Food4Health plate triumph, UK GM wheat trial failure, BMJ reveals CDC industry ties, Amazonian traditional medicine encyclopedia, GM ban, statin side effects, TTIP open letter, measles death
Love Natural Love Organic 2015
The ANH-Intl team is just back from a successful stint last weekend at the Love Natural Love Organic show - part of the Allergy Show at London Olympia. Sharing stand space with ANH's visionary consumer outreach initiative, Bite the Sun, enabled the team to bring the ANH Food4Health plate to practical and realistic life. The 3-day show was packed with a mix of 2 theatre presentations from Rob Verkerk PhD, founder, executive and scientific director, and 3 practical, engaging, demonstrations from the new Nature's Workshop area with Rob and Meleni Aldridge, executive coordinator. The workshops gave the opportunity to show why the Food4Health plate is the polar opposite to most government-sanctioned 'diabesity' plates and why eating the 'ANH way' will support a reduction in your level of metabolic risk, whilst helping to create cleaner, leaner, more vital lives. Given the level of interest, the packed, standing-room only audiences and the crowds at the stand looking for further information, we were grateful for the additional support from the Bite the Sun team.
UK GM wheat trial has failed
It’s recently been revealed that a controversial GM wheat trial in the UK has failed. The Rothamsted Research field trial set out to test a new genetically engineered variety of wheat —dubbed “whiffy wheat”. A press release by GM Freeze said “The researchers attempted to prove that genetically engineering wheat to mimic an aphid distress signal would deter the pests, reduce pesticide use and, in turn, cut farmers’ costs and environmental impact. In the field, however, it didn’t work because the aphids stopped responding to the alarm pheromone”. They described the failure as “clear evidence of the folly of focusing public resources on the development and promotion of GM crops” and added “when GM tries to outwit nature, nature adapts in response”. The trial was said to have cost UK taxpayers nearly £3 million in all, as an additional 2 million was said to have been spent on security measures.
BMJ associate editor reveals CDC industry ties
The associate editor of the British Medical Journal (BMJ), Jeanne Lenzer, recently published an article in the journal entitled “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: protecting the private good?”. The teaser of the article states, “After revelations that the CDC is receiving some funding from industry, Jeanne Lenzer investigates how it might have affected the organisation’s decisions”. The article begins by highlighting the CDC disclaimer, which declares “CDC, our planners, and our content experts wish to disclose they have no financial interests or other relationships with the manufacturers of commercial products . . . CDC does not accept commercial support”. Lenzer states that this ‘independence’ gives the organisation tremendous prestige. Yet she points out that, despite this disclaimer, “the CDC does receive millions of dollars in industry gifts and funding, both directly and indirectly, and several recent CDC actions and recommendations have raised questions about the science it cites, the clinical guidelines it promotes, and the money it is taking”. Lenzer writes that the industry funding has surprised many doctors, including those who work for CDC itself. The former editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, commented “The CDC has enormous credibility among physicians, in no small part because the agency is generally thought to be free of industry bias. Financial dealings with biopharmaceutical companies threaten that reputation”.
Amazon tribes makes encyclopaedia of their traditional medicine
The Matsés Amazonian tribe from Brazil and Peru have created a 500-page encyclopaedia of their traditional medicine. The encyclopaedia details every plant used by Matsés’ medicine to cure a massive variety of ailments and was compiled by five shamans (medicine men) with assistance from a conservation group called Acaté. Christopher Herndon, president and co-founder of Acaté, has commented that this is the first time that this tribe has documented “a full and complete transcription of their medicinal knowledge written in their own language and words.” Herndon explained that the death of one of their most renowned elder Matsés healers spurred the Acaté and the Matsés to create the encyclopaedia before any more of the elders were lost and their ancestral knowledge taken with them. Herndon said, "The methodology developed by the Matsés and Acaté can be a template for other indigenous cultures to safeguard their ancestral knowledge."
Ban on GM crops in Hawaii declared invalid
At the end of June, a federal court declared the Maui County initiative seeking to ban the cultivation of genetically modified crops on Maui, Molokai and Lanai invalid. A Monsanto spokesperson on Maui said, “We are very pleased with the court’s decision holding that the Maui referendum is contrary to federal and state laws.” They also pointed out the obvious by saying that, “If the referendum was implemented, it would have placed an immediate and essentially permanent ban on long-standing [GM] farming operations in Maui County.” Autumn Ness of GMO Free Maui responded, “Monsanto and Dow spent record-breaking amounts of money in a deceptive “Vote No” campaign last election. Maui voted yes anyway, and instead of respecting the basic democratic process and complying with our vote, Monsanto and Dow sued us … Drop your lawsuit, Monsanto and Dow. Immediately halt GMO crop production, and do the safety studies.”
UK media report on statin side effects and deaths
The UK Daily Express has recently reported on figures it complied from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) “Yellow Card” adverse drug reaction (ADR) scheme. They show that, over the last 2 decades, statins “have been associated with a huge dossier of reported side-effects including irreversible muscle breakdown, muscle pain, blood disorders, diabetes, skin disorders, nervous system disorders and stomach problems”. The media outlet reveals that the controversial cholesterol lowering drugs have been linked with 20,000 side effects and 227 deaths during that time period. The figures are said to have led to “calls for an urgent review of the safety of statins with experts claiming the harm may outweigh any potential benefit in low risk patients”. In addition, they are said to “cast further doubt on NICE’s decision to lower the prescribing threshold so that the drugs are given to low risk patients and include up to 17 million patients, almost 40 percent of the adult population”. However, the Daily Express said, “the MHRA points out that the fact a report of a reaction or death following drug use does not prove the drug was the cause”.
EU MEPs urged to reject TTIP ‘free trade’ agreement resolution
The Stop TTIP Alliance, consisting of 483 civil society organisations, has sent an open letter urging European MEPs to reject a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) resolution on negotiation recommendations, due to be voted on in the European Parliament this Wednesday. The letter urges MEPs to take into account “the declared will of 2.3 million citizens when considering their position and thus pass a strong resolution that calls for a stop to TTIP negotiations on the basis of the current negotiation mandate”. In particular, the alliance urged MEPs “to consider the strong criticism ISDS has faced both in the public debate and in the European Commission’s consultation and reject ISDS in any form”. ISDS is the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), which would allow corporations to challenge governments in a private trade tribunal. Our earlier article outlines where you can find out more about TTIP.
Measles victim had been vaccinated
The first person to die of measles in the US in 12 years had actually been vaccinated against the disease. Clallam County health officer, Dr Jeanette Stehr-Green, explained that the woman had been vaccinated as a child, but because she had other health problems and was taking medications that interfered with her response to an infection “she was not protected.” The woman was hospitalised for several health conditions and was there at the same time as a person who later developed a rash and was contagious for measles. Washington State Department of Health spokesman, Donn Moyer, believes that was the most likely time for exposure and when she subsequently contracted the disease. He also confirmed that she was on medications that contributed to a weakened immune system.
In his blog, ANH's founder likens the global condition we face to an autoimmune condition and suggests it's time to apply the lessons we've learnt from autoimmunity to the way we react to other humans.