Glyphosate licence renewal, Glyphosate and infertility, EMA uncertainty after Brexit, Pakistan GMO cotton crisis, Call for retraction of CDC MMR study, Stop nasal flu spray, Reversal of US federal overreach with parenting, Sports drinks and sugar tax
EU glyphosate license limited to 18 months
The license for glyphosate, the active ingredient in the controversial weedkiller Roundup, is to be extended by the European Commission for only 18 months. Reuters recently reported, “After months of lobbying and member state indecision, the Commission replaced a previous proposal to renew the license for glyphosate for up to 15 years with a suggested 12 to 18 month extension pending further scientific study”. Glyphosate fell out of favour in Europe when WHO IARC findings deemed the compound to be “probably carcinogenic”. Reuters said, “In the absence of any extension, manufacturers would have to phase out products containing the common herbicide within six months”. ANH International has been campaigning solidly against the herbicide and welcomes restrictions of use in the EU and will be ready to jump hard on UK authorities should they decide, following Brexit, to maintain use of glyphosate-based herbicides once the EU's 18-month extended stay has expired.
Is glyphosate responsible for infertility?
New research has shown that exposure to the worlds no 1 “probably carcinogenic” herbicide glyphosate causes cell proliferation and structural changes in the uterus of rats. The authors therefore concluded that, “exposure to glyphosate herbicide may affect female fertility and/or promote the development of uterine cancer”. Read more.
Uncertainty for European Medicines Agency after Brexit
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is responsible for the scientific evaluation, supervision and safety monitoring of medicines developed by pharmaceutical companies for use in the EU, and employs hundreds of staff. At the beginning of this year, it moved its headquarters to nine floors of a twenty-storey building in Canary Wharf on a 25-year lease in London’s Docklands. However, following Britain’s referendum result, and once Article 50 is invoked, the agency may in due course have to find a new home. An EMA spokeswoman said, “We respect the UK citizens’ decision to no longer be a part of the European Union. The people in the UK have taken their vote and it is now up to the UK government to decide how to act upon the outcome of the referendum”.
Pakistan cotton crisis blamed on GMOs
Pakistan’s economy is reported to be in trouble, mainly due to the “major setback” (to use the finance minister’s words) in agriculture. At the ‘heart of the crisis’ there was reportedly “a massive decline of 27.8pc in cotton production”. Cotton is a key part of Pakistan’s agriculture and textile industry. ‘Well informed’ farmers are blaming the ’disaster’ on the, “widespread use of genetically modified seeds that were formally introduced in the country in 2010 but were being smuggled since 2005. Now BT cotton (a genetically modified variety) is grown in 88pc of the cotton-cultivated area”. It’s said that cotton production has failed to improve since the introduction of BT cotton. The report claimed, “Monsanto, an American biotechnology company, has been a big beneficiary of the changes in the government’s policies. In 2015, the Seeds Act 1976 was changed to ‘meet the requirements of the modern seed industry’”, and that farmers are seeking justice through the Kissan Board Pakistan.
Formal request for CDC MMR study retraction
Andrew Wakefield’s Autism Media Channel (AMC) and eight other autism organisations have sent a letter formally requesting retraction of the study published in American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in 2004. The Pediatrics article, authored by scientists from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is entitled, "Age at first measles-mumps-rubella vaccination in children with autism and school-matched control subjects: a population-based study in metropolitan Atlanta”. AMC founder, Polly Tommey, said, “Two years ago the public learned from Dr. William Thompson, a senior scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that he and his co-authors found a link between the timing of the MMR vaccine and onset of autism. With the knowledge of the CDC management, they then took deliberate steps to hide these findings. This is scientific fraud plain and simple. As a result, for 10 years, the public, pediatricians worldwide, and policy makers were kept in the dark while tens of thousands of children were needlessly left in harm’s way”. Andrew Wakefield, Del Bigtree and Polly Tommey have been touring the US to promote their popular, but controversial documentary, “Vaxxed”, which reveals details of the scandal.
Stop nasal flu spray says expert panel
An expert panel in the USA has recommended that doctors stop giving AstraZeneca’s FluMist nasal flu spray to patients, after the vaccine “performed dismally for the third straight year”. A CDC flu expert recently said, “We could find no evidence (the spray) was effective”. The Washington Post reported “a federal advisory committee on immunization voted to retract its endorsement of the vaccine after preliminary CDC study results presented to the committee showed it provided no protection from the flu strain that made most people sick last year”. The committee’s recommendations are usually adopted by the government, which sends the guidance out to doctors. FluMist, licensed in 2003, is the only nasal spray vaccine on the market, and is made from a weakened, live flu virus. Vitamin D anyone?
US Feds backtrack on their claim of ‘equal rights’ to raise children
Thankfully, there now appears to be a reversal of an earlier threat of federal overreach when it comes to who is responsible for parenting. The claim had “stirred outrage in many quarters of America when it was first made a few months back”. The earlier ‘Draft Policy Statement on Family Engagement From the Early Years to the Early Grades’, had stated, “It is the position of the departments that all early childhood programs and schools recognize families as equal partners in improving children’s development, learning and wellness across all settings, and over the course of their children’s developmental and educational experiences”. The new version of the statement provides that, “Families are children’s first and most important teachers, advocates, and nurturers. Strong family engagement in early childhood systems and programs is central – not supplemental…”.
Should sports drinks be exempt from sugar tax?
Sports drink manufacturers have formed a lobby group to fight for exemption from the UK’s sugar tax that’s due to be levied in 2018. The tax will mean that drinks containing over 5 mg of sugar per 100ml will be affected. The sports drink sector, however is arguing their beverages are consumed only by those pursuing healthy lifestyles and should therefore not be subject to the tariff that seeks to guide people to healthier drink selections. Read more.