Source: Union of Concened Scientists
UCS's antibiotic resistance project focuses on reducing the use of antibiotics in food animals. Working in concert with environmental, public health, and other organizations, we have pushed the issue of the misuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture into the national spotlight.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are on the rise. Patients once effectively treated for pneumonia, tuberculosis, or ear infections may now have to try three or more antibiotics before they find one that works. And as more bacterial strains develop resistance, more people will die because effective antibiotics are not identified quickly enough or because the bacteria causing the disease are resistant to all available antibiotics.
Vote Against Gene-Altered Food Historic
Published on Thursday, March 4, 2004 by the Madison Capital Times (Wisconsin)
by John Nichols
The most historic voting on Super Tuesday may not have been in the Democratic presidential contest between John Kerry and John Edwards, in which Kerry simply traded his "front-runner" title for that of "nominee-in-waiting."
Indeed, there's a good case to be made that the most historic voting Tuesday took place in northern California's Mendocino County, where voters passed the nation's first ban on the raising of genetically engineered plants and animals.
Opposition to genetic modification of food is widespread in Europe, where public policy debates about how to control it are common. But the debate has been slow to come to the United States, until now.
Vitamin Safety, RDAs and the Assault on Vitamin Freedom
by James South, M.A.
Once again, the right of Americans to purchase high potency nutritional supplements is under attack. The enemies of supplement freedom, such as U.S. Senators Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), and Representatives John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), are pushing bills in Congress (SB 722 and HR 3377) that would empower the FDA to ban almost any supplement, as well as force costly pre-marketing approval and post-marketing surveillance on the vitamin industry that would radically increase supplement prices.1
Indeed, the proposed regulations would be more restrictive than those governing the prescription and over-the-counter drug industries! Underlying this assault on vitamin freedom is the (erroneous) belief that nutritional supplements are extremely dangerous, and that only nutrients with an officially defined DRI (dietary reference intake), at levels no more than 150 percent of the DRI, should be allowed to be sold.
Jacksonville Parents File Claim in Vaccine Court
By Melissa Ross
Original Source: First Coast News
JACKSONVILLE-- "The cover-up from all this just drives me crazy."
It's a massive cover-up, says Jacksonville mother Cindy Hartman. She's referring to the potentially damaging effects of a preservative once commonly used in childhood vaccinations. That preservative, thimerosal, is 49.6 percent mercury, one of the most toxic substances on the planet.
A substance she says left her five-year-old son Trent neurologically impaired, along with damage to his liver, intestines, and immune system.
"Until we started treatment, he was banging his head against the wall, melting down in the grocery store, hitting himself until he was covered with bruises," she says. "After he received his series of shots at one year of age, he completely stopped functioning."
Medical Marijuana Victories
By Ann Harrison, AlterNet
March 2, 2004
While the federal government continues to insist that marijuana is not a medicine, the medical marijuana movement has been pushing back – scoring a recent string of legal victories that will make 2004 a pivotal year for patients and their caregivers.
The latest blow against the federal drug warriors came last week when medical cannabis patient Angel McClary Raich received word that the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had rejected the government's petition for a review of its ruling protecting medical cannabis patients. A three-judge panel of the appellate court decided last December in Raich v. Ashcroft that the arrest and prosecution of medical cannabis patients is unconstitutional as long as they obtain their marijuana without purchasing it or crossing state lines – and if they use the plant medicinally in compliance with state law.
Disorders made to order: pharmaceutical companies have come up with a new strategy to market their drugs: First go out and find a new mental illness, then push the pills to cure it.
Mother Jones, July-August, 2002, by Brendan I. Koerner
Word of the hidden epidemic began spreading in the spring of 2001. Local newscasts around the country reported that as many as 10 million Americans suffered from an unrecognized disease. Viewers were urged to watch for the symptoms: restlessness, fatigue, irritability, muscle tension, nausea, diarrhea, and sweating, among others. Many of the segments featured sound bites from Sonja Burkett, a patient who'd finally received treatment after two years trapped at home by the illness, and from Dr. Jack Gorman, an esteemed psychiatrist at Columbia University. Their testimonials were intercut with peaceful images of a woman playing with a bird, and another woman taking pills.
The RDAs or Recommended Dietary Allowances of vital nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, are being promoted by health authorities as the level of consumption at which we may feel comfortable about having "taken care of our needs" - but is that really the truth?
Developed during the 1940s, the purpose of RDAs was to identify a diet that would allow US soldiers to fight as well as those staying home to survive without getting sick from malnourishment. After the war, dietary allowances became a part of standard health practice in many western countries. Note that there was no intention to assure optimum health, merely the absence of those deficiency diseases that had been identified at the time. Although refinements have taken place over the years, the basic philosophy of RDAs has remained the one implicit in the original purpose.
Legislation proposed in the international food standards body, the Codex Alimentarius and in a regional context, such as the European Food Supplements Directive, the Australia/New Zealand trans-tasman harmonization of health products regulation and a Canadian health products initiative propose to "ensure the safety" of those vitamins and minerals we can add to our daily food. There is talk of limiting, for safety reasons, the available dosage of supplements, so the question becomes quite legitimate: What is safer, a low dose (RDA level) vitamin intake or a high dose (optimised) intake of these nutrients?
Lawsuit: Fake popcorn butter caused disease
Tuesday, March 2, 2004 Posted: 1355 GMT ( 9:55 PM HKT)
JOPLIN, Missouri (AP) -- A jury was selected Monday to hear the claim of an ailing factory worker who says his rare lung disease was caused by the artificial butter vapors at a microwave popcorn plant.
A panel of 12 and four alternates was chosen. Opening statements were set for Tuesday; lawyers for both sides agreed not to speak to the media until the trial is over.
Eric Peoples, 31, who is awaiting a lung transplant, is one of 30 former workers at the Gilster-Mary Lee Corp. plant in Jasper suing two makers of artificial butter flavoring. He was selected to have his case heard first because he is among the sickest.
Scientists doubt animal research
Many animal experiments may be of little benefit to treating human disease, according to experts.
Much of the research is poorly conducted and not thoroughly evaluated, say scientists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
They are now urging a systematic review of all existing animal research before new experiments are carried out.
The findings, published in the British Medical Journal, have boosted animal rights groups.
We would not tolerate haphazard potentially biased reviews of human research so why should we tolerate this for animal research? - Professor Ian Roberts
Thimerosal Concerns for Pets
By Charlene Shirk
First Coast News
JACKSONVILLE, FL -- There are growing concerns over the use of Thimerosal in vaccines for both children and pets. The preservative is used to increase the shelf life of the vaccines in multi-dose vials. The controversy is over the amount of mercury in Thimerosal and questions over its safety.
"Every chemical and every drug does have a toxic side effect at some level. So the less of those types of ingredients you can keep in your system, the healthier you'll be." That's why Lynn Lamoureaux owns Pet World on San Jose Boulevard. It's a holistic store which sells natural and organic pet foods.