Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

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

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March 19, 2007

Monsanto, Merck and Pill Pushing Doctors - NewsGrabs - 19 March 2007

Health Supreme News Grabs - a selection of alternative health news and related bits of information. Your window on emerging health trends ...

In this issue:

BMJournal to pay Dr Rath £100,000 - Cocoa benefits - Beta Carotene - Mental Patients' Alternative - Cancer: Whose life is it anyway? - Vanishing bees - Injunction against Monsanto seed - Monsanto GM Corn Toxicity - GMO - What's the Harm? - Fraudulent Zyprexa Marketing - Merck loses Vioxx case - Drugs - sleep dangers - Pill Pushing Doctors - Video: Big Bucks, Big Pharma - Xylitol toxic for dogs - Toxic Teflon Compounds - Exchanging Fish for Aids? - Video: Global Warming Swindle

- - -

Court orders British Medical Journal to pay £100,000 to leading vitamin researcher (PDF)
After having been falsely accused of fraud by the British Medical Journal, Dr. Mathias Rath, one of the foremost contemporary researchers into the curative effects of nutrients, has obtained a court-approved settlement against the Journal, that imposes an apology and payment of £100,000 of damages. Rath pledges to use the award for further vitamin research and will hold a "victory lecture" in London on 24 March 2007.

Cocoa 'vitamin' health benefits could outshine penicillin
The health benefits of epicatechin, a compound found in cocoa, are so striking that it may rival penicillin and anaesthesia in terms of importance to public health, reports Marina Murphy in Chemistry & Industry, the magazine of the SCI. Norman Hollenberg, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, told C&I that epicatechin is so important that it should be considered a vitamin.

Beta Carotene Pills May Not Save Vision
Carrots, rich in beta carotene, long have been thought to sharpen eyesight, but a new study suggests that beta carotene pills are powerless against a common type of vision loss among older people. An earlier large study had shown that beta carotene - when taken with certain vitamins and zinc - could slow or prevent vision loss in people with age-related macular degeneration. Commercial formulations of the eye-protecting combination vitamins are sold over the counter. But the new study found no benefit for beta carotene supplements alone against the disease.

It is a mystery why synthetic beta carotene as used in these pharmaceutical trials is constantly equated with the natural stuff. If carrots work, and the pills don't, perhaps not beta carotene itself is to blame, but the synthetic "analogs" that are used in studies?

A friend in the UK comments: The other big problem with these types of studies is that their conclusions are derived from studying single nutrients. This approach essentially treats nutrients as if they were drugs, and ignores the fact that each nutrient in the body functions as part of a naturally-occurring biochemical team.

Notably therefore, in order to arrive at their conclusions, these researchers took a previous study (one that had shown that beta carotene - when taken with certain vitamins and zinc - could slow or prevent vision loss in people with age-related macular degeneration) and tried to replicate or refute it using a single nutrient.

As such, and at the very least, this study can in no way be said to refute the previous one.

Clearly, a more scientific approach would have been to utilize beta carotene, vitamins and zinc as a means of determining whether or not the conclusions reached by the previous study were valid.

Whilst the researchers do at least acknowledge that it's the combination of nutrients that seem to be the important factor, I would contend that they do so in a somewhat disingenuous way, by inferring that the best advice would be to eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

Arguably, therefore, a sceptic could be justified in wondering whether at least some of the flaws in this study were not entirely accidental.

Research By Mental Patients into Alternative Care
An uplifting article in The Toronto Star describes how a self-empowerment movement is taking shape among the mad: much the same way as the gay movement gained empowerment by embracing the queer epithet, they are building a growing community and identity. A new century has bred a group of young educated people openly supporting each other in a bid to consolidate their strengths: Mad Pride, Psych Rights, Psychiatric Survivors, Nutters with Attitude and Mad Students Society which works to empower and mobilize students on campuses across the country, helping tear down barriers to education and offer a range of perspectives on life.

Whose life is it anyway? The cancer girl who's had enough of treatment
"We had to make a choice between quality and quantity of life, and if we had a few special months rather than a couple of miserable years then that was what she wanted. I made her a promise she would not have to go back to hospital."

But, having made that impossible choice, Kathryn discovered she was not able to honour her promise. She called the hospital and asked to speak to Leah Beth's paediatric oncologist.

"I explained that she had suffered enough and, as her mother, I was determined to support her. I wanted to halt the last few treatments of radiotherapy," says Kathryn. "I don't know what I expected - perhaps attempts to try to make me change my mind or agreement to a postponement of the treatment."

But, instead, the consultant said: "If that's your attitude, we'll get Child Protection Services involved."

Vanishing bees threaten US crops
It is officially called Colony Collapse Disorder, but a more pithy way of describing it would be Vanishing Bee Syndrome. All over America, beekeepers are opening up their hives in preparation for the spring pollination season, only to find that their bees are dead or have disappeared.

No one knows why the bees seem to just fly off never to return to their hives. Disoriented? A reader of mine said it might be electromagnetic radiation that is to blame.

US judge orders injunction against Monsanto seed
US District Court Judge Charles Breyer of the Northern District of California vacated the agency's 2005 approval of the Roundup Ready alfalfa, and ordered an immediate halt to sales of the seed, on the grounds that the genetically engineered gene could contaminate organic and conventional alfalfa.

The decision follows a lawsuit brought last year by a coalition of groups led by the Center for Food Safety (CFS), who raised concerns that the biotech seed could be destructive to the environment.

Monsanto Genetically Modified Corn Shows Liver, Kidney Toxicity
Upon detailed analysis, the French team uncovered an increase of up to 40% in blood triglycerides in females, and a more than 30% decrease in urine phosphorus and sodium in males, specifically linked to the GM diet. The reasons for these changes are unclear, but they may provide clues to the deaths of many animals which have consumed Bt feed in other animal experiments - the Monsanto GM potato study and the Ermakova study that found a high death rate in the offspring of rats fed genetically engineered soy died, as well as the BT gene's toxic effects found in GM varieties containing it.

Genetically Engineered Organisms Invade Our Planet - What's the Harm?
She cites a thorough study of Bt cotton in a state of India, funded by the government, where the results were less than stellar: farmers spent more than twice the money for Bt seeds than non-Bt seeds, and the reduction in pesticide use was only 12%. Meanwhile, the farmers' net profits for Bt were less than non-Bt hybrids and yields were about the same. This transgenic cotton had been hyped up and so the results would be disappointing to the Indian farmers.

Potentially more disturbing than the economic side of the technology, the transgenic cotton had some peculiar "side effects." After two years, the primary cotton pests were developing resistance to the Bt toxin, which could have a devastating effect on other crops in the area. Also, the Bt was somehow mysteriously infecting the soil so that no other crops would grow in the same soil.

Lilly Fraudulently Marketed Zyprexa, Montana Claims
Lilly allegedly gave kickbacks to doctors and improperly promoted the drug to nursing homes as a sedative, Montana Attorney General Mike McGrath said in a complaint filed March 7 in state court in Helena. He claimed Lilly, the world's biggest maker of psychiatric drugs, bought off a "disgruntled'' sales director to keep him from disclosing its marketing practices.

Merck loses key US Vioxx lawsuit
The jury awarded $18m to Frederick Humeston, who suffered a heart attack after taking Vioxx for knee pain, and a further $2m to his wife. This was the second case brought by Mr Humeston after an earlier suit failed. Fresh evidence on the dangers of Vioxx prompted the new trial. The jury in the second case found that Merck had failed to provide adequate warnings about the health risks associated with Vioxx.

Drugs to warn of sleep dangers
Ambien and other popular sleep aids will now carry warnings about risks of "complex behaviors" such as driving or preparing food when not fully awake and potentially lethal allergic reactions, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday. Makers of the 13 affected drugs will begin sending letters to doctors this week to alert them to these risks ...

Investigators Zero In on Pill Pushing Doctors
He points out that Big Pharma pays for thousands of speeches by doctors each year because companies can not legally promote off-label uses. So in other words, the law allows drug makers to hire doctors to do the dirty work that would be illegal for the company itself. In 2004, doctors spoke at 237,000 meetings sponsored by drug companies, up from 66,000 in 1999, according to the July 15, 2005, Wall Street Journal.

Video: Big Bucks, Big Pharma pulls back the curtain on the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry to expose the insidious ways that illness is used, manipulated, and often created, for profit. Focusing on the industry's marketing practices, the video shows how direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising glamorizes prescription drugs, and works to reinforce drug promotion to doctors. Pharmaceutical Research is seen as essentially uncontrolled and heavily skewed. Ultimately, Big Bucks, Big Pharma challenges us to ask important questions about the consequences of relying on a for-profit industry for our health and well-being.

Popular sweetener is toxic for dogs
A sugar substitute found in a variety of sugar-free and dietetic cookies, mints and chewing gum is proving highly toxic, even fatal, to snack-snatching dogs. Xylitol, popular in Europe for decades but a relative newcomer to the U.S. alternative-sweeteners market, can be "very, very serious" to dogs when ingested, says Dana Farbman, spokeswoman for the Animal Poison Control Center of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. "It doesn't take a whole lot (of xylitol), and the effects are so rapid that the window of opportunity to treat the dog is extremely small," Farbman says.

Toxic Teflon: Compounds from Household Products Found in Human Blood
Chemical properties that make PFCs so useful in industry also make them virtually indestructible in nature. For sheer persistence, two members of the family, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), stand out. They are not broken down by heat, light, or microbes. Other PFCs do break down, but in doing so, most of them end up giving off PFOA or PFOS. Of these two compounds' many disturbing properties, the one setting off the most alarm bells is their potential for causing cancer.

Exchanging Fish for Aids - (Not really, it's probably parasites)
Did you read about the newly discovered high incidence of HIV / AIDS in fishing communities in the developing world? The recent report claimed that oversexed fishermen trade seafood for sex with ragtag prostitutes and that's how HIV / AIDS is spread. Who writes this stuff?

Video: The Great Global Warming Swindle


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Monday March 19 2007
updated on Sunday December 26 2010

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