Health & WellnessS


Drug giants warned: Tell the truth on medicines

The pharmaceutical industry came under assault from senior figures in medical research yesterday over its practice of withholding information to protect profits, exposing patients to drugs which could be useless or harmful.


One Thousand Lives A Month

This is the story of a drug that was on the market for 14 years and may have contributed to the deaths of thousands of patients. Trasylol, made by Bayer, is given in the operating room to control bleeding. It was a big money maker.

As correspondent Scott Pelley reports, Bayer marketed Trasylol aggressively until it was used in about one third of all cardiac bypass operations in America.


Forever accused: What happens to the men who are falsely accused of rape?

False allegations of rape may make for gripping headlines in the newspapers, but they can also ruin the lives of those men who've been accused despite being innocent.


Biofuels will not feed the hungry

Between 1990 and 2005 the proportion of children under five who were underweight declined by one fifth. But that progress is now under threat. Rising food prices mean that malnutrition and starvation once again threaten many of those at the bottom of the world's economic ladder. While recent spikes in prices are unlikely to be permanent, producers should stop wasting food by subsidising biofuels and give the World Food Programme the funds it needs to distribute calories to those who cannot cope by themselves.


BSE Case Confirmed in Alberta, Canada

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a six-year-old dairy cow from Alberta. The animal's carcass is under CFIA control, and no part of it entered the human food or animal feed systems.


Vaccines and Autism: Every American Should Read This

Below is a verbatim copy of the US Government concession filed last November in a vaccine-autism case in the Court of Federal Claims, with the names of the family redacted. It is the subject of my post yesterday.

Every American should read this document, and interpret for themselves what they think their government is trying to say about the relationship, if any, between immunizations and a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.


Government Concedes Vaccine-Autism Case in Federal Court - Now What?

After years of insisting there is no evidence to link vaccines with the onset of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the US government has quietly conceded a vaccine-autism case in the Court of Federal Claims.


Flashback Handle with Care: Institutionalised Abuse of Teenagers in Tennessee

The state of Tennessee continues to license a Midstate youth treatment facility where two have died and many others have been abused.

Linda Harris
©Philadelphia Inquirer/John Sullivan
Linda Harris

Comment: This sort of heavy-handed set-up is all too common in the US: once a person is labelled as criminal - or just non-compliant - they become a non-person forever, and the authorities feel justified in taking any steps necessary to force compliance.


Pushing PLAY: Richard Solomon's groundbreaking work is changing the lives of autistic children

In his darkened office in the University of Michigan Health System, Richard Solomon, M.D., pops a videocassette tape into the VCR and pushes "play." Instantly, the screen is alive with the colors of American childhood. Bare feet running through backyard grass, little fingers clutching plastic toys, faces dancing with the boundless smiles of youth. Swimming pools, sandboxes, tricycles.


Morgellons: Emerging illness or filaments of imagination?

Sue Laws remembers the night it began. It was October 2004, and she'd been working in the basement home office of her Gaithersburg, Md., brick rambler where she helps her husband run their tree business. She was sitting at her computer getting the payroll out, when all of a sudden she felt as if she were being attacked by bees. The itching and stinging on her back was so intense that she screamed for her husband, Tom. He bounded downstairs and lifted her shirt, but he couldn't see anything biting her. She insisted something must be. To prove there was nothing there, he stuck strips of thick packing tape to her back and ripped them off. Then they took the magnifying eyepiece that Tom, an arborist, uses to examine leaves for fungus and blight and peered at the tape.

©Lab of Vitaly Citovsky/SUNY at Stony Brook
Some call it the "fiber disease," but most refer to it as Morgellons, a name taken from a similar condition of children wasting away with "harsh hairs" described in the 17th century

Comment: Related articles:
CDC to make call on mystery skin disease
Morgellons disease, Is this a disease or an episode of the X Files?
Doctors puzzled over bizarre infection surfacing in South Texas