Medical cannabis to be legalised in the UK

Specialist doctors in the UK will be able to legally prescribe cannabis-derived medicinal products by the autumn, says UK Home Secretary, Sajid Javid. Following pressure from high-profile cases involving children with severe epilepsy being denied access to cannabis oil, the Government has had to respond. Whilst other forms of cannabis will remain illegal, an expert panel has reviewed the situation and found that medical cannabis will help patients with an exceptional clinical need and therefore the law is changing accordingly. The decision has been welcomed by campaigners and health experts, including the Royal College of Nursing.

US agency not monitoring vaccine safety

Under the 1986 US National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act pharmaceutical companies cannot be sued for adverse events linked to vaccines in the US. As part of this Act, the Health and Human Services department (HHS) was formed to be the responsible authority for ensuring the safety of vaccines. In 2017, the Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN) filed a Freedom of Information Act request asking for sight of the reports made by HHS, as stipulated in the Act on vaccine safety, over the last 30 years. Having received no response ICAN along with Robert F. Kennedy Jr recently filed a lawsuit requesting the information. Shockingly, as a result of this lawsuit HHS have been forced to admit that they have never filed a single vaccine safety report, although they have taken another requirement under the Act to promote vaccination very seriously. This is clear proof why parents need to make their own informed choices about vaccination rather than relying on the authorities.

Investigating ‘fake science’

First there was ‘fake news’, now there’s ‘fake science’. An investigation facilitated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) was initiated to look into the rise in the use of open access journals, increasingly referred to as ‘pseudo journals’. The investigation focused on a lack of quality control around what is published. Whilst criticisms may be levied, the fact that science is being made more accessible and brought out from behind paywalls, is a positive that shouldn’t be overlooked. The onus is on the editorial teams to maintain standards in line with impact factors.

EU rules CRISPR is a GMO

CRISPR has been much hyped in recent years as a way of ‘editing’ out unwanted genetic traits in plants, animals and even humans potentially replacing current GMO techniques. However, scientists have learned the technique can have unexpected, disastrous consequences. While the US government have been quietly approving plants edited using this method, the EU has just ruled that CRISPR modified organisms are GMOs and must undergo the same level of testing as existing GMOs.

HPV jab for UK boys

Following revision of their model, the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has recommended extending the HPV vaccination programme to boys in the UK. The Welsh and Scottish Government’s have both indicated they will be extending their programmes. A wide range of organisations, including Jo’s cervical trust, Cancer research UK and the British Medical Association (BMA) have rushed to welcome the announcement, despite ongoing, long-term, concerns over the vaccine’s safety. The move to extend the programme to boys in the UK was initiated by the Throat Cancer Foundation. It’s worth noting that Ian Frazer, creator of the HPV vaccine, is part of the charity’s clinical and scientific advisory team . Once again, it really is a case of following the money. However, parents of boys are at least in a position where there is a lot more independent information garnered from 10-12 years (UK and US respectively) of vaccinating girls, from which to come to an informed decision about whether or not to vaccinate their sons.

Glyphosate ban lifted in Sri Lanka

The government of Sri Lanka has rescinded an order banning glyphosate use made in 2015 over fears it was the cause of kidney disease in the region. The change in policy has come about following pressure from the tea industry who claim the ban has caused huge crop losses. The new approval applies only to tea and rubber currently, even though the ban has been lifted across the board. New guidance on the further use of glyphosate is yet to be issued.

Memory damage to children from EMFs

Children are being exposed to ever increasing levels of EMF radiation from extended use of and exposure to a dazzling array of electronic devices as the Internet of Things explodes. A new study conducted in Switzerland involving some 700 young adults over a one-year period, has shown the adverse effects radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF -EMF) can have on memory performance in adolescents. The most potent exposure was found to be when a mobile phone was used on the right side of the head for extended lengths of time. Read more on the dangers of EMFs and what you can do to protect yourself and your family.