Health News Stories
Excerpts of Key Health News Stories in Major Media
Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important health news stories reported in the major media that suggest a major cover-up.
Links are provided to the full stories on their mainstream media websites. If any link should fail to function, click here
. These health news stories are listed by date posted to this webpage. For the same list by order of importance, click here
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This comprehensive list of health news stories is usually updated once a week
. For an index to revealing excerpts of news stories on several dozen engaging topics, click here
Common virus 'kills cancer'
Posted: 2013-09-03 09:41:26
A common virus that is harmless to people can destroy cancerous cells in the body and might be developed into a new cancer therapy, US researchers said. The virus, called adeno-associated virus type 2, or AAV-2, infects an estimated 80 percent of the population. "Our results suggest that adeno-associated virus type 2, which infects the majority of the population but has no known ill effects, kills multiple types of cancer cells yet has no effect on healthy cells," said Craig Meyers, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the Penn State College of Medicine in Pennsylvania. "We believe that AAV-2 recognizes that the cancer cells are abnormal and destroys them. This suggests that AAV-2 has great potential to be developed as an anti-cancer agent," Meyers said in a statement. AAV-2 is a small virus that cannot replicate itself without the help of another virus. But with the help of a second virus it kills cells. For their study, Meyers and colleagues first infected a batch of human cells with HPV, some strains of which cause cervical cancer. They then infected these cells and normal cells with AAV-2. After six days, all the HPV-infected cells died. The same thing happened with cervical, breast, prostate and squamous cell tumor cells. "One of the most compelling findings is that AAV-2 appears to have no pathologic effects on healthy cells," Meyers said. "So many cancer therapies are as poisonous to healthy cells as they are to cancer cells. A therapy that is able to distinguish between healthy and cancer cells could be less difficult to endure for those with cancer."
Note: For more on promising cancer cures, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
16-year-old finds a new way to detect cancer
2013-05-18, CBS News
Posted: 2013-09-03 09:38:25
Sixteen-year-old Jack Andraka's innovative mind led him to create a new way to detect pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancer. "I created a new way to detect pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancer that costs three cents and takes five minutes to run," he said. After a close friend died from pancreatic cancer, this 16-year-old from Crownsville, Maryland, unleashed his hyper-drive intellect on preventing more cancer deaths. "It's 168 times faster, over 26,000 times less expensive, and over 400 times more sensitive than our current methods of diagnosis," he said. Tinkering in his room and using information readily available online, he came up with a new way to detect cancer. "85 percent of all pancreatic cancers are diagnosed late, when someone has less than a two percent chance of survival. And our current test costs $800 per test and misses 30 percent of all pancreatic cancers," he said. He won last year's Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. The sweet validation came with $100,000 in scholarships, but Jack Andraka's got his eye on even bigger things. "The name of the competition is called the Tricorder XPRIZE," he said. "It's a $10 million prize. Essentially what you have to do is develop something the size of a smartphone that you scan over your skin and it will diagnose any disease instantly." Jack is fielding a team of other high-schoolers to compete against 300 teams of adult scientists and corporations in the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE competition. He says youth is an advantage -- that new eyes are more likely to solve old problems.
Note: Let's hope this invention gets fast tracked and makes it to market. Notice how little attention this exciting development received. To read about many potential cancer cures reported in major media which have not made it to market for financial reasons, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Kaiser study yields big progress for hypertension
2013-08-21, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2013-08-27 08:04:24
In just a decade, and using a deceptively simple approach, Kaiser Permanente doubled the percentage of Northern California patients whose blood pressures were brought down to healthy levels. The Kaiser program relied on close monitoring by a team of health care workers and the use of cheaper, more efficient drugs to treat high blood pressure. Over the course of an eight-year study, the percentage of patients with high blood pressure who had it under control increased from 44 percent in 2001 to 80 percent in 2009. The rate continued to climb after the study ended, and as of 2011, 87 percent of patients had lowered their high blood pressure to a healthy level. The results are intriguing because high blood pressure ... is treatable with medication and lifestyle changes, but has remained stubbornly difficult to control in most patients, Kaiser doctors said. During the years of the Kaiser study, the number of heart attacks and strokes fell substantially. Dr. Don Conkling, a 63-year-old Kaiser member who was part of the study, managed to get his blood pressure into a normal, healthy range for the first time since his early 40s. He lost about 60 pounds, cut out sugar and meat from his diet, and started walking several times a day, often for miles at a time, with his dog Sophie. Conkling, a veterinarian in San Bruno, also meditates every day for 45 minutes or longer to help reduce stress from his job. Not all patients have to make such drastic lifestyle changes to lower their blood pressure, Conkling said.
Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Shocking list of popular foods and drinks readily available in U.S. grocery stores that are BANNED in other countries
2013-06-20, Daily Mail
Posted: 2013-08-19 16:14:59
Many of the chemicals found in America's most common foods are considered to be so unhealthy that they're actually illegal in other countries. Rich Food, Poor Food by [Dr.] Jayson Calton and Mira Calton, a certified nutritionist, features a list of what the authors call 'Banned Bad Boys' - a list of the ingredients, where they're banned and what caused governments to ban them. One of the most common 'Bad Boys' is different variations of food coloring, which actually is made from petroleum and is found in everyday items like soda, sports drinks, mac and cheese, cake, candy and several other common, American products. The chemicals used to make these different dyes have proven to cause various different cancers and can even potentially mutate healthy DNA. European countries like Norway, Finland, France and Austria all have banned at least one variation of petroleum-containing food coloring. Another common additive banned in other countries but allowed in the U.S. is Olestra, which essentially is a fat substitute found in products that traditionally have actual fat. For example, low-fat potato chips ... contain Olestra - which is shown to cause the depletion of fat-soluble vitamins. Olestra has been banned in several countries, including the United Kingdom and Canada. In 2003, the FDA lifted a requirement forcing companies that use Olestra in their products to include a label warning consumers that the food their eating could cause 'cramps and diarrhea,' despite the fact that the agency received more than 20,000 reports of gastrointestinal complaints among olestra eaters.
Note: We don't usually use the Daily Mail as a reliable source, but as this article is so important and no other major media is reporting it, we decided to include it here. For more on corporate and government corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here and here.
Gardasil Researcher Speaks Out
2009-08-29, CBS News
Posted: 2013-08-12 16:50:13
Amid questions about the safety of the HPV vaccine Gardasil, one of the lead researchers for the Merck drug is speaking out about its risks, benefits and aggressive marketing. Dr. Diane Harper says young girls and their parents should receive more complete warnings before receiving the vaccine to prevent cervical cancer. Dr. Harper helped design and carry out the Phase II and Phase III safety and effectiveness studies to get Gardasil approved, and authored many of the published, scholarly papers about it. She has been a paid speaker and consultant to Merck. It's highly unusual for a researcher to publicly criticize a medicine or vaccine she helped get approved. Dr. Harper joins a number of consumer watchdogs, vaccine safety advocates, and parents who question the vaccine's risk-versus-benefit profile. She says data available for Gardasil shows that ... there is no data showing that it remains effective beyond five years. This raises questions about the CDC's recommendation that the series of shots be given to girls as young as 11-years old. "If we vaccinate 11 year olds and the protection doesn't last... we've put them at harm from side effects, small but real, for no benefit," says Dr. Harper. "The benefit to public health is nothing, there is no reduction in cervical cancers, they are just postponed, unless the protection lasts for at least 15 years, and over 70% of all sexually active females of all ages are vaccinated." She also says that enough serious side effects have been reported after Gardasil use that the vaccine could prove riskier than the cervical cancer it purports to prevent. Cervical cancer is usually entirely curable when detected early through normal Pap screenings.
Note: For more on the dangers of vaccines, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Scientists Seek to Rein In Diagnoses of Cancer
2013-07-29, New York Times
Posted: 2013-08-06 08:13:45
A group of experts advising the nation’s premier cancer research institution has recommended changing the definition of cancer and eliminating the word from some common diagnoses as part of sweeping changes in the nation’s approach to cancer detection and treatment. The recommendations, from a working group of the National Cancer Institute, were published [in] The Journal of the American Medical Association. They say, for instance, that some premalignant conditions, like one that affects the breast called ductal carcinoma in situ, which many doctors agree is not cancer, should be renamed to exclude the word carcinoma so that patients are less frightened and less likely to seek what may be unneeded and potentially harmful treatments that can include the surgical removal of the breast. The group, which includes some of the top scientists in cancer research, also suggested that many lesions detected during breast, prostate, thyroid, lung and other cancer screenings should not be called cancer at all but should instead be reclassified as IDLE conditions, which stands for “indolent lesions of epithelial origin.” The impetus behind the call for change is a growing concern among doctors, scientists and patient advocates that hundreds of thousands of men and women are undergoing needless and sometimes disfiguring and harmful treatments for premalignant and cancerous lesions that are so slow growing they are unlikely to ever cause harm. Once doctors and patients are aware a lesion exists, they typically feel compelled to biopsy, treat and remove it, often at great physical and psychological pain and risk to the patient.
Note: Isn't it interesting that a diagnosis which might not even be accurate can so change a person's life? For more on promising cancer cures which are being suppressed by the medical-industrial complex, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
The Virus and the Vaccine
2000-02-01, Atlantic Monthly
Posted: 2013-07-23 08:39:46
A simian virus known as SV40 has been associated with a number of rare human cancers. This same virus contaminated the polio vaccine administered to 98 million Americans from 1955 to 1963. Federal health officials see little reason for concern. A growing cadre of medical researchers disagree. A breakthrough in the war against polio had come in the early 1950s, when Jonas Salk took advantage of a new discovery: monkey kidneys could be used to culture the abundant quantities of polio virus necessary to mass-produce a vaccine. But there were problems with the monkey kidneys. In 1960 Bernice Eddy, a government researcher, discovered that when she injected hamsters with the kidney mixture on which the vaccine was cultured, they developed tumors. Eddy's superiors tried to keep the discovery quiet, but Eddy presented her data at a cancer conference in New York. She was eventually demoted, and lost her laboratory. The cancer-causing virus was soon isolated by other scientists and dubbed SV40, because it was the fortieth simian virus discovered. Alarm spread through the scientific community as researchers realized that nearly every dose of the vaccine had been contaminated. In 1961 federal health officials ordered vaccine manufacturers to screen for the virus and eliminate it from the vaccine. Worried about creating a panic, they kept the discovery of SV40 under wraps and never recalled existing stocks. For two more years millions of additional people were needlessly exposed -- bringing the total to 98 million Americans from 1955 to 1963.
Note: This fascinating report on modern research into SV40's role in human cancers is well worth reading in its entirety at the link above. It is most strange that the CDC posted a webpage stating "it has been estimated that 10–30 million Americans could have received an SV40 contaminated dose of vaccine" and much more, but the webpage was then taken down. Using the Internet Archive, you can still see the revealing page that has been removed at this link.
Rumor: New drug shrinks, cures all tumors
Posted: 2013-07-09 08:38:47
Researchers say they have created a drug that has killed every kind of cancer tumor it has come in contact with, according to Science Magazine. The antibody treatment works by blocking a protein called CD47 which tricks the body into not destroying cancerous cells. After the protein is blocked, the body can then recognize the cancer cells as invaders and attack. While the research is seen as a step closer to discovering a treatment that can cure all cancers, the drug has only been tested on mice and will need to prove itself on humans before it can be available to patients. This may take a few years. The research team has been given the green light and recently received a four-year, $20 million grant to conduct human clinical trials. Research for this new drug started a decade ago when biologist Irving Weissman at Stanford University was studying leukemia cells. He found that that leukemia cells produce higher levels of the CD47 protein than healthy cells. CD47 acts as a "don't-eat-me" signal, instructing the body to not eat harmful cells. Cancers take advantage of this signal to trick the immune system into ignoring them. Weissman's research showed that blocking CD47 can cure more than just blood cancers. The drug can also shrink or cure human breast, ovary, colon, bladder, brain, liver and prostate tumors that have been transplanted into mice. The treatment forced the mice's immune system to kill the cancer cells. This means this single drug could cure a variety of cancers and prevent cancers from spreading in the body.
Note: With many millions around the world dying of cancer every year, why aren't the most promising treatments being fast-tracked? Why is this article titled a "rumor"? Why isn't this making major headlines? Why isn't the very promising treatment of DCA, which is both cheap and incredibly promising, being given many millions to move rapidly forward? To read major media articles describing other potential cures not being adequately funded, click here. To understand why some treatments are suppressed, click here.
Livestock antibiotic use rampant despite warnings
2013-06-24, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2013-07-09 08:23:08
In March, the head of the Centers for Disease Control issued an alarm, echoed by virtually every health authority in the world, that antibiotic-resistant bacteria threaten to return humans to the days when ordinary infections routinely killed and maimed. Yet the United States continues to use at least 70 percent of its antibiotics on livestock. Millions of pounds of antibiotics are routinely administered at low doses to large numbers of animals living in crowded conditions ... to speed their growth and prevent possible infections, creating ideal conditions for bacteria to become resistant. At the same time, drug-resistant infections acquired in hospitals kill 70,000 people a year. The problem is so dire that the Obama administration is paying drug companies to develop new antibiotics, and some groups want to test them directly on sick people to speed approval. While many physicians try to limit antibiotic use on sick patients to slow the spread of resistance, livestock growers can buy antibiotics over the counter at a feed store. "Many hospitals have implemented antimicrobial stewardship programs, in which every milligram of antibiotic use is scrutinized," said Dr. Tom Newman, a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at UCSF. About once a month, Brad Spellberg, an infectious disease researcher at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, said he sees patients with abdominal or urinary tract E. coli infections that resist all oral antibiotics. Doctors are down to "one or two last-ditch IVs," or intravenous administration of antibiotics against some bacteria.
Note: For more on important health issues, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Breaking the Seal on Drug Research
2013-06-30, New York Times
Posted: 2013-07-09 08:21:07
Peter Doshi ... is one of the most influential voices in medical research today. Dr. Doshi’s renown comes not from solving the puzzles of cancer or discovering the next blockbuster drug, but from pushing the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies to open their records to outsiders. Together with a band of far-flung researchers and activists, he is trying to unearth data from clinical trials — complex studies that last for years and often involve thousands of patients across many countries — and make it public.
The current system, the activists say, is one in which the meager details of clinical trials published in medical journals, often by authors with financial ties to the companies whose drugs they are writing about, is insufficient to the point of being misleading. For years, researchers have talked about the problem of publication bias, or selectively publishing results of trials. Concern about such bias gathered force in the 1990s and early 2000s, when researchers documented how, time and again, positive results were published while negative ones were not. Taken together, studies have shown that results of only about half of clinical trials make their way into medical journals. In 2009, Dr. Doshi and his colleagues set out to answer a simple question about the anti-flu drug Tamiflu: Does it work? Resolving that question has been far harder than they ever envisioned, and, four years later, there is still no definitive answer.
Note: If the public is going to be taking these drugs, shouldn't all safety studies be publicly available? What are the drug companies hiding? For more on corruption in the pharmaceutical industry, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Volunteering May Be Good for the Heart in More Than One Way
Posted: 2013-07-09 08:13:46
Volunteering is a simple way to help others, but it’s also a powerful way to help yourself. Beyond the good feelings you’ll get from donating your time, and the potential to develop new, meaningful relationships with people in your community, volunteering has a significant impact on your physical health, including a boost to your heart health. New research from Carnegie Mellon University, scheduled to be published in the journal Psychology and Aging, followed more than 1,000 adults between the ages of 51 and 91. Those who volunteered for at least 200 hours a year were 40 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure than those who did not. Research shows volunteering can cut your overall mortality risk by 47 percent, may lower your risk of depression and anxiety, and even boost your psychological well-being. The type of volunteer work appeared to be irrelevant. Rather, it was the amount of time spent doing it that mattered. The benefits are particularly pronounced among older adults, a population that tends to slow down once retirement hits. Social interaction, and the stress relief it can provide, is likely one major reason why volunteering has a beneficial effect on blood pressure, as it’s a well-known fact that stress elevates blood pressure. Blood pressure aside, volunteering is not only a boon for your heart health. It’s likely that one reason volunteering is so beneficial is simply because it keeps you active and on your feet. Instead of resigning yourself to your couch, choosing to volunteer adds many hours of non-exercise activity to your life – a key to optimal health.
Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Pharmaceutical scandal: The NHS, the drug firms and the price racket
2013-06-20, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-07-01 13:09:08
Drug companies face accusations of secretly colluding with pharmacists to overcharge the NHS millions of pounds, following an undercover investigation by The Telegraph. Pharmaceutical firms appear to have rigged the market in so-called "specials" – prescription drugs that are largely not covered by national NHS price regulations. The prices of more than 20,000 drugs could have been artificially inflated, with backhanders paid to chemists who agreed to sell them. Representatives of some companies agreed to invoice chemists for drugs at up to double their actual cost. Chemists would then send inflated invoices to the NHS, allowing them to pocket the difference. Tens of thousands of the "special" drugs are not on the nationally controlled NHS price list and so costs can be manipulated by drug companies. Sales representatives for drug firms were secretly recorded by this newspaper offering to provide apparently falsified invoices allowing chemists to bill the NHS for sums far greater than they would spend. Another firm offered to pay an annual fee to chemists who agreed to offer its prescription drugs. Hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers money are feared to have been wasted in recent years due to the practice. The undercover investigation was launched after this newspaper was approached by a whistle-blower who alleged widespread malpractice. Undercover reporters posed as investors hoping to set up a chain of chemists.
Note: Watch the incriminating videos of these undercover deals at the link above. For more on pharmaceutical corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Urban Homesteading Video: Growing What You Eat
2013-01-21, Urban Gardening Digest
Posted: 2013-07-01 12:42:28
Urban homesteading differs from urban gardening in that it is a way of living that endeavors to be as self reliant as is possible in our modern age. The video [available at the above link] shows one family’s commitment to urban homesteading and how they have freed themselves from the urban rat race, grow their own food, and much, much more. In Pasadena, California, is a 4,000 sq. ft. urban homestead, owned by the Dervaes family. This homestead feeds a family of four, producing about 6,000 lbs. of food annually, on just 1/10th acre [1/25th hectare]. 63 year old Jules Dervaes, started this backyard urban farm 10 years ago. It is a deliberate throw back to the story days of self reliant rural America. Jules and his children grow almost all of the food they need and everyone pitches in. At the time of this video, they were also raising eight chickens, four ducks, and two goats. The ducks and chickens lay thousands of eggs a year and keep the bugs in check. Over 400 varieties of vegetables, fruits, and edible flowers are grown in this compact space. Enough [is grown] to feed themselves with plenty left over for local chefs looking for organic, pesticide-free produce. Front porch sales net the family about $20,000 a year, which they use to purchase things that they can not grow on their urban homestead, such as wheat, rice, and oats. In addition to growing their own food, Dervaes family has gone off the grid. Their ‘gizmos’ are all hand powered. What little electricity that they do use is generated by solar panels.
Note: Watch the full, nine-minute video at the link above to get a closer look at this urban homesteading lifestyle. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Chipotle labels all GM items on menu
2013-06-20, Chicago Tribune
Posted: 2013-07-01 12:40:04
As part of its "Food With Integrity" program, Chipotle this week posted information on its website identifying which items on its menu contain genetically modified ingredients. The chain posted a chart noting that 12 out of 25 ingredients, including its rice, barbacoa, chips, chicken, vegetable fajitas, steak and flour tortillas (except in certain restaurants) use either genetically modified corn or soybean oil, the vast majority of which is derived from GM soybeans. The chain said that those ingredients are "currently unavoidable" but that it is "working hard" to eliminate them. This move comes on the heels of Ben & Jerry's announcement that all of its flavors will be GM ingredient free by the end of the year and Whole Foods pledge to phase out all foods with GM ingredients by 2018. Although GM crops ... are considered safe by federal authorities and are legal to plant and sell, some independent studies have linked them to health and environmental problems. The announcements happen amid a flurry of state bills to require mandatory labeling of food with GM ingredients. In more GM news, this afternoon the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan amendment to require labeling of GM salmon as part of a 2014 Agriculture Appropriations bill. Overseas, where the labeling question is largely over, the GM debate rages over expanding GM crop planting approvals in the European Union. Asked [whether UK Prime Minister David] Cameron would eat GM foods or allow his children to eat them, the spokesman steadfastly declined to answer.
Note: Much of Europe labels their food for GMOs, which are even banned in many areas. Read an MSN article on the banning of GM foods from all restaurants and food in the UK's parliament at this link. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Drug Trials and Data-Based Medicine: An Interview with David Healy
2012-07-04, Psychology Today
Posted: 2013-06-11 07:23:05
Dr. David Healy is an internationally renowned psychiatrist, psychopharmacologist, scientist, and author. He was responsible for submitting the key document that led to New York State's successful fraud action against GlaxoSmithKline. [Q.] You’ve written at your blog that “evidence-based medicine and RCTs [random controlled trials] are ... simply not the answer to determining cause and effect,” [because] they’re “quite likely to hide rather than reveal a problem like antidepressant induced suicidality.” How in fact do RCTs hide such information? [Dr. Healy:] There are ... specific problems like miscoding, where suicidality becomes “nausea” or “emotional lability” or even “treatment non-responsiveness.” There is also the problem of mislocation – patients on placebo end up being given problems they never had – and of nonexistent patients, who don’t of course have adverse events. Beyond that, there are more sophisticated tricks that companies can and do play – such as claiming that increased rates of a problem on a drug are not really evidence of an increase in rates if the data are not statistically significant. In this way, companies have hidden many more heart attacks on Vioxx and Avandia or suicidal acts on SSRIs than have been hidden by miscoding or mislocation. When it comes to adverse events, trials almost never get the right answer. The deeper problem ... is the combination of product patents, prescription-only status, and the use of clinical trials as a means of determining efficacy – in particular, when the data from those trials are not made available. This creates a perfect product ... which industry can manipulate to mean whatever they want them to mean.
Note: Dr. Healy is the author of more than 150 peer-reviewed articles and 20 books. For an excellent article going further into Dr. Healy's amazing work, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on health corruption and manipulations, click here.
Simple vinegar cancer test could save tens of thousands of lives
2013-06-02, NBC News
Posted: 2013-06-11 07:07:28
A simple vinegar test slashed cervical cancer death rates by one-third in a remarkable study of 150,000 women in the slums of India, where the disease is the top cancer killer of women. Experts called the outcome "amazing" and said this quick, cheap test could save tens of thousands of lives each year in developing countries by spotting early signs of cancer, allowing treatment before it's too late. Usha Devi, one of the women in the study, says it saved her life. "Many women refused to get screened. Some of them died of cancer later," Devi said. "Now I feel everyone should get tested. I got my life back because of these tests." Pap smears and tests for HPV, a virus that causes most cervical cancers, have slashed cases and deaths in the United States. But poor countries can't afford those screening tools. This study tried a test that costs very little and can be done by local people with just two weeks of training and no fancy lab equipment. They swab the cervix with diluted vinegar, which can make abnormal cells briefly change color. This low-tech visual exam cut the cervical cancer death rate by 31 percent, the study found. It could prevent 22,000 deaths in India and 72,600 worldwide each year, researchers estimate. "That's amazing. That's remarkable. It's a very exciting result," said Dr. Ted Trimble of the National Cancer Institute in the U.S., the main sponsor of the study. India has nearly one-third of the world's cases of cervical cancer — more than 140,000 each year.
Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
7 Dodgy Food Practices Banned in Europe But Just Fine Here
2013-05-08, Mother Jones Magazine
Posted: 2013-06-04 09:14:57
Last week, the European Commission voted to place a two-year moratorium on most uses of neonicotinoid pesticides, on the suspicion that they're contributing to the global crisis in honeybee health. Might [that] inspire the US Environmental Protection Agency to make a similar move? The answer is no. The EU move will have no bearing on the EPA's own reviews of the pesticides, which aren't scheduled for release until 2016 at the earliest. Other food-related substances and practices that are banned in Europe [are] green-lighted [in the US]. 1. Atrazine: A "potent endocrine disruptor," Syngenta's popular corn herbicide has been linked to a range of reproductive problems at extremely low doses in both amphibians and humans, and it commonly leaches out of farm fields and into people's drinking water. What Europe did: Banned it in 2003. US status: EPA: "Atrazine will begin registration review, EPA's periodic reevaluation program for existing pesticides, in mid-2013." 2. Arsenic in chicken, turkey, and pig feed. 3. "Poultry litter" in cow feed. 4. Chlorine washes for poultry carcasses. 5. Antibiotics as growth promoters on livestock farms. 6. Ractopomine and other pharmaceutical growth enhancers in animal feed. 7. Gestation crates.
Note: For each numbered substance or practice, this article indicates the action taken by the EU and the inaction by the US government. For an article that gives more information on all of this and two additional banned practices, click here.
Seattle’s Free Food Experiment
2013-04-29, National Geographic
Posted: 2013-06-04 08:57:16
Can food be free, fresh and easily accessible? That’s the bold question that the city of Seattle is hoping to answer with a new experimental farm not far from the city’s downtown that will have fruits and vegetables for anyone to harvest this fall. On Beacon Hill, just south of central Seattle, landscape developers and a few affordable-food advocates are building an edible food forest. Everything grown in the area, from the tree canopies to the roots, will be edible. And it’ll be open around the clock to anyone who wants to come and pick some fresh blueberries or pears. In its first phase, the farm will be 1.5 acres. But if it’s successful, the public land it’ll sit on—currently owned by Seattle Public Utilities—will be able to accommodate 5.5 more acres of growth. One thing that’s striking about the idea (other than the idea in itself to have essentially a public farm that anyone can use—or abuse) is how the [crop] selection came together. Many are expected: apples, berries, row vegetables like lettuce or tomatoes. But others are pretty far out. A large Asian community in the area suggested things like Asian pears and honeyberries. A European influence led to the planting of medlar trees. The concept is modeled on permaculture, a design system and school of thought aimed at returning some land to its own devices. Offering people free, fresh food is one motivation, but making the land useful and ecologically enriched is the larger goal.
Note: For an awesome, free online permaculture course, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Mental disorders manual under fire
2013-05-22, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2013-05-28 09:59:44
The newest edition of the "bible" of mental disorders ... is attracting criticism from a number of experts, both for the changes made and for the foundations of the manual. The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders marks the first major revision since 1994 and comes in at almost 1,000 pages. Critics say the manual includes so many disorders and such broad definitions that it has a name for any behavior outside of a narrow norm. Shawn Rubin, the chairman of the school of clinical psychology at San Francisco's Saybrook University, said the manual has led to "the pathologizing of everyday experiences," contributing to unnecessary diagnoses and use of prescription drugs. "The debate is, do we put more and more problems to get people to come out of the closet, or are we making it so there are no normal people left?" said Stephen Hinshaw, a psychology professor at UC Berkeley and a vice chairman in the department of psychiatry at UCSF. The manual, first published more than 60 years ago, is used around the world and provides doctors in the field and patients a universal language. Insurers often provide coverage based on what diagnosis from the DSM clinicians give patients. Critics say the manual is not grounded in scientific research, instead relying on symptoms to identify disorders. They argue that a new classification system is needed. From a practical standpoint, experts say, research is a long way from identifying specific markers for mental illness, and a system that is more symptom-based is necessary at the clinical level.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on health issues, click here.
Wisconsin Farmer to Stand Trial for Selling Raw Milk
2013-05-12, The Daily Beast/Newsweek
Posted: 2013-05-21 08:07:10
A Wisconsin dairy farmer is set to go on trial for a strange offense: selling raw milk to a group of consumers who were members of a private buyer’s club. So in many parts of America, it’s basically legal to grow, sell, and smoke pot. But you can go to jail for selling people fresh milk? Wisconsin dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger, a 41-year-old father of ten, will go on trial later this month. Hershberger started a private buyer’s club for raw milk in 2003 after “some friends from town—who were retired farmers—wanted to continue getting this raw milk that they had for years. By word of mouth ... it grew from there.” By the time of his arrest in 2010, over 100 families were members. Technically, these club members were not customers of the farm, but partners: they legally leased animals from Hershberger, and in return for his family boarding and caring for their cattle on his 157 acres of farmland, they paid certain agreed-upon fees each time they came to pick up the products of those cattle—namely, raw milk. So Hershberger felt he didn’t need a license as a retail food establishment, because there was no retail going on; the milk already belonged to the club members. Hershberger grew up milking cows by hand on a small Amish dairy farm, and this hold order violated his religious values: though no longer Amish, he’s a non-denominational Christian, and opposes waste.
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