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Tue, 09 Feb 2016
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Beaker

Toxic world: Americans are guinea pigs in the greatest uncontrolled experiment ever launched

Just over three years ago, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig leased by BP killed 11 people, injured 17, and -- according to government estimates -- polluted the Gulf of Mexico with 210 million gallons of Louisiana sweet crude. It turns out, however, that the casualty toll didn't end with those 28 workers. The real number may reach into the thousands.

Last year, BP pled guilty to 14 felonies stemming from the disaster, including misleading Congress about the amount of oil that gushed into the gulf. But that wasn't the only way BP attempted to cover up the extent of the spill. The main method was using 1.84 million gallons of a substance known as Corexit that acts to "attach itself to leaked oil, break it into droplets, and disperse them into the vast reaches of the gulf, thereby keeping the oil from reaching Gulf Coast shorelines."

Writing for Newsweek and with the support of the Nation Institute's Investigative Fund, Mark Hertsgaard recently laid bare how Corexit was utilized and the dire effects it apparently had on the men and women who worked to "clean" the gulf in the wake of BP's historically unprecedented spill. People like Jamie Griffin. A BP representative reportedly assured Griffin that the smelly sludge cleanup workers were tracking into the "floating hotel" where she was a cook would be "as safe as Dawn dishwashing liquid" -- so she scrubbed and scrubbed to clean it up. "Within days," Hertsgaard writes, "the 32-year-old single mother was coughing up blood and suffering constant headaches." She soon "fell ill with a cluster of excruciating, bizarre, grotesque ailments... unstoppable muscle spasms were twisting her hands into immovable claws... she began losing her short-term memory... The right side, but only the right side, of her body 'started acting crazy. It felt like the nerves were coming out of my skin. It was so painful. My right leg swelled -- my ankle would get as wide as my calf -- and my skin got incredibly itchy.'"

Attention

BPA substitute can accelerate embryonic development, disrupt reproductive system

© Zebrafish Lab
UCLA-led research team studied zebrafish because their transparent embryos make it relatively easy to “watch” cell growth
Companies advertise BPA-free plastic as a safer version of products ranging from water bottles to sippy cups to toys. Many manufacturers stopped using bisphenol A, a chemical that is used to strengthen plastic, after studies linked it to early puberty and a rise in breast and prostate cancers

However, bisphenol S, or BPS, a common replacement for BPA in plastics, has also been linked to health risks. New UCLA-led research demonstrates some of the mechanisms that make BPS just as harmful as BPA. The study found that BPS speeds up embryonic development and disrupts the reproductive system in animals.

Comment: Also see BPS has same health effects as BPA


Health

Researchers give a boost to c-section babies with 'bacterial seeding'

Sometimes there is no choice for women delivering, however elective C-sections are more likely to develop health problems in newborns than those delivered naturally. Some of this relates to critical hormonal and physiological changes during labour which help babies develop. But giving babies a swab of vaginal fluid after they've been born by cesarean section gives them a different and beneficial set of gut bacteria which may alter the path of human health.

A Danish study examining 34,000 deliveries suggests babies born by C-section were up to four times more likely to have respiratory problems than those born naturally.

A recent study also showed that caesarean born babies are also at double the risk of becoming obese children as those delivered naturally.

Stop

New study: Long-term marijuana use linked to decline in verbal memory

© Stanimir G. Stoev/Shutterstock
As marijuana becomes more accessible to young and old alike in the U.S., researchers warn that long-term use of the drug may cause lasting harm to at least one type of brain function.

A new study based on following thousands of young adults into middle age finds that long-term marijuana use is linked to poorer performance on verbal memory tests, but other areas of brain function do not appear to be affected.

"We did not expect to find such a consistent association with verbal memory for chronic exposure to marijuana," especially since the link held even when other factors like cigarette smoking, alcohol use and other behavioral factors associated with marijuana use were accounted for, said lead author Dr. Reto Auer of the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

Auer and colleagues analyzed data from a 25-year U.S. study of young adults, which included repeated measures of marijuana exposure over time and a standardized test of verbal memory, processing speed and executive function in year 25. Almost 3,500 participants completed the standardized tests.

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Take 2

Public Broadcasting System: A front for Big Pharma?

A PBS Frontline documentary argues that supplements are useless—relying on "expert testimony" from paid Pharma representatives.

Last week, PBS's Frontline aired an hour-long program titled "Supplements and Safety." Jointly produced by Frontline, the New York Times, and the Canadian Broadcasting Commission, the program was clearly intended to leave viewers with the one-sided impression that dietary supplements are unregulated, unsafe—and that ultimately you, the consumer, should not have the right to stay healthy in a manner of your choosing.

There is too much to comment on in this corrupt documentary. But we'll address a few key points.

Comment: The PBS Frontline documentary arguing that supplements are useless, unregulated and unsafe - relying on "expert testimony" from paid Pharma representatives - is ridiculous! Consider the following: Flawed Pharma studies demonizing vitamins and minerals was Debunked! And... in the last 27 Years: there has been No Deaths from Vitamins yet 3 Million deaths from Prescription Drugs! Big Pharma is the real killer and not dietary supplements! Obviously the corrupt documentary is a meager attempt to sway viewers away from the truth!
Over the past 27 years the complete time frame that the data has been available there have been 0 deaths as a result of vitamins and over 3 million deaths related to prescription drug use.



Syringe

105 cases of Zika virus infection confirmed in Guatemala

© REUTERS/ Jose Cabezas
At least 105 cases of infection with the Zika virus have been confirmed in Guatemala amid an outbreak in both Americas, an official from the Health Ministry told local media Saturday.

A total of 200 suspected cases of Zika were registered in this Central American country, including over 60 cases in 2015, epidemiologist Judith Garcia told the national newspaper Prensa Libre.

The Zika outbreak started in Brazil in spring 2015. It has since spread across Latin America, causing several deaths, as well as brain damage in newborns, known as microcephaly.

Comment: Further reading: WHO declares 'global emergency' over Zika virus causing brain damaged babies


Syringe

Tainted Vaccines: 36 children die in war-torn Syria from UN Measles vaccines

It isn't as if the current civil war in Syria has not already taken a ravenous toll on the Middle Eastern country's children, but so, too, has a recently administered measles vaccine that the Assad government claims was sabotaged.

According to a mid-September report by Britain's Telegraph newspaper, at least 36 children were recently reported to have died "excruciating deaths" after being given what Damascus says were "tainted" vaccines via a United Nations-sponsored program in the rebel-held northern part of the country.

Syringe

WHO declares 'global emergency' over Zika virus causing brain damaged babies

© European Press Agency
A child born with brain damage caused by the Zika virus, a mosquito-borne virus which happened in originate in the same place a bunch of genetically modified mosquitoes were released in 2015.
A cluster of microcephaly linked to the Zika virus in Latin America poses a global public health emergency requiring a united response, says the World Health Organization. Experts are worried that the virus is spreading far and fast, with devastating consequences. The infection has been linked to thousands of babies being born with underdeveloped brains.

The WHO alert puts Zika in the same category of concern as Ebola. It means research and aid will be fast-tracked to tackle the infection. WHO director general, Margaret Chan called Zika an "extraordinary event" that needed a coordinated response.

"I am now declaring that the recent cluster of microcephaly and other neurological abnormalities reported in Latin America following a similar cluster in French Polynesia in 2014 constitutes a public health emergency of international concern."

She said the priorities were to protect pregnant women and their babies from harm and to control the mosquitoes that are spreading the virus.

Comment: Like the swine flu in 2009, Ebola last year, now ZIKA is the new monster du jour. There's vaccine's in development, testing by the end of this year! But the real question is does this virus have anything to do with the GM mosquitoes that were released into Brazil in 2012?


Magnify

Microcephaly: Is it the Zika 'Virus' or pesticides & birth defects?

© The guardian
"Although a causal link between Zika infection in pregnancy and microcephaly has not, and I must emphasize, has not been established, the circumstantial evidence is suggestive and extremely worrisome," WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said, reported by Reuters. "An increased occurrence of neurological symptoms, noted in some countries coincident with arrival of the virus, adds to the concern."

Pesticides in Brazil and Pernambuco state are more likely to be the cause of microcephaly and birth defects than Zika virus and the links below speak for themselves.

Comment: The Zika freakout: Is there more to this virus scare than meets the eye?


Life Preserver

What modern 'healthcare' has forgotten: Be your own medicine

Treatment of atomized individuals in a setting of atomized symptoms and treatments is by any measure the opposite of a system that encourages and enables everyone to be their own medicine.

I recently saw a slogan that encapsulated what's wrong with the U.S. healthcare system: Be Your Own Medicine. To Be Your Own Medicine is the essence of prevention, and a way of taking full ownership of one's health, body, mind, diet, fitness and daily habits.

Alas, being your own medicine strips the $3.5 trillion healthcare system of profit, power and control, so the last thing the healthcare cartels want is for us to be our own medicine, as that would reduce our reliance on highly profitable pharmaceuticals, tests, procedures and high-cost facilities.

Note the slogan isn't "take your own medicine" or "make your own medicine"--it's be your own medicine, which suggests that health is a way of being, not just a way of consuming, though what we consume is integral to being your own medicine.

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