Opportunity knocks for the vaccine companies in the Philippines

Despite the measles rates being very low and decreasing in the Philippines, and the absence of a single case of polio since 1993, the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF have taken the opportunity to launch an extensive vaccination programme. So far they have vaccinated more than 50,000 children in the areas affected by the typhoon, with some of these children already having been vaccinated for measles. Administering the polio vaccination that can cause vaccine-induced polio and paralysis is apparently a protective measure to stop the already eradicated disease re-entering the Philippines. With the safety and efficacy of vaccines still in question, and no reported cases of polio for 20 years, is a vaccine programme of this nature really addressing the needs of people affected by a typhoon catastrophe?

Natural immunity versus vaccination

A study carried out at the Food and Drug Administration in Bethesda, Maryland, has shown that baboons vaccinated with the current acellular vaccine for whooping cough still harboured the germ. Worse, they could transmit it to others and make them ill. The study also highlighted that those vaccinated with the older, whole-cell vaccine and those unvaccinated, but that had previously had whooping cough, remained healthy. The findings of the study means that the vaccine doesn’t support the popular ‘herd immunity’ approach, and gives sizeable credence to natural immunity.

Australians outraged at possibility of becoming vaccine guinea pigs

In 2003, much to the outcry of the Australian public, the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator approved the release of a genetically modified cholera vaccine. Last week, concern mounted again as PaxVax applied for a license to use Australians as guinea pigs to test a genetically modified live bacterial cholera vaccine.  Cholera is not a problem in Australia - in fact there hasn’t been a case of it there in 35 years – and where it is a problem, several safe and effective oral and injectable vaccines are already used. Australians are not alone in wondering why another vaccine is needed – and with much debate still circulating about the safety of genetic modification, why both are being pushed for in one hit.

Artificial colours linked to cancer

The Center of Science in the Public Interest produced a report entitled Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks that puts a spotlight on 9 popular food dyes and the effects they had on lab animals eg. cancer, nerve-cell deterioration, kidney damage and more. It seems the US has it worse than elsewhere as dangerous additives that have been banned in other countries are still used there. The US also don’t even require a warning statements on the labels of potentially harmful colours.  Considering these dyes are generally used to ‘pretty’ up nutritionally deficient junk food, warning statements could make all the difference to a vulnerable population group.

Ohio girl in hiding to avoid chemotherapy

Not dissimilar to the Neon Roberts case in the UK, Ohio Amish girl, Sarah Hershberger, is in hiding after being diagnosed with leukemia. Having fled the country to avoid the second round of chemotherapy they are now back in the US, pursuing a more integrative oncology route, but in hiding as a court has appointed a guardian to take over Sarah's medical decisions. This raises fundamental questions again over parental rights and if children are now ‘wards of the state’. 

Smart Meters to enter India

Watch out India, the invasive and potentially dangerous smart meter is coming your way and being touted as a “revolutionary step up". A specialist in broadband over powerline technologies, Corinex Communications, and Genus Power Infrastructures Limited, an Indian electric meter manufacturer, have joined forces to develop a so-called ‘intelligent’ wireless transmitters, the Genus smart meter. Smart meters have never received adequate safety testing, and are constantly emitting dangerous electro-magnetic radiation (EMR) right within the home. With the World Health Organization declaring that wireless technology is a cancer risk, why are these meters still being rolled out around the world?


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