In the mid-1940s, cities began adding fluoride to municipal water systems based on the belief that fluoride was the answer to fighting tooth decay among the masses. Over sixty years later, that myth is still held as dogma and fluoride is still pumped into most water supplies that consumers drink every day in the US and many other countries around the world. In 1969, when the WHO (World Health Organization) endorsed adding fluoride to water supplies, most countries began fluoridating drinking water. However, there is a wealth of data that supports the argument that fluoride is doing more harm in drinking water than good. Even when the harmful effects of this process were revealed in the 1970s, many countries, including the US continued with the practice. However, many European countries decided that the health risks were too great and discontinued their water fluoridation programs. (1)
Browsing public health
In a 1972 CIA document titled, “Intelligence Implications of Disease” the 1966-1967 meningitis outbreak in China is described. The epidemic triggered the CIA’s Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) to start Project IMPACT with the mission to devise a methodology for predicting epidemics. (1) The other leg of the project was to understand how epidemics affect the military and civilian services. In other words, how disruptive could epidemics be to the security of a country and how does it affect infrastructures. Meningitis Outbreak and Project IMPACT In December 1966, the Chinese population became ill. It was also a time of political turmoil and unrest as Chairman Mao’s Great Cultural Revolution swept the nation. China was in chaos. Ongoing demonstrations and riots were rampant as Chairman Mao set about transforming China into a communist country. (2) The epidemic was a true test of infrastructures and an ideal setting for Project IMPACT. The report released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) states that the political chaos in the streets was “one of the best ingredients for a successful epidemic”. The interaction and unchecked movement of people spread the bacteria faster than normal. The city of Canton appeared to be ground zero. In the beginning, the project suffered since China had no monitoring system set-up. There was no hard quantifiable data. In fact, the epidemic reporting simply referred to “many sick and dying” and “many dead”. Such generalizations made it impossible to evaluate the progression of the disease. Even when schools were closed, there was no data to reflect if it was a precautionary measure or the result of school children becoming sick. The progression of the disease struck the Red Guards (young people’s movement of Mao’s People’s Republic of China) and they took control of the hospitals to ensure their troops were [...]
In Part I of this article, we looked at the Purdue study into this amazing cold remedy. In Part II, we’ll look at even more facts about elderberry. In a 2009 study, the proprietary elderberry extract known as ViraBLOC® (marketed) in the form of a lozenge was administered to flu patients participating in the company sponsored study. (1) The results confirmed that when the lozenge was administered within the first 24 hours of patients showing flu-like symptoms, the symptoms were significantly reduced and fevers gone within 48 hours. Out of the elderberry group, 90% were found “either symptom free or only mild symptoms” after the first 48 hours. The placebo group showed no signs of improvement the first 24 hours and no reduction in fever within the first 48 hours. (2) In another 2009 study for the same group, HerbalScience Group LLC in Naples, Florida, published a report titled Elderberry Flavonoids Bind to and Prevent H1N1 Infection in Vitro concluded: “The elderberry extract inhibited Human Influenza A (H1N1) infection in vitro [test tube]”. (3) The report further stated that the elderberry extract bind to the H1N1 virus particles and “when bound, block the ability of the viruses to infect host cells”. (4) In 2011, the Institute for Medical Microbiology, Justus-Liebig-University in Germany published a study titled Inhibitory Activity of a Standardized Elderberry Liquid Extract Against Clinically-Relevant Human Respiratory Bacterial Pathogens and Influenza A and B Viruses. “Rubini elderberry liquid extract is active against human pathogenic bacteria as well as influenza viruses.” The study continues in the conclusion that, “For the first time, it was shown that a standardized elderberry liquid extract possesses antimicrobial activity against both Gram-positive bacteria of Streptococcus pyogenes and group C and G Streptococci, and the Gram-negative bacterium Branhamella catarrhalis in liquid cultures. The liquid extract also [...]
Do you know what you’re eating? Few Americans understand what the ingredients that appear on labels truly are. Many listed ingredients are difficult to pronounce and there’s a reason for that, they are chemical compounds, most of which you would never consider eating if you knew the dangers they pose to your health. Other additives have been unknown to the consumer, such as the recent discovery that pink slime (ammonium hydroxide) was being added to meats as a filler. In fact, if most consumers fully grasped the various chemical additives that are allowed into their foods, they would be diligently checking labels and putting food items back on the shelf. (1) Some of the worst food additives that you want to avoid as though they were the black plague include: –> Aspartame: This very popular artificial sweetener is found in countless “diet” drinks and foods and approved by the FDA despite the controversy of well documented studies showing its link to different types of cancer. (2) –> Food Coloring or Dyes: After much controversy and debate, the FDA did finally ban some food dyes, although many synthetic food dyes remain on the market. The dye colors #1 – Blue, #2 – Red and #6-Yellow are still allowed in food and drinks even though many health advocate and watch groups claim they are cancer causing dyes. (3) –> Saccharin: This artificial sweetener has been around 1907 and has been the topic of many studies that linked it to cancer. In fact, in 1977, it was put before the FDA to ban it, but instead, a label was slapped on the bags of Sweet ‘N’ Low warning of its dangers for a while. (4) –> Sodium nitrite: This preservative is often used in meats, especially hot dogs and bacon. There is a [...]
As my 15th year working in the mental health field arrives, not only is my briefcase due for a major trade in, at times, there are days when I need a major “tune up” on myself. I look into my schedule and with a deep sign I see a name that sounds all too familiar. Could it be? Yes the daughter of a client I may have provided services to years earlier. There are times in your life when you had really wished you were not right. “I knew it!” I say under my breath with slight anger. I then go on in my selfish mind with thoughts about why someone with such a strong mental illness, with such infliction and difficulty in life would have a child knowing that the chances are pretty good that they will inherit the same type of illness. I then lightly shed a tear because I know the suffering they will face. I also forget that people with mental illness have the same desires, the same needs and the same dreams we all do. Then I feel something called “guilt”.
In the latest chapter of a scandal that has been going on since 2009, on February 21, 2013, four former officials of the Peanut Corporation of America were charged with a 75-count indictment related to knowingly shipping salmonella-tainted products to customers. The Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) was founded in 1977 and was headquartered in Lynchburg, Virginia. In 2009, an inquiry began after the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control traced a national outbreak of salmonella to the PCA’s Blakely plant. The corporation supplied many forms of peanut-related products, such as peanut butter and peanut paste to stores and institutions around America, including nursing homes and schools. In 2008, the PCA had 90 employees, did almost $25 million in sales and manufactured approximately 2.5% of the U.S.’s processed peanuts. (1) On February 13, 2009, the PCA filed for bankruptcy liquidation. A subsequent string of civil lawsuits have been filed against the corporation and the FBI has been investigating the case ever since. (2) The four individuals named in the indictment are the company’s former president and vice president, brothers Stewart and Michael Parnell, the former plant operations manager, Samuel Lightsey and the former plant quality controller manager, Mary Wilkerson. Lightsey and the Parnell brothers have been charged with wire fraud, conspiracy mail and the introduction of contaminated and misbranded food into interstate commerce, while Wilkerson and Stewart Parnell have been charged with the obstruction of justice.
Wake up tea drinkers! That oolong tea or tall glass of iced tea you’re about to sip might give you cancer. Before you sip that morning tea, check to see where it was grown and harvested. Over 22 percent of the tea consumed in the US comes from China. (1) If it came from China, then according to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), you may want to put that teacup back onto the saucer. The Chinese tea crops are sprayed with an insecticide called endosulfan that both agencies have declared to be harmful to the environment and human health. This poisonous chemical is a known carcinogen; a pesticide that the WTO has recommended members discontinue using. A recent announcement by the EPA that allows the continued use of insecticides common in China tea production has become not just a wake-up call for all tea drinkers, but a battle cry for safe food advocates. This action overrides the EPA’s 2010 ban on the use of endosuflan in the US (2) and the 2011 revoking of all tolerances of endosulfan, meaning a ban on teas from China and any other import that shows traces of the insecticide.
When you go to sleep at night, chances are you’ve had a full meal earlier that evening, but every night almost one billion people in the world go to bed hungry. (1) There are over 30 million Americans that fall into this statistic, 13 million of them are children. While there are several assistance programs such as food stamps, WIC and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), children are still going to bed hungry for various reasons, such as income just above the poverty line, that disqualifies a household for food stamps and other federal assistance. Undernourishment brings a set of problems that impact the person’s ability to function and work in order to earn a living and improve their living conditions. Malnourished people suffer from weakened immune systems and fall victim to disease more readily. Undernourished children are also at a developmental risk that will impact them for their entire lives. The UN (United Nations) statistics on world hunger reveal that one out of seven people in the world don’t have enough food to live a healthy and active life. In America, one out of four children lives in what is termed as food insecurity, which means not always having access to food. (1) Of all the statistics, the most alarming and devastating is the one posted on the Seed Programs International (SPI) website: “Every year more than 10 million children die of hunger and preventable diseases – that’s over 30,000 per day and one every 5 seconds”. (2)
Is it true that the drugs produced by American pharmaceutical companies have fostered a foreign, often illegal, drug counterfeit business and substandard or counterfeit drugs? Can such a global epidemic that involves over 124 countries be placed on the doorstep of Big Pharma? While the North American and European pharmaceutical sales make up “two-thirds of the entire world sales of pharmaceuticals”, it’s noteworthy that only one-fourth of falsified drug sales are made to citizens of these two continents. (1) This reflects that the other three-fourth of sales are to other countries. Unfortunately, the counterfeit drugs are far inferior and often are nothing more than a placebo. Economics is the leading reason people turn to unregulated pharmaceutical markets. The other is an act of desperation to find a silver bullet cure for diseases conventional medicine cannot cure. Unregulated markets are just as life-threatening as many diseases. An inside look at these counterfeit drug seller inventories reveals volumes of loose pills and broken-up packs of medications that are easily misidentified. Beyond these significant reasons why people should avoid such markets, potential customers should consider that non-regulation means that not only are the manufacturing practices up for grabs, there is no guarantee of proper handling and storing of the drugs. In fact, these factors could make the drugs either no longer viable or worse, dangerous to take.
With the growing concern about the number of people becoming physically addicted to narcotic painkillers, the idea of pharmaceutical companies making a profit off of your addictions has got some people demanding answers. Just recently, Mainecare, a public medical insurance, has started setting limits on when, who and how frequently medical doctors are allowed to prescribe these medications to their patients. It will now be implemented that no one will receive more than a 15-day supply per year unless a prior approval is granted. Bravo! The cost of drug rehabilitation, missed work days, emergency room visits, and the burden on the legal system that comes along with opioid addiction has made people demand answers.