Maize genetically modified by Monsanto Corp. has been shown in a feeding study to have resulted in major lesions in important organs such as kidneys and liver and changes in blood parameters. Enough to disqualify the variety from ever being approved for human consumption, one would think.

Not so - some national health authorities and the European Food Safety Agency have allowed Monsanto to keep the information secret. The cover-up and the efforts of the British gene watchdog group GM Free Cymru to get the information released to the public are the subject of this article on the GM WATCH site.

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Agriculture has been suffering a fatal flaw since the discovery by Justus von Liebig (1803-73), of artificial nitrogen-based fertilizers. Every year, the nutrient minerals in our foods have becoming more and more scarse - the plants simply cannot take them up in sufficient quantity and in the broad spectrum required for our health.

Sustainability of agricultural practice is becoming a critical issue. Soils are degraded with use and much of the substance gets lost through wind and rain - washed into the ocean. Poisons used to control weeds and "pests" are having unintended side effects and end up on our tables.

The Independent Science Panel is proposing to break with the von Liebig tradition of artificial fertilization and degradation. Here is their call to action...

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Mirapex, a drug sold for treatment of Parkinson's disease and taken by millions of people in the US has been cited in two separate legal actions as causing patients to inexplicably start gambling and even develop an addiction.

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According to a recent article in the Times, titled Deaths linked to heart drugs UK government figures show that at least 92 deaths have been caused by statin drugs developed to lower cholesterol. The death toll is almost certainly higher because doctors are reluctant to blame drugs they prescribe for harming patients.

Statin drugs are known to cause atrocious muscle pains in users, sometimes resulting in fatal dissolution of the muscle tissue and death from kidney overload, as the debris clogs up that organ's filtering tubules and toxicity becomes overwhelming. The muscle problems are described as very rare but they may be much more common than the drug makers admit. Just scan the comments at the end of these articles (here) (here) and (here) and you'll get the idea.

A safety review is overdue, say the experts...

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Obesity Epidemic Caused by Monosodium Glutamate?

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We hear there is an epidemic of obesity, especially in the United States where, according to this page on the Centers for Disease Control's website, a 1999–2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showed that "an estimated 65 percent of U.S. adults are either overweight or obese."

While most of the blame for obesity must by necessity be given to individual food consumption patterns, there are some substances such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), which directly influence the trend towards obesity by an addictive reaction to foods that contain it.

The U.S. health authorities have long maintained that monosodium glutamate, which like aspartame is called an excitotoxin by some, is perfectly safe and a legitimate constituent of our food supply. Yet when medical researchers need obese mice to test drugs, they are made so by giving them - you guessed it - monosodium glutamate!

As the obesity epidemic spreads, the FDA targets natural slimming aids for elimination. Ephedra, a herb used in some slimming products, was taken off the market by the FDA and other substances are being investigated. Yet MSG continues to be added to most packaged foods.

Are the American people being pushed in the direction of obesity by an irrational food control policy? John Erb certainly thinks so. His book "The Slow Poisoning of America" discusses the MSG-obesity connection.

Thanks to Tjarko Holtjer for the following message:

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Los Angeles Times
May 6, 2005
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Times Staff Writer

Merck & Co. ordered its representatives not to talk to doctors about studies that showed the painkiller could cause heart attacks.

WASHINGTON — Four years ago, as evidence mounted that Merck's blockbuster painkiller Vioxx could cause heart attacks, the company ordered its sales force not to discuss the emerging data with doctors, but instead to paint a reassuring picture of minimal risks, according to documents released Thursday at a congressional hearing.

The documents open a window into the supercharged world of drug company marketing — where gestures as small as a handshake were scripted to boost sales.

"This sales force is given extraordinary training so that it can capitalize on virtually every interaction with doctors," Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Los Angeles) said of Merck's 3,000 sales representatives. "Yet when it comes to the one thing doctors most needed to know about Vioxx — its health risks — Merck's answer seems to be disinformation and censorship."

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BBC News
Published: 2005/05/04 07:37:22 GMT

Children who were under performing in class have seen an improvement in concentration and behaviour after taking a cocktail of natural oils.

More than 120 children aged between six and 12 took part in trials, funded by Durham County Council.

Half used a combination of omega-3 fish oil and omega-6 evening primrose oil and half an olive oil placebo.

The research showed children's learning and behaviour improved significantly when taking the natural fatty acids.

The children were tested at the outset and again after three months for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms, co-ordination and short term memory.

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Microwave ovens have been accused of changing the properties of our foods by violently shaking water-containing molecules, altering the physical properties of what we eat. The scientist first blowing the whistle on these "modern cooking method" was silenced by industry initiated legal action.

It seems that, despite health concerns, microwaves are becoming ubiquitous. Not only are they used in the transmission through networks of antennas, of television programming, they are also what radar runs on. Not enough, we recently have launched into a planet-spanning communication technology using "packets" of information riding on microwaves, to transmit our voice on the mobile phone network. Amy Worthington examined the question and wrote about it in the Idaho Observer two years ago.

A recent message from someone who says he has worked in radar systems adds a personal perspective tending to confirm the data from others...

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Reuters
Mon May 2, 2005 06:47 PM ET
By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Women who develop thick waists and high cholesterol at menopause may be at higher risk of heart disease because they also have more damage to their arteries, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.

They believe their findings may help explain why older women who took hormone replacement therapy had higher rates of heart attacks and strokes. They also may offer the possibility that younger women can safely take HRT if they want to.

Menopausal women who had more abdominal fat and higher cholesterol, already linked with heart disease, also appeared to be experiencing more oxidative stress, Kerrie Moreau of the University of Colorado at Boulder and colleagues reported.

Both circumstances are known to be linked with heart disease but this is the first time the two have been specifically linked to one another, Moreau said in a telephone interview.

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Vitamin C protects unborn babies

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Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/05/02 23:01:30 GMT
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/health/4498641.stm


Vitamin C could counteract some of the harmful effects that smoking during pregnancy can have on unborn babies, scientists say.

High doses of the vitamin protected against nicotine-associated damage in monkeys, the Oregon Health & Science University team found.

Expert advice is still to quit smoking during, and ideally before, pregnancy.

The latest research findings appear in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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