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styrofoam

St. Vincent bans Styrofoam products

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Feb 7, CMC – The St. Vincent and the Grenadines government has announced a ban on the importation of Styrofoam products.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves delivering the EC$976.4 million (One EC dollar =US$0.37 cents) budget to Parliament on Monday night, also announced the removal of value added tax (VAT) on biodegradable packaging and food containers.

styrofoam“This measure is intended to lower the costs of these environmentally positive substitutes for plastics, including Styrofoam, and reduce the adverse effects that plastics have on our environment,” he said.

The new measure goes into effect on May 1.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines join several Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries that have banned Styrofoam which is made of fossil fuels and synthetic chemicals, which may leach if they come in contact with hot, greasy or acidic food.

Environmentalists say while Styrofoam keep coffee hot, they may also add an unwanted dose of toxins to the drink and even animals are affected by the product which is indigestible.

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Homeland Security to comply with orders not to deport travelers

CNN – Politics

Story highlights

  • Judge grants stay for valid visa-holders to remain in US
  • Among those held at JFK were two Iraqis with ties to US military
 

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(CNN)The Department of Homeland Security said on Sunday it will comply with judicial orders not to deport detained travelers.

This comes after a federal judge in New York granted an emergency stay Saturday night for citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries who have already arrived in the US and those who are in transit, and who hold valid visas, ruling they cannot be removed from the US.
That move limited part of President Donald Trump’s executive order barring citizens from those countries from entering the US for the next 90 days.
Similar legal rulings were made in Virginia and Washington state after the New York ruling was made.
“The Department of Homeland Security will comply with judicial orders; faithfully enforce our immigration laws, and implement the president’s Executive Orders to ensure that those entering the United States do not pose a threat to our country or the American people,” the department said.
On Saturday evening, the ACLU argued in a federal court in New York for a nationwide stay that would block the deportation of all people stranded in US airports under what the group called “President Trump’s new Muslim ban.”
US District Judge Ann Donnelly granted the stay.
“The petitioners have a strong likelihood of success in establishing that the removal of the petitioner and other similarly situated violates their due process and equal protection guaranteed by the United States Constitution,” Donnelly wrote in her decision.
“There is imminent danger that, absent the stay of removal, there will be substantial and irreparable injury to refugees, visa-holders, and other individuals from nations subject to the January 27, 2017, Executive Order.”

Trump: Travel ban working out very nicely

 

trump speaks on executive order travel ban nr_00001307

 
 

 

 
 
Trump: Travel ban working out very nicely 01:07
The civil rights group is representing dozens of travelers held at John F. Kennedy International Airport Friday and Saturday, including two Iraqis with ties to the US military who had been granted visas to enter the United States.
The ruling does not necessarily mean the people being held at airports across the US are going to be released, said Zachary Manfredi, from Yale’s Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic, who helped draft the emergency stay motion.
“The judge’s order is that they (lawful visa/green card holders) not be removed from the US — it doesn’t immediately order that they be released from detention,” he told CNN.
“We are hoping that CBP (Customs and Border Patrol), now that they no longer have a reason to detain them, will release them. But it is also possible they could be transferred to (other) detention facilities.”
“We are getting the order to as many CBP officers as possible right now,” he added.
The United States denied entry to 109 travelers heading to the country at the time the ruling was signed, a Department of Homeland Security official said. The agency would not say how many of them were sent already home and how many were detained.
ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero praised the ruling, saying “our courts today worked as they should as bulwarks against government abuse or unconstitutional policies and orders. On week one, Donald Trump suffered his first loss in court.”
Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, who argued the case, said the ruling “preserves the status quo and ensures that people who have been granted permission to be in this country are not illegally removed off U.S. soil.”

Former adviser defends Trump's immigration ban

 

Former adviser defends Trump's immigration ban

 
 

 

 
 
Former adviser defends Trump’s immigration ban 03:53

Lawsuit is first challenge to executive order

The class-action lawsuit is the first legal challenge to Trump’s controversial executive order, which indefinitely suspends admissions for Syrian refugees and limits the flow of other refugees into the United States by instituting what the President has called “extreme vetting” of immigrants.
The two Iraqis, Hameed Khalid Darweesh and Haider Sameer Abdulkaleq Alshawi, had been released by Saturday night. But lawyers for other detained travelers said in a court filing that “dozens and dozens” of individuals remained held at JFK.
Similar legal actions had been initiated in other states..
A federal court in Washington state issued a stay forbidding travelers being detained there from being sent back to their home country.
A federal court in Virginia has issued a temporary restraining order saying several dozen permanent residents returning from trips abroad should have access to lawyers while they are being detained at Dulles International Airport and these residents cannot be removed from the United States for seven days.
Trump’s order, signed Friday, bars travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iraq, to the US for 90 days. It also suspends the US Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days until it is reinstated “only for nationals of countries for whom” members of Trump’s Cabinet deem can be properly vetted.

Released under special circumstances

According to court papers, both Darweesh and Alshawi were legally allowed to come into the US but were detained in accordance with Trump’s order.
Darweesh, who worked as an interpreter for the US during the Iraq War, was released from detention early Saturday afternoon.
“America is the land of freedom,” he told reporters at the airport shortly after his release. “America is the greatest nation.”
A source with knowledge of the case confirmed Darweesh will be allowed into the US due to provisions in Trump’s order that allow the State and Homeland Security departments to admit individuals into the US on a case-by-case base for certain reasons, including when the person is already in transit and it would cause undue hardship and would not pose a threat to the security of the US.
The suit said Darweesh held a special immigrant visa, which he was granted the day of Trump’s inauguration on January 20, due to his work for the US government from 2003 to 2013.

Wife separated from husband after Trump's ban

 

Trump order strands Iraq refugess damon pkg_00000000

 
 

 

 
 
Wife separated from husband after Trump’s ban 03:11
Alshawi was released Saturday night, according to his attorney, Mark Doss.
Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-New York, who had arrived at JFK by early Saturday afternoon to try and secure the release of the two Iraqis, railed against Trump’s order and pledged continued action.
“This should not happen in America,” Velazquez said following Darweesh’s release. “One by one, street by street, if we have to go to court, we will fight this anyplace, anywhere.”

‘The executive order is unlawful’

The lawsuit said the US granted Alshawi a visa earlier this month to meet with his wife and son, whom the US already granted refugee status for her association with the US military.
The lawyers for the two men called for a hearing because they maintain the detention of people with valid visas is illegal.
“Because the executive order is unlawful as applied to petitioners, their continued detention based solely on the executive order violates their Fifth Amendment procedural and substantive due process rights,” the lawyers argue in court papers.
The ban and its impact
 
  • 134 million banned from US
  • What to know about the restrictions
  • Court papers said Customs and Border Protection authorities did not allow the lawyers to meet with the men and told them to try reaching Trump. Velázquez and fellow New York Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler said they attempted to speak to Darweesh and Alshawi at JFK’s Terminal 4 earlier Saturday but were denied.
    “When Mr. Darweesh’s attorneys approached CBP requesting to speak with Mr. Darweesh, CBP indicated that they were not the ones to talk to about seeing their client. When the attorneys asked, ‘Who is the person to talk to?’ the CBP agents responded, ‘Mr. President. Call Mr. Trump,'” the court papers read.
    Doss, an attorney with the International Refugee Assistance Project, told CNN his clients knew they had to get to the US as soon as possible so they boarded the first flight they could.
    The two men had been allowed to make phone calls. They do not know each other, and it is unclear if they were held together or separately, or if they were kept in a holding cell, according to Doss.
    “Our courageous plaintiff and countless others risked their lives helping US service members in Iraq. Trump’s order puts those who have helped us in harm’s way by denying them the safe harbor they have been promised in the United States,” said Karen Tumlin, the legal director of the NILC.
    The lawsuit was earlier reported by The New York Times.

    Legality questioned

    Trump’s executive order, titled “Protection Of The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States,” makes good on his longtime campaign promise to tighten borders and halt certain refugees from entering the United States.
    The countries impacted are Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia, according to a White House official. It also caps the total number of refugees admitted into the United States during the 2017 fiscal year at 50,000, down more than half from the current level of 110,000.
    “I am establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America,” Trump said during the signing at the Pentagon. “We don’t want them here.”
    An administration official told CNN if a person has a valid visa to enter the US but is a citizen of one of the seven countries under the temporary travel ban, then the person cannot come into the US. If the person landed after the order was signed Friday afternoon, then the person would be detained and put back on a flight to their country of citizenship.
    Department of Homeland Security officials acknowledged people who were in the air would be detained upon arrival and put back on a plane to their home country. An official was not able to provide numbers of how many have already been detained.
    After the federal orders were issued, the department said it “will continue to enforce all of the president’s Executive Orders in a manner that ensures the safety and security of the American people.
    “The president’s Executive Orders remain in place-prohibited travel will remain prohibited, and the U.S. government retains its right to revoke visas at any time if required for national security or public safety.
    “The president’s Executive Order affects a minor portion of international travelers, and is a first step towards reestablishing control over America’s borders and national security.”
     

    Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, Features, Health, International, Local, News, Politics, Regional0 Comments

    obese woman

    New report says obesity on the rise in the Caribbean

    SANTIAGO, Chile (CMC) — A new joint report by two United Nations agencies says overweight and obesity is on the rise throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, affecting every country, except Haiti.

    The report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) says overweight and obesity are particularly prevalent among women and children in the region.

    The “Panorama of Food and Nutrition Security in Latin America and the Caribbean” on Wednesday said that close to 360 million people – about 58 per cent of the inhabitants of the region – are overweight, with the highest rates observed in the Bahamas (69 per cent), Mexico (64 per cent) and Chile (63 per cent).

    With the exception of Haiti (38.5 per cent), Paraguay (48.5 per cent) and Nicaragua (49.4 per cent), the report said obesity affects more than half the population of all countries in the region.

    The report also noted obesity affects 140 million people – 23 per cent of the region’s population – and highest rates are to be found in the Caribbean countries of Barbados (36 per cent), and Trinidad and Tobago and Antigua and Barbuda at around 31 per cent.

    PAHO said the increase in obesity has disproportionately impacted women.

    It said that, in more than 20 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, the rate of female obesity is 10 percentage points higher than that of men.

    “The alarming rates of overweight and obesity in Latin America and the Caribbean should act as a wake-up call to governments in the region to introduce policies that address all forms of hunger and malnutrition by linking food security, sustainability, agriculture, nutrition and health,” said According to FAO’s Regional Representative Eve Crowley.

    PAHO’s Director Dr Carissa F Etienne said that the region also faces “a double burden of malnutrition.

    “This needs to be tackled through balanced diets that include fresh, healthy, nutritious and sustainably produced food, as well as addressing the main social factors that determine malnutrition, such as lack of access to healthy food, water and sanitation, education and health services, and social protection programs, among others,” she said.

    The FAO/PAHO Panorama report pointed out that one of the main factors contributing to the rise of obesity and overweight has been the change in dietary patterns.

    It said economic growth, increased urbanization; higher average incomes and the integration of the region into international markets have reduced the consumption of traditional preparations and increased consumption of ultra-processed products, “a problem that has had greater impact on areas and countries that are net food importers.”

    To address this situation, FAO and PAHO call for the promotion of healthy and sustainable food systems that link agriculture, food, nutrition and health.

    “To this end, countries should promote the sustainable production of fresh, safe and nutritious foods, ensuring their supply, diversity and access, especially for the most vulnerable sectors,” the statement said. “This should be complemented with nutrition education and consumer warnings about the nutritional composition of foods high in sugar, fat and salt.”

    According to the report, the region has managed to reduce hunger considerably, adding that, today, only 5.5 per cent of the population lives undernourished, with the Caribbean being the sub-region with the highest prevalence (almost 20 per cent), “largely due to the fact that Haiti has the highest rate of undernourished on the planet – 53 per cent.”

    The report said the situation concerning stunting in Latin America and the Caribbean has also improved: It fell from around 25 per cent in 1990 to 11 per cent in 2015, a reduction of 7.8 million children.

    Despite these advances, the report said about six million children are still stunted, while 700,000 – 1.3 per cent of children under 5 years – suffer wasting.

    PAHO said virtually all countries have been successful in improving the nutrition of their children, but it should be noted that malnutrition affects the poorest and rural areas the most.

    “That’s where governments need to focus their efforts,” Crowley said.

    The report showed that, in Latin America and the Caribbean, about four million children – just over seven percent – of children under the age of five are overweight.

    Since 1990, the report said the largest increases in overweight among children – in terms of numbers – were seen in Mesoamerica; and, in terms of prevalence, in the Caribbean, where the rate increased from around four percent to almost seven.

    The report noted that several governments have introduced policies aimed at improving the nutrition of their citizens.

    It pointed to Barbados, Dominica and Mexico – countries that have approved taxes for sugar-sweetened beverages; while Bolivia, Chile, Peru and Ecuador have healthy food laws that regulate food advertising and/or labelling.

    Etienne emphasised that these measures should be complemented with policies to increase the supply and access to fresh food and safe water, among other things, focusing on the strengthening of family farming, as well as the development of short production and marketing circuits, public procurement programs, and food and nutrition education .

    According to the report, the current trajectory of regional agricultural growth is unsustainable, owing, among other factors, to the serious consequences it is having on the region’s ecosystems and natural resources.

    “The sustainability of our region’s food supply and its future diversity is under threat, unless we change the way we do things,” said Crowley, noting that 127 million tons of food are lost or wasted annually in Latin America and Caribbean.

    According to FAO and PAHO, the use of land and other natural resources must be made more efficient and sustainable, the techniques of food production, storage and processing must be improved, and food losses and waste must be reduced “to ensure equitable access to food for all.”

    Posted in Features, Health0 Comments

    Kidney

    OECS welcomes kidney transplant operation in Antigua and Barbuda

     

    CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Jan 25, CMC – The St. Lucia-based Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) has congratulated Antigua and Barbuda following the first kidney transplant operation to be done in the sub-region.

    “This operation had ushered in a new era of health care proficiency within the region driven by a whole of government approach in collaboration with local health authorities and regional health coordinating groups including the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA)” said OECS Director General Dr. Didacus Jules.

    KidneyHe said the OECS Commission supports the call for a seamless regional organ donor registry in the wake of the operation and would work closely with all stakeholders to formulate a viable proposal.

     “The rise in chronic non-communicable diseases in the OECS such as diabetes, cancer and kidney disease require we work holistically across all strata of government and employ new and innovative ways of addressing these health challenges given the fiscal and other resource constraints of member states.

    “The OECS Commission’s Health Unit is working closely with Chief Medical Officers and other stakeholders to further strengthen our associations with our global health development partners and to support proposals for centers of specialized medical care excellence in each OECS member state”,’ Jules said, adding that “this would also include formalising the call by the OECS Health Policy Forum for establishing a national and regional organ donor database, because as we know in the case of kidney disease, a transplant is significantly cheaper and less traumatic than keeping someone on haemodialysis”.

    Jules said that the re-modelling needed within the health care architecture of the region is being undertaken to ultimately ensure that every OECS citizen has access to affordable, quality health care and the kidney transplant achievement by the staff of the Mount St John’s Medical Centre is testament to that vision.

    The eight hour procedure was performed by a 14-member team consisting of four surgeons, two anaesthetists and eight specialist nurses on January 16.

    Antigua and Barbuda Health Minister Molwyn Joseph described the event as “historic” praising “all the doctors, nurses and other technicians who directly or indirectly contributed to this success.

    “They shared a vision with the government of what we can accomplish in healthcare and they brought professionalism in making possible what for years appeared to be impossible. Our nation has a right to take pride in this accomplishment, we have done what mere mortals can do and it was done with dedication and care”, Joseph said.

    Posted in Health, Local, News, Regional2 Comments

    sprite32

    Trump Sets Off Media Firestorm With Creation of Vaccine Safety Review Panel

     

     

     

    January 24, 2017 

      By Dr. Mercola

    Only nine days away from his swearing-in as president, Donald Trump held his first press conference since the election and announced that the pharmaceutical industry was “getting away with murder” and that during his presidency he would do something about high drug prices with more competitive bidding for federal contracts. His remarks sent drug stocks into a sudden nosedive.1

    As noted by Brad Loncar, manager of Loncar Cancer Immunotherapy ETF: “When somebody that high-profile says something that negative, people do not want to invest in it.” According to Reuters:2

    “Trump’s campaign platform included allowing the Medicare healthcare program to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies, which the law currently prohibits.

    He has also discussed making it easier to import drugs at cheaper prices. ‘We are going to start bidding. We are going to save billions of dollars over time,’ Trump said.”

    Trump’s comments came only one day after Robert F. Kennedy Jr. told reporters that Trump had asked him to “chair a commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity.”

    Although the Trump transition team quickly denied that any decision had been made on such a commission, shockwaves reverberated throughout the drug industry in speculation as to what impact this commission, if formed, might have on vaccine uptake and sales.3

    Robert Kennedy and Media Coverage of a Possible New Vaccine Safety Commission

    Although Trump himself has not made a public statement, if you had any doubts whatsoever that conventional media is following an industry-created script, look no further than the incredibly biased coverage of Kennedy’s reported appointment.

    A vast majority of the articles written are so blatantly slanted and unbalanced, it is hard to understand why self-respecting professional journalists would ever want their names associated with them. Repeatedly, such articles claim the science on vaccines is settled and vaccines are safe.4 Period.

    The New York Times — which recently promised to rededicate itself “to the fundamental mission of Times journalism … to report America and the world honestly, without fear or favor, striving always to understand and reflect all political perspectives”5 — wrote a remarkably biased article about Kennedy’s appointment, saying:6

    “Mr. Trump … asked a prominent anti-vaccine crusader to lead a new government commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity, ushering debunked conspiracy theories about the dangers of immunization into the White House …

    Among his many political pursuits, Mr. Trump picked up the anti-vaccine cause a few years back. In 2012, he tweeted … ‘A study says @autism is out of control — a 78 percent increase in 10 years. Stop giving monstrous combined vaccinations.’ These views, to say the least, are not the scientific consensus …”

    So, The New York Times, supposedly newly rededicated to impartial reflection on all sides of the issue, simply decides there’s a consensus among all scientists and makes no attempt to address a single argument made by those who provide substantial evidence that there are big gaps in vaccine safety science.

    That’s hardly upholding journalistic integrity. Yet, this is what we’re seeing everywhere in news reporting by conventional media dominated by corporate interests these days.

    Is Vaccine Safety as Established a Fact as Gravity?

    There are no long-term studies comparing differences in health outcomes between vaccinated and unvaccinated populations.

    The pharmaceutical and medical trade industries claim a vaccine’s benefits always outweigh the potential harms, but no solid scientific evidence is provided to back up such claims. It’s really little more than opinion.

    The government and pharmaceutical industries say it would be unethical to study vaccinated versus unvaccinated children, as the unvaccinated children would be put at risk. Yet more and more parents are having first-hand experience with adverse reactions, and choosing to opt-out of the government vaccine schedule.

    Ask a parent of a child who died or suffered permanent brain damage after vaccination and I’m sure you’ll get a very different response. Curiously, anyone who dares to question the quality and quantity of vaccine studies is immediately branded anti-science and a medical heretic.

    In response to Kennedy’s announcement that Trump had asked him to head up a commission on vaccine safety, Dr. David Kimberlin, co-director of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), said:7

    “We don’t have to keep asking if gravity is real. We don’t have to keep asking if clean water is a good thing. Yes it is. Vaccines are good things. They save lives.”

    According to Kimberlin, “The science proving the safety of vaccination is settled and does not need to be investigated again.” But if it’s settled, where are the studies?

    Where’s the research showing that 50 doses of 14 vaccines administered to children in combination and repeatedly in the first six years of life equals long-term health and results in few, if any, problems? What are the multi-generational effects to the immune system with so many vaccine doses?

    The sad fact is the often repeated mantra that vaccines are absolutely safe and that there is nothing to worry about is a case of thinking that if a falsehood is repeated over and over again, and long enough, people will believe it’s true.

    Why are vaccine proponents so terrified of an honest vaccine safety review? This in and of itself raises serious questions.

    Another fact that should give everyone pause is the witch hunt unleashed on anyone who dares to question the never-proven-hypothesis that vaccines are so unequivocally safe and beneficial for everyone that everyone should be forced, by law, to get vaccinated with every government-recommended vaccine.

    Cleveland Clinic Doctor Faces Disciplinary Action for Stating the Obvious

    One of the latest victims of such a witch hunt is Cleveland Clinic physician Daniel Neides, director of the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. Neides writes a monthly column for cleveland.com, a publication that is part of the Sun News organization, which also publishes the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

    In his January 6 column,8 Neides expressed his concerns about the ever-growing toxic burden humans face and his disappointing experience with the annual flu shot, which left him bedridden for two days. He also touched on the potential vaccine-autism link, saying:

    “Why do I mention autism now twice in this article. Because we have to wake up out of our trance and stop following bad advice. Does the vaccine burden — as has been debated for years — cause autism? I don’t know and will not debate that here.

    What I will stand up and scream is that newborns without intact immune systems and detoxification systems are being over-burdened with PRESERVATIVES AND ADJUVANTS IN THE VACCINES.

    The adjuvants, like aluminum — used to stimulate the immune system to create antibodies — can be incredibly harmful to the developing nervous system.

    Some of the vaccines have helped reduce the incidence of childhood communicable diseases, like meningitis and pneumonia. That is great news. But not at the expense of neurologic diseases like autism and ADHD increasing at alarming rates.”

    His comments ignited a media fire storm and prompted the Cleveland Clinic to issue a statement saying Neides would face disciplinary action for his comments.9

    The column was briefly removed from the cleveland.com site, but mysteriously reappeared and became accessible again after Neides retracted his statements and apologized for what his physician colleagues and the media are characterizing as an anti-vaccine “rant.”

    If a prominent, well-respected physician cannot state the obvious without facing potentially career-ending consequences, what hope do we have of ever getting at the truth? WHY is open dialogue about vaccination not permitted?

    It’s simply not reasonable to shut every discussion down with the old “the science is settled” claim, while the scientific literature is still littered with outstanding questions.

    Coincidence Claims Falter as Vaccine Damage Becomes More Common

     

    On January 11, a group of concerned parents rallied at the State Capitol in Mississippi in the hopes of having their voices heard in the vaccine debate.10 One of those parents was Dr. Scott Guidry, whose son developed autism spectrum symptoms following some of his childhood vaccinations. Guidry told WJTV:

    “My son was vaccine-injured, and we reversed the vaccine injury, and now he’s recovered from autism. I’m not against vaccines. I learned the same importance of vaccines like every other physician who went to med school did. I know. But it’s never really been studied, the safety of vaccines. There’s never been a long-term safety study on vaccines.”

    According to this news report, Mississippi has one of the highest vaccination rates in the U.S. It also has one of the highest autism rates, as well as the highest infant mortality rate in the country.11 Coincidence? No one knows, but in the absence of firm proof either way, many parents are renewing their call for the legal right to make voluntary decisions about which vaccines their child should receive and if or when they should be given.

    The same scenario is playing out in other states across the nation. The numbers of children suffering with chronic illness and disability, including autism spectrum disorders, are increasing. The numbers of children and adults who have experienced serious vaccine reactions are also increasing.

    It has become so common that a majority of people now have a family member or know someone who has been adversely affected by one or more vaccines. Eventually, this first-hand experience with vaccine reactions will come to include most physicians and politicians, as well.

    At a certain point, the coincidence-theory simply cannot hold water any longer, and that’s what we’re starting to see now. Very often, people don’t care enough to get involved in the discussion until it’s personal and, in recent years, we’ve seen a growing number of influential people speaking up and describing their personal experiences with vaccine reactions in the public forum.

    Robert De Niro is the latest example of a well-known celebrity parent, who has gone on the public record questioning vaccine safety and the reported link between vaccines and autism. Not surprisingly, like everyone who raises questions about vaccine safety, he has been attacked by the media as being uninformed and promoting dangerous ideas.

    Rick Rollens, former secretary of the California State Senate, and retired Representative Dan Burton (R-Ind.) are two examples of individuals who worked for government and publicly shared their personal experiences with vaccination and autism. They were strongly criticized for speaking out as they attempted to open up discussions about vaccine safety. Absolutely no one is above ridicule should they dare question the safety of vaccines.

    Paul ‘For Profit’ Offit’s at It Again

    Wherever discussion about vaccine safety is covered by the media, Dr. Paul Offit is there in the middle of it. A vaccine developer for Merck and author of several books attempting to marginalize vaccine safety critics, Offit has become the “go-to” doctor whenever corporatized conventional media wants a spokesperson to deny vaccine risks and defend “vaccine safety.”

    Rarely, if ever, does media note his deep ties to the vaccine industry, and the fact that he stands to profit personally from maintaining the illusion that vaccines are absolutely safe for everyone all the time, which also protects the status quo for industry profitmaking.

    The Daily Beast recently ran an article12 penned by Offit, in which he says “Trump needs vaccine experts, not conspiracy theorists.” How do you know a propagandist when you see one? For starters, they’re extremely fond of throwing around derogatory and humiliating terms like “conspiracy theorists,” “hacks” and “quacks,” in lieu of making a solid argument.

    Offit has earned tens of millions of dollars in royalties from the Rotateq vaccine, and has notoriously stated that infants can tolerate 10,000 vaccine doses at once without ill effect. He’s also been caught making unsubstantiated and false statements about former CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, and lying to the OC Register about providing CBS News with the details of his financial relationship with the vaccine maker Merck.13

    Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the non-profit charity, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), sued Offit for defamation in 2009, along with reporter Amy Wallace and publisher Conde Nast. “She lies,” Offit was quoted as stating “flatly” about Fisher in Wired magazine. However, no evidence supporting his accusation was provided and Fisher was never asked by the reporter for a comment on Offit’s baseless allegation.

    Fisher sued in the Fourth Circuit federal court in Virginia for a jury trial and $1 million in damages, but Judge Claude Hilton dismissed the defamation lawsuit. Hilton’s primary argument for dismissal was that both Fisher and Offit are public figures and that, in his opinion, Offit’s allegation that “she lies” was made in a moment of emotional exasperation and the heat of spirited public debate, which is the hallmark of free speech protected by the First Amendment.

    It is interesting how the free speech argument was used to dismiss a clear-cut case of defamation. The big question today is: Will the First Amendment protect Neides or anyone else in the U.S. who dares to publicly criticize the safety or effectiveness of vaccines?

    In Absence of Reliable Injury Reporting, How Can Safety Be Ascertained?

    In 2015, media reports noted that a “study” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had confirmed that vaccines rarely ever cause serious reactions. The study in question used CDC Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) data, concluding there were only 33 “confirmed vaccine-triggered anaphylaxis cases” among the 25,173,965 vaccine doses administered between January 2009 and December 2011.14

    However, there’s a significant problem with using this study to “prove” safety, as there are dozens of serious reactions besides anaphylaxis. To say that vaccines rarely cause serious reactions based on the occurrence of anaphylaxis alone is misleading at best.

    Moreover, it’s reasonable to suspect that the findings rely on incomplete data. The assumption is that the VSD — which collects health data from nine health care partners — actually receives thorough and accurate information about what happens to a patient following vaccination. But the chances of that are actually slim, since studies have shown vaccine reactions are rarely if ever recorded or reported.

    Providers of vaccines are by law required to report vaccine reactions to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), jointly operated by the CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Despite that, most vaccine providers are unaware of this requirement, are unfamiliar with the reporting process, are confused about who should be doing the reporting, and/or are unwilling to file a report. As noted by The Vaccine Reaction, an online journal newspaper published by NVIC:15

    “Although the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act [NCVIA] of 1986 requires doctors and other health care providers who administer vaccines to make a report to VAERS for ‘hospitalizations, injuries, deaths and serious health problems’ following vaccination, it is estimated that this happens in only between 1 to 10 percent of the cases.

    VAERS receives about 30,000 reports annually. Given the extreme under-reporting to the system, it is likely that the true number of vaccine adverse reactions in the United States is closer to at least 300,000 per year, and perhaps as high as 3 million. One can only guess how many of those would be serious reactions. Suddenly, the argument that vaccines are safe because adverse reactions are ‘rare’ becomes a bogus one.”

    If underreporting to VAERS is that common, chances are, the VSD is no better. Adding to the problem, the VSD data is not openly available to independent researchers, and without replication, the accuracy of the findings must forever remain suspect.

    The Vaccine Reaction Cover-Up

    Most pediatricians will tell you they’ve never seen a vaccine reaction, or that reactions are really rare. However, when a child suffers a vaccine reaction, they typically end up in the emergency room (ER), not the pediatrician’s office. In a 2015 article, an ER nurse and former police officer shares his experiences with vaccine reactions, noting he’s “seen the cover-up” first hand. He writes, in part:16,17

    “I cannot even begin to guess how many times over the years I have seen vaccine reactions come through my E.R. Without any exaggeration, it has to be counted in hundreds … The cases almost always presented similarly, and often no one else connected it. The child comes in with either a fever approaching 105, or seizures, or lethargy/can’t wake up, or sudden overwhelming sickness, screaming that won’t stop, spasms [or] GI inclusion …

    And one of the first questions I would ask as triage nurse, was, are they current on their vaccinations? … Parents (and co-workers) usually just think I’m trying to rule out the vaccine preventable diseases, when in fact, I am looking to see how recently they were vaccinated to determine if this is a vaccine reaction.

    Too often I heard a parent say something akin to ‘Yes they are current, the pediatrician caught up their vaccines this morning during their check up, and the pediatrician said they were in perfect health!’ …

    But here’s the more disturbing part. [Of] all the cases I’ve seen, I have never seen any medical provider report them to VAERS. I have filed VAERS reports. But I am the only nurse I have EVER met that files VAERS reports. I have also never met a doctor that filed a VAERS report. Mind you, I have served in multiple hospitals across multiple states, alongside probably well over a hundred doctors and probably 300 [to] 400+ nurses … What does that say about reported numbers? …

    And the final part of that, is that I have, first hand, seen blatant cover ups from doctors. I have seen falsification of medical records and documentation via intentional omission …

    I remind them that VAERS is a reporting body for ANY symptoms that are contemporaneous to vaccination, whether causation is believed to be associated or not, and I get the dismissal that they are not filing it because it [the vaccine] has nothing to do with it [the symptom] … This is a systemic suppression of information and statistics.”

    How Vaccine Mandates Are Imposed on Health Care Workers in Absence of Legal Requirements

    In related news, GoErie.com recently reported18 that six health care workers fired from a hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania, for refusing the annual flu vaccine have been reinstated with back pay.

    In related commentary, according to Dr. Meryl Nass, a vaccine blogger with special interests in vaccine-induced illnesses, it appears American hospitals do not actually have a legal leg to stand on when firing health care workers over vaccine refusals, because the federal government claims it does not impose vaccine mandates for adults.

    So why are hospitals firing workers for refusing influenza vaccinations? In large part, it appears to be a strategy designed to receive higher Medicare reimbursements. Organizations co-created by the federal government have created guidelines for improving “quality of care” in hospitals, and Medicare reimbursements are used to forcibly impose certain quality measures over others, such as vaccination.

    In a nutshell, hospitals that have higher vaccination rates for patients and health care workers get higher Medicare reimbursement rates. But this has little to do with actual federal mandates. In fact, according to the CDC, “there are no legally mandated vaccinations for adults, except for persons entering military service. CDC does recommend certain immunizations for adults, depending on age, occupation and other circumstances, but these immunizations are not required by law.”

    Flu Vaccine Mandate for Hospital Workers Is Financially Driven

    Employee coverage rates of flu vaccination is a quality measure that is reported to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). As noted by Nass:

    “The bottom line is that the federal government squeezed hospitals by requiring hospitals to report the rates of yearly influenza vaccinations of both hospital staff and hospital patients, including these two measures in a global calculation of hospital ‘quality.’ A hospital’s ‘quality’ number determines approximately 3.75 percent of its overall Medicare reimbursements rate in 2017 …

    In the health care industry, 3.75 percent is enough to make a hospital sink or swim. The hospitals, predictably, acquiesced by demanding their employees be vaccinated or fired. But the federal government insists it imposes no mandates. Yet its actions created a de facto mandate. Where are the lawyers who will litigate this in federal court?

    I don’t understand why cases are going through EEOC [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission], where employees may win, when their wins do not impact the de facto health care worker flu shot mandates that continue to be imposed in most U.S. health care institutions today.”

    Vaccinating Hospital Workers Has No Impact on Patient Safety

    Interestingly, hospitals began mandating annual flu shots for their workers AFTER meta-analyses by Cochrane (considered the gold standard of meta reviews), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the CDC concluded that health care worker vaccinations do not protect patients from influenza — a finding that raises questions about its validity as a “quality of care” measure in the first place.

    The first one, published in July 2013, by the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, found “laboratory-proven influenza or its complications (lower respiratory tract infection, or hospitalization or death due to lower respiratory tract illness) did not identify a benefit of health care worker vaccination on these key outcomes … This review does not provide reasonable evidence to support the vaccination of health care workers to prevent influenza in those aged 60 years or older resident in long-term care institutions.”

    The Cochrane Database Systematic Review published an update to this analysis in June, 2016, noting that 5 percent of health care workers who had received the influenza vaccine and 8 percent of workers who were unvaccinated had laboratory-proven influenza each season, and that health care workers may transmit influenza to patients.

    Still, the conclusions remained the same. “Offering influenza vaccination to health care workers based in long-term care homes may have little or no effect on the number of residents who develop laboratory-proven influenza compared with those living in care homes where no vaccination is offered,” the authors write. They did note one study of moderate quality evidence suggests health care vaccinations may reduce lower respiratory tract infections in residents by 2 percent, from 6 to 4 percent.

    Another 2013 meta-analysis — this one by the CDC — found, “The evidence quality that health care personnel vaccination reduces patient mortality and influenza cases is moderate and low, respectively.”19 A third analysis of 20 different studies,20 also published in 2013, found that while influenza vaccination of health care workers is likely to offer some indirect protection to vulnerable patients, the evidence is limited.

    Science Be Damned

    As noted by Nass:21

    “Each of these three groups examined the world literature on the effects of health care worker vaccinations in 2012 [to 20]13, and each determined that there was no statistically significant evidence that health care worker influenza vaccinations prevented either influenza cases or influenza deaths in their patients. You cannot get better evidence than this.

    Health care worker flu vaccinations, despite what the public has been told, do not improve patient care. Furthermore, there is no good evidence that flu shots benefit the over-65 Medicare patients who are also being vaccinated to comply with a second ‘quality’ measure.

    To my knowledge, no one has looked to see if hospital inpatients have poorer outcomes because of these shots, but they certainly might. The shots cause a generalized inflammatory reaction that might adversely affect patients with, for example, autoimmune diseases, pneumonia or heart attacks.”

    If you ask me, I think it’s about time we get a vaccine safety review commission started, and if Kennedy is the one who heads it, I wish him the best in this endeavor and hope he seeks advice from Barbara Loe Fischer, co-founder of NVIC. We must bring back some objective sanity to the discussion about vaccine safety and scientific integrity.

    It’s going to be an uphill battle all the way, but it is encouraging to see the topic being discussed by the new administration and, hopefully, it will result in better science and holding drug companies more accountable for the safety of their products.

    Posted in Features, Health, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

    DSC_8900

    PAHO team speaks commendably of Ministry of Health and Montserrat

    The Director of PAHO, Dr. Godfrey Xuereb and his high level team, hosted and accompanied by the Hon. Delmaude Ryan of the Ministry of Health and Social Services  on January 12, 2016 reported to the media on the “Strategic Programme Initiatives (SPI) of the Ministry of Health and Social Services.

    At a press conference aimed at informing the public of major decisions coming out of these high-level meetings, PS Elijah Silcott on Thursday, introduced the team from the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) who during a two-day visit to the island were to bring the Ministry’s SPIs into focus. 

    They met with the Honourable Minister and Senior Officials from the Ministry of Health to discuss and examine: The strategic Initiatives agreed to with PAHO and the other UK Overseas Territories; The Ministry of Health Strategic Initiatives 2017 – 2019; the New Hospital development plans, the Health’s human resources and the Health Information System.

    The team of Dr. Godfrey Xuereb, PAHO/WHO Representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Dr. Peter Crowley, Advisor, Health Systems and Services and Ms. Sally Edwards, Advisor, Sustainable Development and Environmental Health also facilitated a Community Based Workshop held at the Credit Union Hall in Brades on Tuesday 10th aimed at raising awareness and support for zika control through reduction of the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

    Reporting on the workshop, Dr. Xuereb said it was part of their third activity; “…a town hall meeting and information sharing activity where we invited faith based organizations. We invited other partners to not only give them the information but also for them to share information with us and with the Ministry regarding the issue of mosquitoes and mosquito control. There are at least three diseases that are common in the Caribbean: dengue fever, chikungunya and more recently the zika of virus which are spread by the same mosquito.”

    On the main emphasis of the visit, Dr. Xuereb with supporting comments from the Minister spoke of, “The evaluation that is currently being done on the needs (of the hospital) is critical,” saying also that “PAHO will be supporting the Ministry of Health – on non-communicable diseases – also critical because that is the evidence that is required to then identify what are the needs of the country. The other critical aspect, “is the sustainability of anything that is developed.” 

    “On  these he said they needed to, “and we had long discussions with the C.M.O with the P.S., on human resources, equipment and how do you main and sustain it – with the intelligence with the continuing professional development of the human resources…”

    Sitting in with the Minister and the PAHO team, Dr. Lowell Lewis the Chief Medical Officer also commented on the visit: “… this is a very helpful and structural visit and we’re very pleased to have experts among us. It was reassuring hearing from them that they were very pleased with some of the information and work coming out of Montserrat and that’s credit to the staff here. In several instances you said we were ahead of many of the other territories in sort of what we’re doing.”

    The CMO also said: “I’m looking forward to acting on their advice in rebuilding the primary health care program we have and we have showed some support for the proposals we have for staff training and for making Montserrat a possible location for other people in the region or even further field to come… Search and Rescue combined with primary health care community based prevention health care programs. We’re very grateful for that visit, thank you.”

    Meanwhile Minister Ryan noting her agreement with the PAHO Director in his report spoke of the “The deeper environment assessment according to how the ( new hospital) sites are ranked…” noting Hilltop being that site first and we’ve also got some commitment in terms of moving along with that EIA in terms of funding that.”

    The Minister said that with all the town hall consultations and more behind them, Cabinet had accepted to work with Hill Top as the new hospital site. “So work with that has already in terms of the paper work and getting persons in place and all of that is being discussed as we speak.”

     She then refers to the functional reviews which is where the deeper analysis comes in with the functional reviews and the health financing review which the firm Mott McDonald has been awarded the contract for that exercise which should begin in February

    “With those happening and a greater focus in terms of the planning and development for the human resources as well as the health information system, all of that together will give us an idea of where we are in terms of the strengthening of the health system in Montserrat,” she concluded.

    This visit strengthens established ties with PAHO and WHO as well as garners regional support for major health plans on island.

    Posted in Health, Local, News0 Comments

    obese woman

    New report says obesity on the rise in the Caribbean

    by Staff Writer

     

    SANTIAGO, Chile, Jan. 19, CMC – A new joint report by two United Nations agencies says  overweight and obesity is on the rise throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, affecting every country, except Haiti.

    The report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) says overweight and obesity are particularly prevalent among women and children in the region.
    The “Panorama of Food and Nutrition Security in Latin America and the Caribbean” on Wednesday said that close to 360 million people – about 58 per cent of the inhabitants of the region – are overweight, with the highest rates observed in the Bahamas (69 per cent), Mexico (64 per cent) and Chile (63 per cent).

    With the exception of Haiti (38.5 percent), Paraguay (48.5 percent) and Nicaragua (49.4 percent), the report said obesity affects more than half the population of all countries in the region.

    The report also noted obesity affects 140 million people – 23 per cent of the region’s population – and highest rates are to be found in the Caribbean countries of Barbados (36 percent), and Trinidad and Tobago and Antigua and Barbuda at around 31 per cent.

    PAHO said the increase in obesity has disproportionately impacted women.

    It said that, in more than 20 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, the rate of female obesity is 10 percentage points higher than that of men.

    “The alarming rates of overweight and obesity in Latin America and the Caribbean should act as a wake-up call to governments in the region to introduce policies that address all forms of hunger and malnutrition by linking food security, sustainability, agriculture, nutrition and health,” said According to FAO’s Regional Representative Eve Crowley.

    PAHO’s Director Dr. Carissa F. Etienne said that the region also faces “a double burden of malnutrition.

    “This needs to be tackled through balanced diets that include fresh, healthy, nutritious and sustainably produced food, as well as addressing the main social factors that determine malnutrition, such as lack of access to healthy food, water and sanitation, education and health services, and social protection programs, among others,” she said.

    The FAO/PAHO Panorama report pointed out that one of the main factors contributing to the rise of obesity and overweight has been the change in dietary patterns.

    It said economic growth, increased urbanization, higher average incomes and the integration of the region into international markets have reduced the consumption of traditional preparations and increased consumption of ultra-processed products, “a problem that has had greater impact on areas and countries that are net food importers.”

    To address this situation, FAO and PAHO call for the promotion of healthy and sustainable food systems that link agriculture, food, nutrition and health.

    “To this end, countries should promote the sustainable production of fresh, safe and nutritious foods, ensuring their supply, diversity and access, especially for the most vulnerable sectors,” the statement said. “This should be complemented with nutrition education and consumer warnings about the nutritional composition of foods high in sugar, fat and salt.”

    According to the report, the region has managed to reduce hunger considerably, adding that, today, only 5.5 per cent of the population lives undernourished, with the Caribbean being the sub-region with the highest prevalence (almost 20 per cent), “largely due to the fact that Haiti has the highest rate of undernourished on the planet – 53 per cent.”

    The report said the situation concerning stunting in Latin America and the Caribbean has also improved: It fell from around 25 percent in 1990 to 11 per cent in 2015, a reduction of 7.8 million children.

    Despite these advances, the report said about six million children are still stunted, while 700,000 – 1.3 per cent of children under 5 years – suffer wasting.

    PAHO said virtually all countries have been successful in improving the nutrition of their children, but it should be noted that malnutrition affects the poorest and rural areas the most.

    “That’s where governments need to focus their efforts,” Crowley said.

    The report showed that, in Latin America and the Caribbean, about four million children – just over seven percent – of children under the age of five are overweight.

    Since 1990, the report said the largest increases in overweight among children – in terms of numbers – were seen in Mesoamerica; and, in terms of prevalence, in the Caribbean, where the rate increased from around four percent to almost seven.

    The report noted that several governments have introduced policies aimed at improving the nutrition of their citizens.

    It pointed to Barbados, Dominica and Mexico – countries that have approved taxes for sugar-sweetened beverages; while Bolivia, Chile, Peru and Ecuador have healthy food laws that regulate food advertising and/or labeling.

    Etienne emphasized that these measures should be complemented with policies to increase the supply and access to fresh food and safe water, among other things, focusing on the strengthening of family farming, as well as the development of short production and marketing circuits, public procurement programs, and food and nutrition education .

    According to the report, the current trajectory of regional agricultural growth is unsustainable, owing, among other factors, to the serious consequences it is having on the region’s ecosystems and natural resources.

    “The sustainability of our region’s food supply and its future diversity is under threat, unless we change the way we do things,” said Crowley, noting that 127 million tons of food are lost or wasted annually in Latin America and Caribbean.

    According to FAO and PAHO, the use of land and other natural resources must be made more efficient and sustainable, the techniques of food production, storage and processing must be improved, and food losses and waste must be reduced “to ensure equitable access to food for all.”

    Posted in Health, International, Local, News, Regional1 Comment

    marijuana-plant

    St. Lucia government to hold public discussions on decriminalising marijuana

    by STAFF WRITER

    CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Nov 29, CMC – The St. Lucia government says it is planning a series of town hall meetings to discuss the decriminalisation of marijuana.

    National Security Minister Hermangild Francis said it is important for the discussion to take place, and to explore the properties and use of hemp.

    The discussions will be held in the 17 constituencies on the island and Francis, a former acting police commissioner, said he had met with various stakeholders including medical practitioners  Dr. Marcus Day, Dr. Stephen King, and Paul Francis from the Iyanola Advancement of Rastafarian and Nyabinghi Tabernacle.

    marijuana-plant

    Marijuana plant

    “We had a very open and frank discussion on the way forward. We have agreed to meet again on November 30. The November meeting will designate a committee responsible for hosting town hall meetings in all 17 constituencies on the island, where all the necessary information will be disseminated,” Francis added.

    He said that he also intends to meet with his fellow Cabinet colleagues, Lenard Montoute, the Minister for Social Justice and Equity and Health Minister Mary Issac.

    He said discussions with the Attorney General centered on reviewing legislation with the intent to assess how to amend the Drug Act.

    In June, the Guyana-based Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat announced the start of the formal regional conversation around marijuana.

    In July 2014, the CARICOM leaders had mandated the CARICOM Secretary General Irwin La Rocque to establish the Marijuana Commission which would, inter alia, “examine the social, economic, health and legal issues surrounding the various aspects of Marijuana use in the Caribbean and its implications, and make recommendations to the Conference”.

    In fulfilling its mandate, the Commission hosted the first of a national consultation in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on the issue.

    CARICOM said that discussions will also be held with  special interests groups such as researchers, medical practitioners, including of alternative medicine; advocates for medicinal and others uses of marijuana,  and representatives from the National Drug Council, as well as faith-based organizations and non-governmental organizations.

    The Commission is headed by Professor Rose-Marie-Bell Antoine, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI).

     

    Posted in Health, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

    Neem Shows Promise in Prostate Cancer Treatment

    Neem Shows Promise in Prostate Cancer Treatment

    By Dr. Mercola

     http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/09/06/survive-prostate-cancer-without-surgery.aspx

    Part 2

    The Neem trees are plentiful and grow wild in Montserrat – Always discuss with your doctor

    Lifestyle and Prostate Cancer

    Treating and preventing prostate cancer (and other cancers) requires more than taking a supplement. Your diet is a vital part of the healing equation and exercise is another important metabolic optimizer. 

    Previous research suggests losing weight can reduce your risk of prostate, breast and colon cancer by as much as 20 percent, and this effect is thought to be due to reductions in these proteins and other inflammatory compounds stored in fat cells.11

    According to a 2011 study published in PLoS One,12 aggressive prostate cancer was associated with obesity.

    Another cohort study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention13 in 2013 found that men who were overweight or obese increased their risk of prostate cancer by 57 percent.

    Here, the association between obesity and prostate cancer held for all cases — low-grade and high-grade, early stage and late, nonaggressive and aggressive prostate cancer.

    When it comes to exercise, research suggests maintaining a high level of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) in middle age helps cut men’s chances of dying from prostate cancer by nearly one-third (32 percent).14,15

    Exercise reduction of cancer is most likely related to improving insulin receptor sensitivity and PGC 1-alpha that increases mitochondrial biogenesis.

    Optimizing your vitamin D level, which is ideally done through sensible sun exposure, is another key ingredient for cancer prevention. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to several common cancers, including cancers of the breast, colon and prostate.

    Researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine recently discovered that men diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer tend to have vitamin D levels below 23 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml). According to this study, vitamin D may actually be used as a biomarker to predict cancer:

    “[B]ecause vitamin D is a biomarker for bone health and aggressiveness of other diseases, all men should check their levels, [lead investigator Dr. Adam] Murphy said. ‘All men should be replenishing their vitamin D to normal levels,’ Murphy said. ‘It’s smart preventive health care.'” 

    You can also improve your benefit from vitamin D by increasing your healthy levels through sensible sun exposure and not by swallowing it.

    Other Important Anti-Cancer Nutrients

    In addition to vitamin D, vitamin K2 appears to be a noteworthy player in prostate cancer.

    German doctors evaluating the effect of vitamins K1 and K2 on the development and treatment of prostate cancer found that those who consumed the greatest amount of K2 had a 63 percent reduced incidence of advanced prostate cancer.16,17

    Vitamin K1 intake did not offer any prostate benefits. Other nutrients and foods shown to influence your prostate cancer risk include (but are not limited to) the following:

    • Foods rich in omega-3 fats have been shown to prevent prostate cancer from spreading.

    One clinical study18 published in 2006 found that while omega-6 fats (the kind found in most vegetable oils) increased the spread of prostatic tumor cells into bone marrow, the spread of cancer cells was BLOCKED by omega-3 fats, suggesting that a diet rich in omega-3 fats could potentially inhibit the disease in men with early stage prostate cancer.

    A more recent meta-analysis19 of available research, published in 2010, found that fish consumption was associated with a 63 percent reduction in prostate cancer-specific mortality, even though no association between fish consumption and a significant reduction in prostate cancer incidence could be found. This is related to the fact that toxin-free seafood is the ideal source of DHA, not omega-3 fats from plants that are poorly converted to DHA.

    • Sulforaphane found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli has been shown to cause apoptosis (programmed cell death) in prostate cancer cells.20 Three servings of broccoli per week may reduce your risk of prostate cancer by more than 60 percent.21

    For more information, please see my previous article, “How to Survive Prostate Cancer Without Surgery, Drugs or Radiation.”

    Posted in Features, Health, Opinions0 Comments

    Netlore Archive: Can raw onions absorb germs and prevent flu?

    Netlore Archive: Can raw onions absorb germs and prevent flu?

    So now! A little fact checking reveals this:

    It’s not the onions; it’s how you handle them

    According to science writer Joe Schwarcz, onions are in no sense a “magnet for bacteria.” In fact, Schwarcz writes, cut onions contain enzymes that produce sulphuric acid, which inhibits the growth of germs. Onions can become contaminated during handling, but there’s nothing about them that makes them intrinsically more susceptible to bacterial growth or spoilage than any other raw vegetable.

    “So unless you have sliced your onions on a contaminated cutting board, or handled them with dirty hands,” Schwarcz explains, “you can safely put them in a plastic bag and store them and there will not be any bacterial contamination.”

    Food folklore: Onions ‘attract’ or ‘collect’ infectious bacteria

    The notion that onions are a “bacteria magnet” may stem from an old wives’ tale dating at least as far back as the 1500s, when it was believed that distributing raw onions around a residence guarded against the bubonic plague and other diseases by “absorbing the elements of infection.”

    But here now is what – Jessie Szalay, Live Science Contributor has to say about the:

    Health benefits

    Heart health

    According to Jarzabkowski, onions encourage a healthy heart in many ways, including “lowering blood pressure and lowering heart attack risk.” A 2002 study in the journal Thrombosis Research suggested that sulfur acts as a natural blood thinner and prevents blood platelets from aggregating. When platelets cluster, the risk for heart attack or stroke increases. This research further supports a similar 1992 study in Thrombosis Research that focused on sulfurs in garlic. Furthermore, a 1987 animal study in the Journal of Hypertension demonstrated delayed or reduced onset of hypertension with sulfur intake. However, the authors said more research was needed to determine if this benefit might be found in humans. 

    The quercetin in onions may also help prevent plaque buildup in the arteries, which reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. But since most of the studies in this regard have focused on animals, more research is needed to understand the effects in humans. 

    Anti-inflammatory

    Onions’ sulfurs may be effective anti-inflammatory agents, according to a 1990 study in the journal International Archives of Allergy and Applied Immunology. Quercetin has been found to relax the airway muscles and may provide relief of asthma symptoms, according to a 2013 study in the American Journal of Physiology. 

    Immune system

    “The polyphenols in onions act as antioxidants, protecting the body against free radicals,” said Anne Mauney, a dietitian based in Washington, D.C. Eliminating free radicals can help encourage a strong immune system. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the quercetin in onions also reduces allergic reactions by stopping your body from producing histamines, which are what make you sneeze, cry and itch if you’re having an allergic reaction.

    Cancer

    Quercetin may be a powerful anti-cancer agent, according to Jarzabkowski. The University of Maryland Medical Center said that quercetin may especially inhibit cancer cells in “breast, colon, prostate, ovarian, endometrial, and lung tumors.” 

    The National Onion Association discussed a recent study from the Netherlands that showed that people who ate onions absorbed twice as much quercetin as those who drank tea, and more than three times as much quercetin as those who ate apples, which are other high-quercetin sources. Red onions are especially high in quercetin, according to the association. Shallots and yellow onions are also good options. White onions contain the least amount of quercetin and other antioxidants.

    Digestion

    The fiber in onions promotes good digestion and helps keep you regular. Additionally, onions contain a special type of soluble fiber called oligofructose, which promotes good bacteria growth in your intestines. One 2005 study in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that oligofructose may help prevent and treat types of diarrhea. The phytochemicals in onions that scavenge free radicals may also reduce your risk of developing gastric ulcers, according to the National Onion Association.

    Regulating blood sugar

    The chromium in onions assists in regulating blood sugar. The sulfur in onions helps lower blood sugar by triggering increased insulin production. One 2010 study in the journal Environmental Health Insights revealed that this might be especially helpful to people with people with diabetes. People with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes who ate red onions showed lower glucose levels for up to four hours.  

    Bone density in older women

    A 2009 study in the journal Menopause found that daily consumption of onions improves bone density in women who are going through or have finished menopause. Women who ate onions frequently had a 20 percent lower risk of hip fracture than those who never ate onions.

    Health risks

    While not especially serious, eating onions can cause problems for some people. The carbohydrates in onions may cause gas and bloating, according to National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Onions, especially if consumed raw, can worsen heartburn in people who suffer from chronic heartburn or gastric reflux disease, according to one 1990 study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

    Eating a large amount of green onions or rapidly increasing your consumption of green onions may interfere with blood thinning drugs, according to the University of Georgia. Green onions contain a high amount of vitamin K, which can decrease blood thinner functioning.

    It is also possible to have a food intolerance or an allergy to onions, but cases are rare, according to an article in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. People with onion allergies may experience red, itchy eyes and rashes if an onion comes into contact with the skin. People with an intolerance to onions may experience nausea, vomiting and other gastric discomfort.

    Lastly, Jarzabkowski encouraged people to make sure their onions are fresh. “Onions keep for a long time,” she said, “but they still spoil.” 

    Posted in Features, Health0 Comments

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