Breastfeeding not natural

The Journal Pediatrics has published ahead of print a highly controversial article entitled, Unintended Consequences of Invoking the “Natural” in Breastfeeding Promotion. You might have to read this twice for it to sink in, but the article calls on health professionals to stop referring to breastfeeding as natural! According to the journal it gives the impression that natural parenting practices are healthier. The authors have started a public campaign to end the positive use of the word natural, claiming that it is associated with such "problematic" practices as home birth, homeschooling and the rejection of GMO foods, and that natural parenting movements are interfering with vaccination efforts. We are lost for words.

Homeopathy recognised in Switzerland

In a monumental breakthough for natural approaches to healthcare, Switzerland has announced plans to elevate five complementary therapies, including homeopathy, to the same level as conventional medicine. "Homeopathy, holistic medicine, herbal medicine, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine will acquire the same status as conventional medicine by May 2017”. Despite Switzerland not being a member of the EU, this is still a groundbreaking step up for natural and integrative approaches to healthcare that will hopefully encourage more countries in Europe to follow suit — as well as open the door to intense pressure and further lobbying.

Public forum for HPV

Global news forum, Vaccine Impact, has reported on the new public forum set up in Colombia to publicise the adverse effects associated with the HPV vaccine. Colombian teenage girls injured by the HPV vaccine have taken the stand and testified in Colombia. The girls have recounted symptoms that include, “fainting spells, muscle weakness and pain” and that only began after they received the vaccination. The public forum was prompted by Dr Juan Mendoza Vega and Dr José Félix Patiño after an official public request was submitted to The Minister of Health and Social Protection.

European Commission must consult USA

One of the results following the passage of trade negotiations carried out in secret is that European Commission will apparently be obliged to consult with US authorities before new legislative proposals can be adopted. A leaked document from The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations reveals that the unelected new TTIP Commission will hold the authority to decide on when and whether cooperation with the US takes place. Effectively this means that EU Member States suffer further loss of what’s left of their sovereignty, and leaves the EU Parliament sidelined.

Round Up banned in public areas

A number of Spanish towns and regions have recently banned the use of glyphosate in public areas. The chemical is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s number one selling herbicide Round Up and has recently been upgraded to “probably carcinogenic” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). It comes alongside the European Parliament’s block to the 15-year authorisation renewal for Glyphosate herbicide in Europe. As we wrote on 9 March, it’s not just Glyphosate causing concern. The so-called inert adjuvants (carriers for the active) may not be as harmless as once thought.

Google’s project loon given the green light

Google have recently been given the green light to float high-altitude Wi-Fi balloons over 50 American states. Project Loon is accused of “violat[ing] human rights and harm[ing] human health and the environment” by the Global Union Against Radiation Deployment from Space. Allowing Google to unfairly impose unwanted, unsolicited and potentially hazardous electro-magnetic radiation on unsuspecting citizens is a ‘loon-ey’ idea in our opinion.

Waitrose remove Round Up from stores

A petition signed by over 90,000 people has pressured the UK supermarket Waitrose into stopping the sale of Monsanto’s Round Up in their stores. The herbicide has been proven to have negative effects on foraging bees. Waitrose states, “We’re committed to protecting our pollinators and after careful consideration decided to remove this product from our business”. The renewal of the herbicide has recently been blocked in the EU.