UK deaths continue to drop below 5-year average Will Boris turn Britain totalitarian? Falling childhood vaccination rates Sustainable agriculture - antidote to harmful Govt advice Global fertility rates predicted to plummet Obesity crisis Podcast - Rob Verkerk: a personal story
Total deaths in the UK have continued their drop below the 5-year average for the fourth week in a row. Data for the w/e 10 July shows the largest drop (560) in deaths since the declaration of the pandemic. More and more, questions are being asked about the use of lockdowns and the role they’ve had to play in exacerbating both the disease process and deaths. Our immune systems have evolved sophisticated mechanisms to not only deal with the harmful effects of viruses, they’ve also learned to reap long term benefits from millennia of co-evolution with them. There’s a lot to be said for exposing the healthy population to the virus to reduce virulence and make it safer for all. Using the summer months to build strong, resilient immune systems whilst maintaining basic hygiene practices that we know are effective in dealing with viruses may well mitigate a second wave as the northern hemisphere moves towards the winter months.
Will Boris turn Britain totalitarian having just exited the EU?
Amidst all the fear and uncertainty of the past few months the governor of the Bank of England has quietly revealed its intention to introduce a digital currency. Due to fears over transmission of the virus, cashless systems are being eagerly adopted by citizens with little or no thought for the far-reaching implications on society. Not only does it pave the way for a system implementing digital IDs in which you can no longer hide, refuse to ‘obey’ government diktats and should you decry the party line, your funds could be completely cut off. In less than four months governments around the world have tested the ease by which citizens will surrender their long standing rights and accept authority regardless of the reasoning behind it. Flagrant disregard for citizens’ basic rights appears to be the order of the day now in this new covid era. With increasing numbers of people starting to question the mainstream narrative, governments are upping the ante as the noose of state control tightens ever further on civil liberties that were once enshrined in western democracies. Political expediency dictates the wearing of masks based on flimsy evidence at best, maintaining levels of fear and discomfort in readiness for the much vaunted ‘saviour’, vaccines. Are we perhaps about to see an uprising of conscientious objectors, the likes of which haven’t been seen since the Vietnam war?
Governments panic over falling global childhood vaccination rates
Childhood vaccination rates have declined significantly during the pandemic as parents stopped visiting their doctors for all but the most essential of reasons and vaccination programmes have stalled in developing countries. In the US, as authorities scramble to entice parents back to surgeries to bring children up-to-date with their vaccines, the CDC has published a study designed to reassure parents that their doctors are ready and waiting. In the UK, the health secretary is promising the biggest flu vaccination programme ever seen. Mix this with vaccines designed to combat the coronavirus (potentially using untried new-to-nature technologies with potential to cause serious harms) the potential risks to our health could be staggering.
Sustainable agriculture - antidote to harmful Govt advice
A new modelling study published in The BMJ concludes that official dietary advice given by governments is harming both the environment and people’s health. The authors conclude that food production is responsible for a quarter of emissions driving climate change and millions of premature deaths. The study also found that people eat more red and processed meat than recommended by national or World Health Organization guidelines and that adoption of a ‘planetary health diet’ would lead to large reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and the number of diet-related deaths from cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. Sound familiar? That’s because the lead author of the study, Dr Marco Springmann, is one of the key authors of the EAT Lancet report, which proposes a ‘Planetary Health Diet’. The problem is that the planetary health diet just doesn’t cut it as our in-depth report sets out. While no-one denies the very real threat to the environment and human health from industrialised food production systems there is a very real need to adopt truly sustainable systems of agriculture and food production as well as changing the way we eat to reduce chronic disease burdens on already broken health care systems.
Global fertility rates predicted to plummet
Global fertility rates are projected to fall below 1.7 by the year 2100. Researchers publishing in The Lancet expect the global population to peak at 9.7 billion around 2064 then fall to 8.8 billion by the end of the century. According to the authors of the study the fall will mainly be due to more women being able to decide when, if and how many children they have, rather than traditional issues that impact fertility such as declining sperm counts or obesity. In many respects this is a good thing as it will help to reduce our impact on planetary resources. However, with a sick and ageing population this could be the final nail in the coffin for already terminally ill healthcare systems. This study should act as a wake-up call to governments and healthcare authorities to urgently create sustainable systems of healthcare that focus on health creation to promote a healthy and vibrant older population who can continue to make much needed and meaningful contributions to society and guide the younger population.
Obesity is a key risk factor for developing colorectal cancer. Rising rates of diagnosed obesity have been brought into sharp focus by a new report from US insurer, Blue Cross Blue Shield, showing that rates have doubled between 2014-2018. The need to urgently combat the obesity crisis has been acknowledged by the US 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee which published the Scientific Report of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recently. Instead of using this opportunity to give advice guided by the most up-to-date scientific evidence available, the Committee continues to base its recommendations on weak science aimed at ‘healthy’ Americans. The Nutrition Coalition has been scathing in its criticism around the lack of transparency and verified methodology used to review the science relied on by the Committee along with the blatant exclusion of large amounts of relevant scientific publications. In the UK, health experts have said processed food should be regulated as heavily as tobacco in order to tackle the “massive national challenge” of the obesity crisis threatening to cripple healthcare systems. A new White Paper published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says, “Stark national nutrition challenges were identified. More Americans are sick than are healthy, largely from rising diet-related illnesses.” Until governments make significant changes to their dietary guidelines guided by all current scientific evidence and not corporate interests, obesity rates and levels of associated chronic disease are unlikely to reduce any time soon.
Podcast: Rob Verkerk PhD – a personal story
ANH founder, executive and scientific director, Rob Verkerk PhD, joined Deb Mcleod, host of the Natural Healthcare Network podcast along with co-host Clare Sinton, to talk about his transition from researcher to campaigner and the drivers and decisions that led to him to forming the Alliance for Natural Health International. Their discussion explores Rob’s background from childhood, his journey from environmental campaigner in Australia through to a Masters degree and PhD at Imperial College, London, to the birth of ANH International and what’s behind his key missions of campaigning, activism, research and education. Rob has “…a profound belief most of the problems we have in this world can be solved not with a new technology or a new piece of research or a better application of knowledge. I decided to set up ANH 18 years ago as a vehicle for my life’s work.” Tune in for a fascinating, insightful and wide-ranging discussion, which moves from personal to purpose and the work of ANH International 18 years on.