Lawmaker calls for mercury-free flu vaccines
Shots' link to autism spurs effort by Pavley

By Timm Herdt, therdt@VenturaCountyStar.com
August 26, 2004
Source: Ventura County Star

SACRAMENTO -- After Assemblywoman Fran Pavley raised her microphone in late May to present her proposal to bar the use of a mercury-based preservative in flu vaccines given to young children and pregnant women, she backed away in lip-biting silence.

Before she finished, her presentation was halted three times by invisible but voice-cracking tears.

Eventually, the measure would pass comfortably, but the votes were at first slow to come. When the decisive vote was cast, an opponent loudly groused on the Assembly floor that it had been "a sympathy vote." Two colleagues quickly confronted the complainer to hush him and tell him what he needed to know: Pavley has an autistic son.

Mercury is a known factor that can inhibit fetal brain development and lead to such neurological diseases as mental retardation and autism.

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[Ndr, and now we will know who Arnold Schwarzenegger is...]

Ban on Mercury in Shots Is Passed
By Myron Levin, Times Staff Writer

CALIFORNIA - The state Assembly on Thursday voted to eliminate a mercury-based preservative from vaccines given to infants and pregnant women and sent the measure to the governor's office, where its fate is uncertain.

The vote was 48 to 21 in favor of the bill, which has drawn nationwide attention amid bitter conflict over possible risks from the chemical thimerosal, which is about half ethyl mercury. Earlier this week, the measure passed the state Senate, 22 to 13, despite opposition from leading vaccine maker Aventis Pasteur Inc.

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Maker of Paxil to Release All Trial Results
By GARDINER HARRIS
Published: August 26, 2004
Source: New York Times

In a settlement that the New York State attorney general said would transform the drug industry, GlaxoSmithKline agreed today to post on its Web site the results of all clinical trials involving its drugs.

"This settlement is transformational in that it will provide doctors and patients access to the clinical testing data necessary to make informed judgments," the attorney general, Eliot Spitzer, said.

While the case involves only GlaxoSmithKline, the British drug maker, Mr. Spitzer predicted other companies would soon follow its lead by posting the results of their own studies online. Eli Lilly, for example, has said it will create a Web site on which it will list the results of clinical tests of approved drugs, including trials of those drugs for new uses. Several other companies, including Johnson & Johnson and Merck, have said they support the concept of a publicly available database that would list trial results.

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Despite Lawsuit Fluoride To Be Added To Escondido Water
Fluoride Opponents Question Safety
August 26, 2004
Source: TheSanDiegoChannel

ESCONDIDO, Calif. -- Fluoride will be added to the Escondido water supply beginning Monday, despite a lawsuit intended to prevent it.

Escondido would be the first city or water district in San Diego County to fluoridate its water under a 1996 state law requiring large suppliers to begin the process when funds are available.

Public health experts say fluoridation, used for decades in much of the country, has been proven safe and effective in preventing tooth decay.

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BMJ  2004;329:307 (7 August), doi:10.1136/bmj.329.7461.307

Secret US report surfaces on antidepressants in children
Jeanne Lenzer
Source: British Medical Journal

New York

Internal memos and a secret government report about the negative effects of antidepressants in children—suppressed by the US Food and Drug Administration—have surfaced publicly.

The Alliance for Human Research Protection, a national network dedicated to ensuring ethical standards in medical research, published the documents on 26 July.

The published documents confirm earlier news accounts that a government expert with the FDA's Office of Drug Safety, Dr Andrew Mosholder, found that children taking antidepressants were twice as likely to become suicidal as children taking placebo. He reportedly urged the agency to follow the lead of British health authorities by warning doctors that the risks of the newer antidepressants, except fluoxetine (???, Ndr), might outweigh the benefits when used in children.

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Boy's antidepressant defense gets national scrutiny

By Jason Foster
Source: The Herald
(Published August 24‚ 2004)

The case of a Chester County teenager accused of killing his grandparents is gaining national attention, including a front page story Monday in The New York Times.

The Times ran a lengthy story detailing the case of Christopher Pittman, who police say shot and killed his grandparents in 2001 at age 12. The story looks at the alleged link between the boy's behavior and an antidepressant he was taking at the time of the killings.

The newspaper cited Pittman's case because it will be among the first to be tried amid a debate over the safety of antidepressant use among children.

Pittman is charged with killing his grandparents, Joe Frank Pittman and Joy Roberts Pittman, in November 2001. Each had been shot in the head while sleeping in their rural Chester County home, and their house was then set on fire. Pittman is being tried as an adult and could face up to life in prison if convicted.

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CSIR warns aginst fluoride in water
August 26, 2004
By Richard Davies
Source: Pretoria News

 SOUTH AFRICA - The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research warned yesterday about plans to add fluoride to South Africa's drinking water, saying it posed a possible health risk to people with HIV and Aids, as well as those suffering from malnutrition.

Briefing Parliament's water affairs portfolio committee, Bettina Genthe, a water analysis expert with Environmentek, a business unit of the CSIR, said recently enacted legislation prescribed the addition of fluoride to water to stop tooth decay.

However, while she recognised this was beneficial when it came to preventing dental caries, it was "not necessarily a good idea".

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Pollutants cause huge rise in brain diseases

Scientists alarmed as number of cases triples in 20 years

Juliette Jowit, environment editor
Sunday August 15, 2004
Source: The Observer

The numbers of sufferers of brain diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and motor neurone disease, have soared across the West in less than 20 years, scientists have discovered.

The alarming rise, which includes figures showing rates of dementia have trebled in men, has been linked to rises in levels of pesticides, industrial effluents, domestic waste, car exhausts and other pollutants, says a report in the journal Public Health.

In the late 1970s, there were around 3,000 deaths a year from these conditions in England and Wales. By the late 1990s, there were 10,000.

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Boy's Murder Case Entangled in Fight Over Antidepressants
By BARRY MEIER
Published: August 23, 2004
Source: New York Times

Christopher Pittman said he remembered everything about that night in late 2001 when he killed his grandparents: the blood, the shotgun blasts, the voices urging him on, even the smoke detectors that screamed as he drove away from their rural South Carolina home after setting it on fire.

"Something kept telling me to do it," he later told a forensic psychiatrist.

Now, Christopher, who was 12 years old at the time of the killings, faces charges of first-degree murder. The decision by a local prosecutor to try him as an adult could send him to prison for life. While prosecutors portray him as a troubled killer, his defenders say the killings occurred for a reason beyond the boy's control - a reaction to the antidepressant Zoloft, a drug he had started taking for depression not long before the slayings.

Such defenses, which have been used before, have rarely succeeded. And most medical experts do not believe there is a link between antidepressants and acts of extreme violence.

But the Pittman case has attracted special attention because it is among the first to arise amid a national debate over the safety of antidepressant use in children and teenagers. Depression is a complex condition, and antidepressants like Zoloft have helped countless children and adults.

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It's Been Ten Years After the Death of Linus Pauling and his 'Cure for Heart Disease' is Still Being Ignored
August 19, 2004
 Source: PrWeb.com

Over ten years ago, the two-time Nobel prize Laureate, Dr Linus Pauling and his associate Dr Matthias Rath, advocated and published a definitive thesis on the root cause, treatment and actual cure for all forms of cardiovascular disease (CVD), including congestive heart failure, heart disease, and stroke. Today, cardiovascular related health problems together comprise fully one half of all causes of death in the US. Pauling's and Rath's brilliant analysis of CVD is compelling and amply supported by numerous epidemiological and clinical studies. His unified theory of CVD constitutes one of the greatest breakthroughs in modern science, but has been almost completely ignored by the mainstream medical establishment, and has received almost no press.

(PRWEB) August 19, 2004 -- It is the 10th anniversary of the death of Linus Pauling and his most controversial scientific conjectures about the health benefits of vitamin C are being confirmed. The weight of evidence may yet force the medical establishment to accept his ideas on nutrition and health.

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