first 600 boxes with 12 tons of seeds already have arrived from 20 seed banks around the world, Norwegian Agriculture Minister Terje Riis-Johansen said. Each chamber can hold 1.5 million packets holding all types of crop seeds, from carrots to wheat.


Pioneering midwife crusades for natural birth
2008-02-23, USA Today/Associated Press
http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2008-02-23-childbirth_N.htm

Despite living on a commune in rural Tennessee, Ina May Gaskin has had the kind of career success most people only dream about. Gaskin has helped to bring home birth and lay midwifery back from the brink of extinction in the United States. An obstetrical maneuver she learned from the indigenous Mayans of Guatemala has made it into scientific journals and medical textbooks, and her insistence on the rights of a birthing mother empowered a generation of women to demand changes from doctors and hospitals. In 1975, Gaskin published Spiritual Midwifery, which included birth stories and a primer on delivering babies. Her book has sold around 750,000 copies, has been translated into four languages and has inspired a generation of women to become midwives. She promoted the idea that a woman's state of mind will influence how easy her birth is and encouraged unorthodox ways to improve the woman's experience, like encouraging her to make out with her husband during labor. She has tried to widen the reach of her message by airing natural birth videos ... on television. "The women are so beautiful giving birth," she said. TV stations rarely have run them, calling them too graphic. "I started to think I should put them on YouTube," Gaskin said. Now, Gaskin has a film in the works that is in keeping with her anti-establishment, freewheeling nature. "We're doing a movie called The Orgasmic Birth," she said. That's not a metaphor. Gaskin says that under the right circumstances women experience a sort of birth ecstasy. "I mean, it's not a guarantee," she said, shrugging her shoulders and smiling, "but it's a possibility. It's the only way I can think to market it to (this) generation."

Note: For many empowering reports on health, click here.


Macrophage activation may suppress breast cancer metastasis
2008-02-20, Reuters Health
http://cancer.med.upenn.edu/resources/article.cfm?c=3&s=8&ss=23&id=15053&mont...

Vitamin D-binding protein-derived macrophage activating factor (GcMAF) appears to be an effective immunotherapeutic agent in patients with metastatic breast cancer, according to US and Japanese researchers. "Serum vitamin D-binding protein -- known as Gc protein -- is the precursor of the principal macrophage activating factor," lead investigator Dr. Nobuto Yamamoto told Reuters Health. "Treatment of purified Gc protein with beta-galactosidase and sialidase generates GcMAF," he added, "the most potent macrophage activating factor ever discovered, which produces no side effect in humans." Dr. Yamamoto of the Socrates Institute for Therapeutic Immunology, Philadelphia and colleagues note that in vitro studies show that macrophages treated with GcMAF have a highly tumoricidal effect in mammary adenocarcinomas. To investigate whether the approach can be effective in humans, the researchers studied 16 non-anemic breast cancer patients who were given "a minute amount -- 100 nanograms per week -- of GcMAF," Dr. Yamamoto said. The researchers found that after 16 to 22 GcMAF doses, initially elevated nagalase levels, which reflect the tumor burden, fell to those found in healthy controls. Follow-up over 4 years showed that the level remained low and that there was no tumor recurrence, they report in the January 15th issue of The International Journal of Cancer. The findings, the team concludes, clearly demonstrate "the importance of focusing cancer immunotherapy on macrophage activation."

Note: Another article from the National Institutes of Health website covers an experiment with colorectal cancer patients using this amazing discovery. It states that "all colorectal cancer patients exhibited healthy control levels of the serum Nagalase activity, indicating eradication of metastatic tumor cells." Why isn't this getting more major press coverage?



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