Lancet hides key data on vitamin C CRISPR’s accuracy questioned CBD safety certification scheme launch Google tracks lockdown movements Covid pandemic encourages local food production Ketogenic diet controls asthma
Why has The Lancet hidden the role of Vitamin C to help Covid patients?
Why do UK authorities continue to ignore the role vitamin C has to play in both treating Covid-19 patients and reducing the general public’s susceptibility to the virus? The recognition of its ability to deal with the common cold has led to the mass purchase of vitamin C from all sources. Vitamin C has already been used as a treatment in China and the US and is currently undergoing trials in both China and Italy. Health journalist Jerome Burne reports that The Lancet, for reasons known only to itself, decided not to publish a letter from Professor Harri Hemilä of the Department of Public Health at the University of Helsinki, who has studied vitamin C for over 40 years, and alert frontline NHS staff to its potential. In our view, this arbitrary decision to withhold a potentially life-saving intervention is both irresponsible and unethical for which The Lancet should be held accountable. For the full story click here.
Genetic modification technique creates many errors
CRISPR is hailed as being the next generation of genetic modification due to its supposed ability to precisely remove and replace sections of DNA. Following reports of unexpected changes to DNA in cattle, a new study has found the technique is far less accurate than previously claimed, resulting in widespread, unintended, off-target damage (termed nicks by the researchers) to DNA. More crucially computer programmes intended to find such errors are unlikely to do so. The researchers are calling for increased safety testing as insertions or deletions of DNA can take place at sites of unintentional nicks leading to changes that have not been planned. The recklessness with which CRISPR is being pushed on an unsuspecting public as a panacea to feed the world is, in our view, irresponsible, particularly given published research finding such errors. Once these kinds of genetic errors are released into the environment the impact could be catastrophic.
CBD Association launch safety certification scheme
The Association for the Cannabinoid Industry has launched a new safety certification programme for CBD manufacturers. The new scheme comes a year before the UK Food Standards Agency’s new safety regulations kick in that will ban all CBD products without a valid novel food authorisation. Comprised of three tiers, it will assist companies in submitting a novel food application in order to gain validation for their products. The move is designed to bring a “…new level of trust to the industry” and allow products that people now rely on to support their health to remain available, legally!
Google uses mobile data to track citizen movements during lockdowns
Google is using location data from billions of mobile devices to track the impact of coronavirus lockdowns across the Globe. The new reports track users in 131 countries. Each report details personal travel related to trips to recreation and retail, grocery and pharmacy shopping along with visits to parks, workplaces, and homes. The data for each Community Mobility Report is broken down by country, region and city. Google states all data is anonymised and that reports will only be available for a limited time, “…so long as public health officials find them useful in their work to stop the spread of COVID-19.” Far from a reassurance this leaves the use of such data open-ended and is yet another step on the path to the removal of basic rights from citizens.
Covid pandemic encourages local food production
With global lockdowns set to impact food supply chains, governments in South East Asia have begun to focus on the provision of locally produced and sourced foods. Such moves are likely to be of benefit in future not only to citizens health by encouraging them to revert to more traditional diets for which they are metabolically adapted, but also the environment as foods suited to being grown in local environments replace industrial agriculture (including GM) that require huge quantities of chemicals, in turn improving the biodiversity of the environment in which they are grown.
Coming together in times of crisis
It doesn’t matter where you’re from, who you are (or were) the current crisis is bringing people together from across the world to help each other. Across Europe hundreds of people from refugee and migrant communities, many who have been forced to flee their homes, are stepping forward to take up key worker roles. From doctors and nurses to delivery drivers and cleaners those most in need are taking up the baton to support efforts to slow the spread of the virus. As people adjust to the current restrictions placed on their lives, ‘community’ has become paramount as everyone mucks in together to help those most at risk. If this pandemic has a silver lining, it will be that the focus remains firmly on communities in order to reverse the increasing trend towards isolation in a tech dominated world. Together we are stronger and together we can heal this planet.
Ketogenic diet controls asthma
Going ‘keto’ can reduce asthma attacks. A new mouse study published in Immunity has found that a ketogenic diet can reduce inflammation of the respiratory tract associated with asthma. The researchers suggest this is because cells turn from burning glucose to fatty acids making them unavailable to the innate lymphoid cells (ILCs). The result, due to the blocking of the production of inflammatory cytokines that would normally be initiated by the ILCs, allows the body to repair itself more effectively and reduce the severity of asthma.