UK GP calls for mandatory vaccination

A GP in London has called for the British Medical Association (BMA), to consider the advantages and disadvantages of making childhood vaccinations in the UK mandatory. In a highly inflammatory statement she said, “Parents who willingly choose not to vaccinate their children, despite the safe evidence base are displaying negligent behaviours that are in some cases seriously harming the health of children”. The proposed motion also “condemns anti-vaxxers who deny immunisations to their children”. A rapidly growing number of people have concerns about the lack of safety information on vaccines from which to base informed decisions. We have long argued that the benefit/risk profile in mass immunisation programmes (i.e. real life) is at odds with the so-called evidence base that typically refers to the limited clinical trials used for licensing of the vaccines (i.e. experimental conditions controlled by vaccine industry interests). We also argue that there is little or no evidence for claims like “… some cases [of non-vaccination] seriously harming the health of children”. This is among the reasons why ANH-Intl has launched a petition to stop health authorities from claiming vaccines are safe and to ensure safety information is made available to parents prior to vaccination consent being given. Please share widely.

EU votes to limit acrylamides in food

Following consultation, EU Member States voted in favour of new proposals to introduce regulations to reduce levels of acrylamide in food. The new regulation is expected to come into force in Spring 2018. Acrylamide is a known carcinogen. The chemical forms when starchy foods are baked, fried or heated to very high temperatures such as crisps or cereals. What is not generally taken into consideration is that it’s the total accumulation of acrylamide that one is exposed to that counts.

Health Canada updates healthy eating guidelines

Health Canada has taken the first step in updating its healthy eating recommendations. Following consultation they have now published a further consultation asking for comments on the updated recommendations. The proposed guidelines take the form of Guiding Principles with what appears to be a move away from the current plate format used by many. More emphasis has been put on protein rich foods, vegetables and fruit, plain water is recommended as the beverage of choice and a reduction in the consumption of processed foods is encouraged. It is unfortunate that the Guidance still recommends the reduction of saturated fat and the inclusion of pro-inflammatory vegetable oils, but it does include advice to eat nuts, seeds, fatty fish and avocado as sources of good fats. Overall the recommendations are a step in the right direction away from those in other countries such as the UK, USA and Australia that promote diets high in carbohydrates and processed food, whilst being low in fat, protein and plant foods . Read more on the differences between the ANH-Intl Food4Health guidelines and what is currently recommended by the UK and US governments.

Public trust in nutritional research drops

Dutch scientists writing in the European Journal of Nutrition have expressed concern over “public reluctance” to trust nutrition research. Whilst nutrition science has helped raise awareness of the positive interaction between the food we eat and our wellbeing, public trust in the messages from research is waning. The focus on individual nutrients in trials is difficult to translate to everyday food consumption and messages are often conflicting and confusing for the consumer. The article calls for a new way of approaching nutrition science. This includes reducing the reliance on randomised controlled trials (RCT), more flexibility in study design and the inclusion of other disciplines ranging from breeders to patients to create a new, practical, form of nutrition science to help us better understand the interaction between food consumption and its impact on our health. The ANH-Intl Food4Health guidelines have been designed using just such a ‘real world’ approach as well as incorporating evidence from over 100 scientific studies. The result is a powerful guideline for eating that truly supports health and wellbeing.

UK Government to ban microbeads

The UK Government announced plans to ban plastic microbeads in personal care products in September 2016. Following a stakeholder consultation, the ban on the manufacture of rinse-off products with microbeads will come into effect on 1st January 2018 with a further ban on the sale of products containing microbeads from 30th June 2018. Microbeads are tiny round pieces of plastic used for exfoliation and polishing that have been added to personal care products such as facial and body scrubs and toothpaste. They evade filtration processes ending up in the stomachs of marine life and birds and now have been found in the fish on our plates! The current ban will not include ‘leave-on’ products such as cosmetics or sunscreen. The UK decision follows the banning of microbeads in the USA and Canada.