(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)

Sunday, September 22, 2019

French drugmaker, watchdog on trial for diabetes pill deaths

France – AFP, Anne-Sophie LASSERRE, September 21, 2019

Pulmonologist Irene Frachon had alerted French health authorities of heart
problems among patients who had taken the drug (AFP Photo/FRED TANNEAU)

Paris (AFP) - France's medicines watchdog will join a pharma firm in the dock from Monday on fraud and negligence charges linked to the deaths of multiple people prescribed a diabetes pill for weight loss despite safety concerns.

At least 500 people are thought to have died of heart valve problems in France after taking the drug, Mediator, in a major health scandal that became the subject of a 2016 French movie called "150 Milligrams".

Legal experts have concluded the drug may cause as many as 2,100 deaths in the long term.

The criminal trial, with 12 individuals in the dock, will focus on 91 victims, four of them deceased, for whom lawyers believe a link can be shown between their illness and Mediator.

The medicine was on the market for 33 years, and used by about five million people.

Though initially intended for overweight people with diabetes, it was widely prescribed to healthy individuals as an appetite suppressant.

Safety alerts were first flagged in the mid-1990s, but the drug was only banned in France in 2009 -- long after being outlawed in the United States, Spain and Italy.

Victims "want to understand how this medicine could have been left on the market for so long," said Charles Joseph-Oudin, who will represent about 250 complainants in the trial expected to run for six months in the Paris criminal court.

Drug manufacturer Servier and nine subsidiaries are charged with fraud for allegedly concealing Mediator's risks, while the ANSM drug watchdog is being pursued for negligence and allegedly dragging its feet in suspending the drug.

'Selling poison'

At the end of the trial, both risk a fine or an order to compensate victims.

"Servier knew that it was selling poison," said 71-year-old Joy Ercole, who took Mediator for six months ten years ago, and said she suffered heart damage as a result.

"The unlucky ones, like me, are condemned to a slow death. My life is ruined."

Francois de Castro, a lawyer for Servier, said the company was "keen to come and explain that they did not identify the risk before 2009."

Pulmonologist Irene Frachon had alerted French health authorities of heart problems among patients who had taken the drug. She published a book in 2010, which became the basis for a documentary movie.

In 2015, a civil court found Servier negligent for having left "defective" medicine on the market.

It ruled that in 2003 and 2006, when the medicine was prescribed to two claimants, "the state of scientific knowledge meant the risks of pulmonary hypertension" and heart valve damage "could not be ignored".

The ANSM, then known as Afssaps, in 2010 linked at least 500 deaths to Mediator.

Victims have submitted nearly 10,500 claims for compensation from Servier, and many have accepted payment in return for not taking part in criminal proceedings.


Servier's website states it has made offers of compensation to more than 3,700 sickened people for a total amount of 164.4 million euros ($182 million), of which 131.8 million euros have been paid out.

The amounts range from a few thousand euros per person to a million euros in one case.

About 100 witnesses are expected to take the stand, including Frachon, who told AFP ahead of the trial it was time for justice to be served.

"We cannot live in a society where white collar crime goes unpunished," she said.

The trial will happen in the absence of a key protagonist: company founder Jacques Servier who died aged 92 in 2014.

The 12 individuals on trial include Servier's former number two Jean-Philippe Seta, doctors who were members of Afssaps commissions but were also paid as consultants for pharma companies, and former senator Marie-Therese Hermange who is accused of producing a report that was favourable to Servier.

France has seen its share of medical scandals.

Thee include 36 baby deaths in the 1970s linked to a contaminated talcum powder, HIV-contaminated blood given to haemophiliacs in the 1980s, and the recent discovery that a popular brand of breast implants contained a cheap, industrial-grade -- not medical-grade -- silicone gel.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

New York state bans flavored e-cigarettes over vaping concerns

France24 – AFP, 18 September 2019

India on Wednesday took the decision to ban e-cigarettes

New York became the second US state to ban flavored e-cigarettes Tuesday, following several vaping-linked deaths that have raised fears about a product long promoted as less harmful than smoking.

A health council passed emergency legislation proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo outlawing flavored vaping products amid an outbreak of severe pulmonary disease that has killed seven people and sickened hundreds.

The ban comes into force with immediate effect. Michigan became the first state to declare a ban earlier this month, but that law has yet to be implemented.

"It is undeniable that vaping companies are deliberately using flavors like bubblegum, Captain Crunch and cotton candy to get young people hooked on e-cigarettes -- it's a public health crisis and it ends today," said Cuomo.

President Donald Trump's administration announced last week that it would soon ban flavored e-cigarette products to stem a rising tide of youth users.

The move could later be extended to an outright prohibition of vaping if adolescents migrate to tobacco flavors, seen as more legitimate products that help smokers quit their habit, said the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates e-cigarettes.

"New York is not waiting for the federal government to act, and by banning flavored e-cigarettes we are safeguarding the public health and helping prevent countless young people from forming costly, unhealthy and potentially deadly life-long habits," Cuomo added.

Popular with adolescents

Shops in New York now have two weeks to remove vaping products from their shelves. The ban does not prohibit menthol or tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes.

E-cigarettes have been available in the US since 2006 and are sometimes used as an aid to quit smoking traditional tobacco products like cigarettes.

Their use among adolescents has skyrocketed in recent years: some 3.6 million middle and high school students used vaping products in 2018, an increase of 1.5 million on the year before.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently that there were now more than 450 possible cases of pulmonary illness associated with vaping in the US.

The CDC has cautioned against vaping as officials investigate the precise cause of the deaths. No single substance has been found to be present in all the laboratory samples being examined.

New York's health department found very high levels of vitamin E oil in cannabis cartridges used by dozens of people in the state who had fallen ill after using e-cigarettes.

Vitamin E is a commonly used nutritional supplement but is dangerous when inhaled.

San Francisco, the home of market leader Juul Labs, became the first American city to ban e-cigarettes in June last year.

The FDA has warned Juul to stop advertising itself as a less harmful alternative to smoking, noting in particular the company's attempts to attract young people.

Related Articles:

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration LecturesGod / 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, MediaDemocracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse),  Illuminati (Started in Greece, with 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 Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. ...

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

OxyContin maker Purdue files for bankruptcy in bid to settle opioid cases

Yahoo – AFP, September 16, 2019

Purdue said it had filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S.
Bankruptcy Code (AFP Photo/Drew Angerer)

New York (AFP) - Purdue Pharma has filed for bankruptcy in a settlement aimed at preventing further legal action concerning painkiller OxyContin, blamed for plunging millions into addiction and fueling the US opioid crisis.

The proposal would see the Sacklers, one of America's richest families, cede control of the pharmaceutical giant, which is facing thousands of state and federal lawsuits, the company said Sunday.

If approved by a bankruptcy judge, Purdue says it expects the proposed restructuring to provide more than $10 billion to help tackle addictionand see the new company's profits re-directed in ways that benefit the claimants and American people.

Purdue Chairman Steve Miller said the settlement will "provide billions of dollars and critical resources to communities across the country trying to cope with the opioid crisis."

The company has filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code and, if the proposal receives court approval, it will then dissolve and transfer its assets to a trust managed by a new governing board.

The new board will be selected by the claimants, who include thousands of municipals governments and nearly two dozen states, and will be approved by the Bankruptcy Court.

This body will then oversee the operation of the new company, including the continued sale of OxyContin, so that its profits and assets can be used to benefit those impacted by opioid addiction.

Miller said a statement that the restructuring will avoid "wasting hundreds of millions of dollars and years on protracted litigation."

Headquarters of Purdue Pharma LP, the maker of the painkiller OxyContin, 
in Stamford, Connecticut (AFP Photo/TIMOTHY A. CLARY)

But around 26 states are expected to contest the filing and further pursue litigation against the Sackler family, according to Bloomberg.

"This is a fork in the road," Miller told CNBC Monday, urging authorities to back the settlement.

Sinking into addiction

The cases against Purdue seek to address the costs of millions of Americans sinking into addiction after using potent opioid painkillers that doctors freely, and often criminally, prescribed over the past two decades.

Well over 400,000 people died of opioid overdoses in that period, while the pharmaceutical companies involved raked in billions of dollars in profits.

And while the flood of prescription opioids into the black market has now been curtailed, addicts are turning to heroin and highly potent fentanyl, where the risk of overdose and death is even higher.

In 2017, 47,000 people died in the United States as a result of overdosing on opioids including prescription drugs, heroin and fentanyl, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond, Virginia, said there was no guarantee that the settlement would stop future litigation.

"It raises more questions than it really answers," he told AFP.

The Sackler family's reputation has taken a hit in recent months after 
demonstrations against their role in the US opioid crisis (AFP Photo/

As part of the settlement, Purdue says it will potentially provide communities with millions of addiction treatment drugs, at no or low cost, to help tackle the crisis.

"Purdue has received FDA fast-track designation for nalmefene hydrochloride, a much-needed treatment that has the potential to reverse overdoses from powerful synthetic opioids such as fentanyl," the company said in its statement.

The development of a nasal naloxone product, that can be sold over-the-counter, is another overdoes reversal medication that the newly restructured company could continue to support.

As well as giving up control of Purdue, the settlement will also see the Sackler family personally contribute $3 billion, with the potential for further monetary contributions.

Forbes estimates the wealth of the Sackler family at $13 billion, but their international reputation has taken a hit in recent months after demonstrations against their role in the opioid crisis.

New York's Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and London's Tate Modern have said they would stop accepting donations from the family, and the Louvre Museum in Paris recently removed the Sackler name from its Sackler Wing of Oriental Antiquities.

Related Articles:

Drug and consumer products maker Johnson & Johnson was the first pharmaceutical
company tried over the US opioid crisis (AFP Photo/CHARLY TRIBALLEAU)

".... Let me tell you what else is in the field. Two things: These are going to be things that exist now in the field and they are upcoming potentials. The reason I give you these potentials is so if they happen, just like the handshake, you might believe a little more in this process.

There will come a time when Big Pharma will fall over because of a growing higher consciousness of the public. [Applause in the audience] There is a consciousness growing here that begins to have a new respect for each other, so that abuse of women will no longer be tolerated. Things that never happened before will begin happening, like bishops and cardinals resigning. [All 34 bishops in the Catholic Church resigned May 2018 after the new wild card pope called them on their reaction to child abuse for years by their colleagues.] All the things my partner brought today [in the seminar] are actually happening now. Why should some of these drug companies fail? Because there will be a strong reaction from your general public when they realize there are companies that have policies that would keep a Human sick or let him die for money. [Applause in the audience] It would be unconscionable, and the potential grows stronger daily that it's going to happen. The trigger? It's coming. When it does, that industry will be in trouble. Not all pharma is this way, dear ones - understand this - but the ones who are will fall. ..."

"Recalibration of Free Choice"–  Dallas Texas, Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: (Old) SoulsMidpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth,  4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle 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)

No cheating: Frenchwoman was world's oldest person, researchers say

Yahoo – AFP, September 16, 2019

The new article insists that Calment's identity "has not been
usurped" (AFP Photo/GEORGES GOBET)

Paris (AFP) - Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, who died two decades ago aged 122, should retain the title of the oldest person on record, French researchers said Monday, rejecting claims of fraud.

Ageing specialists Jean-Marie Robine and Michel Allard, who declared Calment the longest-lived person in the 1990s, said their review of old and new data confirmed she "remains the oldest human whose age is well-documented".

"Recently the claim that families Calment and Billot (her in-laws) organised a conspiracy concerning tax fraud based on identity fraud between mother and daughter gained international media attention," Robine, Allard and two other researchers wrote in The Journals of Gerontology.

"Here, we reference the original components of the validation as well as additional documentation to address various claims of the conspiracy theory and provide evidence for why these claims are based on inaccurate facts," they wrote.

Calment, who used to joke that God must have forgotten her, died in southern France in 1997, setting a longevity record that has been questioned.

Last December, Russian researchers Valery Novoselov and Nikolay Zak claimed in a report that Calment had actually died in 1934 and that her daughter Yvonne stole her identity to avoid paying inheritance tax.

According to their research, the woman who died in 1997 was Yvonne, not her mother, and at a young 99.

The Russian repoprt was based on biographies, interviews and photos of Jeanne Calment, witness testimony, and public records of the city of Arles where she lived.

The new article insists that Calment's identity "has not 
been usurped" (AFP Photo/GEORGES GOBET)

Meeting Van Gogh

The new article insists Calment's identity "has not been usurped", according to a statement from the French research institute INSERM, where Robine works as research director.

The authors cross-checked the original data used to validate the centenarian's identity with newly uncovered documents, to show "there was neither tax fraud nor falsification of Jeanne Calment's identity" the article says.

The team also turned to mathematical modelling to counter arguments that her considerable age was impossible.

In every 10 million centenarians, one can reach the age of 123, they said, "a probability that is certainly small, but that is far from making Ms Calment a statistical impossibility."

"All the documents uncovered contradict the Russian thesis," Robine told AFP, as the team demanded a retraction from Zak and Novoselov.

Novoselov, however, insisted Monday that the original work verifying Calment's identity and age "is full of flaws and mistakes", while Zak said he found the new article "weak".

Born on February 21, Calment became the biggest attraction of the southern French city of Arles since Vincent Van Gogh, who spent a year there in 1888.

She said she had met the artist when he came to her uncle's store to buy paints, and remembered him as "ugly as sin" and having an "awful character".

Calment used to talk of enjoying chocolate and port and would smoke an occasional cigarette before her health deteriorated.

INSERM said however that it could not "support any requests for exhumation" of Calment's body, on which no autopsy was performed after her death.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Generation healthy: alcoholic seltzer craze sweeps US

Yahoo – AFP, Peter HUTCHISON, September 15, 2019

Cartons of White Claw, Truly and Bon & Viv spiked seltzer are on display at the
Round The Clock Deli in New York -- the alcoholic beverage is all the rage
in the United States (AFP Photo/TIMOTHY A. CLARY)

New York (AFP) - Health-conscious American millennials have found their drink of choice: alcoholic carbonated water that is lower in calories and carbs than beer and wine.

A hard seltzer craze is sweeping the United States as Generations Y and Z pursue healthier lifestyles, influenced by viral trends on Instagram and YouTube.

US sales of the bubbly booze, also called spiked seltzer, have soared almost 200 percent this year compared to 2018, according to research firm Nielsen.

"It has replaced other canned alcoholic drinks for me," says Hannah Stempler, a 25-year-old living and working in New York.

Stempler drinks White Claw, the brand at the forefront of America's beverage fixation this summer.

The company said sales were up over 265 percent on-year at the beginning of September and that it holds 61 percent of market share.

Truly, another brand, saw sales spike 163 percent in Q2, according to Macquarie market research.

From beaches and parks to house parties and boat trips, youngsters were seen drinking White Claw across the Big Apple and other major cities.

Panic even struck this month when shopkeepers and retailers reported shortages and the manufacturer said it was working overtime to keep up with demand.

Stempler, who works in television, told AFP that one of the reasons she drinks it is because she is "health-conscious."

A 12-ounce can of White Claw contains 100 calories and a maximum two grams of carbs. It is also gluten-free.

An average beer, in comparison, usually packs 140 calories and five times the number of carbohydrates.

Beer slowdown

The hard seltzer has five percent alcohol, which comes from fermented sugars. That equals the strength of Budweiser but is considerably less than the 12 percent commonly found in wine.

Alcoholic sparkling water comes in several flavors, including mango and cherry, appealing to customers seeking convenient, ready-to-drink cocktails on the go.

Sanjiv Gajiwala, White Claw's senior vice president of marketing, thinks young consumers are turning to hard seltzers because of their moderate alcohol levels and variety of tastes.

"Millennials are consumers that grew up on 10 different flavors of Gatorade and cuisines from around the world. When they come to the legal drinking age, they are looking for more," he told AFP.

White Claw sales have surged every year since it launched in 2016 but seems to have captured the imagination this summer in part thanks to YouTube influencer Trevor Wallace.

A video of him drinking White Claw has been watched more than 2.5 million times in two months. The clip spawned memes and hashtags that went viral on social media.

The trend for hard seltzers, which include malt beverages, is shaking up the US alcoholic drinks industry and fueling a slowdown in overall beer sales, analysts say.

Beer manufacturers are rolling out their own seltzers to try to lure customers away from White Claw and Truly.

Anheuser-Busch, which makes Budweiser, has launched Natural Light Seltzer.


Aaron White, of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, is pleased youngsters are mindful of what they drink but warns that fewer calories does not mean less alcohol.

He worries that people may consume more alcohol because fruity seltzers don't taste like traditional booze, and is especially concerned by the Four Loko brand's plans to launch a seltzer with 14 percent alcohol by volume.

"The alcohol is the drug. Everything else is just the way it's delivered," White told AFP.

Other types of drinks have been the subject of similar crazes in the past, notably wine coolers in the 1980s and Zima, a malt beverage that was all the rage in the 90s.

Rob Fink, a 29-year-old living in New York, believes spiked seltzer is here to stay but says it won't usurp beer and other liquor for him.

"There's a time and place for both," he told AFP.

The alcoholic soda industry is worth $550 million and could grow to $2.5 billion by 2021, according to a UBS analyst recently quoted by Business Insider.

Gajiwala notes that White Claw has not even reached six percent of American households yet.

"There is a great opportunity for us to continue to grow," he said.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

In Ivory Coast, telemedicine revolution proves blessing for heart patients

Yahoo – AFP, David ESNAULT, September 14, 2019

Thousands of heart patients in Ivory Coast are checked by telemedicine
each year (AFP Photo/DAVID ESNAULT)

Bouaké (Ivory Coast) (AFP) - Every time Catherine Coulibaly's 19-year-old son had to make a routine appointment with the cardiologist for his heart condition, she gritted her teeth as she silently counted the financial cost.

It wasn't just the hospital fee -- there was the transport, food and accommodation, too, all of it amounting to a hefty burden for an Ivorian family on a modest income.

But thanks to telemedicine -- consultations that doctors conduct through the internet or by phone -- this cost is now a fading memory.

Her son can book an appointment at a telemedicine facility in a nearby town in northern Ivory Coast.

There, he is attached to monitoring machines which send the data sent to Bouake University Hospital in the centre of the country, where it is scrutinised by a heart doctor.

The fledgling technology has long been championed by health advocates for poor rural economies.

Ivory Coast has become an African testbed for it, thanks to a project linking the Bouake hospital's cardiac department with health centres in several northern towns, some of which are a four-hour drive away.

Telemedicine "caused a sigh of relief for the population of Bouake, Boundiali, Korhogo, everyone," says Auguste Dosso, president of the "Little Heart" association, which helps families with cardiac health issues.

Some 45 percent of the Ivorian population live below the poverty line, according to the World Bank's latest estimate in 2017. And the minimum monthly wage -- not always respected -- is only around $100, or 90 euros.

Heart disease surging

The pioneer behind the scheme is cardiologist Florent Diby, who set up an association called Wake Up Africa.

In Ivory Coast, heart disease, diabetes and other "lifestyle" ailments are surging, Diby explained.

Cardiac specialists are rare in Ivory Coast -- patients can spend much of their
income in transport and accommodation when they need a consultation 

"Urbanisation is making people more sedentary, and there's the rise in tobacco consumption, changes in diet, stress," Diby said.

Three decades ago, only around one in eight of the Ivorian population had high blood pressure -- now the figure is one in four, on a par with parts of Western Europe.

But in Ivory Coast -- and across Africa -- well-equipped cardiology units are rare.

"Ninety percent of heart attacks can be diagnosed by telemedicine, so for us cardiologists it's a revolutionary technology," said Diby.

The beauty of the telemedicine scheme is that neither the doctor nor the patient has to travel far.

The cardiac patient is hooked up to the electrocardiogram (ECG) and other diagnostic machines with the help of a technician in a local health centre, which is connected to a computer in Bouake's University Hospital.

The cardiologist there can then see the results in real time, provide a diagnosis and prescribe treatment.

The five-year-old project has already linked 10 health centres to the seven cardiologists at Bouake, enabling 4,800 patients in other towns to receive consultations by telemedicine each year. The goal is to expand this to 20 sites, doubling the intake.

Expertise France, the French public agency for international technical assistance, subsidises up to 185,000 euros of the network, which pays for equipment such as computers, artificial intelligence software and internet connections.

Diby is now calling for telemedicine to be expanded in other medical fields such as neurology and psychiatry, not just in the Ivory Coast, but across West Africa too.

That opinion is shared by other experts. Sixty percent of Africans live in rural areas, where shortages of doctors are usually acute.

But numerous hurdles need to be overcome, especially investment in computers and access to the internet, according to a 2013 analysis published by the US National Library of Medicine.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Doctor who euthanised patient with severe dementia is not guilty of murder

DutchNews, September 11, 2019

Photo: DutchNews.nl 

Judges in The Hague have found a nursing home doctor not guilty of murder after she performed euthanasia on a woman with severe dementia. 

The court ruled that the euthanasia had been carried out with proper care in what is the first case of its kind to come before the Dutch courts. The doctor, who has since retired, did not have to verify her wish to die with the patient because she was incapable of responding, the judges said. 

In addition, the court said it supported the doctor’s decision to put a sedative in the woman’s coffee to calm her before euthanasia drugs could be administered because it had made her as comfortable as possible. The sedation took place in the full knowledge of her family. 

The public prosecution department, who brought the case, had said the doctor is guilty of murder but that she should not be punished. 

The case centres on a 74-year-old woman who had drawn up a living will some years before her admission to the nursing home and had regularly stated that she wanted to die. ‘This is a case which impacts upon the whole country and which has divided the country,’ the prosecutor told the court during August’s hearing. 


The woman’s daughter said in a written statement in court that she had no doubt her mother wished to die. ‘The doctor freed my mother from the mental prison which she ended up in,’ the statement said. 

Euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands under strict conditions. For example, the patient must be suffering unbearable pain and the doctor must be convinced the patient is making an informed choice. The opinion of a second doctor is also required. 

Since the legislation was introduced in 2002, there have been a number of controversial cases, including a woman suffering severe tinnitus and a serious alcoholic.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

US says vaping market-leader JUUL's advertising was unlawful

Yahoo – AFP, September 9, 2019

An FDA warning letter identified several problematic statements made by a JUUL
representative, including that the product was "was much safer than cigarettes"
and that "FDA would approve it any day" (AFP Photo/JUSTIN SULLIVAN)

Washington (AFP) - US health authorities on Monday accused market-leading e-cigarette maker JUUL of ignoring the law and warned it to stop advertising itself as a less harmful alternative to smoking, noting in particular the company's youth outreach efforts.

The Food and Drug Administration's move is the latest development in its ongoing investigation of JUUL's practices, and comes amid a mysterious US outbreak of severe lung disease linked to vaping that has claimed at least five lives.

Federal officials have yet to identify a single substance behind the wave of illnesses, which has affected hundreds of e-cigarette users and left several teens in induced comas.

"The law is clear that, before marketing tobacco products for reduced risk, companies must demonstrate with scientific evidence that their specific product does in fact pose less risk or is less harmful," said Ned Sharpless, the FDA's acting head.

"JUUL has ignored the law, and very concerningly, has made some of these statements in school to our nation's youth," he added.

The warning letter identified several problematic statements made by a JUUL representative speaking at a school at an unspecified date, including that the product was "much safer than cigarettes" and that "FDA would approve it any day."

The representative also told a student they "should mention JUUL to his friend ... because that's a safer alternative than smoking cigarettes, and it would be better for the kid to use," the FDA said.

The agency also expressed concern about the company's "Make the Switch" campaign aimed at the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, and has sought a written reply from JUUL.

The relative harm of vaping versus smoking is contested.

E-cigarette users aren't exposed to the estimated 7,000 chemical constituents present in combustible cigarettes, many of them cancer causing.

But the liquid vapor they inhale contains highly addictive nicotine, and a variety of other substances classed as "potentially harmful" in a landmark 2018 study compiled for Congress.

It might also contain traces of metal from the coil used to heat the liquid or other parts of the device, and experts had warned well before the current wave of illnesses in the US that understanding the long-term effects might require decades more of data.

As far as the severe lung disease probe is concerned, New York state has said that counterfeit cartridges containing cannabis products are the focus of its investigation.

These products contained vitamin E oil which is harmful when inhaled.

But federal authorities stress that no single substance has yet been found to be behind all the cases, and some of those who have fallen ill have reported only using nicotine products, not THC.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Opioid painkiller prescriptions fall slightly, following awareness of the risks

DutchNews, September 2, 2019 

Photo: Depositphotos.com

There appears to be a slowdown in the number of prescriptions being given for heavy opioid painkillers, the Volkskrant reported on Monday. 

The number of prescriptions fell by a ‘couple of percentage points’ in the first seven months of this year, after remaining stable in 2018, the paper said. It bases its claim on figures from the drugs monitoring body SFK, which also show the number of users has fallen slightly. 

Last week, Leiden University researchers said the number of people ending up in hospital after using heavy painkillers soared by almost 50% within four years and more people were dying of accidental overdoses in the Netherlands. 

The figures, published on academic website JAMA Network Open, cover the period 2013 to 2017 and show that the number of people prescribed opioid painkillers rose from 4.9% of the population to 6% during the four year period. However, both hospital admissions and overdoses all rose by around 50%. 

Leiden professor Albert Dahan told the Volkskrant that news of the decline in usage is ‘fantastic’ and would appear to be the result of increased awareness of the problems caused by opioids. 

Nevertheless, the drop of a ‘couple of percentage points,’ is still far too little, Dahan said.

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