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Health News Stories
Excerpts of Key Health News Stories in Major Media


Below are highly revealing excerpts of important health news stories reported in the media that suggest a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full stories on their major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These health news stories are listed by date posted to this webpage. You can explore the same articles listed by order of importance or by article date. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

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.


ICC: Environmental destruction is a crime against humanity
2016-09-17, Christian Science Monitor
Posted: 2016-09-25 22:59:48
http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2016/0917/Environmental-destruction-is-a...

The International Criminal Court (ICC) announced this week that it would start considering cases involving environmental destruction, misuse of land, and land grabs as crimes against humanity. The move reflects a broadening perspective on what constitutes a war crime. This represents a significant shift in strategy at the ICC, which since its 1989 inception has been charged with investigating war crimes and human rights offenses. ICC’s announcement will likely expand the number people who could find themselves prosecuted by the court beyond the usual politicians, military commanders, or rebel leaders who are investigated for violent war crimes. “Company bosses and politicians complicit in violently seizing land, razing tropical forests, or poisoning water sources could soon find themselves standing trial in The Hague alongside war criminals and dictators," said Gillian Caldwell, executive director of the advocacy group Global Witness. 2015 was the deadliest year on record for land-grab victims, with more than three people killed each week in territory conflicts with miners, loggers, hydro-electric dams, or agribusiness firms. "The systemic crimes committed under the guise of ‘development’ are no less damaging to victims than many wartime atrocities," said Richard Rogers, a partner at Global Diligence, in a statement. "The ICC Prosecutor has sent a clear message that such offences may amount to crimes against humanity and can no longer be tolerated.”

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


Chromium-6: 'Erin Brockovich' chemical threatens two-thirds of Americans
2016-09-20, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2016-09-25 22:57:33
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/sep/20/chromium-6-erin-brockovi...

In the 2000 biographical film about a legal clerk who brings a major utility company to its knees for poisoning residents of Hinkley, California, Erin Brockovich ended on a Hollywood high note with a $333m settlement from PG&E. But chromium-6 contamination of America’s drinking water is an ongoing battle the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is losing. Nearly 200 million Americans across all 50 states are exposed to unsafe levels of chromium-6 or hexavalent chromium, a heavy metal known to cause cancer in animals and humans, according to a new report released Tuesday by the nonprofit research and advocacy organization Environmental Working Group (EWG). In their analysis of the EPA’s own data collected for the first nationwide test of chromium-6 contamination in US drinking water, the [EWG] found that 12,000 Americans are at risk of getting cancer. “More than two-thirds of Americans’ drinking water supply has more chromium than the level that California scientists say is safe – a number that’s been confirmed by scientists in both New Jersey and North Carolina,” according to [report co-author Bill] Walker. “Despite this widespread contamination, the US currently has no national drinking water standard for chromium-6.” Erin Brockovich urges Americans to disregard the EPA’s reassurances and to take a more active role in their communities to fix the country’s broken water supply.

Note: US authorities were recently caught systematically distorting water tests to downplay the pollution levels in the US water supply. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.


Merck Whistleblower Suit A Boon to Vaccine Foes Even As It Stresses Importance of Vaccines
2012-07-27, Forbes
Posted: 2016-09-25 22:55:13
http://www.forbes.com/sites/gerganakoleva/2012/06/27/merck-whistleblower-suit...

A whistleblower suit against Merck, filed back in 2010 by two former employees, [accused] the drugmaker of overstating the effectiveness of its mumps, measles, and rubella vaccine. The scientists claim Merck defrauded the U.S. government by causing it to purchase an estimated four million doses of mislabeled and misbranded MMR vaccine per year for at least a decade, and helped ignite two recent mumps outbreaks that the allegedly ineffective vaccine was intended to prevent in the first place. “As the single largest purchaser of childhood vaccines (accounting for more than 50 percent of all vaccine purchasers), the United States is by far the largest financial victim of Merck’s fraud. Specifically, the suit claims Merck manipulated the results of clinical trials beginning in the late 1990s so as to be able to report that the combined mumps vaccine ... is 95 percent effective, in an effort to maintain its exclusive license to manufacture it. However, instead of reformulating the vaccine whose declining efficacy Merck itself has acknowledged, the company reportedly launched a complicated scheme to adjust its testing technique so that it would yield the desired potency results. While the Justice Department has refused to rule on the case after conducting its own two-year investigation, the allegations ... offer an extremely damaging view into the inner process of a company accused of misleading both regulators and consumers about a vital medical product.

Note: For more on this, see this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption and vaccine controversies.


PR Firm Attacks Organic Food, Then Pitches Itself to Organic Companies
2016-03-14, Huffington Post
Posted: 2016-09-19 14:37:26
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stacy-malkan/pr-firm-attacks-organic-food-then-...

News that Ketchum Inc., the public relations firm leading the charge to promote chemical-dependent GMO agriculture, is launching a new “specialty group” to capture a slice of the growing organic food market caught many food industry players by surprise last week. Ketchum’s new branch, called “Cultivate,” is pitching itself to “help purpose-driven brands with a natural, organic, and sustainable focus.” The news comes as Ketchum remains a key player in PR efforts to dampen demand for organic foods, spinning messages that tell consumers organics are over-priced and over-hyped. In 2013, Monsanto hired Ketchum’s parent company, Omnicom, to “reshape” its reputation amid fierce opposition to GMOs, according to the Holmes Report. Ketchum now works closely with Monsanto and the agrichemical industry on its massively funded PR efforts to promote genetically engineered food and crops, stop GMO labeling, downplay concerns about pesticides, counteract consumer advocates and convince consumers that organic food is no different from conventional food. A closer look at Ketchum’s past and current activities turns up more reasons that purpose-driven organic and natural food companies might want to steer clear of Ketchum’s “Cultivate” branch. Emails from the late 1990s indicate that Ketchum was involved in espionage against nonprofit groups that were raising concerns about GMOs. Ketchum ... has worked to undermine consumer advocates and the organic foods industry. It would be unwise for organic companies to hire the PR firm.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


Why The FDA Has Never Looked At Some Of The Additives In Our Food
2015-04-04, NPR
Posted: 2016-09-19 14:35:37
http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/04/14/399591292/why-the-fda-is-cluel...

Companies have added thousands of ingredients to foods with little to no government oversight. That's thanks to a loophole in a decades-old law that allows them to deem an additive to be "generally recognized as safe" - or GRAS - without the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's blessing, or even its knowledge. The loophole was originally intended to allow manufacturers of common ingredients like vinegar and table salt ... to bypass the FDA's lengthy safety-review process. But over time, companies have found that it's far more efficient to take advantage of the exemption to get their products on shelves quickly. Some of these products contain additives that the FDA has found to pose dangers, [and] companies regularly introduce new additives without ever informing the FDA. The Government Accountability Office ... published a report in 2010 that found that "FDA's oversight process does not help ensure the safety of all new GRAS determinations." And even when a company does go through the FDA review process, safety decisions have been criticized. For example ... lawsuits allege that mycoprotein, a type of fungus used in vegetarian products, has caused consumers to suffer a range of reactions, including nausea and anaphylactic shock. The complaints prompted the Center for Science in the Public Interest to urge the FDA in 2011 to revoke the ingredient's GRAS status. In the past five decades, the number of food additives has skyrocketed — from about 800 to more than 10,000.

Note: Common additives in processed foods have been linked with temper tantrums, poor concentration and hyperactivity, and allergic reactions in children. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.


New dengue vaccine could instead cause more cases, experts warn
2016-09-01, CNN News
Posted: 2016-09-11 23:46:31
http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/01/health/dengue-vaccine-increase-disease/

The newly licensed vaccine against the dengue virus - trade name Dengvaxia - could lead to an increase in the number of cases of the disease if not implemented correctly, experts warn in a new study. The number of people affected by dengue has increased in recent years, with 390 million people estimated to be infected each year. Cases of the disease have [been] reported in more than 100 countries worldwide. Dengvaxia was produced by Sanofi Pasteur, which, after spending 20 years developing the vaccine, published promising findings on its effectiveness in 2015. Trials showed the vaccine to be 59.2% effective against dengue when results were pooled across populations and age groups. [Study author] Neil Ferguson used data from the clinical trials to assess the impact of using the vaccine in different settings and found that its use in areas with low levels of disease, where people are unlikely to have been previously exposed to dengue, could lead to an increase in people severely affected by the infection due to the complexities of the virus and the way it interacts with our immune system. "Unlike most diseases, the second time you get dengue, it's much more likely to be severe than the first time you get it," Ferguson said. When people who have never experienced the infection get immunized, the vaccine may act like a silent infection, gearing them up for a more severe infection should they face the real form of the virus. "It can have the potential to make things worse if it's misused," Ferguson said.

Note: Dengue fever is carried by aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which also carry zika virus. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing vaccine news articles from reliable major media sources.


New York attorney general launches antitrust probe of Mylan's EpiPen contracts
2016-09-06, CNBC
Posted: 2016-09-11 23:42:11
http://www.cnbc.com/2016/09/06/new-york-attorney-general-launches-antitrust-p...

New York state's attorney general on Tuesday opened an investigation into the pharmaceuticals giant [Mylan], focused on its contracts with local school systems to buy its lifesaving EpiPens. The skyrocketing price of those auto-injection devices, used to counteract potentially fatal allergic reactions, has drawn intense criticism. The office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said it launched its probe after a preliminary review revealed Mylan might have inserted anti-competitive terms into its deals to sell EpiPens. Schneiderman's move came within hours of U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether Mylan violated federal antitrust laws. "As the cost of EpiPens skyrocketed, schools seeking relief turned to Mylan's 'EpiPen4Schools' program," Blumenthal's office said. "Some of these schools were required to sign a contract agreeing not to purchase any products from Mylan's competitors for a period of 12 months - conduct that can violate the antitrust laws." Schneiderman's probe also comes on the heels of news that Minnesota's attorney general, Lori Swanson, has asked Mylan to provide documents that would justify the company having raised the retail price of EpiPens more than 400 percent. "No child's life should be put at risk because a parent, school, or health-care provider cannot afford a simple, lifesaving device because of a drug-maker's anti-competitive practices," Schneiderman said.

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


F.D.A. Bans Sale of Many Antibacterial Soaps, Saying Risks Outweigh Benefits
2016-09-02, New York Times
Posted: 2016-09-11 23:40:13
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/03/science/fda-bans-sale-of-many-antibacterial...

The Food and Drug Administration banned the sale of soaps containing certain antibacterial chemicals on Friday, saying industry had failed to prove they were safe to use over the long term or more effective than using ordinary soap and water. In all the F.D.A. took action against 19 different chemicals and has given industry a year to take them out of their products. About 40 percent of soaps — including liquid hand soap and bar soap – contain the chemicals. Triclosan, mostly used in liquid soap, and triclocarban, in bar soaps, are by far the most common. The rule applies only to consumer hand washes and soaps. Other products may still contain the chemicals. At least one toothpaste, Colgate Total, still does. Public health experts applauded the rule, which came after years of mounting concerns that the antibacterial chemicals that go into everyday products are doing more harm than good. Experts have pushed the agency to regulate antimicrobial chemicals, warning that they risk scrambling hormones in children and promoting drug-resistant infections. Studies in animals have shown that triclosan and triclocarban can disrupt the normal development of the reproductive system and metabolism, and health experts warn that their effects could be the same in humans.

Note: The US government allows corporations to decide what is "generally regarded as safe" for public health, which is why so many substances once considered safe are later found to be toxic and even deadly. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.


Banned PCB Chemicals Still Tied to Autism in U.S. Kids
2016-08-23, US News & World Report
Posted: 2016-09-11 23:38:10
http://health.usnews.com/health-care/articles/2016-08-23/banned-pcb-chemicals...

Children exposed to relatively high levels of PCBs in the womb may have an increased risk of developing autism, a new study suggests. PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, are man-made chemicals once used in a wide range of products, from electrical appliances to fluorescent lighting. Use of these chemicals was banned in the 1970s because of concerns about their health effects. But since they do not easily break down, PCBs still linger in the environment - and in people. In the new study, researchers found that when pregnant women had relatively high levels of certain PCBs in their blood, their children were about 80 percent more likely to be diagnosed with autism versus other kids. Those children also had a roughly twofold higher risk of intellectual disabilities unrelated to autism. "Autism is a complex condition with many different causes, and those causes vary among individuals," said Kristen Lyall, lead researcher on the study. Experts believe that for children to develop autism, they have to have a genetic susceptibility and be exposed to certain environmental factors during critical periods of early brain development. Researchers are still trying to figure out what those environmental factors are. But some suspects include prenatal exposure to poor nutrition, certain infections, heavy air pollution and pesticides, according to the non-profit Autism Speaks. The new findings suggest that PCBs could be another one of the "puzzle pieces," said Lyall.

Note: Monsanto and other chemical manufacturers spent decades dumping PCBs in low-income areas. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.


‘Like it’s been nuked’: Millions of bees dead after South Carolina sprays for Zika mosquitoes
2016-09-01, Washington Post
Posted: 2016-09-05 18:06:08
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/09/01/like-its-been-n...

On Sunday morning, the South Carolina honey bees began to die in massive numbers. The dead worker bees littering the farms suggested ... acute pesticide poisoning. By one estimate, at a single apiary - Flowertown Bee Farm and Supply, in Summerville - 46 hives died on the spot, totaling about 2.5 million bees. Walking through the farm, one Summerville woman wrote ... was “like visiting a cemetery, pure sadness.” To the bee farmers, the reason is ... clear. Their bees had been poisoned by Dorchester’s own insecticide efforts, casualties in the war on disease-carrying mosquitoes. On Sunday morning, parts of Dorchester County were sprayed with Naled, a common insecticide that kills mosquitoes on contact. An airplane dispensed Naled in a fine mist, raining insect death from above. The county says it provided plenty of warning, spreading word about the pesticide plane via a newspaper announcement. Local beekeepers felt differently. “Had I known, I would have been camping on the steps doing whatever I had to do screaming, ‘No you can’t do this,'” beekeeper Juanita Stanley said in an interview. Stanley [said] that the bees are her income, but she is more devastated by the loss of the bees than her honey. The county acknowledged the bee deaths Tuesday. “Dorchester County is aware that some beekeepers in the area that was sprayed on Sunday lost their beehives,” Jason Ward, county administrator, said in a news release. As for the dead bees, as Stanley told the AP, her farm “looks like it’s been nuked.”

Note: The threats posed by the Zika virus appear greatly exaggerated. Explore other zika virus news articles suggesting this is largely fear mongering to bring more profits to corporations involved in creating vaccines and more.


Mylan CEO's Pay Rose Over 600 Percent as EpiPen Price Rose 400 Percent
2016-08-23, NBC News
Posted: 2016-08-29 20:28:55
http://www.nbcnews.com/business/consumer/mylan-execs-gave-themselves-raises-t...

EpiPen prices aren't the only thing to jump at Mylan. Executive salaries have also seen a stratospheric uptick. Proxy filings show that from 2007 to 2015, Mylan CEO Heather Bresch's total compensation went from $2,453,456 to $18,931,068, a 671 percent increase. During the same period, the company raised EpiPen prices, with the average wholesale price going from $56.64 to $317.82, a 461 percent increase. In 2007 the company bought the rights to EpiPen, a device used to provide emergency epinephrine to stop a potentially fatal allergic reaction and began raising its price. In 2008 and 2009, Mylan raised the price by 5 percent. At the end of 2009 it tried out a 19 percent hike. The years 2010-2013 saw a succession of 10 percent price hikes. And from the fourth quarter of 2013 to the second quarter of 2016, Mylan steadily raised EpiPen prices 15 percent every other quarter. After Mylan acquired EpiPen the company also amped up its lobbying efforts. In 2008, its reported spending on lobbying went from $270,000 to $1.2 million, according to opensecrets.org. Legislation that enhanced its bottom line followed, with the FDA changing its recommendations in 2010 that two EpiPens be sold in a package instead of one. And in 2013 the government passed a law to give block grants to states that required they be stocked in public schools.

Note: For more, see this CNBC article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the pharmaceutical industry.


Politics is killing mothers in Texas
2016-08-23, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2016-08-29 20:24:47
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/23/texas-maternal-death-ra...

When it comes to women’s progress, the United States doesn’t exactly bring home the gold. We rank 72nd in women’s political participation, with women holding less than 20% of congressional seats. Paid maternity leave? The United States comes in last. But at long last, we’re number one at something: Texas has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world. The rate of women dying from pregnancy complications doubled from 2010-2014. It’s not a coincidence, of course, that there was another major happening around women’s health in Texas during those years: the deliberate closure of clinics that provide abortion and a drastic funding cut to the state’s family planning budget. Texas gutted the state’s family planning budget by more than $73m in 2011, forcing clinics to shut down and dramatically reducing the number of women they could provide services to. By 2014, 600 women had died from pregnancy-related complications. It’s almost as if what feminists have been saying for years is true: limiting reproductive rights hurts women across the board. Access to reproductive care is necessary not just to prevent or end pregnancies, but to ensure healthy outcomes for those who choose to carry their pregnancies to term.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and health.


The world is getting better at paid maternity leave. The U.S. is not.
2016-08-13, Washington Post
Posted: 2016-08-29 20:23:17
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/08/13/the-world-is-get...

Despite having one of the world's most advanced economies, the United States lags far behind other countries in its policies for expectant mothers. In addition to being the only highly competitive country where mothers are not guaranteed paid leave, it sits in stark contrast to countries such as Cuba and Mongolia that offer expectant mothers one year or more of paid leave. Countries finance paid-maternal-leave policies in a variety of ways. Some require that the employer finance the leave; in others, the money comes from public funds. For low-income residents or those who work in the informal sector, an increasing number of governments are providing maternity cash benefits, according to the International Labor Organization, a U.N.-affiliated agency. From Gambia to Bangladesh, a majority of low- and middle-income countries offer some form of paid leave to mothers. Because current U.S. policy doesn't mandate paid maternity leave, many women feel they have to choose between working and raising a family. This gender inequity undermines their prospects of equal opportunity at work — and, experts say, it disproportionately affects women from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. A 2012 study conducted by the Department of Labor found that, of the workers it polled, 23 percent of women who had left work to care for an infant took less than two weeks off, increasing health risks for both mothers and children.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality and health.


The Link Between Mosquito Spraying and Autism
2016-04-30, Time Magazine
Posted: 2016-08-22 12:42:44
http://time.com/4313156/mosquito-spraying-autism-pesticides/

A new study finds a correlation between the aerial spraying of pesticides to kill mosquitoes and an increased risk of developmental delays and autism among kids. In the new findings, presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies 2016 meeting, researchers looked at the rates of autism and developmental delays from eight zip codes in a region of New York that is exposed to yearly airplane pesticide spraying to prevent mosquito-borne disease like eastern equine encephalitis virus. They compared those to the rates in 16 zip codes where the pesticide spraying doesn’t happen. They controlled for factors like poverty and gender variation across the zip codes. The authors report that kids living in zip codes where the spraying was done each summer had around a 25% higher risk of an autism diagnosis or developmental problems compared to kids living in areas without the aerial spraying. “Several studies have previously reported links between pesticide and autism risk,” says Dr. Steve Hicks, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Penn State College of Medicine in an email to TIME. “Our data suggests the way in which pesticides are applied might play some role. Studies of pesticides in animal models show they can affect certain neurotransmitters in the brain, but their exact molecular effects on brain development are still being explored.”

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


Zika virus: Floridians fear 'Pandora's box' of genetically altered mosquitos
2016-08-14, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2016-08-22 12:40:33
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/aug/14/florida-keys-zika-virus-genet...

The Florida Keys are three months away from a straw poll vote on whether to release millions of genetically modified mosquitoes on an island just east of Key West. The tourist destination is awash in lawn signs ... that showcase the overhead view of a mosquito and read: “NO CONSENT to release of genetically modified mosquitoes”. For the last five years, the biotechnology company Oxitec has been developing a plan to experimentally release the GMO mosquitoes in the Keys, which scientists hope could eventually impede the spread of the Zika virus [by undercutting] the population of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. But the prospect of ridding the neighborhood of a disease-carrying pest hasn’t quelled public dissatisfaction. Mila de Mier ... has led the charge against the mosquitoes’ release, collecting nearly 170,000 signatures in an online petition against the experiment. “It’s about human rights – this can’t be pushed down our throats without consent,” said De Mier. If the trial goes well, the technology would be on track to commercial approval in the United States, opening a slice of the nation’s $14bn pest control market to the company. Globally, analysts predict Oxitec’s mosquito could bring in up to $400m in annual sales for its parent company, Intrexon. With millions in potential sales at stake, the experiment in the environmentally sensitive, populous area hinges on the fundamental question proposed by opponents: do the people who live where an experiment is to be conducted have a right to decide whether to go forward?

Note: Oxitec, a company criticized for secretly releasing GM mosquitoes into the wild in 2009, was purchased last August by biotech giant Intrexon for $160 million. By December, the Zika virus was all over the news and Intrexon was ramping up production of these GM insects to "fight Zika" in Brazil. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on GMO controversies and Zika virus fear mongering.


Brazil asks whether Zika acts alone to cause birth defects
2016-07-25, Nature
Posted: 2016-08-22 12:38:36
http://www.nature.com/news/brazil-asks-whether-zika-acts-alone-to-cause-birth...

Government researchers in Brazil are set to explore the country's peculiar distribution of Zika-linked microcephaly - babies born with abnormally small heads. Zika virus has spread throughout Brazil, but extremely high rates of microcephaly have been reported only in the country's northeast. Although evidence suggests that Zika can cause microcephaly, the clustering pattern hints that other environmental, socio-economic or biological factors could be at play. “We suspect that something more than Zika virus is causing the high intensity and severity of cases,” says Fatima Marinho, director of information and health analysis at Brazil’s ministry of health. If that turns out to be true, it could change researchers' assessment of the risk that Zika poses. Zika was discovered in 1947 and hadn’t been implicated in birth defects until now. The northeast was where the first reported surge in microcephaly cases in Brazil began a year ago. Health officials had expected that they would later see the same high rates in other parts of the country. But as of 20 July, almost 90% of the 1,709 confirmed cases of congenital microcephaly or birth defects of the central nervous system reported in Brazil since last November were in a relatively small area ... about the size of the United Kingdom, whereas Brazil is almost as large as the United States. There are many hypotheses about what might be going on. Marinho says that her team's data, submitted for publication, hint that socio-economic factors might be involved.

Note: The cluster of microcephaly cases in Brazil was reported in February to predate the latest Zika outbreak. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Zika virus news articles from reliable major media sources.


Exclusive: Controversial US scientist creates deadly new flu strain for pandemic research
2014-06-30, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2016-08-14 22:29:32
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/exclusive-controversial-us-scientis...

A controversial scientist who carried out provocative research on making influenza viruses more infectious has completed his most dangerous experiment to date by deliberately creating a pandemic strain of flu that can evade the human immune system. Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison has genetically manipulated the 2009 strain of pandemic flu in order for it to “escape” the control of the immune system’s neutralising antibodies, effectively making the human population defenceless against its reemergence. Most of the world today has developed some level of immunity to the 2009 pandemic flu virus. However ... Professor Kawaoka intentionally set out to see if it was possible to convert it to a pre-pandemic state in order to analyse the genetic changes involved. Professor Kawaoka’s work had been cleared by Wisconsin’s Institutional Biosafety Committee, but some members of the committee were not informed about details of the antibody study ... and have voiced concerns about the direction, oversight and safety of his overall research on flu viruses. “I have met Professor Kawaoka in committee and have heard his research presentations and honestly it was not re-assuring,” said Professor Tom Jeffries, a dissenting member of the 17-person biosafety committee. This is the first time that someone has taken a strain of influenza virus, called H1N1, known to have caused a global epidemic, in other words a “pandemic”, and deliberately mutated it many times over.


How the US Spies on Medical Nonprofits and Health Defenses Worldwide
2016-08-10, The Intercept
Posted: 2016-08-14 22:08:23
https://theintercept.com/2016/08/10/how-the-u-s-spies-on-medical-nonprofits-a...

As part of an ongoing effort to “exploit medical intelligence,” the National Security Agency teamed up with the military-focused Defense Intelligence Agency to extract “medical SIGINT” from the intercepted communications of nonprofit groups starting in the early 2000s, a top-secret document shows. Medical intelligence can include information about disease outbreaks; the ability of a foreign regime to respond to chemical, biological, and nuclear attacks; the capabilities of overseas drugs companies; advances in medical technology; medical research, and the medical response capabilities of various governments, according to the document and others like it, provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. One of the more prominent examples of focused medical spying came in 2010, when the agency crafted a plan to stow tracking devices with medical supplies bound for an ill Osama bin Laden in order to locate the terrorist leader. One article from August 2003 identifies an NSA project to keep an eye on the evolution of biotechnology in various countries. “Can we ... determine the specific features that would distinguish a Bio Warfare Program from a benign civilian pharmaceutical production effort?” the author wrote, identifying a “suspect Iranian [biological warfare] facility” as a target for inspection. Medical intelligence gathering has continued since then, according to the so-called “black budget” proposed for the 2013 fiscal year, published in February 2012.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and terrorism.


High cholesterol 'does not cause heart disease' new research finds, so treating with statins a 'waste of time'
2016-06-16, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2016-08-08 19:15:26
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/06/12/high-cholesterol-does-not-cause...

Cholesterol does not cause heart disease in the elderly and trying to reduce it with drugs like statins is a waste of time, an international group of experts has claimed. A review of research involving nearly 70,000 people found there was no link between what has traditionally been considered “bad” cholesterol and the premature deaths of over 60-year-olds from cardiovascular disease. Published in the BMJ Open journal, the new study found that 92 percent of people with a high cholesterol level lived longer. The authors have called for a re-evaluation of the guidelines for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis, a hardening and narrowing of the arteries, because “the benefits from statin treatment have been exaggerated”. Co-author of the study Dr Malcolm Kendrick, an intermediate care GP, acknowledged the findings would cause controversy but defended them as “robust” and “thoroughly reviewed”. Vascular and endovascular surgery expert Professor Sherif Sultan from the University of Ireland, who also worked on the study, said cholesterol is one of the “most vital” molecules in the body and prevents infection, cancer, muscle pain and other conditions in elderly people. “Lowering cholesterol with medications for primary cardiovascular prevention in those aged over 60 is a total waste of time and resources, whereas altering your lifestyle is the single most important way to achieve a good quality of life,” he said.

Note: Big Pharma was heavily involved in clinical trials of statins. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.


Dear "Skeptics," Bash Homeopathy and Bigfoot Less, Mammograms and War More
2016-05-16, Scientific American
Posted: 2016-08-08 19:02:39
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/dear-skeptics-bash-homeopathy...

I’m a science journalist. That keeps me busy, because, as you know, most peer-reviewed scientific claims are wrong. So I’m a skeptic, but with a small s, not capital S. “The Science Delusion” is common among Capital-S Skeptics. You don’t apply your skepticism equally. You are extremely critical of belief in God, ghosts, heaven, ESP, astrology, homeopathy and Bigfoot. Meanwhile, you neglect [many] dubious and even harmful claims promoted by major scientists and institutions. Let’s take a look at ... mainstream medicine. Over the past half-century, physicians and hospitals have introduced increasingly sophisticated, expensive tests. They assure us that early detection of disease will lead to better health. But tests often do more harm than good. For every woman whose life is extended because a mammogram detected a tumor, up to 33 receive unnecessary treatment, including biopsies, surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. For men diagnosed with prostate cancer after a PSA test, the ratio is 47 to one. Similar data are emerging on colonoscopies and other tests. Mental-health care suffers from similar problems. The biological theory that really drives me nuts is the deep-roots theory of war. According to the theory, lethal group violence is in our genes. But the evidence is overwhelming that war was a cultural innovation. I hate the deep-roots theory not only because it’s wrong, but also because it encourages fatalism toward war. War is our most urgent problem.

Note: The above was written by John Horgan, director of the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing science corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


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