Vietnam's war against Agent Orange
By Tom Fawthrop
Cu Chi district, Vietnam
Source: BBC News

The Vietnam War ended in 1975, but the scourge of dioxin contamination from a herbicide known as Agent Orange did not.

"The damage inflicted by Agent Orange is much worse than anybody thought at the end of the war," said Professor Nguyen Trong Nhan, the vice-president of the Vietnam Victims of Agent Orange Association (VAVA).

Between 1962 and 1970, millions of gallons of Agent Orange were sprayed across parts of Vietnam.

Professor Nhan, the former president of the Vietnamese Red Cross, denounced the action as "a massive violation of human rights of the civilian population, and a weapon of mass destruction".

But since the end of the Vietnam War, Washington has denied any moral or legal responsibility for the toxic legacy said to have been caused by Agent Orange in Vietnam.

The unresolved legacy and US denials of responsibility triggered three Vietnamese to take unprecedented legal action in January 2004.

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New Columbia University Study Confirms IOM Vaccine-Autism Report is Wrong
Monday June 14, 9:37 am ET
Source: News Yahoo

WASHINGTON, June 14 /PRNewswire/ -- SafeMinds -- America's leading scientific organization investigating the risks that mercury-containing medical products pose to our children -- applauds the release of a study from Columbia University that demonstrates the link between Thimerosal, a mercury- laden preservative found in some vaccines, and neurodevelopmental injury.

"This study is a perfect example of the scientific findings that the IOM ignored when creating their recent report on the potential of a vaccine-autism link," stated Lyn Redwood, RN, MSN, NP, president of SafeMinds. "The IOM was well aware that studies such as these were due for release, but chose to ignore them-which is why SafeMinds called the IOM's report premature."

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'Gulf War syndrome' probe planned
An independent inquiry is to be held into the plight of thousands of British troops who reportedly suffered ill health after the first Gulf War.
Monday, 14 June, 2004
Source: News BBC

It will be headed by retired judge Lord Lloyd of Berwick, who will question veterans, relatives and doctors.

More than 5,000 British veterans have reported illnesses which they believe may have been caused by vaccines or exposure to chemicals.

soldeir_vaccination
Many soldiers had numerous injections

The government has never acknowledged the existence of Gulf War syndrome.

Lord Lloyd, a former Lord Justice of Appeal, was called upon to head the inquiry by Lord Morris of Manchester, who is honorary parliamentary advisor to the British Legion.

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NBC 5 Investigation Prompts National Health Alert

Experts Say Fluoride Levels Could Cause Sickness
POSTED: 3:59 pm CDT June 11, 2004
Source: nbc5i.com

DALLAS -- Health officials have posted a nationwide alert in response to an NBC 5 investigation that found imported toothpaste at North Texas dollar discount stores.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Bargain Toothpastes Pose Hazard

NBC 5 reporter Ken Kalthoff first broke this story in May, when he found several tubes of foreign toothpaste at eight different dollar discount stores around North Texas.

Initial Report: Some Dollar-Store Bargains Could Prove Costly

Shopping undercover, our NBC 5 crew found that most of the packages look a lot like regular American brands. In fact, customers at the stores told us they would never have noticed the tiny print that indicated the products were really made in places like South Africa.

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Report details medical error horrors
Adverse events have led to 1.1 million added days in hospital per year, researchers say

By ANDRÉ PICARD
PUBLIC HEALTH REPORTER
Thursday, June 10, 2004 - Page A21
Source: The Globe and Mail

Treating people who fall prey to medical errors gobbles up more than 1.1 million hospital days and adds a whopping $750-million to the country's health-care bill each year, a new study suggests.

The news follows on the heels of a groundbreaking study revealing that one in every 13 medical/surgical, acute-care hospital patients suffers from an "adverse event," and that these failings, avoidable and otherwise, kill up to 24,000 Canadians annually.

The new report, released yesterday by the Canadian Institute for Health Information, provides graphic details on the woes befalling patients.

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Kids Often Overuse Headache Medicine -- Study
Thu Jun 10, 2004 05:37 PM ET
Source: Reuters

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Children who suffer frequent headaches may be using far more over-the-counter pain relief medicine than parents realize and risking their health, according to a study released on Thursday.

Researchers who studied 680 children between the ages of six and 18, found more than 20 percent were overusing pain relief medicines, according to the report released at the American Headache Society annual meeting in Vancouver.

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Medical Journal Urges Glaxo to Reveal Trial Results
Thu Jun 10, 2004 07:22 PM ET
Source: Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - A leading medical journal urged drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline on Friday to reveal all its research on the antidepressant Seroxat, which has been the subject of controversy on both sides of the Atlantic because of a possible increased risk of suicidal behavior in young patients.

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer filed a suit last week, claiming Europe's largest drugmaker withheld negative information about treating children and teenagers with the drug, which is also known as paroxetine and sold in the United States under the name Paxil.

Glaxo has denied the allegations and says it had acted responsibly.

But in an editorial, The Lancet medical journal said the company had sponsored at least five studies that tested the drug's efficacy in children but only one, which had mixed results, has been published.

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Safe Water bites back
Friday, 11 June 2004
Source: News Port Macquarie

THE Hastings Safe Water Association is pushing for Hastings Council to reverse its decision to refer fluoridation to the NSW Government.

Publicity officer Don Mackay believes the council should honour the 1991 poll or put the issue to people through another poll.

"It wasn't the people who raised putting fluoride in (the water), it was the health bureaucrats," he said.

Mr Mackay stands firm on the need for more dental therapists and education about good dental hygiene.

"It's the education of the kids, what they eat and the cleaning of their teeth that's important."

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Exposing government lies about GM foods
Seeds of Deception: Exposing industry and government lies about the safety of the genetically engineered foods you're eating

By Jeffery M. Smith
Scribe Publications, 2004
292 pages, $30 (pb)

REVIEWED BY PHIL SHANNON
Source: Green Left

Dr Arpad Pusztai wasn't expecting any problems when he fed his new, genetically engineered potato to the laboratory rats. Yet, after only 10 days of eating the wonder spud, which now produced its own pesticide, the rats suffered from damaged immune systems and organs.

The pesticide wasn't the problem because rats (and humans) have been eating it in perfect safety in foods where it naturally occurs. The problem must have been due to the process of genetic engineering itself. It was the biggest shock of Dr Pusztai's life.

A bigger shock followed soon afterwards. A refugee from Stalinist Hungary, Pusztai got a taste of state authoritarianism British government-style and was suspended from his job, had his research findings confiscated, and was silenced under threat of being sued, on the morning after he had voiced his concerns in a program of the BBC's World In Action in August 1998.

The Rowett Institute in Scotland, where Pusztai worked, had received a British government grant in 1995 to create a UK standard for testing the safety of genetically modified (GM) foods.

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Disease diagnosis doesn't deter diver
By Vicki Michaelis, USA TODAY
Posted 6/10/2004 10:03 PM

ST. PETERS, Mo. — Justin Dumais was just so tired. Seven months ago, he hardly could muster the energy for a shower, let alone for the 10-meter dives he had been practicing more than half his life.

Initially, he thought he was overtraining. After two weeks, he went to his doctor, who detected a high white-blood-cell count and sent him to a specialist. The diagnosis: Graves' disease, which causes overproduction of thyroid hormone.

Dumais, headed to the Athens Olympics in August after winning the 3-meter synchronized event at this week's U.S. trials, was perplexed.

The disease most often strikes middle-aged women.

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