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Health Media Articles

Below are key excerpts of revealing news articles on health from reliable news media sources. If any link fails to function, a paywall blocks full access, or the article is no longer available, try these digital tools.

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More than half of humans on track to be overweight or obese by 2035
2023-03-02, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2023/mar/02/more-than-half-of-humans-on-t...

More than half of the world’s population will be overweight or obese by 2035 unless governments take decisive action to curb the growing epidemic of excess weight, a report has warned. About 2.6 billion people globally – 38% of the world population – are already overweight or obese. But on current trends that is expected to rise to more than 4 billion people (51%) in 12 years’ time, according to research by the World Obesity Federation. Obesity among children and young people is on course to increase faster than among adults. By 2035 it is expected to be at least double the rate seen in 2020, according to the federation’s latest annual World Obesity Atlas report. It is expected to rise by 100% among boys under 18, leaving 208 million affected, but go up even more sharply – by 125% – among girls the same age, which would see 175 million of them affected. The federation is an alliance of health, scientific, research and campaign groups, and works closely on obesity with various global agencies. It wants governments to use tax systems; restrictions on the marketing of foods that are high in fat, salt or sugar; front-of-pack labels; and provision of healthy food in schools to address rising obesity. The federation’s report also highlights that many of the world’s poorest countries are facing the sharpest increases in obesity yet are the least well prepared to confront the disease. Nine of the 10 countries set to experience the biggest rises in coming years are low- or middle-income nations in Africa and Asia.

Note: Nutritional policy in the US is heavily influenced by processed foods manufacturers. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.


What does cancer smell like? These animals can sniff it out
2023-02-27, National Geographic
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/these-animals-detect-disea...

Next time you’re irritated that ants have gotten into your kitchen, you might take a moment to consider their extraordinary powers of perception. These tiny animals can detect markers of illness, such as cancer. In fact, ants are just one of many creatures whose senses can register signs of human disease: dogs, rats, bees, and even tiny worms can as well. The silky ant, Formica fusca, a common species found throughout Europe, can be taught to identify the scent of breast cancer in urine. Research from the University Sorbonne Paris Nord in France published this year in Proceedings of the Royal Society B shows ants can learn to distinguish between the scent of urine derived from mice carrying human breast cancer tumors from that of healthy mice. Ants and other animals pick up signs of disease by perceiving various volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. These chemicals are produced in a variety of ways and can be found in exhaled breath, and in sweat, urine, and blood. Diseases can change the VOCs we emit, resulting in giving off a different odor. By placing a sugar reward near the cancer sample the ants learned to seek out that scent, a process called operant conditioning. Dogs can be trained to smell several types of cancers, including melanoma, breast and gastrointestinal cancers and some infectious diseases in humans, including malaria and Parkinson’s disease. They can also smell infectious disease in other animals, including chronic wasting disease, which affects the brains of deer and can be fatal.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Your Brain Could Be Controlling How Sick You Get—And How You Recover
2023-02-27, Scientific American
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/your-brain-could-be-controlling-ho...

Mental states can have a profound impact on how ill we get — and how well we recover. Understanding this could help to boost the placebo effect, destroy cancers, enhance responses to vaccination and even re-evaluate illnesses that, for centuries, have been dismissed as being psychologically driven. Neuroscientist Catherine Dulac and her team at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, have pinpointed neurons in an area called the hypothalamus that control symptoms including fever, warmth-seeking and loss of appetite in response to infection. “Most people probably assume that when you feel sick, it’s because the bacteria or viruses are messing up your body,” she says. But her team demonstrated that activating these neurons could generate symptoms of sickness even in the absence of a pathogen. An open question, Dulac adds, is whether these hypothalamic neurons can be activated by triggers other than pathogens, such as chronic inflammation. The insula ... is involved in processing emotion and bodily sensations. A 2021 study ... found that neurons in the insula store memories of past bouts of gut inflammation — and that stimulating those brain cells reactivated the immune response. Such a reaction might prime the body to fight potential threats. But these reactions could also backfire. This could be the case for certain conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, that can be exacerbated by negative psychological states.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


‘This feels more like spin-the-bottle than science’: my mission to find a proper diagnosis – and treatment – for my son’s psychosis
2023-02-25, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2023/feb/25/this-feels-more-like-spin-the...

Psychosis is often thought to be genetic, or a symptom of brain chemistry gone awry, which is what I was led to believe for much of my journey through the traditional mental health system. [My son] Zach’s first diagnosis was psychosis NOS (Not Otherwise Specified). Later ... he was classified with either schizophrenia, paranoid schizophrenia, depression with psychotic symptoms or, more recently, schizoaffective disorder. I craved solutions, and the more I searched the more confused I became. First, I discovered that no disease markers show up in brain scans or blood tests for any of these so-called disorders. Nobody seems to know for sure what is really going on, which feels more like a spin-the-bottle game than science. The effects of the antipsychotic drugs were intolerable for Zach, far worse than the symptoms that they were meant to alleviate. In Finland, a more radical understanding of extreme distress led to a programme called Open Dialogue which aims to avoid hospitalisation and medication with therapy that revolves around families and other networks, and involves contact, preferably in the person’s home. It has contributed to lowering the suicide rate in Finland; one of the highest in the world in the 1990s, it has dropped by 50% since Open Dialogue began. Despite a quarter of a trillion pounds spent on mental health in Britain since the 1980s, it is the only area of medicine where outcomes have stalled, and by some measures are even going backwards.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Vinyl chloride's invisible threat: Thousands of pounds are released every year in the U.S. as part of
2023-02-20, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/vinyl-chloride-ohio-train-derailment-thousands-p...

Vinyl chloride entered the spotlight after the Feb. 3 Ohio train derailment. But the hazardous substance has been around for decades and is everywhere — from buildings and vehicle upholstery to children's toys and kitchen supplies — and factories have been emitting the EPA-designated toxic chemical into the air for years. The train that derailed had the manmade and volatile compound on board, prompting temporary evacuations. But the derailment isn't the first time vinyl chloride has alarmed experts. Experts say that the volatile compound, "used almost exclusively by the plastics industry," has "leached into groundwater from spills, landfills, and industrial sources," and that people who live around plastic manufacturing facilities "may be exposed to vinyl chloride by inhalation of contaminated air." According to the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), which "tracks the management of certain toxic chemicals that may pose a threat to human health and the environment," there are 38 TRI facilities in 15 states — mostly around the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern U.S. — that use vinyl chloride, emitting about half a million pounds of the substance every year. The problem begins at vinyl chloride's origins. It's generated from ethane, which is obtained through fracking natural gas. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said ethane production hit a monthly record last year of more than 2.4 million barrels per day. The global PVC market is expected to become a $56.1 billion industry within the next 3 years. 

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


The CDC’s Long-Covid Deception
2023-02-19, Wall Street Journal
https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-cdcs-long-covid-deception-depression-anxiety...

Consider a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that claims to find that nearly 36% of Covid cases among students, faculty and staff at George Washington University resulted in “long Covid.” The study suggests ... that the unvaccinated were at more than twice as high a risk of developing long Covid as those fully vaccinated who had gotten boosters. This sounds plausible. But drill down, and it becomes clear that the evidence is too thin to draw any conclusions. The study ... doesn’t include a control group. The finding that nearly 36% reported long Covid symptoms is meaningless without such a sample to determine how common such symptoms were among people who never had Covid. Long Covid in general isn’t well-defined, but the study defines it expansively to include problems common among college students—difficulty making decisions, fatigue, anxiety, sadness, trouble sleeping and the catch-all “other symptoms.” If a student reported at least one physical or psychological problem, he was classified as having long Covid. A CDC survey in January 2021 reported that 57% of respondents between 18 and 29 had experienced anxiety or depression within the previous seven days. A November 2021 study ... found that many people with persistent physical symptoms that are commonly ascribed to long Covid didn’t test positive for antibodies. A belief that one had Covid was more strongly associated with physical symptoms than a lab-confirmed infection.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Immunity acquired from a Covid infection is as protective as vaccination against severe illness and death, study finds
2023-02-16, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/natural-immunity-protective-covid-...

Immunity acquired from a Covid infection provides strong, lasting protection against the most severe outcomes of the illness, according to research published Thursday in The Lancet — protection, experts say, that’s on par with what’s provided through two doses of an mRNA vaccine. Infection-acquired immunity cut the risk of hospitalization and death from a Covid reinfection by 88% for at least 10 months, the study found. “This is really good news, in the sense that protection against severe disease and death after infection is really quite sustained at 10 months,” said the senior study author, Dr. Christopher Murray ... at the University of Washington. The study was the largest meta-analysis to date to look at immunity following infection. It included 65 studies from 19 countries and compared the risk of developing Covid again in people who had recovered from infections to people who hadn’t been infected through September. The immunity generated from an infection was found to be “at least as high, if not higher” than that provided by two doses of an mRNA vaccine, the authors wrote. While Murray and Wachter agreed that vaccination remains the safest route, having a past Covid infection should at least be considered in policymaking decisions going forward, such as vaccination requirements, they said. “What Europe did with this evidence made a lot of sense, which is where evidence of past infection was seen as essentially equal to vaccination in terms of requirements to go into events or for employment,” Murray said.  

Note: It's worthy of mentioning that much of the media previously dismissed the effectiveness of natural immunity to protect against COVID, with mainstream media platforms blatantly claiming that natural immunity is "not panning out" and "comes at a cost." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.


How pesticides impair our senses
2023-02-15, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20230215-how-pesticides-harm-human-health

Regenerative agriculture is an approach to farming that prioritises soil and environmental health by minimising synthetic inputs. [Farm manager Tim Parton] switched to using biologically active inputs after experiencing headaches and skin rashes from using pesticides. After sheep dipping, which involves immersing sheep in insecticide and pesticide mixtures to eliminate parasites, lumps would often show up on his arms. "I would be a mess, but if I went to the doctors, they would say 'you've just had a reaction' and would not take it seriously," he says. Since adopting a biological farming method, Parton has not experienced any negative health impacts. He has not had to use any phosphorus and potassium fertilisers on his crops for over 10 years. He says he has observed a big increase in insect and bird species since he stopped using pesticides. Pesticides may be responsible for the loss of smell in honeybees and salmon. Despite global regulations on pesticide use, one study estimates that about 385 million cases of unintentional, acute pesticide poisoning occur among farm workers each year. A 2020 study found that of the estimated 860 million agricultural workers worldwide, 44% are affected by pesticide poisoning annually. Acute health impacts can range from seizures to respiratory depression. Pesticide exposure has been associated with conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Parkinson's disease. Pesticide exposure has also been linked to sensory deterioration.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


Why the train wreck in Ohio is such a major public health disaster
2023-02-15, Salon
https://www.salon.com/2023/02/15/why-the-train-wreck-in-ohio-is-such-a-major-...

On Feb. 3, a train of about 150 freight cars — many carrying several loads of hazardous materials — crashed and exploded in the town of East Palestine, Ohio. The tangled knot of boxcars operated by Norfolk Southern Railway shot out flames reaching 100 feet and sent a massive plume of coal-black smog. Five days later, crews ignited a controlled burn of the toxic chemicals in order to prevent a much bigger explosion, but the situation appears to be worsening. Residents and local news agencies have posted viral videos of streams and creeks cluttered with dead fish and frogs. Reports have also surfaced that fumes sickened and even killed pets. Many are drawing comparisons to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, which turned Pripyat, a city of roughly 50,000 people, into a ghost town. "We basically nuked a town with chemicals so we could get a railroad open," Sil Caggiano, a hazardous materials specialist, told WKBN. On Feb. 8, state officials told residents that they could "safely" return home. "If it's safe and habitable, then why does it hurt?" Nathen Velez, a resident of East Palestine, said to CNN. "Why does it hurt me to breathe?" As more details emerge, the gravity of the situation only seems to worsen. In a letter sent to Norfolk Southern Railway on Feb. 11, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that in addition to vinyl chloride, four additional toxic chemicals were on board the train: ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, ethylhexyl acrylate, butyl acrylate and isobutylene.

Note: An on-the-ground report discusses this tragic issue beyond the official narrative: how corporate greed is the underlying cause of the crash, local media outlets owned by private equity firms who have significant stakes in Norfolk Southern, and potential long-term impacts. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


Society has never produced so much food, yet we live in a world where only the rich get to be healthy
2023-02-15, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/feb/16/society-has-never-produ...

According to the World Health Organization definition, 1.9 billion adults are considered overweight. Of these, more than 650 million people are classified as obese. In Australia, health authorities suggest being overweight is more dangerous to us than alcohol, and only second in “preventable health risk” to smoking. ABS health data claims 67% of Australian adults are overweight, an increase on 63.4% a decade ago. Last year, Australia’s former conservative government released a “National Obesity Strategy”, concerned Australia was facing health risks of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancers. That government did recognise weight is influenced by complex “social, environmental, and economic factors”, but their framework of encouraging “healthy choices” as a remedy unhelpfully individualises a collective problem. First, shaming individuals into weight loss doesn’t work. 95% of weight loss attempts fail. Two-thirds of dieters regain the weight they lose. Second, the structural giveaway here is an admission that the poorest “experience the greatest burden of disease linked to excess weight”. Our societies have never produced so much food, yet we live in a capitalist perversion where fresh, healthy food – and the time to prepare it – are priced as a luxury, while highly processed items are inexpensive, easy and aggressively mass-marketed. It’s not a failure of collective willpower that’s jeopardising our health, but a diet of bad food that’s culturally familiar, low in nutrition and super available.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Now for sale: Data on your mental health
2023-02-13, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2023/02/13/mental-health-data-brokers/

A study published Monday ... outlines how expansive the market for people’s health data has become. After contacting data brokers to ask what kinds of mental health information she could buy, researcher Joanne Kim reported that she ultimately found 11 companies willing to sell bundles of data that included information on what antidepressants people were taking, whether they struggled with insomnia or attention issues, and details on other medical ailments, including Alzheimer’s disease or bladder-control difficulties. Some of the data was offered in an aggregate form that would have allowed a buyer to know, for instance, a rough estimate of how many people in an individual Zip code might be depressed. But other brokers offered personally identifiable data featuring names, addresses and incomes, with one data-broker sales representative pointing to lists named “Anxiety Sufferers” and “Consumers With Clinical Depression in the United States.” Some even offered a sample spreadsheet. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, known as HIPAA, restricts how hospitals, doctors’ offices and other “covered health entities” share Americans’ health data. But the law doesn’t protect the same information when it’s sent anywhere else, allowing app makers and other companies to legally share or sell the data. Some of the data brokers offered ... opt-out forms. But ... many people probably didn’t realize the brokers had collected their information in the first place. Privacy advocates have for years warned about the unregulated data trade, saying the information could be exploited by advertisers or misused for predatory means. The health-data issue has in some ways gotten worse, in large part because of the increasing sophistication with which companies can collect and share people’s personal information — including not just in defined lists, but through regularly updated search tools and machine-learning analyses.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


How is the World Health Organization funded, and why does it rely so much on Bill Gates?
2023-02-03, Yahoo News
https://uk.news.yahoo.com/world-health-organization-funded-why-143601256.html...

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ... said last month it was “not right” for the charity to take on such a big role in funding the World Health Organization (WHO). Over the years, the billionaire philanthropists have become the WHO’s second biggest donor, making the health agency heavily dependent on their support to keep functioning. Global health experts say that while this money is welcome, it gives the Gates an outsized influence and underscores the chronic funding problem WHO faces even as it contends with more and more health crises. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation alone is responsible for over 88 per cent of the total amount donated by philanthropic foundations to the WHO. Other contributors include the Bloomberg Family Foundation (3.5 per cent), the Wellcome Trust (1.1 per cent) and the Rockefeller Foundation (0.8 per cent). In 2018-2019, the United States was the largest donor at $893 million, accounting for around 15 per cent of WHO’s budget. The Gates Foundation came only second, with $531 million. Most of these voluntary contributions are “specified” - meaning they are tied to a specific programme or health campaign in a specific part of the world and are given a detailed time frame during which to be spent. Polio eradication, for instance, has long been WHO’s best-funded program, mainly because much of the Gates Foundation’s contributions have been directed to that cause.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


Australia becomes first country to recognise psychedelics as medicines
2023-02-03, Sydney Morning Herald
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/australia-becomes-first-country-to-re...

Australia has become the first country to recognise psychedelics as medicines, after the Therapeutic Goods Administration took researchers by surprise and approved the psychedelic substances in magic mushrooms and MDMA for use by people with certain mental health conditions. MDMA and psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, will be considered schedule 8 drugs - meaning they’re approved for controlled use when prescribed by a psychiatrist - from July this year after the TGA acknowledged there were few other options for patients with specific treatment-resistant mental illnesses. The changes will allow MDMA to be used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, and psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression. They will still be considered prohibited substances ... for all other usages. “Prescribing will be limited to psychiatrists, given their specialised qualifications and expertise to diagnose and treat patients with serious mental health conditions,” a TGA statement published on Friday said. Associate Professor David Caldicott, an emergency department doctor who appeared at the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide ... was pleasantly surprised by Friday’s decision. “The conditions for which these drugs might be used [post-traumatic stress disorder and treatment-resistant depression] are currently conditions for which you’re basically destined to a lifetime of drug use. Whereas the MDMA particularly is used to facilitate psychotherapy, only for a few doses,” [said Caldicott].

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mind-altering drugs from reliable major media sources.


It's Time for the Scientific Community to Admit We Were Wrong About COVID and It Cost Lives
2023-01-30, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/its-time-scientific-community-admit-we-were-wrong-ab...

I staunchly supported the efforts of the public health authorities when it came to COVID-19. I was with them when they called for lockdowns, vaccines, and boosters. I was wrong. We in the scientific community were wrong. And it cost lives. The scientific community from the CDC to the WHO to the FDA and their representatives, repeatedly overstated the evidence and misled the public about its own views and policies, including on natural vs. artificial immunity, school closures and disease transmission, aerosol spread, mask mandates, and vaccine effectiveness and safety, especially among the young. All of these were scientific mistakes at the time, not in hindsight. Some of these obfuscations continue to the present day. We excluded important parts of the population from policy development and castigated critics, which ... exacerbated longstanding heath and economic disparities. We systematically minimized the downsides of the interventions we imposed–imposed without the input, consent, and recognition of those forced to live with them. In so doing, we violated the autonomy of those who would be most negatively impacted by our policies: the poor, the working class, small business owners, Blacks and Latinos, and children. We severely judged lockdown critics as lazy, backwards, even evil. We believed "misinformation" energized the ignorant. If our public health officials had led with less hubris, the course of the pandemic in the United States might have had a very different outcome, with far fewer lost lives.

Note: The above was written by MD/PhD student Kevin Bass. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


J&J’s Talc Bankruptcy Case Thrown Out by Appeals Court
2023-01-30, Wall Street Journal
https://www.wsj.com/articles/j-js-talc-bankruptcy-case-thrown-out-by-appeals-...

A federal appeals court in Philadelphia rejected Johnson & Johnson ‘s use of chapter 11 bankruptcy to freeze roughly 40,000 lawsuits linking its talc products to cancer, blunting a strategy the consumer health giant and a handful of other profitable companies have used to sidestep jury trials. The Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday dismissed the chapter 11 case of J&J subsidiary LTL Management LLC, which the company created in 2021 to move the talc injury lawsuits to bankruptcy court and freeze them in place. J&J is now exposed once again to talc-related cancer claims that have cost the company’s consumer business $4.5 billion in recent years and are expected to continue for decades. J&J tried to stanch those costs through an emerging corporate restructuring strategy that offered J&J and other companies the protections of bankruptcy, despite their solvent balance sheets and solid credit ratings, and put a total of more than 250,000 injury lawsuits against the businesses on hold. Monday’s decision marks the first time a federal appeals court has disapproved of the bankruptcy strategy, known in legal circles as the Texas Two-Step. The court’s decision could mark tougher scrutiny of the legal tactic, which would make it harder for big companies to move past potentially costly and time-consuming personal-injury litigation. Bankruptcy allows companies swamped by lawsuits to drive settlements of legal liabilities through a chapter 11 plan and stop litigation from advancing in the civil justice system.

Note: Johnson & Johnson knew that its products caused cancer and lied to the public about it for decades. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


New Research Shows Pfizer’s mRNA Vaccine Can Instruct Cells To Produce ‘off-target’ Proteins
2023-01-30, The Pulse
https://www.thepulse.one/p/new-research-shows-pfizers-mrna-vaccine

Since the rollout of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, experts and academics from around the world have been raising numerous short-term and long-term safety concerns. One of these deals with the spike protein that the human cell is instructed to generate as a result of the shot, and how it differs from the spike protein that’s generated from a natural infection. A “pseudouridine” molecule has been added to the mRNA to give it a longer half-life than normal mRNA. Therefore, the production of spike protein within the cell, of those who have been vaccinated, is not being turned off. This is concerning because multiple studies have shown that the vaccine induced spike protein can leak outside of the cell and enter into the blood- stream. This is one possible mechanism of action in which vaccine injuries are occurring. During an autopsy of a vaccinated person who had died after mRNA vaccination, it was found that the vaccine disperses rapidly from the injection site and can be found in nearly all parts of the body. Looking into these concerns is important to figure out why so many COVID vaccine injuries around the world have been reported compared to previous vaccines. Approximately 50 percent of vaccine injuries reported to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) in the last 30 years have all been from COVID products. Concerning autopsy results have also been published. It’s quite clear something very serious about these shots is and has been ignored.

Note: VAERS only captures a portion of vaccine injuries and deaths. Vaccine adverse event numbers are made publically available, and currently show 2,579,111 COVID vaccine injury reports and 37,100 COVID Vaccine Reported Deaths (out of 47,290 Total Reported Deaths from all vaccines). Read our in-depth report about this concerning trend, and how the VAERS system presents an incomplete picture of vaccine injuries. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on COVID vaccines from reliable major media sources.


Rising Physical Pain Is Linked to More ‘Deaths of Despair’
2023-01-30, Scientific American
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/rising-physical-pain-is-linked-to-...

Roughly 110,000 Americans died from a drug overdose between February 2021 and February 2022. That figure is part of a larger troubling trend. Life expectancy in the U.S. fell in 2020 and again in 2021, after decades of progress. Deaths linked to alcohol, drugs, and suicide are a major part of that change. Overdoses, suicides and other “deaths of despair” ... have been climbing since the 1990s and may have accelerated in recent years. Losing a job, recovering from an accident or illness, and experiencing divorce or financial difficulties may trigger desperation. People may use drugs and alcohol to ease these uncomfortable mental states. Scientific evidence shows that one common denominator in this cycle of stress, anxiety, depression and substance abuse is physical pain. The relationship between despair and pain is multifaceted. As most people know from personal experience, physical pain increases psychological distress and anxiety. The reverse relationship is also possible: psychological distress can cause physical pain. When someone is in a negative mood, researchers have found, the brain areas that play a role in physical pain also engage. The opioid epidemic may be the most prominent example of how physical pain and despair interact. The misuse of painkillers, especially opioids, generates changes in the brain that trigger higher pain sensitivity, as well as greater tolerance of and addiction to these drugs. As a result, people are more likely to overdose on these medications.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.


We are overcounting covid deaths and hospitalizations. That's a problem.
2023-01-13, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/01/13/covid-pandemic-deaths-hosp...

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States is experiencing around 400 covid deaths every day. At that rate, there would be nearly 150,000 deaths a year. But are these Americans dying from covid or with covid? Robin Dretler ... the former president of Georgia's chapter of Infectious Diseases Society of America, estimates that at his hospital, 90 percent of patients diagnosed with covid are actually in the hospital for some other illness. "Since every hospitalized patient gets tested for covid, many are incidentally positive," he said. A gunshot victim or someone who had a heart attack, for example, could test positive for the virus, but the infection has no bearing on why they sought medical care. If these patients die, covid might get added to their death certificate. But the coronavirus was not the primary contributor to their death and often played no role at all. Earlier in the pandemic, a large proportion of covid-positive hospitalizations were due to covid. But as more people developed some immunity through vaccination or infection, fewer patients were hospitalized because of it. During some days, [infectious-disease physician Shira Doron] said, the proportion of those hospitalized because of covid were as low as 10 percent of the total number reported. Both Dretler and Doron ... want the public to see what they're seeing, because, as Doron says, "overcounting covid deaths undermines people's sense of security and the efficacy of vaccines."

Note: Further explore the troubling inflation of COVID death numbers in this thought-provoking article, which shows how factual information and good science are being labeled as a "conspiracy" within mainstream culture. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


What to Know About Cellphone Radiation
2023-01-04, ProPublica
https://www.propublica.org/article/what-to-know-about-cellphone-radiation

Federal regulators have maintained that cellphones pose no danger. But a growing body of scientific research is raising questions, with the stakes heightened by the ongoing deployment of hundreds of thousands of new transmitters in neighborhoods across America. ProPublica recently examined the issue in detail, finding that the chief government regulator, the Federal Communications Commission, relies on an exposure standard from 1996 ... and that the agency brushed aside a lengthy study by a different arm of the federal government that found that cellphone radiation caused rare cancers. The newest generation of cellphone technology, known as 5G, remains largely untested. A growing body of research has found evidence of health risks even when people are exposed to radiation below the FCC limits. The array of possible harms ranges from effects on fertility and fetal development to associations with cancer. Some studies of people living near cell towers have also confirmed an array of health complaints, including dizziness, nausea, headaches, tinnitus and insomnia. In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization, cited troubling but uncertain evidence in classifying wireless radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” In 2018, a study by the federal government that was nearly two decades in the making found “clear evidence” that cellphone radiation caused cancer in lab animals.

Note: Unlike the U.S., many countries have regulations in place to protect people from cell phone radiation exposure. Check out this comprehensive list of countries with official recommendations and policies on cell phone radiation exposure. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on wireless technology risks from reliable major media sources.


How microplastics are infiltrating the food you eat
2023-01-03, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20230103-how-plastic-is-getting-into-our-food

Microplastics have infiltrated every part of the planet. One study estimated that there are around 24.4 trillion fragments of microplastics in the upper regions of the world's oceans. But they aren't just ubiquitous in water – they are spread widely in soils on land too and can even end up in the food we eat. Unwittingly, we may be consuming tiny fragments of plastic with almost every bite we take. In 2022, analysis by the Environmental Working Group, an environmental non-profit, found that sewage sludge has contaminated almost 20 million acres (80,937sq km) of US cropland with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), often called "forever chemicals", which are commonly found in plastic products and do not break down under normal environmental conditions. Sludge is commonly used as organic fertiliser in the US and Europe. Due to this practice ... between 31,000 and 42,000 tonnes of microplastics, or 86 trillion to 710 trillion microplastic particles, contaminate European farmland each year. Plastic particles can also contaminate food crops directly. A 2020 study found microplastics and nanoplastics in fruit and vegetables sold by supermarkets and in produce sold by local sellers. Crops absorb nanoplastic particles from surrounding water and soil through tiny cracks in their roots. Chemicals found in plastic have been linked to cancer, heart disease and poor fetal development. High levels of ingested microplastics may also cause cell damage which could lead to inflammation and allergic reactions.

Note: There seems to be no part of the planet that is unaffected by the pervasiveness of microplastics, from being found in human veins, human lungs, flying insects, and in 90% of table salt, to heavily polluting our skies and now spiraling around the globe through Earth’s atmosphere. Read more on simple ways that you can reduce microplastic pollution and consumption in your life, and support the many organizations making a meaningful difference to address this issue.


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