Health & Wellness

Red Flag

Genetically modified human embryo stirs criticism

News that scientists have for the first time genetically altered a human embryo is drawing fire from some watchdog groups that say it's a step toward creating "designer babies."

But an author of the study says the work was focused on stem cells. He notes that the researchers used an abnormal embryo that could never have developed into a baby anyway.

"None of us wants to make designer babies," said Dr. Zev Rosenwaks, director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Errors in Psychiatric Diagnoses and Drugs Plague Strained Immigration System

Peasant farmer Jose Lopez-Gregorio, 32, left his wife and five children behind in Guatemala with two bags of corn, barely enough food for one month, when he decided to find work in the United States. Detained crossing the Mexican border and held in an Arizona immigration center, he felt guilty, he told guards, eating three meals a day. Lopez had been inside one month and eight days when he strangled himself with a bedsheet. Five days earlier, the staff had placed him on suicide watch, only to be overruled within hours by the center's psychologist.

Afghanistan: WHO confirms 'charmak' disease in Herat Province

Kabul - Confirmed cases of hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD) - also known as "camel belly" or 'charmak' disease - in Gulran District of Herat Province, western Afghanistan, have surpassed 190, and 17 people have died so far, provincial health officials said.

How We Lost Knowledge of Where Food Comes from and Why We Need to Get It Back

The following is excerpted from Kitchen Literacy by Ann Vileisis, copyright 2008 by the author. Reproduced by permission of Island Press, Washington D.C.

Has it ever occurred to you just how odd it is that we know so little about what we eat? Each day we feast on cereal, bread, salad, soup, chicken, cheese, apples, ice cream, and more. Over the course of our lives, each of us has eaten thousands of different foods. We have tasted their saltiness and sweetness, crunched their crispness, chewed their fleshiness, swallowed them, and incorporated their nutriment into our bones.Yet despite this biologically intimate and everyday physical connection, most of us have little idea where our foods come from, who raised them, and what went into making them.

'Mad Pride' Fights a Stigma -

IN the YouTube video, Liz Spikol is smiling and animated, the light glinting off her large hoop earrings. Deadpan, she holds up a diaper. It is not, she explains, a hygienic item for a giantess, but rather a prop to illustrate how much control people lose when they undergo electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT, as she did 12 years ago.

In other videos and blog postings, Ms. Spikol, a 39-year-old writer in Philadelphia who has bipolar disorder, describes a period of psychosis so severe she jumped out of her mother's car and ran away like a scared dog.

In lectures across the country, Elyn Saks, a law professor and associate dean at the University of Southern California, recounts the florid visions she has experienced during her lifelong battle with schizophrenia - dancing ashtrays, houses that spoke to her - and hospitalizations where she was strapped down with leather restraints and force-fed medications.

Canada: Opting for organic foods

When you turn to organic foods are you really guaranteed the pesticide free, health oriented product as declared on its package? How can you really be sure?

Firstly an organic food is grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, food additives or antibiotics. Overall, what differentiates an organic food versus its conventional counterpart is how it is grown, processed and handled. Organic farmers rely on less invasive methods such as manure or compost fertilizer, crop rotation methods and also by giving animals more roaming space.

What Is the Chemical Industry's Influence at the EPA?

Americans depend upon sound science to ensure that consumer products are safe. If there is undue influence over this science, then the public's health may be compromised.

Are there inappropriate ties between the chemical industry and expert review panels hired by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)? The EPA is charged with the responsibility of determining safe levels for a variety of chemical compounds. A congressional committee is currently investigating.

U.S. Court Hears More Claims of Vaccine-Autism Link

Washington - The United States Court of Federal Claims began another hearing on Monday to decide whether a vaccine additive led thousands of children to become autistic.

The hearing is the second in a series of three in which the court is considering whether the government should pay millions of dollars to the parents of some 4,800 autistic children. In this hearing, parents are claiming that thimerosal, a preservative that contains mercury, damaged their children's brains. Thimerosal was removed from all routinely administered childhood vaccines by 2001.

Hamilton, Canada: Supporters of cancer-stricken boy protest forced chemo

McMaster Children's Hospital was the scene of a small but emotional protest Monday morning over the plight of an 11-year-old boy forced by the Children's Aid Society to undergo cancer treatment.

The boy's parents were joined by about a dozen supporters who say the CAS is wrong to order the child to endure chemotherapy when he says he doesn't want it.

"I want them to leave me alone. I'm doing the right thing and taking natural medicine," the boy, whose name cannot be released because of his age, told CHCH-TV in a telephone interview.

If GMOs so good, why so well hidden? Figuring Out What's In Your Food

Consumers Are Left To Wonder Which Genetically-Modified Foods They Might Be Eating

According to a recent CBS News/New York Times poll, 53 percent of Americans say they won't buy food that has been genetically modified. But CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian reports that it's not that easy to avoid. While most packaged and processed foods do contain genetically modified ingredients, the labels don't have to say so.