Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

Networking For A Better Future - News and perspectives you may not find in the media

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October 22, 2006

Health Supreme NewsGrabs - 22 October 2006

Health Supreme's News Grabs - alternative health news and other interesting bytes of information ...

In this issue:

Nobel prize for micro credit, indian farmer suicides, FDA advisers critical, ex FDA chief charged, Monsanto buys terminator technology company, GE-free Switzerland, Cancer group funded by pharma, prison violence and nutrition.

- - -

Banker of the poor wins peace award
Professor Yunus set up a new kind of bank in 1976 to enable the poor, especially women, to start up small businesses without collateral. In doing so, he invented microcredit, a system which has been duplicated across the globe. "In Bangladesh, where nothing works and there's no electricity," Professor Yunus said, "microcredit works like clockwork."

Grameen Bank makes small loans to farmers, fishermen, artisans and other poor people without demanding collateral. The Grameen Foundation which grew out of the bank, was founded in 1997 and has a global network of 52 partners in 22 countries that has helped an estimated 11 million people in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and the Middle East.

UN slams India for farmer suicides
Farmers unable to pay back debts incurred by the purchase of seed, pesticides, fertilizers and equipment, kill themselves at a rate of two per day. In despair some drink the chemical pesticides, while others burn, hang, or drown themselves. India’s agricultural minister Sharad Pawar acknowledged in Parliament that a total of 100 000 farmers have committed suicide between 1993-2003 [5]. A further 16 000 farmers per year on average are said to have died since then.

This criticism comes from a collection of experts that the FDA assembled to give them advice on the safety of drugs. Numerous experts on the Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee felt the FDA was not following their advice regarding needed drug-safety improvements. The message is loud and clear: The FDA, an agency that maintains a cozy and profitable relationship with Big Pharma, is incapable of protecting the American public from harm.

Ex-FDA Chief Crawford to Plead Guilty to U.S. Charges
Crawford, who was acting or deputy FDA commissioner for more than three years, also served as chairman of the FDA's Obesity Working Group in 2003 and 2004 while owning shares of Sysco, a distributor of snack foods, and Pepsico Inc., the world's second- biggest soft drink maker, according to court papers.

No wonder the FDA can't seem to make a dent in drug safety or public health - rotten from the top down.

Monsanto Buys ‘Terminator’ Seeds Company
The United States Government has been financing research on a genetic engineering technology which, when commercialized, will give its owners the power to control the food seed of entire nations or regions. The Government has been working quietly on this technology since 1983. Now, the little-known company that has been working in this genetic research with the Government’s US Department of Agriculture -- Delta & Pine Land -- is about to become part of the world’s largest supplier of patented genetically-modified seeds (GMO), Monsanto Corporation of St. Louis, Missouri.

... which brings to mind an older article: The Geopolitics of GM Food

Here a bit of interesting information forwarded by Marianne Kuenzle at Greenpeace Switzerland:

GE and Switzerland

While the rest of the world wrestles with a biotech industry determined to own and contaminate the world's food and fields, tiny Switzerland in its quiet, efficient and pragmatic way is eliminating GE from its fields, its food and its society.

11% of Swiss farmers are now organic. Supermarkets such as Coop carry as extensive a range of organic foods as you will find anywhere. They even have begun to carry organic food produced regionally - and labeled as such. A Coop fund is supporting organic research projects and the second largest Swiss retailer now also is launching SlowFood products.

While domestically labeled animal products have been produced with GE free feed for a while, more recently, Coop and the biggest retailer Migros have agreed to undertake the process of ensuring that all imported meat is raised on GE free feed, too. Smaller supermarket chains Denner and Spar have now done the same.

And one of the most conservative societies in Europe put this issue to its people in a referendum in November 2005 and overwhelmingly the public supported a 5 year ban on the growing of GE crops. The referendum vote was unprecedented in Swiss history. It is the first time ever that a referendum has passed in every canton, and it is only one of 14 referenda ever to be approved by the Swiss people.

No one would accuse the Swiss of being anti-technology. No one would accuse the Swiss of acting rashly. No one would accuse the Swiss of taking steps without ensuring that they will benefit.

At the same time, however, almost no one is recognizing how significant these steps have been.

As we all face the latest contamination - this time of rice, the world's most important staple food, it is perhaps time to remember that we don't need to find solutions to the problems of GE we only need to implement those that have already been found.

Concern over cancer group's link to drug firm
Cancer United, which is due to be launched with a fanfare in Brussels tomorrow, is being presented as a pioneering effort by a coalition of doctors, nurses and patients to push for equal access to cancer care across the EU. However, the campaign is being entirely funded by Roche, the maker of Herceptin and Avastin. A senior company executive sits on the board. The company's PR firm Weber Shandwick is the secretariat ...

Delayed: the food study that could cut prison violence by 'up to 40%'
Better nutrition would have a "huge impact" on prison life, Lord Ramsbotham said. "If the correct mix of diet reduces offending behaviour - and I am absolutely convinced there is a direct link between diet and antisocial behaviour - it's hugely important for prisoners, it frees up staff time for rehabilitation."


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Sunday October 22 2006
updated on Friday September 26 2008

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