Medical cannabis legalised in UK

The UK Government has confirmed specialist doctors in the UK will be able to prescribe medical cannabis from the 1st November 2018. This follows an urgent review of medicinal cannabis products called by the Home Secretary over the summer. The type of conditions that can be treated will not be limited. Unlike in Canada, which yesterday legalised the recreational use of cannabis (marijuana) among adults of 18 or over, the Home Secretary has been clear that the UK Government’s decision does not pave the way for a similar move in the UK. Predicted to exceed US$31.4 billion by 2021, the global cannabis market is booming. It’s no wonder Big Pharma and Big Tobacco are eager to enter the market to bolster waning profits.

Non-toxic nail polish just got toxic!

With the increasing focus on the harm from toxins in our environment many people are turning to more ‘natural’ alternatives. In the case of nail polish, certain toxic chemicals - DnBP, toluene, and formaldehyde – (which make nail polish easy to apply and hard to chip off) have earned such a bad rap some brands now claim to be “3-Free”. Is this as positive as it sounds though? Unfortunately, a new study published in Environmental Science & Technology suggests not. In some cases, the older chemicals are subject to regrettable substitution when one harmful chemical is replaced with another that’s just as bad or worse. Both the old and substituted chemicals can potentially harm reproductive health, foetal development, and thyroid function. This is extremely concerning given the many women of childbearing age and children who regularly use such products. This study highlights the need for everyone to understand what’s in the personal care products they use in order to reduce their risk of harm.

To supplement or not – with vitamin D

Researchers publishing in Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology have summarily dismissed potential bone health benefits of vitamin D supplements. They concluded “Vitamin D supplementation did not have meaningful effects on fractures, falls or bone mineral density, and future trials are unlikely to alter these conclusions. Therefore, there is little justification for the use of vitamin D supplements to maintain or improve musculoskeletal health and clinical guidelines should reflect these findings”. The conclusion from the study ignores the wealth of other studies and data that suggest supplementation that leads to optimum circulating levels (100-150 nmol/L [40-60 ng/ml]) leads to multiple health benefits, ranging from immune support and bone health through to cancer risk reduction. There is also good evidence that deficiencies in circulating vitamin D are widespread globally. This study highlights the flawed approach of many studies, where nutrients are isolated and tested, often delivered at incorrect dosages (generally too low in the case of vitamin D). The science is far from settled with new studies being published on the benefits of vitamin D regularly. Find out more on the benefits of vitamin D for you and your family, especially as winter approaches in the northern hemisphere.

Celebrity pushback in Monsanto cancer case

Despite a guilty verdict in the case of DeWayne Johnson v Monsanto a judge has declared she may set aside $250 million of the $289 million award ahead of a hearing this week. This has triggered protests from jurors in the trial who have urged the judge not to overturn their decision. At the same time musician Neil Young and his wife, actress Daryl Hannah, have published an open letter declaiming the news. The news bolstered Monsanto parent company Bayer’s, share price, which took a sharp tumble following the original verdict. Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bolanos is due to give her verdict next Monday. If the judgement is overturned not only would it undermine the use of a jury in court cases, it is likely to further strengthen Bayer’s position against other cases waiting to go to court.

The ‘hot’ potato of GMO

A long-time genetic engineer who for many years worked with Monsanto and leading potato processor, JR Simplot, Caius Rommens, has blown the whistle on the very crops he developed. He has revealed the inferior quality and yield of many of the GMO potatoes that he developed as well as the risk of hidden dangers to health and the environment in an interview published in Sustainable Pulse. His full disclosures are contained in his book just published on Amazon entitled "Pandora’s Potatoes: the Worst GMOs". The genetic engineer now admits that GM potatoes are not as healthy as normal potatoes and that the very technology used to ‘improve’ the potatoes could harm pollinating insects which are declining in number globally. Coming from the heart of the GM industry, these admissions urgently highlight why we need to take a stand against what is probably the biggest uncontrolled experiment ever conducted by and in humans.