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.
McDonald’s is really trying to be more transparent about what goes into their food. Mythbusters host Grant Imahara took us from fryer to farm in a reverse process peek at what goes into McDonald’s potatoes. While the global burger chain does explain the usage of a few unpronounceable ingredients meant to preserve color and texture, it looks like these practices aren’t being implemented across the board. After checking out McDonalds.co.uk, a blogger on Boing Boing points out that McDonald’s french fries in the U.K. appear to have far fewer ingredients than those produced in the U.S.-- and no crazy, hard-to-say additives. FoxNews.com did a side by side comparison of the two websites and found the same information. Across the pond, Brits are enjoying McDonald’s French fries sans additives like Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Dimethylpolysiloxane and “natural beef flavor.” Dimethylpolysiloxane is “added as an anti-foaming agent” but it’s also a silicon-based organic polymer used to make Silly Putty. Hmm. Looks like the chain has some more explaining to do to American consumers.
Note: For lots more on this, read this great mercola.com article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
As many as 31 pesticides with a value running into billions of pounds could have been banned because of potential health risks, if a blocked EU paper on hormone-mimicking chemicals had been acted upon. The science paper, seen by the Guardian, recommends ways of identifying and categorising the endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that scientists link to a rise in foetal abnormalities, genital mutations, infertility, and adverse health effects ranging from cancer to IQ loss. Commission sources say that the paper was buried by top EU officials under pressure from big chemical firms which use EDCs in toiletries, plastics and cosmetics, despite an annual health cost that studies peg at hundreds of millions of euros. The unpublished EU paper ... was supposed to have enabled EU bans of hazardous substances to take place last year. Under pressure from major chemical industry players, such as Bayer and BASF, the criteria were blocked. In their place, less stringent options emerged. Last month, 11 MEPs complained in a cross-party letter to the health and food safety commissioner, Vytenis Andriukaitis, about the EU’s failure to honour its mandate and adopt the EDC criteria. This was supposed to have happened by the end of 2013. In place of the proposed identification of hormone-mimicking compounds, the EU’s current roadmap favours industry-supported options for potency-based measurements of EDCs. These would set thresholds, below which exposure to low-potency EDCs would be deemed safe.
Note: One key study estimates that as few as zero endocrine-disrupting pesticides will be withdrawn from the EU market as a result of this profit-driven manipulation of policy. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing articles about corporate and government corruption from reliable major media sources.
Months after he landed in Florida's Manatee County Jail, Jovon Frazier's pleas for [medical care] were met mostly with Tylenol. "I need to see a doctor!" he wrote on his eighth request form. Four months later, after Frazier's 13th request resulted in hospitalization and doctors quickly diagnosed bone cancer, his arm had to be amputated, according to a lawsuit filed by his family. But the cancer spread and Frazier died in 2011, months after his release. As an inmate, his medical care had been managed ... by a private company under contract. Corizon, whose responsibility for 345,000 inmates at prisons and jails in 27 states makes it the country's biggest for-profit correctional health provider, is just one of many firms using a similar model to vie for the billions of dollars states and counties spend on prisoner care. The growth of the for-profit prison care industry raises questions. Some critics say privatization, itself, is a faulty strategy, regardless of which company is hired. "The problem is a structure that creates incentives to cut corners and deny care to powerless people that have no other options," said David Fathi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's National Prison Project. [Corizon] generated $1.4 billion in revenue in 2013 and is owned by a Chicago private equity management firm.
Note: The above article shows that lawsuits and investigations in Arizona, Florida, Maine, Minnesota, and New York have all uncovered escalating inmate deaths related to Corizon's for-profit medical services. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about systemic corruption in the prison industry.
People who receive flu vaccines year after year can sometimes show reduced protection, an effect that Canadian infectious disease specialists say muddies public health messages for annual flu vaccine campaigns. During the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, researchers at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control originally thought seasonal flu shots from 2008 might offer extra protection. They were puzzled to find instead, seasonal flu vaccination almost doubled the risk of infection with pandemic flu. Dr. Danuta Skowronski and her colleagues went on to do five more studies during the summer that showed the same effect in people and in ferrets, which are considered the best animal model of flu. What was originally called "the Canadian problem" has since been found in a randomized control trial by researchers in Hong Kong ... Japan and the U.S. Researchers in several countries have found a blunting or "interference" effect between previous seasonal vaccines and reduced levels of vaccine protection in later years. "People do not have a good explanation for why," said Dr. Michael Gardam, director of infection prevention and control at Toronto's University Health Network. "We have kind of hyped this vaccine so much for so long we are starting to believe our own hype. Really, what we should be doing is looking for better vaccines," Gardam said. In the meantime, public health officials who aim to protect people from flu complications need to grapple with the imperfections of a vaccine given every year to a moving target of strains.
Note: Healthcare workers in New York protested the government mandate that they be given this vaccine, from which drug companies made billions of dollars. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the mysterious and profitable avian and swine flu panics and questioning the effectiveness of many other vaccines.
Uh-oh. Not another diatribe about the dangers of our modern communication systems? Even if we want to, we can’t eliminate our exposure, or our children’s, to RF/EMF. But we may need to limit that exposure when possible. That was among the conclusions of a report published in the Journal of Microscopy and Ultrastructure entitled “Why children absorb more microwave radiation than adults: The consequences.” From an analysis of others' studies, the authors argue that children and adolescents are at considerable risk from devices that radiate microwaves (and that adults are at a lower, but still significant, risk). Children and fetuses absorb more microwave radiation, according to the authors, because their bodies are relatively smaller, their skulls are thinner, and their brain tissue is more absorbent. They also note that the average time between exposure to a carcinogen and a resultant tumor is three or more decades, thus making it difficult to arrive at definitive conclusions. This is not a call to throw out all electronic devices. However, at the very least, it should open up the discussion about different safety levels for adults versus children. In a Network World opinion article ominously titled “Is Wi-Fi killing us…slowly?” columnist Mark Gibbs makes the point that “… laws and warnings are all very well but it’s pretty much certain that all restrictions on products that use microwave technology will err on ... the side that’s safe for industry, not the side of what’s safe for society.”
Note: On a list of Top Stories Subjected to Press Censorship in 2014, 'evidence of ongoing wireless technology health hazards' was number 14. For more on the dangers of over-exposure to electromagnetic field radiation, see this summary of a 2010 LA Times article.
While [Ketamine] has been used as an anesthetic for decades, small studies at prestigious medical centers like Yale, Mount Sinai and the National Institute of Mental Health suggest it can relieve depression in many people who are not helped by widely used conventional antidepressants like Prozac or Lexapro. And the depression seems to melt away within hours, rather than the weeks typically required for a conventional antidepressant. Pharmaceutical companies hope to [develop] drugs that work like ketamine but without the side effects, which are often described as out-of-body experiences. Some doctors and patients are not waiting for the pharmaceutical industry. Because ketamine has long been approved for anesthesia, doctors are allowed to use it off-label to treat depression. ”There is clearly a need for new drugs. “Almost half of depressed patients are not being treated adequately by existing drugs,” said Dr. Sheldon H. Preskorn, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita. That, he said, is because virtually all the antidepressants used in the last 60 years work essentially the same way. Ketamine would represent a new mechanism of action. “Synaptic connections that help us to cope seem to grow back,” said Dr. John H. Krystal, chairman of psychiatry at Yale and a pioneer in the study of ketamine for depression.
Note: A 2012 NPR story provides more detail about the ketamine research done at Yale to treat depression. Could this put a stop to the thousands of horror stories involving conventional antidepressants?
Colorado will spend more than $8 million researching marijuana's medical potential. The grants awarded by the Colorado Board of Health will go to studies on whether marijuana helps treat epilepsy, brain tumors, Parkinson's disease and post-traumatic stress disorder. Some of the studies still need federal approval. Though the awards are relatively small, researchers say they're a big step forward. While several other federal studies currently in the works look at marijuana's health effects, all the Colorado studies are focused on whether marijuana actually helps. "This is the first time we've had government money to look at the efficacy of marijuana, not the harms of marijuana," said Dr. Suzanne Sisley, a Scottsdale, Arizona, psychiatrist who will help run a study on marijuana for veterans with PTSD. Federal approval to study marijuana's medical potential requires permission of the Food and Drug Administration, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and either the National Institutes of Health or the Department of Health and Human Services. Twenty-three states and Washington, D.C., allow marijuana use by people with various medical conditions. But under federal law, pot is considered a drug with no medical use and doctors cannot prescribe it. Dr. Larry Wolk, Colorado's Chief Medical Officer, says the lack of research on marijuana's medical value leaves sick people guessing about how pot may help them and what doses to take.
Note: For more on the proven benefits from many mind-altering drugs, see these deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources.
There’s a war going on between those who believe in the health benefits of vaccines ... and those that believe that the immunizations do more harm than good. Now one of the authors of a 2004 government study that found similar vaccination rates among children with and without autism says the study omitted some important data. William Thompson, a senior scientist at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and one of the authors of a 2004 study published in the journal Pediatrics, spoke with Brain Hooker, who serves on the board of Focus Autism (which was founded to “put an end to the needless harm of children by vaccination and other environmental factors”), about the data that was not included in the final report. Hooker and Thompson ... discussed a subset of the 624 children with autism and 1824 without the condition who were studied. Thompson admitted that among African-American boys, the incidence of autism was higher among those who were vaccinated than among those who weren’t. But that information was not part of the paper. Did the CDC cover up the data? Thompson claims that the findings were statistically significant, but ... that the way that the 2004 study was presented does not negate the importance of vaccination, [and that] the risks associated with their administration are vastly outweighed by their individual and societal benefits.
Note: Thompson claims he was not aware that the discussion was being recorded, and his statements appeared in a video released on YouTube on August 22 entitled “CDC Whistleblower Revealed.” For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing vaccine controversy news articles from reliable major media sources.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration announced on Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State because of concerns over health risks. Fracking, as it is known, was heavily promoted as a source of economic revival. Mr. Cuomo had once been poised to embrace it. Instead, the move to ban fracking left him acknowledging that, “I’ve never had anyone say to me, ‘I believe fracking is great,’ ” he said. “Not a single person. What I get is, ‘I have no alternative but fracking.'" The question of whether to allow fracking ... has been one of the most divisive public policy debates in New York in years. Fracking is occurring in many states. Environmental advocates, alarmed by the growth of the practice, pointed to New York’s decision as the first ban by a state with significant natural-gas resources. The acting state health commissioner, Dr. Howard A. Zucker ... found “significant public health risks” associated with fracking. Holding up copies of scientific studies to animate his arguments, Dr. Zucker listed concerns about water contamination and air pollution, and said there was insufficient scientific evidence to affirm the safety of fracking. Dr. Zucker said his review boiled down to a simple question: Would he want his family to live in a community where fracking was taking place? His answer was no. “The potential risks are too great.”
Leana Wen created the “Who’s My Doctor” campaign last year. The effort ... goes a step further than the federal government’s mandate requiring physicians to disclose all money they receive from drug companies. Last month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released data that outlined the $3.5 billion that companies paid to the nation’s doctors. The Open Payments database ... was heavily opposed by physician groups and pharmaceutical companies. “Incentives matter,” said Wen in a recent TED talk, “If you go to your doctor because of back pain, you might want to know he’s getting paid $5,000 to perform spine surgery versus $25 to refer you to see a physical therapist.” As part of the “Who’s My Doctor” effort, each physician voluntarily publishes a “Total Transparency Manifesto,” which ... flows into a searchable database that prospective patients can use. One year after starting the project, only 34 “transparent doctors” are listed on the website. There are many more who were less than pleased. “I thought some doctors would sign on and others wouldn’t, but I had no idea of the backlash that would ensue,” she said in her TED talk. The criticism quickly went beyond online comments. Soon, people were asking Wen’s employer to fire her, and sending mail to her home address with threats.
For the most part, we’re avoiding [the subject of cost effectiveness] when we talk about health care. When the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, the body specifically set up to do comparative effectiveness research, was founded, the law explicitly prohibited it from funding any cost-effectiveness research at all. As it says on its website, “We don’t consider cost effectiveness to be an outcome of direct importance to patients.” As a physician, a health services researcher and a patient ... I think understanding how much bang for the buck I, my patients and the public are getting from our health care spending is of great importance. The United States Preventive Services Task Force ... was set up by the federal government to rate the effectiveness of preventive health services on a scale of A to D. When it issues a rating, it almost always explicitly states that it does not consider the costs of providing a service in its assessment. And because the Affordable Care Act mandates that all insurance must cover, without any cost sharing, all services that the task force has rated A or B, that means that we are all paying for these therapies, even if they are incredibly inefficient. If we are going to mandate that recommendations and interventions must be covered by health insurance ... it seems logical that we at least consider their economic value.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
War was the leading cause of death in the military nearly every year between 2004 and 2011 until suicides became the top means of dying for troops in 2012 and 2013, according to a bar chart published this week in a monthly Pentagon medical statistical analysis journal. For those last two years, suicide outranked war, cancer, heart disease, homicide, transportation accidents and other causes as the leading killer, accounting for about three in 10 military deaths each of those two years. Transportation accidents, by a small margin, was the leading cause of military deaths in 2008, slightly more than combat. The fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan accounted for anywhere from one out of three deaths in the military — in 2005 and 2010 — to more than 46 percent of deaths in 2007, during the height of the Iraq surge, according to the chart. More than 6,800 troops have died in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11 and more than 3,000 additional service members have taken their lives in that same time, according to Pentagon data.
A system Congress established to speed help to Americans harmed by vaccines has instead heaped additional suffering on thousands of families. The system is not working as intended. The AP read hundreds of decisions, conducted more than 100 interviews, and analyzed a database of more than 14,500 cases filed in a special vaccine court. Among the findings: Private attorneys have been paid tens of millions of taxpayer dollars even as they clog the court. The court offers a financial incentive to over-file — unlike typical civil court cases. Prominent attorneys have enlisted expert witnesses whose own work has been widely discredited, including one who treated autism with a potent drug used to chemically castrate serial rapists. Many doctors hired by the government to defend vaccine safety in court have ties to the pharmaceutical industry. Cases are supposed to be resolved within 240 days, with options for another 150 days of extensions. Less than 7 percent of 7,876 claims not involving autism met the 240-day target. Add in autism claims, which were postponed so the court could hear all of them at once, and just 4.5 percent took fewer than 240 days. Hundreds have surpassed the decade mark. Several people died before getting any money.
Note: The secret court that shields big pharma from legal liability for selling harmful vaccines is described in this 2009 Wall Street Journal news article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources showing huge corruption and deception.
New York state health officials have stopped a nonprofit group from providing free medical care to thousands of patients lacking health insurance during a four-day dental conference that starts Friday. The nonprofit, Remote Area Medical, had raised $3 million and enlisted hundreds of volunteer doctors and other medical workers to offer a range of health services, including dental care, new eyeglasses and other services. The group had planned to treat about 7,000 patients at the New York Sate event. In September, the New York State Department of Health told the volunteer group, founded in 1985, that it could not treat patients at the conference unless it partnered with an established, state-licensed medical organization. Despite last-minute efforts, the partnership could not be arranged in time, and the nonprofit group said it found out this week that the state would not waive the requirement. “This was incredibly disappointing and will mean that thousands of patients won’t get the care they desperately need,” said Stan Brock, the founder of Remote Area Medical. Brock said state health officials told him during negotiations that the free health services his organization provides were not needed. But Brock said there are tens of thousands of New Yorkers, including homeless people, who are in need of free healthcare.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Breast cancer giant Susan G. Komen has found its strangest bedfellow yet in one of the world’s largest oilfield services corporations, Baker Hughes. The two have teamed up for a second year to distribute 1,000 pink drill bits to oil fields worldwide. This is just the latest example of “pinkwashing” – when a company or organization claims to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink-ribbon product but at the same time manufactures or sells products that are linked to the disease. Pinkwashing has become a central component of the breast cancer industry: a web of relationships and financial arrangements between corporations that cause cancer, companies making billions off diagnosis and treatment, nonprofits seeking to support patients or even to cure cancer, and public relations agencies that divert attention from the root causes of disease. The partnership with fracking company Baker Hughes is among the worst examples of Komen’s pinkwashing so far. More than 700 chemicals are used in the process of drilling and fracking for oil and gas. In a study of about 350 of those chemicals, researchers found that up to half can cause health problems, including nervous, immune and cardiovascular symptoms. More than one-third can disrupt the hormone system. And a quarter of the chemicals, such as benzene and formaldehyde, increase the risk of cancer. Baker Hughes is doing more to cause breast cancer than to cure it. And Komen, with its poisonous partnerships, is giving Baker Hughes — and many other companies — the perfect pink disguise.
Note: For more along these lines, read this Los Angeles Times article about how fracking introduces carcinogens into drinking water, and see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
A special "vaccines court" hears cases brought by parents who claim their children have been harmed by routine vaccinations. The court buffers Wyeth and other makers of childhood-disease vaccines from ... litigation risk. The legal shield, known as the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, was put into place in 1986. Vaccines ... are poised to generate $21.5 billion in annual sales for their makers by 2012, according to France's Sanofi-Aventis SA, a leading producer of inoculations. Vaccines' transformation into a lucrative business has some observers questioning whether the shield law is still appropriate. Critics ... underscored the limited recourse families have in claiming injury from vaccines. "When you've got a monopoly and can dictate price in a way that you couldn't before, I'm not sure you need the liability protection," said Lars Noah, a specialist in medical technology. Kevin Conway, an attorney at Boston law firm Conway, Homer & Chin-Caplan PC, which specializes in vaccine cases and brought one of the recent autism suits, says the lack of liability for the pharmaceutical industry compromises safety. Even if they had won their cases, the families of autistic children wouldn't have been paid by the companies that make the vaccines. Instead, the government would have footed the bill, using the funds from a tax levied on inoculations.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources showing huge corruption and deception.
Drugmakers including Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc., Johnson & Johnson and Emergent Biosolutions Inc. (EBS) are among companies standing to gain from what may be $2 billion in U.S. contracts related to Ebola. President Barack Obama asked Congress last week for $6.2 billion in emergency funding to stop the spread of the virus that has killed more than 4,800 people in West Africa. The request is heavily focused on health needs as opposed to prior funding that was largely centered on defense contracts, Brian Friel, a Bloomberg Intelligence contracts analyst, said. Friel said he expects multiple drugmakers involved in Ebola will share in what will likely be no-bid contract awards to “make everyone happy.” His $2 billion estimate is based on the percentage of its budget the Department of Health and Human Services spent on contracts last year. Little information is available yet about which companies are getting Ebola-related public funding. Congress has approved $838 million in Ebola money this year, resulting in $77 million in contracts so far. Not all awards have been made public. The U.S. has spent more than $400 million as of Oct. 24.
Note: Read this webpage which lays bare the gross profiteering by pharmaceuticals on pandemics like ebola as reported in the mainstream media.
Scientists have created a mind-control system that allows a person to alter the genes in a mouse through the power of thought. A person wearing the device could alter how much protein was made from a gene in the mouse. Volunteers found that they could turn the gene on or off in the mouse at will. The experiment could lead to the development of a radical new approach to the treatment of diseases. Martin Fussenegger, a bioengineer who leads the project at ETH Zurich said he hoped to see clinical trials in people with chronic pain or epilepsy in the next five years. Fussenegger’s team describes a system that demonstrates the idea. The mouse was fitted with a small implant containing copper coils, a light-emitting diode (LED) and a tiny container of genetically modified cells. When the electromagnetic field switches on beneath the mouse, an electric current is induced in the implant’s coils which makes the LED shine. This light illuminates the cells which are designed to respond by switching on a particular gene, causing the cells to make a new protein which seeps out of the implant’s membrane. In the tests, the new protein ... allowed scientists to measure its levels ... while people wearing the headset changed their state of mind. In a series of follow-up experiments, volunteers wearing the headset could see when the LED came on, because the red light shone through the mouse’s skin. In time, they learned to control the light – and so the gene – simply by thinking.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing microchip news articles from reliable major media sources.
With organic food growers reporting double-digit growth in U.S. sales each year, producers are challenging a proposed California pest-management program they say enshrines a pesticide-heavy approach for decades to come, including compulsory spraying of organic crops at the state’s discretion. The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s pest-management plan says compulsory state pesticide spraying of organic crops would do no economic harm to organic producers, on the grounds that the growers could sell sprayed crops as non-organic instead. “I would rather stop farming than have to be a conventional farmer. I think I am not alone in that,” said Zea Sonnabend, a Watsonville organic apple-grower with California Certified Organic Farmers. The fate of the pest-management plan outlined by the state isn’t a theoretical concern. It’s an immediate issue ... due, in part, to a disease-carrying pest. The disease spread by the Asian citrus psyllid kills citrus trees. California’s $2.4 billion citrus industry has found incursions by the bug. The standard treatment for the citrus pest is conventional pesticides, including neocotinoids linked to the decline of crop-pollinating bees. Organic farmers are asking the state to give more consideration to non-toxic controls, including long-term methods to strengthen crops and habitats in advance against marauding tropical species, said Kelly Damewood, policy director for California Certified Organic Farmers.
Note: Read concise summaries of deeply revealing articles that show bee colony deaths and autism are linked to pesticide exposure. Is compulsory state spraying of these pesticides really in the public's best interest?
The CDC pledges “To base all public health decisions on the highest quality scientific data.” In the case of influenza vaccinations and their marketing, this is not so. Promotion of influenza vaccines is one of the most visible and aggressive public health policies today. Although proponents employ the rhetoric of science, the studies underlying the policy are often of low quality, and do not substantiate officials’ claims. The vaccine might be less beneficial and less safe than has been claimed, and the threat of influenza appears overstated. Twenty years ago, in 1990, 32 million doses of influenza vaccine were available in the United States. Today [the number is] around 135 million doses. This enormous growth has not been fueled by popular demand but instead by a public health campaign. Drug companies have long known that to sell some products, you would have to first sell people on the disease. In the 1950s and 1960s, Merck launched an extensive campaign to lower the diagnostic threshold for hypertension, and in doing so enlarging the market for its diuretic drug, Diuril. Could influenza ... be yet one more case of disease mongering? Marketing influenza vaccines ... involves marketing influenza as a threat of great proportions. The CDC’s website explains that “Flu seasons ... can be severe,” citing a death toll of “3000 to a high of about 49000 people.” However, a far less volatile and more reassuring picture of influenza seems likely if one considers that recorded deaths from influenza declined sharply over the middle of the 20th century ... all before the great expansion of vaccination campaigns in the 2000s. Yet across the country, mandatory influenza vaccination policies have cropped up ... precisely because not everyone wants the vaccination, and compulsion appears the only way to achieve high vaccination rates.
Note: Read the entire revealing article at this link. The author clearly shows how fear and profit are the driving force behind flu vaccines and not good science and health. And this US government webpage states, "Since the first National Vaccine Injury Compensation (VICP) claims were filed in 1989, 3,981 compensation awards have been made. More than $2.8 billion in compensation awards has been paid to petitioners." For other verifiable information on health corruption, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.
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.