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.
When it comes to women’s progress, the United States doesn’t exactly bring home the gold. We rank 72nd in women’s political participation, with women holding less than 20% of congressional seats. Paid maternity leave? The United States comes in last. But at long last, we’re number one at something: Texas has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world. The rate of women dying from pregnancy complications doubled from 2010-2014. It’s not a coincidence, of course, that there was another major happening around women’s health in Texas during those years: the deliberate closure of clinics that provide abortion and a drastic funding cut to the state’s family planning budget. Texas gutted the state’s family planning budget by more than $73m in 2011, forcing clinics to shut down and dramatically reducing the number of women they could provide services to. By 2014, 600 women had died from pregnancy-related complications. It’s almost as if what feminists have been saying for years is true: limiting reproductive rights hurts women across the board. Access to reproductive care is necessary not just to prevent or end pregnancies, but to ensure healthy outcomes for those who choose to carry their pregnancies to term.
Despite having one of the world's most advanced economies, the United States lags far behind other countries in its policies for expectant mothers. In addition to being the only highly competitive country where mothers are not guaranteed paid leave, it sits in stark contrast to countries such as Cuba and Mongolia that offer expectant mothers one year or more of paid leave. Countries finance paid-maternal-leave policies in a variety of ways. Some require that the employer finance the leave; in others, the money comes from public funds. For low-income residents or those who work in the informal sector, an increasing number of governments are providing maternity cash benefits, according to the International Labor Organization, a U.N.-affiliated agency. From Gambia to Bangladesh, a majority of low- and middle-income countries offer some form of paid leave to mothers. Because current U.S. policy doesn't mandate paid maternity leave, many women feel they have to choose between working and raising a family. This gender inequity undermines their prospects of equal opportunity at work — and, experts say, it disproportionately affects women from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. A 2012 study conducted by the Department of Labor found that, of the workers it polled, 23 percent of women who had left work to care for an infant took less than two weeks off, increasing health risks for both mothers and children.
A new study finds a correlation between the aerial spraying of pesticides to kill mosquitoes and an increased risk of developmental delays and autism among kids. In the new findings, presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies 2016 meeting, researchers looked at the rates of autism and developmental delays from eight zip codes in a region of New York that is exposed to yearly airplane pesticide spraying to prevent mosquito-borne disease like eastern equine encephalitis virus. They compared those to the rates in 16 zip codes where the pesticide spraying doesn’t happen. They controlled for factors like poverty and gender variation across the zip codes. The authors report that kids living in zip codes where the spraying was done each summer had around a 25% higher risk of an autism diagnosis or developmental problems compared to kids living in areas without the aerial spraying. “Several studies have previously reported links between pesticide and autism risk,” says Dr. Steve Hicks, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Penn State College of Medicine in an email to TIME. “Our data suggests the way in which pesticides are applied might play some role. Studies of pesticides in animal models show they can affect certain neurotransmitters in the brain, but their exact molecular effects on brain development are still being explored.”
Note: 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.
The Florida Keys are three months away from a straw poll vote on whether to release millions of genetically modified mosquitoes on an island just east of Key West. The tourist destination is awash in lawn signs ... that showcase the overhead view of a mosquito and read: “NO CONSENT to release of genetically modified mosquitoes”. For the last five years, the biotechnology company Oxitec has been developing a plan to experimentally release the GMO mosquitoes in the Keys, which scientists hope could eventually impede the spread of the Zika virus [by undercutting] the population of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. But the prospect of ridding the neighborhood of a disease-carrying pest hasn’t quelled public dissatisfaction. Mila de Mier ... has led the charge against the mosquitoes’ release, collecting nearly 170,000 signatures in an online petition against the experiment. “It’s about human rights – this can’t be pushed down our throats without consent,” said De Mier. If the trial goes well, the technology would be on track to commercial approval in the United States, opening a slice of the nation’s $14bn pest control market to the company. Globally, analysts predict Oxitec’s mosquito could bring in up to $400m in annual sales for its parent company, Intrexon. With millions in potential sales at stake, the experiment in the environmentally sensitive, populous area hinges on the fundamental question proposed by opponents: do the people who live where an experiment is to be conducted have a right to decide whether to go forward?
Note: Oxitec, a company criticized for secretly releasing GM mosquitoes into the wild in 2009, was purchased last August by biotech giant Intrexon for $160 million. By December, the Zika virus was all over the news and Intrexon was ramping up production of these GM insects to "fight Zika" in Brazil. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on GMO controversies and Zika virus fear mongering.
Government researchers in Brazil are set to explore the country's peculiar distribution of Zika-linked microcephaly - babies born with abnormally small heads. Zika virus has spread throughout Brazil, but extremely high rates of microcephaly have been reported only in the country's northeast. Although evidence suggests that Zika can cause microcephaly, the clustering pattern hints that other environmental, socio-economic or biological factors could be at play. “We suspect that something more than Zika virus is causing the high intensity and severity of cases,” says Fatima Marinho, director of information and health analysis at Brazil’s ministry of health. If that turns out to be true, it could change researchers' assessment of the risk that Zika poses. Zika was discovered in 1947 and hadn’t been implicated in birth defects until now. The northeast was where the first reported surge in microcephaly cases in Brazil began a year ago. Health officials had expected that they would later see the same high rates in other parts of the country. But as of 20 July, almost 90% of the 1,709 confirmed cases of congenital microcephaly or birth defects of the central nervous system reported in Brazil since last November were in a relatively small area ... about the size of the United Kingdom, whereas Brazil is almost as large as the United States. There are many hypotheses about what might be going on. Marinho says that her team's data, submitted for publication, hint that socio-economic factors might be involved.
Note: The cluster of microcephaly cases in Brazil was reported in February to predate the latest Zika outbreak. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Zika virus news articles from reliable major media sources.
A controversial scientist who carried out provocative research on making influenza viruses more infectious has completed his most dangerous experiment to date by deliberately creating a pandemic strain of flu that can evade the human immune system. Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison has genetically manipulated the 2009 strain of pandemic flu in order for it to “escape” the control of the immune system’s neutralising antibodies, effectively making the human population defenceless against its reemergence. Most of the world today has developed some level of immunity to the 2009 pandemic flu virus. However ... Professor Kawaoka intentionally set out to see if it was possible to convert it to a pre-pandemic state in order to analyse the genetic changes involved. Professor Kawaoka’s work had been cleared by Wisconsin’s Institutional Biosafety Committee, but some members of the committee were not informed about details of the antibody study ... and have voiced concerns about the direction, oversight and safety of his overall research on flu viruses. “I have met Professor Kawaoka in committee and have heard his research presentations and honestly it was not re-assuring,” said Professor Tom Jeffries, a dissenting member of the 17-person biosafety committee. This is the first time that someone has taken a strain of influenza virus, called H1N1, known to have caused a global epidemic, in other words a “pandemic”, and deliberately mutated it many times over.
As part of an ongoing effort to “exploit medical intelligence,” the National Security Agency teamed up with the military-focused Defense Intelligence Agency to extract “medical SIGINT” from the intercepted communications of nonprofit groups starting in the early 2000s, a top-secret document shows. Medical intelligence can include information about disease outbreaks; the ability of a foreign regime to respond to chemical, biological, and nuclear attacks; the capabilities of overseas drugs companies; advances in medical technology; medical research, and the medical response capabilities of various governments, according to the document and others like it, provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. One of the more prominent examples of focused medical spying came in 2010, when the agency crafted a plan to stow tracking devices with medical supplies bound for an ill Osama bin Laden in order to locate the terrorist leader. One article from August 2003 identifies an NSA project to keep an eye on the evolution of biotechnology in various countries. “Can we ... determine the specific features that would distinguish a Bio Warfare Program from a benign civilian pharmaceutical production effort?” the author wrote, identifying a “suspect Iranian [biological warfare] facility” as a target for inspection. Medical intelligence gathering has continued since then, according to the so-called “black budget” proposed for the 2013 fiscal year, published in February 2012.
Cholesterol does not cause heart disease in the elderly and trying to reduce it with drugs like statins is a waste of time, an international group of experts has claimed. A review of research involving nearly 70,000 people found there was no link between what has traditionally been considered “bad” cholesterol and the premature deaths of over 60-year-olds from cardiovascular disease. Published in the BMJ Open journal, the new study found that 92 percent of people with a high cholesterol level lived longer. The authors have called for a re-evaluation of the guidelines for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis, a hardening and narrowing of the arteries, because “the benefits from statin treatment have been exaggerated”. Co-author of the study Dr Malcolm Kendrick, an intermediate care GP, acknowledged the findings would cause controversy but defended them as “robust” and “thoroughly reviewed”. Vascular and endovascular surgery expert Professor Sherif Sultan from the University of Ireland, who also worked on the study, said cholesterol is one of the “most vital” molecules in the body and prevents infection, cancer, muscle pain and other conditions in elderly people. “Lowering cholesterol with medications for primary cardiovascular prevention in those aged over 60 is a total waste of time and resources, whereas altering your lifestyle is the single most important way to achieve a good quality of life,” he said.
Note: Big Pharma was heavily involved in clinical trials of statins. 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.
I’m a science journalist. That keeps me busy, because, as you know, most peer-reviewed scientific claims are wrong. So I’m a skeptic, but with a small s, not capital S. “The Science Delusion” is common among Capital-S Skeptics. You don’t apply your skepticism equally. You are extremely critical of belief in God, ghosts, heaven, ESP, astrology, homeopathy and Bigfoot. Meanwhile, you neglect [many] dubious and even harmful claims promoted by major scientists and institutions. Let’s take a look at ... mainstream medicine. Over the past half-century, physicians and hospitals have introduced increasingly sophisticated, expensive tests. They assure us that early detection of disease will lead to better health. But tests often do more harm than good. For every woman whose life is extended because a mammogram detected a tumor, up to 33 receive unnecessary treatment, including biopsies, surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. For men diagnosed with prostate cancer after a PSA test, the ratio is 47 to one. Similar data are emerging on colonoscopies and other tests. Mental-health care suffers from similar problems. The biological theory that really drives me nuts is the deep-roots theory of war. According to the theory, lethal group violence is in our genes. But the evidence is overwhelming that war was a cultural innovation. I hate the deep-roots theory not only because it’s wrong, but also because it encourages fatalism toward war. War is our most urgent problem.
Note: The above was written by John Horgan, director of the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing science corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
A safeguard for Medicare beneficiaries has become a way for drugmakers to get paid billions of dollars for pricey medications at taxpayer expense. The cost of Medicare’s “catastrophic” prescription coverage jumped by 85 percent in three years, from $27.7 billion in 2013 to $51.3 billion in 2015. Out of some 2,750 drugs covered by Medicare’s Part D benefit, two pills for hepatitis C infection - Harvoni and Sovaldi - accounted for nearly $7.5 billion in catastrophic drug costs in 2015. Medicare’s catastrophic coverage was originally designed to protect seniors with multiple chronic conditions from the cumulatively high costs of taking many different pills. Beneficiaries pay 5 percent after they have spent $4,850 of their own money. With some drugs now costing more than $1,000 per pill, that threshold can be crossed quickly. Lawmakers who created Part D in 2003 also hoped added protection would entice insurers to participate in the program. Medicare pays 80 percent of the cost of drugs above a catastrophic threshold that combines spending by the beneficiary and the insurer. That means taxpayers, not insurers, bear the exposure for the most expensive patients. Catastrophic spending accounts for a fast-growing share of Medicare’s drug costs, which totaled nearly $137 billion in 2015. The catastrophic share was 37 percent, yet only about 9 percent of beneficiaries reached the threshold for such costs. Catastrophic coverage will soon cost as much as the entire prescription program did when it launched. Experts say the rapid rise in spending for pricey drugs threatens to make the popular prescription benefit financially unsustainable.
Note: Read an excellent essay by former New England Journal of Medicine editor Dr. Marcia Angell exposing The Truth About the Drug Companies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma profiteering news articles from reliable major media sources.
[A] study finds sperm levels of men who kept their phones in their pocket during the day were quite seriously affected in 47 per cent of cases. Fertility experts are warning men that using a mobile for as little as an hour a day is "cooking sperm". The new study shows that having a mobile phone close to the testicles - or within a foot or two of the body - can lower sperm levels so much that conceiving could be difficult. Professor Martha Dirnfeld, of the Technion University in Haifa, said: "We analysed the amount of active swimming sperm and the quality and found that it had been reduced. "We think this is being caused by a heating of the sperm from the phone and by electromagnetic activity." The team monitored more than 100 men attending a fertility clinic for a year. They found that besides men keeping their phones close to their groin many spoke on the phone while it was charging and kept it only a few centimetres from their bed. Even keeping the phone on a bedside table appears to raise lower sperm cell counts. The findings are in the journal Reproductive BioMedicine and support a long-feared link between dropping fertility rates in men and the prevalent use of cellular phones. The quality of sperm among men in Western countries is constantly decreasing and is considered crucial in 40 percent of the cases in which couples have difficulty conceiving a child.
Note: This Newsweek article states that Apple advises not to keep your cell phone in your pocket. For lots more reliable information on cellphone risk, read this well researched article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.
Naloxone works by blocking the effect that painkillers and heroin have in the brain and reversing the slowed breathing and unconsciousness that come with an overdose. But as the demand for naloxone has risen - overdose deaths now total 130 every day, or roughly the capacity of a Boeing 737 - the drug’s price has soared. Not long ago, a dose of the decades-old generic drug cost little more than a dollar. Now the lowest available price is nearly 20 times that. In 2014, more than 47,000 Americans died from drug overdoses. That was 50% more deaths than from highway accidents ... and more overdose deaths than any year on record. The overdose crisis has its roots in the 1990s, when doctors began prescribing more and higher doses of painkillers [in response] to campaigns, often funded behind the scenes by drug makers, that urged doctors to prescribe the strongest painkillers not just to cancer patients and others in severe pain, but also to those with milder pain. The narcotic manufacturers’ funding of those campaigns ... came to light through evidence unearthed in lawsuits and investigative journalism reports. Since 1999, the amount of prescription opioids such as oxycodone, morphine and hydrocodone sold in the U.S. nearly quadrupled. During that same time, deaths from those drugs quadrupled. The lethal side effects of that booming prescription painkiller market has now sparked a moneymaking opportunity with naloxone.
Painkiller abuse and overdose are lower in states with medical marijuana laws. When medical marijuana is available, pain patients are increasingly choosing pot over powerful and deadly prescription narcotics. Now a new study [provides] clear evidence of a missing link in the causal chain running from medical marijuana to falling overdoses. Researchers at the University of Georgia scoured the database of all prescription drugs paid for under Medicare Part D from 2010 to 2013. In the 17 states with a medical-marijuana law in place by 2013, prescriptions for painkillers and other classes of drugs fell sharply compared with states that did not have a medical-marijuana law. They found that, in medical-marijuana states, the average doctor prescribed 265 fewer doses of antidepressants each year, 486 fewer doses of seizure medication, 541 fewer anti-nausea doses and 562 fewer doses of anti-anxiety medication. But most strikingly, the typical physician in a medical-marijuana state prescribed 1,826 fewer doses of painkillers in a given year. Estimating the cost savings to Medicare from the decreased prescribing, [the study] found that about $165 million was saved in the 17 medical marijuana states in 2013. The estimated annual Medicare prescription savings would be nearly half a billion dollars if all 50 states were to implement similar programs.
Note: The war on drugs has been called a "trillion dollar failure", and an increasing number of deaths are caused by prescription opioid overdose in the US each year. 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.
On May 18, a team working at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research here had its first look at a sample of the bacterium Escherichia coli, taken from a 49-year-old woman in Pennsylvania. Her sample was one of six from across the country delivered to the lab of microbiologist Patrick McGann. Within hours, a preliminary analysis deepened concern at the lab. Over the next several days, more sophisticated genetic sleuthing confirmed McGann’s worst fears. There, in the bacterium’s DNA, was a gene [that] made the pathogen impervious to the venerable antibiotic colistin. More ominously, the gene’s presence ... suggested that it could readily jump to other E. coli bacteria, or to entirely different forms of disease-causing organisms. That would make them impervious to colistin as well. It was a milestone public health officials have been anticipating for years. In a steady march, disease-causing microbes have evolved ways to evade the bulwark of medications used to treat bacterial infections. For a variety of those illnesses, only colistin continued to work every time. Now this last line of defense had been breached as well. Almost as soon as they were given to patients, scientists began finding evidence that disease-causing bacteria were developing resistance to these new wonder drugs. Humans have accelerated this natural process by indiscriminately prescribing antibiotics and by routinely feeding the drugs to livestock.
Note: Millions of unnecessary drug prescriptions and rampant overuse of antibiotics in livestock also produces autoimmune diseases that were virtually unknown to our ancestors. 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.
Vaccination prices have gone from single digits to sometimes triple digits in the last two decades, creating dilemmas for doctors and their patients as well as straining public health budgets. Some doctors have stopped offering immunizations because they say they cannot afford to buy these potentially lifesaving preventive treatments that insurers often reimburse poorly, sometimes even at a loss. Childhood immunizations are so vital to public health that the Affordable Care Act mandates their coverage at no out-of-pocket cost and they are generally required for school entry. Old vaccines have been reformulated with higher costs. New ones have entered the market at once-unthinkable prices. Together, since 1986, they have pushed up the average cost to fully vaccinate a child with private insurance to the age of 18 to $2,192 from $100, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The costs for the federal government, which buys half of all vaccines for the nation’s children, have increased 15-fold during that period. The most expensive shot for young children in Dr. Irvin’s refrigerator is Prevnar 13, which prevents diseases caused by pneumococcal bacteria, from ear infections to pneumonia. Each shot is priced at $136, and most states require children to get four doses before entering day care or preschool. Pfizer, the sole manufacturer, had revenues of nearly $4 billion from its Prevnar vaccine line last year.
Thousands of dogs across Britain are dying or suffering severe allergic reactions after being treated with a vaccine meant to protect them against mild bacterial infections. Fears over the safety of the vaccine against leptospirosis - a bacterial infection spread to dogs through rats and wild animals – have now led veterinary organisations to issue warnings about its side effects. The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) is urging owners not to use Nobivac L4 vaccine on puppies under 12 weeks old. However, [it] is still being administered in veterinary practices across Britain to dogs from seven weeks old, with little warning of the potential side effects. According to reports made to the Government's Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) by pet owners, more than 120 dogs are feared to have died after receiving a dosage in the three years the product has been on the market. In the last two years, regulators have received 2,000 reports of dogs having suspected adverse or fatal reactions. Owners that have opted for the L4 vaccine ... have reported adverse effects including epileptic fits, swollen glands and blindness. The vaccine, which is manufactured by MSD Animal Health, a subsidiary of American conglomerate Merck Sharp & Dohme, is currently being monitored by the VMD. The regulator has however refused to reveal the total number of animals that had been affected since the product came onto the market, prompting concern among dog owners that the scale of problem is being kept hidden from the public.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing vaccine controversy news articles from reliable major media sources.
It's the time of year when experts crunch the numbers to see how well the flu shot worked. The result? Better than last year, but still not good enough. "Just shy of 45 to 50 per cent," said Dr. Danuta Skowronski of the BC Centre for Disease Control, who presented the data to the Global Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness meeting at the World Health Organization last week. In 2014-15, the flu shot offered essentially zero protection against the circulating influenza virus of that season. Back then, the prevailing strain was H3N2. This year's main circulating virus was H1N1. Skowronski said the vaccine was ... disappointing. Experts used to believe the annual flu shot protection was much higher, around 70 to 90 per cent. But not anymore. Those early estimates were based on industry-funded clinical trials that were extrapolated to apply across all ages and flu seasons. "It was a blanket assumption that is simply not true," Skowronski said. That assumption changed dramatically, after Skowronski and colleagues developed a protocol that revealed the true picture of vaccine efficacy. It's called the test negative design (TND) first piloted in Canada in 2004. "The test negative design has opened our eyes to all kinds of variables that we were blind to for years," said Skowronski. Scientists also once again observed [that] people who get the shot with no prior vaccine exposure seem to have better protection than people who get the shot year after year.
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.
As the Internet lights up with images of the iPhone 6 plus emerging from people’s pockets bent like a used paperclip, it may be useful to consider this: Apple explicitly tells you not to carry your phone in your pocket, due to the radiation exposure threat it poses. In the little handbook that comes with every iPhone ... Apple also explicitly states that the phone is not supposed to touch your body much, if at all. The iPhone 3G safety manual warns that radiation exposure may exceed government standards during “body-worn operation” if the phone is “positioned less than 15 millimeters (5/8 inch) from the body (e.g., when carrying iPhone in your pocket).” The iPhone, Apple says, should always be worn in a belt clip or holster. Cell phone radiation, measured in radio-frequency exposure, is regulated in the U.S. by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). All phones must be tested to ensure that they emit a specific absorption rate of not more than 1.6 watts of radio-frequency energy per kilogram of body tissue, a rule designed to prevent harm from the heat generated by radio-frequency waves. There are ... gaps in cell phone radiation testing. The American Academy of Pediatrics, for example, recently urged the FCC to begin taking child users of cellphones into account. Radiation from cell phones is not an Apple-only problem, of course. Blackberry’s user manual advises .59 inches of separation between the body and the phone. Earlier manuals pushed for nearly a full inch (.98 inch) of separation.
Note: Industry-funded safety studies have been found to downplay cellphone risks, while regulators like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide unclear guidance on these risks. For lots more reliable information on cellphone risk, read this well researched article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.
Something strange is going on in medicine. Major diseases, like colon cancer, dementia and heart disease, are waning in wealthy countries, and improved diagnosis and treatment cannot fully explain it. Scientists marvel at this good news, a medical mystery of the best sort. The leading killers are still the leading killers - cancer, heart disease, stroke - but they are occurring later in life, and people in general are living longer in good health. Colon cancer is the latest conundrum. While the overall cancer death rate has been declining since the early 1990s, the plunge in colon cancer deaths is especially perplexing: The rate has fallen by nearly 50 percent since its peak in the 1980s. [Dr. Steven R. Cummings of the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute], intrigued by the waning of disease, has a provocative idea for further investigation. He starts with two observations: Rates of disease after disease are dropping. Even the rate of “all-cause mortality,” which lumps together chronic diseases, is falling. And every one of those diseases at issue is linked to aging. Perhaps, he said, all these degenerative diseases share something in common, something inside aging cells themselves. The cellular process of aging may be changing, in humans’ favor. For too long, he said, researchers have looked under the lamppost at things they can measure. “I want to look inside cells,” Dr. Cummings said. Inside, there could be more clues to this happy mystery.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Nearly all food labels in Vermont are now required to disclose when products include genetically engineered ingredients. The requirement, passed two years ago, became effective on Friday. The rule is the first of its kind in the United States, and although it applies only within the tiny state, it is having national impact. Most major food and beverage companies have already added language to their labels to meet the new rule, rather than deal with the logistical hassle of having separate labels for different states. But not all the same products will definitely be on shelves. Vermont’s law requires the labeling of most packaged grocery products as well as any whole fruits or vegetables produced with genetic engineering. That means virtually all products containing derivatives of crops like corn, soy, canola and sugar from sugar beets will need labels, as most of those crops in the United States are grown from genetically modified seeds. Vermont’s law is careful, however, to exclude cheese, a big business in the state. The law also exempts meat from animals that have eaten feed made from genetically engineered grains. The labeling issue has generated heavy and frantic lobbying by the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the trade groups representing major commodity producers of crops like soy and corn, who have wanted a federal law that would prevent mandatory labels.
Note: On July 8, the US Senate passed a bill which allows food companies to continue to avoid clear GMO ingredient labeling. Let's hope it does not pass the full Congress and become a law. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing food industry corruption and GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
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.