Health & Wellness


Pesticide use linked to high rates of depression and suicides among farmers

© Ginnie Peters
Matt Peters, a fourth-generation farmer in Dallas County, Iowa, took his own life in May 2011. The Peters family lives on this farm surrounded by 1,500 acres of fields.
On his farm in Iowa, Matt Peters worked from dawn to dusk planting his 1,500 acres of fields with pesticide-treated seeds. "Every spring I worried about him," said his wife, Ginnie. "Every spring I was glad when we were done."

In the spring of 2011, Ginnie Peters' "calm, rational, loving" husband suddenly became depressed and agitated. "He told me 'I feel paralyzed'," she said. "He couldn't sleep or think. Out of nowhere he was depressed."

A clinical psychologist spoke to him on the phone and urged him to get medical help. "He said he had work to do, and I told him if it's too wet in the morning to plant beans come see me," Mike Rossman said. "And the next day I got the call."

Peters took his own life. He was 55 years old.

No one knows what triggered Peters' sudden shift in mood and behavior. But since her husband's death, Ginnie Peters has been on a mission to not only raise suicide awareness in farm families but also draw attention to the growing evidence that pesticides may alter farmers' mental health.

Most foods labeled "natural" in U.S. actually contain GMO ingredients

© Alamy
Three tomatoes grown from genetically modified seeds
Non-profit finds that while 'organic' products lack GM ingredients, many cereals, chips and infant formula contain them

A majority of US packaged foods labeled as "natural" and tested by Consumer Reports actually contained a substantial level of genetically modified ingredients, according to a report issued Tuesday by the non-profit product testing group.

Consumers are being misled by the "natural" label, said Urvashi Rangan, executive director of Consumer Reports Food Safety and Sustainability.

Consumer Reports said it had conducted a survey of more than 80 different processed foods containing corn or soy, the two most widely grown genetically engineered crops in the United States, to determine whether labeling claims for GMO presence were accurate.

While foods labeled as "non-GMO", or "organic" were found to be free of genetically modified corn and soy, virtually all of the foods labeled as "natural" or not labeled with any claim related to GMO content contained substantial amounts of GMO ingredients, Consumer Reports said.

GMOs were present in breakfast cereals, chips and infant formula, the group said.

Comment: There is plenty of evidence that GMO crops are unsafe for consumption and should be avoided:


Big Pharma rip off: Why do Americans allow it?

© David K/flickr/cc
America spends a fortune on drugs, more per person than any other nation on earth, even though Americans are no healthier than the citizens of other advanced nations.
According to a new federal database put online last week, pharmaceutical companies and device makers paid doctors some $380 million in speaking and consulting fees over a five-month period in 2013.

Some doctors received over half a million dollars each, and others got millions of dollars in royalties from products they helped develop.

Doctors claim these payments have no effect on what they prescribe. But why would drug companies shell out all this money if it didn't provide them a healthy return on their investment?

Comment: Additional articles about how Big Pharma rips off Americans:


The irony: Life long vegetarian Morrissey reveals he's being treated for cancer

Vegan Morrissey
The former Smiths singer has been hospitalised on several occasions over the last 18 months

Morrissey is being treated for cancer.

The former Smiths singer has been in hospital on several occasions over the last 18 months and he has now revealed that doctors have also been dealing with cancerous tissue in his body.

Despite his diagnosis, the 55-year-old songwriter insists he isn't afraid of death and accepts it is something that comes to us all.

Although he did not reveal what type of cancer he has, Morrissey confessed to Spanish newspaper El Mundo: "They have scraped cancerous tissues four times already, but whatever. If I die, then I die. And if I don't, then I don't.

"Right now I feel good. I am aware that in some of my recent photos I look somewhat unhealthy, but that's what illness can do. I'm not going to worry about that, I'll rest when I'm dead."

Morrissey's health issues have included a bleeding ulcer in early 2013, a double bout of pneumonia in March 2013, food poisoning in July 2013 and a respiratory infection in June 2014 which forced him to cancel his US tour.

Comment: Though it's sad to hear of a talented musician being diagnosed with cancer, it is hard to ignore the irony of a situation in which a strong proponent of a supposedly "healthy" vegetarian lifestyle should develop such a myriad of illnesses at such a relatively young age. One can't help but wonder if his dietary choices are what's most responsible for his present state of poor health.

The Vegetarian Myth

Study: Vegetarians are less healthy and have a lower quality of life than meat-eaters

Burying The Vegetarian Hypothesis

The Naive Vegetarian

One must also wonder, if Morrissey had been Keto-adapted or had even been following a Paleo diet, whether he might be in such robust health as to grace us with his talent for many years to come.

No stranger to controversy, Morrissey has gone on record to say that 'eating meat is as bad as paedophilia' and there is 'no difference' between the abattoir and supporting Auschwitz. Just last week he launched a new brand of t-shirt with the slogan 'Be kind to animals or I'll kill you'

Viva Hate, indeed.


WHO says spread of Ebola through Europe "unavoidable"

© Reuters / Fabian Bimmer
Members of the German army, Bundeswehr, prepare volunteers during a barrier nursing course for dealing with infectious diseases at the Bernhard-Nocht-Institute in Hamburg Ocotber 7, 2014.
The spread of Ebola in Europe is "unavoidable", the World Health Organization said shortly after the contraction of four new cases was announced in Spain.

"Such imported cases and similar events as have happened in Spain will happen also in the future, most likely," the WHO European director Zsuzsanna Jakab told Reuters.

On Monday scientists predicted that there was a 75 percent chance that Ebola would reach France by the end October and a 50 percent chance for the UK.

The most dangerous contributor to the spread is the behavior of the virus. Its symptoms catch people unawares and normally follow a 21-day incubation period, during which there's literally no visible sign the person has contracted Ebola.

This is further complicated by the EU's free movement system - one can literally infect anyone they come into contact with in the space of a few days if they were to drive or fly from one country to another.

"It is quite unavoidable ... that such incidents will happen in the future because of the extensive travel both from Europe to the affected countries and the other way around," Jakab said.


Ebola spreads to Spain as nurse who treated victims of disease in Madrid tests positive

© AFP Photo / Spanish Defence Ministry
Doctors transfer Roman Catholic missionary Manuel Garcia Viejo who contracted the deadly Ebola virus, from Madrid's Torrejon air base to the Carlos III hospital upon their arrival in Spain. Photo released on September 22, 2014
A nurse who treated two Ebola patients at a Madrid hospital has become infected with the disease herself, health officials said. "Two tests were done and the two were positive," a spokesman for the health department of the regional government of Madrid told AFP.

Spain's Minister of Health, Ana Mato, says the authorities are working to distinguish the source of the disease's contraction as strict controls were implemented to prevent Ebola's spread. He added that there is no knowledge of any other cases.

The nurse is in a "stable" condition, according to officials. She reportedly started feeling sick on September 30. The patient whom she had been treating had died on September 25. Missionary Manuel Garcia Viejo had been helping Ebola victims in Sierra Leone.

In addition to the nurse and Viejo, Spain has had one other case, making it the third in the country. Another missionary, Miguel Pajares contracted the disease after working in Liberia. Pajares also died.

The 44-year-old woman is the first person to actually contract the disease outside of West Africa. Other cases in Spain - or more recently, the US - have been the result of individuals contracting the disease on the African continent and then traveling abroad.

The news comes as scientists release an estimate that there's a 75 percent chance the Ebola virus could spread to France and a 50 percent chance it could reach the UK before November begins.

"If this thing continues to rage on in West Africa and indeed gets worse, as some people have predicted, then it's only a matter of time before one of these cases ends up on a plane to Europe," expert in viruses from Britain's Lancaster University, Derek Gatherer, said.

Comment: For more on the current state of Ebola check out the recent SOTT Talk Radio "Connecting the Dots" weekly broadcast for October 5th.


Gettin Keto: Why we must dump grains, eat more fat! - Dr. Perlmutter

© Perlmutter
Sugars and carbs, yes even the "healthy" kind, have been linked to everything from chronic headaches, insomnia, depression and even ADHD. Award winning author and American College of Nutrition Humanitarian of the year award Dr. David Perlmutter discusses his book "The Grain Brain".

Related: This is your brain on gluten
The Ketogenic Diet: An Overview
Remember the dangers of refined sugar

Arrow Up

Scientists project 75% chance Ebola will spread to France by end October, 50% for UK

© Reuters / Charles Platiau
Paris, France
Scientists estimate there's a 75 percent chance the Ebola virus could spread to France and a 50 percent chance it could reach UK by the end of October. The latest research analyzes the pattern of infection and airline traffic.

The consensus among health officials is now that the deadly virus is no longer just an African problem, and key to this assessment are the European Union's free movement policy and the deceptive incubation period, allowing the person to spread the infection unaware.

France has the worst statistics out of all the European countries because the worst-hit countries in Africa are French-speaking, including Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, according to the study 'Assessing the International Spreading Risk Associated with the 2014 West African Ebola Outbreak'.

"If this thing continues to rage on in West Africa and indeed gets worse, as some people have predicted, then it's only a matter of time before one of these cases ends up on a plane to Europe," expert in viruses from Britain's Lancaster University, Derek Gatherer, said.

Comment: For more on the current state of Ebola check from Sott's perspective out the recent SOTT Talk Radio "Connecting the Dots" weekly broadcast for October 5th.


Exact location of HIV's first appearance, over 30 years ago, pinpointed by scientists

Kinshasa Railroad
Old Kinshasa Railway, proposed transport of viral infection in the 1920s.
Over 30 years after it first emerged and has since infected over 75 million people, scientists have finally pinpointed from where exactly HIV emerged.

A genetic analysis of thousands of individual viruses has confirmed beyond reasonable doubt that HIV first emerged in Kinshasa, the capital of the Belgian Congo, in about 1920 from where it spread thanks to the colonial railway network to other parts of central Africa.

Scientists have nailed the origin of the Aids pandemic to a colonial-era city - then called Leopoldville which was then the biggest urban centre in Central Africa including a market in wild "bush meat" captured from the nearby forests. Over 30 years after it first emerged and has since infected over 75 million people, scientists have finally pinpointed from where exactly HIV emerged.

A "perfect storm" of factors then led to the virus' spread in the human population.

UNAIDS estimates that 35 million people were living with HIV in the world at the end of 2013.

Scientists from University of Oxford said, "Thirty years after the discovery of HIV-1, the early transmission, dissemination and establishment of the virus in human populations remain unclear. Using statistical approaches applied to HIV-1 sequence data from central Africa, we show that from the 1920s Kinshasa (in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo) was the focus of early transmission and the source of pre-1960 pandemic viruses elsewhere. Location and dating estimates were validated using the earliest HIV-1 archival sample, also from Kinshasa. Our results reconstruct the early dynamics of HIV-1 and emphasize the role of social changes and transport networks in the establishment of this virus in human populations."

Comment: The first known case of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was in 1959 in the Congo. By the 1980s the virus was spreading rapidly, with cases reported across the Americas and Europe. A simian virus that mutated, HIV has now infected over 75 million people and 40 million have died as a result of AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, which develops as a consequence of HIV infection).

See also this recent article on inflammatory gut response to HIV infection.


Texas Ebola patient fighting for life, new US drug 'all gone'

© Reuters / Jim Young
A worker in a hazardous material suit carries out a barrel of contents from the apartment unit where a man diagnosed with the Ebola virus was staying in Dallas, Texas, October 5, 2014.
The first patient to be diagnosed with Ebola in the US is in critical condition at a Dallas hospital and is not receiving any of the new experimental drugs for the virus, which has killed over 3,400 people in Africa, media reports say.

Thomas Eric Duncan contracted the disease in Liberia and began to show symptoms after arriving in Texas two weeks ago, causing a panic that he could have infected another 10 individuals.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said Duncan is in critical condition, adding that the patient is not receiving ZMapp - an experimental medicine - because it is "all gone" and is "not going to be available anytime soon."

The comments were made during a briefing with reporters on Sunday.

Speaking on another experiential drug produced by Canada's Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp, Frieden described the treatment as "difficult for patients to take."

The decision whether to give this drug to the patient will be made by his doctor and family members, but "access" to the medicine will be made available.

"As far as we understand, experimental medicine is not being used," Frieden said. "It's really up to his treating physicians, himself, his family what treatment to take."