Health News ArticlesExcerpts of key news articles on health
Extremely high radiation levels have been recorded inside a damaged reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, almost six years after the plant suffered a triple meltdown. Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) said atmospheric readings as high as 530 sieverts an hour had been recorded inside the containment vessel of reactor No 2, one of three reactors that experienced a meltdown when the plant was crippled. Even if a 30-percent margin of error is taken into account, the recent reading, described by some experts as “unimaginable”, is far higher than the previous record of 73 sieverts an hour detected by sensors in 2012. A single dose of one sievert is enough to cause radiation sickness and nausea; 5 sieverts would kill half those exposed to it within a month, and a single dose of 10 sieverts would prove fatal within weeks. Quantities of melted fuel are believed to have accumulated at the bottom of the damaged reactors’ containment vessels, but dangerously high radiation has prevented engineers from accurately gauging the state of the fuel deposits. The extraordinary radiation readings highlight the scale of the task confronting thousands of workers, as pressure builds on Tepco to begin decommissioning the plant – a process that is expected to take about four decades. In December, the government said the estimated cost of decommissioning the plant and decontaminating the surrounding area ... had risen to 21.5tn yen (Ł150bn), nearly double an estimate released in 2013.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing nuclear power news articles from reliable major media sources.
A wide-ranging investigation into generic drug prices took its most significant turn yet on Thursday, as state attorneys general accused two industry leaders, Teva Pharmaceuticals and Mylan, and four smaller companies of engaging in brazen price-fixing schemes - and promised that more charges were coming. A civil complaint filed by 20 states accuses the companies of conspiring to artificially inflate prices on an antibiotic and a diabetes drug, with executives coordinating through informal industry gatherings and personal calls and text messages. Officials said the case was a small example of broader problems in the drug business. “We believe that this is just the tip of the iceberg,” George C. Jepsen, Connecticut’s attorney general, whose office started the inquiry that led to the charges, said. “I stress that our investigation is continuing, and it goes way beyond the two drugs in this lawsuit, and it involves many more companies than are in this lawsuit.” The complaint on Thursday describes a cozy industry culture defined by regular dinners and social outings, and argues that those events often cross the line to violate antitrust rules. Generic drug makers hoping to begin selling a new drug first seek out rivals, the suit says, in hopes of reaching an agreement on how to maintain market share and avoid competing on price. “These agreements had the effect of artificially maintaining high prices for a large number of generic drugs and creating an appearance of competition when in fact none existed,” the lawsuit says.
Note: A separate anti-trust investigation into Mylan was recently launched in New York over price-fixing on public school EpiPen contracts. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
A former top Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) official has accused Congress of putting pharmaceutical company profits ahead of public health in the battle to combat the US’s prescription opioid epidemic. Joseph Rannazzisi, head of the DEA office responsible for preventing prescription medicine abuse until last year, said drug companies and their lobbyists have a “stranglehold” on Congress to protect a $9bn a year trade in opioid painkillers claiming the lives of nearly 19,000 people a year. Rannazzisi ... said the drug industry engineered recent legislation limiting the DEA’s powers to act against pharmacies endangering lives by dispensing disproportionately large numbers of opioids. He also accused lobbyists ... of whipping up opposition to new guidelines for doctors intended to reduce the prescribing of the painkillers. Charges that Congress is too beholden to pharmaceutical companies have been levelled for years. But ... the influence on opioid policies is particularly disturbing because so many lives are being lost. Industry groups have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in lobbying to stave off measures to reduce prescriptions and therefore sales of opioid painkillers. Among the most influential drug industry groups is the Pain Care Forum, co-founded by a top executive of Purdue Pharma – the manufacturer of the opioid which unleashed the addiction epidemic, OxyContin. It spent $740m lobbying Congress and state legislatures over the past decade.
Genetic modification in the United States and Canada has not accelerated increases in crop yields or led to an overall reduction in the use of chemical pesticides. The promise of genetic modification was twofold: By making crops immune to the effects of weedkillers and inherently resistant to many pests, they would grow so robustly that they would become indispensable to feeding the world’s growing population, while also requiring fewer applications of sprayed pesticides. Twenty years ago, Europe largely rejected genetic modification at the same time the United States and Canada were embracing it. Comparing results on the two continents ... shows how the technology has fallen short of the promise. The United States and Canada have gained no discernible advantage in yields - food per acre - when measured against Western Europe. Also, a recent National Academy of Sciences report found that “there was little evidence” that the introduction of genetically modified crops in the United States had led to yield gains beyond those seen in conventional crops. At the same time, herbicide use has increased in the United States. And the United States has fallen behind Europe’s biggest producer, France, in reducing the overall use of pesticides, which includes both herbicides and insecticides. Pesticides are toxic by design ... and have been linked to developmental delays and cancer. The same companies make and sell both the genetically modified plants and the poisons.
Note: Explore over 40 scientific studies that have demonstrated the health dangers of GM foods. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and the GMO controversy.
Medical regulators pledge that patient protection is their central mission. As part of that focus, their websites provide information to the public about doctors. But in most states, patients will have a difficult time finding out if their doctors have been disciplined for sexual abuse or other violations. No state provides complete and accurate information on every doctor. Some obstacles to that are intentional. They are the result of state laws that tie regulators’ hands, agreements negotiated with doctors’ attorneys, or concerns about harming a doctor’s practice. Maryland investigated Dr. Joshua R. Mitchell III in 2005 after a complaint that he had sexually violated a patient. The board learned that the Baltimore police sex-crimes unit had investigated a similar complaint from another patient. The medical board wrapped up its 2005 investigation with a private letter advising Mitchell to offer a chaperone during breast and pelvic exams. Then in January 2010, a patient reported Mitchell raped her. The board’s website didn’t provide any information to the public until May 2010. Illinois and Wyoming post only summaries of disciplinary actions, which may not detail violations. Arkansas and both of Oklahoma’s boards require the public to file requests for disciplinary orders, and Oklahoma requires a fee. In contrast: Maine not only posts orders but provides a phone number for patients to find out if non-disciplinary action has been taken against a doctor.
Physician influence can be bought for as little as a $20 meal, UCSF researchers have found. A study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine ... found that doctors who received just one meal averaging $20 were up to twice as likely to prescribe brand-name drugs being promoted than doctors who did not receive any free food. Gifts from pharmaceutical companies to doctors ... have come under scrutiny in recent years for concerns that the money spent by drugmakers directly influences what physicians write on their prescriptions pads. Some doctors deny they’re influenced by money, but a growing number of studies show that financial ties can affect their professional behavior. The UCSF researchers looked at ... the routine briefings many doctors and their staff receive from drug reps during lunches in their offices. The study found that the effect increased as doctors got more meals. Those who received multiple meals were up to three times as likely to prescribe the promoted brand-name drug. Higher-cost meals were associated with greater influence. Doctors who received four or more meals to promote Allergan’s Bystolic to treat hypertension prescribed the drug at 5.4 times the rate of physicians who received no meals. For Pfizer’s depression drug Pristiq, that rate was 3.4 times higher. UCSF researchers said that their studies show the buying power of drug makers decreases the use of cheaper, generic drugs and raises costs for patients as well as the health care system.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing big Pharma profiteering news articles from reliable major media sources.
Federal scientists released partial findings Friday from a $25-million animal study that tested the possibility of links between cancer and chronic exposure to the type of radiation emitted from cell phones and wireless devices. The findings, which chronicle an unprecedented number of rodents subjected to a lifetime of electromagnetic radiation starting in utero, present some of the strongest evidence to date that such exposure is associated with the formation of rare cancers in at least two cell types in the brains and hearts of rats. The results, which were posted on a prepublication Web site run by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, are poised to reignite controversy about how such everyday exposure might affect human health. Researchers at the National Toxicology Program (NTP), a federal interagency group under the National Institutes of Health, led the study. They chronically exposed rodents to carefully calibrated radio-frequency (RF) radiation levels designed to roughly emulate what humans with heavy cell phone use or exposure could theoretically experience in their daily lives. The animals were placed in specially built chambers that dosed their whole bodies with varying amounts and types of this radiation for approximately nine hours per day throughout their two-year life spans. “This is by far—far and away—the most carefully done cell phone bioassay, a biological assessment,” says Christopher Portier ... who helped launch the study
Note: For lots more reliable information on cellphone risk, read this well researched article. And this excellent article reveals the serious dangers of 5G wireless technology which is being rolled out. Watch an excellent, informative video interview with Dr. Nick Begich on the dangers of cell phone radiation. In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics urged the US to reassess cell phone safety standards for children. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health 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. And watch an excellent, informative video interview with Dr. Nick Begich on the dangers of cell phone radiation. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mobile phones from reliable major media sources.
The world is awash in glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, produced by Monsanto. It has now become the most heavily-used agricultural chemical in the history of the world. A study published Tuesday ... reveals that Americans have applied 1.8 million tons of glyphosate since its introduction in 1974. Worldwide, 9.4 million tons of the chemical have been sprayed onto fields. That’s ... enough to spray nearly half a pound of Roundup on every cultivated acre of land in the world. And it’s troubling, considering that in March 2015 the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer unanimously determined that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic to humans. Research has also shown that glyphosate is an endocrine disruptor, meaning that it interferes with the proper functioning and production of hormones, in human cell lines. The mass-spraying of glyphosate has [also] led to the explosion of resistant weeds, which have evolved to survive despite being sprayed. Already, weeds resistant to the herbicide are found on half of all American farmers’ fields. Glyphosate was once only used on a small-scale. However, in the 1990s, Monsanto began introducing genetically modified crops that were resistant to the herbicides, such as Roundup Ready corn and soybeans. Since then, its use has skyrocketed. At the same time, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has relaxed its rules. Fifty times more glyphosate is allowed on corn grain now than in 1996.
Note: The negative health impacts of Monsanto's Roundup are well known. Major lawsuits are building over Monsanto's lies to regulators and the public about the safety of glyphosate. 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.
Risperdal is a billion-dollar antipsychotic medicine with real benefits — and a few unfortunate side effects. It can cause strokes among the elderly. And it can cause boys to grow large, pendulous breasts; one boy developed a 46DD bust. Yet Johnson & Johnson marketed Risperdal aggressively to the elderly and to boys while allegedly manipulating and hiding the data about breast development. J&J got caught, pleaded guilty to a crime and has paid more than $2 billion in penalties and settlements. But that pales next to some $30 billion in sales of Risperdal around the world. In 1994, J&J released Risperdal. The Food and Drug Administration said it ... was effective primarily for schizophrenia in adults. That’s a small market. So J&J reinvented Risperdal as a drug for a broad range of problems, targeting everyone from seniors with dementia to children with autism. The company also turned to corporate welfare: It paid doctors and others consulting fees and successfully lobbied for Texas to adopt Risperdal in place of generics. Even though Risperdal wasn’t approved for the elderly, J&J formed a sales force called ElderCare. The F.D.A. protested and noted that there were “an excess number of deaths” among the elderly who took the drug. At the same time, J&J ... began peddling the drug to pediatricians, so that by 2000, more than one-fifth of Risperdal was going to children and adolescents. In 2003, the company had a “back to school” marketing campaign for Risperdal. By 2004 Risperdal was a $3-billion-a-year drug.
Since HPV vaccines were introduced seven years ago, it has been assumed that they would prevent cervical cancer. But the vaccines have never been shown to prevent any cancer. It has also been assumed for seven years that the vaccine is safe. Yet there have been thousands of adverse event reports. The CDC itself admits there are three times as many adverse events for the HPV vaccine Gardasil as there are for all other vaccines combined. Compared to all other vaccines in the U.S. schedule, Gardasil alone is associated with 61 percent of all serious adverse events, including 63.8 percent of all deaths and 81.2 percent of all permanent disabilities in females under 30 years of age. Japan, India and France have removed HPV vaccines from their recommended list due to safety and efficacy concerns. The Health, Welfare and Labor Ministry of Japan also conducted a national investigation regarding post HPV vaccine injuries, [which] concluded that the harm experienced by women taking the vaccine is overwhelmingly greater than any expected benefits. Prompted by medical reports of post-HPV vaccination arrhythmia and motor neuron disabilities in children in Denmark, the European Medicines Agency is conducting an investigation of HPV injection adverse events. Lawsuits for HPV injuries and deaths have also been filed in Spain, France and Columbia.
Note: Read an article showing that several countries have filed lawsuits claiming damage from the HPV vaccine. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing vaccine controversy news articles from reliable major media sources.
If you’re like two-thirds of Americans, fluoride is added to your tap water for the purpose of reducing cavities. But the scientific rationale for putting it there may be outdated. Water fluoridation ... first began in 1945. Those opposed to the process have argued - and a growing number of studies have suggested - that the chemical may present a number of health risks, for example interfering with the endocrine system and increasing the risk of impaired brain function; two studies in the last few months, for example, have linked fluoridation to ADHD and underactive thyroid. Others argue against water fluoridation on ethical grounds, saying the process forces people to consume a substance they may not know is there - or that they’d rather avoid. Despite concerns about safety and ethics, many are content to continue fluoridation because of its purported benefit: that it reduces tooth decay. You might think, then, that fluoridated water's efficacy as a cavity preventer would be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. But new research suggests that assumption is dramatically misguided. Consuming fluoridated water may have no positive impact. The Cochrane Collaboration ... recently set out to find out if fluoridation reduces cavities. They reviewed every study done on fluoridation that they could find. Then they ... published their conclusion in a review earlier this month. “There’s really hardly any evidence” the practice works, [said dean of the Hull York Medical School Trevor Sheldon].
Note: Read lots more excellent information on corruption around the fluoridation of water in this article on mercola.com. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Physicians and public health officials know that recently vaccinated individuals can spread disease. "The public health community is blaming unvaccinated children for the outbreak of measles at Disneyland, but the illnesses could just as easily have occurred due to contact with a recently vaccinated individual," says Sally Fallon Morell, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation. Both unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals are at risk from exposure to those recently vaccinated. Vaccine failure is widespread; vaccine-induced immunity is not permanent and recent outbreaks of diseases such as whooping cough, mumps and measles have occurred in fully vaccinated populations. Flu vaccine recipients become more susceptible to future infection after repeated vaccination. "Vaccine failure and failure to acknowledge that live virus vaccines can spread disease have resulted in an increase in outbreaks of infectious disease in both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals," says Leslie Manookian, producer of The Greater Good. "CDC should instruct physicians who administer vaccinations to inform their patients about the risks posed to others by those who've been recently vaccinated." The number of measles deaths declined from 7575 in 1920 (10,000 per year in many years in the 1910s) to an average of 432 each year from 1958-1962. The vaccine was introduced in 1963. Between 2005 and 2014, there have been no deaths from measles in the U.S. and 108 deaths reported after the MMR vaccine.
Note: The above article provides an extensive list or references. For more, read this informative webpage on the excellent alternative health website Mercola.com. And this US government webpage states, "Since 1988, over 18,897 petitions have been filed with the VICP. Over that 29-year time period, 16,857 petitions have been adjudicated, with 5,782 of those determined to be compensable. Total compensation paid over the life of the program is approximately $3.7 billion."
A system intended to speed help to vaccine-injured Americans has instead heaped additional suffering on thousands of families. To investigate vaccine court in depth, the AP read hundreds of decisions, conducted more than 100 interviews, and analyzed a database of more than 14,500 cases. Among the AP's findings: * Prominent attorneys have enlisted expert witnesses whose own work has been widely discredited, including one who treated autism with a potent drug used to chemically castrate serial rapists. Some of the most prominent experts set up nonprofits questioning vaccine safety. Many doctors hired by the government to defend vaccine safety in court have ties to the pharmaceutical industry. * The government fights legitimate claims ... worried that if they concede a vaccine caused harm, the public will react by skipping shots. If government doctors had their way ... 1,600 families would not have gotten more than $1.1 billion in cash and future medical care between the court's opening in 1988 and then end of 2012. * Cases are supposed to be resolved within 240 days. Less than 7 percent of 7,876 claims not involving autism met the 240-day target. Most non-autism cases take at least two and a half years. Hundreds have surpassed the decade mark. Several people died before getting any money. "The system is not working," said Richard Topping, a former U.S. Department of Justice attorney who handled vaccine injury claims but resigned after concluding his bosses had no desire to fix the major flaws he saw.
Note: Read the entire article to see how the vaccine court is deeply flawed in may ways. Then read an article showing how the government removed data from it's website which showed an increase in court victories by those claiming harm from vaccines. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing vaccine news articles from reliable major media sources. See also the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.
Did Merck use false pretenses to monopolize the market for mumps vaccines? A pair of lawsuits – one of which is filed by former employees and the other by doctors – make this allegation and a federal judge is allowing both claims to proceed. The former employees – virologists who filed a whistleblower lawsuit four years ago – charge Merck knew its vaccine was less effective than the purported 95% efficacy level. And they alleged that senior management was aware, complicit and in charge of testing that concealed the actual effectiveness. They claim to have witnessed fIrsthand what they describe as “improper testing and data falsification in which Merck engaged in order to conceal what the drug maker knew about the vaccine’s diminished efficacy. In fact, their Merck superiors and senior management pressured them to participate in the fraud and subsequent cover up when they objected to and tried to stop it,” according to their lawsuit. The feds declined to join the lawsuit, which was unsealed two years ago. Shortly afterwards, the physicians subsequently filed the other lawsuit charge the vaccine was mislabeled and was not the product for which the government or other purchasers paid, which meant that Merck violated the False Claims Act. Both lawsuits note that Merck held an exclusive license to sell a mumps vaccine and its actions discouraged competition. “The ultimate victims here are the millions of children who, every year, are being injected with a mumps vaccine that is not providing them with an adequate level of protection,” the lawsuit filed by the virologists states. Meanwhile, the mumps vaccine was ringing the register at Merck, which reported that sales reached $621 million last year.
Note: Read a CBS News article which shows how Merck literally created a hit list for doctors who opposed use of the deadly drug Vioxx, which was responsible for thousands of deaths. A second CBS article shows how Merck created a fake medical journal to support Vioxx and harassed reporters revealing the truth. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
According to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, running five minutes per day can reduce an individual’s risk of premature death by about three years. Researchers found that people who ran less than an hour per week also saw an increase in lifespan, not just a decrease in risk of premature death. The study took place over the course of 15 years, testing participants ranging in age from 18-100. Separate research found that running more than 20 miles per week could take years off an individual’s life, providing further evidence that less can be more with regard to exercise. According to that research, individuals who exhibit consistent but moderate workout patterns are likely to live the longest.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
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.
Just months after U.S. Congressman Bill Posey compared the Center for Disease Control (CDC)'s vaccine safety studies to the SEC's Bernie Madoff scandal, malfeasance in the CDC's studies of thimerosal-containing vaccines has, for the first time, been documented in peer-reviewed scientific literature. The journal BioMed Research International now provides direct evidence that the CDC's safety assurances about the mercury-containing preservative are not fact-based, according to the article's lead author, Brian Hooker. The paper [cites] over 165 studies that have found thimerosal to be harmful, including 16 studies that had reported [serious detrimental] outcomes in human infants and children. "Substantial scientific evidence exists and has existed for many years that the vaccine ingredient thimerosal is a developmental neurotoxin" says George Lucier, former Associate Director of the National Toxicology Program. Studies showing harm from thimerosal sharply contradict published outcomes of six CDC coauthored and sponsored papers – the very studies that CDC relies upon to declare that thimerosal is "safe" for use in infant and maternal vaccines. Dr. Hooker ... said of the six CDC studies, "Each of these papers is fatally flawed from a statistics standpoint and several of the papers represent issues of scientific malfeasance. For example, important data showing a relationship between thimerosal exposure and autism are withheld from three of the publications. This type of cherry-picking of data by the CDC in order to change the results of important research studies to support flawed and dangerous vaccination policies should not be tolerated."
Note: A Reuters article reports that the former head of the US's CDC was later named president of Merck's vaccine division with accompanying high salary. Could this be payoff for her support in suppressing studies that cast doubt on vaccines? For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing vaccines news articles from reliable major media sources.
Nearly half of American adults believe the federal government, corporations or both are involved in at least one conspiracy to cover up health information, a new survey finds. Conspiracy theories on everything from cancer cures to cellphones to vaccines are well known and accepted by sizable segments of the population, according to a research letter published this week in JAMA Internal Medicine. The findings reflect "a very low level of trust" in government and business, especially in pharmaceutical companies, says study co-author Eric Oliver, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago. The online survey of 1,351 adults found: • 37% agree the Food and Drug Administration is keeping "natural cures for cancer and other diseases" away from the public because of "pressure from drug companies." • 20% believe health officials are hiding evidence that cellphones cause cancer. • 20% believe doctors and health officials push child vaccines even though they "know these vaccines cause autism and other psychological disorders." • Smaller numbers endorse theories involving fluoride, genetically modified foods and the deliberate infection of African Americans with HIV. • 49% believe at least one of the theories and 18% believe at least three. The beliefs also go along with certain health behaviors, the survey found. Those who believe at least three health conspiracy theories are less likely to use sunscreen, get flu shots or get check-ups and are more likely to use herbal remedies and eat organic foods.
Note: For an intriguing list of 10 major health cover-ups with evidence to back it up, click here.
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