HEALTH

The Sanity of 'Madness'

Why Bayer's massive deal to buy Monsanto is so worrisome

Monsanto. It’s hard to even say the name without triggering a fierce reaction. The company has long been the public face of GMOs, thanks in part to the sheer dominance of its corn, soy, cotton, and other crops engineered to be resistant to the herbicide Roundup.

And pretty soon, Monsanto may no longer exist. At least not in its current form.

On Wednesday, the German chemical conglomerate Bayer offered to buy up Monsanto for $56 billion, in what could prove to be the largest corporate merger of the year. Monsanto has accepted the bid. And if the deal is approved by regulators — which is still an open question — the new company would become the largest agribusiness on the planet, selling 29 percent of the world’s seeds and 24 percent of its pesticides.
READ MORE: http://www.vox.com/2016/9/14/12916344/monsanto-bayer-merger

1080 Poison Dropped Directly into Coromandel Water Supplies

This drop of 1080 occurred late last year. As those in the video illustrate, they were not warned to cease drawing drinking water from the streams. In addition young kids interviewed saw baits on seats, public walkways and in the water. None of this was cleaned up afterwards by DOC. Locals also cited the known death historically of 8 local dogs. Concerned people who enquired of DOC were told they have nothing to worry about and yet, the poison manufacturer’s warning advises against baits entering any body of water. It is ‘harmful to aquatic organisms’.

SOURCE: https://envirowatchrangitikei.wordpress.com/2016/09/10/1080-dropped-dire...

Industry Insiders Estimate EpiPen Costs No More Than $30

Mylan says middlemen and suppliers have forced them to jack-up the prices on EpiPens by hundreds of dollars, but two industry insiders say the company pays no more than $30 per device.

Meanwhile, some patients are forced to pay a little over $600 out of pocket for a two-pack of the lifesaving medication. Mylan sparked outrage last month when it was revealed the company had hiked up costs for the drug by over 400 percent since it acquired the brand. At the same time, CEO Heather Bresch's salary soared over 600 percent to nearly $19 million in 2015.
READ MORE: http://www.nbcnews.com/business/consumer/industry-insiders-estimate-epip...

Christchurch Woman Pleads With Burglars to Return Her Medicinal Marijuana

"I can't go to police. There's nothing we can do legally, absolutely nothing."

Jane feels her only hope is appealing through the Herald on Sunday to the thieves' better nature. She's politely asking them to bring back her marijuana.

"Just put it in a bag and leave it on the front door. Please."
READ MORE: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/christchurch-christchurch/news/article.cfm?l_i...

Mammography over the past 30 years, has resulted in over-diagnosis in roughly a third of cases. 30+% of women are unnecessarily treated for Breast Cancer

After excluding the transient excess incidence associated with hormone-replacement therapy and adjusting for trends in the incidence of breast cancer among women younger than 40 years of age, we estimated that breast cancer was overdiagnosed (i.e., tumors were detected on screening that would never have led to clinical symptoms) in 1.3 million U.S. women in the past 30 years. We estimated that in 2008, breast cancer was overdiagnosed in more than 70,000 women; this accounted for 31% of all breast cancers diagnosed.
STUDY: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1206809

Sunscreen Won’t Prevent Skin Cancer But Some Could Actually Cause It

Does wearing sunscreen prevent skin cancer? If you listen to public health officials that urge every man, woman and child to slather on sunscreen every day, you would think the answer is an unequivocal yes.

Aside from those who use sunscreen for the purpose of preventing wrinkles, it’s a safe assumption that many people use it with the intent of preventing skin cancer. But here’s the rub: wearing sunscreen may not actually protect you from cancer and, in some cases, may actually increase your risk.
READ MORE: http://www.thesleuthjournal.com/sunscreen-wont-prevent-skin-cancer-actua...

EpiPen Uproar Highlights Company’s Family Ties to Congress

The CEO of a former Fortune 500 company, who is also the daughter of a U.S. senator, is under fire from for jacking up the rates of life-saving anti-allergy device known as the EpiPen.

Heather Bresch, whose father is U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., became president of Mylan Pharmaceutical in 2009 and CEO in 2012. She is no stranger to controversy: She moved Mylan’s headquarters to the Netherlands last year after a corporate “inversion” merger with Abbott Laboratories.

The move enabled the company to operate its headquarters in the U.S. but maintain corporate citizenship in Holland, benefiting from a lower tax rate.
READ MORE: https://theintercept.com/2016/08/24/epipen-uproar-highlights-companys-fa...

Could Medical Cannabis Break the Painkiller Epidemic?

A body of research suggests yes, but scientists are having to fight red tape to study whether medical marijuana could substitute for opioid drugs.

Six days before Prince died, the iconic pop star was hospitalized after possibly overdosing on Percocet. His death on April 21 involved overdosing on another painkiller, fentanyl. Both are among the prescription opioids that alleviate the pain of millions of Americans every year—often at the price of their needing ever greater amounts and the risk of overdose. The U.S. “is in the midst of an unprecedented opioid epidemic,” according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Prescription opioid overdoses killed more than 165,000 Americans between 1999 and 2014, and the health and social costs of abusing such drugs are estimated to be as much as $55 billion a year.
READ MORE: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/could-medical-cannabis-break-t...

After decades of practising as a psychotherapist, I am convinced that our treatment of psychosis is thoroughly wrong-headed

Martha is in her mid 30s. Her bright blonde hair is natural. She sat on one side of a corner from me, her body tense and passive at once, the odd mixture one sees with people who are gripped with inner distress but whose musculature is flattened out by atypical antipsychotics. She carries the tight, extra weight that also accompanies those drugs. Her eyes are shy and furtive, checking the room, checking my face.
READ MORE: https://aeon.co/essays/treating-acute-psychosis-with-drugs-can-prolong-t...

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