Health Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key Health Media Articles in Major Media
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.
A former Food and Drug Administration scientist said [on March 30 that] his job was eliminated after he raised concerns about the risks of radiation exposure from high-grade medical scanning. Dr. Julian Nicholas said at a public hearing that he and other FDA staffers "were pressured to change their scientific opinion," after they opposed the approval of a CT scanner for routine colon cancer screening. Nicholas said that he objected to exposing otherwise healthy patients to the cancer risks of radiation. After FDA officials pushed ahead with plans to clear the device, Nicholas, now a physician at the Scripps Clinic in San Diego, said he and eight other staffers raised their concerns with the division's top director Dr. Jeffrey Shuren last September. "Scientific and regulatory review process for medical devices was being distorted by managers who were not following the laws," Nicholas said. A month later Nicholas' position was terminated, he said.
Note: For lots more on government corruption from reliable sources, click here.
Urgent warnings by government experts about the risks of routinely using powerful CT scans to screen patients for colon cancer were brushed aside by the Food and Drug Administration, according to agency documents and interviews with agency scientists. Such scans can deliver the radiation equivalent of 400 chest X-rays. An estimated 70 million CT scans are performed in the United States every year, up from three million in the early 1980s. As many as 14,000 people may die every year of radiation-induced cancers as a result, researchers estimate. The use of CT scans to screen healthy patients for cancer is particularly controversial. The internal dispute [at the FDA] has grown so heated that a group of agency scientists who are concerned about the risks of CT scans say they will testify ... that F.D.A. managers ignored or suppressed their concerns, and that the resulting delay in making these concerns public may have led hundreds of patients to be endangered needlessly. Scores of internal agency documents made available to The New York Times show that agency managers sought to approve an application by General Electric to allow the use of CT scans for colon cancer screenings over the repeated objections of agency scientists, who wanted the application rejected.
Note: For lots more on government corruption from reliable sources, click here.
For almost two years, molecular biologist Bénédicte Trouiller doused the drinking water of scores of lab mice with nano-titanium dioxide, the most common nanomaterial used in consumer products today. Halfway through, Trouiller became alarmed: Consuming the nano-titanium dioxide was damaging or destroying the animals' DNA and chromosomes. The biological havoc continued as she repeated the studies again and again. It was a significant finding: The degrees of DNA damage and genetic instability that [she] documented can be "linked to all the big killers of man, namely cancer, heart disease, neurological disease and aging," says Professor Robert Schiestl, a genetic toxicologist who ran the lab at UCLA's School of Public Health where Trouiller did her research. Nano-titanium dioxide is so pervasive that the Environmental Working Group says it has calculated that close to 10,000 over-the-counter products use it in one form or another. Other public health specialists put the number even higher. It's "in everything from medicine capsules and nutritional supplements, to food icing and additives, to skin creams, oils and toothpaste," Schiestl says.
Note: For a treasure trove of key reports on health issues, click here.
American psychiatrists need to break away from a "culture of influence" created by their financial dealings with the drug industry, the head of the National Institute of Mental Health said in a leading medical journal. Dr. Thomas Insel stops short of calling researchers corrupt or asking them to stop taking money from drug companies. But he highlights a "bias in prescribing practices" that favors brand names drugs over cheaper generics and non-drug treatments. And he says the situation must change with new standards for transparency and full disclosure of psychiatry's collaborations with industry. "We can show the rest of medicine how to clean up our act," Insel told The Associated Press. Current National Institutes of Health rules on financial disclosure are confusing, Insel said. They allow researchers seeking federal funds to make their own judgments about what constitutes a significant financial interest, which they must report to their academic or research institutions. The rules also exempt disclosures of anything below $10,000 annually or 5 percent equity interest in a company.
Note: For a top-notch overview of medical corruption, click here.
Federal health authorities recommended [on March 22] that doctors suspend using Rotarix, one of two vaccines licensed in the United States against rotavirus, saying the vaccine is contaminated with material from a pig virus. Rotarix, made by GlaxoSmithKline, was approved by the FDA in 2008. The contaminant material is DNA from porcine circovirus 1, a virus from pigs that is not known to cause disease in humans or animals. About 1 million children in the United States and about 30 million worldwide have gotten Rotarix vaccine. Rotavirus disease kills more than 500,000 infants around the world each year, primarily in low- and middle-income countries. Before rotavirus vaccine became available, the disease was blamed for more than 50,000 hospitalizations and several dozen deaths per year in the United States. "We're not pulling it from the market, we're just suspending its use during this period while we're collecting more information," [Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg] said.
Note: If you explore the vaccine approval process, you may be shocked to find how potentially dangerous materials added to vaccines are not tested for safety. A mercury-based derivative called Thimerosal is still allowed in many vaccines, including the recent swine flu vaccine that was given massively to populations around the world. For more reliable information on this, click here.
Across the United States, pharmaceutical companies have pleaded guilty to criminal charges or paid penalties in civil cases when the Justice Department finds that they deceptively marketed drugs for unapproved uses, putting millions of people at risk of chest infections, heart attacks, suicidal impulses or death. "Marketing departments of many drug companies don't respect any boundaries of professionalism or the law," says Jerry Avorn, a professor at Harvard Medical School. The widespread off-label promotion of drugs is yet another manifestation of a health-care system that has become dysfunctional. About 15 percent of all U.S. drug sales are for unapproved uses without adequate evidence the medicines work, according to a study by Randall Stafford, a medical professor at Stanford University. As large as the penalties are for drug companies caught breaking the off-label law, the fines are tiny compared with the firms' annual revenue. The $2.3 billion in fines and penalties Pfizer paid for marketing Bextra and three other drugs cited in the Sept. 2 plea agreement for off-label uses amount to just 14 percent of its $16.8 billion in revenue from selling those medicines from 2001 to 2008.
Up to 20 million people in Bangladesh are at risk of suffering early deaths because of arsenic poisoning – the legacy of a well-intentioned but ill-planned water project that created a devastating public health catastrophe. Four decades after an internationally funded move to dig tube wells across the country massively backfired, huge numbers of people still remain at higher risk of contracting cancer and heart disease. The move, spearheaded by the UN and the World Bank, was fatally flawed. Although checks were carried out for certain contaminants in the newly sourced water, it was not tested for arsenic, which occurs naturally in the Ganges and Brahmaputra deltas. By the early 1990s, when it was found that up to half of 10 million tube wells were contaminated with arsenic, Bangladesh was confronting a huge problem. The World Health Organisation called it "the largest mass poisoning of a population in history. The scale of the environmental disaster is greater than any seen before; it is beyond the accidents in Bhopal, India, in 1984, and Chernobyl, Ukraine, in 1986". Some subsequent studies predicted that, ultimately, one person in 10 who drinks water from the arsenical wells would go on to die from lung, bladder or skin cancer. Even though some of these conditions take decades to develop, by 2004, about 3,000 people a year were dying from arsenic-related cancers.
Note: What do you think might have occurred had the same thing happened in the US or Europe?
A vegetarian diet may help to protect against cancer, a UK study suggests. Analysis of data from 52,700 men and women shows that those who did not eat meat had significantly fewer cancers overall than those who did. Writing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition the team said the findings were worth looking into. Although it is widely recommended that people eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day to reduce their risk of cancer and other diseases, there is very little evidence looking specifically at a vegetarian diet. In the latest study, researchers looked at men and women aged 20 to 89 recruited in the UK in the 1990s. They divided participants into meat-eaters, fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans. During follow-up there were fewer cancers than would be expected in the general population - probably because they were a healthier than average group of people. But there was a significantly lower incidence of all cancers among the fish-eaters and vegetarians compared with the meat eaters. For colorectal cancer, however that trend was reversed with vegetarians having a significantly higher incidence of the condition than the other groups.
Note: For many promising reports from major media sources on potential cancer cures, click here.
A former Pfizer scientist is suing the pharmaceuticals giant after alleging she contracted an artificial, HIV-like, virus created by a colleague. In her lawsuit, Becky McClain claims Pfizer unlawfully dismissed her while she suffered bouts of paralysis brought on by the man-made virus. Pfizer denies these accusations, and says McClain simply didn't come to work, and only linked her problems to engineered-disease exposure after she was fired. According to McClain, researchers in her lab genetically engineered an artificial lentivirus, a class of viruses that also includes HIV. McClain believes that she became infected by the virus due to faulty safety measures, resulting in complete body paralysis as often as 12 times every month. Most likely, we will never know if it is Pfizer's virus that caused McClain's health problems. The court case will focus mostly on safety procedures in the laboratory, not on what exactly from the lab caused the illness. Also, Pfizer refuses to release the genome of the suspected virus, preventing both identification of the disease, as well as the development of a possible cure.
Note: Isn't it interesting that Pfizer is involved in creating HIV-like viruses? How long has this been going on?
The risk of children suffering from flu can be halved if they take vitamin D, doctors in Japan have found. The finding has implications for flu epidemics since vitamin D, which is naturally produced by the human body when exposed to direct sunlight, has no significant side effects, costs little and can be several times more effective than anti-viral drugs or vaccine. Only one in ten children, aged six to 15 years, taking the sunshine vitamin in a clinical trial came down with flu compared with one in five given a dummy tablet. Mitsuyoshi Urashima, the Japanese doctor who led the trial, told The Times that vitamin D was more effective than vaccines in preventing flu. Vitamin D was found to be even more effective when the comparison left out children who were already given extra vitamin D by their parents, outside the trial. Taking the sunshine vitamin was then shown to reduce the risk of flu to a third of what it would otherwise be. The trial, which was double blind, randomised, and fully controlled scientifically, was conducted by doctors and scientists from Jikei University School of Medicine in Tokyo, Japan.
Note: For important articles from reliable sources on health issues, click here.
The FDA has "certified" a 2009 letter sent anonymously by FDA staff to President Obama describing "systemic corruption and wrongdoing that permeates all levels of FDA." The FDA's official recognition of the letter means that lawyers who want to use it to demonstrate that the FDA isn't perfect won't have to go through weeks of tedious discovery demands to find someone at the FDA who can officially say, "Yup, we sent that." That's going to be a headache for drug companies who often defend their drugs in court by saying, "Hey, the FDA said this product was fine and we did everything they asked -- so it's not fair to hold us responsible." Plaintiffs' lawyers can now hold up the letter in court and argue that drug companies have been on notice that the FDA is riddled with politics, conflicts of interest and outright corruption, and is, as the letter says, "fundamentally broken." Written by a group of scientists on FDA letter head -- but with their names blacked out for fear of retaliation -- the letter describes a nightmare of bungling and self-dealing among higher-ups at the drug safety agency. It begs Obama to step in and reform the shop: "... many other FDA managers who have failed to protect the American public, who have violated laws, rules, and regulations, who have suppressed or altered scientific or technological findings and conclusions, who have abused their power and authority, and who have engaged in illegal retaliation against those who speak out, have not been held accountable and remain in place."
Note: The FDA actively persecutes whistle-blowers, placed a former Monsanto lobbyist in a high ranking position, and gives industrial food companies preferential treatment over small farmers. In recent years, FDA executives have been caught participating in medical industry corruption, including keeping important prescription drug safety information hidden from consumers.
Brussels bureaucrats [are determined] to spread GM crops throughout Europe, against the will of most of its people. In a little-noticed move last week, the European Commission defied most of the governments to which it is supposed to answer to give the green light to growing a [genetically] modified potato across the continent. It was the first time a GM crop had been authorised for cultivation in 13 years. But, now the long moratorium has been broken, similar approvals for others are expected rapidly to follow. The decision has its origins in a couple of secret, top-level meetings called by Jose Manuel Barroso, the Commission's strongly pro-GM president. He invited the prime ministers of each of the 27 EU member states to send a personal representative along to discuss how to "speed up" the spread of the technology and "deal with" public opposition. About three times as many Europeans oppose genetic modification as support it. As a result, GM crops cover only about 0.12 per cent of Europe's agricultural land – and the continent accounts for just 0.08 per cent of the area growing them worldwide. And they have been losing ground. In the past two years, both France and Germany banned the Monsanto maize, joining Austria, Hungary, Greece and Luxembourg.
Note: Though Europeans are very aware of the threat of genetically modified foods and have worked hard to prohibit them, the media in the US have managed to stifle almost any reporting on the topic. Most Americans have no idea that they are regularly eating GM foods known to have serious health risks.
A Danish scientist who was a lead researcher in two studies that purport to show that mercury used in vaccines do not cause autism is believed to have used forged documents to steal $2 million from Aarhus University in Denmark. Dr. Poul Thorsen was also a research professor at Emory University from 2003 until June of 2009. Emory University officials gave no reason for Thorsen's departure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded research conducted by Thorsen and his colleagues at Aarhus University. The CDC asked the researchers to conduct studies to determine whether thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative and adjuvant used in vaccines, played any role in causing autism. The results of the studies, that there was no link between vaccines containing mercury and autism, formed the foundation for the conclusions of several Institute of Medicine reports. In a statement Aarhus University officials said Thorsen forged documents supposedly from the CDC to obtain the release of $2 million from the university. Autism advocacy groups are demanding his studies be given a closer look. Those same groups have long claimed that the results of the studies were suspect.
Note: Very few mainstream media covered this intriguing story of a key researcher whose work is held up to deny any link between vaccines and autism. Yet Robert F. Kennedy Jr. published a very revealing article on this key topic, which you can read here.
You’ve accepted the idea that TV makes you dumber. And unless you’re working out to an exercise video, you know those hours sprawled out in front of the screen are going to make you fatter — not to mention the impact of all that junk food you’ve been tempted to scarf down during the commercial breaks. But you’ll be surprised to learn the host of other bad things TV can do to you. 1. TV makes you deader. TV-viewing is a pretty deadly pastime, research suggests. No matter how much time you spend in the gym, every hour you spend in front of the TV increases your risk of dying from heart disease, according to a recent report in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. 2. TV may make you drink more. When it comes to drinking, we’re apparently very susceptible to what we see on TV, according to a report published in Alcohol and Alcoholism. 3. TV can make your kid pregnant. Teens who watched a lot of TV that included sexual content were twice as likely to get pregnant, according to a study published in Pediatrics. 4. TV weakens your bones. Hours spent watching TV can set a kid up for later problems with brittle bones, according to a study published in the Journal of Pediatrics. 5. TV makes you less engaging. A recent study found that when the TV is on — even if it’s just in the background — parents interact less with their kids. To learn more about TV’s effects, researchers brought 51 infants and toddlers, each accompanied by a parent, to a university child study center, according to the report published in Child Development.
Note: For lots more on important health issues from reliable sources, click here.
Per Segerbäck ... keeps limited human company, because human technology makes him physically ill. How ill? On a walk last summer, he ran into one of his few neighbors, a man who lives in a cottage about 100 yards away. During their chat, the man's cellphone rang, and Segerbäck, 54, was overcome by nausea. Within seconds, he was unconscious. Segerbäck suffers from electro-hypersensitivity (EHS), which means he has severe physical reactions to the electromagnetic radiation produced by common consumer technologies, such as computers, televisions and cellphones. Symptoms range from burning or tingling sensations on the skin to dizziness, nausea, headaches, sleep disturbance and memory loss. In extreme cases like Segerbäck's, breathing problems, heart palpitations and loss of consciousness can result. A cellphone has to be in use -- either making or receiving a call, or searching for a signal, when radiation levels are highest -- for it to have this kind of effect on Segerbäck. Sweden is the only country in the world to recognize EHS as a functional impairment, and Segerbäck's experience has been important in creating policy to address the condition. Swedish EHS sufferers -- about 3 percent of the population, or some 250,000 people, according to government statistics -- are entitled to similar rights and social services as those given to people who are blind or deaf. Today, local governments will pay to have the home of someone diagnosed with EHS electronically "sanitized," if necessary, through the installation of metal shielding.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on health issues, click here.
Six years after the intense fighting began in the Iraqi town of Fallujah between US forces and Sunni insurgents, there is a disturbingly large number of cases of birth defects in the town. Fallujah is less than 40 miles (65km) from Baghdad, but it can still be dangerous to get to. As a result, there has been no authoritative medical investigation, certainly by any Western team, into the allegations that the weapons used by the Americans are still causing serious problems. The Iraqi government line is that there are only one or two extra cases of birth defects per year in Fallujah, compared with the national average. But in the ... Fallujah General Hospital ... we found a paediatric specialist, Dr Samira al-Ani, who told us that she saw two or three new cases every day. Most of them, she said, exhibited cardiac problems. The specialist, like other medical staff at the hospital, seemed nervous about talking too openly about the problem. But it is impossible, as a visitor, not to be struck by the terrible number of cases of birth defects there. We heard many times that officials in Fallujah had warned women that they should not have children. We went to a clinic for the disabled, and were given details of dozens upon dozens of cases of children with serious birth defects.
Note: There is strong evidence that the US military was experimenting with dangerous weapons like white phosphorus in Fallujah. For more on this, click here.
The introduction of a genetically modified potato in Europe risks the development of human diseases that fail to respond to antibiotics, it [has been claimed]. German chemical giant BASF this week won approval from the European Commission for commercial growing of a starchy potato with a gene that could resist antibiotics – useful in the fight against illnesses such as tuberculosis. Farms in Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic may plant the potato for industrial use, with part of the tuber fed to cattle, according to BASF, which fought a 13-year battle to win approval for Amflora. But other EU member states, including Italy and Austria and anti-GM campaigners angrily attacked the move, claiming it could result in a health disaster. During the regulatory tussle over the potato, the EU's pharmaceutical regulator had expressed concern about its potential to interfere with the efficacy of antibiotics on infections that develop multiple resistance to other antibiotics, a growing problem in human and veterinary medicine. Drug resistance is part of the explanation for the resurgence of TB, which infects eight million people worldwide every year.
Note: For an excellent summary of the threats to health from genetically-modified foods, click here.
An herbicide that contaminates the tap water consumed by millions of Americans has been found to produce gender-bending effects in male frogs, "chemically castrating" some and turning others into females, a study shows. Frogs in the experiment were exposed to amounts of the weedkiller atrazine that are comparable to the levels allowed in drinking water by the Environmental Protection Agency, says lead researcher Tyrone Hayes of the University of California-Berkeley. In Hayes' earlier studies, atrazine caused male frogs to begin growing eggs in their testes. In this experiment, 10% of the males exposed to atrazine — one of the most commonly used herbicide in the world — actually changed sex; some were able to breed and lay eggs. Nearly all of the other males had low testosterone and sperm levels, which made them unable to reproduce, Hayes says. The experiment [raises] new questions about the safety of atrazine, which other studies have linked to human birth defects, low birth weight, prematurity and low sperm count. About 75% of stream water samples and 40% of groundwater samples contain atrazine, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group, detected atrazine in 90% of tap water samples from 139 water systems. The European Union has banned the chemical.
Note: For many key reports from reliable sources on important health issues, click here.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has issued a report that is supposed to clinch the case that a lone scientist mailed anthrax-laced letters in 2001, terrorizing a country already traumatized by the 9/11 attacks. The agency cites voluminous circumstantial evidence ... but its report leaves too many loose ends to be taken as a definitive verdict. The scientist — Dr. Bruce Ivins, an Army biodefense expert — killed himself in 2008 as the investigation moved ever closer to an indictment. That means the evidence and the F.B.I.’s conclusion that he was the culprit and acted alone will never be tested in court. Problematic is the investigative work that led the F.B.I. to conclude that only Dr. Ivins, among perhaps 100 scientists who had access to the same flask, could have sent the letters. The case has always been hobbled by a lack of direct evidence tying Dr. Ivins to the letters. No witnesses who saw him prepare the powdered anthrax or mail the letters. No anthrax spores in his house or car. No incriminating fingerprints, fibers or DNA. No confession to a colleague or in a suicide note, just opaque ramblings in e-mail that the F.B.I. interprets as evidence of guilt. The F.B.I. has a troubling history of building a circumstantial case against suspects who are later exonerated. We ... agree with Representative Rush Holt of New Jersey, who is calling for an independent assessment to validate the findings.
Note: For a recent Wall Street Journal report on the unsolved anthrax attacks, click here.
Doctors have known that low levels of vitamin D are linked to certain kinds of cancers as well as to diabetes and asthma, but new research also shows that the vitamin can kill human cancer cells. The results fall short of an immediate cancer cure, but they are encouraging, medical professionals say. JoEllen Welsh, a researcher with the State University of New York at Albany, has studied the effects of vitamin D for 25 years. Part of her research involves taking human breast cancer cells and treating them with a potent form of vitamin D. Within a few days, half the cancer cells shriveled up and died. Welsh said the vitamin has the same effect as a drug used for breast cancer treatment. "Vitamin D enters the cells and triggers the cell death process," she [said]. "It's similar to what we see when we treat cells with Tamoxifen," a drug used to treat breast cancer. The vitamin's effects were even more dramatic on breast cancer cells injected into mice. After several weeks of treatment, the cancer tumors in the mice shrank by an average of more than 50 percent. Some tumors disappeared. Similar results have been achieved on colon and prostate cancer tumors in mice.
Important 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.