The Cancer Charities
by Steven Ransom
"All right, so I like spending money! But name one other extravagance!"
Max Kaufmann

Martin Walker is the author of a book entitled Dirty Medicine. Walker argues that such is the level of vested interests involved in cancer charity infrastructure, that cancer research charities are part of the problem, not the solution. Writing in the Ecologist, Walker reveals some unacceptable business ties and practices behind the 'acceptable face' of UK cancer charity interests.

"There are over 600 cancer charities in the UK, but the three big players - the heart of the cancer establishment - are the ICRF (Imperial Cancer Research Fund) the CRC (Cancer Research Campaign) and ICR (Institute of Cancer Research). They determine the public perception of what cancer is and what can be done about it.

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Public release date: 5-Feb-2004

Contact: Aimee Midei
molecularpsychiatry@mednet.ucla.edu
310-206-6739
Molecular Psychiatry

A link between thimerosal and the brain: Can vaccines affect central nervous system function?
According to new research from Northeastern University pharmacy professor Richard Deth and colleagues from the University of Nebraska, Tufts, and Johns Hopkins University, there is an apparent link between exposure to certain neurodevelopmental toxins and an increased possibility of developing neurological disorders including autism and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. The research – the first to offer an explanation for possible causes of two increasingly common childhood neurological disorders – will be published in the April 2004 issue of the journal Molecular Psychiatry, and earlier as advance online publication.

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MMR docs' links with drugs firms
Feb 29 2004

By Fionnuala Burke, Sunday Mercury
Source: IC Birmingham.co.uk
Four leading Midland doctors who deemed the controversial MMR vaccine safe have links to the drug giants who make or supply the jab.

Campaigners have called for the General Medical Council to investigate the senior Government advisors, who all hold scientific posts in the Midlands and sat on key committees which declared the vaccine safe.

Professor James Chipman from Birmingham University, a member of the Committee on Safety of Medicines, received research funding from GlaxoSmithKline, suppliers of the MMR vaccine Priorix.

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GENETIC ENGINEERING

Transgenic DNA Found In Conventional Seeds
CHERYL HOGUE
Source: Chemical & Engeneering News

Both the Biotechnology Industry and activists concerned about the spread of bioengineered genes agree that recent findings of transgenic DNA in the seeds of conventional crops point to the need for U.S. government action. But they differ on what that action should be.

In a study released by the Union of Concerned Scientists last week, two laboratories examined seeds of six conventional varieties each of corn, soybeans, and canola. One lab found transgenic DNA in half of the corn, half of the soybeans, and all of the canola seeds. The other lab detected genetically engineered DNA in 83% of all seeds tested.

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The corporate stooges who nobble serious science
The MMR scandal shows a business riddled with conflicts of interest


George Monbiot
Tuesday February 24, 2004
The Guardian

Pity Andrew Wakefield. The doctor who suggested that there might be a link between the MMR vaccine and autism, causing thousands of parents to refuse to let their children have the jab, is being paraded through the nation with the label "cheat" hung round his neck. The General Medical Council is deciding whether to charge him with professional misconduct, MPs have called for an inquiry and the newspapers are tearing him to bits.

There's little doubt that he messed up. Some of his findings have been disproved by further studies and we now know that when he published his paper he failed to reveal that he was taking money from the Legal Aid Board. The board was paying him to discover, on behalf of parents hoping to sue for damages, whether or not the jab was harmful.

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Schizophrenia link to lead petrol

By Richard Black 
BBC science correspondent, in Seattle

Lead was widely used in petrol in the 1960s
US scientists say they have found a link between exposure to lead in the womb and schizophrenia in adulthood.

The discovery is based on a study of blood samples taken from pregnant American women in the 1960s when lead was still widely used in vehicle fuel.

People whose mothers were exposed to high levels of the metal in exhaust fumes were more than twice as likely to develop schizophrenia as adults.

The research was led by Dr Ezra Susser, from Columbia University in New York.

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Tuesday, 17 February, 2004, 15:22 GMT 

Antibiotics link to breast cancer [BBC NEWS]

There is concern about over-use of antibiotics
Women who use a lot of antibiotics may be at increased risk of breast cancer, research suggests.


Scientists followed the progress of more than 10,000 women for an average of 17 years.

Those who took antibiotics for more than 500 days during the study, had twice the risk of those who took none.

The research, led by researchers at Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
  Women should not be deterred from taking antibiotics if their GP thinks it is necessary.  

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Statins - Lipitor draws debate

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February 12, 2004

Lipitor article draws debate

I've had some interesting conversations with community members after the "Life After Lipitor" article was printed on Jan. 29. I am not a doctor and do not want to give medical advice, but I believe that cholesterol-lowering statin drugs can harm some of the people taking them.

Statins are extremely popular drugs and we know that they are being prescribed to millions of people. Last year, more than $13 billion was spent on the two top selling statin drugs. U.S. citizens pay three times as much for medications than people in other first world countries, yet overall we have a shorter life expectancy (see Time magazine, Feb. 4, 2004.) So it is interesting to note that spending more on medications does not necessarily prolong life.

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The Junk Science of George W. Bush, by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
The Nation, February 19, 2004

As Jesuit schoolboys studying world history we learned that Copernicus and Galileo self-censored for many decades their proofs that the earth revolved around the sun and that a less restrained heliocentrist, Giordano Bruno, was burned alive in 1600 for the crime of sound science. With the encouragement of our professor, Father Joyce, we marveled at the capacity of human leaders to corrupt noble institutions. Lust for power had caused the Catholic hierarchy to subvert the church's most central purpose--the search for existential truths.

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Parents: Autism curable
By Yunmi Choi Daily Journal Staff

These days, 8-year-old Sophie Horn is singing songs with a little more melody. It’s a nice change of tune for a child who was diagnosed with autism when she was 2.

For decades, it was commonly thought that autism was an incurable state. Now a growing legion of parents nationwide say their children are making complete recoveries and San Mateo resident Elizabeth Horn — Sophie’s mother — is documenting them in a new film.

It’s a topic loaded with controversy, with no definitive findings about why the number of autism cases has exploded in recent years. Between 1997 and 2002, the number of autism cases jumped 87 percent around the state — a trend that’s being echoed around the world. Doctors and special education officials can’t agree on the causes for the sudden spike, however, let alone whether it’s possible to “cure” an autistic child.

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