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Sun, 20 Aug 2017
The World for People who Think

Health & Wellness


The Concentration of Power in the Food Industry: What We Eat is Dependent Upon Who's in Control

Most of us have little to no idea how behind-the-scenes forces control the food we buy, and the depth of the corruption involved. Philip Howard, Ph.D., author of "Concentration and Power in the Food System: Who Controls What We Eat?," studies food system changes, with an emphasis on visualizing these trends.1
"My motivation [for writing the book] was to uncover what's going on, to help people understand who owns what and all the strategies these dominant firms use to further increase their power," he says.
His work has been featured by many prominent media outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and Chicago Tribune. He's an associate professor in the department of community sustainability at Michigan State University and holds a Ph.D. in rural sociology.


The Poison Papers: Secret concerns of industry & regulators on the hazards of pesticides and other chemicals

© Risa Scott/RF Scott Imagery
Some of the more than 100,000 pages of discovery material related to the chemical industry that were stored in Carol Van Strum’s barn in rural Oregon.
The Bioscience Resource Project and the Center for Media and Democracy released a trove of rediscovered and newly digitized chemical industry and regulatory agency documents Wednesday stretching back to the 1920s. The documents are available here.

Together, the papers show that both industry and regulators understood the extraordinary toxicity of many chemical products and worked together to conceal this information from the public and the press. These papers will transform our understanding of the hazards posed by certain chemicals on the market and the fraudulence of some of the regulatory processes relied upon to protect human health and the environment.


Interview with Dr. Jacob Puliyel: WHO's revised norms are allowing the use of unsafe vaccines

© CDC Global
“Every time there is a death after vaccination, we have WHO-trained experts saying that because the other children who received vaccine from the same vial did not die, this death cannot be due to the vaccine.” — Jacob Puliyel, MD
Even as India plans to introduce new vaccines into its national immunization program, two public health experts have flagged serious flaws in international standards adopted in 2013 to assess deaths that may occur from adverse reactions to vaccinations.

An Adverse Event Following Immunization or AEFI is an untoward medical occurrence that follows immunization. In the old system of classification of AEFIs, called the Brighton classification, if illness or death occurred soon after a vaccine was administered and no other cause of death could be found, then the death was termed as "possibly" or "probably" caused by the vaccine.

Comment: Read more from Scientists who have come out against vaccines
When researching scientists' recommendations for public health policies in regards to vaccines, it is surprising how few of them support vaccination unless they work for the pharmaceutical industry.

In order for vaccines to be truly safe and effective, adverse reactions would be rare and breakouts of vaccine-preventable diseases among vaccine compliant populations would be rare or non-existent. Clearly, neither outcome is reality. The science does not support the statement that vaccines are safe and effective. This is not a scientific finding. This is a marketing slogan taught to doctors in medical school.


UK: Massive row ensues over importation of chlorine-washed chickens from the US

This image shows the chickens being doused in chlorine at a farm in the United States.
The disturbing prospect of chlorine-washed chickens from the US going on sale in British shops in a post-Brexit trade deal last week sparked an explosive row at the heart of Government.

But beyond the politics lies the story of why American poultry needs such drastic chemical treatment - and of the horrendous conditions at the farms where they are bred and reared.

Now whistleblower farmers have revealed the full horror of the suffering to The Mail on Sunday, including how:
  • Tens of thousands of super-sized 'Frankenstein' birds are crammed in vast warehouses.
  • The chickens, which weigh up to 9lb, often buckle under their weight and must live without natural sunlight.
  • Chickens frequently die before they reach maturity and many are left covered in their own faeces, turning warehouses into vile breeding grounds for disease.
Unlike in the UK and Europe, there are no minimum space requirements for breeding chickens in the US. America also does not have any rules governing lighting levels in the sheds and, crucially, its farms have no maximum allowed level of ammonia, which indicates how much urine and faecal matter is present. This means there is no limit on how much can fester inside the sheds.


Why do humans yawn?

© Michael Haegele/Corbis
Yawning starts before you're born and has often been associated with boredom or being tired. But, research now suggests there is more to this simple behavior than you may have imagined. It is as involuntary as breathing in many cases and likely has more than one trigger.

Scientists are split into two camps - one believes yawning has a physiological cause and physical benefit, while the other believes yawning is psychologically triggered and once was used as means of communication.1 What we do know is that all humans and most animals yawn for one reason or another.

One popular theory behind yawning is related to the shallowness of your breathing. In other words, the more shallow your breathing, the less oxygen enters your blood. In response, your body triggers a yawn that increases the amount of air you breathe in and increases your blood oxygen level.

However, a compelling theory explored by Princeton University researcher Andrew C. Gallup, Ph.D., and colleagues links yawning to sleep deprivation, tiredness and cooling your brain.2

Comment: More on yawning:


Healthcare for dogs is becoming more breed-specific

If you love dogs and have the chance of owning one yourself, then you quickly realize that - just like having a child - you have a life whose medical care is in your hands. Of course, you want the best care that money can buy and that starts with taking a proactive position on the subject.

But did you know that care of your dog has begun to shift throughout the veterinarian profession from one that relies on a general understanding of canine health problems to one that recognizes that each breed has its own peculiarities that are best served by breed-specific health care options?

We are a nation of specialists. When we have trouble with our eyes, we see an eye doctor - an ophthalmologist. When we have trouble with our feet, we see a podiatrist, and so on and so forth.

According to the website DogTime, there are more than 200 different breeds of dogs, a number that will change depending on what organization you consult, given they might have different criterion they use to define or recognize a breed. The American Kennel Club, which is frequency considered an authority on the subject, currently recognizes 189 different breeds of dogs, although their standards are considered relatively exacting and rigorous compared to others.


The fallacy of 'safe levels' of mercury and lead

In our toxin-filled world, we often look to government agencies to tell us what levels of exposure we should consider safe or unsafe. If our exposure does not exceed an agency-determined threshold, we assume there is little cause for concern. How do regulatory agencies determine these thresholds? There is considerable evidence to suggest that safety limits are often arbitrary and do not accurately flag risks.

A new study published in Environmental Research by a group of researchers in upstate New York underscores this point. Lead author Dr. Brooks Gump of Syracuse University and coauthors call attention to problems associated with low levels of background exposure to lead and mercury, at concentrations notably lower than those deemed "elevated" by federal agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The authors report on results from the Environmental Exposures and Child Health Outcomes (EECHO) study, an ongoing study involving African-American and white children (ages 9-11) in low- and middle-income urban neighborhoods. Although the EECHO study's primary purpose is to investigate the influence of environmental toxicant exposures on cardiovascular risk indices, the Environmental Research paper focuses on interesting associations between environmental toxicants and neurodevelopmental outcomes.


Is fasting the Fountain of Youth?

© Return to Now
The less you eat the longer you live, and the healthier you are, according to experts on aging and longevity, who've discovered fasting protects our genes and speeds up the regeneration of our cells.

"It's been known for a long time that one way to extend the lifespan of laboratory animals is simply to reduce their energy (calorie) intake," says
Mark Mattson, a neuroscientist at the National Institute on Aging and professor at Johns Hopkins University.

The lifespan of lab rats has been increased by up to 40 percent by feeding them less. In a Ted Talk titled Why Fasting Bolsters Brain Power, Mattson suggests humans could do the same by adopting a lifestyle of intermittent fasting:


The epidemic of diseased ovaries - Polycystic ovarian syndrome

While there are no studies to confirm a link between PCOS and certain drugs or vaccines, questions have been raised about girls who have received human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil and developed symptoms of PCOS.
In an article in The Vaccine Reaction titled "Why are Americans So Sick?" journalist Rishma Parpia noted that the United States is experiencing an epidemic of autoimmune diseases. She listed several autoimmune diseases associated with chronic inflammation in the body that have become so "common" that they have come to be seen as normal, including celiac disease, lupus, multiple sclerosis (MS), and type 1 diabetes.1

There is another serious chronic health condition becoming more prevalent in the U.S. and other countries defined as an endocrine (hormonal) disorder, which some scientists suspect may also be an autoimmune disease. It is called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).2,3,4 The U.S. Office on Women's Health estimates that one in 10 women between ages 15 and 44 in the U.S. have PCOS.5


The reasons why almost no children in France are medicated for ADHD: Ways in which they define and treat it

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 11% of American children between the ages of 4 and 17 have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as of 2011. However, if you ask the American Psychiatric Association (APA), they maintain that even though only 5% of American children suffer from the disorder, the diagnosis is actually given to around 15% of American children. This number has been steadily rising, jumping from 7.8% in 2003 to 9.5% in 2007.

Big Pharma has played a significant role in manufacturing the ADHD epidemic in the U.S., convincing parents and doctors that ADHD is a common problem amongst children and one that should be medicated. However, many countries disagree with the American stance on ADHD, so much so that they have entirely different structures for defining, diagnosing, and treating it. For example, the percentage of children in France that have been diagnosed and medicated for ADHD is less than 0.5%. This is largely because French doctors don't consider ADHD a biological disorder with biological causes, but rather a medical condition caused by psycho-social and situational factors.