EU set to approve Bayer Monsanto ‘merger from hell’

Reuters have been given a potential tip-off by ‘people in the know’ that the EU is set to approve one of the largest ever agribusiness mergers of all time – despite hard-fought public opposition, including civilians and farmers alike. It would seem that once again the wishes and opinions of ordinary citizens are being ignored in favour of money and power. If true, the convergence of the two companies could spell disaster for fair agricultural competition both continentally and internationally. The whole world now waits with bated breath for the expected confirmation from the EU and to find out just how the merger will affect global food chains.

The most deadly of medicine?

A shocking report from the Policy Research Unit in Economic Evaluation of Health & Care Interventions (EEPRU) has revealed the vast scale and impact of medical errors in the UK’s NHS. The report estimates a stark 237 million errors occur every year in England of which 66 million are errors that potentially cause significant harm. Sadly, 71% happen in primary care, where the majority of NHS medicines are prescribed and dispensed. Costs of these errors range from anywhere between €67.93 to €6.9 million for negligence claims. Even more telling, the estimated costs of “definitely avoidable” adverse drug reactions (ADRs) mount up to as much as £98.5 million per year. Despite the revelation of the ADRs, the rate of errors was found to be comparable to those of the EU and US. Now more than ever we need to be taking control of our own health to ease the burden on mainstream medical facilities and, if nothing else, to avoid the potential for an adverse drug reaction or being a victim of a medical error. There are other alternatives which are less expensive and in many cases much safer and more effective for the long term. We should also be calling upon healthcare authorities to actively work with the huge community of integrative healthcare professionals around the world to promote truly preventative and sustainable systems of healthcare that reduce the rising tide of chronic disease and don’t just increase the coffers of Big Pharma.

Australia set to eradicate cervical cancer?

Health experts in Australia have claimed that cervical cancer could soon be a thing of the past. This follows the publication of research showing a dramatic decline in the rates of HPV infection in vaccinated individuals. Prof Suzanne Garland, Director of the Centre for Women’s Infectious Diseases at the Royal Women’s Hospital, said “We are forecasting that over the next 30-40 years, rates of cervical cancer will drop from around the current 930 cases a year in Australia to just a few. Our national HPV immunisation program for both boys and girls, combined with our cervical cancer population screening, means we are well positioned to be the first country to effectively end this deadly cancer.” Sounds overly optimistic? We think so too. It’s a bold statement to make about possibilities so far in the future, particularly considering the increasing concerns over adverse reactions to the vaccine and the chance of type replacement.

March of the smart meter continues – in stealth mode

The global invasion of smart meters continues in full force. Although mandated in some areas, the majority of householders around the world still have the chance to opt out. However, in a change of tactics, energy companies have altered the way they market these devices in order to increase uptake, selling the supposed energy saving benefits, but neglecting to mention potential health issues - particularly for those with electromagnetic (EMF) hypersensitivity. One company in the UK is now even offering free installation plus a month’s worth of electricity use credited to your account. We can’t get away from EMF exposure, but we can certainly take steps to protect ourselves and we can (in most cases) say no to smart meter installation in our own homes. Definitely time to get informed before making a permanent decision that could impact your family.

Sri Lankan sugar tax hits Big Food’s pocket

In a continuing worldwide trend to deal with the obesity epidemic, the Sri Lankan government launched a tax on sugar sweetened drinks at the end of November 2017. As a result, the overall cost of soft drinks has significantly increased and already appears to be biting at the sales and profits of large soft drink businesses, such as Nestlé Lanka and Ceylon Cold Stores. Will these taxes have the desired effect of curbing both consumption and the rise in obesity though? It’s unlikely. Although consumption may be decreased initially due to increased cost, consumers soon revert to old habits. As businesses reformulate their products to avoid tax, further health problems associated with increased consumption of non-nutritive sweeteners become an issue. There are no shortcuts when it comes to health. You can’t fool your body! The permanent solution is to phase out added sugar from your diet slowly and reconnect with the pleasures of healthy unprocessed foods as your palate comes to life again. See the recommendations on our Food4Health guidelines for more inspiration.

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