Tag Archive: cancer


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By  -Paul A Philips

 

In the USA alone it has been estimated that at least 210,000 patients died from medical mistakes in a year making this the third leading cause of death while heart disease is the first and cancer comes second. 

Can the above figure be used to expose the corruption in medicine? 

The reason why it has taken so long to realise that something is not right and why so many still don’t see that anything is going on can be explained like this: 

On the whole, people: healthcare workers or patients or the public at large, can regard many circumstances in medicine as isolated cause and effect relationships. In other words, people generally fail to make the connections between the different cause and effect relationships. 

The Connections linking medical deaths and corruption

It is necessary to make the connections so that we can step back and see the ‘big picture’ of what’s really going on and why certain things occur: If not, then indeed, this can be likened to the analogy of looking at separated pieces of jigsaw puzzle and not having the realisation that they are somehow all connected and therefore not carrying out the task of joining up the pieces to see how it works overall. 

-Such has happened in the circumstances surrounding deaths from medical mistakes. This is why the corruption still continues and how the villains are allowed to get away with it. The big picture and the corruption comprise the connections between: The World Health Organisation, approval bodies such as the FDA, pharmaceutical companies, equipment manufacturers, academia, research institutions, media, the legal profession, healthcare staff and patients. -All these can be tied in with ‘favours for favours…’

Nothing stays the same. If everyone was concerned enough to get a deep enough level of realisation of what’s really going on in medicine by connecting up the circumstances or pieces of information to find that they are interrelated (the big picture), then consequently, there would be a mass transformation of the healthcare system. This would eventually be brought about by the reactions that would follow from realising the corruption.

-This mass transformation is my vision: To see a major turnaround of the healthcare system, where treatment will be based on a genuine want to cure people. Where people are put before profits, instead of the reverse; the way it is at the moment.

 

It is also the visions of other activists and dissident Doctors, growing in numbers by the day. I would say that one of the biggest reasons why more and more people are realising that they are caught up in a scandal in medicine is through the availability of the internet and its access to information that would otherwise be very difficult to get. I also find that, in some of my discussions with people, I can see that their intuition has been already telling them that something is not right in the world of medicine… 

I predict that, in time, whether it will take a few years or many decades I don’t really know, but we will have a revolution on our hands. The healthcare system will change. I have no doubt that it will be a radical change.

 

Western world medicine should be truly outstanding considering the money spent, but it is not, as exemplified in the above must see video featuring an impassioned talk by Doctor Joe Mercola with jaw-dropping facts and figures:

Are deaths from medical mistakes THE biggest cause of death and suffering? 

Every time deaths from medical mistakes (or deaths from medicine) are re-estimated, taking other factors into consideration the figure increases. Will we ever get a true figure?

Over the last few decades, the more technology that has been introduced into orthodox medicine be it, drugs, state-of-the-art equipment, apparatus, technical expertise…the more unnecessary procedures there are. I’m not for one minute saying that all technology is bad, but a lot of it can do a great deal of harm.

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Why the United States Leaves Deadly Chemicals on the Market

November 21, 2015  

By Valerie Brown and Elizabeth Grossman

 

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Scientists are trained to express themselves rationally. They avoid personal attacks when they disagree. But some scientific arguments become so polarized that tempers fray. There may even be shouting.

Such is the current state of affairs between two camps of scientists: health effects researchers and regulatory toxicologists. Both groups study the effects of chemical exposures in humans. Both groups have publicly used terms like “irrelevant,” “arbitrary,” “unfounded” and “contrary to all accumulated physiological understanding” to describe the other’s work. Privately, the language becomes even harsher, with phrases such as “a pseudoscience,” “a religion” and “rigged.”

The rift centers around the best way to measure the health effects of chemical exposures. The regulatory toxicologists typically rely on computer simulations called “physiologically based pharmacokinetic” (PBPK) modeling. The health effects researchers—endocrinologists, developmental biologists and epidemiologists, among others—draw their conclusions from direct observations of how chemicals actually affect living things.

The debate may sound arcane, but the outcome could directly affect your health. It will shape how government agencies regulate chemicals for decades to come: how toxic waste sites are cleaned up, how pesticides are regulated, how workers are protected from toxic exposure and what chemicals are permitted in household items. Those decisions will profoundly affect public health: the rates at which we suffer cancer, diabetes, obesity, infertility, and neurological problems like attention disorders and lowered IQ.

The link from certain chemicals to these health effects is real. In a paper published earlier this year, a group of leading endocrinologists concluded with 99 percent certainty that environmental exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals causes health problems. They estimate that this costs the European Union healthcare system about $175 billion a year.

Closer to home, Americans are routinely sickened by toxic chemicals whose health effects have been long known. To cite one infamous example, people exposed to the known carcinogen formaldehyde in FEMA trailers after Hurricane Katrina suffered headaches, nosebleeds and difficulty breathing. Dozens of cancer cases were later reported. Then there are workplace exposures, which federal government estimates link to as many as 20,000 cancer deaths a year and hundreds of thousands of illnesses.

“We are drowning our world in untested and unsafe chemicals, and the price we are paying in terms of our reproductive health is of serious concern,” wrote the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics in a statement released on October 1.

Yet chemical regulation in the United States has proceeded at a glacial pace. And corporate profit is at the heart of the story.

That the chemical industry exerts political influence is well documented. What our investigation reveals is that, 30 years ago, corporate interests began to control not just the political process but the science itself. Industry not only funds research to cast doubt on known environmental health hazards; it has also shaped an entire field of science—regulatory toxicology—to downplay the risk of toxic chemicals.

Our investigation traces this web of influence to a group of scientists working for the Department of Defense (DOD) in the 1970s and 1980s—the pioneers of PBPK modeling. It quickly became clear that this type of modeling could be manipulated to minimize the appearance of chemical risk. PBPK methodology has subsequently been advanced by at least two generations of researchers—including many from the original DOD group—who move between industry, government agencies and industry-backed research groups, often with little or no transparency.

The result is that chemicals known to be harmful to human health remain largely unregulated in the United States—often with deadly results. For chemicals whose hazards are just now being recognized, such as the common plastics ingredient bisphenol A (BPA) and other , this lack of regulation is likely to continue unless the federal chemical review process becomes more transparent and relies less heavily on PBPK modeling.

Here we lay out the players, the dueling paradigms and the high-stakes health consequences of getting it wrong.

The dawn of PBPK simulation

The 1970s and 1980s saw a blizzard of environmental regulation. The Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Toxic Substances Control Act, along with the laws that established Superfund and Community Right-to-Know Programs, for the first time required companies— and military bases—using and producing chemicals to account for their environmental and health impacts. This meant greater demand for chemical risk assessments as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began to establish safety standards for workplace exposures and environmental cleanups.

In the 1980s, the now-defunct Toxic Hazards Research Unit at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, was investigating the toxicity and health effects of chemicals used by the military. Of particular concern to the DOD were the many compounds used by the military to build, service and maintain aircraft, vehicles and other machinery: fuels and fuel additives, solvents, coatings and adhesives. The military is responsible for about 900 of the approximately 1,300 currently listed Superfund sites, many of which have been contaminated by these chemicals for decades.

In the mid-1980s, scientists at the Wright-Patterson Toxic Hazards Research Unit began using PBPK simulations to track how chemicals move through the body. Known as in silico (in computers) models, these are an alternative to testing chemicals in vivo (in live animals) or in vitro (in a test tube). They allow scientists to estimate what concentrations of a chemical (or its breakdown products) end up in a particular organ or type of tissue, and how long they take to exit the body. The information can then be correlated with experimental data to set exposure limits—or not.

PBPK simulations made testing faster and cheaper, something attractive to both industry and regulators. But the PBPK model has drawbacks. “It tells you nothing about effects,” says Linda Birnbaum, director of both the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and National Toxicology Program (NTP). Observational studies and laboratory experiments, on the other hand, are designed to discover how a chemical affects biological processes.

Even regulatory toxicologists who support PBPK acknowledge its limitations: “[PBPK models] are always going to be limited by the quality of the data that go into them,” says toxicologist James Lamb, who worked for the NTP and EPA in the 1980s and is now principal scientist at the consulting firm Exponent.

The late health effects researcher Louis Guillette, a professor at the Medical University of South Carolina famous for studies on DDT’s hormonedisrupting effects in Florida alligators, put it more bluntly: “PBPK? My immediate response: Junk in, junk out. The take-home is that most of the models [are] only as good as your understanding of the complexity of the system.”

Many biologists say PBPK-based risk assessments begin with assumptions that are too narrow, and thus often fail to fully capture how a chemical exposure can affect health. For example, a series of PBPK studies and reviews by toxicologist Justin Teeguarden of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., and his colleagues suggested that BPA breaks down into less harmful compounds and exits the body so rapidly that it is essentially harmless. Their research began with certain assumptions: that BPA only mimics estrogen weakly, that it affects only the body’s estrogen system, and that 90 percent of BPA exposure is through digestion of food and beverages. However, health effects research has shown that BPA mimics estrogen closely, can affect the body’s androgen and thyroid hormone systems, and can enter the body via pathways like the skin and the tissues of the mouth. When PBPK models fail to include this evidence, they tend to underestimate risk.

Because of its reliance on whatever data are included, PBPK modeling can be deliberately manipulated to produce desired outcomes. Or, as University of Notre Dame biologist Kristin Shrader-Frechette, who specializes in human health risk assessment, says: “Models can offer a means of avoiding the conclusions derived from actual experiments.” In other words, PBPK models can be customized to provide results that work to industry’s advantage.

That’s not to say PBPK itself is to blame. “Let’s not throw the baby out completely with the bathwater,” says New York University associate professor of environmental medicine and health policy Leo Trasande. “However, when you have biology telling you there are basic flaws in the model, that’s a compelling reason that it’s time for a paradigm shift.”

A handy tool for industry

That PBPK studies could be used to make chemicals appear safer was as clear in the 1980s as it is now. In a 1988 paper touting the new technique, Wright-Patterson scientists explained how their modeling had prompted the EPA to stop its regulation process for a chemical of great concern to the military: methylene chloride.

Methylene chloride is widely used as a solvent and as an ingredient in making plastics, pharmaceuticals, pesticides and other industrial products. By the 1990s, the U.S. military would be the country’s second greatest user. Methylene chloride was—and remains—regulated under the Clean Air Act as a hazardous air pollutant because of its carcinogenic and neurotoxic effects.

Between 1985 and 1986, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health estimated that about 1 million workers a year were exposed to methylene chloride, and the EPA classified the compound as a “probable human carcinogen.” A number of unions, including United Auto Workers and United Steelworkers, also petitioned OSHA to limit on-the-job exposure to methylene chloride.

In 1986, OSHA began the process of setting occupational exposure limits. Stakeholders were invited to submit public comments.

Among the materials submitted was a PBPK study by Melvin Andersen, Harvey Clewell—both then working at Wright-Patterson—and several other scientists, including two employed by methylene chloride product manufacturer Dow Chemical. Published in 1987, this study concluded, “Conventional risk analyses greatly overestimate the risk in humans exposed to low concentrations [of methylene chloride].”

Later that year, the EPA revised its previous health assessment of methylene chloride, citing the Wright-Patterson study to conclude that the chemical was nine times less risky than previously estimated. The EPA “has halted its rulemaking on methylene chloride [based on our studies],” wrote Wright-Patterson scientists in 1988.

OSHA, too, considered the Wright-Patterson study in its methylene chloride assessment—and its rulemaking dragged on another 10 years before the agency finally limited exposure to the chemical.

The usefulness of PBPK modeling to industry did not escape the Wright-Patterson researchers. “The potential impact,” wrote Andersen, Clewell and their colleagues in 1988, “is far reaching and not limited to methylene chloride.” Using PBPK models to set exposure limits could help avoid setting “excessively conservative”—i.e., protective— limits that could lead to “unnecessary expensive controls” and place “constraints on important industrial processes.” In other words, PBPK models could be used to set less-stringent environmental and health standards, and save industry money.

So far, they’ve been proven right. The work done at Wright-Patterson set the stage for the next 30-plus years. Results obtained using PBPK modeling—especially in industry-funded research, often conducted by former Wright-Patterson scientists—have downplayed the risk and delayed the regulation of numerous widely used and commercially lucrative chemicals. These include formaldehyde, styrene, tricholorethylene, BPA and the pesticide chlorpyrifos. For many such chemicals, PBPK studies contradict what actual biological experiments conclude. Regulators often defer to the PBPK studies anyway.

A web of influence

At the time that PBPK modelling was being developed, the chemical industry was struggling with its public image. The Bhopal, India, disaster—the methyl isocyanate release that killed and injured thousands—happened in 1984. The following year, a toxic gas release at a West Virginia Union Carbide plant sent about 135 people to hospitals.

In response to these incidents, new federal regulations required companies to account for the storage, use and release of hazardous chemicals. The minutes from a May 1988 Chemical Manufacturers Association (CMA) meeting show industry was feeling the pressure. Noting the federal scrutiny and the growing testing requirements, the CMA recommended that industry help “develop exposure data” and “explore innovative ways to limit required testing to that which is needed.”

Industry had already begun to do this by founding a number of research institutes such as the Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology (CIIT), a nonprofit toxicology research institute (renamed the Hamner Institutes in an act of linguistic detoxification in 2007). This period also saw the rise of for-profit consulting firms like Environ (1982), Gradient (1985), ChemRisk (1985) and K.S. Crump and Company (1986), with which industry would collaborate advantageously in the following decades.

“Our goal was to do the science that would help the EPA and other regulatory bodies make the policies,” explained William Greenlee, Hamner president and CEO, in an interview for a business website. Indeed, over the past 30 years, Hamner and these consultancies have produced hundreds of PBPK studies, often with the support of chemical companies or trade groups. Overwhelmingly, these studies downplay or cast doubt on chemicals’ health effects—and delay regulation.

“I have seen how scientists from the Hamner Institutes can present information in a way that carefully shapes or controls a narrative,” says Laura Vandenberg, an assistant professor of environmental health sciences at University of Massachusetts Amherst. She explains that Hamner scientists often use narrow time windows or present data in a limited context, rejecting information that does not conform to their models. “These are the kinds of tactics used to manufacture doubt,” she says.

A close look at the authors of studies produced by these industry-linked research groups reveals a web of influence traceable to Wright-Patterson (see chart on following page). At least 10 researchers employed at or contracted by Wright-Patterson in the 1980s went on to careers in toxicology at CIIT/Hamner, for-profit consulting firms or the EPA. About half have held senior positions at Hamner, including the co-authors of many of the early Wright-Patterson PBPK studies: Melvin Anderson, now a chief scientific officer at Hamner, and Harvey Clewell, now a senior investigator at Hamner and principal scientist at the consulting firm ENVIRON. “I’m probably given credit as the person who brought PBPK into toxicology and risk assessment,” Andersen told In These Times.

A revolving door between these industry-affiliated groups and federal regulators was also set in motion. More than a dozen researchers have moved from the EPA to these for-profit consultancies; a similar number have gone in the other direction, ending up at the EPA or other federal agencies.

Further blurring the public-private line, CIIT/Hamner has received millions of dollars in both industry and taxpayer money. The group stated on its website in 2007 that $18 million of its $21.5 million annual operating budget came from the “chemical and pharmaceutical industry.” Information about its corporate funders is no longer detailed there, but Hamner has previously listed as clients and supporters the American Chemistry Council (formerly the CMA, and one of the most powerful lobbyists against chemical regulation), American Petroleum Institute, BASF, Bayer CropScience, Dow, ExxonMobil, Chevron and the Formaldehyde Council. At the same time, over the past 30 years, CIIT/Hamner has received nearly $160 million in grants and contracts from the EPA, DOD and Department of Health and Human Services. In sum, since the 1980s, these federal agencies have awarded hundreds of millions of dollars to industry-affiliated research institutes like Hamner.

But the federal reliance on industry-linked researchers extends further. Since 2000, the EPA has signed a number of cooperative research agreements with the ACC and CIIT/ Hamner. All involve chemical toxicity research that includes PBPK modeling. And in 2014, Hamner outlined additional research it will be conducting for the EPA’s next generation of chemical testing—the ToxCast and Tox21 programs. Over the past five years, Hamner has received funding for this same research from the ACC and Dow.

Meanwhile, the EPA regularly contracts with for-profit consultancies to perform risk assessments, assemble peer review panels and select the scientific literature used in chemical evaluations. This gives these private organizations considerable sway in the decision-making process, often with little transparency about ties to chemical manufacturers. The upshot: Experts selected to oversee chemical regulation often overrepresent the industry perspective.

These cozy relationships have not gone unnoticed; the EPA has been called to task by both its own Office of Inspector General and by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. “These arrangements have raised concerns that ACC or its members could potentially influence, or appear to influence, the scientific results that may be used to make future regulatory decisions,” wrote the GAO in a 2005 report.

Asked for comment by In These Times, the EPA said these arrangements do not present conflicts of interest.

Decades of deadly delay

PBPK studies have stalled the regulation of numerous chemicals. In each case, narrowly focused models developed by industry-supported research concluded that risks were lower than previously estimated or were not of concern at likely exposure levels.

Take, for example, methylene chloride, the subject of the 1987 paper Wright-Patterson scientists bragged had halted the EPA’s regulatory process. Despite the chemical being identified as “probably carcinogenic to humans” by the U.N. International Agency for Research on Cancer, a “reasonably anticipated” human carcinogen by the U.S. National Toxicology Program, and an “occupational carcinogen” by OSHA, the EPA has yet to limit its use. EPA researchers noted this year that the 1987 PBPK model by the Wright-Patterson scientists remains the basis for the agency’s risk assessment.

Today, methylene chloride remains in use—to produce electronics, pesticides, plastics and synthetic fabrics, and in paint and varnish strippers. The Consumer Product Safety Commission, OSHA and NIOSH have issued health warnings, and the FDA bars methylene chloride from cosmetics— but no U.S. agency has totally banned the chemical. The EPA estimates that some 230,000 workers are exposed directly each year. According to OSHA, between 2000 and 2012, at least 14 people died in the United States of asphyxiation or heart failure after using methylene chloride-containing products to refinish bathtubs. The Center for Public Integrity reports that methylene chloride exposure prompted more than 2,700 calls to U.S. poison control centers between 2008 and 2013.

Another telling example of industry-funded PBPK studies’ influence is formaldehyde. This chemical remains largely unrestricted in the United States, despite being a well-recognized respiratory and neurological toxicant linked to nasal cancer and leukemia, as well as to allergic reactions and skin irritation. The EPA’s toxicological review of formaldehyde, begun in 1990, remains incomplete, in no small part because of delays prompted by the introduction of studies—including PBPK models conducted by CIIT/Hamner—questioning its link to leukemia.

If that link is considered weak or uncertain, that means formaldehyde—or the companies that employ the sickened workers—won’t be held responsible for the disease. The chemical industry is well aware that “more people have leukemia … than have nasal tumors,” says recently retired NIEHS toxicologist James Huff.

Some of this CIIT/Hamner research was conducted between 2000 and 2005 with funding from an $18,750,000 EPA grant. In 2010, Hamner received $5 million from Dow, a formaldehydeproduct manufacturer, for toxicity testing, including PBPK modeling. The ACC, which opposes formaldehyde restriction, also supported this research.

Consequently, apart from a few state regulations and a pending EPA proposal to limit formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products like plywood, companies can still use the chemical—as in the FEMA trailers.

Cosmetics and personal-care products can also be sources of formaldehyde exposure. This made headlines in 2011 after hair salon workers using a smoothing product called Brazilian Blowout reported nausea, sore throats, rashes, chronic sinus infections, asthma-like symptoms, bloody noses, dizziness and other neurological effects. “You can’t see it … but you feel it in your eyes and it gives you a high,” salon owner and hair stylist Cortney Tanner tells In These Times. “They don’t teach this stuff in beauty school,” she says, and no one warns stylists about these products or even suggests using a ventilator.

OSHA has issued a hazard alert for these products and the FDA has issued multiple warnings, most recently in September, but regulations prevent federal agencies from pulling the products from store shelves. So, for formaldehyde, as in the case of the paint strippers containing methylene chloride, exposures continue.

BPA rings alarm bells

The chemical currently at the center of the most heated debates about consumer exposure is BPA. The building block of polycarbonate plastics, BPA is used in countless products, including the resins that line food cans and coat the thermal receipt paper at cash registers and ATMs. While scientific evidence of adverse health effects from environmentally typical levels of BPA mounts, and many manufacturers and retailers have responded to public concern by changing their products, federal regulatory authorities still resist restricting the chemical’s use.

BPA does not produce immediate, acute effects, like those experienced by salon workers exposed to formaldehyde or machinists working with methylene chloride. But in laboratory tests on animals, BPA is a known endocrine disruptor. Structurally similar to natural hormones, endocrine disruptors can interfere with normal cellular processes and trigger abnormal biochemical responses. These can prompt numerous health problems, including cancer, infertility, and metabolic and neurological disorders. BPA has also been linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.

To promote the idea that BPA is safe, the chemical industry routinely lobbies policymakers and “educates” consumers. What has not been widely discussed, however, is how industry has backed PBPK studies that marginalized research showing risks from environmentally typical levels of BPA. Many of these doubt-inducing studies have been conducted by researchers whose careers can be linked to the PBPK work done at Wright-Patterson. In published critiques, health effects researchers—among them Gail Prins and Wade Welshons—have detailed the many ways in which these PBPK models fail to accurately reflect BPA exposure.

PBPK and endocrine disruption

Over the past several decades, our evolving understanding of our bodies’ responses to chemicals has challenged previous toxicological assumptions— including those that are fed into PBPK models. This is particularly true of endocrine disruptors.

Cause-and-effect relationships between endocrine disruptors and health problems can be hard to pinpoint. We now know that early—even prenatal— exposure to endocrine disruptors can set the stage for adult disease. In addition, a pregnant woman’s exposures may affect not only her children but also her grandchildren. These transgenerational effects have been documented in animal experiments. The classic human evidence came from victims of DES, a drug prescribed in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s to prevent miscarriages. Daughters of women who took the endocrine disruptor developed reproductive cancers, and preliminary research suggests their daughters may be at greater risk for cancer and other reproductive problems.

“The transgenerational work raises an incredible specter,” says Andrea Gore, who holds the Vacek Chair in Pharmacology at the University of Texas at Austin and edits the influential journal Endocrinology. “It’s not just what you’re exposed to now, it’s what your ancestors were exposed to.”

Complicating PBPK modeling further, hormone-mimicking chemicals, just like hormones, can have biological effects at concentrations as low as parts per trillion. In addition, environmental exposures most often occur as mixtures, rather than in isolation. And each individual may respond differently.

“PBPK doesn’t come close” to capturing the reality of endocrine disruption, the late developmental biologist Louis Guillette told In These Times, in part because modelers are “still asking questions about one chemical exposure with one route of exposure.” Even for health effects researchers, understanding of mixtures’ effects is in its infancy.

The debate over how endocrine disruption can be represented in PBPK models has intensified the unease between regulatory toxicologists and health effects researchers. That tension is particularly well-illustrated by a recent series of events that also reveal how some journal editors privilege the industry’s point of view.

A life-and-death debate

In February 2012 the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) published a report intended to inform regulation worldwide. The authors were an international group of health effects researchers with long experience studying endocrine disruption.

“There is an increasing burden of disease across the globe in which [endocrine disruptors] are likely playing an important role, and future generations may also be affected,” said the report. These diseases, it continued, are being seen in humans and wildlife, and include male and female reproductive disorders, changes in the numbers of male and female babies born, thyroid and adrenal gland disorders, hormone-related cancers and neurodevelopmental diseases.

The backlash from toxicologists was immediate. Over the next few months—as the EU prepared to begin its regulatory decision-making on endocrine disruptors—the editors of 14 toxicology journals each published an identical commentary harshly criticizing the WHO/UNEP conclusions.

The commentary included a letter from more than 70 toxicologists urging the EU not to adopt the endocrine disruption framework. The letter said that the WHO/UNEP report could not be allowed to inform policy because its science is “contrary to all accumulated physiological understanding.”

This commentary was followed by further attacks. One critique, published in the journal Critical Reviews in Toxicology, was funded and vetted by the ACC.

These commentaries infuriated health effects researchers. Twenty endocrine journal editors, 28 associate editors and 56 other scientists—including several WHO/UNEP report authors—signed a statement in Endocrinology, saying in part:

The dismissive approach to endocrine disruption science put forth … is unfounded, as it is [not] based on the fundamental principles of how the endocrine system works and how chemicals can interfere with its normal function.

Endocrinology editor Andrea Gore tells In These Times that she and other health effects researchers don’t think the scientifically demonstrated dangers of endocrine disruptors are subject to debate. “There are fundamental differences between regulatory toxicologists and what I refer to as ‘people who understand the endocrine science.’ ”

The outcome of this debate and the structure of future regulatory toxicity testing in the United States and Europe is not yet clear. The EPA appears to be attempting to incorporate endocrine disruption into PBPK models, but many scientists are skeptical the process will produce reliable results, given the models’ limitations and the complexity of endocrine effects.

From science to activism

Although couched in complex language, these arguments are not academic, but have profound implications for public health. Disorders and diseases, increasingly linked to exposure to endocrine disruptors— including metabolic, reproductive, developmental and neurological problems—are widespread and increasing. About 20 percent of U.S. adults show at least three of the five indicators of metabolic syndrome: obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease. Neurological problems, including behavioral and learning disabilities in children as well as Parkinson’s disease, are increasing rapidly. Fertility rates in both men and women are declining. Globally, the average sperm count has dropped 50 percent in the last 50 years.

Scientists typically shy away from activism, but many now believe it’s what’s needed to punch through the machinations and inertia regarding chemical regulation. Shanna Swan, Mount Sinai professor of preventive medicine, obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive medicine, notes that some of the biggest reductions in chemical exposures have happened in response to consumer pressure on both industry and policymakers. Or, as the University of California’s Bruce Blumberg says, “I think we need to take the fight to the people.”

The Endocrine Society stressed the urgency of addressing these public health impacts in a statement released September 28. Not surprisingly, industry disagreed, calling this science “unsupported” and “still-unproven.”

Meanwhile, PBPK studies continue to succeed in sowing doubt about adverse health effects of endocrine disorders. Their extremely narrow focus leads to narrow conclusions that often result in calls for more research before regulation. In regulatory decisions, “the assumption is that if we don’t know something, it won’t hurt us,” says University of Massachusetts, Amherst professor of biology R. Thomas Zoeller. In other words, the burden of proof remains on health effects researchers to prove harm, not on industry to prove safety—and proving harm is difficult, especially when other scientists are seeding doubt.

But the clock is ticking. As Washington State University geneticist Pat Hunt told In These Times, “If we wait [to make regulatory decisions] for ‘proof’ in the form of compelling human data, it may be too late for us as a species.”

This investigation was supported by the Leonard C. Goodman Institute for Investigative Reporting and published originally in In These Times.

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Research: Plants Cure Cancer, Not Chemicals

Plants Are The Cure For Cancer, Not Chemicals

Unbeknownst to most, a Copernican revolution has already taken place in cancer theory. Today, the weight of evidence indicates that plants and not chemicals are the solution for reversing the global cancer epidemic.

Our understanding of what causes cancer has undergone something akin to a Copernican revolution in the past decade. Biological fatalism has been the predominant force in medicine over the past half century, where most conditions including cancer were believed predestined ‘in the genes,’ and therefore impossible to reverse. Instead of looking for root cause resolution of disease (RCRD), we resigned ourselves to ‘finding it early’ and in the case of cancer, when doing so (even when it was benign), we waged war against it, quite literally using weapons grade materials (mustard gas- and nuclear materials-derived agents). Now, however, in this post-Genomic era, factors above (epi-) the control of the genes – epigenetic factors – are taking center stage; these include environmental exposures, stress, nutritional factors, and various lifestyle-based variables that are within the ambit of our control and volition, and which are often reversible.

In other words, cancer is now being understood as epigenetic dysfunction, a direct and even adaptive response to the post-industrial, carcinogen-saturated environment, in addition to a diet of faux, mostly chemically-produced ‘food,’ combining to produce an environment – ‘inner terrain–  within the body ideal for cancer promotion.

Indeed, in a new study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology titled, “The use of plant-derived bioactive compounds to target cancer stem cells and modulate tumor microenvironment,” the authors note the powerful implications of this new epigenetic view of cancer:

“A fundamental aspect to be taken into account is that epigenetic changes can possibly be reversed by modifying epigenetic factors, such as diet and lifestyle. Nowadays, identification of these factors is crucial to develop epigenetically-based preventions and more effective anti-cancer intervention strategies.”

Moreover, they note that natural interventions are once again (after countless millennia of worldwide use), at the cutting edge of medical intervention:

“Virtually, all dietary compounds have the ability to act at the epigenetic level in cancer cells thus influencing the epigenome in a positive or negative way. Particularly, plant derived compounds, such as polyphenols, have the capacity to reverse adverse epigenetic mutations in cancer cells, to inhibit tumorigenesis progression, to prevent the metastatic process or to sensitize cancer cells to chemo and radiotherapy (Vanden Berghe, 2012).”

The new study highlighted the following points, the implications for the future of cancer treatment are truly revolutionary:

  • Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are chemo-radiotherapy resistant, causing tumor relapse.
  • CSCs are known to reside within specific hypoxic and acidic tumor niches.
  • Phytocompounds affect CSC self-renewal, metabolism and microenvironment.
  • Phytocompounds might be exploited for cancer prevention and treatment.

 

Read More Here

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© David Gray
Scientific research has increasingly linked common chemicals found in everyday products to diabetes, obesity, cancer, and other major ailments, according to a new policy statement.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) like bisphenol A and phthalates, found in food can linings, plastics, cosmetics, and pesticides, are common to the point that everyone on Earth has been exposed to one or more. EDCs – which influence the body’s natural hormones – mimic, block, or simply interfere with hormone functions, leading to the malformation of cells.

The Endocrine Society now says in a new scientific statement that research in recent years has repeatedly pointed to links between these and other chemicals to not only diabetes and obesity, but infertility and breast cancer.

“In 2015, there is far more conclusive evidence about whether, when, and how endocrine-disrupting chemicals perturb endocrine systems, including in humans,” said the Endocrine Society, which includes health specialists involved in EDC research.

READ MORE: TTIP will legalize cancer-causing chemicals banned by EU, trade union warns

“Thus, it is more necessary than ever to minimize further exposures, to identify new endocrine disrupting chemicals as they emerge, and to understand underlying mechanisms in order to develop methods to enable interventions in cases of endocrine disrupting chemical-associated disease. This is especially important because new chemicals may be released into the marketplace without appropriate safety testing.”

 

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Natural Blaze

5 Debilitating Health Conditions Linked To M&M’S Candies

MM-BulkBy Amanda Froelich

With a crunchy shell and sweet, milk chocolate inside, M&M’S are a tempting treat few can refuse. Unfortunately, the sweet candies are far from healthy and are created with ingredients that are linked to a number of debilitating health conditions.

As Living Traditionally reports, ingredients used in the manufacturing of the candies are linked to everything from cancer, migraines, and hyperactivity to allergies and anxiety. 

The chocolaty treat has an intriguing history. Created by Mars Inc., the candies were dreamt up in 1941 as a way to allow soldiers to carry chocolate without worry of it melting.

Over the years, its iconic logo and humorous advertising have made it a favorite in over 100 countries. With ingredients that have been found to adversely affect health, however, it’s time consumers get educated on what they’re actually consuming and opt for healthier cacao treats if a sweet fix is in order.

An Original M&Ms bag lists the following ingredients:

Milk chocolate (sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter, skim milk, milk fat, lactose, soy lecithin, salt, artificial color), sugar, cornstarch, >1% corn syrup, dextrin, artificial colors (Blue 1 Lake, Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Red 40, Blue 1, Blue 2 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Blue 2), gum acacia.

 

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The Telegraph

Cooking with vegetable oils releases toxic cancer-causing chemicals, say experts

Scientists warn against the dangers of frying food in sunflower oil and corn oil over claims they release toxic chemicals linked to cancer

 Oils made of sunflower seeds, soya beans, corn and palm are worse for health than butter, lard and olive oil, research has shown Rex

Cooking with vegetable oils releases toxic chemicals linked to cancer and other diseases, according to leading scientists, who are now recommending food be fried in olive oil, coconut oil, butter or even lard.

The results of a series of experiments threaten to turn on its head official advice that oils rich in polyunsaturated fats – such as corn oil and sunflower oil – are better for the health than the saturated fats in animal products.

Scientists found that heating up vegetable oils led to the release of high concentrations of chemicals called aldehydes, which have been linked to illnesses including cancer, heart disease and dementia.

Martin Grootveld, a professor of bioanalytical chemistry and chemical pathology, said that his research showed “a typical meal of fish and chips”, fried in vegetable oil, contained as much as 100 to 200 times more toxic aldehydes than the safe daily limit set by the World Health Organisation.

“The human brain is changing in a way that is as serious as climate change threatens to be”
Professor John Stein, Oxford University’s emeritus professor of neuroscience

In contrast, heating up butter, olive oil and lard in tests produced much lower levels of aldehydes. Coconut oil produced the lowest levels of the harmful chemicals.

Concerns over toxic chemicals in heated oils are backed up by separate research from a University of Oxford professor, who claims that the fatty acids in vegetable oils are contributing to other health problems.

 

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INDEPENDENT

 

Vegetable oils contain ‘toxic’ chemical linked to cancer and brain degeneration, say scientists

The new research contradicts advice from the NHS not to cook with butter
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 Scientists said meal fried in vegetable oil such as fish and chips contains 100 to 200 times more aldehydes than the daily limit set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Cooking with vegetable oil releases toxic chemicals linked to cancer and even the degeneration of the brain, according to experts.

Lard, butter, coconut and olive oil are all better dietary choices, leading scientists have said – in advice which directly contradicts the NHS.

When heated, corn, sunflower, palm and soya bean oils – often called “vegetable” oils –  release chemicals called aldehydes which have been linked to various cancers and neurogenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Martin Grootveld, a professor of bioanalytical chemistry and chemical pathology at DeMontfort University,said that a meal fried in vegetable oil such as fish and chips contains 100 to 200 times more aldehydes than the daily limit set by the World Health Organisation (WHO), according to the Daily Telegraph.

Using butter, olive and lard in the frying pan, however, was found to produce much lower levels of aldehydes – with coconut oil coming out as healthiest.

 

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‘Million Cancer Deaths From Fukushima Expected in Japan,’ New Report Reveals

'Million Cancer Deaths From Fukushima Expected in Japan,' New Report Reveals

A shocking new report defies the chronically underestimated impacts of the Fukushima’s triple meltdown on the risk of cancer in exposed populations, which does not just include Japan, but arguably the entire world. 

A new report from Fairewinds Energy Education (FEE), “Cancer on the Rise in Post-Fukushima Japan,” reveals that the ongoing multi-core nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant that started in March 2011 has produced approximately 230 times higher than normal thyroid cancers in Fukushima Prefecture, and could result in as many as one million more cancers in Japan’s future as a result of the meltdown.

According to the new report, data provided by a group of esteemed Japanese medical professionals and TEPCO, confirm a direct link of numerous cancers in Japan to the triple meltdown. As transcribed by Enenews.com, Arnie Gundersen, chief engineer at Fairewinds stated, Nov. 4, 2015:

“It’s been almost 5 years from the Fukushima Daiichi meltdowns, and the news from Japan is still not good. Two reports recently released in Japan, one by Japanese medical professionals and the second from Tokyo Power Corporation – TEPCO – acknowledged that there will be numerous cancers in Japan, much greater than normal, due to the radioactive discharges from the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi… I believe, as do many of my colleagues, that there will be at least 100,000 and as many as one million more cancers in Japan’s future as a result of this meltdown… [T]he second report received from Japan proves that the incidence of thyroid cancer is approximately 230 times higher than normal in Fukushima Prefecture… So what’s the bottom line? The cancers already occurring in Japan are just the tip of the iceberg. I’m sorry to say that the worst is yet to come.”

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whatleydude from London, United Kingdom  –  Wikipedia.org

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A disgraceful scare story – so don’t bin your bacon sarnies: One nutritionist questions the claims made by the World Health Organisation after it declared war on red and processed meat

  • The World Health Organisation said some meats could be carcinogenic
  • One nutritionist questioned claims as no controlled trials have been done
  • Meat actually provides essential nutrients and there is only a tiny risk 

Burger fans beware – and if you’re about to tuck into a bacon sarnie, put it down now. And don’t even think about a ham roll for lunch.

Last week the World Health Organisation declared war on red and processed meat. It said that beef, lamb and pork were ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’ and ‘each 50 gram portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 per cent’.

The proclamation caused quite a stir. But, before we rush to bin those sausages, perhaps we should take time to dissect the WHO claims more accurately.

I was confused because the claims were made despite no controlled trials ever having been done to look at what actually happens to people if they’re given 50 grams of processed meat – that’s two slices of bacon, five slices of salami, half a hot-dog, or 1.7 meatballs – per day.

Without such a controlled scientific trial, you cannot conclusively say A causes B.

So how did the WHO come to this shocking conclusion about bacon?

Well, it looked at observational studies. This is where a large group of people are asked loads of questions and given health tests (for example blood pressure, weight, height and cholesterol) at the start of the study. This is called the baseline.

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Your hormones are your body’s control system. But in an age when hormone-disrupting chemicals lurk in processed foods, shampoos, and even scented candles and air fresheners, it doesn’t take much to throw off that delicate balance. And out-of-whack hormones could affect almost every facet of your health, making it really hard to lose weight, have babies, and even feel happy. Unhealthy hormone levels can even increase your risk of certain cancers and other chronic diseases.

We turned to Natasha Turner, ND, author of the best-selling book, The Super-Charged Hormone Diet (Rodale), to help ID the best hormone-balancing foods nature has to offer—a snapshot of nutritious foods and drinks that can help you achieve hormonal balance, feel satisfied, fight disease, and lose fat.

 

1. Broccoli

 File:Broccoli geputzt und geschnitten.jpg

Pimpinellus – Wikipedia.org
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, and cabbage contain high amounts of phytonutrients called isothiocyanates, including indole-3-carbinol, which helps break down a harmful and potent estrogen metabolite that promotes tumor growth, especially in estrogen-sensitive breast cells. In 2008, researchers at the University of California–Berkeley showed that indole-3-carbinol halts the growth of breast cancer cells and may also offer protection against the spread of cancer.
Dose details: Just 2½ cups of broccoli a week is all you need to reduce your risk of several cancers, particularly those of the breast and prostate.

 

2. Flaxseed

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Sanjay Acharya – Wikipedia.org  Brown Flax seed

 

File:Flax seeds.jpg

Rumun999 – Wikipedia.org  Golden Flax seed
Flaxseed is full of lignans, phytoestrogenic compounds that have been proved to help protect us against certain kinds of cancers, especially breast, prostate, and colon.
Dose details: Adding 2 to 3 tablespoons of flaxseed to your smoothies, oatmeal, salads, or cereals daily can reduce your cancer risk and also provide a dose of fiber and essential fatty acids.
Bonus tip: The oils in flaxseed can go rancid quickly, so be sure to purchase ground flaxseed in a vacuum-sealed package and store it in the freezer. Better yet, you can grind your own daily.
Try this: NOW Foods Certified Organic Golden Flax Seeds

 

3. Green Tea

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Chris Gladis   Nanzenji green tea  – Wikipedia.org 

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that green tea extract could significantly increase metabolism and fat burning. While caffeine does provide an energizing boost, the tea also offers calming effects because it contains theanine, a natural compound that blocks the release of cortisol—great for conquering belly fat.
Dose details: Drink 4 cups of this tasty tea daily, and you can enjoy weight loss, possibly even without a change in diet and exercise.
Try this: Stash Tea Company Organic Premium Green Tea

 

4. Red Wine

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Amanda Velocet   Artistic view of two glasses of wine

Wikimedia.org
The antioxidant polyphenols found in the skins and seeds of grapes, especially catechins and resveratrol, aid heart health, inhibit inflammation, and help prevent the development of certain cancers. According to researchers from Northwestern University Medical School, many benefits of resveratrol in wine are in fact due to its estrogenic properties. When consumed with or after a meal, red wine is also a good digestive aid.
Dose details: Healthy individuals should limit wine intake to two to three glasses a week. University of California–Davis researchers found that cabernet sauvignon, petit syrah, and pinot noir boasted the highest levels of disease-fighting flavonoids.

 

 

5. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

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Poyraz 72  Extra-virgin olive oil  – Wikimedia.org
When we include them in our daily diet, monounsaturated fats such as those in olive oil encourage the release of our appetite-suppressing hormone leptin. Olive oil, in particular, has been shown to improve our sensitivity to insulin. Another perk? In a 2003 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, rats fed an olive oil–rich diet broke down more fat cells, compared with the group fed soybean oil. (Soybean oil actually hindered healthy hormone production.)

Dose details: Avoid industrial fats like margarine and use organic extra virgin olive oil instead.
Try this: Bragg Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

6. Avocados

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Muhammad Mahdi Karim   Wikipedia.org
Avocados are rich in beta-sitosterol, a natural substance shown to significantly lower blood cholesterol levels. That same compound also helps to balance the stress hormone cortisol, and it may help restore low DHEA (a hormone produced by the adrenal gland) and decrease the inflammation typically associated with the stress of intense exercise.
Dose details: Enjoy a quarter of an avocado per serving.

 

 

7. Organic Apples

 

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Agricultural Research Service   Wikimedia.org
Apples contain quercetin, a flavonoid antioxidant and natural antihistamine. Like many other flavonoids, quercetin also has phytoestrogenic properties. A large Finnish study following more than 10,000 people for more than 30 years found eating a daily apple reduced the risk of almost every chronic disease associated with aging, including osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
Dose details: Just like the old saying, try to eat an organic apple a day to keep the doctor away!

 

 

8. Chia Seeds

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Wikimedia.org

Chia seed is a gluten-free ancient grain that can be added to just about any food. On a per-gram basis, chia seed is touted to contain the highest amount of omega-3s in nature and also the most fiber. Chia’s hormonal benefits include stabilizing blood sugar, improving insulin sensitivity, and easing metabolic syndrome symptoms like blood pressure and blood sugar spikes.
Dose details: Just 3½ ounces of chia seed offer an amazing 20 grams of omega-3s, which is equal to the amount in 1¾ pounds of Atlantic salmon.
Try this: Navitas Naturals Organic Raw Chia Seeds

 

 

9. Nuts

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Marco VerchNussmischung / Different nuts   Wikimedia.org

 
Like avocados, most nuts are an excellent source of the plant sterol beta-sitosterol. Almonds, in particular, contain protein, fiber, plant sterols, and several other heart-healthy nutrients. Almonds are also known to slow the absorption of carbohydrates in the body, which may help with diabetes management. Research from the University of Texas Health Science Center published in the journal Nutrition showed that walnuts are a source of melatonin, a hormone that promotes better sleep.
Dose details: Just a small handful five times a week will provide an adequate dose of fats that will stimulate leptin release, which helps control your appetite.

 

 

10. Non-GMO, Organic Soy

Edensoy Quart Sampler #2

Eden Foods, Inc
Bone density, hormonal balance, and cholesterol levels change as we age, but a daily serving of soy can help lower cholesterol, keep bones strong, improve heart health, protect the prostate, and ease the symptoms of menopause. The therapeutic effects of soy products—when consumed in moderation—come from the phytoestrogens naturally present in soybeans. Research from the University of Illinois also suggests soy protein may help to increase metabolism, manage weight, and limit the growth of fat cells. (Don’t go for soy, however, if you’ve noticed it has caused you gas, bloating, or digestive problems in the past, or if you’ve had breast cancer.)
Dose details: Just 1 cup of unsweetened, organic soy milk or yogurt, a handful of soy nuts, or a palm-size serving of tempeh can do the trick.
Try this: Westsoy Unsweetened Organic Soymilk

 

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Proof the Ketogenic Diet for Cancer can be a Real Solution

While offering natural weight loss benefits
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Alexandra Preston
by Alexandra Preston
Posted on October 22, 2015

Although it is often associated with the high-protein Atkins diet, ketogenic diets are useful for more than just weight control. These are classified by their very low carbohydrate content, low enough to push the body’s metabolism into using ketones, which are breakdown products of fats, for energy. One other purpose of the ketogenic diet is as a cancer treatment, often alongside other conventional and/or natural therapies.

The story of Elaine Cantin is an example of this, who began to research and modify the ketogenic diet to suit her own needs after seeing too many loved ones die after chemo and radiation. Eventually, her cancer was gone, but this diet is still hidden from most of the general public in obscurity.

So what other evidence is there to support the ketogenic diet as a cancer treatment? Multiple studies on mice have shown that this diet can dramatically slow and possibly reverse tumor growth, with in vitro research finding that, besides sugar deprivation, ketone bodies have direct antitumor effects.