Bariatric surgery ‘helps’ reduce obesity-related ill health finds Imperial College researchers

Researchers at Imperial College, London have found that “carrying out more bariatric surgery procedures would help to reduce obesity-related ill health”. The ‘ill health’ examined included hypertension, type 2 diabetes, stroke, coronary heart disease and osteoarthritis. Bariatric surgery is the term for surgical procedures performed on obese people to decrease stomach size. The authors also say that over two million people in England are eligible for such surgery, and the UK National Health Service (NHS) “may need to invest in more resources to meet demand”.

ANH-USA reported last year that three medical societies were changing their guidance on which US citizens should get metabolic and bariatric surgery, and which methods should be used. These new guidelines state that bariatric surgery should be expanded to include mildly to moderately obese people (class 1 obesity) who have diabetes or metabolic syndrome.  They also warned of the risks of such surgery.

Brazilian study finds significant unintended differences in proteins between GM and non-GM maize.

GM Watch reported on a Brazilian study that has found unintended differences in proteins between a GM maize (MON810) and the non-GM parent variety. Comparison of the transgenic and conventional varieties revealed “a total of 32 different proteins that were differentially expressed. The proteins were either present, absent, up- or down-regulated in one of the hybrids, at a statistically significant level”.

The Portuguese article “For an Ecological Brazil, Free from GMOs and Pesticides” published on the, 17 Jan 2014, and translated by GM Watch highlighted that “The study's major contribution is to challenge the main (pseudoscientific) concept used to justify the release of GMOs: so-called " substantial equivalence". According to this theory, transgenic plants are equivalent in their chemical composition to conventional plants and thus, in principle, do not pose risks”.

This followed the GM Watch article published on the 14th January, which revealed "Egyptian researchers found Bt corn was not substantially equivalent to non-GM parent and was toxic to rats, even after only 91 days of feeding".

For more on “The sham of substantial equivalence" and its justification by regulators for no compulsory safety testing, see EarthOpen Source's "GMO Myths and Truths Report".

Court action facing Canadian Government over GM salmon

Ecojustice have filed a judicial review with the Federal Court in Canada for “permitting the manufacture of genetically modified salmon”. Tanya Nayler, representing Ecology Action Centre and Living Oceans Society, said: “Canadians expect their government to implement, not ignore, the laws that protect our ecosystems from harm. By granting approval for this genetically modified species without obtaining all the legally required information, the government has failed to meet their legal obligation.”

The approval is believed unlawful because "it failed to assess whether genetically modified salmon could become invasive, potentially putting ecosystems and species such as wild salmon at risk".

High rise farms for local food

Singapore now boasts the first commercial, vertical farm. The owner of SkyGreens, entrepreneur and engineer Jack Ng, designed the airy, modern structure, which is 4 storeys high. Inside, automated towers of vegetables rotate “like ferris wheels” in nutrient infused baths below, and in sunlight above. Gravity fed water wheels are also used. Such a system is efficient and cost effective. The operating costs are a mere quarter of what it would cost to run a conventional farm. What’s more, the produce is fresh, and being local to the population it serves, transport costs are minimal.

Vertical farms are popping up in a number of cities, including New York. Eighty percent of the world’s population is predicted to be living in cities by 2050. With growing urban populations and land and energy costs at a premium, vertical farms could just be a great solution for the complex job of getting an adequate, fresh, nutritious food supply to city-dwellers. It’s good to see innovative ideas come of age.

Is technology set to spy on children and track childhood?

A recent report draws our attention to the future scenario of smart wristbands worn by children, the elderly and vulnerable —or indeed anyone, in order that their every move can be tracked, along with the people to whom they speak, and the activities they engage in! The technology already exists for parents or carers (and other interested parties) to ‘monitor safety’ in this way. The various ‘dangers’ the child encounters, such as deviating from a normal route, or speaking to an ‘unknown’ person could be picked up by sensors on the wristband and on toys etc, triggering alerts. The wristband network could also support links to other media opening the flood gates to tailored advertising!

What is certain is that this is a gross invasion of privacy for children that could greatly curtail learning experiences that shape the natural course of childhood. Such technology could add yet further to the already unacceptable load of electromagnetic radiation to which we are are constantly exposed.

Getting you hooked — the food industry’s dirty little sugar secret

Channel 4’s award-winning, investigative UK current affairs program ‘Dispatches’ aired this week with a programme entitled: ‘Are You Addicted to Sugar?’ The program “investigates how sugar affects the way our brains work; exposes how the food industry has rapidly increased the sugar in many of our favourite foods; and reveals how a powerful group of companies have tried to fight off any attempt to reduce the amount of sugar we all consume”.

UK residents can watch the whole program:, but those of you outside the country, can read more, as this is most definitely not a UK-only issue.

UK MEPs vote to keep GM pollen in honey hidden from consumers

The majority of those democratically representing us in the UK, both nationally and in Europe, seem wedded to the idea that genetically modified (GM) crops and biotechnology is unquestionably good, and poses absolutely no danger to those who eat it, nor to the environment.

A recent GM Freeze report lodges that only 15 out of 73 UK Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted against a controversial paper which “upholds Commission attempts to redefine pollen as a “constituent” of honey, rather than an ingredient as ruled by the European Court of Justice”. Some didn’t vote, or abstained. The remainder voted for the report “effectively undermining the ECJ ruling by supporting the Commission’s redefinition of pollen. This redefinition makes it possible to avoid labelling honey containing GM pollen”.

The full report of voting by all European MEPs can be found here.

Prince of Wales wants ‘regulation’, to protect access to complementary therapies in the UK

The Daily Telegraph reported at the weekend that the Prince of Wales is “pushing for an acceptance of complementary medicines and urging medical watchdogs to regulate their professions in order to better protect patients”.

It seems the Prince, too, is frustrated by government ‘delay tactics’, that have stalled widely backed proposals for the statutory regulation of practitioners of herbal medicine and acupuncturists. ANH-Intl and herbal groups have been campaigning for a few years for action to regulate UK herbalists, which will we believe will safeguard the profession, long protected by UK law, from threats veiled in the complexity of European law which now ultimately governs the practice of natural therapies as well as the products themselves.


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