The DARK Act Rejected

Recently the United States Senate rejected a bill know widely as the DARK Act. (Denying Americans the Right to Know). The bill would have prevented states from introducing mandatory labelling of genetically modified foods, instead replacing them with voluntary measures allowing “…big food processing companies and the biotechnology industry [to] continue to profit by misleading consumers".

General Mills to label GMOs

General Mills have recently followed the lead of Campbell’s Soup, announcing their plans to voluntarily label genetically modified ingredients in their products. General Mills are responsible for multiple well-known brands including Cheerios, Häagen-Dazs and Green Giant. This comes ahead of the new Vermont GMO labelling law that comes into effect in July. Read more on GMO.

UK launches revised EatWell plate and guidelines

Following pressure on sugary drinks and the UK sugar tax, which has triggered a potential lawsuit against the UK government, Public Health England (PHE) has revised the UK ‘healthy eating’ guidelines. Most of the gestures are token, there is a smidgeon more fruit and veg, still loads of starchy carbs, predictably less emphasis on sugary drinks and a bit more fibre, mostly from wholegrains and veg. ANH-Intl will be updating our 4-way shoot-out of the UK and US government guidelines, and the Harvard Healthy Eating Plate to reflect this update in the near future.

Prozac - not safe for children?

Prominent journalist and health writer, Jerome Burne's recent article has shone a light on why “prozac is the safest drug for depressed children” is a myth! Jerome says, “We know these drugs can make children suicidal and that they are marginally effective at best”. They are licensed for children only on the grounds that “they are more likely to help and less likely to harm than others”, but recently even this has been questioned with documents coming to light that strongly suggest this conclusion is merely the result of vigorous data rigging. Read Jerome Burne’s full article here.

Green Party elects agricultural spokesperson

The UK Green Party has appointed their first agricultural spokesperson, long-term ANH supporter and organic farmer, Oliver Dowding. Mr Dowding says, “We have to look for long-term strategies. I am pragmatic enough to realise that the Green party isn’t going to be voted in any time soon, but we hope to be there influencing policy. Corporates probably control more of our policies than people think. People think the Government runs these things but you only have to look at who funds think tanks and so on.” Oliver makes some valid, thought-provoking statements and is committed to ensuring that there are long-term strategies in place to protect future generations.

Poverty — a cause of Obesity

A new international study, led by the University of St Andrews, Scotland, has found, “…evidence of a psychological link between poverty, inequality and increased calorie intake”. It suggests that, “…people who perceive themselves as poor are likely to eat more”. The study is the first of its kind, providing experimental evidence that poverty and inequality may contribute, or even lead to obesity. That said, obesity is a multifactorial problem with myriad causes, both psychological and physiological. There is no magic bullet, but there is a need for appropriate diet and lifestyle strategies to be implemented that take into account all socio-economic levels.

Water Fluoridation in Israel to resume

After a two-year halt on water fluoridation in Israel, the authorities are reintroducing the practice of medicating the water supply and now charging residents to cover the costs. Prof Jonathan Mann is on record stating that, “Water fluoridation is the most important public health measure in caries [dental cavity] prevention”, however not everyone shares his views. MK Yael German argues that consumers “should not be forced to swallow or eat something they don’t want”, and that, “mandatory fluoridation will cause a decline in public confidence in the quality of drinking water”.

Phone Towers and EMR in India

The New Delhi Supreme Court are set to examine evidence whether mobile phone towers can be hazardous to health following electro-magnetic radiation (EMR) concerns. This comes after a debate between advocates M L Varma and Prashant Bhutan and a mobile phone service provider. ANH-Intl’s campaign page on Electro-magnetic Radiation has some very clear and rational videos explaining why this is now a threat to human health. Worth a watch.