April 20, 2011 marks the one-year anniversary of BP’s catastrophic oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. On this day in 2010 the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, causing oil to gush from 5,000 feet below the surface into the ninth largest body of water on the planet.
At least 4.9 million barrels of BP’s oil would eventually be released into the Gulf of Mexico before the well was capped 87 days later.
It is, to date, the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. BP has used at least 1.9 million gallons of toxic dispersants to sink the oil, in an effort the oil giant claimed was aimed at keeping the oil from reaching shore.
A sting nailed a company the HHS authorized to oversee human drug trials. The absurdities in the application are belly laugh funny, but in their rush to keep the money coming, they approved it.
The FDA farms out drug and medical device testing. It’s in the hands of the companies hoping to gain approval for their products, but they must first get approval before doing tests on humans. Even here, though, there’s a catch. The FDA doesn’t review the testing plans. That’s done by more for-profit companies, Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). But it gets worse. The IRBs are paid by the companies hoping to gain FDA approval for their products. So, it’s a conflict of interest on top of a conflict of interest.
The First Sting
Congress became suspicious, so they got together with the General Accountability Office (GAO) to set up a sting. They sent out an application for testing of a nonexistent product, Adhesiabloc, by a nonexistent company, Device Med-Systems.
Subtlety is apparently not one of the GAO’s strong suits. Adhesiabloc was described as a gel that would be poured into a patient’s stomach after surgery to collect the bits and pieces left over from the operation. The instructions were to pour more than a liter into the wound.
We are addicted to chemicals: bleach, ammonia, window cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, drain cleaner, shampoo, body wash, laundry detergent, fabric softener, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste, body creams, shave gel, dish soap, antibacterial spray, deodorizer, mildew remover, and the list goes on and on. We have been convinced that we needthese products in order to keep natural odors and bacteria, mold, and germs at bay.
But the cost is staggering in many ways. They cause environmental damage, personal harm from an incredible amount of toxic chemicals combined in a day, and finally there’s the actual financial cost. Consequently, in the long run we spend all this money unnecessarily, given our access to easy and natural alternatives.
As we wrote in our newsletter this week: scanners and backscatter devices are under pressure from all sides. Despite the best efforts of Michael Chertoff and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), word is out that Backscatter X-ray scanner technology being used in airports is exceedingly harmful, along with being an invasion of privacy.
Dearest Doctor, I have come to my senses. Days ago, when you offered your diagnosis, I died. No, not literally. Had you done me in, I would not be here to write what I hope will help inform your bedside manner. Well, in my case only the way in which you approach a patient who merely sits in an examining room chair near you is the concern. You may recall our time together began so innocently. We sat down to review the results of annually scheduled blood-work. I had not felt sick all year or on that day. You had even expressed, it had been so long since we last saw each other. You scanned the pages, and proclaimed, that I must have returned to my bulimic ways. My spirit perished. I had done nothing of the sort! Yet, you said you were sure I had. Continue reading →
A philosophical question for you. If no reporter is ever allowed to speak or meet with any of the many oil spill clean-up workers about the medical treatment they may or may not be receiving at a Federal Clinic, much less visit said clinic, do they really exist? And by that I mean oil spill clean-up workers in general, sick or not:
The latest chapter in the media’s ongoing struggle to cover the Gulf Oil Spill comes courtesy of PBS Newshour’s Bridget Desimone, who has been working with her colleague, Betty Ann Bowser, in “reporting the health impact of the oil spill in Plaquemines Parish.” Desimone reports that on the ground, officials are generally doing a better job answering inquiries and granting access to the clean-up efforts.But Desimone and Bowser have encountered one “roadblock” that they’ve struggled to overcome: access to a “federal mobile medical unit” in Venice, Louisiana: “The glorified double-wide trailer sits on a spit of newly graveled land known to some as the “BP compound.” Ringed with barbed wire-topped chain link fencing, it’s tightly restricted by police and private security guards.”
Ever hear of an American medical treatment facility masquerading as Stalag 17 before (I mean other than the one in the movie “Shutter Island“)? Of course, in Shutter Island the facility was an asylum for the criminally insane. I don’t think that’s the excuse the Feds and BP can use for the Venice, La. facility unless the toxic chemicals to which the workers have been exposed have turned them into raving zombies or serial killers. So, what gives? Continue reading →
As you gobble that fine food, be it steak, a frankfurter, roasted chicken, or an omelet, please, sit back relax. Put your feet up and stay a while. I will furnish the entertainment in the form of a film. Meatrix is fun, fascinating, and far from folly. This presentation is playful; the message profound.
You may recall the fairy tales you loved as a child. The plots varied, although all had elements of mystery. Adventures were abundant. Tots were often so engrossed in the tales, they barely noticed that the themes taught a life lesson. Meatrix is as the fables you once anxiously awaited and even asked others to read aloud to you. Continue reading →
As much as we would like to join the celebration of the House’s passage of the health bill last night, in good conscience we cannot. We take no comfort in seeing aspirin dispensed for the treatment of cancer.
Instead of eliminating the root of the problem – the profit-driven, private health insurance industry – this costly new legislation will enrich and further entrench these firms. The bill would require millions of Americans to buy private insurers’ defective products, and turn over to them vast amounts of public money.
Researchers from the University of California’s Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR) have found “reasonable evidence that cannabis is a promising treatment” for some specific, pain-related medical conditions. Their findings, presented today to the California legislature and public, are included in a report available on the CMCR web site at http://www.cmcr.ucsd.edu. (Image)
“We focused on illnesses where current medical treatment does not provide adequate relief or coverage of symptoms,” explained CMCR director, Igor Grant, MD, Executive Vice-Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the UCSD School of Medicine. “These findings provide a strong, science-based context in which policy makers and the public can begin discussing the place of cannabis in medical care.” Continue reading →
This posting below from Organic Consumers Assn is very interesting. They are working to stop GMO vaccines for animals because they are not organic, but they have not recognized that swine flu vaccines contain genetically engineered organisms. OCA is against nanotechnology but doesn’t realize there is a chance the vaccines will contain nanoparticles.
You want to convey sympathy, but come out instead with a shudder. Someone you care about has just been diagnosed with …
Well, in this case, breast cancer.
News like this never fails to overwhelm, even at a safe distance. When I heard about Kay’s condition from my sister, I felt crowded by it, pushed to the very edge of adequacy. I wanted to whimper; I rallied, after a few heartbeats, only because I knew that wouldn’t be of use to anybody. I offered, of course, “whatever I can do to help,” but I wanted to offer the blue pearl.
The new type A H1N1 influenza virus is a messy combination of sequences from bird, human and swine flu virus lineages from North America and Eurasia. A senior virologist in Australia told the press he thought that the virus could have been created in the laboratory and released by accident . Some even suggest it was made intentionally as a bioweapon , while others blame the intensive livestock industry and extensive trafficking of love animals over long distances, which provide plenty of opportunity for generating exotic recombinants . But what worries the public most is the mass vaccination programmes governments are putting in place to combat the emerging pandemic, which could well be worse than the pandemic itself. Continue reading →