Health News StoriesExcerpts of Key Health News Stories in Major Media
Note: This comprehensive list of health news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
The United Nations and World Health Organisation have issued a call for drugs to be decriminalised. Buried in a joint release on ending healthcare discrimination, the organisations called for the “reviewing and repealing punitive laws that have been proven to have negative health outcomes” by member states. Among a number of measures, this included “drug use or possession of drugs for personal use”. While the WHO has previously called for drugs to be decriminalised in the context of HIV reduction, the UN has limited its calls to health- and evidence-based solutions to drug abuse. Last year, nations meeting at the UN General Assembly Special Session on drugs maintained a criminal approach to narcotics, despite strong concerns from a number of countries. But last month, on the International Day Against Drug Abuse, UN Secretary General António Guterres called for tackling the problem through “prevention and treatment,” adhering to human rights. He said: “Despite the risks and challenges inherent in tackling this global problem, I hope and believe we are on the right path, and that together we can implement a coordinated, balanced and comprehensive approach that leads to sustainable solutions. Mr Guterres was Prime Minister of Portugal when the country launched its landmark drug decriminalisation programme, which also introduced greater resources for drug prevention and treatment projects. Portugal saw its drug fatalities fall to one of the lowest in Europe and also reduced the prevalence of HIV among injectors.
Note: The war on drugs is a "trillion-dollar failure". Portugal's remarkable success with decriminalization suggests that drug addiction can be curbed without sacrificing human rights. Read the account of Mike Levine, a 25-year veteran of the DEA who personally witnessed large-scale drug smuggling by the government, to find out why some of those in power strongly oppose drug decriminalization.
It was one of the very first motion pictures ever made: a galloping mare filmed in 1878 by the British photographer Eadweard Muybridge. More than a century later, that clip ... is now the first movie ever to be encoded in the DNA of a living cell, where it can be retrieved at will and multiplied indefinitely as the host divides and grows. The advance, reported on Wednesday in the journal Nature ... is the latest and perhaps most astonishing example of the genome’s potential as a vast storage device. George Church, a geneticist at Harvard and one of the authors of the new study, recently encoded his own book, “Regenesis,” into bacterial DNA and made 90 billion copies of it. With the new research, he and other scientists have begun to wonder if it may be possible one day to do something even stranger: to program bacteria to snuggle up to cells in the human body and to record what they are doing, in essence making a “movie” of each cell’s life. When something goes wrong, when a person gets ill, doctors might extract the bacteria and play back the record. It would be, said Dr. Church, analogous to the black boxes carried by airplanes whose data is used in the event of a crash. In 1994, [mathematician Leonard Adleman] Adleman reported that he had stored data in DNA and used it as a computer to solve a math problem. He determined that DNA can store a million million times more data than a compact disc in the same space.
Drug users, desperate to break addictions to heroin or pain pills, are pawns in a sprawling national network of insurance fraud, an investigation by The Boston Globe and STAT has found. They are being sent to treatment centers hundreds of miles from home for expensive, but often shoddy, care that is paid for by premium health insurance benefits procured with fake addresses. Patient brokers are paid a fee to place insured people in treatment centers, which pocket thousands of dollars in claims for each patient. Patients from across the United States have been taken in by these profiteers capitalizing on the surge in opioid addiction. The patients are often enrolled through HealthCare.gov, the online insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act that connects patients to insurers in dozens of states. The brokers, patients’ families, or marketers for the treatment centers pay the insurance premium. Within a few weeks, the insurer is billed tens of thousands of dollars for what is often subpar care. Many patients have no idea how their insurance coverage was obtained or that they are part of a scam. They are often told they are receiving free care — or that their insurance is being taken care of by the patient broker. Some find out their coverage is from a company in a state where they have never lived only when a billing problem arises or when the broker stops paying the premium. By then, they’re far from home, stranded without any insurance.
This season’s flu vaccine seems to be working pretty well, weakening the punch of a nasty bug that’s going around, U.S. health officials said Thursday. Preliminary figures suggest the vaccine is 48 percent effective. That’s not bad since the strain that’s making most people sick is one of the worst. Experts consider it a good year when a flu vaccine is 50 to 60 percent effective. The flu vaccine is changed each year based on the best guess at which three or four strains will be the biggest problem for the next season. The current vaccine is a good match, and includes a strain of Type A H3N2 flu virus that is causing most illnesses. That wasn’t the case with the vaccine two years ago when the same bug dominated and caused a very bad flu season. As of Feb. 10, the CDC shipped out 145 million doses of the flu vaccine. Flu shots are recommended for virtually all Americans age 6 months or older. Health officials were worried that fewer kids would get vaccinated this season after they stopped endorsing a popular nasal spray version. Research showed it didn’t work well for another common type of flu. But vaccination rates for kids by November were about the same as the year before.
Note: A National Institute of Health study found in 2007 that flu shots do not protect the elderly. More recent studies have shown that some flu shots actually increase the risk of infection. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing vaccine controversy news articles from reliable major media sources.
Since the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there has been a large and steady rise in the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder among our troops. One recent study of ... Americans who served in those countries found that the rates of the disorder jumped to 22 percent in 2008 from just 0.2 percent in 2002. [A] factor that might be playing a role in the increasing rates of the disorder ... has escaped attention: the military’s use of stimulant medications, like Ritalin and Adderall, in our troops. Annual spending on stimulants jumped to $39 million in 2010 from $7.5 million in 2001 - more than a fivefold increase. The number of Ritalin and Adderall prescriptions written for active-duty service members increased by nearly 1,000 percent in five years, to 32,000 from 3,000. The military almost certainly uses the stimulants to help fatigued and sleep-deprived troops stay alert. By causing the direct release of norepinephrine — a close chemical relative of adrenaline — in the brain, stimulants facilitate memory formation. Not surprisingly, emotionally arousing experiences — both positive and negative — also cause a surge of norepinephrine, which helps to create vivid, long-lasting memories. That’s why we tend to remember events that stir our feelings and learn best when we are a little anxious. Since PTSD is basically a pathological form of learning known as fear conditioning, stimulants could plausibly increase the risk of getting the disorder. It is an open question whether the use of stimulants in combat does more good than harm.
Unethical and illegal drug company activities have driven the prescription of toxic antipsychotic drugs to children. Now the “success” of this campaign has been documented in the Archives of General Psychiatry. In a comparison between the years 1993-1998 and 2005-2009, prescriptions of antipsychotic drugs for per 100 children (0-13 years old) rose from 0.24 to 1.83. That’s more than a sevenfold increase. Given that most of prescriptions are for the older children in this age range, the rate would be substantially higher among preteens and 13-year-olds. For adolescents (14-20 years old) the increase was nearly fivefold. The drugging of children with antipsychotic drugs is a direct result of off-label (unapproved) uses promoted by the drug companies in cooperation with unscrupulous psychiatrists and researchers. The new ... study confirms that most of the prescriptions of antipsychotic drugs to children have indeed been off-label for disruptive behavioral disorders. Instead of helping parents and teachers to improve their methods of disciplining children, psychiatrists are suppressing the overall mental life and behavior of these youngsters with antipsychotic drugs. As I describe in my new book, Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal: A Guide for Prescribers, Therapists, Patients and Their Families, health professionals must stop the psychiatric drugging of children and focus on developing facilities and approaches for helping children as well as adults to withdraw from these drugs as safely as possible.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Johnson & Johnson, the company that makes the antipsychotic drug Risperdal, has tentatively agreed to a settlement of $2.2 billion to resolve a federal investigation into the company’s marketing practices. Johnson & Johnson confidentially paid psychiatrists such as Harvard’s Joseph Biederman to promote adult drugs such as the powerful antipsychotic drug Risperdal for children. The company has even ghost-written at least one of the Harvard professor’s “scientific” articles. Another recent DOJ settlement with drug company GlaxoSmithKline resulted in Glaxo’s agreement to pay $3 billion in criminal and civil fines. GlaxoSmithKline employed several tactics aimed at promoting the use of [Paxil] in children, including helping to publish a medical journal article that misreported data from a clinical trial. GlaxoSmithKline also secretly paid about $500,000 to psychiatrist Charles Nemeroff ... to promote Paxil. Glaxo even ghostwrote a psychopharmacology textbook for family doctors, who write many prescriptions for children, which was “coauthored“ by Nemeroff and psychiatrist Alan Schatzberg. None of these drug-company-bought psychiatrists has suffered serious consequences. Meanwhile, the DOJ has now enforced a total of $8.9 billion in criminal and civil fines against GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, and Johnson & Johnson. Stimulants, antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs are very harmful to the brain. The health professions would do far more good stopping the drugging of children than continuing or increasing it.
Note: The above was written by Peter Breggin, MD, author of the book, "Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal: A Guide for Prescribers, Therapists, Patients and Their Families" For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
If you live in the United States, there is a nearly one-in-four chance your tap water is either unsafe to drink or has not been properly monitored for contaminants in accordance with federal law, a new study has found. In 2015, nearly 77 million Americans lived in places where the water systems were in some violation of safety regulations, including the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act, according to the report released on Tuesday from the Natural Resources Defense Council. It’s not only that some tap water has high levels of lead, nitrates, arsenic or other pollutants, said Mae Wu, a senior attorney with the council’s health program. It is that too often, a lack of reporting means residents cannot be sure whether their drinking water is contaminated or not. Marc Edwards, a scientist at Virginia Tech ... played a major role in bringing the crisis to national attention. Mr. Edwards said he agreed with the resources defense council’s conclusion that the government has not done enough to enforce regulations on drinking water safety. “This has been tolerated so long, and it is so ingrained in the E.P.A. culture to look the other way,” he said. “They’re going to need outside pressure to act and enforce existing laws.” The council’s report found that there were around 80,000 reported violations of drinking water safety regulations in 2015. Of those, more than 12,000 were “health-based” violations, or cases that involved actual contamination problems. In addition, the N.R.D.C. said, “Nearly nine in 10 violations were subject to no formal action.”
Glyphosate, an herbicide and the active ingredient in Monsanto Co's popular Roundup weed killer, will be added to California's list of chemicals known to cause cancer effective July 7, the state's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) said on Monday. Monsanto vowed to continue its legal fight against the designation, required under a state law known as Proposition 65. The listing is the latest legal setback for the seeds and chemicals company, which has faced increasing litigation over glyphosate since the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer said that it is "probably carcinogenic" in a controversial ruling in 2015. Dicamba, a weed killer designed for use with Monsanto's next generation of biotech crops, is [also] under scrutiny in Arkansas after the state's plant board voted last week to ban the chemical. OEHHA said the designation of glyphosate ... will proceed following an unsuccessful attempt by Monsanto to block the listing in trial court. Listing glyphosate as a known carcinogen ... would require companies selling the chemical in the state to add warning labels to packaging. Monsanto and other glyphosate producers would have roughly a year from the listing date to re-label products or remove them from store shelves if further legal challenges are lost.
Note: The negative health impacts of Monsanto's Roundup are well known. Major lawsuits are building over Monsanto's lies to regulators and the public about the safety of glyphosate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food industry corruption and health.
In the last couple of years, the poultry industry has sharply reduced its use of antibiotics, responding to concerns among public health officials and regulators about the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. But ... Sanderson Farms, the country’s third-largest poultry producer, has started an advertising campaign to defend its continued use of antibiotics. The ads feature two blue-collar men, Bob and Dale, in plaid shirts and baseball caps talking about the labels on chicken. “The ones that say ‘raised without antibiotics,’ ” Dale says in one of the ads, “That’s just a trick to get you to pay more money.” Sanderson’s marketing campaign ... is likely to intensify the already fierce fight over the use of antibiotics in agriculture. Consumers, advocacy groups and corporate customers like McDonald’s and Chick-fil-A have said they will buy only chicken raised without the antibiotics used to treat humans. Those commitments and others ... have persuaded four of the five large American poultry producers to begin reducing their reliance on antibiotics. But not Sanderson. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has repeatedly expressed concern that the use of antibiotics in animal husbandry is contributing to the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In a 2013 report, the agency linked two of 18 antibiotic-resistant bacteria to the use of antibiotics in animals.
Antibiotic resistance is a problem both for people and for livestock. But how can we be sure that the two are connected and that resistance is exacerbated by on-farm antibiotic use? In 1975 the Animal Health Institute asked this very question and recruited Tufts University biologist Stuart Levy to find out. Levy and his colleagues fed low doses of the antibiotic tetracycline to a group of 150 chickens. Within a week, almost all the E. coli bacteria in their intestines were tetracycline-resistant. Three months in ... the chickens were also resistant to four other types of antibiotics. After four months, the ... chickens on the farm that had not been fed tetracycline also harbored resistance to the drug. In 1977, soon after Levy's study was published, the FDA announced that it was considering banning several antibiotics from animal feed over safety concerns. In the 39 years since, the industry has fought hard against these plans by arguing there was no definitive proof of harm. These arguments ultimately caused the FDA to [pursue] voluntary guidances instead. Several members of the U.S. Congress, including New York State Representative and microbiologist Louise Slaughter, have introduced bills to more tightly regulate antibiotic use on farms. Slaughter has pushed for her Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act for more than a decade. It has been supported by 454 organizations, including the American Medical Association. But ... the bill never reaches a vote.
Globally, millions of people suffer from depression, an estimated 300 million to be exact. In fact, major depression constitutes one of the most common mental health disorders in the United States. For decades, people have correlated healthy eating with feeling better, including in the area of mental health. However, many people who do not eat well also have outside stress factors, such as a busy schedule or low income. Health professionals can easily attribute any depression in these groups to these outside factors strained by a poor diet. However, one study set out to evaluate the direct link between diet and depression. The researchers ... observed 67 patients with moderate to severe depression. Patients [in the control group] received social support rather than switching their eating habits. The other patients then received a series of seven one-hour dietary counseling sessions where they were advised to eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. After the trial period, the researchers found that over 30 percent of the patients had gone into remission with their depression. Only 8 percent of the control group actually experienced this same improvement. The participants that showed the most remarkable results had improved their diet the most. According to the research, diet and depression do go hand in hand. Those suffering from depression should eliminate processed foods as much as possible. Instead, they should replace them with a plant-rich diet alongside lean, quality meats.
Note: Read an essay by Jeffrey M. Smith, author of Seeds of Deception, that describes how replacing processed foods with healthy, non-GMO meals at an Appleton Wisconsin high school led to dramatic improvements in the mood and behavior of students. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food industry corruption and health.
Modern exercise science shows that working with weights - whether that weight is a light dumbbell or your own body - may be the best exercise for lifelong physical function and fitness. Brad Schoenfeld, an assistant professor of exercise science at New York City’s Lehman College ... has published more than 30 academic papers on every aspect of resistance training - from the biomechanics of the push-up to the body’s nutrient needs following a hard lift. Later in life, bone tissue losses accelerate and outpace the creation of new bone. This loss of bone tissue leads to the weakness and postural problems that plague many older adults. “Resistance training counteracts all those bone losses and postural deficits,” he says. For anyone at risk for metabolic conditions - type-2 diabetes, but also high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels and other symptoms of metabolic syndrome - strength training is among the most-effective remedies. Strength training also seems to be a potent antidote to inflammation, a major risk factor for heart disease and other conditions. More research has linked strength training to improved focus and cognitive function, better balance, less anxiety and greater well-being. If all that isn’t convincing enough ... perhaps this is: maintaining strength later in life “seems to be one of the best predictors of survival," says [University of Michigan professor Mark] Peterson. “When we add strength ... almost every health outcome improves.”
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Hypnosis isn’t just for hucksters and Hollywood villains any more. Clinical trials have demonstrated its effectiveness in treating anxiety, phobias, skin rashes, irritable-bowel syndrome and acute and chronic pain. In North America, medical centres such as the Mayo Clinic have added hypnosis to their pain-management tools. As with mindfulness meditation, hypnosis harnesses the brain’s natural abilities to regulate the body and control the random thoughts that ricochet through our minds, says Dr. David Patterson, a University of Washington psychologist. But, he adds, meditation can take weeks or months of practice before it helps patients. With hypnosis, “the relief is just a lot quicker and more dramatic.” About 10 per cent to 15 per cent of adults are “highly hypnotizable,” meaning they can easily slip into a trance and act on hypnotic suggestions. The same percentage of adults do not respond to hypnosis at all, while the rest are somewhere in between. In hypnosis circles, the word “powerful” comes up a lot. But it’s hardly an overstatement when you consider the work of Dr. Marie-Elisabeth Faymonville, director of the pain clinic ... at the University Hospital of Ličge, Belgium. Hypnosis allows patients to avoid general anesthesia in surgeries ranging from mastectomies to heart-valve replacements, Faymonville says. Since 1992, she has treated more than 9,500 surgery patients with “hypno-sedation,” combining hypnosis with small amounts of local anesthesia. Of those patients, just 18 had to switch to general anesthesia.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
A study in the journal Stroke showed a correlation between drinking diet soda and both stroke and dementia: people who drank at least one diet soda a day were three times as likely to have a stroke or develop dementia as those who avoided the beverages. Previous research had already uncovered a possible link with higher stroke risk. The findings in this study add some support to those results. The link with dementia, however, is new, and at minimum is enough cause for concern that it's worth studying further. Why might diet sodas contribute to these risks? Diet sodas are designed to trick the brain into thinking it’s getting an extra dose of glucose (the brain’s fuel), but eventually the trick is on us because the brain adapts to not receiving the added glucose by overcompensating in other ways (leading to a variety of effects still under investigation). Diet sodas could imbalance the bacterial jungle in our guts - the microbiome - causing unpredictable results. Since there’s a bacterial superhighway from gut to brain, which we know interacts with key neurotransmitters, this theory may eventually tell us more of a much bigger brain story. This study didn’t narrow down the exact types of artificial sweeteners that were consumed, so it’s an open question how one may have affected the brain differently than another. In the meantime, curtailing how much of any artificial sweetener you ingest, along with added sugar, is a reasonable position to take.
Note: Artificial sweeteners have also been connected with blood sugar level spikes, obesity, and diabetes. There is undeniable evidence that aspartame is toxic to the human body. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food industry corruption and health.
Trump delegate and Gawker bankrupter Peter Thiel is no stranger to the idea of increasing his lifespan through science. On Bloomberg TV in 2014, Thiel explained that he was taking human-growth hormone pills as part of his plan to live 120 years. Given Thiel’s obsession with warding off death, it comes as no surprise that the Silicon Valley billionaire is interested in at least one radical way of doing it: injecting himself with a young person’s blood. [In] a year-old interview ... the venture-capitalist [said] that he’s interested in parabiosis, which includes the practice of getting transfusions of blood from a younger person, as a means of improving health and potentially reversing aging. “I'm looking into parabiosis stuff. This is where they did the young blood into older mice and they found that had a massive rejuvenating effect,” he said. “It’s one of these very odd things where people had done these studies in the 1950s and then it got dropped altogether. I think there are a lot of these things that have been strangely under-explored.” A Thiel Capital employee ... previously expressed interest in the technique to Jesse Karmazin, the founder of Ambrosia LLC, a company that has been looking for volunteers over the age of 35 to receive blood transfusions from individuals under the age of 25. Bercovici notes that Silicon Valley is abound with rumors of wealthy tech elites experimenting with parabiosis, and Gawker ... received a tip in June claiming that Thiel “spends $40,000 per quarter to get an infusion of blood from an 18-year-old.”
Note: One university researcher has found that many in the European royalty until the end of the 18th century practiced selective cannibalism in the belief if would keep them young. Another article goes into greater depth about the practice some elder members of the wealthy elite taking blood infusions from young people to stay young.
The vast majority of milk we drink is pasteurized – heat-treated to kill off harmful pathogens. Raw milk, on the other hand, goes straight from udder to bottle. Fans call it milk as nature intended: nutrient-rich and full of probiotics, the good kind of bacteria. Some fans go further, calling it a superfood that aids digestion, boosts the immune system and treats asthma, eczema and allergies. Due to concerns about safety, retail sales of raw milk are prohibited in about 20 states. Something called a “herd-share” scheme ... lets people buy an “interest” in a group of dairy cows. “As a part-owner, you’re entitled to what that cow produces,” [food blogger Jennifer McGruther] explains. “It’s difficult for the state to say you can’t drink the milk from cows you own.” The US government estimates that 3.2% of people now drink it. But ... pasteurization is the norm for a reason – it’s highly effective at killing things such as E coli, salmonella, campylobacter and listeria. Raw milk, on the other hand, relies heavily on the skill of the farmer and the cleanliness of the operation to avoid contamination. A study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says raw milk illnesses have spiked as more people drink it. Between 2009 and 2014, raw milk and raw milk cheese caused the vast majority (96%) of all illnesses linked to contaminated dairy products. Several European studies and observations of Amish farm children do suggest those who drink raw milk have less asthma and fewer allergies.
Note: A 2012 mercola.com article on the raw milk debate suggests that US regulators are against raw milk because it can not be safely produced by large factory farms. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food industry corruption and health.
What happened to little, red-haired Hannah Poling is hardly unique in the world of autism. She had an uneventful birth. And then, right after receiving a bunch of vaccines, she fell ill. Hannah, now 9, recovered from her acute illness but she lost her words, her eye contact and, in a matter of months, began exhibiting the repetitive behaviors and social withdrawal that typify autism. Parents of kids like Hannah have been fingering vaccines - and, in particular, the mercury-based vaccine preservative thimerosal - as a cause of autism for over a decade, but researchers have repeatedly failed to find a link. What's unique about Hannah's case is that for the first time federal authorities have conceded a connection between her autistic symptoms and the vaccines she received, though the connection is by no means simple. A panel of medical evaluators at the Department of Health and Human Services concluded that Hannah had been injured by vaccines - and recommended that her family be compensated for the injuries. The panel said that Hannah had an underlying cellular disorder that was aggravated by the vaccines, causing brain damage with features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Note: CBS reported that the Poling family eventually received $1.5 million in compensation for the autism caused by vaccines. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing vaccine controversy from reliable major media sources.
Six years ago, Dr Erica Mallery-Blythe moved to the country, stopped carrying a mobile phone and sacrificed a successful career in emergency medicine to focus on ... radiation emitted by Wi-Fi, mobiles and other wireless devices. Her interest in EMFs started in 2009 after she began noticing increasing trends in certain symptoms – headaches, insomnia, fatigue and palpitations, but also more serious conditions including brain tumours in young people, fertility problems and accelerating neurological diseases. As Wi-Fi, laptops and iPads have become increasingly prevalent in classrooms, Mallery-Blythe says “hundreds” of families have sought her help with what they believe to be EMF-related diseases and health issues. “RF is currently classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a ... possible cause of cancer in humans," [says Mallery-Blythe]. "There is a vast amount of published literature documenting the harmful effects on every biological system.” In February the French government banned Wi-Fi in nursery schools and restricted use in primary schools. The German government has recommended that the use of Wi-Fi in the workplace or home should be avoided where possible. LA has reduced student exposure to Wi-Fi radiation to 10,000 times below US government standard. A 2008 study found a fivefold increase in the risk of glioma (a form of brain cancer ... linked to mobile phone usage) for those starting mobile phone use under 20 years of age.
Note: For lots more reliable information on cellphone risk, read this well researched article. In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics urged the US to reassess cell phone safety standards for children. 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.
A shipment of 36 million pounds of soybeans sailed late last year from Ukraine to Turkey to California. Along the way, it underwent a remarkable transformation. The cargo began as ordinary soybeans. They were fumigated with a pesticide [and] priced like ordinary soybeans. But by the time the 600-foot cargo ship carrying them to Stockton, Calif., arrived in December, the soybeans had been labeled “organic,” according to receipts, invoices and other shipping records. That switch - the addition of the “USDA Organic” designation - boosted their value by approximately $4 million, creating a windfall for at least one company in the supply chain. About 21 million pounds of the soybeans have already been distributed to customers. The multimillion-dollar metamorphosis of the soybeans, as well as two other similar grain shipments in the past year examined by The Post, demonstrate weaknesses in the way that the United States ensures that what is sold as “USDA Organic” is really organic. The three shipments, each involving millions of pounds of “organic” corn or soybeans, were large enough to constitute a meaningful proportion of the U.S. supply of those commodities. All three were presented as organic, despite evidence to the contrary. USDA officials say that their system for guarding against fraud is robust. The system suffers from multiple weaknesses: Farmers hire their own inspection companies; most inspections ... lack the element of surprise; and testing for pesticides is the exception rather than the rule.
Note: Sign an online petition to stop an Oregon county from forcing a well-established organic farm to spray their gardens with Monsanto's poisonous Roundup. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the food system and in the corporate world.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.