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New study: Circumcision rates decline in U.S.

The decline in popularity of the procedure breaks down by ethnicity and access to healthcare.

Fewer Americans are circumcising their infant boys, despite claims that the health benefits from the controversial practice outweigh the risks, according to a new Mayo Clinic Proceedings study, CBS News reported.

The study found that circumcision rates had fallen from 83 percent in 1960 to 77 percent in 2010. Research suggested that varying access to health insurance was a factor in the decline with results showing that circumcision is 24 percent lower in states lacking Medicaid coverage for the poor.

The data also showed racial disparities among those who elect for their children to be circumcised driven primarily by access to procedure, cultural and educational factors. Rates over the last year reached 91 percent in white men, 76 percent in black men and only 44 percent in Hispanic men.

News flash: Even the FDA doesn't know what chemicals are in your food

For more than 50 years, many in the food industry have not had to disclose information to consumers and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about the safety of chemicals they put in our food. Additives manufacturers have taken advantage of a dysfunctional regulatory system that allows for minimal or no disclosure, is plagued with conflicts of interest, and provides weak oversight of something as vital to our health as food.

For consumers, it's bad enough that most of the ingredients listed in packaged food have hard to pronounce names and we do not always know why they are there; we don't know how much and how many chemicals leach from the packaging into the food; or little is known about the safety of those chemicals because a small percentage are actually tested.

But it gets worse: Companies can add chemicals into our food without ever telling the FDA about their identity, their uses and (wait for it) their safety!

Faulty logic: We should worry about measles outbreaks 'seeded' by unvaccinated people because of an outbreak caused by a vaccinated person

Measles vaccine
© John Woudstra
According to a recent report in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, a measles outbreak in New York City in 2011 started with a fully-vaccinated individual. The first person infected was a young woman who had previously received two doses of the measles vaccine. She transmitted the infection to four other people, all of whom "had either two doses of measles-containing vaccine or a past positive measles IgG antibody."

Of the five people infected in the outbreak, three had records showing that they had received all recommended doses of the measles vaccine. The other two "showed signs of previous measles exposure that should have conferred immunity," according to an article in the magazine Science.

The authors of the Clinical Infectious Diseases report concluded that "[t]his outbreak underscores the need for thorough epidemiologic and laboratory investigation of suspected measles cases regardless of vaccination status."

Gluten intolerance isn't just a trendy fad - It can wreck your whole life

I'm so sick of reading articles written by people - who quite obviously have never personally experienced gluten intolerance themselves - calling it a "fad diet" or a mostly mental "self-fulfilling prophecy" for paranoid foodies who have decided to exclude wheat from their diets based on some random "food anxiety".

First, let's sum up what we're talking about here. Celiac Disease is an an autoimmune disease; that means the body has an immune reaction to eating the protein gluten. The person ends up getting attacked by their own immune system. Sufferer Jordan Reasoner summed it up really well:
Celiac Disease triggers a war inside your body... Autoimmune diseases "arise from inappropriate immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body."

I really like that word "inappropriate"... I agree it's inappropriate that my immune system, which is supposed to protect me from the outside world, is actually mistaking some part of my body as an evil pathogen and attacking my healthy tissue.

Comment: See also: Gluten Then and Now
The Dark Side of Wheat - New Perspectives on Celiac Disease and Wheat Intolerance
Opening Pandora's Bread Box: The Critical Role of Wheat Lectin in Human Disease
Gluten: What You Don't Know Might Kill You
Facts you might not know about gluten
Science Finally Confirms Gluten Sensitivity
New England Journal of Medicine: Gluten Can Cause 55 Diseases


French scientists lose over 2,000 vials of SARS virus samples

© French scientists said they have misplaced some deadly SARS virus
A routine inventory at the prestigious French research body Institut Pasteur in Paris revealed it has lost some 2,300 tubes containing samples of the potentially deadly SARS virus.

France's distinguished Institut Pasteur, which was among the first to isolate HIV in the 1980s, admitted on Monday that it has lost some 2,349 vials containing samples of the deadly SARS virus.

During a recent inventory researchers realized the vials were unaccounted for and so called in France's drug and health safety agency "l'Agence nationale de sécurité du médicament et des produits de santé" to help with the search, according to a statement from Institut Pasteur.

The drug and health safety people spent four days, from April 4th-12th, doing an 'in depth' investigation at the unnamed lab in question and came up empty handed as well.

Deadly yellow fever mosquito resurfaces in California

Yellow Fever Mosquito, or aedes egypti
A deadly mosquito that hasn't been widely seen in the Bay Area since the 1970s has been detected in San Mateo County.

It's called Aedes aegypti and it was found in January at the Holy Cross cemetery in Menlo Park.

It's the mosquito that spreads yellow fever, chicken fever, the dengue fever and other diseases. Officials call it "one of the worst most effective vectors of disease around the world."

The mosquito is tiny and its bite is hardly noticeable. Unlike other mosquitoes, it bites during the day.
Red Flag

Madness of vegetarianism: Peaches Geldof was 'dieting' on vegetable juice when she died

The late Peaches Geldof
When it comes to healthy eating, its best to look to the experts, not celebrities such as extreme dieter Peaches Geldof

If only you and I were dogs or rabbits - how much easier this column might be to write. For in advising a scientific approach to dieting, I could say: "Eat plenty of red meat, and gnaw bones at times", or "Keep munching the grass, along with an occasional carrot".

But we're omnivores, and while this means we can thrive on a variety of diets, it makes it tough to recommend an ideal diet.

Clearly, though, there is something very wrong with typical modern diets, since an obesity epidemic is sweeping the world. According to the World Health Organisation, worldwide obesity has nearly doubled since 1980, and by 2008 more than 10 per cent of adults were obese.

Being overweight or obese is now the fifth leading cause of global deaths from diseases such as stroke, heart disease and some cancers. The health risks, plus the desire to look better, inspire many people to try to lose weight. But they shouldn't overdo it, given recent research that found that being excessively thin brings a higher risk of dying than being overweight.
Life Preserver

Dr. Jonny Bowden - The Great Cholesterol Myth

So, you might ask, what is the "Great Cholesterol Myth"? And... Why should I care?

You should care for two reasons.

One, the Great Cholesterol Myth has been the foundation of the boneheaded dietary advice you and I have been saddled with for the past 30 years, "official" dietary advice that has directly contributed to the greatest epidemic of obesity, diabetes and heart disease in history.

And two, belief in the Great Cholesterol Myth has caused us to take our eye off the ball when it comes to preventing heart disease. Belief in the Great Cholesterol Myth has caused us to neglect the real causes of heart disease while obsessively focused on an innocuous molecule that's essential for life and has only a minor role in heart disease.

Jonny Bowden, the rogue nutritionist
Evil Rays

Neuroscientist exposes dangers of electromagnetic fields

Neuroscience has come under scrutiny for its involvement in an array of mind control initiatives and other ethically questionable research. But at least one neuroscientist from Sweden has gone on record to caution against the increasing dangers of Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) on human beings and other living organisms, as you will see in the presentation below.

Our modern world is creating an electromagnetic soup filled with electrical pulses, radio frequencies, computer screens, wireless signals, as well as personal devices such as cell phones and gadgets that are emitting damaging radiation. There are many peer-reviewed scientific studies which are drawing conclusions that should concern us all, but particularly young children and pregnant women. In fact, the debate is heating up to such a level that government agencies are even infighting over the matter, as evidenced when the Department of the Interior recently sent a letter with their own scientific papers chastising the FCC for using standards that are 30 years out of date. As the DOI stated, the concern is not only in the negative health effects upon people, but upon wildlife as well.

Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline bribed doctors to boost sales

Britain's biggest drug company, GlaxoSmithKline, allegedly bribed doctors in Poland using money that was meant to be spent on educating patients, according to new evidence revealed today by the BBC Panorama programme.
A GSK whistleblower claims that money put aside to teach patients in Poland about an asthma drug, Seretide, actually went towards paying doctors to prescribe more of the medicine.

Jarek Wisniewiski, who was with the company for eight years until 2012, worked on a marketing programme across the country in 2010 to push the asthma drug.

He told Panorama that although officially the money was to be spent on medical training, in reality it was used to bribe doctors to boost the company's sales.

"I pay for education and in the same meeting I said that I need more prescriptions for Seretide. So... they knew exactly what I pay for," he said. "We pay agreement for a speech; we pay £100 but we expect more than 100 prescriptions for this drug."

Comment: Nice empty words...The nerve of them! Drug giants are the world's greatest serial killers:

Gardasil: Medical torture and child abuse by Big Pharma
Beta-blockers killed 800,000 in 5 years - "good medicine" as mass murder
Merck's NuvaRing - Portrait of a killer
The Worst Drug Fraud in History? Do You Still Trust Them with Your Life?
Conventional Doctor's Faith in Big Pharma Shattered After Glaxo's Latest Scams
Glaxo chief: Our drugs do not work on most patients
Psychopathy Alert! FDA: Glaxo, Merck vaccines OK despite pig virus contamination