(Subjects: Religion/Worship, Lightworkers, Food, Health, Prescription Drugs, Homeopathy, Innate (Body intelligence), New Age movement, Global Unity, ... etc.) - (Text version)

“…… Should I use Doctors and Drugs to Heal Me or Spiritual Methods?

"Dear Kryon, I have heard that you should stay natural and not use the science on the planet for healing. It does not honor God to go to a doctor. After all, don't you say that we can heal with our minds? So why should we ever go to a doctor if we can do it ourselves? Not only that, my doctor isn't enlightened, so he has no idea about my innate or my spiritual body needs. What should I do?"

First, Human Being, why do you wish to put so many things in boxes? You continue to want a yes and no answer for complex situations due to your 3D, linear outlook on almost everything. Learn to think out of the 3D box! Look at the heading of this section [above]. It asks which one should you do. It already assumes you can't do both because they seem dichotomous.

Let's use some spiritual logic: Here is a hypothetical answer, "Don't go to a doctor, for you can heal everything with your mind." So now I will ask: How many of you can do that in this room right now? How many readers can do that with efficiency right now? All of you are old souls, but are you really ready to do that? Do you know how? Do you have really good results with it? Can you rid disease and chemical imbalance with your mind right now?

I'm going to give you a truth, whether you choose to see it or not. You're not ready for that! You are not yet prepared to take on the task of full healing using your spiritual tools. Lemurians could do that, because Pleiadians taught them how! It's one of the promises of God, that there'll come a day when your DNA works that efficiently and you will be able to walk away from drug chemistry and the medical industry forever, for you'll have the creator's energy working at 100 percent, something you saw within the great masters who walked the earth.

This will be possible within the ascended earth that you are looking forward to, dear one. Have you seen the news lately? Look out the window. Is that where you are now? We are telling you that the energy is going in that direction, but you are not there yet.

Let those who feel that they can heal themselves begin the process of learning how. Many will be appreciative of the fact that you have some of the gifts for this now. Let the process begin, but don't think for a moment that you have arrived at a place where every health issue can be healed with your own power. You are students of a grand process that eventually will be yours if you wish to begin the quantum process of talking to your cells. Some will be good at this, and some will just be planting the seeds of it.

Now, I would like to tell you how Spirit works and the potentials of what's going to happen in the next few years. We're going to give the doctors of the planet new inventions and new science. These will be major discoveries about the Human body and of the quantum attributes therein.

Look at what has already happened, for some of this science has already been given to you and you are actually using it. Imagine a science that would allow the heart to be transplanted because the one you have is failing. Of course! It's an operation done many times a month on this planet. That information came from the creator, did you realize that? It didn't drop off the shelf of some dark energy library to be used in evil ways.

So, if you need a new heart, Lightworker, should you go to the doctor or create one with your mind? Until you feel comfortable that you can replace your heart with a new one by yourself, then you might consider using the God-given information that is in the hands of the surgeon. For it will save your life, and create a situation where you stay and continue to send your light to the earth! Do you see what we're saying?

You can also alter that which is medicine [drugs] and begin a process that is spectacular in its design, but not very 3D. I challenge you to begin to use what I would call the homeopathic principle with major drugs. If some of you are taking major drugs in order to alter your chemistry so that you can live better and longer, you might feel you have no choice. "Well, this is keeping me alive," you might say. "I don't yet have the ability to do this with my consciousness, so I take the drugs."

In this new energy, there is something else that you can try if you are in this category. Do the following with safety, intelligence, common sense and logic. Here is the challenge: The principle of homeopathy is that an almost invisible tincture of a substance is ingested and is seen by your innate. Innate "sees" what you are trying to do and then adjusts the body's chemistry in response. Therefore, you might say that you are sending the body a "signal for balance." The actual tincture is not large enough to affect anything chemically - yet it works!

The body [innate] sees what you're trying to do and then cooperates. In a sense, you might say the body is healing itself because you were able to give it instructions through the homeopathic substance of what to do. So, why not do it with a major drug? Start reducing the dosage and start talking to your cells, and see what happens. If you're not successful, then stop the reduction. However, to your own amazement, you may often be successful over time.

You might be able to take the dosage that you're used to and cut it to at least a quarter of what it was. It is the homeopathy principle and it allows you to keep the purpose of the drug, but reduce it to a fraction of a common 3D dosage. You're still taking it internally, but now it's also signaling in addition to working chemically. The signal is sent, the body cooperates, and you reduce the chance of side effects.

You can't put things in boxes of yes or no when it comes to the grand system of Spirit. You can instead use spiritual logic and see the things that God has given you on the planet within the inventions and processes. Have an operation, save your life, and stand and say, "Thank you, God, for this and for my being born where these things are possible." It's a complicated subject, is it not? Each of you is so different! You'll know what to do, dear one. Never stress over that decision, because your innate will tell you what is appropriate for you if you're willing to listen. ….”

Monsanto / GMO - Global Health

(Subjects: Big pharma [the drug companies of America] are going to have to change very soon or collapse. When you have an industry that keeps people sick for money, it cannot survive in the new consciousness., Global Unity, ... etc.) - (Text version)
"Recalibration of Free Choice"– Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) - (Subjects: (Old) Souls, Midpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Lose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth, 4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Pedal wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical) 8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) - (Text version)
"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)
"THE BRIDGE OF SWORDS" – Sep 29, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: ... I'm in Canada and I know it, but I will tell those listening and reading in the American audience the following: Get ready! Because there are some institutions that are yet to fall, ones that don't have integrity and that could never be helped with a bail out. Again, we tell you the biggest one is big pharma, and we told you that before. It's inevitable. If not now, then in a decade. It's inevitable and they will fight to stay alive and they will not be crossing the bridge. For on the other side of the bridge is a new way, not just for medicine but for care. ....) - (Text Version)

Pharmaceutical Fraud / Corruption cases

Health Care

Health Care
Happy birthday to Percy Julian, a pioneer in plant-drug synthesis. His research produced steroids like cortisone. (11 April 2014)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Stem cells being made from blood

BBC News, James Gallagher, Health and science reporter, 30 November 2012

Related Stories 

A patient's own blood has been used to make personalised stem cells, which doctors hope will eventually be used to treat a range of diseases.

The team at the University of Cambridge says this could be one of the easiest and safest sources of stem cells.

In a study, published in the journal Stem Cells: Translational Medicine, the cells were used to build blood vessels.

However, experts cautioned that the safety of using such stem cells was still unclear.

Stem cells are one of the great hopes of medical research. They can transform into any other type of cell the body is built from - so they should be able to repair everything from the brain to the heart, and eyes to bone.

One source of stem cells is embryos, but this is ethically controversial and they would be rejected by the immune system in the same way as an organ transplant.

Researchers have shown that skin cells taken from an adult can be tricked into becoming stem cells, which the body should recognise as part of itself and would not reject.

The team at Cambridge looked in blood samples for a type of repair cell that whizzes through the bloodstream repairing any damage to the walls of blood vessels. These were then converted into stem cells.

Dr Amer Rana said this method was better than taking samples from skin.

"We are excited to have developed a practical and efficient method to create stem cells from a cell type found in blood," she said.

"Tissue biopsies are undesirable - particularly for children and the elderly - whereas taking blood samples is routine for all patients."

Dr Rana told the BBC the cells also appeared to be safer to use than those made from skin.

"The fact that these appeared to be fairly stable is very promising," she said.

"The next stage obviously is to say, 'OK if we can do all this, let's actually make some clinical grade cells,' we can then move this technology into the clinic for the first time."

Prof Chris Mason, an expert on regenerative medicine at University College London, said there was some "beautiful work" coming out of the lab in Cambridge.

"It's a hell of a lot easier to get a blood sample than a high quality skin sample, so that's a big benefit," he said.

"However, induced pluripotent stem cells [those converted from adult cells] are still very new, we need far more experience to totally reprogram a cell in a way we know to be safe."

The British Heart Foundation said these cells had "great potential".

The Medical Research Council said there was "rapid progress" being made in the this field.

Zara to ban toxins in clothing after Greenpeace campaign

Want China Times, CNA and Staff Reporter 2012-11-30

Protesters present a "toxic" fashion show in front of
Zara's store in Taipei. (Photo/Chen Chen-tang)

One of the world's top clothing retailers committed Thursday to eliminating the use of potentially toxic chemicals in its products by 2020 in response to a worldwide campaign by Greenpeace.

Inditex, the parent company of Spanish fashion brand Zara, said that day that it will begin requiring 20 suppliers to disclose pollution data as early as next March, according to the local branch of Greenpeace East Asia.

The campaign targeted 20 world-renowned garment brands around the globe and found high levels of toxins in many of their products.

"Zara is the eighth global fashion brand to bow to people's demands for non-toxic clothing, which means our voice has been heard," said Rose Lai of Greenpeace.

Zara's commitment came nine days after the environmental group disclosed the brand's use of potentially toxic chemicals such as nonylphenol ethoxylates, detergents used in the textile industry that are considered harmful to health.

Since the release of the report, more than 315,000 people worldwide have joined the campaign, with tens of thousands taking action on Facebook and Twitter, according to Greenpeace.

Over 700 people in countries including Taiwan have also been protesting and performing street theater outside Zara shops around the world.

Related Article:

US Unveils Road Map to AIDS-Free Generation

Jakarta Globe, November 30, 2012

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton introduced Thursday a plan to realize
an AIDS-free generation. (AFP Photo)
Related articles

Washington, DC. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton unveiled Thursday an ambitious US blueprint on how to realize the dream of an AIDS-free generation, aiming to see virtually no babies born with HIV by 2015.

“Scientific advances and their successful implementation have brought the world to a tipping point in the fight against AIDS,” the 54-page document says.

Speaking at a launch to mark World AIDS Day, Clinton stressed that challenges still exist as the global community seeks to “change the course of this pandemic and usher in an AIDS-free generation.”

But although HIV may still be around into the future, “the disease that it causes need not be,” Clinton said.

Antiretroviral drugs have been hugely successful in cutting the rate of HIV transmission from pregnant women to their unborn babies or via breast-feeding, as well as in helping HIV-positive patients from developing AIDS.

Some 1.7 million people still die every year from AIDS-related illnesses.

But in the vision of an AIDS-free generation, almost no child is born with HIV; as they grow up, they are at lower risk of becoming infected; and if they do get HIV, they have access to treatment to halt its progression towards AIDS.

New HIV infections among children and adults around the world have fallen by 19 percent over the past decade, and AIDS-related deaths by 26 percent since a peak in 2005.

“As we continue to drive down the number of new infections, and drive up the number of people on treatment, eventually we will be able to treat more people than become infected every year. That will be the tipping point,” Clinton said.

“We will then get ahead of the pandemic and an AIDS-free generation will be in our sight.”

US Global AIDS coordinator Eric Goosby told AFP that the 390,000 children currently born every year with HIV primarily lived in about 22 countries, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa.

Taking a cocktail of three antiretroviral drugs cut the risk of a mother transmitting HIV to her baby to less than two percent, he said. It also allowed her to breast-feed and protected her in future pregnancies in countries where many women had between five to seven children.

“Now we will not get to zero,” Goosby warned, saying many women in developing countries never enter prenatal care. But he hoped by 2015 that the numbers of babies born with HIV would drop globally below 40,000.

In a moving speech, South African Florence Ngobeni-Allen, an ambassador for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation who is HIV-positive, spoke of losing her own daughter and husband to AIDS.

“Losing a child to AIDS is the worst thing that a mother can go through. I’ve told this story so many times, but it still feels like yesterday,” she said.

Her pain turned to joy, once she had remarried and gave birth to two HIV-negative sons, the oldest of whom is now six.

“Let’s not give up, for the fight is far from over... I dream of a generation born free of HIV. I know it’s real because my children are part of it. I’m proof of it, and I am proud of that,” she said.

“These are encouraging trends, but more work needs to be done,” says the report, drawn up by the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Under the road map, the United States will:

- Work towards the elimination of new HIV infections in children by 2015 and keeping their mothers alive;

- Increase its coverage of HIV treatment to cut the number of deaths from AIDS and boost HIV prevention, including antiretroviral drugs. President Barack Obama has set a goal of treating some six million people with such drugs by the end of 2013;

- Increase the numbers of men that get circumcisions. By the end of fiscal year 2013, PEPFAR aims to have supported such operations for some 4.7 million men in eastern and southern Africa;

- Step up access to testing and counseling, as well as to condoms and other prevention methods.

The blueprint stressed though that underpinning all these efforts would be scientific advances, adding the US will support innovative research into ways of prevention, as well as helping to halt the progression of the disease.

“In every setting, in every country, really in every city... we are on a continuum towards an AIDS-free generation,” Goosby said.

“There’s an aggregate and a kind of cumulative reflection of that for a country, and a world. But it is an individual march for each person and for each population.”

Agence France-Presse
Related Article:

Australia Readies for First Plain Pack Cigarettes

Jakarta Globe, November 30, 2012

'The challenge for us as a government is to make [smoking] as unappealing
 as possible. If we can prevent young people from taking it up, that’s a lifetime
gift to them,' said Australian Health Minister Tanya Plibersek. (AFP Photo)
Related articles

Sydney. All cigarettes sold in Australia will be in identical, plain packages from Saturday in a world first after the government overcame legal challenges from the tobacco industry.

Under new laws which come into effect on December 1, all tobacco products must be sold in drab, olive-brown packets with expanded graphic health warnings which feature images such as gangrenous feet and mouth cancer.

Health Minister Tanya Plibersek said the packets, which survived a constitutional challenge from major tobacco firms, were about making smoking less attractive.

“That’s the aim of this exercise,” she told reporters in Sydney.

“The challenge for us as a government is to make it [smoking] as unappealing as possible. If we can prevent young people from taking it up, that’s a lifetime gift to them.”

Tobacco companies had fought the change, but the High Court rejected their argument that the new law infringed their intellectual property rights by banning brands and trademarks from packets.

Plibersek said tobacco companies had reported no changes to their products, but there was a possible psychological effect of the new packages making them less attractive to some people.

“I have had a few letters... with smokers saying to me, ‘Oh the cigarettes don’t taste the same as they used to’,” she said.

The minister said after World War II about 50 percent of Australians smoked but this had now dropped to 15 percent and the government was aiming to push it down to 10 percent by 2018.

The new legislation comes into force as a study conducted for the Cancer Council of Victoria found that one-in-four smokers believe the effects of tobacco on health are exaggerated.

The research looked at the impact of Australia’s health warnings on cigarette packages, which for years have included graphic images depicting health issues arising from smoking.

Its study of 4,500 smokers in Victoria state from 2003 to 2011 found that about a quarter still believed the dangers of smoking had been exaggerated and one in 10 did not believe or were not sure that smoking caused illness.

“From tomorrow, the outside of cigarette packaging will finally reflect the ugliness of what’s inside and leave no smoker in any doubt of how deadly cigarettes are,” Quit Victoria executive director Fiona Sharkie said.

Sharkie said the graphic health warnings had already made a difference.

“While the main intent of plain packaging is to reduce the appeal of smoking among youth, we’ve already had several calls... from smokers who say the graphic health warnings have pushed them to quit,” she said.

Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death and disease in Australians, killing an estimated 15,000 every year.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Nestle ventures into Chinese medicine with pharma deal

thewest.com.au, AFP, November 29, 2012

The world's biggest food group Nestle is moving into traditional Chinese medicine
 by joining forces with Chinese pharma group Chi-Med, the Swiss group said
on Wednesday.

ZURICH (AFP) - The world's biggest food group Nestle is moving into traditional Chinese medicine by joining forces with Chinese pharma group Chi-Med, the Swiss group said on Wednesday.

The new entity, called Nutrition Science Partners (NSP), is to be owned equally by the two parties, Nestle said in a statement, without revealing any of the financials behind the deal.

NSP will research, develop, make and sell nutritional and medicinal products derived from botanical plants, it said.

The joint venture will also hand Nestle's Health Science division, which is handling the deal, access to Chi-Med's traditional Chinese medicine library, which with more than 50,000 extracts from more than 1,200 different herbal plants is one of the world's largest, the statement said.

Initially, the product focus will be on gastro-intestinal health -- a market worth up to $6 billion (4.6 billion euros) according to Chi-Med -- but could in future expand into metabolic diseases and brain health, Nestle said.

For Chi-Med, the deal, which is still subject to regulatory approvals, will bring "a stream of novel botanical medicines and nutritional products to market and in so doing build significant value for patients and for our shareholders," company chief executive Christian Hogg said on a conference call.

"Botanical are in the forefront in our view in the search for new medicines," the Chi-Med chief said.

Traditional Chinese plant-based medicines represented between 30 percent and 40 percent of all pharma sales in China, he added.

This joint venture provides Nestlé Health Science with an opportunity to develop and commercialise truly innovative and scientifically validated botanical-based nutrition for personalised healthcare in gastro-intestinal health,? Nestle Health Science head Luis Cantarell said.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tobacco companies ordered to admit they lied over smoking danger

US judge says tobacco firms must spend their own money on a public campaign admitting deception about the risks of smoking

guardian.co.uk, Reuters in Washington, Wednesday 28 November 2012

The public advertisements are to be published in various media for as long as
two years. Photograph: Alex Segre/Alamy

Major tobacco companies who spent decades denying they lied to the US public about the dangers of cigarettes must spend their own money on a public advertising campaign saying they did lie, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday.

The ruling sets out what might be the harshest sanction to come out of a historic case that the justice department brought in 1999 accusing the tobacco companies of racketeering.

US district judge Gladys Kessler wrote that the new advertising campaign would be an appropriate counterweight to the companies' "past deception" dating back to at least 1964.

The advertisements are to be published in various media for up to two years.

Details of the campaign – how much it will cost and which media will be involved – are still to be determined and could lead to another prolonged fight.

Kessler's ruling on Tuesday, which the companies could try to appeal against, aims to finalise the wording of five different statements the companies will be required to use.

One of them begins: "A federal court has ruled that the defendant tobacco companies deliberately deceived the American public by falsely selling and advertising low tar and light cigarettes as less harmful than regular cigarettes."

Another statement includes the wording: "Smoking kills, on average, 1,200 Americans. Every day."

The wording was applauded by health advocates who have waited years for tangible results from the case.

"Requiring the tobacco companies to finally tell the truth is a small price to pay for the devastating consequences of their wrongdoing," said Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, an anti-tobacco group in Washington.

"These statements do exactly what they should do. They're clear, to the point, easy to understand, no legalese, no scientific jargon, just the facts," said Ellen Vargyas, general counsel for the American Legacy Foundation.

The largest cigarette companies in the US spent $8.05bn in 2010 to advertise and promote their products, down from $12.5bn in 2006, according to a report issued in September by the Federal Trade Commission.

The major tobacco companies, which fought against having to use words such as "deceived" in the statements, citing concern for their rights of free speech, gave a muted response.

"We are reviewing the judge's ruling and considering next steps," said Bryan Hatchell, a spokesman for Reynolds American Inc.

Philip Morris USA, a unit of Altria Group Inc, is studying the decision, a spokesman said.

The justice department, which urged the strong language, was pleased with the ruling, a spokesman said.

Kessler's ruling considered whether the advertising campaign – known as "corrective statements" – would violate the companies' rights, given that the companies never agreed with her 2006 decision that they violated racketeering law.

But she concluded the statements were allowed because the final wording is "purely factual" and not controversial.

She likened the advertising campaign to other statements that US officials have forced wayward companies to make.

The Federal Trade Commission, she wrote, once ordered a seller of supposed "cancer remedies" to send a letter on its own letterhead to customers telling them the commission had found its advertising to be deceptive.

"The government regularly requires wrongdoers to make similar disclosures in a number of different contexts," Kessler wrote.

Indonesian Doctors Warned Over Formula Milk Promotion

Jakarta Globe, Dessy Sagita, November 28, 2012

Unicef and other groups are promoting the message in Indonesia’s rural
 areas that exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months is the best way to
 ensure proper nutrition for infants and avoid stunting in later life. 
(JG Photos/Jenny Marc)  
Related articles

With breastfeeding rates still low in Indonesia, the Health Ministry has called on medical professionals, including doctors and midwives, to stop cooperating with infant formula producers that offer incentives for promoting their products.

“Incentives such as going on a pilgrimage or overseas trips are clearly not allowed,” the Health Ministry’s director general for nutrition and child and maternal health, Slamet Riyadi Yuwono, said on Tuesday.

Formula producers providing such incentives are violating a government regulation on breastfeeding that was issued in March of this year.
The regulation, which is aimed at increasing the six-month exclusive breastfeeding prevalence rate in Indonesia, also requires companies to include a lactation room for female workers.

“Formula milk producers can still give sponsorship for seminars and trainings,” Slamet explained. “But no commitments are allowed between formula milk producers and medical professionals with regards to purchasing or product promotion.”

Slamet said that the Health Ministry is drafting a decree that will regulate sanctions for those who violate the government’s regulation on breastfeeding in detail. “We’re drafting it, from the lightest to the harshest [sanctions]. Hopefully the ministerial decree can take effect as of March 1, 2013, a year after the regulation was issued.”

Slamet said that the sanctions could come in the form of verbal or written warnings, or permit revocation for companies that refuse to provide lactation rooms.

Slamet said that the government is hoping to see the six-month exclusive breastfeeding prevalence rate increase to 40 percent by 2014 from 26.6 percent currently.

“It’s still very low now. [But] we’re confident it can increase to 40 to 50 percent with the cooperation of all parties,” the official said.

Slamet called on businessmen to see compliance with the regulation as an investment. “We want [the companies] to see the lactation room they provide as investment in female workers’ human capital.”

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

UN committee calls for ban on female genital mutilation

Landmark resolution calls on member states to condemn FGM and pass laws to protect girls and women 'from this violence'

guardian.co.uk, Associated Press, Tuesday 27 November 2012

A community clinic in Nepal: the World Health Organisation said about
6,000 girls are circumcised every day. Photograph: Graeme Robertson

Campaigners against female circumcision have scored a major victory with the approval by a United Nations committee of a resolution calling for a global ban on female genital mutilation (FGM).

The resolution, adopted by consensus by the UN general assembly's human rights committee, calls the practice harmful and a serious threat to the psychological, sexual and reproductive health of women and girls.

It calls on the UN's 193 member states to condemn the practice and launch educational campaigns for girls and boys, women and men, to eliminate it. It also urges all countries to enact and enforce legislation to prohibit FGM, to protect women and girls "from this form of violence" and to end impunity for violators.

With 110 sponsors the resolution is virtually certain to be approved by the full general assembly, which is expected to take it up in the second half of December. Although not legally binding, assembly resolutions reflect international concerns and carry moral and political weight.

Italy's UN ambassador, Cesare Maria Ragaglini, who has been working with African partners for a ban, called the resolution "a breakthrough in the international campaign to end the harmful practice of FGM".

"I think that together we can change the fate of many young girls around the world, and today this goal appears closer than ever," he said. "The resolution, in condemning the practice and promoting social and educational programmes, is … the beginning of a new journey."

FGM is a centuries-old practice used to control women's sexuality in some religions, although both Muslim and Christian leaders have spoken out against it.

The procedure involves the removal of the clitoris and sometimes also other genital parts, usually in childhood or early adolescence. It can lead to infection, painful sexual intercourse, complications in childbirth, and eliminates any pleasure for women during sex.

The UN said in 2010 that about 70 million girls and women had undergone the procedure, and the World Health Organisation said about 6,000 girls were circumcised every day.

According to Amnesty International, FGM is commonplace in 28 countries in Africa as well as in Yemen, Iraq, Malaysia, Indonesia and among certain ethnic groups in South America, but it is also a worldwide concern because it is also practised by some immigrant groups in diaspora communities.

José Luis Diaz, Amnesty International's UN representative, said this was the first time the general assembly's human rights committee has addressed the problem.

"FGM is an indictment of us all that a girl or young woman can be held down and mutilated is a violation of her human rights and, shockingly, an estimated 3 million girls are at risk each year," he said.

Alvilda Jablonko, co-ordinator of the FGM programme at the organisation No Peace Without Justice, applauded the committee's action as "a landmark step in the international campaign to foster global leadership" in the campaign against the practice.

Related Articles:

Monday, November 26, 2012

Fast food giants in China deny using chicken raised on poisonous feed

Want China Times, Staff Reporter 2012-11-26

A KFC store in Shanghai. (File photo/Xinhua)

Representatives of food giants KFC and McDonald's in China have pushed back on claims that they use broiler chickens raised on feed infused with harmful chemicals and hormones to accelerate their growth.

According to a report from the Hong Kong-based China Review News, KFC, McDonald's and a number of large supermarkets in China are supplied by Shanxi Suhai Group, a northern Chinese company specializing in the mass production of broiler chickens that have a lifespan of only 45 days.

The entire breeding, rearing and production process is operated in bulk, the article said, producing five or six batches of chicken a year with each chick earning the company around 2-3 yuan (US$0.32-0.48) in profit.

Shanxi Suhai told China Review News that the rapid development of the chicks is achieved not through growth hormones but through breeding, feed, and rearing conditions. A chick in one of its sheds eats three types of feed during its short life, the company said. The first round of feed, lasting 10 days, is for nutrition, followed by a second segment to help them develop longer bones. The third feed, provided in the final 15 days, is to help them put on two or three ounces of meat a day.

Reporters who visited Shanxi Suhai's factories described an odorous environment filled with industrial salt and choline chloride. Workers on site claim that the feed is mixed with hazardous medicines and preservatives that kill all the flies in the area.

Shanxi Suhai claims that the industrial salt is used to soften the water fed to the chicks while choline chloride is a permissible additive to chicken feed under Chinese regulations. The company added that feeding antibiotics to chicken is also an acceptable practice and that any harm to human health is so miniscule that it can be ignored.

A contractor for the company explained that as each shed is crammed with 5,000 chicks, it is very easy for contagious diseases to spread and that medicines must constantly be used to strengthen their immune systems.

A spokesperson for KFC clarified its relationship with Shanxi Suhai, claiming that the company only supplied 1% of its materials and adding that it has a clean safety record. McDonald's on the other hand, said that Shanxi Suhai is not one of its suppliers.

An industry insider said the speed of growth of the broiler chicks depends largely on the breed, and that advancements in modern technology means that some breeds can be ready for consumption just 30 days after birth. The insider also suspected that some of the "medicines" mentioned in the article could only be vitamins.

"Usually medicines are stopped seven days before slaughter and are completely metabolized before hitting the market," he said.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

China bans hospitals from turning away HIV/AIDS patients

Want China Times, Xinhua 2012-11-25

A anti-AIDS event held in Zhengzhou. (File photo/Xinhua)

China's health authorities on Friday issued a circular banning health institutions from denying medical treatment to the people living with HIV/AIDS.

In the circular, the Ministry of Health ordered health authorities at all levels to take substantial measures to guarantee HIV/AIDS patients' rights to medical treatment as well as the safety of health professionals.

It said hospitals should offer appropriate medical care to an HIV/AIDS patient whose condition is discovered during the course of outpatient, inpatient and emergency treatments, as well as voluntary HIV/AIDS counseling and testing. Hospitals should not send them to another hospital or refuse to treat them.

Hospitals unable to offer necessary treatments should refer the patient to another designated hospital or ask local health authorities to arrange a referral, the ministry said.

If a patient's condition means that he or she can not be transferred, health authorities should designate doctors and nurses to perform medical services at the hospital where the patient has been admitted.

Furthermore, the circular said transgressors will face harsh punishments.

It was recently reported that Xiaofeng, the pseudonym of a 25-year-old lung cancer patient in Tianjin, was denied medical treatment after his HIV-positive status was detected. He eventually got the surgery he needed after concealing his condition.

Tianjin's municipal health bureau announced on Thursday that preliminary investigations show that Tianjin Cancer Hospital neglected its duties.

Vice premier Li Keqiang also asked to guarantee the rights of people with HIV/AIDS to medical treatment, after he learned about the plight of Xiaofeng.

According to the ministry's official website, Li said that people with HIV/AIDS should not be discriminated against, and that work should be done to guarantee the safety of doctors and nurses treating HIV-positive patients.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Alcohol industry body knew of plasticizer problem a year ago

Want China Times, Staff Reporter, 2012-11-22

Chinese liquor on sale at a supermarket in Chengdu. (File photo/Xinhua)

The discovery of plasticizers in Chinese liquor products has triggered food security fears with consumers complaining that the China Alcoholic Drinks Industry Association deferred disclosing the matter for 17 months after it became aware of the contamination, Guangzhou's 21st Century Business Herald reports.

The association published a statement on Nov. 19, saying that after a comprehensive inspection of liquor products across the country, it found some products contained levels of toxic plasticizing agents of between 0.495mg/kg and 2.32mg/kg, exceeding legally permissible levels.

The report said China's food safety problems usually arise from the defective management of supervisory and regulatory agencies, as well as flaws in the establishment of product standards.

Under the existing system, the management of liquor products involves a number of government agencies, including the State Council's food safety commission, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Health, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), the State Food and Drug Administration and the China Alcoholic Drinks Industry Association.

In 2004, the State Council or cabinet introduced rules to ensure the implementation of a principle that allowed a government agency to take charge of the supervision of a chain in the industry. For instance, it would allow the Ministry of Agriculture, AQSIQ, the State Administration of Industry and Commerce, and the Ministry of Health to regulate the production chain of agricultural products.

In 2009, the system was made more effective through the Food Safety Law.

When the industrial plasticizer DEHP was found in many soft drink products in Taiwan last year, the scandal sparked a great deal of attention from China's food safety supervisory agencies regarding plasticizer contamination.

In June 2011, the Ministry of Health issued a document, stipulating that the maximum permissible residue level of Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), a commonly used plasticizer, should be 0.3 mg/kg.

Later that month, the State Council's Food Safety Commission published a notice aimed at further strengthening checks that ensured the quality and safety of alcoholic products. The notice stipulated strict checks to guard against safety risks in the production, storage, transport and sales of alcoholic products but did not touch upon plasticizer risks.

At the same time, the SFDA had also detected plasticizers in drug products and issued a ban on the use of eight contaminated products.

An internal document from the China Alcoholic Drinks Industry Association admitted that the association had been aware of liquor products containing plasticizers from June 2011, the newspaper reported.

The association then issued a notice on July 18, 2011, prohibiting liquor enterprises from using plasticizers during alcohol production, storage and sale and asked them to strengthen checks on plastic caps of bottles.

In addition to the loopholes found in product supervision, the inadequate standards for plasticizer detection applied in the industry were also cited as a reason for the plasticizer contamination problem.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Why seaweed is the natural choice

The granting of England's first licence to sell seaweed is most welcome. This delicious substance is highly nutritious 

guardian.co.uk, Oliver Thring, Tuesday 20 November 2012

'Laverbread, arguably Wales’s greatest delicacy, is a superb savoury foil
to bacon and buttered toast.' Photograph: Alamy

A man named Rory MacPhee has just been granted England's first licence to gather and sell "sea vegetables", which include seaweed. It may come as a shock to some of the hundreds of amateur foragers living and working on the British coast that if they sell the seaweed they harvest, they're breaking the law. Time was when many people living in these islands ate seaweed every day.

Seaweed, in fact, is one of the most useful natural substances on the planet. It's existed for over one billion years, and all land plants evolved from it. At least 145 of its roughly 10,000 different species are eaten around the world. It's full of carbohydrates, proteins, minerals and vitamins, and it's often rich in iodine. Dulse, which MacPhee plans to harvest in particular, contains every trace element that human beings need.

In eastern China, seaweed is a major vegetable – though the "seaweed" you buy in your local takeaway is likely to be deep-fried cabbage. In Ireland they mash seaweed into porridge; in Hawaii they harvest and rinse it and eat it with fish. Iceland teems with free-growing ingredients: edible seaweeds were one of the few things that people could eat there in previous bleaker centuries. Laverbread is arguably Wales's greatest delicacy, a superb savoury foil to bacon and buttered toast made with the seaweed laver.

Though Indonesia produces more, Japan is probably the world's most important consumer of seaweed. They eat at least 21 species there. Nori is the flaky, crackly stuff that sticks to your tongue when you bite a sushi roll. Its annual trade is worth more than $1bn, making it the most valuable aquaculture in Japan, worth more than fish and seafood.

Another Japanese seaweed, kombu, is difficult for humans to digest, but it has nonetheless proved to be one of the most transformative ingredients of all time. In the early 20th century a Japanese chemist found that kombu was an especially rich source of monosodium glutamate – in fact, when you dry kombu, it forms little white crystals of monosodium glutamate (MSG) on its surface. MSG, of course, is now manufactured by the tonne and used across the global food industry. People say vaguely but correctly that it makes foods "taste more of themselves": it enhances the inherent savouriness of a dish, rather than seasoning it with a bitter, salty, sweet or sour note. The Japanese word for this flavour, umami, translates roughly as "delicious". It's worth noting that, contrary to its reputation, MSG is one of the safest and best-studied additives used in food. Those who claim that the MSG in Chinese takeaways makes them feel sick are more likely suffering the effects of a surfeit of cheap grease.

Processing certain red seaweeds gets you carrageenan, aka E407 – another of the most important additives in all industry. They stick it in toothpaste, shampoo, aerosol foams, shoe polish and pharmaceuticals. It winds up in ice creams, beer, pet food, soy milk and diet fizzy drinks. Carrageenan is a stabiliser and thickener. It's the only substance known to attack the cold virus directly. But while people have used it for centuries to thicken sauces, not least in Ireland and Scotland, it's probably not a good idea to eat too much of those processed foods that contain a lot of it. It certainly causes inflammation in rats, and studies on mice and guinea pigs have suggested a link between carrageenan and colon cancer.

Nonetheless, old-fashioned seaweeds are nutritious and delicious, and it's rather a shame that we abandoned them in this country. If MacPhee manages to get more Britons eating the stuff, he should be applauded.

Record US insider trading case filed

BBC News, 20 November 2012 

The alleged insider trading involved
information about the results of
drug trials
A former hedge fund manager has been charged with what prosecutors say could be the most lucrative insider trading case in US history.

Mathew Martoma was accused of making $276m (£174m) for his firm, using information about drug trials that had not yet been published.

The doctor who gave him the information is co-operating with authorities.

Mr Martoma's lawyer said his client was confident that he would be cleared of the charges.

The money was allegedly made on trading in two companies, Elan and Wyeth, which were conducting trials of Alzheimer's drugs.

The complaint was filed in the federal court in Manhattan.

Mr Martoma, who worked for CR Intrinsic Investors, was arrested on Tuesday morning in Boca Raton, Florida, according to the FBI.

"As Martoma allegedly got sneak peeks at drug data, he first recommended that the hedge fund build up a massive position in Elan and Wyeth stock, and then caused the fund to shed those shares after getting a secret look at the unexpectedly bad results of a clinical drug trial," Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.

"As a result of the blatant corruption of both the drug research and securities markets alleged, the hedge fund made profits and avoided losses of a staggering $276m, and Martoma himself walked away with a $9m bonus for his efforts."

But Mr Martoma's lawyer, Charles Stillman, said his client was "an exceptional portfolio manager who succeeded through hard work and the dogged pursuit of information in the public domain".

"What happened today is only the beginning of a process that we are confident will lead to Mr Martoma's full exoneration," he said.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also filed a civil case against CR Intrinsic Investors, Mathew Martoma and Dr Sidney Gilman.

The civil complaint said that the money was made in July 2008 ahead of a negative public announcement about the clinical trial results of an Alzheimer drug being jointly developed by Elan and Wyeth.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Greenpeace warns of chemicals in global fashion

The Daily Star, AFP, November 20, 2012

Greenpeace activists protest in front of Zara's store in Budapest on November 20,
2012. High street fashion brands are selling clothing contaminated with hazardous
 chemicals that break down to form hormone-disrupring or even cancer-causing
 chemicals when released into the emviroment, according to report released today
by Greenpece International. AFP PHOTO / ATTILA KISBENEDEK
BEIJING: Two-thirds of high-street garments tested in a study by Greenpeace contained potentially harmful chemicals, the group said Tuesday, highlighting the findings with a "toxic" fashion show in Beijing.

The environmental campaign group is pushing for fashion brands to commit to "zero discharge of all hazardous chemicals" by 2020 and to require suppliers to publicise any toxic chemicals they release into the environment.

Greenpeace said its investigation tested 141 garments from 20 top global fashion brands purchased in 29 countries and regions in April of this year for chemicals that might harm the environment or human health.

The garments were made in at least 18 countries, mostly in the developing world, according to Greenpeace. Samples tested included jeans, trousers, t-shirts, dresses and underwear, it said.

The tests found that 89 of the garments contained "detectable levels" of nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), which it said can break down into hormone disrupting chemicals.

"Even the apparently small, but cumulative quantities of a substance such as NPE in individual items of clothing, which are legally allowed, can still be damaging," the group said in its report.

At the fashion show in Beijing, one model sporting leopard-print trousers carried an IV bag filled with orange goo, while another in an ivory bustier wore a bulging neck brace and face mask.

Another model with black powder caked around her eyes like bruises posed grimly with her arm in a sling.

"Major fashion brands are turning us all into fashion victims by selling us clothes that contain hazardous chemicals that contribute to toxic water pollution around the world, both when they are made and washed," Li Yifang, senior toxics campaigner for Greenpeace East Asia, said in a release.

The report, titled "Toxic Threads: The Big Fashion Stitch-Up", also said that "high levels of toxic phthalates" were found in four products and "cancer-causing amines from the use of azo dyes" were found in two products.

"As global players, fashion brands have the opportunity to work on global solutions to eliminate the use of hazardous substances throughout their product lines and to drive a change in practices throughout their supply chains," the report said.

With fashion seasons coming closer together, more clothes are piling up in landfills more frequently, Greenpeace said.

"As fashion gets more and more globalised, more and more consumers worldwide are becoming fashion's victims while contributing to the industry's pollution," Greenpeace's Li said.

"But it doesn't have to be so."