People 1, Monsanto 0…

In a precedent-setting case the People have won the day over Big Corp, aka. Monsanto, “The world’s most evil corporation”. In February, following a relentless push to ban the controversial herbicide glyphosate, Monsanto issued a subpoena against grassroots campaign NGO, Avaaz, demanding they hand over “every private email, note or records” they hold in regard to the company. Expecting the worst against the goliath agro-tycoon, Avaaz faced Monsanto in court last Friday (7th September). In a rare step, however, the case against Monsanto was thrown out of court as the judge said the subpoena would have a “tremendous chilling” effect and that “no member would want to have their privacy and their activity known". The judge then went on to give Monsanto a lecture on democracy and free speech. Once again Monsanto has received a bloody nose at the hands of the people showing that together we are stronger and such bullying tactics are inappropriate and unjust. Hopefully Monsanto’s reign of terror is entering its twilight.

Prevention not cure - the NHS long-term plan

Public Health England (PHE) has published a new Health Profile for England this week detailing the state of the nation’s health. The report acknowledges that, although people are living longer, many suffer painful or disabling conditions. The report focuses on three areas: smoking prevention, reduction of cardiovascular disease and tackling obesity. Noting the problems facing the NHS, Duncan Selbie, PHE chief executive said, “As we work to develop the NHS long term plan, we must set the ambition high. If done right, with prevention as its centrepiece, the payoff of a healthier society and more sustainable NHS will be huge”. But, will this be enough? We wholeheartedly believe that sustainability principles can, and should, be applied to health, which is why we have spent years developing our blueprint for health system sustainability. Due out very soon, watch this space!

Enhanced flu vaccine for over 65’s

With ‘flu season’ fast approaching, the marketing and spin campaign for an enhanced flu vaccine for over 65’s has begun in earnest. Of major concern is that Fluad contains an adjuvant called squalene, which is included in order to promote a stronger immune reaction. By way of justification for this inclusion, is the admission that last year’s standard flu vaccine had an efficacy of only 10%. Big Pharma perpetuates the belief that a stronger immune reaction will lead to greater effectiveness, however, this isn’t necessarily the case. Older people often have reduced immune function and can be more frail. How they will be affected by this new beefed up vaccine is pretty much an experiment. In order to make an informed decision about whether or not the new vaccine is for you, remember to ask for the patient information leaflet before getting the jab.

Do mobile phones cause cancer?

Two recent rat studies conclude that there is in fact a link between mobile phone radiation and cancer. However, The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) was quick to refute the results, stating that they should not be used to change current exposure standards. In a recently published note, the ICNIRP declared that the studies, “…do not provide a consistent, reliable and generalizable body of evidence.” With the introduction of 5G networks and their hitherto lack of health safety testing looming, now is the perfect time to reassess the possible risks associated with such technologies to protect the health of not just people, but animals and plants also.

Antidepressants promote antibiotic-resistant superbug!

Antibiotic resistance poses a major risk to public health globally. A new study has unearthed findings that a key ingredient found widely in serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants, namely the drug Fluoxetine, is promoting antibiotic resistant. The study focused on the superbug Escherichia coli K12 that has spread through hospitals across the world. Around 700,000 people are dying each year from antibiotic resistant diseases, with this figure expected to reach 10 million by 2050 unless global action is taken immediately. To find out more about how to care for yourself using natural and sustainable approaches that work with, instead of against, nature follow our soon-to-launch “Blueprint for health system sustainability”.

Bees not needed for nature-independent farming

With concerns over the dwindling number of bees and other pollinators rising globally, some groups are frantically looking for ways to replace them with alternative methods of pollination. In Australia, scientists have developed six new varieties of self-fertilising almond trees that don’t require insect pollination, whilst worldwide, the race is on to develop the ultimate ‘robo-bee’. Despite what might be seen as scientific ingenuity, these attempts do not deal with the underlying cause of the demise of pollinators – which are essential to life on this planet. Man will never be able to successfully mimic nature, which is why humans are literally destroying the planet. Action to adopt sustainable agricultural systems is essential if we are to save not just our pollinators, but the very environment we rely on for life.

Philippines move to boost HPV vaccine uptake

The Philippines are the latest to provide another notch in the belt for Big Pharma as the Philippine Department of Health (DOH), Malaybalay City, has changed its campaign approach to increase uptake of HPV vaccine among adolescent girls. Whereas previously the onus was on the individual to get immunised within their community, the vaccination programme will now move into schools with the aim of targeting 700,000 girls. Once again profit trumps safety and public health. At ANH-Intl we advocate informed choice when it comes to any vaccinations especially one as controversial as HPV vaccine.