Looming Climate Change Disaster in Canada’s North Jan 13/16

this-is-the-looming-climate-change-disaster 500 x 280“LOOMING CLIMATE CHANGE DISASTER IN CANADA’S NORTH THAT NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT”

“Of all the climate change issues that have been melodramatically dubbed a “carbon bomb” in recent years—tar sands projects in Alberta, catastrophic wildfires in Indonesia, holes in Australia’s seagrass meadows—it seems the thawing of permafrost in the Arctic is most likely to live up to the hype.” Read the full article published on January 12, 2016 on Vice.com by James Wilt.

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Drug Companies, Doctors, and Corruption Jan 6/2016

Angell 500 x 280 pic“NO LONGER POSSIBLE TO BELIEVE MUCH OF THE CLINICAL RESEARCH THAT IS PUBLISHED”

We came across a 2009 Dr. Marcia Angell quote that never gets old, “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.” Read the full article posted on November 9, 2009 by Carolyn Thomas in The Ethical Nag, Marketing Ethics for the Easily Swayed, about the corruption and biases in the pharmaceutical industry.

Read Dr. Marcia Angell’s 2009 article in the New York Review of Books, “Drug Companies & Doctors: A Story of Corruption” (15Jan09 Issue).

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Disturbing’ Drug-Resistant Superbug Gene Has Been Detected In Canada Jan 5/16

superbug geneALARMING DRUG RESISTANCE GENE MCR-1 FIRST DETECTED IN MEAT IN ONTARIO IN 2010

Read the full article published in the Toronto Star on Jan, 5, 2016.

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Shawn Buckley’s Response to the Fifth Estate’s Vitamin and Supplements: Magic Pills Episode Dec 27/15

Magic Pills or Magic Journalism Website 500 x 500_1

THE FIFTH ESTATE SHOW “MAGIC PILLS” HAS BEEN GENERATING SOME CONCERN AND SO I HAVE BEEN ASKED TO SHARE MY THOUGHTS ON THE PROGRAM

For those who did not see the Program, it was largely based on a dated 2013 publication called DNA barcoding detects contamination and substitution in North American herbal products, published in the open access journal BMC Medicine (see BMC Medicine 2013, 11:222).

The first question that came to mind when watching the program was: why is a 2013 study news now? After I read the study my main question became why would the Fifth Estate rely so heavily upon this publication? The publication was interesting for the questions it raised for me. The authors took a very small sample of 44 single ingredient products from 12 companies. They tested these products using PCR amplification which is a technique used to “amplify” DNA in a sample. This was done to try to identify the plant species in the product. The authors reported 59% of the products (which the Fifth Estate reported as 60%) contained plant DNA of a species different than the plant on the label.  They also reported that a third of the products contained contaminants and fillers not on the label. The message from the study and the Fifth Estate’s dramatization of the study findings to me was:

  • 60% of natural health products are adulterated with ingredients not on the label, and
  • 1/3 of natural health product s have contaminants and fillers not on the label.

This message is truly shocking. It was meant to be shocking. However, what truly shocked me was how misleading this message seemed to be.

Read the full response here: http://nhppa.org/?page_id=10790

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Halifax Professor Campaigns for Increased Access to Drug-safety Data Dec 23/15

pill_bottle_and_pills500x280BILL C-17 AMENDED TO ALLOW RELEASE OF “CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS INFORMATION”

A Halifax professor is trying to shed new light on the safety and effectiveness of prescription drugs by kick-starting an international letter-writing campaign asking Health Canada to release data it now keeps confidential.

Read the full article published in The Globe and Mail on Dec. 22, 2015.

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Look! Stem cells! Dec 22/15

stem cells snowmen

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