Ban Smart Meters

The global rollout of smart meters continues with the message that consumers could benefit from saving up to 2% of their energy IF they change the way we use energy. Germany has rejected smart meters saying they are not saving money. However, with all the talk about financial savings or not, what is not being discussed are the major health concerns related to the use of these meters from the radiation they emit. Once again the public is being asked to sign up to a course of action without being given the full facts — without which it’s impossible to make an informed decision. Inform yourself about why Smart Meters may not be the best option for you and your family. There is a petition running to stop the roll out in the UK. For more information on the dangers of Electro-Magnetic Radiation (EMF) visit our campaign page.

10 minute GP appointments are not enough

This week the BBC have reported on the possibility of charging for missed GP appointments and questioning the effectiveness of the standard 10 minute GP consultation. An Ipsos Mori poll conducted for the BBC found that 7 in 10 people (of the 1,033 adults polled) supported charging for missed appointments, whilst 51% said they were against paying for guaranteed appointments. The Royal College of GP's have said they are against charging fees of any sort as, in its opinion, it would result in a two-tier system - those who can pay and those who can't. In the UK, the average GP consultation time is 10 minutes, often less, which is thought to be the shortest in the developed world (based on research carried out by the charity The Health Foundation). Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GP's stated that, “GPs want to spend more time with our patients. We want the time to talk through all the different things that might be making a patient ill, and come up with a solid treatment plan in the best interests of their long term health – that’s what GPs do. But with so many patients living with multiple conditions, affecting both physical and mental health, this simply isn’t possible in 10 minutes". As populations age and the full weight of the combination of toxic environments and poor diets takes their toll, the pressure on the NHS is going to increase to a point where it can no longer cope. It’s also important to remember the power of preventative healthcare – we truly do hold our futures in our hands. Future-proofing the NHS is as much about preventative measures, as it is about managing face-to-face time with doctors and costs. The need to build a sustainable system of healthcare can be the only answer.

Shocking vaccine safety discoveries

A new study carried out by Italian researchers, which examined 44 samples of 30 different vaccines found all samples tested contained contaminants. The study used screening technology that is far more sensitive than that used in vaccine manufacturing allowing the researchers to detect the presence of micro and nano sized inorganic particles that should not have been there. The scientists were reportedly “…baffled by their discoveries which included single particles and aggregates of organic debris including red cells of human or possibly animal origin and metals including lead, tungsten, gold and chromium, that have been linked to autoimmune disease and leukaemia”. ANH-Intl have long campaigned for informed choice with regard to vaccines to ensure that parents have a full education on the pros and cons before they make irreversible decisions for their children.

New vaccine guidelines for adults in the US

Hot on the heels of the news about contaminants in vaccines, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released the 2017 adult immunisation schedule, which includes updated guidelines for Hepatitis, Flu (injection only due to low effectiveness of the nasal spray), Meningitis and HPV amongst them. With an ever-increasing vaccine burden placed on children it would seem that the pharmaceutical companies are now seeking to exploit the adult 'market' as well.

GM in the News

  • Rothamstead Research has recently been granted permission from the UK’s Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to carry out field trials of a new ‘super yield’ genetically modified (GM) wheat. The plants have been developed in collaboration with researchers at the Universities of Essex and Lancaster. The new strain is purported to photosynthesise more efficiently, resulting in a higher yield. Previous attempts to improve wheat with GM technology have not yet proved successful, say Rothamstead Research. Read more about the impacts of GM crops.
  • In Mexico last week courts upheld a 2013 ruling that temporarily banned all genetically modified corn due to concerns over its environmental impact. The ‘temporary’ ban is now likely to be ongoing for years as Monsanto engage in a slow-moving legal battle, attempting to persuade the court and the consumer that their seed is safe. Laura Tamayo, Monsanto’s regional corporate director, insists, “We made a mistake - for 18 years we didn’t explain (to the consumer) what is biotechnology, what’s it for and why it’s safe”. Whichever new marketing strategy Monsanto employs, it’s not likely to make much difference given the deep sense of distrust of GM that many people have of the technology.
  • The US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has deregulated a GM grass. Creeping Bentgrass is causing havoc in Oregon and Idaho, threatening both the environment and the livelihood of nearby farmers. The Roundup resistant grass was developed by Scotts Miracle-Gro Co in collaboration with Monsanto and ever since the company has spent millions trying and failing to control the weed. This deregulation means Scotts will no longer be required by law to pay for the clean-up of the plant after 2017 and unbelievably they would also be free to bring the grass to market if they wished, although the company has promised not to do so.

More information on GM as a technology can be found in our Say No to GM! Campaign pages.

Acupuncture to boosts effectiveness of care for chronic pain and depression

Research has found that using acupuncture in conjunction with standard medical treatment, to treat chronic pain can boost the effectiveness of standard treatments. The trials involved approximately 18,000 patients who were compared to patients who received standard medical care only. The results showed that using acupuncture alongside standard medical treatment significantly reduced the pain experienced. The use of acupuncture and counselling was also shown to significantly reduce the severity of depression in 755 patients with benefits being sustained for up to 12 months following treatment.

High fibre diet improves gut microbiome and reduces risk of colon cancer

New research published in JAMA Oncology has provided yet more evidence of the link between what we eat, our gut bacteria (microbiome) and its influence on our risk of developing colorectal cancer. The study links increased levels of the bacteria F. nucleatum in the gut of people eating a western style diet, to an increased risk of cancer. Using data from the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow Up Study the researchers included 1,019 cases of colorectal cancer where data was available on F. nucleatum. They found that those who ate a diet high in dietary fibre were at lower risk of developing F. nucleatum positive cancer, but not F. nucleatum negative cancer, which supports the role of the gut microbiome in reducing the risk of developing colorectal cancer. Find out more on the positive health effects of a diet rich in fibre via our Food4Health guidelines.