Researchers recommend focus on prevention not cure for cancer

Ludwig Cancer Research and Cancer Research UK have just released a joint report calling for more focus on cancer prevention than seeking a cure. The report emanates from information discussed and disseminated at the inaugural International Cancer Prevention and Nutrition Conference in December 2018. Researchers emphasised the need to better understand modifiable risk factors such as nutrition, exercise, obesity and metabolic dysfunction in relation to cancer development. According to figures from Cancer Research UK being overweight or obese is now the 2nd biggest cause of cancer and maintaining a healthy weight reduces the risk of developing 13 difference types of cancer. True prevention continues to take a back seat as politicians look for quick fixes to promote their re-election, whilst Big Pharma seeks blockbuster drugs to maintain their profits. We couldn’t agree more with the tenet of the report, however, we wait to see how this translates to practical action. Cancer is one of the biggest cash cows for Pharma and the big cancer charities. The continuation of their business model relies on the continuation of the disease, not prevention

EFSA recommends pesticide ban

The current authorisation for the pesticide chlorpyrifos in the EU expires in January 2020. In a surprise move the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has said chlorpyrifos does not meet the required criteria for licence renewal to allow its future use in the EU. How this will affect the European Commission’s evaluation of the pesticide and its future licencing is not yet known. In use since the mid 1960’s, the organophosphate has been linked to multiple health issues including harm to children’s brain development, Parkinson’s disease, increased risk of autism and endocrine system disruption. Arguments continue over its registration in the US with a Court order ban apparently being ignored by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Over 212,000 citizens have signed a petition calling for the banning of chlorpyrifos. And a new campaign has been launched in the EU to “stop the collapse of nature and to save rural livelihoods in the EU”. The Save Bees and Farmers campaign calls for the phasing out of pesticides, restoration of biodiversity and support for farmers to transform food and farming systems to more sustainable methods.

Superweeds beat pesticides

More and more superweeds are evolving resistance to existing pesticides. Failing to find chemical methods to combat the problem, employees from BASF and FMC have reportedly recommended that farmers adopt agro-ecological methods such as crop rotation and use of cover crops to combat resistant superweeds. Such practices have always been the domain of organic and agro-ecological farming methods, but is Big Ag finally conceding that natural is best? We can only hope that their continued failure to come up with new pesticides gives both people and planet an environmentally positive pause.

CVD mortality rates increase

Deaths from cardiovascular disease (CVD) related causes are no longer declining in developed countries and have even increased in some. Researchers from the University of Melbourne publishing in the International Journal of Epidemiology warn the long-term decline in CVD mortality rates for those aged 35 to 74 years in developed nations may be at an end, with a reversal of trends in 12 out of the 23 countries studied. The researchers attributed increasingly high levels of obesity and poor diet to the rapid reversal of the previous downward trend in CVD mortality. Continued promotion of outdated government guidelines as discussed in our lead article this week, is clearly failing citizens and their health. The only option is radical change to the way we think about and manage our health. We must focus on health creation, not disease management.

Smart meters to be removed in France

A court in France has ordered the removal of 13 Linky smart meters after they were linked to a variety of health issues. Of 121 cases considered by the tribunal de grand instance de Tours, 108 were dismissed with the remaining 13 being accepted. The lawyer leading the action is hoping to bring more cases against the installation of smart meters in France. Earlier in the year residents in Blagnac, a French village were given legal permission to refuse installation of smart meters in their homes. For further information and resources on the potential health issues surrounding smart-meters visit Stop Smart Meters! UK, Stop Smart Meters! US, Stop Smart Meters Australia. Remember a smart-meter doesn’t reduce energy use, you can do that by simply changing your daily habits. You don’t need a smart-meter!