WHO declares Cannabis oil safe

With Big Pharma increasingly turning its attention to the plant world in its search for new products, news that the World Health Organization (WHO) has endorsed the use of cannabidiol (CBD) is likely to please them. A recommendation from the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) has supported its use for treatment of seizures due to epilepsy and related conditions. They have concluded that “cannabidiol is not likely to be abused or create dependence”. With further endorsement likely in the New Year, pharmaceutical companies no doubt see this as a greenlight to creating new drugs from this contentious plant and locking out the natural health industry.

China promotes TCM

In contrast to Western countries, where traditional medicines are under attack, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is now being actively promoted by the Chinese government as an alternative to expensive Western drugs. Despite concerns from scientists over its safety, the Chinese government has announced draft regulations that will allow Chinese medicines to skip costly and time-consuming trials as long as manufacturers use the same method as classic Chinese formulations. The State Council also plans to increase the number of TCM practitioners and TCM’s share of pharmaceutical sales.

HPV vaccine safety concerns continue

Despite constant reassurances from health authorities for the safety of Gardasil, a new report has identified serious flaws in the clinical safety trials used to authorise the vaccine. This report further underpins the concerns ANH-Intl has raised over this vaccine for many years. As concern around the safety of the HPV vaccine grows around the world, in India its efficacy and cost have been questioned as more pressure is brought to bear on the government to introduce HPV vaccination into their immunisation programme.

In response to the pushback against these concerns, scientists are hitting back with studies predicting a rise in deaths from cervical cancer in women aged over 50 who haven’t been vaccinated and showing ‘virgins’ (individuals who have not engaged in penetrative sex, but have engaged in oral sex) can contract HPV. Both of these studies support our calls for better sex education for children about delaying sexual interactions of any form and for women of all ages to undergo regular cervical smears (as recommended by health authorities). The choice is yours, but our aim is to ensure that you have the information you need to make an informed choice. You can show your concern over vaccine safety claims by signing our petition ‘to stop health authorities claiming vaccines are safe’

Illegal use of pesticides in US

Misuse of an ‘emergency’ provision is allowing use of unapproved harmful pesticides in the US according to a report from the Centre for Biological Diversity. Originally designed to prevent the spread of unexpected outbreaks of crop-damaging pests, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been routinely approving the use of unapproved pesticides despite there being no emergency. The analysis from the Centre for Biological Diversity highlights the abuse of the system, focusing particularly on sulfoxaflor, due to its potential harm to pollinators. With a recent study warning of the loss of abundance and diversity of insects, regulators need to sit up and take notice, before there is a major impact on not just the environment, but our food chain also.