Bayer’s woes multiply with Dicamba case

Bayer is now fighting court cases against its products on multiple fronts. In a new US court case a peach farmer has been awarded $265 million after he blamed Dicamba drift from a neighbouring farm for destroying his orchards. The trial also included Bayer’s rival BASF SE, but the focus is set to be on Bayer as it seeks to settle thousands of other lawsuits alleging Roundup causes cancer. Both companies have said they will appeal the decision. Bayer is also facing thousands of additional lawsuits over its Essure contraception device and waterway contamination caused by Monsanto. As Bayer continues to wriggle like a worm on the legal hook, we hope that it’s nearing the end of all the backroom deals and ‘favours’ from regulatory agencies and the US Government.

Can vitamin C treat coronavirus?

Amongst the many treatments being trialled to treat coronavirus, a trial of IV vitamin C is underway in China. The trial is being conducted at Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University in China where it will be administered to participants for seven days. Use of high dose vitamin C has been found to be effective in the treatment of viral infections such as the flu and pneumonia. An essential nutrient for effective functioning of our immune system, a lack of vitamin C has long been known to reduce our ability to resist viruses. Vitamin C deficiency is becoming common globally as consumption of ultra-processed food which is low in micronutrients increases. It remains to be seen how effective vitamin C will be in the treatment of coronavirus, but unlike many of the current anti-viral treatments in use it’s likely to be of more benefit than harm to patients.

Internet watchdog funded by Big Pharma

Not content with Big Tech’s efforts to censor natural health, there’s a new player on the block which is aiming to detect and warn consumers of ‘fake’ news online. Quietly launched in 2017, NewsGuard is a self-appointed internet watchdog that uses a browser plugin to rate websites using a traffic light system. Much of its funding has come from Publicis Media, a global communications group working with Big Pharma companies. The rating system relies entirely on a team of journalists, which immediately brings bias to the process, let alone raising questions over their ability to process scientific, medical and health information. Currently a browser add-on, it’s looking to the Big Tech companies to integrate its service adding yet another layer of censorship driven by large corporates like Pharma, that wish to see natural health information relegated to the margins of the Internet.

New EFSA report upholds 8mg/d for astaxanthin

Astaxanthin (ATX) is a powerful red/pink antioxidant derived from microalgae, that makes flamingos pink and salmon red. It’s widely used in food supplements and in the food and feed industry and is acknowledged for being a potent antioxidant with a plethora of health benefits for joints, skin, heart health and endurance exercise. Although ATX has been allowed in food supplements at a maximum dose of 8 mg/day since 1995, a subsequent novel food application in 2014 created confusion over whether that dose was in fact two-fold over the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI). The recent safety report from EFSA is good news for the industry. Instead of slashing the maximum dose, EFSA has upheld that 8 mg/d of ATX produced from Haematococcus pluvialis in food supplements, in addition to food sources, is safe for adults. However, despite a wealth of science to the contrary, ATX has 15 non-authorised health claims meaning that all health benefit claims for ATX products are effectively banned. But at least EU citizens will continue to be able to source ATX containing products with a meaningful dose and can look outside of Europe for information on its many benefits.

Diabetes in young American’s skyrocketing

Rates of type 2 diabetes (T2D) are soaring in the US amongst young people aged under 20. In a new analysis from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cases of T2D rose by an astonishing 53% between 2002-2015. Early development of T2D puts children at much higher risk of developing other chronic diseases early on in life. T2D doesn’t need to lead to a life sentence of ill health. Evidence now shows it can be put into remission without the need for drugs using diet and lifestyle changes. Check out our Obesity Fix videos (Part 1 and Part 2) for more information on how to fix your own, as well as your children’s, metabolism to reduce the risk of developing serious disease.

How secure is your health data?

new policy paper published in Science, warns health tech users that companies can change their terms and conditions at very short notice leaving consumers with little control over how their personal data is used. Unlike health care providers in the US, such companies are not subject to the same laws and regulations governing the use of intimate, personal health data. There are many advantages and disadvantages to the rise in digital health options of which we should all be aware. Debate continues over how data collected should be used, as well as who owns and controls it. Bottom line is that the onus is on us, the citizen, to keep on top of how our health data is being used by tech companies as any existing laws currently offer insufficient protection.