Excess Vitamins and Minerals in Food can harm Children and Pregnant Women’s Health

Find out more in EWG’s latest investigative report: How Much is Too Much?

How Much is Too Much image
Getting sufficient amounts of key nutrients is important for a healthy diet, but many Americans don’t realize that consuming excessive amounts of some nutrients can be harmful.

We need enough of vitamins and minerals in food for good health, but consuming too much can be harmful – especially to young children, the elderly and pregnant women.

Manufacturers have been using nutrient fortification as a marketing tool to appeal to parents who want healthier foods for their families. Up to half of young children get too much vitamin A, niacin and zinc.

The Environmental Working Group studied 1,556 breakfast cereals and 1,025 snack bars and found that many contained substantially higher amounts of those three nutrients – vitamin A, niacin and zinc – than is considered safe by the Institute of Medicine.

Sources and More Information

Findings in Female Offspring of Women exposed in Utero to DiEthylStilbestrol

None of the third-generation daughters were found to have changes usually associated with DES exposure

Abstract

image of PubMed NCBI The Endocrine Society logo
None of the third-generation daughters were found to have changes usually associated with DES exposure.

OBJECTIVE:
To examine a group of women (third-generation daughters) whose mothers were exposed in utero to diethylstilboestrol (DES) and compare their findings on pelvic examination with those noted in their mothers.

METHODS:
Letters were mailed to women documented to have been exposed in utero to DES who had given birth to a female offspring, inviting them to have their daughters come in for a detailed history and pelvic examination. Records of the mothers whose daughters appeared for examination were reviewed, and findings noted at the time of their initial examination were recorded. Detailed pelvic examination of the third-generation daughters included colposcopic examination and iodine staining of the vagina and cervix and Papanicolaou smear. The findings observed in these women were compared with those noted in their mothers at the time of their mothers’ first examination.

RESULTS:
Twenty-eight third-generation daughters were examined. Three of the daughters were delivered from one mother. Review of the mothers’ records indicated that 16 (61.5%) of the mothers exposed to DES during their pregnancy demonstrated structural changes of the cervix, upper vagina, or vaginal epithelial changes consisting of adenosis, nonstaining vaginal epithelium after application of iodine solution, or white epithelium within the vagina. None of the daughters were found to have changes usually associated with DES exposure.

CONCLUSION:
The absence of abnormalities in the lower genital tract in third-generation women compared with the high frequency of these abnormalities in their mothers suggests that third-generation carryover effects of in utero DES exposure are unlikely.

Sources:
  • Findings in female offspring of women exposed in utero to diethylstilbestrolNCBI, PMID: 11814496,
    Obstet Gynecol. 2002 Feb;99(2):197-200.
More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

EDCs – Diseases and Conditions – Obesity and Diabetes

This post is part of our new “EDCs HEAL serie“

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The prevalence of obesity and its co-morbidity factors, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome have increased dramatically in almost all EU Member States.

This post is part of our new “EDCs HEAL serie“.

The prevalence of obesity and its co-morbidity factors, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome have increased dramatically in almost all EU Member States.

Obesity
Prevalence of obesity in EU has more than doubled over the past 20 years. Over 50% of men and women are overweight, 20% men and 23% women obese.

Diabetes
Diabetes absorbs up to 10% of health care budgets in some EU countries. Diabetes is one of the most common non-communicable diseases in Europe. Upward trend: prevalence increasing by approx. 1% every 3 years.

Sources – @HealthandEnv HEAL News

Selling Sickness, Lots of Money made from Healthy People who believe they are Sick

How the World’s Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies are turning Us All into Patients

image of Selling Sickness book
A lot of money can be made from healthy people who believe they are sick… by @AKECassels

A lot of money can be made from healthy people who believe they are sick. Pharmaceutical companies sponsor diseases and promote them to prescribers and consumers. Thirty years ago, Henry Gadsden, the head of Merck, one of the world’s largest drug companies, told Fortune magazine that he wanted Merck to be more like chewing gum maker Wrigley’s. It had long been his dream to make drugs for healthy people so that Merck could “sell to everyone.” Gadsden’s dream now drives the marketing machinery of the most profitable industry on earth. Drug companies are systematically working to widen the very boundaries that define illness, and the markets for medication grow ever larger. Mild problems are redefined as serious illness and common complaints are labeled as medical conditions requiring drug treatments. Runny noses are now allergic rhinitis, PMS has become a psychiatric disorder, and hyperactive children have ADD. When it comes to conditions like high cholesterol or low bone density, being “at risk” is sold as a disease. Selling Sickness reveals how widening the boundaries of illness and lowering the threshold for treatments is creating millions of new patients and billions in new profits, in turn threatening to bankrupt health-care systems all over the world. As more and more of ordinary life becomes medicalized, the industry moves ever closer to Gadsden’s dream: “selling to everyone.”

Summary

Ray Moynihan, Iona Heath, and David Henry give examples of disease mongering and suggest how to prevent the growth of this practice. Selling sicknes book is organized as a series of case studies, each focused on a particular drug. Each chapter explores a different aspect of drug marketing, with evidence drawn from published editorials, news reports, academic journals, and, most interestingly, original interviews with physician-spokespersons and pharmaceutical sales experts.

More Information

  • amazon book reviews.
  • Newsweek Interview with Ray Moynihan.
  • Selling sickness: the pharmaceutical industry and disease mongering, BMJ, PMC1122833, Apr 13, 2002.
  • Drug companies profit hugely from creating “diseases,” then the “cures”, CCPA, publications/monitor, September 1, 2005.
  • The Fight against Disease Mongering: Generating Knowledge for Action, PLoS Med., PMC1434508, Apr 2006; 3(4): e191.
  • Our posts tagged Alan Cassels and DrugMoney.
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Many Pregnant Women lack Info on Household Toxins, Environmental Toxics

Pregnant women could be missing out on information about how environmental toxins may affect their unborn babies

Abstract

PLoS_logo
Counseling Patients on Preventing Prenatal Environmental Exposures – A Mixed-Methods Study of Obstetricians – @PLOSONE

Objective
Describe the attitudes, beliefs, and practices of U.S. obstetricians on the topic of prenatal environmental exposures.

Study Design
A national online survey of American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) fellows and 3 focus groups of obstetricians.

Results
We received 2,514 eligible survey responses, for a response rate of 14%. The majority (78%) of obstetricians agreed that they can reduce patient exposures to environmental health hazards by counseling patients; but 50% reported that they rarely take an environmental health history; less than 20% reported routinely asking about environmental exposures commonly found in pregnant women in the U.S.; and only 1 in 15 reported any training on the topic. Barriers to counseling included: a lack of knowledge of and uncertainty about the evidence; concerns that patients lack the capacity to reduce harmful exposures; and fear of causing anxiety among patients.

Conclusion
U.S. obstetricians in our study recognized the potential impact of the environment on reproductive health, and the role that physicians could play in prevention, but reported numerous barriers to counseling patients. Medical education and training, evidence-based guidelines, and tools for communicating risks to patients are needed to support the clinical role in preventing environmental exposures that threaten patient health.

Sources and Press Releases

  • Counseling Patients on Preventing Prenatal Environmental Exposures – A Mixed-Methods Study of Obstetricians, PLOS one, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0098771, Published: June 25, 2014
  • Few Obstetricians Counsel Patients on Environmental Toxics, UCSF, 115466, June 25, 2014
  • Pregnant Women May Lack Info on Household Toxins, LiveScience, 46533, June 25, 2014

EDCs – Children’s Behavioural Disorders, such as Autism, ASD and ADHD

This post is part of our new “EDCs HEAL serie“

This post is part of our new “EDCs HEAL serie“.

Neurological disorders affecting child brain development and behaviour

Health and Environment logo
The prevalence of autistic disorders is currently around one in 500.

AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS (ASD)
A number of recent studies show an increase in the incidence and prevalence of autism over the last 50 years. Studies in several countries show a population rate of
one in 500.

ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER (ADHD)
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is now the most common neuro-developmental disorder in children in Europe. Studies in several countries show a
population rate of one in 500. In the UK, 3.62% of boys and 0.85% of girls aged 4-15 are affected. Incidence rates in EU countries range from 2-10%.

Sources – @HealthandEnv HEAL News

Consequences of DiEthylStilbestrol during Pregnancy ; 50 Years later still a Significant Problem

From animal experiments it becomes clear that DES administration to pregnant mice results in an increased incidence of genital tumours not only in the second generation but also in the third

Abstract

image of PubMed NCBI The Endocrine Society logo
It becomes clear that DES administration during pregnancy resulted in an increased incidence of genital tumours not only in the second generation but also in the third…

Since the 1940s, diethylstilboestrol (DES) has been administered to about three million pregnant women in the United States and in the Netherlands, between 1947 and 1975, to about 220,000.
The most important consequences described are: for DES mothers an increased risk of mammary carcinomas and for DES daughters a 1 in 1000 chance of clear cell adenocarcinoma (CCAC) as well as an increased risk of (pre)malignant abnormalities of the stratified epithelium in the vagina and cervix.
In addition to this, DES daughters frequently have developmental disorders of the cervix and corpus uteri. In connection with this fertilisation disorders have been described as well as unfavourable outcomes of pregnancy: more ectopic pregnancies, abortion and premature birth. DES sons exhibit an increased frequency of several benign abnormalities of the genitalia. The DES problem continues to be an important issue. The entire cohort of DES mothers is in the age group with a high risk of mammary carcinoma. The youngest DES daughters will be of childbearing age for at least another 15 years; the risk of ectopic pregnancies and pre-term labour is increased. The oldest DES daughters are now reaching postmenopausal age. The incidence of CCAC of the vagina and cervix in the population is bimodal, with a second peak at older age. It is still unknown if at this age DES daughters will have an increased incidence of these malignancies.

From animal experiments it becomes clear that DES administration to pregnant mice results in an increased incidence of genital tumours not only in the second generation but also in the third. This has yet to be investigated in humans and deserves special attention.

The legally imposed destruction of patient files after a period of ten years is a serious threat to patient care and scientific investigation, notably in obstetrics and child medicine.

Sources:
  • Consequences of diethylstilbestrol during pregnancy; 50 years later still a significant problemNCBI, PMID: 11530703, Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2001 Apr 7;145(14):675-80.
More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

How to avoid bisphenol-A and detoxify it from Your Body

By far the best way to stay safe – regarding BPA – is to not eat or drink anything that’s in a plastic bottle or can…

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The NaturalNews Network is a non-profit collection of public education websites covering topics that empower individuals to make positive changes in their health, environmental sensitivity, consumer choices and informed skepticism.

Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a toxic chemical that is linked to a number of serious health risks including breast and prostate cancer, erectile dysfunction, reproductive problems, neurological issues, heart disease, diabetes as well as a number of other health problems.

  • … By far the best way to stay safe is to not eat or drink anything that’s in a plastic bottle or can…
  • … using a Far-Infrared (FIR) sauna is the best way to remove BPA…
  • … it’s been found that if enough iodine is taken it will help eliminate BPA from our bodies …

Read the whole article in Blogs.NaturalNews.com
The Danger of BPA: How To Avoid It & Detoxify It From Your Body
by Troy Pratt, June 25, 2014

Actions de Groupe : nécessaires, mais pas suffisantes

COMMUNIQUÉ DE PRESSE CONJOINT 2014

Loi de santé publique française

Avec d’autres organisations et des associations de victimes – telles que la revue Prescrire et l’association Réseau DES France – le Collectif Europe et Médicament appelle la Ministre de la santé française – Marisol Touraine – à mettre en place des actions de groupe efficaces dans le secteur de la santé, et à aller plus loin.

Communiqué de presse conjoint
Mettre en place des actions de groupe efficaces dans le secteur de la santé, et aller plus loin…

Communiqué de presse conjoint

Il y a un an, au moment des discussions autour du projet de loi sur la consommation en France, nous appelions à « élargir et adapter la procédure d’action de groupe au secteur de la santé ».
Nous demandions aussi, dans le cadre de la loi de santé publique alors annoncée pour 2014, des mesures devant enfin permettre une réparation équitable des dommages liés aux produits de santé.

Actions de groupe : efficaces à condition de s’en donner les moyens

Le 19 juin 2014, lors de sa présentation des orientations du projet de loi santé, Madame Touraine, Ministre des affaires sociales et de la santé, a annoncé que « face aux dommages sériels en santé, un droit nouveau pourrait être envisagé : l’instauration d’une action de groupe ».
Nous encourageons la Ministre à faire de cette proposition au conditionnel une réalité en France. De nombreux autres pays ont déjà franchi le pas.

Les actions de groupe permettent à des victimes caractérisées par une grande similarité des situations de se regrouper. Ce regroupement favorise la constitution de dossiers bien documentés (partage des éléments de preuve rassemblés), donc la procédure judiciaire.

L’expérience des autres pays montre cependant que certaines conditions sont nécessaires pour garantir l’efficacité des actions de groupe, par exemple : l’accès aux actions de groupe doit être le plus large possible ; dans certains cas, les dommages et intérêts doivent pouvoir être punitifs afin de remplir une fonction dissuasive.

Pour une réparation équitable des dommages liés aux produits de santé

Se limiter aux actions de groupe ne suffira pas réellement à améliorer la situation des victimes d’effets indésirables médicamenteux. Une évolution du droit européen et du droit français est nécessaire pour rétablir des régimes de responsabilité plus pertinents (6). En effet, depuis l’application d’une directive européenne de 1985 relative aux produits défectueux (transposée en France en 1998), les firmes pharmaceutiques n’ont plus d’obligation de sécurité de résultat vis-à-vis des patients, disposant dès lors d’une quasi-immunité.

En France, la loi relative aux droits de malades de 2002 (loi Kouchner) prévoyait que, dans certains cas, la solidarité nationale puisse indemniser les victimes d’effets indésirables quand les fabricants ne pouvaient pas voir leur responsabilité engagée. Cependant, en pratique, une minorité de victimes sont indemnisées par la solidarité nationale (Office national d’indemnisation des accidents médicaux, ONIAM). C’est en effet sur les victimes que repose la charge de la preuve, et elles ont des difficultés majeures à faire reconnaître l’imputabilité du médicament dans la survenue du dommage face aux experts. De plus, leurs séquelles sont souvent sous-estimées, ne leur permettant pas d’atteindre le seuil de gravité très élevé requis pour être indemnisées.

Écouter les victimes

Conjointement avec d’autres organisations et des associations de victimes, le Collectif Europe et Médicament publiera prochainement un état des lieux détaillé de la situation, permettant de prendre la mesure des difficultés des victimes.

Nous présenterons aussi nos recommandations concrètes d’amélioration, notamment :

  • rétablir, au niveau européen, le régime de la responsabilité des firmes avec obligation de sécurité de résultat vis-à-vis des patients. La France peut être l’État membre moteur de cette évolution qui bénéficiera aux patients de l’ensemble de l’Union européenne ;
  • rendre publiquement accessibles l’ensemble des éléments permettant à la victime d’étayer l’imputabilité médicamenteuse. Au-delà des données administratives de l’assurance maladie (open data), il s’agit aussi et surtout de permettre l’accès public : aux résultats détaillés des essais cliniques, comme le prévoyait l’Agence européenne du médicament (EMA) avant de faire marche arrière sous la pression de la Commission européenne et des accords commerciaux de libre échange transatlantiques (7) ; et à la base française de pharmacovigilance (observations détaillées mais sous forme anonymisée) ;
  • améliorer le fonctionnement de l’ONIAM, le mécanisme français d’indemnisation en cas d’aléas thérapeutiques ou de procédure par la voie amiable : réduction du seuil de gravité afin d’exclure moins de victimes aux séquelles graves mais sous-estimées ; création d’un régime spécial de responsabilité pour les médicaments figurant sur la liste des médicaments sous surveillance supplémentaire ; etc.
Organisations signataires
  • Le Collectif Europe et Médicament (Medicines in Europe Forum, MiEF)
  • La FNATH
  • Le Collectif de Lutte contre les Affections Iatrogènes Médicamenteuses (CLAIM)
  • Le Réseau D.E.S. France, adhérent de la FNATH
  • L’association Les Filles DES
En savoir plus
  • Réseau DES France, Actualité du 23/06/2014
  • Prescrire, Article en Une du 23/06/2014
  • Communiqué de presse conjoint, PDF
  • Ne pas oublier la réparation des dommages liés aux produits de santé ! PDF
  • Présentation des orientations du projet de loi santé, PDF
  • « L’union fait la force » ou faut-il rendre possibles les actions judiciaires collectives dans le domaine de la santé ? syntheserecours 2012
  • L’action de groupe en France : une volonté européenne, CEC, 19 décembre 2013

Mercury Pollution Rising Infographic

Exposure to mercury – even small amounts – may cause serious health problems, and is a threat to the development of the child in utero and early in life

Mercury has been well documented to be an endocrine system disrupting chemical in animals and people, disrupting function of the pituitary gland, thyroid gland, enzyme production processes, and many hormonal functions at very low levels of exposure. This infographic shows how mercury pollution is rising…

Mercury-Pollution-Rising infographic
Exposure to mercury – even small amounts – may cause serious health problems, and is a threat to the development of the child in utero and early in life – via @ThyroidNation
Sources:

* Edible Fish Infographic: Mercury Is An Endocrine Disruptor, Thyroid Nation.

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