Pesticides that are banned or suspected to be EDCs found in green salads

Endocrine disrupting chemicals found in green salads purchased in French supermarkets

This post content is published by HEAL, a leading alliance of health and environment groups working at EU level. Working for better health, through a healthy environment

image of green-salad
The worrying results of the survey by HEAL member Générations Futures shows the need for rapid implementation of the European Regulation on pesticides and of the French National Strategy on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).

Générations Futures EXPPERT Survey 5 investigation

To demonstrate the urgent need for strong, preventive action in the field of endocrine disrupters, Générations Futures has launched a series of reports on these chemical substances, which threaten the development of the fetus and young children even at low doses. These reports are based on detailed testing and analysis to show the many, omnipresent endocrine disrupting pesticides in our environment causing significant human exposure. Green salad (lettuces, rocket/rucola, etc) is the fourth most highly consumed vegetable in France with households consuming 5kg per year, according to data from INSEE, a leading national statistical institute in France. Considered a “health” food, many brochures from INPES recommend consumption, especially during pregnancy and childhood . Generations Future fully supports these recommendations.

Green salad is subject to specific monitoring for the presence of certain chemical substances. Existing findings show that green salad is among the vegetables with the highest pesticide residues. The DGCCRF monitoring plan published in 2013 showed that pesticide residues were present in almost 58% of samples tested. Moreover, according to EFSA  – the European Food Safety Authority, 36% of lettuce contains between two and 13 different residues. Many of the residues EFSA commonly finds in lettuces are suspected endocrine disrupters, such as propamocarb and iprodione. These troubling data led us to want to know more about the presence of pesticides in salads in France, and especially about those pesticides suspected of being endocrine disrupters.

Results: Many endocrine disrupters found

Thirty-one samples of different green salads (lettuce, curly salad, rocket, etc.) were purchased in supermarkets in the Oise and in the Somme regions of Picardy between 28 May and 21 July 2015. The amount of samples at 31 is bigger than the representative threshold sample size of 30 which DGCCRF commonly uses.

Below are some of the condensed findings which are further elaborated in our full report.

  • The green salads tested each contain an average of almost four pesticides residues.
  • Of the 31 samples analysed, 80.65% contain at least one pesticide residue (25/31) – not including any residue of methyl bromide (as its origin may be natural rather than from a pesticide).
  • On average, the samples each contain more than two residues of endocrine disrupting pesticides (average: 2.09).
  • 67,74% of the samples contain at least one residue of an endocrine disrupting pesticide (21/31).
  • Among the 10 active ingredients most frequently found, seven are suspected to be endocrine disrupters.

Prohibited products

Five samples (16.13% of total sample) contain one or more prohibited active substances (two samples or 6.45% of the total) or contain an active substance prohibited in salad cultivation in France (three samples or 9.67% of the total). Of these latter three samples, one sample even contains two substances prohibited for use in salad cultivation in France (mandipropamid and imidacloprid).

“We are warning our leaders of the need to take immediate and strong measures to reduce people’s exposure to pesticides, and especially those suspected of being endocrine disrupters. We expect them to compel Europe to rapidly implement the decisions taken as part of the European Regulation 1107/2009, which prohibits putting endocrine disrupting pesticides on the market,” says François Veillerette, spokesperson for Generations Futures.

“In addition, it is unacceptable that pesticides which are banned in Europe or prohibited in the cultivation of salad in France are present in over 16% of the samples tested. Again, we expect strong government action to quickly put an end to this situation – both in the cultivation of salads and all the other crops,” he adds.

November 20th is The Trans Day of Remembrance

This event serves as a memorial, a protest, an opportunity for reflection and a chance to see old friends and meet new ones

Join the public event on Facebook, hosted by The 519

Each year, The 519 and Toronto’s trans communities join in an international commemoration of those who are no longer with us. This event serves as a memorial, a protest, an opportunity for reflection and a chance to see old friends and meet new ones.

The 519 acknowledges transphobia as a root cause of violence in our community, and recognizes the various forms of oppression in our culture that increase violence, and limit protections for many members of the trans community. We remember everyone lost to transphobia, racism, ageim, ableism, sex-worker stigma, classism, HIV stigma and homophobia.

Violence has impacted our communities through intentional acts and also through the act of neglect. Violence affecting trans communities includes cuts to social spending, and the depletion of the social safety net.

Violence impacting trans people includes the ever decreasing pool of social services that leaves marginalized members of society struggling on their own without affordable housing, access to nutritious food, access to necessary health care services, and sympathy from a Canadian government that deports trans women and men to their countries of origin even when violence will be waiting for them on their homelands.

The impact of violence on the trans communities is pervasive. For many the vulnerability is constant.

More information

US healthcare spending to reach 20% of gross domestic product by 2024

Knowns and unknowns of US drug pricing

US healthcare spending will grow by an average of 5.8% a year from 2014 through to 2024, rising to $5.4 trillion (£3.46trn; €4.92trn) a year—nearly 20% of the nation’s gross domestic product—says a report by government economists. Healthcare Costs by Images Money.

Drug pricing is complex, and its impact on healthcare systems varied. Absent a competitive market, a drug’s price and value may differ.While the Drug Abacus is a good first step as a gauge to align price and value, it will rely on the generation of significantly more safety and effectiveness evidence than currently exists, not only at launch but also post-launch. Moreover, the evaluation of evidence will have to take place in a dynamic setting, i.e., over time, in order to better align price and value. In this respect, pay-for-performance arrangements may be an option in cases in which there is great uncertainty at launch. Here, payers collect real-world data on a drug’s safety and effectiveness post-launch and price is linked to outcomes.

  • Why is pricing in the U.S. different?
  • How are drugs priced in the US?
  • What about R&D and its relation to price?
  • Then what?
  • But does price = value?
  • What are the alternatives?

Read Knowns and unknowns of US drug pricing, medicalxpress, November 11, 2015.

Related posts from Medical Xpress
  • Oncologists reveal reasons for high cost of cancer drugs in the US, recommend solutions, medicalxpress, March 16, 2015.
  • Mayo Clinic physicians ID reasons for high cost of cancer drugs, prescribe solutions, medicalxpress, October 1, 2012.
  • FDA panel backs Pfizer drug for kidney cancer, medicalxpress, December 7, 2011.
More information
  • US healthcare spending will reach 20% of GDP by 2024, says report, BMJ 2015;351:h4204, 03 August 2015.
  • National Health Expenditure Projections, 2014–24: Spending Growth Faster Than Recent Trends, healthaffairs, August 2015.

I’m David and I’m Hannah, both and yet neither. I’m just me

“This is who I am. I have survived these events and hope others can use the information to make their lives better”

intersex painting
Phycologicaly I feel both male and female. This is my normal, my world.” Luminis Kanto

I had most every one of those symptoms indicated and even more on your chart. In addition I came very close to death from chemotherapy on a number occasions during treatment. After eighteen years I have recovered from most effects accept the nerve damage to my extremities and some other problems.
This whole situation stems from fetal sexual development (Intersex) (DSD) resulting in one of my testis remaining as a fetal ovary until it became malignant as an adult. This could be from exposure to DES. In addition to all of these issue I also have gender issues that some people believe falls under the category of transgender. I on the other had believe this is purely an Intersex health issue caused by an EDC.
I did marry and been so for almost forty three years. We even managed to have two children over fiveteen year period of marriage. One of my testis did develop to about half of normal adult size as compared to the other totally undeveloped right testis.
Phycologicaly I feel both male and female. In addition I have hypogonadism, no surprise there. This is my normal, my world.

This is who I am. I have survived these events and hope others can use the information to make their lives better.
I was never told anything by the medical community ever as a child. I’m sure this all stems from their ignorance on the subject. There was also a sense that the medical community was in denial that people could be something other than just purely male and female. As a young child I saw first hand a very young boy with ambiguous genitila being subjected to sex change surgery. This was very confusing for me as a child and this was something I’ve carried with me my whole life. The thought I had as a ten year old child was that he was being punished for some abstract crime. I never spoke of this to anyone until I was an adult. Even when I did tell people I really don’t think most people can absorb that such things could happen or that some peoples sexual development wasn’t alway binary.
I really do not know for sure if I was exposed to DES or other EDC but my Intersex body development is consistent with such exposure. genedic blood tests have been done to see if what I have is an inherited this condition and nothing tested so far suggests that was the case.
I may never know for sure the root cause of my Intersex but doesn’t mean I haven’t accepted who I am.
I’m David and I’m Hannah, both and yet neither. I’m just me.

Some Intersex Resources

Compared to US practice, evidence-based reviews in Eu appear to lead to lower prices for some drugs

Forecasting Unanticipated Consequences of “The Sunshine Act”: Mostly Cloudy

Forecasting unanticipated consequences of “The Sunshine Act”: mostly cloudy

2014 Study Abstract

In Europe drug reimbursement decisions often weigh how new drugs perform relative to those already on the market and how cost-effective they are relative to certain metrics. In the United States such comparative-effectiveness and cost-effectiveness evidence is rarely considered. Which approach allows patients greater access to drugs? In 2000–11 forty-one oncology drugs were approved for use in the United States and thirty-one were approved in Europe. We compared patients’ access to the twenty-nine cancer drugs introduced into the health care systems of the United States and four European countries. Relative to the approach used in the US Medicare program in particular, the European evidence-based approach appears to have led to reduced prices for those drugs deemed worthy of approval and reimbursement. The result is improved affordability for payers and increased access for patients to those drugs that were available. The United States lacks a systematic approach to assessing such evidence in the coverage decision-making process, which may prove inadequate for controlling costs, improving outcomes, and reducing inequities in access to care.

Sources and more information
  • Forecasting Unanticipated Consequences of “The Sunshine Act”: Mostly Cloudythe American Society of Clinical Oncology, August 1, 2014.
  • Compared To US Practice, Evidence-Based Reviews In Europe Appear To Lead To Lower Prices For Some Drugs, Health Affairs, April 2013.

What Toxic Chemicals are in Your Cosmetics?

What Toxic Cosmetics Are in This Look Good, Feel Better Bag?

BreastCancerAction is telling the Personal Care Products Council and the American Cancer Society that “Poison Isn’t Pretty.” @BCAction demand these multi-million dollar industry giants stop pinkwashing and start protecting women’s health.

Look Good, Feel Better is a program run by the Personal Care Products Council and the American Cancer Society; they hold free workshops that give beauty tips and complimentary makeup kits to women in cancer treatment—support that some women understandably value while facing a cancer diagnosis.

The downside? Many of the products offered to women in Look Good, Feel Better make-up kits contain chemicals linked to increased cancer risk and some of the chemicals may actually interfere with breast cancer treatment.

Demand these multi-million dollar industry giants stop pinkwashing and start protecting women’s health.

Sources and more information

  • What Toxic Cosmetics Are in This Look Good, Feel Better Bag (And Also On a Store Shelf Near You)?, BC Action blog, October 8, 2015.
  • Poison Isn’t Pretty, BC Action campaign brief.
  • Poison Isn’t Pretty, BC Action press release.
  • Our videos and posts tagged Safe Cosmetics.

Even more reasons you should be worried about antibiotic resistance

This problem affects us all and we can all do something to help

antibiotic-resistance testing image
Have you read our ‘10 reasons you should be worried about antibiotic resistance’ blog? Well, here are 7 more reasons all equally worthy of your concern.

More Antibiotic Resistance Concerns

Antibiotics are essential for treating many infections but they’re losing their effectiveness. Bacteria are fighting back by adapting and finding ways of surviving the effects of our medicines.

The bugs are smart – they can naturally become resistant to antibiotics over time but we’re making it worse because of overuse and misuse of our medications. This is already a risky situation and it will only get worse if we don’t take urgent action..

  1. Cystitis superbugs! The commonest of infections could become untreatable
    It’s very common for women to suffer with cystitis but it’s usually more of a nuisance than a cause for serious concern. Mild cases will often get better by themselves within a few days. Right now though, urinary tract infections (UTIs) are becoming harder to treat as the bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics. Women are facing hospital stays or injected antibiotics for UTIs that would have once been cleared up by a packet of tablets.
  2. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria could kill more people than cancer
    An influential study on antimicrobial resistance has warned that drug-resistant infections could kill an extra 10 million people across the world every year by 2050 if they are not tackled. That’s more deaths that are currently caused by cancer. But don’t forget this isn’t just a problem for the next generation as antimicrobial-resistant infections currently claim at least 50,000 lives each year across Europe and the US alone, with many hundreds of thousands more dying in other areas of the world.
  3. Antibiotics kill good bacteria in your body
    Antibiotics are essential for some infections and they save lives, but taking them does have implications. When we take antibiotics, they kill healthy bacteria. They allow the bacteria that are resistant to the antibiotics you have just taken to become dominant. This means that further down the line when you DO need an antibiotic, it is less likely to work. Bacteria live in all of us and outnumber our human cells tenfold, and the majority of these bacteria are essential as they help us digest food, produce important vitamins and keep up our immunity. It’s vital to our wellbeing that we have these good bacteria, but each time we take antibiotics, we kill many of them. It can take a long time – from months up to years – for the good bacteria to recover.
  4. Recent figures have outlined the mind-boggling economic cost of superbugs
    $100 Trillion! It sounds like too much money to even comprehend, but research has shown that by 2050 drug resistant infections could cost the world around $100 trillion in lost output: more than the size of the current world economy, and roughly equivalent to the world losing the output of the UK economy every year, for 35 years.
  5. A course of tablets may not cut it anymore
    It’s easy to be complacent about bacterial infections and think a prescription and some pills will solve the problem. But antibiotic resistant bacteria present new and vastly different challenges for doctors and patients. When people are infected with drug-resistant bacteria the antibiotics doctors try often fail. Stronger and more expensive drugs may be tried for longer, and hospital stays become necessary. And already, sadly, some patients die. Previously trivial infections are now coming with a huge human and economic cost.
  6. These TB stats are scary, and more relevant than many people will think
    In 2013 there were 480,000 recorded cases of multi drug-resistant TB (TB that can’t be treated by our usual medicines). TB is a bacterial infection that can spread through the lymph nodes and blood stream to any organ in your body. It commonly affects the lungs and while a lot of people might not consider it to be an issue in the UK, or think it couldn’t affect them, this isn’t true. 37 million lives worldwide have been saved by antibiotic treatment for TB since 2000. In some countries, it is becoming increasingly difficult to treat MDR-TB. Treatment options are limited, recommended medicines are not always available, and patients experience many adverse effects from the drugs.
  7. “Last resort” antibiotics may not work
    Alongside cases of multi-drug resistant TB mentioned, gonorrhoea is also causing major problems – 10 countries across the world have reported treatment failures when using “last resort” medicines. There are worries that gonorrhoea may soon become untreatable as no vaccines or new drugs are in development. And resistance to the treatment of last resort for life-threatening infections caused by common intestinal bacteria has spread to all regions of the world.

What can we do about it?

Antibiotic Guardian Certificate image
We have to stop the overuse and misuse of antibiotics which is leading to many bacteria becoming resistant to these essential medicines.

This problem affects us all and we can all do something to help. Firstly, you can take a simple personal action by visiting our Antibiotic Guardian website and choosing one pledge that you will carry out to help save these vital medicines. There are pledges for the public, healthcare professionals and leaders.

There are plenty more things you can do too. Watch this video and learn more and talk to your family and friends about antibiotic resistance, and the fact that we don’t always need antibiotics when we’re ill. The Treat Yourself Better website will help you make good choices.

If you’re a health professional, alongside making your Antibiotic Guardian pledge, we urge you to read this blog and share our antimicrobial resistance information and resources.

Sources and more information

American Medical Association vote in support of a ban on prescription drugs ads

AMA Calls for Ban on Direct to Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs and Medical Devices

Responding to the billions of advertising dollars being spent to promote prescription products, physicians at the Interim Meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA) today adopted new policy aimed at driving solutions to make prescription drugs more affordable. Clindamycin.

This post content is published by Common DreamsBreaking News and  Views for the Progressive Community

In an attempt to combat the soaring cost of prescription drugs and Big Pharma’s stranglehold on the U.S. healthcare system, the American Medical Association (AMA) has approved a new policy to “support a ban on direct-to-consumer advertising for prescription drugs and implantable medical devices.”

Today’s vote in support of an advertising ban reflects concerns among physicians about the negative impact of commercially-driven promotions, and the role that marketing costs play in fueling escalating drug prices,” said AMA board chair-elect Patrice Harris, M.D., in a press statement on Tuesday. The vote took place at the AMA’s 2015 Interim Meeting in Atlanta.

Supporters of the ban also cited concerns including patient confusion and encouragement of off-label, or unapproved, use of certain drugs.

The AMA points out that the U.S. and New Zealand are the only two countries in the world that allow direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs. What’s more, advertising dollars spent by drug makers have increased by 30 percent in the last two years to $4.5 billion, according to the market research firm Kantar Media.

And in the past few years, prices on generic and brand-name prescription drugs have steadily risen, experiencing a 4.7 percent spike in 2015 alone, according to the Altarum Institute Center for Sustainable Health Spending.

Though the move is largely symbolic, as any such ban would have to be authorized by Congress, the AMA plans to pull out all the stops in an effort to sway federal regulators, elected officials, and the public at-large.

To that end, the policy approved Tuesday calls for convening a physician task force and launching an advocacy campaign to promote prescription drug affordability by demanding choice and competition in the pharmaceutical industry, and greater transparency in prescription drug prices and costs. It also states that the AMA will now monitor pharmaceutical company mergers and acquisitions, as well as the impact of such actions on drug prices.

By casting the issue in the context of rising drug prices, the AMA is clearly trying to create as much support as possible for a ban,” wrote Ed Silverman for the health, medicine, and science publication STAT.The cost of pharmaceuticals, after all, is a hot-button issue that has galvanized much of the American public in recent months. The AMA proposal amounts to yet another indication that drug pricing will remain a policy issue for the near-term.”

Indeed, prescription drug prices have already become a presidential campaign issue, with everyone from Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton to Marco Rubio and Ben Carson acknowledging that healthcare costs are a top concern for American voters. In a separate piece for STAT, also published Tuesday, Silverman pointed to a new poll which finds that “91 percent of voters believe it’s important for presidential candidates to hold down rising prescription drug costs.”

As noted by the Chicago Tribune, the AMA is merely the latest health organization to call for a ban on such ads, following the World Health Organization, the National Center for Health Research, and other groups. Many consumer advocacy organizations, including Public Citizen, have also pushed for a ban, saying such advertising pressures doctors to prescribe particular medications that may be less effective and more expensive and risky.

On Tuesday, Public Citizen said it supports the AMA’s call. In an email to Common Dreams, Michael Carome, M.D. and director of the group’s Health Research division, stated: “We agree that such advertising is primarily promotional, not educational, and drives up the cost of drugs.”

The Side Effects of Chemotherapy on the Body

Chemotherapy infographic, Healthline Editorial Team, 2014

Visit Healthline to see the detailed effects of chemotherapy in an interactive format.

Chemotherapy drugs are powerful enough to kill rapidly growing cancer cells, but they also can harm perfectly healthy cells, causing side effects throughout the body.

More information

Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals: The Endocrine Society 2015 Scientific Statement

The Endocrine Society, Hormone Science to Health, 2015

chemicals image
As stated in the full EDC-2 Scientific Statement, the past 5 years represent a leap forward in our understanding of EDC actions on endocrine health and disease. The scientific literature published during this period has provided much deeper insights into the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms of action, the importance of critical developmental exposure periods, and stronger epidemiological studies in humans from around the world.

2015 Executive Summary Abstract

This Executive Summary to The Endocrine Society‘s second Scientific Statement on environmental endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) provides a synthesis of the key points of the complete statement. The full Scientific Statement represents a comprehensive review of the literature on seven topics for which there is strong mechanistic, experimental, animal, and epidemiological evidence for endocrine disruption, namely: obesity and diabetes, female reproduction, male reproduction, hormone-sensitive cancers in females, prostate cancer, thyroid, and neurodevelopment and neuroendocrine systems. EDCs such as bisphenol A, phthalates, pesticides, persistent organic pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls, polybrominated diethyl ethers, and dioxins were emphasized because these chemicals had the greatest depth and breadth of available information. The Statement also included thorough coverage of studies of developmental exposures to EDCs, especially in the fetus and infant, because these are critical life stages during which perturbations of hormones can increase the probability of a disease or dysfunction later in life. A conclusion of the Statement is that publications over the past 5 years have led to a much fuller understanding of the endocrine principles by which EDCs act, including nonmonotonic dose-responses, low-dose effects, and developmental vulnerability. These findings will prove useful to researchers, physicians, and other healthcare providers in translating the science of endocrine disruption to improved public health.

2015 EDC-2 Abstract

The Endocrine Society’s first Scientific Statement in 2009 provided a wake-up call to the scientific community about how environmental endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) affect health and disease. Five years later, a substantially larger body of literature has solidified our understanding of plausible mechanisms underlying EDC actions and how exposures in animals and humans—especially during development—may lay the foundations for disease later in life. At this point in history, we have much stronger knowledge about how EDCs alter gene-environment interactions via physiological, cellular, molecular, and epigenetic changes, thereby producing effects in exposed individuals as well as their descendants. Causal links between exposure and manifestation of disease are substantiated by experimental animal models and are consistent with correlative epidemiological data in humans. There are several caveats because differences in how experimental animal work is conducted can lead to difficulties in drawing broad conclusions, and we must continue to be cautious about inferring causality in humans. In this second Scientific Statement, we reviewed the literature on a subset of topics for which the translational evidence is strongest: 1) obesity and diabetes; 2) female reproduction; 3) male reproduction; 4) hormone-sensitive cancers in females; 5) prostate; 6) thyroid; and 7) neurodevelopment and neuroendocrine systems. Our inclusion criteria for studies were those conducted predominantly in the past 5 years deemed to be of high quality based on appropriate negative and positive control groups or populations, adequate sample size and experimental design, and mammalian animal studies with exposure levels in a range that was relevant to humans. We also focused on studies using the developmental origins of health and disease model. No report was excluded based on a positive or negative effect of the EDC exposure. The bulk of the results across the board strengthen the evidence for endocrine health-related actions of EDCs. Based on this much more complete understanding of the endocrine principles by which EDCs act, including nonmonotonic dose-responses, low-dose effects, and developmental vulnerability, these findings can be much better translated to human health. Armed with this information, researchers, physicians, and other healthcare providers can guide regulators and policymakers as they make responsible decisions.

Sources and more information
  • EDC-2: The Endocrine Society’s Second Scientific Statement on Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals, DOI: 10.1210/er.2015-1010, November 06, 2015.
  • Executive Summary to EDC-2: The Endocrine Society’s Second Scientific Statement on Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals, DOI: 10.1210/er.2015-1093, September 28, 2015.
  • Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals: An Endocrine Society Scientific Statement, NCBI PMCID: PMC2726844, doi: 10.1210/er.2009-0002, June 2009.