(http://www.gmwatch.org)Oxitec, a UK biotech company, has decided not to carry out its plans to release GM olive and fruit flies in Spain and Brazil after government regulators in the two countries raised concerns for human and environmental health.
The company's decision came after Spanish and Catalan regulators requested more information on the impact that the release of GM insects would have.
"Today's decision shows that regulators are starting to ask important questions about the impacts of releasing GM insects on humans and the environment", said Dr Helen Wallace, Director of GeneWatch UK, "Oxitec has pulled its application because it does not have the answers to these questions."
Naturally, Brazilian and Spanish citizens are concerned about an international company releasing untested GM insects, which can not be contained or controlled, into their environment. The GM flies would mate with wild flies in the area, and large numbers of GM maggots would end up dead in olives and fruit, increasing consumers' health risks and ruining growers' crops.
Oxitec is currently testing their GM mosquitoes in Brazil, but authorities say they need evidence that these GMOs reduce dengue fever risk and incidence before approving the biotech company's application for commercial use.
(http://www.cornucopia.org)You may be surprised to learn that carrageenan, a controversial food additive that has been linked in animal studies to gastrointestinal problems and colon cancer, is allowed as an ingredient in many "organic" food products. The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 requires that non-agricultural ingredients be determined safe for human health and the environment before being added to organic foods, and federal organic standards require that nonorganic ingredients be essential to producing food in order for them to be used. Since many food manufacturers use alternatives to carrageenan in their products, it is not essential, and there is no reason why it should be allowed in organic foods.
When the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) first approved carrageenan in the mid-1990s, they based their decision on inaccurate information given to them by "independent" scientists with industry ties, including Stephen Harper, a food scientist at Small Planet Foods, which is now owned by General Mills.
The NOSB is required to review non-organic and artificial materials used in organic food and agriculture every five years as part of their Sunset regulatory process. The process is to determine if continued use of the materials threatens human health or the environment and if there is a feasible organic alternative. When carrageenan's five-year review came up in May 2012, Cornucopia Institute staff members who were at the meeting presented scientific studies detailing the additive's harmful effects, but NOSB members were misled by industry lobbyists who presented misinformation and questioned the validity of independent research commissioned by the National Institutes of Health.
One of the NOSB members took an active role in assisting the carrageenan manufacturers. At one point, she read lengthy excerpts from a document written by the carrageenan manufacturers' trade lobby group, Marinalg, defending the safety of carrageenan. But before reading these lengthy excerpts, the Board member misidentified the excerpts as "being from JECFA, a United Nations/FAO body" when in fact they were written by the industry's lobby group. Pretty infuriating, right? How can research from a biased lobby group be mistaken for a United Nations/FAO study?
The NOSB ended up re-approving carrageenan for another five years by a margin of one vote. Several of the Board members who voted to approve the additive did so in violation of NOSB's policies against voters having conflicts of interest.
The Cornucopia Institute's report on carrageenan in organic food can be found here. More information on carrageenan can be found here.
(http://www.huffingtonpost.com)Yesterday, December 5, 2013, Mayor Billy Kenoi signed Bill 113 into law, banning biotech companies and new genetically modified crops from the Big Island of Hawaii. The island's GMO papaya industry is exempt from the bill. The law reflects Hawaiian sentiments to encourage community-based farming, as opposed to letting global corporations take over their agriculture. Biotech companies have not yet begun operations on the Big Island, and the new bill will help keep it that way.
Much of Hawaii's agricultural sector opposed the bill, and, the mayor said, some farmers were "treated disrespectfully" while the new legislation was being debated. Kenoi urges community healing and an end to the angry rhetoric that lead to the passage of the bill. Just a few weeks ago, Kauai passed its own law to regulate GMO and pesticide usage.
"Our community has a deep connection and respect for our land, and we all understand we must protect our island and preserve our precious natural resources," Kenoi wrote to council members. "We are determined to do what is right for the land because this place is unlike any other in the world."
(http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25202903)The Cochrane Collaboration recently conducted research into eight exercise trials involving over 300 dementia patients. Their assessment found that, although exercise did little to improve the mood of the participants, it did help them with performing daily tasks, such as walking or standing up, and improved cognitive function.
Everyone should regularly exercise, as it helps improve health overall, lowering obesity, diabetes and heart disease risks, among others. This research shows that it can also lower the risk of dementia and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's; however, the researchers note that "further research is needed to be able to develop best practice guidelines to enable healthcare providers to advise people with dementia living at home or in institutions." More studies are also needed in order to determine the best level and intensity of exercise to benefit dementia patients.
Dr. Laura Phipps of Alzheimer's Research UK said: "We do know that exercise is an important part of keeping healthy, and though we can't say that exercise will prevent dementia, evidence does suggest it can help reduce the risk of the condition as part of a healthy lifestyle."
(http://rt.com)As reported by RT.com, polls consistently show that the majority of Americans support laws for requiring the labeling of foods that contain genetically modified organisms.
A New York Times poll conducted earlier this year revealed that 93 percent of respondents were in favor of GMO labeling, and a 2010 survey by the Washington Post resulted in 94 percent in favor.
In recent years, states such as California and Washington have tried to pass GMO labeling initiatives, which polls had shown were supported by most of the residents who responded. Despite this, biotech companies like Monsanto and DuPont and food corporations like PepsiCo, Coca-Cola and Kellogg have furiously poured money into pro-GMO propaganda in those states and kept such legislation from passing, against the best interests of their customers.
Regardless of advertising, GMO labeling laws have recently been passed in Maine and Connecticut, but they will not be in effect until four other northeastern states with a combined population of at least 20 million enact similar laws.
GMO labeling continues to gain steady support across the country as people realize the dangers of eating pesticides, chemicals and man-made creatures and blindly trusting corporations with the safety and quality of their food. Enacting sensible labeling laws is possible, and we must continue our efforts to do so if we are to achieve the health freedom that we, and future generations of Americans, deserve.
(http://www.motherjones.com)According to MotherJones.com, a report by Transparency Market Research shows that the chemical industry expects bispehnol A (BPA) sales to increase by 44 percent by 2019. BPA, which the FDA recently banned from baby bottles (after manufacturers already phased it out), is an endocrine-disrupting chemical that is used to help preserve canned foods and make plastics more flexible. BPA has been linked to changes in sex hormones, lower sperm counts, tooth decay, obesity in children and other health concerns. It also affects the brain and nervous system and can cause early onset of puberty. The dangerous chemical's effects have been observed at extremely low levels enocountered on a daily basis.
With all the horrible news coming out about BPA, it would make sense for it to be phased out and banned, but a report recieved by Tom Philpott of MotherJones.com shows that the chemical industry actually expects sales to increase, from $13.1 billion this year to $18.8 billion in 2019. The report detailed "steady growth" in BPA consumption, mainly due to "increasing demand in the Asia-Pacific region." Lately, China's BPA production and use has "grown rapidly," and "much more BPA contamination" is expected there in the near future. After Asia and Europe, North America is the "third largest regional market for BPA," but consumption is now growing "at a very slow rate," so the report's authors expect a "slight decline" in North American BPA consumption by 2019.
The three companies that are expected to profit the most from the health-destroying chemical are Bayer, Dow and Saudi Basic Industries Corp.
(http://rt.com)The Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology has caved under pressure from the biotech industry and agreed to retract Gilles-Eric Seralini's "controversial" experiment which showed that rats fed Monsanto's genetically modified (GM) corn developed tumors.
The study was controversial because it was the first to attempt to examine the long-term effects of consuming Monsanto's NK603 Roundup-tolerant corn. Previous experiments only covered periods of 90 days or less, which means that they were severely limited when you consider that corporations expect their customers to unquestioningly eat GMOs over their entire lifespan. Since the industry has been unable to produce any data refuting Seralini's results, they have instead been furiously working to discredit them. Monsanto's study only examined rats on a GMO diet for 90 days and dismissed signs of toxicity as "not biologically meaningful."
When the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommended approval of NK603 in 2009, they did so without conducting any independent testing and relied solely on Monsanto's data, who would profit the most from it, of course. After Seralini's study was published, the EFSA attacked it, saying that "it does not meet acceptable scientific standards."
However, as William Engdahl of RT.com notes, "EFSA argued that Seralini had used the wrong kind of rats, not enough rats and that the statistical analysis was inadequate. By these standards, all toxicity studies on glyphosate and GMOs should be retracted because they used the same type and approximate number of rats as those in the Seralini study."
Even if the study was flawed, just the fact that it was the first long-term study performed and that it observed disconcerting tumor growth correlating to GMO consumption warrants exercise of the precautionary principle and further independent testing, especially before blindly accepting safety tests from the very people who seek to make money off of its approval.
Despite being discredited, the study was still circulating and being cited by others, so, in May 2013, Elsevier, the journal's publisher, appointed former Monsanto employee and pro-GMO lobbyist Richard E. Goodman to the newly created position of "Associate Editor for Biotechnology."
So now, after Seralini's experiment went through a four-month review period and has been published for over a year, the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology has decided to retract the paper. This violates Committee on Publication Ethics guidelines, which state that the only reasons for a journal to retract a paper are as follows:
• Clear evidence that the findings are unreliable due to misconduct (e.g. data fabrication) or honest error;
• Plagiarism or redundant publication;
• Unethical research.
Rather than meeting any of these criteria, Seralini's paper is being retracted due to its "inconclusiveness." This not only violates ethical guidelines but undermines the very foundation of science. Papers are not published to be conclusive but rather to provide new data and information for researchers to build upon in the future. This retraction slows the progress of science, ignores important safety information and puts all of our health at further risk.
News radio host Robert Scott Bell recently appeared in an interview with Gary Franchi of Next News Network. In the interview, the two discuss the current state of the American healthcare system, Obamacare, the free market and the impending, necessary rise of homeopathic medicine. Of Obamacare, Bell reveals that it is part of a 100-year-old scheme to monopolize healthcare.
Upon being introduced by Franchi, Bell says, "This goes so far back. Obamacare, as it's named, is preceded by a hundred now a hundred and two years of preparation time to lead to this disaster."
Franchi then asks Bell why he thinks "that the President would roll out such a massive program but have an inferior web infrastructure."
Bell: "Well if you give him any credit, you'd say that it was designed to fail from the beginning. That this was never intended to be a successful program, because what they'd really like to roll out is something that would follow it, and I've argued this, and I predicted this for many years."
He goes on to explain how, if you make real healing illegal, people will eventually become so disconnected from real healing that they will continue to demand government intervention, despite the fact that our disastrous state of healthcare is a result of that very government's intervention.
"So it's not something that happened overnight. It isn't even only Obama," Bell says. "Things that preceded Obama really set the stage for what we're seeing."
"[W]e have to go back a hundred-plus years to the Flexner Report of 1910," he continues. "Abraham Flexner was given a task and it ended up being a preordained report to assess the medical education training of his day in the early part of the 20th century." Basically, the purpose of the report was to say which medical schools would be legitimized and which would not. The legitimized schools received funding from federal and private groups including Carnegie and Rockefeller, as long as they "adopted a petrochemical patent medicine type paradigm." Meanwhile, schools that taught homeopathic medicine and other forms of natural healing had their financial support taken away. Smear campaigns were also employed to discredit alternative forms of medicine and convince the public that the only "real" doctors were those sanctioned by the government.
Bell then explains how the idea of licensure was strengthened throughout the 20th century so that doctors are now limited not only in what they are taught in medical school but also in what they are allowed to practice and how they treat their patients. Additionally, all the medical school closures and regulations severely limited the number of doctors and caused an increase in prices. Furthermore, this caused medical school expenses to increase to such exorbitant heights that, by the time a doctor graduates, they are basically a slave to their debt, which can be as much as half-a-million dollars, and sometimes more, so they then must comply with licensure boards and do whatever it takes to pay back that debt. This compromises doctors' integrity and prevents many from actually being good doctors, so as we are currently seeing, many of them leave the profession in frustration, which is further compounding the Obamacare situation.
Bell then gives detail of how the Obama administration is aware of this insidious scheme: "Obama actually wrote a letter to his constituents, to his supporters, about how great it was that, and this was in 2010, that Obamacare happened... and it took a hundred years. 'We've been working a hundred years.' That's a hundred years to the year. Why would that be in a letter from Obama? I don't know that Obama actually knew it, but somebody writing that for him did. So what I'm saying is not speculation, it's [actual] and it was done by design. We've got to collapse the medical system so that we can completely take it over and eliminate any private free market, which again in the 20th century was declining over the decades for a long time. So now we convince the majority of people in America that free market medicine doesn't work. And it does, it's just that we haven't had in a hundred years maybe."
Watch the video for yourself to learn about all the details revealed in this interview. Be sure to listen to the Robert Scott Bell show, which can be accessed here and here, for important natural health news. Next News Network's WHDT World News program airs daily at 6pm and 11pm Eastern on Comcast, DirecTV and Over-the-Air and Online at NNN.is.
(http://www.reuters.com)In response to concerns from Republican lawmakers about the secrecy with which it guards its scientific findings, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has appointed Francesca Grifo as its first "scientific integrity official." Grifo is the former director of the scientific integrity program at the Union of Concerned Scientists and a director of the Center for Environmental Research at Columbia University.
Grifo's role will be to coordinate the agency's policies on scientific integrity and chair a committee focused on that subject. This comes in response to criticism by legislators who claim that the agency overregulates industry and impedes economic growth and employment without allowing independent analysts to review the "secret science" they use as justification.
However, the new position is unlikely to satisfy lawmakers' concerns, considering that the scientific data still remains a mystery to those affected by the agency's regulations. "'Scientific integrity' is a moot point when the science remains secret, no matter who's in this role," Senator David Vitter (R-La.) said. "There's currently no method to independently analyze or verify their [EPA's] science, or its integrity."
(http://www.cbc.ca)AquaBounty Technologies, a biotech company, has recently announced that it has been granted permission by Environment Canada to commercially produce genetically modified (GM) salmon eggs at its Prince Edward's Island (PEI) facility.
Prior to recieving the Canadian government department's permission, the production at AquaBounty's PEI hatchery has been for research purposes only. Now, however, GM fish egg production will begin at a commercial scale at the company's facility in Bay Fortune, PEI.
AquaBounty's GM fish have had their genes manipulated to force them to grow at twice the rate as natural salmon.
(http://www.sltrib.com)19-year-old Chandler Webb of Utah passed away on November 19, 2013, after being hospitalized for nearly a month while in a coma. His mother, Lori Webb, claims that her son's death was caused by the influenza vaccine.
On October 15, Chandler received his first flu shot ever as part of a routine physical prior to going on a mission trip for his church. The next day, Chandler began suffering from headaches and severe vomiting. The teenager, who had only just recently graduated from Brighton High school, was then hospitalized in Salt Lake City, where he subsequently fell into a coma.
After being in a coma for about a month, Chandler was taken off of life support, and he died on November 19, 2013, after spending 28 days in the hospital. Though doctors have yet to discuss the case, his mother says that the direct cause of death was swelling of the brain. Public health officials continue to emphasize the safety of the vaccine, despite serious side effects having been reported.
Lori has declined an autopsy for her son, considering that a pending brain biopsy will likely be sufficient to determine the cause of death. She said that neurologists at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray performed numerous tests on her son, but they were unable to find any cause or cure for his condition.
"Like with other medical procedures, there can be side effects and adverse reactions," Tom Hudachko, a spokesman for the Utah Department of Health, said. "In the vast majority of those cases the side effects are not very severe - soreness at the injection site, low fever, achiness. Occasionally, yes, there are more severe side effects from receiving the vaccine."
Sankar Swaminathan, chief of the division of infectious diseases at the University of Utah School of Medicine, says that, out of approximately 130 million people who get the flu vaccine nationwide per year, about 1,000 people report an adverse reaction, and 140 people report serious side effects. However, those numbers are likely under-representative, as many reactions go unreported.
Prior to receiving the flu shot, Chandler Webb was a healthy, active teenager who visited the gym five days a week. His sudden, unprecedented death has yet to be explained by the medical industry, but his mother is certain that the flu shot is to blame. "We're angry because we believe it's the flu shot that [caused] it," Lori said to the Salt Lake Tribune.
When he was taken off of life support, Chandler's last moments involved his mother cutting his hair for the last time and telling him the story of "The Three Billy Goats Gruff," which she would read to him as a child. "I can't describe how hard it is to lose a child," Lori said.
(http://www.reuters.com)A recent shipment of corn from the United States to China has been rejected due to contamination by genetically modified strains that have not been approved by Beijing.
The offending crop that caused the shipment to be rejected was Syngenta AG's Agrisure Viptera corn. This incident highlights a growing problem of GMO contamination of crops, as seen in September this year when alfalfa grown in Washington was discovered to be contaminated with a GM strain.
The bad news impacted the Chicago Board of Trade corn futures, causing December corn to hit a three-year low. Thankfully for corn farmers, U.S. corn imports into China are soaring, as the Chinese government struggles with high domestic corn prices, compared to relatively cheap U.S. corn imports from a record harvest, and an increasing demand for food.
However, the contaminated shipment will have to transported elsewhere, like Japan or South Korea.
"We are worried. At this stage, we have to wait and see before making any judgment whether the government is sending a signal to the market that it does not want more imports or whether this is simply a quarantine issue," said one trading manager with a large animal feed mill in Guangdong.
Agrisure Viptera was engineered in an effort to increase resistance against crop-damaging insects and is widely grown in the U.S., so the genetic pollution likely came from the GM strain commingling with the approved corn.
As usual, the biotech industry denies responsibility. "Syngenta is not aware of any such incident," said Paul Minehart, head of Corporate Communications-North America for Syngenta Corporation.
(http://www.huffingtonpost.com)Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa has signed a "Memorandum of Understanding" agreement with Monsanto. Known as the "Maui County AG Oversight Agreement," the agreement requires Monsanto to disclose all "restricted-use pesticides" that are sprayed in Maui Country, how much is sprayed and the number of acres that they are used on. Under the deal, Monsanto must also report how it's dealing with dust and soil erosion. The company will meet with county officials each quarter to discuss pesticide usage and other community issues.
The announcement of this deal comes in the wake of the passage of two significant GMO bills in Hawaii. The island of Kauai passed legislation restricting where biotech companies can spray pesticides and requiring full disclosure of when and where they will be sprayed. Meanwhile, the Hawaii County Council banned biotech companies from operating on the Big Island and all GMO crops except for corn and papaya that are already being cultivated.
As reported by the Huffington Post, Rod Antone, who is Mayor Arakawa's communications director, said, "We thought that after the Big Island [passed its bill], this is about a good a time as ever. Maui would be next. It doesn't prevent anyone from approaching the council about a bill, but this is a good way to start the dialogue. The county wanted to be proactive rather than reactive."
(http://www.nejm.org)Nuts are already known to be a healthy, nutrient-dense food, and even the Food and Drug Administration suggests that daily nut consumption as part of a low-fat diet "may reduce the risk of heart disease." However, few studies have investigated nut consumption in relation to total mortality, and many that have are quite limited. That is why researchers from Boston and Indianapolis teamed up to evaluate the health benefits of eating nuts.
The researchers followed 76,464 women and 42,498 men who were respectively in the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Throughout the study and follow-up, researchers evaluated the individuals' nut consumption through 2-year interval surveys and kept track of participant mortality and causes of death.
At the end of the study, the researchers found that "those who consumed nuts more frequently were leaner, less likely to smoke, more likely to exercise, and more likely to use multivitamin supplements; they also consumed more fruits and vegetables and drank more alcohol." They also discovered that nut consumption was inversely associated with deaths due to cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease, in addition to being associated with reduced weight gain.
Based on a serving size of 28 g, or 1 oz, the researchers found relationships between nut consumption and mortality as follows:
Seven servings or more per week: 20% lower death rate.
Five or six per week: 15% lower death rate.
Two to four per week: 13% lower death rate.
One per week: 11% lower death rate.
Less than one per week: 7% lower death rate.
The mortality rates are based off of hazard ratios for death which all had a 95% confidence interval and are in comparison to those who reported eating no nuts.
The researchers wrote in their study, "In conclusion, our analysis of samples from these two prospective cohort studies showed significant inverse associations of nut consumption with total and cause-specific mortality." However, they warn that cause and effect relationships cannot yet be established and call for controlled, randomized clinical trials for further investigation.
Ralph Fucetola, JD, a.k.a. the Vitamin Lawyer, attended a meeting on November 13, 2013, with former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party along with healthcare providers and concerned citizens to discuss the issues of health freedom and Obamacare.
The meeting, which was recorded on video, begins with Fucetola asking Johnson about his views on health freedom and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Johnson's response:
"Well, I really believe in free markets. I think that the FDA really restricts our choices. And what are attorneys for? Wouldn't attorneys do a much better job of assigning and bringing about justice to drug companies that were actually egregious in what they sold to the public as safe? I think the FDA really has acted as a good housekeeping seal of approval that has limited liability as opposed to actually assigning liability due. So, we could do without an FDA. There's actually a way to not have an FDA, and we would be a healthier country as a result; we'd have more choices."
Fucetola then states, "You know, the Natural Solutions Foundation has an interim measure that supports the idea of divesting the FDA of its food authority, because we feel that having food and drugs in the same federal bureaucracy is a recipe for disaster."
Johnson: "Nobody wants to say that we don't want to have safe food, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the government is accomplishing that. And that's what I want to say, is that, as well intentioned as the government is, are they really making food any healthier? [W]ith the FDA, do we not still have incidents where people die, because the food is contaminated? This is something that will go on for perpetuity, and companies that sell this food are liable and are held liable regardless of government interference."
Fucetola then brings up the issue of food and GMO labeling, which is something that Johnson, who suffers from celiac disease, fully supports. He says that honest labeling should be required for food companies and that the government should not ban substances like trans-fats. Rather, they should be labeled so that informed consumers can make choices for themselves, then harmful substances would be phased out through natural free market laws; i.e., nobody would sell what nobody would want to buy.
The video then cuts to a meeting with several individuals at New York City's Players Club. The rest of the discussion covers many topics, including the FDA safeguarding pharmaceutical companies rather than assigning due liability, vaccine schedules, health freedom, how Healthcare.gov is just the tip of the Obamacare iceberg that threatens to sink the United States, and divesting food authority from the FDA.
In response to concerns about how supplements and such would be regulated without the FDA, one meeting attendee notes, "We do not have an electronic safety administration, but every single [computer tablet], you buy it in a box, there will be two marks: UL and CE." CE is the European Union's government safety organization; in the United States, UL, Underwriters Laboratories, is a private industry coalition dedicated to public safety. The fact that we are able to rely on the private sector to ensure the safety of electronic devices proves that the FDA is wholly unnecessary.
Fucetola highlights the ineffectiveness of the FDA: "Half of the drugs that the FDA approves are, within five years of approval... withdrawn from the marketplace due to serious side effects."
"What it really means is that the general population is the final experimental subject, if you will."
Watch the video for yourself to hear the full discussion between this group of libertarian thinkers and the viable, long-term solutions they propose to contemporary issues that the two-party system continues to ignore at the peril of America's future.
(http://www.nytimes.com)Last week, the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACA) released new guidelines for lowering cholesterol in addition to an online calculator for determining patients' disease risks and treatment options. Though it seems well intended, the risk calculator drastically overestimates risks to the point that it could mislead millions more of otherwise healthy individuals to start taking statin drugs.
The AHA and ACA admit that the risk calculator is not perfect but say that it is a step forward for public health and that the guidelines say patients and doctors should discuss treatment options instead of just doing what the calculator suggests.
According to the New York Times:
Dr. Sidney Smith, the executive chairman of the guideline committee, said the associations would examine the flaws found in the calculator and determine if changes were needed. "We need to see if the concerns raised are substantive," he said in a telephone interview on Sunday. "Do there need to be changes?"
The problem was identified by Dr. Paul M. Ridker and Dr. Nancy Cook, two Harvard Medical School professors who first pointed out the issue when they were sent drafts of the guidelines last year. The professors' recommendations to change the calculator either didn't make it to the development team or were ignored, as the calculator continues to use old, outdated data from the 1990s.
Drs. Ridker and Cook tested the calculator and found that, depending on the population, it overpredicted risk by 75 to 150 percent. For example, a man with a 4 percent risk might be wrongly informed that he has an 8 percent risk. The guidelines advise treatment for those with more than a 7.5 percent risk, so based on these guidelines and this calculator, people might unnecessarily be given harmful statin drugs.
The calculator was also tested by other doctors who felt like it was untrustworthy. "Something is terribly wrong," Dr. Steven Nissen, chief of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, said. "[Using the calculator's results,] your average healthy Joe gets treated, virtually every African-American man over 65 gets treated."
The risk calculator presents a very serious risk of increased overprescription of dangerous pharmaceuticals in vulnerable populations. Statin drugs have already been linked to memory loss, muscle pain, increased diabetes risk and artery calcification. This debacle could cause more people to experience those debilitating side effects while filling Big Pharma's pockets; however, it seems more likely to cause the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology to lose credibility.
(http://www.dailymail.co.uk)A new study has found that women who take oral contraceptives for longer than three years increase their risk of glaucoma by more than two times.
Glaucoma is an eye condition in which drainage tubes become blocked, leading to increased fluid pressure which can damage optic nerves and nerve fibers from the retina; it can eventually lead to blindness.
Scientists are urging gynecologists and ophthalmologists to warn their patients of the risk and to screen for the condition.
According to the Daily Mail,
The researchers used data from 2005 to 2008 in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
This included 3,406 female participants aged 40 years or older from across the U.S. who completed the survey's vision and reproductive health questionnaire and underwent eye examinations.
It found women who had used oral contraceptives, no matter which kind, for longer than three years were 2.05 times more likely to also report that they had been diagnosed with glaucoma.
The scientists were unable to establish a causative relationship.
"This study should be an impetus for future research to prove the cause and effect of oral contraceptives and glaucoma," lead researcher Dr. Shan Lin said. "At this point, women who have taken oral contraceptives for three or more years should be screened for glaucoma and followed closely by an ophthalmologist, especially if they have any other existing risk factors."
(http://www.nytimes.com)According to the New York Times, Japan will no longer be able to meet its earlier goal in cutting greenhouse gas emissions, citing nuclear plant shutdowns following the Fukushima disaster. Japan is one of the world's leading polluters (along with China, the U.S., Russia and India), but they previously had a plan to cut emission rates to 25 percent from the levels in 1990. That plan relied on nuclear energy for clean electricity, but now, with Japan's nuclear power program shut down over safety concerns, it is projected to release 3 percent more greenhouse gases by 2020.
As reported by the New York Times,
"We're down to zero nuclear; anyone doing the math will find that target impossible now," Nobuteru Ishihara, the environment minister, said in Tokyo after announcing the new target. He said the original goal was "unrealistic in the first place."
"The current government seeks economic growth while doing our best to meet emissions targets," he added.
This announcement comes as international negotiations regarding pollution and the environment take place in Warsaw, Germany. The Warsaw conference intends to make progress in developing a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol, which expired last year.
"Energy demand is going to increase," Stuart Neil, senior director of external relations and communications for the World Energy Council, said. "We need to look at that in a sustainable way. But the reality is that we're looking at a doubling of demand by 2050," with the majority of growth expected from developing countries.
He added, "Even in the best-case scenario, there will be a doubling of CO2 emissions by 2050."
(http://gmwatch.org)South Australia (SA) will continue its ban on genetically modified (GM) crops until at least 2019. SA is the only mainland Australian state to maintain a ban on GM crop production and trials.
SA Government Minister Leon Bignell said that the state's moratorium on GM crops gives producers an advantage in foreign markets, helps protect premium food and wine production and will allow grain producers to attract higher prices.
"We've got a strong reputation not just around Australia but around the world for producing clean, green premium food and we think having a moratorium on the growing of GM crops really helps us in that end," he said.
The Opposition said that they would also support the continuing ban on GM crop production, but that "it needs to be monitored."
A new video by James O'Keefe's Project Veritas has revealed rampant fraud already taking advantage of taxpayers through Obamacare. In the video, a private investigator pretending to need help enrolling in the system meets with Obamacare navigators in Texas.
As if the roll-out of Obamacare hasn't been disastrous enough, investigators have now caught people placed in positions of public trust, and being paid with government grants (i.e. your taxes), telling enrollees to lie on their Obamacare forms to get lower premiums.
As one Obamacare navigator assistant tells an investigator at the National Urban League Irving Community Center, "I always lie on mine."
The Obamacare navigators also tell him not to report that he smokes to avoid increased premiums and also to evade taxes by not reporting cash income on the side. "Yeah it didn't happen," one navigator says.
"Never report it," says the other.
The video then goes to Enroll America, which Daniel Clayton tells an undercover journalist is a "501(c)(3), so it's purely a nonprofit. It's not partisan, non-political." Contradicting this, Enroll America is later called "the official group for the DNC [Democratic National Convention]."
However, Enroll America works and appears to share data with Battleground Texas, a political action committee. Except for in certain conditions, it is illegal for a 501(c)(3) nonprofit to share mailing lists and certain information to political action committees. Both organizations work to sign people up on healthcare exchanges. Battleground Texas is a "Democratic organization" that was "started by President Obama's National Field Director," is funded by out-of-state "national money" and is "dedicated to turning Texas blue."
Watch the video for yourself to see how fraud is being promoted by Obamacare navigators and how Obama's socialist lackeys are conspiring to manipulate Texas politics.