Courtesy of the anti vaccine bunch, led in large part by Robert F. Kennedy jr. and actress Jenny McCarthy, a disturbingly high percentage of know nothing parents have been refusing to vaccinate their kids.
The CDC released figures this week showing a tripling of reported measles cases this year compared to the past trend.
As Reuters reported:
“The number of reported cases of measles in the United States this year is nearly three times the annual average, federal health officials said on Thursday, highlighting the continued threat of the disease 50 years after development of a vaccine.
“There have been 175 measles cases so far in 2013, compared with the typical national average of about 60 cases a year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.”
more info: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/05/us-usa-health-measles-idUSBRE9B40UJ20131205
A couple of weeks ago the FDA came down, hard, on the “do it yourself” “Personal Genome Service” tests offered by Google-affilliated “23andme.com”, effectively shutting down their sales.
Their concern was that the company was marketing the kits “in violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act)” as the company (per the FCC letter) “… markets the PGS for providing “health reports on 254 diseases and conditions,” including categories such as “carrier status,” “health risks,” and “drug response,” and specifically as a “first step in prevention””.
This is one of those greyish areas between Big Gov’t as Big Nanny, but also with a company promoting a product as promising way above any scientifically valid data.
When even Forbes is on the side of the FDA… my head hurts. But I know better than to take acetaminophen… Oh, and make sure to read the Sci-Am article and comments.
Francesca Grifo PhD, doyen of scientific integrity at the Union of Concerned Scientists, has been appointed in charge of scientific integrity at EPA, a lateral move, junk science in the private enviro sector to the same role in government.
With this appointment the EPA accomplishes two things, cover for continued junk science and a thumb in the eye of any serious critic of EPA scientific misconduct.
UK National health Service (NHS) pays for aromatherapy and other alternative medical care services, but skimps on Cancer care?
Wonder why a financially strapped national single payer system would bother with junk science “alternative” therapies like aroma therapy? Follow the politics.
Some researchers analyzed the news coverage in the UK. To the surprise of, well, absolutely no one, people with connections to the drug industry were way more worried publicly, and were solidly promoting the use of anti-viral and other meds. This despite the fact that the effectiveness of these treatments is, to be charitable, very questionable.
To be fair, of course, many experts are, indeed, working in their industries of choice. Just like, for example, aeronautical experts are going to be found at Boeing. But they really should ID their affiliations and reporters need to keep them in mind: Continue reading
Scared your Heart will give out? New guidelines for healthy hearts are available. They say stop being obsessed.
There have been lots and lots of studies over the past decades that prove that statins are effective in changing the cholesterol levels in blood. What’s not at all so clear is whether this actually makes any difference to most patients in helping to reduce death rates from heart disease.
Risk Calculator for Cholesterol Appears Flawed
Last week, the nation’s leading heart organizations released a sweeping new set of guidelines for lowering cholesterol, along with an online calculator meant to help doctors assess risks and treatment options. But, in a major embarrassment to the health groups, the calculator appears to greatly overestimate risk, so much so that it could mistakenly suggest that millions more people are candidates for statin drugs.
more info at:
There’s a meningitis outbreak at Princeton Univ. in NJ. There’s no US approved drug to treat this strain (“B”). But with at least seven infected students so far (and some heavy duty alumni, including the First Lady), the FDA is allowing them to bring in “Bexsera, a vaccine against N. meningitidis serogroup B only approved for use in Europe and Australia,”.
So if it’s good enough for the rest of the world, why has the FDA been dragging its feet? And the same for many, many, other drugs that other countries have deemed safe and effective?
more info from the Princeton student newspaper: http://goo.gl/Qiahtb
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), aka the weather service, does a lot of good. They operate a huge network of monitoring stations and weather satellites, and despite all the jokes and complaints, give pretty reliable short term forecasts. —>
Don’t worry. This is not another piece about Obamacare. Instead, we’ll go back to basics, and see if health insurance can ever satisfy the demands of the payers, the providers, and the patients. It’s not as if people haven’t been working on this for awhile. The notion of health insurance stems from the so-called “friendly societies,” and dates back to the very dawn of the Industrial Revolution. Continue reading
The working group for the National Cancer Institute has proposed that the term “cancer” be redefined to mean only lesions likely to kill a patient if untreated. Continue reading
The public is beginning to realize what’s in Obamacare and to read the actual HHS documents for themselves. One new program Obamacare created, for instance, was the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV), to develop home visiting programs. Since 2010, it has spent $1.5 billion in grants to develop home visit programs. Continue reading
The official line on health care, which pervades not only the mainstream, but also much of the alternative media is this: The most important thing is that we all receive the best care, and that someone else pays for it. Which brings us to our first forbidden topic…
On May 18, the highly anticipated fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders—aka DSM-5—was released by the American Psychiatric Association at its annual meeting. There has been no shortage of critics of this new edition, including Thomas R. Insel, MD, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
Here’s a cynical proposition: Risk factors do a much better job of selling drugs and diagnostic tests than preventing diseases. But, let’s take this back a few steps. First of all, what is a “risk factor”? Continue reading
Posted in Health
Tagged risk factor
It is estimated that 80 percent of type 2 diabetics are overweight. It’s not clear who came up with this figure, or–more importantly—how it was determined. Perhaps it is tied in with modern medicine’s love for cataloging risk factors, especially simplistic ones. Cynics might go even further, suggesting that risk factors do a much better job of selling drugs than preventing diseases, but we digress.
With the IRS scandal shining a much-needed light on the miserable agency that would be the majordomo of Obamacare, we should also examine the preposterous “reasoning” at the heart of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)… Continue reading
The cholesterol theory of heart disease continues to be under attack—and rightly so. The overwhelming evidence against this theory is widely available, but here are a few key points:
The title of this piece refers to the first line of an ancient hymn: “Where true charity is, there is God.” Health care—from the earliest times—has been at the nexus of organized religion, charity, and the community… Continue reading
My late father-in-law practiced psychiatry in the Midwest, and was—by any standard—brilliant. For one thing, he never received a grade lower than “A” from grammar school, all the way through his medical education… Continue reading