Is CRISPR all it’s cracked up to be?

CRISPR is a precise method for editing the genome and provides a beacon of hope for many in their quest to treat genetic disorders. A new study has raised questions about safety of the technique after researchers reported an alarming number of unexpected mutations in mice which had a genetic mutation causing blindness treated using CRISPR. The researchers showed this could be repaired by changing just one DNA ‘letter’ in the mouse genome. Whilst the mutation was corrected, they found large numbers of unexpected DNA changes in areas of the genome. Unsurprisingly, supporters of the technology have been quick to counter the findings and support the safety and efficacy of the technique.

Danger of non-prescription antibiotic use in EU

As the dangers of antibiotic resistance continue to escalate, new research has highlighted the growing problem of non-prescription use of antibiotics. The study has estimated that approximately 7% of all antibiotics used in the EU in 2016 were taken without a prescription. Within the EU, Romania, Greece, Cyprus, Hungary, Italy and Spain were highlighted as having the highest use of non-prescription antibiotics either via pharmacy sales or use of leftover antibiotics from previous prescriptions. The main drivers of this were thought to be a lack of knowledge around antibiotic use in patients and patient pressure on pharmacists/doctors to prescribe. Globally the problem of antibiotic resistance is becoming a major public health problem leading to higher risk of death from previously treatable infections and increased healthcare costs. In light of this, it is essential that the onus be on us as individuals to build and maintain natural immunity rather than continuing to rely on drugs that are either failing or are ineffective.

China approves new GM crops

The Chinese Government has approved the import of two new GMO crops for use in animal feed. It does not, currently permit GM crops to be grown in China due to public concern over health risks. Earlier this month China’s agriculture ministry announced it would try to educate people on the benefits of GMO as it struggles with negative publicity following reports that GM rice has been illegally sold in Chinese supermarkets. Whilst Syngenta’s 5307 insect-resistant corn and Monsanto’s 87427 glyphosate-resistant corn were approved, four other products owned by Monsanto, Dupont and Dow are still awaiting approval. Dupont and Monsanto expressed their disappointment that all six products had not received approval. In a bizarre twist, they are calling for more transparent science based approval processes that are free from political influence for new crop types.

Prince Charles to open Integrated Health Centre

Plans have been announced to open a state of the art health and wellbeing clinic offering a range of complementary therapies at Dumfries House in Ayrshire, Scotland, which is owned by Prince Charles. It is not known which therapies will be offered as yet. Initially only local patients referred by their GP will be able to use the facility for which there will be no charge. Prince Charles has long been known as a supporter of complementary therapies, agricultural and healthcare sustainability.

Call to EU citizens to resist compulsory vaccination

The Swedish arm of the US-based, health freedom non-profit, the National Health Federation, has called on all citizens of the EU not to comply with compulsory vaccinations. In a short open video letter directed at the Italian government, the NHF states that it will join with other organisations to take the Italian government (and any other EU governments who to try to impose mandatory vaccinations) to court. The ANH-Intl also does not support mandatory vaccination, and instead supports the right of individuals to make informed choices about vaccination. If you haven’t already done so please consider signing our petition to stop health authorities from claiming vaccines are ‘safe’.