Could this be ‘bye bye Ebola’?

Finally, some good news from West Africa! Media reports tell of the Ebola outbreak fading in Liberia with US-built Ebola treatment centers standing empty as there is a wonderful lack of Ebola patients. They serve only to “tell the story of an aggressive American military and civilian response that occurred too late to help the bulk of the more than 8,300 Liberians who became infected.” Schools in Guinea have re-opened and introduced health precautions, including hand-washing and temperature checks for the pupils and staff that have managed to return. Currently schools remain closed in Sierra Leone and Liberia. And a district in Sierra Leone has been declared Ebola-free! Pujehun, in the south-east of the country, has been given the all-clear after 42 days with zero recorded cases of the virus.

Children absorb more radiation than adults

A study published in December 2014 in the Journal of Microscopy and Ultrastructure warns that children absorb more radiation from a source than adults. The study warns that foetuses are the most vulnerable of all, and the researchers suggest that mothers should not carry mobile phones in their clothing. It calls for parents to try and limit their offspring's exposure to wifi as 'children absorb more MWR [microwave radiation] than adults because their brain tissues are more absorbent, their skulls are thinner and their relative size is smaller.' The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IRIC) classifies radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF/EMG) as a Class 2 B Carcinogen, and sources include the likes of televisions, microwave ovens, cellphones, and Wi-Fi devices. Pediatric neurologist, Dr. Maya Shetreat-Klein, said, “Pregnant women deserve to know that wireless radiation can have an impact on the developing brain. We're seeing alarming increases in the number of children diagnosed with neurological disorders over the past decade, and anything we can do that might help reduce that rate should be taken very seriously. ”

Pregnant women and children to receive free vitamins

Radical plans in Scotland that aim to improve the nation’s health means that all pregnant women and children under the age of 5 could receive free vitamins. Following concerns that a significant proportion of the population has low vitamin D levels and that many youngsters do not eat a balanced diet, the Scottish Government believes this move could improve health rates. The scheme would see thousands of women receive tablets containing vitamins C and D and folic acid, which can prevent birth defects. Youngsters would get free drops containing vitamins A, C and D. Dr Alison McFadden, research fellow in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Dundee University, who has led a British Medical Journal study on the matter, said, “Studies show that a significant proportion of people are low in vitamin D. Pregnant and breast- feeding women are a high-risk group because if they are low in vitamin D, it is likely that their baby will be too, putting them at risk of convulsions and rickets.”

Dehydration common among UK care home residents

Research recently published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine concludes “patients admitted to hospital from care homes are commonly dehydrated on admission and consequently appear to experience significantly greater risks of in-hospital mortality”. The researchers were from Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust, the University of Oxford and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. They reviewed “over 20,000 patients aged 65 years and over admitted to a London hospital trust for the first time between January 2011 and December 2013”, and looked at sodium levels. “After adjustment for a number of possible explanatory factors, including age and dementia, the risk of high sodium levels was still over five times higher for those admitted from care homes”. The lead researcher, Dr Anthony Wolff, said “High sodium levels in care home residents should raise questions about adequate support for drinking”.

Endorse Vandana Shiva’s appeal to Indian Prime Minister Modi and President Obama

Physicist and author Dr Vandana Shiva has written an open letter about Seed Freedom and Food Democracy, to the Indian Prime Minister Modi and President Obama. It “clearly details the negative impacts of seed patenting, biopiracy and corporate personhood”. The two leaders are due to meet in India, at Modi’s behest, for the “Republic Day” celebrations on January 26th 2015 — the same day in 1930 that “the people of India pledged to demand Purna Swaraj, or complete self-rule independent of the British Empire”. Shiva’s letter is in anticipation of this event. She writes “We hope you show great leadership by working together to strengthen the laws to protect your citizens and countries instead of making it easier for corporations to take control over life-forms for short term profits”. We are all invited to join Vandana Shiva with her call for Seed Freedom and Food Democracy by signing the petition. Please enter your details in the spaces provided.

‘Misinformed’ debate about TTIP Trade Deal in UK House of Commons

A ‘highly charged’ debate about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade deal took place recently in the UK House of Commons. The UK Guardian reported that many Conservative MPs defended the proposed deal, while the opposition MPs were “warning that it risks giving too much power to big US corporations”. Caroline Lucas, the Green party leader said “she believed TTIP amounted to a corporate takeover and cited independent research from Tuft University suggesting workers’ wages could suffer by £3,000 a year”. Zac Goldsmith (a Conservative MP who spoke against the deal) said “In many respects, it is hard to imagine harmonisation of standards between the EU and the US resulting in better standards for us”. Many MPs were said to have “particular concerns about the investor-state dispute settlement clauses, which would give private companies the right to sue the government in international tribunals for loss of profit arising from policy decisions”. Following the debate, the head of EU and trade policy at the Institute of Directors, Allie Renison, said the debate had been misinformed and was risking the entire deal”.

50,000 march in Berlin against TTIP and GMOs

The 5th annual “We are Fed Up” march took place in Berlin, Germany this Saturday. More than 120 organisations — a broad alliance of farmers, ethical consumers, and anti-capitalist activists, marched “to denounce the proposed TTIP treaty between the US and EU, and mass farming technologies”. RT reported that the demonstration this year focussed on “the increased importation of American farming practices – such as genetic modification, frequent antibiotic injections for animals, and chemical meat treatments” that would follow implementation of the TTIP trade deal between the US and Europe. The march included a procession of 80 tractors manned by “angry” farmers. The event was timed to coincide with International Green Week — “a large agriculture fair that has just begun in Berlin”.  Federal Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt, who was speaking at one of the Green Week events, “promised to address the issues raised by the demonstrators, and said that he welcomed the public display of opinion”.




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