UK government to compensate for brain damage from swine flu vaccine

The UK government is about to settle a bill of around £60 million by paying £1 million to 60 individuals who suffered brain damage as a result of having the swine flu vaccination, Pandemrix. Around 60 million people, most of them children, had the jab after the outbreak in 2009. Since then its been publicised that the vaccine causes narcolepsy and cataplexy. Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK), the manufacturer of Pandemrix, refused to supply it unless the government indemnified them against any claim for damage caused, and they still refuse to acknowledge a link – even though more than 800 children have suffered as a result of the vaccine and NHS medical staff are suing the government for millions in lost earnings as they are now unable to do their job.

Séralini speaks out on “unjust” retraction of GM paper

Professor Séralini’s team issued a press release yesterday through Criigen, which was entitled (in French) “Unjust retraction of NK603 and Roundup study: Restoring scientific ethics thrown into confusion”. The statement condemns the breach of scientific ethics by the editor-in-chief of the journal that retracted their GM rat feeding study. They have also released their correspondence with the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), which was sent at the end of January this year.

In the letter, Professor Séralini and his team conclude that Cope's ethics procedure for retraction has not been followed. The team leave the ethics committee in no doubt of their part in the responsibility for the outcome in this key matter, since "the discredit brought on this study and its conclusions is likely to influence global food-related policies, and may result in a major public health concern".

Statin saga continues in the UK

In a spate of recent headlines, UK readers have been told that, "millions more people in the UK are set to be prescribed cholesterol-busting statins in a bid to cut the rising toll of heart disease and stroke". And that, "'Super-dose statins can add years to our lives,' says doctors" as a new study on 'super statins' was revealed. Not long after this, headlines declared "Health chief slams statins: Millions face terrible side effects as prescription escalates". Followed swiftly by news that doctors were demanding an end to the widespread prescription of statins. And that, "Millions more need statins according to experts…but GPs fight plans", as 6 in ten GPs oppose the new guidelines.

Confused? Well Jerome Burne of HealthInsights UK has exposed a cover-up by an ostensibly independent group of Oxford University statin drug researchers that places big question marks over the scientific basis of mainstream medicines ongoing support for statins. His exposee shows that the group - known as the Cholesterol Treatment Trialists’ (CTT) Collaboration - are keeping secret the data from the 27 trials of statin drugs. Surprise, surprise, nearly all of these were run by drug companies.

US food supply contaminated by hazardous plastic

A health research and advocacy group has issued a report that found nearly 500 US grocery store foods contain Azodicarbonamide (ADA), a potentially hazardous industrial plastics chemical. ADA is used as a flour bleaching agent and as a dough performance-enhancer by being an oxidizing agent, and although approved for use in food in the US and Canada, it’s banned in Australia and some European countries. As well as being found in breads, bagels, tortillas, hamburger and hot dog buns, pizza, pastries, and other food products, it is used in yoga mats and shoes. Why is it still being used when even the World Health Organization claims that there is “abundant evidence that azodicarbonamide can induce asthma, other respiratory symptoms, and skin sensitization”?

Mammograms fail to reduce deaths from breast cancer

A study of 90,000 women and years worth of mammograms published in the British Medical Journal has added powerful new doubts about the value of the screening test for women of any age. The study showed that the death rates from breast cancer and from all causes were the same in women who got mammograms and those who did not. The research set out to determine whether there was any advantage to finding breast cancers when they were too small to feel, and the conclusion was - no. It also highlighted that screening can result in unnecessary, potentially harmful, treatment as one in five cancers found using mammography and treated was not a threat to the woman’s health and didn’t need treatment such as chemotherapy, surgery or radiation.

‘International Solidarity Caravan for Seed Freedom’ coming to Italy, Greece and France!

An initiative to raise awareness and encourage action to counter the threats to seed freedom and plant biodiversity in Europe has been planned by Navdanya International and the Global Alliance for Seed Freedom. These organisations, like ANH-Intl, are committed to an agriculture based on diversity, free of poisons and GMOs. The initiative is billed as the ‘International Solidarity Caravan for Seed Freedom’. It will kick off in Greece on 27th April, and there will be a 'Seed and Food Freedom Festival’ on 29th April 2014 in Florence, Italy. It will then head off to France for the 4th May. Environmental activist, physicist and author, Dr Vandana Shiva, will be participating, and those joining the event are told to "Bring your seeds and songs".

Information about the event is available in English, Greek, French, Italian and Spanish.

Tougher restrictions on child advertising to cut obesity

In Greece last week, EU member states agreed to impose tougher restrictions on food advertising and marketing to children in an attempt to tackle the rising childhood obesity problem. The initiative includes all marketing, not just television advertising, with continuing cuts to salt, fat and added sugar levels in processed foods, alongside encouraging healthy environments and increased physical activity. Childhood obesity is rapidly rising in Europe. But whilst there is no doubt that industry needs to shackled into responsible practice, the onus is also on parents to do the right things for their children.