Swine flu vaccine damages paid

Following a six-year battle a school boy from Frome UK has won £120,000 damages after the swine flu jab left him with Narcolepsy. Josh Hadfield developed the condition just three weeks after receiving the Pandemrix vaccine in 2010, however it was initially argued by the Government that he was not severely disabled enough to receive compensation through the Vaccine Damages Payments Scheme despite him suffering from “sudden seizures when he laughed” and the inability to stay awake for longer than five minutes, “even when he was walking, eating and swimming” it is reported. The vaccine was widely used in the UK during the 2009-2010 flu pandemic, being administered to almost a million British children between six months and five years old. It was withdrawn from use after a number of studies found that the vaccine was linked to narcolepsy in youngsters from Sweden, Finland and Ireland. Read more about the Swine Flu vaccine and the UK Government’s response to pandemic preparations.

EMF signals cause nerve pain

A study has recently been published that provides the first evidence of a link between radio signals and nerve pain in people with amputated limbs. The senior author of the study, Dr Mario Romero-Ortega, said, “Our study provides evidence, for the first time, that subjects exposed to cellphone towers at low, regular levels can actually perceive pain”. The rats involved in the study received a nerve injury to simulate an amputation before being exposed to EMF signals equivalent to standing near a phone mast around 40 meters away for 10 minutes once a week for eight weeks. After just four weeks this short exposure time was enough to cause 88% of the rats to show a definite pain response to the signal. This study adds to the very real concerns associated with an excessive exposure to Electromagnetic Field sources, including electro-hypersensitivity, which has now been recognised as a functional disorder.

New GMO labelling law attracts anti’s

A new GMO labelling law that has left anti-GMO labelling advocates worried, is to take effect in Vermont USA this summer. Anti-GMO advocates have responded to this by pushing SmartLabelling, a barcode technology that requires customers to use their phones to scan a food product’s QR code to access information that isn’t on-pack. However, this move is being criticised for creating labelling information that is less accessible than the traditional on-pack system. There are also fears that the implementation of this might not only make it harder to view the new GMO labelling, but also to find other basic information on the products such as allergen advice. Given that the public and a significant, and growing, number of companies are being prevented from open labelling with regard to GM ingredients, workarounds like SmartLabelling are bound to appear.

Over 50% of schools provide healthy lunches

Thanks to the Soil Association’s Food for Life Catering Mark, over 50% of all primary schools in England are now serving food that is ethical, sustainable, free from additives and that meets the School Food Standards. The School Food Standards encourage an emphasis on wholegrain foods in replace of refined carbohydrates, making water the drink of choice and discouraging deep-fried and battered foods. This is a massive step in the right direction and encourages children to get involved with making healthier choices from an early age. But it is only a first step. There is still much to be done to ensure that children are being fed according to scientifically rational guidelines as we detailed in our October 2015 feature, ‘Re thinking what our kids are eating’.

Tdap booster protection fades dramatically

The Tdap booster, which is meant to protect against whooping cough, tetanus and diphtheria does not provide long-lasting protection, a study has recently found. The vaccine only protected “about 69% of adolescents against whooping cough in the first year after vaccination”, with protection dropping to “57% of adolescents in the second year, then 25% and 9% in the third and fourth years”. Researchers are now reportedly trying to modify the old whole cell pertussis vaccine for use once again, which was replaced by today’s acellular vaccine due to adverse side effects, including fever, swelling and even seizures. As with all vaccination decisions, we strongly encourage you to make an informed and educated choice.

Judges issue indictment against International Investment Court

Recently a group of German judges have issued an indictment on the proposal to include an International Investment Court within the framework of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The TTIP is responsible for a series of trade negotiations carried out mostly in secret between the EU and US. The primary concern for the German judges is that, “The creation of special courts for certain groups of litigants is the wrong way forward”, fearing that it would only add to an already unequal society with big businesses at an advantage. If this is the first time you’ve heard mention of the TTIP, you may like to read more and consider the wider implications.

New action plan for Organic foods

Scotland has launched a new action plan for organic food production entitled ‘Organic Ambitions’. Wendy Seel, chairman of the Scottish Organic Forum, explains that its aim is to, “Strengthen the capacity of Scotland’s organic farms to preserve and enhance natural capital, and in turn to build a more resilient food supply chain”. This comes after countries such as France and Denmark have already implemented similar plans to help contribute to more sustainable methods of agriculture for the future. This is a refreshing move inspired by genuine interest in sustainability that exposes the ‘short-termism’ and play for control, irrespective of consequences, played out by the cosy relationship between the British Government and Big Biotech.