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.
A panel of scientists is disputing a World Health Organization report published earlier this year that concluded glyphosate, the world's most widely used weed killer and main ingredient in Monsanto Co's Roundup herbicide, is probably carcinogenic to humans. The 16-member panel, assembled by Intertek Scientific & Regulatory Consultancy, will present its findings to the annual meeting of the Society for Risk Analysis on Monday, aiming to publish the study at a later date after peer review. Monsanto paid Intertek for the panel's work. Concerns about glyphosate on food have been a hot topic of debate in the United States recently and contributed to the passage in Vermont last year of the country's first mandatory labeling law for foods that are genetically modified. Critics say that industry-linked scientists are downplaying the risk to human health and trying to discredit the IARC report by casting doubt on some of the scientific studies that it reviewed. Ten of the 16 scientists on the Intertek panel have been consultants for Monsanto in the past and two others are former Monsanto employees.
Note: Read an informative article titled "Monsanto Charged With Crimes Against Humanity" on mercola.com. Read how the EPA used industry studies while ignoring independent studies to declare Roundup safe. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
With cellphone batteries typically lasting about a day because battery technology hasn’t kept pace with the ever-increasing power of many feature-rich phones, reaching for a cumbersome charger is a necessary chore. A new standard for wireless charging that’s becoming increasingly prevalent in furniture, cars, and some airport lounges and hotels wants to change that. The concept behind the chargers is straightforward - a base plugged into an electrical outlet emits a constantly-varying magnetic field, which causes a receiver in the device to vibrate, powering the battery and allowing it to charge. So far, more than 200 companies - including Microsoft, Samsung, LG Electronics, Verizon, Sanyo, and Phillips - have agreed to use a standard for the chargers called Qi. The market for wireless chargers has been growing steadily, with companies shipping 55 million devices that charged wirelessly in 2014, which grew to an expected 160 million this year, or $1.7 billion in sales. Since the technology is relatively new, there are some catches - Apple’s iPhone doesn’t natively support wireless charging, for example. Carmakers are taking notice of the technology, with Toyota offering wireless charging in its popular Camry and Toyota models and in Lexus cars, while BMW and Audi have begun offering it in some vehicles. Wireless charging continues to be adopted for use with more devices at home, at work, and in the car.
Note: The wireless products industry funds studies that downplay health risks associated with wireless technologies.
Dow AgroSciences, which sells seeds and pesticides to farmers, made contradictory claims to different parts of the U.S. government about its latest herbicide. The Environmental Protection Agency just found out, and now wants to cancel Dow's legal right to sell the product. The herbicide, which the company calls Enlist Duo, is a mixture of two chemicals: glyphosate (also known as Roundup) and 2,4-D. It's Dow's answer to the growing problem of weeds that are resistant to glyphosate, which has become the weed-killing weapon of choice for farmers across the country. The new formulation is intended to work hand-in-hand with a new generation of corn and soybean seeds that are genetically engineered to tolerate sprays of both herbicides. When Dow applied for permission to sell Enlist Duo in 2011, it told the EPA that this mixture of glyphosate and 2,4-D is no more toxic than the two chemicals are, if considered separately. The EPA ... approved the new herbicide just over a year ago, [yet later] discovered that Dow had been telling the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office a different story. Dow's patent application for Enlist Duo claims that this mixture of chemicals does, in fact, offer farmers something new: "synergistic herbicidal weed control." Last month, the EPA asked Dow to explain these synergistic effects. On Nov. 9, the company responded with what the EPA calls "extensive information." The EPA, after taking a look at the new information, decided to ask the court for a chance to reverse its approval of Enlist Duo.
Note: Read an excellent mercola.com article titled "GMO cookie is crumbling." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the corruption of science and the controversy surrounding GMOs.
Americans may not agree on much. But according to polls, more than 90 percent support genetically engineered (GE) food labeling. Despite the industrial food complex spending hundreds of millions on lobbying against labeling, three states have responded to the call from their voters and passed labeling laws. Vermont's laws will require that companies start labeling by July, 2016. This deadline has the agribusiness community scrambling for a way out. The biotech industry, along with its top enabler at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Secretary Tom Vilsack, is trying to sell the idea that the long derided and poorly utilized QR code is the answer to consumer concerns about GE foods. A QR code ... is similar to a bar code. To use it, a person must have a smartphone device, an internet connection, and a QR code reader downloaded onto his or her phone. Vilsack and now even Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton are promoting QR code information on GE foods as sufficient to rescind the mandatory on package clear and accessible labeling required by the state laws. Substituting clear and accessible on-package labeling with QR codes would be a form of discrimination against the poor, the rural, the elderly and many other groups. We do not want this discriminatory, burdensome and privacy invasive technology to become the norm.
Note: Read more about why the overwhelming majority of Americans believe GMO foods should require labels. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
The new movie Consumed tackles the controversial world of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in unprecedented fashion, offering insight into their risks. Its message could not be more timely in the wake of the recent news that the Food and Drug Administration has approved the first genetically engineered salmon for human consumption. The fish, like all genetically engineered ingredients in this country, will not be labeled, leaving American consumers in the dark. Like many food and environmental safety activists around the world, I’m outraged. The biotech industry and the FDA have hijacked not only our basic rights as consumers, but also our fundamental human rights in the face of corporate monopolization of our food supply. They are jeopardizing our health and the environment more than ever before. In detailed comments submitted to the FDA, Michael Hansen, senior scientist at Consumers Union, argues the FDA review process was based on “sloppy science” and the genetically engineered salmon could pose many risks. “Because FDA’s assessment is inadequate, we are particularly concerned that this salmon may pose an increased risk of severe, even life-threatening allergic reactions,” he writes. The majority of Americans ... believe they have a fundamental right to know what is in their food. A 2013 New York Times poll found that 93% of Americans want GMOs to be labeled. More than 60 countries label GMOs, and in some cases even ban them, but the U.S. still does not.
Note: Read an excellent mercola.com article titled "GMO cookie is crumbling." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
In approving genetically engineered salmon as safe to eat and safe for the environment, the Food and Drug Administration rejected petitions from environmental and food safety groups asking that companies selling this salmon be required to label it as genetically engineered. Congress should overturn that decision. The salmon, made by AquaBounty Technologies of Maynard, Mass., has genes inserted that allow it to grow to market size twice as fast as wild salmon. At least one consumer group has announced plans to sue the F.D.A. to overturn its approval of the engineered salmon. Some leading grocery chains, responding to consumer concerns, have said they won’t sell the genetically engineered salmon. The F.D.A. said there is no reason to mandate labeling because there is no material difference between engineered and natural fish. But the value of that information should be left to consumers to decide. Vermont enacted a law last year that will require labeling of genetically engineered foods starting next July unless a suit filed in June 2014 by four industry trade groups derails it. Other states with strong consumer movements may try to follow. The House passed a bill on July 23, 2015, that would pre-empt states from requiring such labeling, and industry groups are pressing the Senate to attach similar language as a rider to an omnibus spending bill. The Senate should rebuff that tactic and allow states to adopt mandatory labeling laws if they wish.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
Heavy use of the world’s most popular herbicide, Roundup, may be linked to a range of health problems and diseases, including Parkinson’s, infertility and cancers, according to a new study. The report, published this month in the online journal Entropy, said evidence indicates that residues of glyphosate, the chief ingredient in Roundup and other weedkillers, has been found in food. Those residues enhance the damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and toxins in the environment to disrupt normal body functions and induce disease. “Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body,” the study says. Environmentalists, consumer groups and plant scientists from several countries have warned that heavy use of glyphosate is causing problems for plants, people and animals. Monsanto is the developer of both Roundup herbicide and of crops that are genetically altered to withstand being sprayed with the weedkiller. These biotech crops, including corn, soybeans, canola and sugarbeets, are planted on millions of acres in the United States annually. Farmers like them because they can spray Roundup directly on the crops to kill weeds in the fields without harming the crops. Roundup is also used on lawns, gardens and golf courses.
Note: Watch a video of this MIT researcher talking about this vitally important topic. Read how the EPA used industry studies while ignoring independent studies to declare Roundup safe. Monsanto is trying to stop the state of California from listing Glyphosate as carcinogenic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
This season’s flu vaccine is not as effective against the virus as had been previously believed. Health experts had high hopes for this year’s vaccine because of changes to the recipe following last season’s disappointing success rate. Creating the flu vaccine is not an exact science. Health officials from around the world make their best guesses as to what flu strains to prepare for. They must make their recommendations months in advance so vaccine makers will have time to create and distribute the serum. So far this year, the vaccine has been found to be just 18 percent effective for adults against the H3N2 strain, the dominant strain this season. Officials had hoped for 50 to 60 percent effectiveness for this season’s batch.
Note: According to this NPR article, last year "the vaccine was only about 13 percent effective against the main strain." Could it be that we are being tricked into believing these vaccines a much more effective than they really are? For more, see this mercola.com article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing vaccine controversy news articles from reliable major media sources.
Jeff Bradstreet, the controversial autism doctor who authorities say committed suicide on June 19 following a federal raid of his offices ... was closely involved with a European company that provided the drug targeted in the search. On June 19, the day of Bradstreet’s death, a European news report described the deaths of five people at a Swiss clinic run by the company, First Immune. The condition that led these people to the clinic remains unclear, as is what caused their deaths, but each patient reportedly paid 5,000 euros per week (about $5,400 US) for treatment. The First Immune Facebook page ... includes a post by a page administrator about the death of Bradstreet that claims: "Dr Bradstreet has been under attack by big pharma for his success during all his professional life so there is no way he would have committed a suicide for just another attack. He was murdered; the FDA were clearly involved, and the other suspect is the MMR vaccine co-orporations, who work with the FDA." Rumors of a murder conspiracy continue to buzz around Bradstreet’s death, and family members have used money from a fundraiser to hire private investigators to look into it.
The world’s biggest animal “cloning factory” is due to open in China, producing one million calves a year, sniffer dogs and even genetic copies of the family pet. The center may cause alarm in Europe, where the cloning of animals for farming was banned in September due to animal welfare considerations. But Xu Xiaochun, chairman of Chinese biotechnology company BoyaLife that is backing the facility, dismissed such concerns. Interest in agricultural biotechnology has been rapidly increasing in China, where [beef prices] are said to have tripled from 2000 to 2013. Mr Xu said his new facility will clone racehorses and a handful of dogs for people with “emotional ties” to their pets, but its main focus was producing cattle. However, he appeared to be more excited about its ability to churn out sniffer dogs. “The dog has to be smart and obedient, strong, sensitive," he said. The factory, which will include a 15,000 square metre laboratory, an animal centre, a gene bank and an exhibition hall ... is due to open in the first half of next year. BoyaLife will operate the facility with its South Korean partner, Sooam Biotech, that runs a centre that can clone dogs for customers willing to pay $100,000 (Ł66,000), and has already produced more than 550 puppies. The new facility will initially produce 100,000 cattle embryos a year, eventually increasing to one million.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
A powerful new technique for generating “supercharged” genetically modified organisms that can spread rapidly in the wild has caused alarm among scientists. The development of so-called “gene drive” technology promises to revolutionize medicine and agriculture. However, scientists at the forefront of the development believe ... gene-drive technology poses a serious threat to the environment and human health if accidentally or deliberately released from a laboratory without adequate safeguards. Last week the US National Academy of Sciences initiated a wide-ranging review of gene-drive technology in “non-human organisms” and in this week’s journal Science a group of 27 leading geneticists call on the scientific community to be open and transparent about both the risks and benefits of gene drives. Researchers have likened gene-drive technology to a nuclear chain reaction because it allows GM genes to be amplified within a breeding population of insects or other animals without any further intervention once the trait has been initially introduced. This is the case even if the trait is non-beneficial to the organism. Laboratory experiments on fruit flies have shown that a modified gene introduced into one individual fly can take just a few generations to “infect” practically every other fly in the breeding population, in defiance of the normal rules of genetics which dictate a far slower spread.
Note: A large segment of the scientific community called for a moratorium on using this technology on humans. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
In late 2012, Brice Royer was lying on a bed in terrible pain, thinking about how to kill himself. Today, the pain is still there and the malignant tumour in his stomach is no smaller. But he has never been happier. A year ago, Royer, 31, decided to give and receive freely without the use of money in an effort to build community. Thinking he was staring down a death sentence, Royer [researched] and reflect on the causes of illness. Toxins in the environment. Loneliness. Stress. “The root cause (is) a lack of love in our society,” Royer says. “A lot of the problems that we have today - anything from the housing crisis in Vancouver, how expensive things are, to working at a stressful job, making ends meet and not having much time to have community or friends - all these things I feel led to a lot of health problems and in my case, can aggravate cancer.” Royer researched where the healthiest people in the world live and the lifestyle they practise. “They all take care of each other. They all have big families and small communities and they all have something called the gift economy. They are isolated from the market economy,” Royer explains. [He] suggested to a friend that they practise this within their own circle using a Facebook group. True to philosophy, he offered to pay someone else’s rent ... for a year instead of his own. The woman he helped was a chronically ill single mother. The biggest payoff, he says, is the community he’s built and the love and support he gets from friends.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
The American Medical Association on Tuesday called for a ban on direct-to-consumer ads for prescription drugs and implantable medical devices, saying they contribute to rising costs and patients' demands for inappropriate treatment. Delegates at the influential group's policy-making meeting in Atlanta voted to adopt that as official policy as part of an AMA effort to make prescription drugs more affordable. It means AMA will lobby for a ban. "Today's vote in support of an advertising ban reflects concerns among physicians about the negative impact of commercially driven promotions and the role that marketing costs play in fueling escalating drug prices," said Dr. Patrice Harris, an AMA board member. According to data cited in an AMA news release, ad dollars spent by drugmakers have risen to $4.5 billion in the last two years, a 30 percent increase. Other data show prices on prescription drugs have climbed nearly 5 percent this year, Harris said in the news release. She also raised concern that advertising spurs use of newer brand-name drugs when other possibly lower-cost options might be just as good. "Direct-to-consumer advertising also inflates demand for new and more expensive drugs, even when these drugs may not be appropriate." The pharmaceutical industry opposes the AMA's stance.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing big pharma profiteering news articles from reliable major media sources. Then read an in-depth essay titled "The Truth About Drug Companies" by acclaimed author Dr. Marcia Angell.
The Environmental Protection Agency concluded in June that there was “no convincing evidence” that glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the U.S. and the world, is an endocrine disruptor. The decision was based almost entirely on pesticide industry studies. Most of the studies were sponsored by Monsanto or an industry group called the Joint Glyphosate Task Force. Of the small minority of independently funded studies that the agency considered in determining whether the chemical poses a danger to the endocrine system, three of five found that it did. One, for instance, found that exposure to glyphosate-Roundup “may induce significant adverse effects on the reproductive system of male Wistar rats.” Another concluded that “low and environmentally relevant concentrations of glyphosate possessed estrogenic activity.” And a review of the literature turns up many more peer-reviewed studies finding glyphosate can interfere with hormones. Many of the industry-funded studies contained data that suggested that exposure to glyphosate had serious effects. Yet in each case, sometimes even after animals died, the scientists found reasons to discount the findings — or to simply dismiss them. Having companies fund and perform studies that affect them financially [is] the standard practice at EPA. The International Agency for Research on Cancer labeled glyphosate a probable carcinogen in March.
Note: Read an excellent mercola.com article titled "GMO cookie is crumbling." Monsanto is trying to stop the state of California from listing Glyphosate as carcinogenic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
Consumer advocates, environmental groups, fishermen and retailers reacted strongly to the federal government’s announcement Thursday approving genetically modified salmon for consumer use. The landmark approval - the first genetically engineered food animal endorsed for sale in the United States - has sparked a passionate response ... especially because it will not require special labelling. Around 2 million people previously filed public comments against the FDA’s approval of what opponents call “Frankenfish,” and the Center for Food Safety announced Thursday that it would sue the FDA in response. “This sets the bar incredibly low for engineered animals,” said Michael Hansen, senior scientist at Consumers Union. “There were serious problems with the safety assessment.” At least 60 retailers - including chains like Safeway, Target, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, as well as local independent grocers like Bi-Rite and Rainbow Community Market - have made a pledge with Friends of the Earth not to sell the salmon when it goes to market. Chief among concerns about the GMO salmon is its potential for causing allergies and its ability to contaminate wild populations. Testing for potential allergens was only done on a very small sample size. The tested fish actually did show a higher allergenicity. Critics are also concerned about the fish’s ability to escape and cause environmental harm.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
Two kinds of genetically modified pigs are on their way to becoming ... dinner. But consumers are wary and lack confidence in governments' readiness to regulate this new class of food product. The African swine fever resistant pig has an immune gene that is slightly more like a warthog's. The double-muscle pig has a mutation similar to one produced by normal breeding in a muscly cow breed called the Belgian blue. Lucy Sharratt, co-ordinator for the Canadian Biotechnology Network, said a major reason why consumers are wary is because of the way genetically modified foods are regulated in Canada. Health Canada doesn't do its own testing of the foods, relying instead on data generated by the companies trying to put the foods on the market, which is kept secret. It doesn't disclose what it's assessing. Nor does it consult with farmers or consumers, or require labelling of genetically modified foods after the fact. In the U.S., safety information about genetically modified foods is also kept secret.
This year's flu vaccine offers little or no protection in Canada against becoming sick enough to require medical care, a study published Thursday suggests. "I would say overall it's signalling no protection," said lead author Dr. Danuta Skowronski, an influenza expert at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control. The study, an interim estimate of this year's flu vaccine effectiveness, was published Thursday in Eurosurveillance, an online journal belonging to the European Centre for Disease Control. Skowronski said the message people should take from the study is that if they are at high risk of developing pneumonia or getting seriously ill if they contract influenza, they should take other steps to protect their health. An interesting finding of the study is that people who did not get a flu shot last year appeared to get more protection from the vaccine this year than people who got shots both years. There is an emerging school of thought that repeated vaccination in some circumstances may actually undermine the protectiveness of the vaccine. Earlier this month the U.S. Centers for Disease Control published interim vaccine effectiveness data for that country. The flu season south of the border has been very similar to the one in Canada — almost all caused by H3N2 — and their early findings suggested the vaccine lowered a recipient's risk of contracting the flu and getting sick enough to need medical care by 23 per cent. That's well below the 50 to 70 per cent effectiveness estimate that is often cited for flu vaccine.
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.
Over 100 protesters gathered outside of the Centers for Disease Control offices in Atlanta demanding transparency when it comes to vaccines. [They] say that the information being provided to the public about vaccines isn’t honest. On August 27, 2014 [CDC scientist Dr. William Thompson] made an admission that got very little media coverage. But it was a major statement. That statement read in part, “I regret that my co-authors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. “The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR (mumps, measles and rubella) vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding the findings ... and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed.” Thompson ... hired a whistleblower attorney and turned over documents to Congress. As many as 100,000 documents were turned over. Congressman [Bill] Posey brought this information to the floor of Congress and what he read there was stunning - that authors of the study not only hid the actual findings, but also attempted to destroy evidence [by throwing it] into a trash can. What you might not know is that all vaccines in all quantities for all people are not safe. Every year hundreds of children are injured by vaccines, and since 1986 the United States Government has paid out $3 billion to the vaccine injury compensation program. Raise even one question about why that is, and you’ll get pushback.
Note: Strangely, CBS 46 in Atlanta appears to have removed this from their website. You can see a video of the CBS broadcast at this link. Read further commentary on this important topic in an article by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing vaccine controversy news articles from reliable major media sources.
Law firms around the United States are lining up plaintiffs for what they say could be "mass tort" actions against agrichemical giant Monsanto Co that claim the company's Roundup herbicide has caused cancer in farm workers and others exposed to the chemical. The latest lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Delaware. The lawsuit is similar to others filed last month in New York and California accusing Monsanto of long knowing that the main ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, was hazardous. Monsanto "led a prolonged campaign of misinformation to convince government agencies, farmers and the general population that Roundup was safe," the lawsuit states. The litigation follows the World Health Organization's declaration in March that there was sufficient evidence to classify glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic to humans." "We can prove that Monsanto knew about the dangers of glyphosate," said Michael McDivitt, whose Colorado-based law firm is putting together cases for 50 individuals. Roundup ... brought Monsanto $4.8 billion in revenue in its fiscal 2015. But questions about Roundup's safety have dogged the company for years. Attorneys who have filed or are eying litigation cited strong evidence that links glyphosate to non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Monsanto is also fending off claims over its past manufacturing of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which the WHO classifies as known carcinogens. At least 700 lawsuits against Monsanto or Monsanto-related entities are pending.
Note: It's interesting to note that a Google search shows almost no major media picked up this key news. Read how the EPA used industry studies while ignoring independent studies to declare Roundup safe. Read also an excellent mercola.com article titled "GMO cookie is crumbling." Monsanto is trying to stop the state of California from listing Glyphosate as carcinogenic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
Turing Pharmaceuticals chief executive Martin Shkreli found himself in the middle of a media firestorm last month as he adamantly defended his company's 4,000 percent drug price hike. Daraprim, which treats a life-threatening infection in patients with HIV/AIDS and other immune problems, was increased to $750 a pill, a move resoundingly decried. Now, another company will offer a Daraprim alternative, at just $1 a pill. It's not an exact replica of Daraprim. San Diego-based Imprimis Pharmaceuticals announced Thursday that it is selling pills containing a "customizable compounded formulation" of pyrimethamine and leucovorin, both ingredients in Daraprim. The Food and Drug Administration doesn't approve compounded drugs, such as this one offered by Imprimis. Typically, compounded drugs are prescribed to patients who can't take FDA-approved drugs, such as for those who are allergic to an inactive ingredient. Compounded drugs are no stranger to controversy; a compounding pharmacy was at the heart of a deadly meningitis outbreak in 2012 that killed 64 people and sickened more than 600. Federal legislators subsequently tightened regulations over such companies. And compounded drugs can be very pricey, too. But it appears the Daraprim alternative compound was not born out of a physical inability to use Daraprim, but a financial one.
Note: Read more about Turing Pharmaceuticals' outrageous Daraprim price-hike. Those in charge of the compounding pharmacy mentioned above were charged with homicide, but when a meningitis outbreak killed 11 children in an illegal Nigerian drug trial conducted by Pfizer, no one at Pfizer was charged with a crime. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about big pharma corruption.
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.