Feds: Tobacco firms should run ad campaign admitting they lied

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department wants the largest cigarette manufacturers to admit that they lied to the public about the dangers of smoking, forcing the industry to set up and pay for an advertising campaign of self-criticism for past behavior.

The government on Wednesday released 14 “corrective statements” that it says the companies should be required to make. Among them are:

One, “A federal court is requiring tobacco companies to tell the truth about cigarette smoking. Here’s the truth: … Smoking kills 1,200 Americans. Every day.”

Two,  “We falsely marketed low tar and light cigarettes as less harmful than regular cigarettes to keep people smoking and sustain our profits.”

Three, “For decades, we denied that we controlled the level of nicotine delivered in cigarettes,” a third statement says. “Here’s the truth. … We control nicotine delivery to create and sustain smokers’ addiction, because that’s how we keep customers coming back.”

Read more:  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41752750/ns/us_news-life/

 

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BPA Milk Bottles Banned in Malaysia

Monday, 14 March 2011
PUTRAJAYA — Malaysia is joining the ranks of the U.S., Europe and several other countries as the latest to ban plastic milk bottles containing a toxic chemical known as Bisphenol A or BPA. Health Minister, Liow Tiong Lai, announced the government has decided to ban the sale of baby feeding bottles containing BPA, a chemical substance widely used in manufacturing plastics, mainly food and drink containers as well as food tin linings. Experts said when heated contents are poured in the plastic bottle, about three to seven parts per billion of Bisphenol leach into the baby formula, which could then damage the babies” health. The ban comes into effect March 2012. Baby feeding bottles in Malaysia are locally manufactured, some of them are imported.   Source: http://www.malaysianmirror.com/media-buzz-detail/6-nation/52394-bpa-milk-bottles-banned-from-march-2012

 

Why Aren’t GMO Foods Labeled?

You can avoid sugar, aspartame, trans-fats, or MSG if you’re a savvy reader of labels. But if you want to avoid genetically modified organisms (GMO’s), it’s not so easy. They’re not listed on labels. You could buy organic foods, which by law can’t contain more than 5 percent GMO’s — but now that might not work either.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved three new kinds of genetically engineered foods — alfalfa, a type of corn, and sugar beets. And the FDA will likely soon approve GM salmon, which would become the first genetically modified animal to be sold in the U.S., but probably not the last. And the FDA and USDA will not require any of these products, or foods containing them, to be labeled as genetically engineered.

This despite the fact that over 95 percent of people polled say they think GM foods should require a label.

According to an editorial in the New York Times: “ the unwillingness to label these products as such — even the G.E. salmon will be sold without distinction — that is demeaning and undemocratic, and the real reason is clear: producers and producer-friendly agencies correctly suspect that consumers will steer clear of G.E. products if they can identify them. Which may make them unprofitable. Where is the free market when we need it?”

To read more: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/15/why-arent-g-m-o-foods-labeled/?hp

 

 

Are Cell Phones Bad for You?

For the past several years, a small band of doctors and activists have been raising concerns about the possible connection between cell phone use and brain cancer. The cell phone industry — along with nearly all major national and international medical associations — have always responded with the same answer: there’s no evidence that cell phone radiation can even affect the brain, let alone cause cancer.

A new study published in the Feb. 23 Journal of the American Medical Association, found that a cell phone’s electromagnetic field can indeed cause changes in brain activity.

Important note: this does not demonstrate that cell phone use can lead to cancer. The study showed only that changes in brain activity occurred because of cell phone radiation — not whether the changes were good, bad or neutral. But this is the first study to show conclusively that cell phone radiation, even in short durations, does something to the brain. That’s enough to worry many people, especially parents of young children — kids have thinner skulls, and their brains can absorb higher levels of radiation.

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2011/02/23/5-easy-ways-to-reduce-your-cell-phone-exposure/#ixzz1GYLU6LLn

 

Breast Cancer: Wrong Diagnosis, Wrong and Useless Drugs — She Died

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 24, 2011): The chairman of the Committee to Promote Inter-Religious Understanding and Harmony, Datuk Illani Isahak, died today after fighting against breast cancer for the past five years. Ilani breathed her last at about 6 a.m. at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre (PPUKM).  Ilani, who would have been 58 next month, had been in hospital since Jan 23, her brother Dr Amir Farid Isahak said. “The entire family was with her when she took her last breath.”

On 2 March 2011, I received an e-mail from Dr. Amir. He wrote:

I am especially upset because my own sister Dato Hajjah Ilani  just died last week after undergoing three years of chemo. She followed everything the oncologist prescribed. Each time, after discussing with me, she would decide “no more chemo”, but after the next visit with the oncologist, she would tell me “the oncologist said it is absolutely necessary that I go for the chemo, so I agreed”.

In three years she had many courses of chemo. She also had many doses of Herceptin, which was wrongly given because they later told her that her report was wrong.

She had several doses of Avastin, which was withdrawn for use in breast cancer by US FDA in Dec 2010 because the damage outweighed any potential good. You can imagine what devastation all these did to her body.

She had chemo till Dec 2010. Only when she was in bad shape in Jan 2011 did she decide no more chemo. By that time the oncologists also decided that she was a hopeless case and good for palliative care only.

At her death bed, she told me “Learn from my mistake, do not go for chemo”.

Comments:

Herceptin and Avastin are expensive drugs. But they do not cure cancer!

Research showed that Herceptin prolonged survival by 4.6 months if it is added to the chemo-regimen.

Avastin was first used for metastatic colorectal cancer. It never cures it either. In 2008, the FDA approved Avastin for the treatment of advanced breast cancer. But research did not show that it can ever cure breast cancer either. Early this year, the FDA withdrew the approval of Avastin for breast cancer due to side effects. Now the drug manufacturer is appealing against this withdrawal. The jury is still out – never underestimate what money can do!