Category Archives: Health

Fish show drug effects and we’re drinking the water

You don’t have to see a doctor to imbibe a witch’s brew of prescriptions pain pills, antibiotics and psychiatric, cholesterol, asthma, epilepsy and heart drugs in your drinking water. They are found in many public drinking water systems says the Associated Press. Also found in drinking water is the toxic plastic, Bisphenol A. Some of the Bisphenol A comes from plastic bottled water which people, ironically, drink to avoid tap water risks! Continue reading

Are you walking away from McDonald’s? Many are.

Since its founding in the 1940s, McDonald’s, the world’s largest restaurant, has navigated many threats to its bottom line. Other fast food companies have imitated and sought to improve on its concept. Labor activists have decried its treatment of workers. Food and environmental activists have assailed the way it has industrialized food production. The international community has deplored McDonald’s trade practices and protectionism. Animal welfare activists oppose its wholesale commodification and mistreatment of animals. And, of course, public health experts condemn its hawking of unhealthy, fattening food to children and adults. Continue reading

Broken mental health system makes patients prisoners, says Patrick Kennedy

This month, mental health and correctional professionals from all over the nation gathered in Chicago to address a problem that many are not aware of. People denied mental health services who end up homeless or incarcerated as criminals. Continue reading

Legislating abortion behavior: Lessons from Romania and Prohibition

An unprecedented epidemic of anti-abortion legislation swept across America after Republicans gained control of many state legislatures in 2010. Indeed, more new laws restricting access to or interfering with abortions were passed in 2011-2013 than in the prior decade. Continue reading

US radiation levels exceed evacuation level: Part 2

SAN FRANCISCO—The American EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, is the big agency of the federal government tasked with monitoring and issuing timely reports about harmful levels of radiation to the American people. Well, that is the theory, anyway. Continue reading

Did you or your children use this asthma drug?

Did you or your children use the blockbuster asthma drug Singulair? World sales of Merck’s drug were about $5 billion a year until 2012 when its patent expired and it was the U.S.’s seventh best-selling drug. But last month, data from an FDA committee were presented that acknowledge “safety concerns” about “neuropsychiatric adverse events, including suicide and suicide attempts” with the drug. Continue reading

Sleazy pharma front groups pretend concern for ‘mental illness’ while pushing pills

One out of four people has a “mental illness.” You hear the statistic all the time. People who were once “nervous” or “high strung” now have “general anxiety disorder.” People who have the “blues” from real life issues like job, relationship and family problems now have “major depressive disorder.” People who are “up and down,” again from real life issues, are now “bipolar.” Adults who can’t focus on the work at hand, either because they didn’t get enough sleep or because the work at hand is boring—hello?—have adult ADHD. All need to be on drugs indefinitely, perhaps for the rest of their life. And notably, all suffer from diseases that are medical “judgment calls” that can’t be verified by blood or other diagnostic tests. Ka-ching. Continue reading

US radiation levels exceed evacuation level

SAN FRANCISCO—High radiation levels exceeded the evacuation level requiring the wholesale evacuation of civilians at many locations in the States over the past four years, from 2011 to 2014. Those who remain are supposed to be wearing hazmat suits. Continue reading

Many hope new rules will stop pharma tax dodgers

Just a few months ago, many US health corporations were eyeing tax inversions—reincorporating overseas, often merging with a European entity—to evade US taxes. Following the drug companies Mylan, Actavis, Perrigo, Jazz Pharmaceuticals and Endo, the Illinois-based drug company AbbVie announced inversion plans last summer, to the joy of many investors. Continue reading

CFR analyst says travel ban wouldn’t keep Ebola from spreading to the US

According to a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, Laurie Garrett, “Travel bans would [not] keep Ebola from spreading in the United States.” Continue reading

Capitalism and the Ebola epidemic

Ebola was identified 40 years ago in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, then called Zaire. Two hundred and eighty people died in this first reported outbreak, out of 318 infected, for a fatality rate of 88 percent. Continue reading

Freedom Rider: Privatized Ebola

Sierra Leone has waved the white flag in the face of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). Its meager infrastructure has buckled under the onslaught of a disease which could have been curtailed. The announcement that infected patients will be treated at home because there is no longer the capacity to treat them in hospitals is a surrender which did not have to happen. Not only did Europe and the United States turn a blind eye to sick and dying Africans but they did so with the help of an unlikely perpetrator. Continue reading

Getting to sleep in a post-Ambien society

Are new or existing sleeping pills any safer?

It has been several years since the bloom fell off the rose of Ambien, the blockbuster sleeping pill. Recently, the FDA has warned about Ambien hangovers, sedation and the risk of dangerous driving and recommended lower doses. The FDA warnings came a year after Kerry Kennedy, daughter of Robert F. Kennedy and former wife of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, was arrested for what was believed to be Ambien-inebriated driving. The arrest came six years after her cousin, former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, son of Sen. Edward Kennedy, was also involved in an apparent Ambien-related traffic mishap. Continue reading

The suicide of Robin Williams: Why we need a grand jury inquest to investigate it

On July 2, 1961, an American icon, Earnest Hemingway, committed suicide at his beloved vacation home in Ketchum, Idaho. He had just flown to Ketchum after being discharged from Mayo Clinic’s psychiatric ward where he had received a series of electroshock “treatments” for a depression that had started after he had experienced the horrors of World War I as an ambulance driver. Continue reading

Author of new book discusses shame and codependency

Codependents often have trouble being open, honest and assertive with intimate partners, says Darlene Lancer, an author and marriage and family therapist. In trying to manage, control and manipulate others, often by “people pleasing” or giving advice, codependents can “turn themselves into pretzels,” says Lancer. Now, in her latest book, “Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You,” Lancer addresses the role of shame and especially childhood shame experiences in codependency. Continue reading

Racism is killing blacks in America

But there is something they can do about it

Black citizens die much younger, on average, than whites. In 2005, the death rate for all cancers combined was an astounding 33% higher in African American men and 16% higher in African American women than in white men and women, respectively. Continue reading

I say diazepam and you say zolpidem; let’s call the whole thing off

First of all, zolpidem is the active ingredient in Ambien, the sleep remedy. But mostly, it’s not what I’ve been taking for years, to go to sleep, which is a five milligram tablet of diazepam. Because a five milligram of diazepam is relatively benign, I’ve been taking it for years with no side effects. Continue reading

AIDS advances may be compromised by legislative inaction

Researchers at Temple University in Philadelphia may have found an entry-way to the cure for AIDS. Continue reading

Hair loss drug linked to disturbing side effects that be permanent

No one should have to choose between their hairline and their health. But increasingly, men who use finasteride, commonly known as Propecia, to treat their male pattern baldness are making that choice, often unwittingly. In the 17 years since Propecia was approved to treat hair loss from male pattern baldness, so many disturbing urogenital and other side effects have emerged, the term Post Finasteride Syndrome (PFS) has been coined and hundreds of lawsuits have been brought. Continue reading

Questions raised about government institute director

It has been four years since Thomas Insel, M.D., director of the National Institute of Mental Health, was suspected of pharmaceutical conflicts of interest. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, he assured the dean of the University of Miami medical school that if the dean hired Charles Nemeroff, government money would not be denied to U. of Miami. Continue reading

The healing powers of lavender for burns and other minor injuries

The Kindle e-book “The Essential Burn Book for Baristas and Cooks,” co-authored by Sara S. DeHart and Kathleen M. Whalen, is a book essential to have in every home, restaurant, business or place where it is possible to suffer a first- or second-degree burn. Continue reading

New Vioxx harm revealed: non-healing of bone after fractures and surgery

It has been a decade since Merck’s “super-aspirin” Vioxx was withdrawn from the market after a study showed it doubled the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Heavily advertised by celebrity athletes like Dorothy Hamill and Bruce Jenner and used by approximately 20 million patients, estimates of the heart attacks caused by Vioxx range from 27,000 to up to 140,000. Continue reading

Is the U.S. beef supply really free of mad cow disease?

When the first U.S. mad cow was found in late 2003, 98 percent of U.S. beef exports evaporated overnight. There was such national revulsion to cow “cannibalism” when described in the late 1990s as the presumed cause of the fatal disease, Oprah Winfrey said she would never eat a hamburger again and was promptly sued by Texas cattle producers. They lost. Continue reading

Who is behind the opioid epidemic?

There is good news and bad news when it comes to the nation’s decade-long opioid/heroin addiction epidemic. Continue reading

Fukushima’s children are dying

Some 39 months after the multiple explosions at Fukushima, thyroid cancer rates among nearby children have skyrocketed to more than forty times (40x) normal. Continue reading

Five foods that are designed so you can’t resist them

There are three reasons Americans’ love affair with snacks is growing—along with their waistlines: the ubiquity of junk food, the ubiquity of junk food advertising and stealth food technology. People who polish off a whole bag of chips or cookies at one sitting (usually in front of TV) are often doing exactly what the product was designed to do—be addictive. Continue reading

Look, Ma, no teeth . . . no future!!

A close friend of the family recently got some bad news. She was told that gum disease and bone loss had caused her five molars to be infected. The only recourse was to have them all pulled out. Even gum surgery would not help at this point. Continue reading

Fukushima is still a disaster

The corporate media silence on Fukushima has been deafening even though the melted down nuclear power plant’s seaborne radiation is now washing up on American beaches. Continue reading

Big Pharma profits from addiction

Imagine a treatment for drug addiction and alcoholism that uses no drugs, requires no trained personnel, resources or insurance and makes no money for anyone. This “people’s program” is the anonymous twelve-step programs which have quietly saved millions for 79 years. Continue reading

The wonders of the ‘free’ market

In 2010, Michelle Holmes and Wendy Chen, physicians and faculty members at Harvard Medical School, published an observational study in The Journal of Clinical Oncology that showed that women with breast cancer who took aspirin at least once every week were 50% less likely to die of breast cancer. Continue reading

Why Medicare pays so much for psychiatric drugs

“Never mind” said the Obama administration in March after its proposal to limit automatic Medicare coverage of pricey depression and psychiatric drugs was met with a Pharma funded backlash. It apparently wasn’t worth it as “patients” on the Hill yelled “You’re going to limit WHAT?” and won. Continue reading

Five gross ways your meat is kept safe to eat

It is no secret that in the war against meat pathogens in commercial U.S. meat production, the pathogens are winning. The logical result of the tons of antibiotics that Big Meat gives livestock (not because they are sick but to fatten them) is clear: antibiotics that no longer work against antibiotic-resistant diseases like staph (MRSA), enterococci (VRE) and C. difficile. Continue reading