Agricultural spreaders and pesticides exposure

Call for a pesticide-free Spring! Join us!

The Pesticide Action Week is an annual and international event, open to everyone, with the aim to promote alternatives to pesticides. The campaign takes place during the first ten days of every spring (20th-30th of march) when usually the spreading of pesticides resumes.

The public is invited to get better informed about the sanitary and environmental challenges caused by pesticides and learn more about possible alternatives to pesticides by taking part in one of the hundreds of organised activities: conferences, panel discussions, film showings, workshops, open days at organic farms, information stands, exhibitions, shows…

The goals of this event are:

Call for a pesticide-free Spring!
Pesticide Action Week,
20th-30th of march.

  • Raising awareness on the health and environment risks of synthetic pesticides
  • Highlighting and promoting alternative solutions
  • Building a global grassroots movement for a pesticide-free world

More Information

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Survey of Parents in the UK

Report highlights problems faced by parents of children with Autism

2014 Survey Conclusion

Parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) face severe challenges in accessing adequate services, according to a survey of hundreds of parents in the United Kingdom.

This report has highlighted the scale of the challenges faced by parents and children with ASD both in relation to the behaviours and health problems encountered but also in relation to accessing adequate services for support. The survey data indicated that a minority of respondents were struggling to access services from the NHS for basic support with challenges such as diet, nutrition, gut problems and sleep difficulties. In addition, even those who had managed to access the professional services available did not have their problems resolved.

Only 11% of respondents felt that the NHS professionals they encountered understood their concerns about the behaviour and healthcare issues of their child, and the majority (70%) felt that their child’s symptoms were attributed to ASD, rather than being worthy of investigation with the potential for treatment. Indeed, having a label of autism seemed to get in the way of accessing services and potential treatments that would ordinarily be available on the NHS. This diagnostic overshadowing meant that children’s symptoms were often left untreated and when parents sought help privately, they were often able to get at least some of these problems resolved. Many of the comments exposed what might best be called a ‘perception gap’ between parents’ experiences of looking after their children– and trying to deal with the wide range of health and behavioural problems they face – and the official health system that still classifies autism as a developmental disability. The official diagnosis is based upon the observation of cognitive, social and other behavioural and communication problems (the so-called ‘triad of impairments’) rather than any recognition of the wide range of co-morbid conditions that are commonly associated with the condition, many of which can be treated. As a result, parents struggled to access treatment, and what was provided was often inadequate.

Report highlights problems faced by parents of children with Autism, Queen Mary University of London, News story, 15 March 2016.

Given this, it is hardly surprising that almost all respondents (80%) had sought help privately. Parents had paid to see a range of health professionals that included doctors, nutritionists, speech and language and occupational therapists. In addition, however, and often in consultation with privately-accessed professionals, parents were experimenting with diet, nutritional supplementation and safe alternative therapies to see if they could help relieve some of the challenging problems faced by their children. In the vast majority of cases, these experiences had been positive, and for a sizeable number, the changes were reported to be life-changing.

The collective experiences of these parents are a reservoir of valuable testimony about the impact of relatively easy, low-cost, interventions that can improve the lives of children with ASD and their families, sometimes dramatically. Much more could be done to document these experiences and develop a more helpful dialogue between parents and clinical practitioners. It would also be possible to foster wider debate and education about these possibilities amongst NHS staff and thereby help many more families to improve the well-being of their children.

Health and service provision for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A survey of parents in the United Kingdom, 2014, Queen Mary University of London, ISBN: 978-1-910195-17-8, March 2016.

In this regard, many respondents argued that they would like to see improved relationships with NHS staff, along with a new approach to training and service provision. There were also calls for specialist teams to be set up, including a range of professionals, who could then fully investigate the range of challenges faced by children with ASD and identify possible areas for treatment and support. This has the potential to be life-changing for children with ASD and their families, and in the long-run, it could also save the wider community from at least some of the financial and emotional costs associated with the condition. New forms of best practice that incorporate routine medical checks for treatable comorbid conditions are now being developed for people with ASD in other parts of the world, and there is scope for extending this learning to the UK. As Perrin (2016, 1; see also McElhanon et al 2014) and his co-authors from the Autism Intervention Network on Physical Health and the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (AIR-P/ATN) explain:

“Whereas, until recently, medical complaints (eg, abdominal pain, poor sleep, or disruptive behaviors) were typically considered part of the disorder and therefore not requiring specific attention, today clinicians throughout the country directly assess and treat these associated conditions. The combined AIR-P/ATN network has developed systematic ways to assess and treat coexisting conditions, focusing on those for which management was previously highly variable or sporadic and has shared those methods broadly with the larger parent and professional communities. The active involvement of families and young people with ASD has helped the network identify key issues for individuals and families and focus its attention accordingly. Although clinicians may have limited new, evidence-based options for treating autism directly, they now have systematic ways to evaluate and manage coexisting conditions. In turn, families have learned about new ways to help their children and improve their functioning and outcomes.”

This approach would greatly improve the lives of the families who took part in the survey reported here, as well as many thousands of others across the UK. In addition, the survey highlights the need for more scientific research into the causes and possible treatments of ASD and the range of co-morbid conditions associated with the condition. Parental experiences highlight the way in which diet and nutritional supplements can make a significant difference to the lives of children with ASD, and this is a vital area for further research.

In summary, this research report has highlighted the scale of the challenges faced by children with ASD and their families, the inadequacy of the current services provided by the NHS, the experiences of parents who are using changes in diet, nutritional supplements and a range of therapies to support their children, and the need for new thinking by those who are training health professionals and designing services for the twenty-first century.

Early Life Adverse Environmental Exposures Increase the Risk of Uterine Fibroid Development

The mechanistic role epigenetic regulation of stem cells plays in mediating risk and tumorigenesis

Abstract

Currently, there is a remarkable lack of knowledge regarding the involvement of chromatin assembly in the process by which adverse environmental exposures increase the overall risk of UF development. The precise mechanism underlying EDC-dependent effects on myometrial cell physiology are not adequately understood.

Uterine Fibroids [UF(s), AKA: leiomyoma] are the most important benign neoplastic threat to women’s health. They are the most common cause of hysterectomy imposing untold personal consequences and 100s of billions of healthcare dollars, worldwide. Currently, there is no long term effective FDA-approved medical treatment available, and surgery is the mainstay.

The etiology of UFs is not fully understood. In this regard, we and others have recently reported that somatic mutations in the gene encoding the transcriptional mediator subunit Med12 are found to occur at a high frequency (∼85%) in UFs. UFs likely originate when a Med12 mutation occurs in a myometrial stem cell converting it into a tumor-forming stem cell leading to a clonal fibroid lesion.

Although the molecular attributes underlying the mechanistic formation of UFs is largely unknown, a growing body of literature implicates unfavorable early life environmental exposures as potentially important contributors. Early life exposure to EDCs during sensitive windows of development can reprogram normal physiological responses and alter disease susceptibility later in life. Neonatal exposure to the EDCs such as diethylstilbestrol (DES) and genistein during reproductive tract development has been shown to increase the incidence, multiplicity and overall size of UFs in the Eker rat model, concomitantly reprogramming estrogen-responsive gene expression. Importantly, EDC exposure represses enhancer of zeste 2 (EZH2) and reduces levels of histone 3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) repressive mark through Estrogen receptor/Phosphatidylinositide 3-kinases/Protein kinase B non-genomic signaling in the developing uterus. Considering the fact that distinct Mediator Complex Subunit 12 (Med12) mutations are detected in different fibroid lesions in the same uterus, the emergence of each Med12 mutation is likely an independent event in an altered myometrial stem cell. It is therefore possible that a chronic reduction in DNA repair capacity eventually causes the emergence of mutations such as Med12 in myometrial stem cells converting them into fibroid tumor-forming stem cells, and thereby leads to the development of UFs.

Early Life Adverse Environmental Exposures Increase the Risk of Uterine Fibroid Development: Role of Epigenetic Regulation, Frontiers in pharmacology, dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2016.00040, 01 March 2016.

Advancing our understanding of the mechanistic role epigenetic regulation of stem cells plays in mediating risk and tumorigenesis will help in pointing the way toward the development of novel therapeutic options.

More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

Pesticides spraying impact on living creatures

Call for a pesticide-free Spring! Join us!

The Pesticide Action Week is an annual and international event, open to everyone, with the aim to promote alternatives to pesticides. The campaign takes place during the first ten days of every spring (20th-30th of march) when usually the spreading of pesticides resumes.

The public is invited to get better informed about the sanitary and environmental challenges caused by pesticides and learn more about possible alternatives to pesticides by taking part in one of the hundreds of organised activities: conferences, panel discussions, film showings, workshops, open days at organic farms, information stands, exhibitions, shows…

The goals of this event are:

Call for a pesticide-free Spring!
Pesticide Action Week,
20th-30th of march.

  • Raising awareness on the health and environment risks of synthetic pesticides
  • Highlighting and promoting alternative solutions
  • Building a global grassroots movement for a pesticide-free world

More Information

No Pesticide in my School Meals!

Call for a pesticide-free Spring! Join us!

The Pesticide Action Week is an annual and international event, open to everyone, with the aim to promote alternatives to pesticides. The campaign takes place during the first ten days of every spring (20th-30th of march) when usually the spreading of pesticides resumes.

The public is invited to get better informed about the sanitary and environmental challenges caused by pesticides and learn more about possible alternatives to pesticides by taking part in one of the hundreds of organised activities: conferences, panel discussions, film showings, workshops, open days at organic farms, information stands, exhibitions, shows…

The goals of this event are:

Call for a pesticide-free Spring!
Pesticide Action Week,
20th-30th of march.

  • Raising awareness on the health and environment risks of synthetic pesticides
  • Highlighting and promoting alternative solutions
  • Building a global grassroots movement for a pesticide-free world

More Information

Prescription drug costs rising faster than overall health spending (in the US)

Observations on trends in prescription drug spending,
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Key Findings

Spending on prescription drugs in the United States has risen sharply in recent years and is projected to consume an increasing share of overall healthcare, says a government report.

  • Expenditures on prescription drugs are rising and are projected to continue to rise faster than overall health spending thereby increasing this sector’s share of health care spending.
  • ASPE estimates that prescription drug spending in the United States was about $457 billion in 2015, or 16.7 percent of overall personal health care services. Of that $457 billion, $328 billion (71.9 percent) was for retail drugs and $128 billion (28.1 percent) was for non-retail drugs.
  • Factors underlying the rise in prescription drug spending from 2010 to 2014 can be roughly allocated as follows: 10 percent of that rise was due to population growth; 30 percent to an increase in prescriptions per person; 30 percent to overall, economy-wide inflation; and 30 percent to either changes in the composition of drugs prescribed toward higher price products or price increases for drugs that together drove average price increases in excess of general inflation.
  • Expenditures on specialty drugs generally appear to be rising more rapidly than expenditures on other drugs, though estimates of specialty drug expenditures are highly sensitive to which drugs are considered “specialty” products. .

Read “Observations on Trends in Prescription Drug Spending”, aspe, March 8, 2016.

Read also “US drug costs are rising faster than overall health spending, officials report“, The BMJ, 352:i1485, 11 March 2016.

Challenging the high price of the new medicine drugs

Propaganda or the cost of innovation?

The cost of drugs, particularly new biological agents, is overwhelming health budgets around the world.

However, little is known about how much it really costs to develop new medicines and, therefore, what they are really worth.

Concern is growing about the implications of rising drug prices for individuals and health systems around the world.

With little transparency around the costs of drug development, Narcyz Ghinea and colleagues call for greater accountability from drug companies to ensure a fair price for new medicines.

  • How much does it cost to develop a new medicine?
  • Alternative explanations for high costs of drugs
  • Varied approach to funding medicines
  • Can we find a “just” price for drugs?

Read: “Propaganda or the cost of innovation?
Challenging the high price of new drugs
“,
The BMJ, 352/bmj.i1284,
11 March 2016.

Holy Cow Stilbosol supplements

Eli Lilly Stilbosol’s 1959 add in the FFA National Future Farmer

Stilbosol patenting turned the cattle feed industry upside down in the mid 50s with its phenomenal use by farmers.
Image sources
Related posts
Related books
More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

57 Different Pesticides found in Poisoned Honeybees

Honeybees are being poisoned – new test reveals how

Honeybee-Poisoning image
A new method that can detect a large range of pesticides in bees could help scientists work out what is causing the global decline in honey bees. A study using the method found up to 57 different pesticides and digested pesticide compounds in poisoned honey bees.

Abstract

57 Different Pesticides Found in Poisoned Honeybees, elsevier, February 10, 2016.

A method for the determination of 200 pesticides and pesticide metabolites in honeybee samples has been developed and validated.

Almost 98% of compounds included in this method are approved to use within European Union, as active substances of plant protection products or veterinary medicinal products used by beekeepers to control mites Varroa destructor in hives.

Many significant metabolites, like metabolites of imidacloprid, thiacloprid, fipronil, methiocarb and amitraz, are also possible to detect.

Honeybees are being poisoned – new test reveals how, elsevier, 10 March 2016.

The sample preparation was based on the buffered QuEChERS method. Samples of bees were extracted with acetonitrile containing 1% acetic acid and then subjected to clean-up by dispersive solid phase extraction (dSPE) using a new Z-Sep+ sorbent and PSA. The majority of pesticides, including neonicotionoids and their metabolites, were analyzed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) but some of pesticides, especially pyrethroid insecticides, were analyzed by gas chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (GC–MS/MS). The procedure was validated according to the Guidance document SANCO/12571/2013 at four concentration levels: 1, 5, 10 and 100 ng/g bees and verified in the international proficiency test.

Multi-residue method for the determination of pesticides and pesticide metabolites in honeybees by liquid and gas chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry—Honeybee poisoning incidents, Journal of Chromatography A on sciencedirect, S0021967316300012, February 2016.

The analysis of bee samples spiked at the limit of quantification (LOQ) showed about 98% mean recovery value (trueness) and 97% of analytes showed recovery in the required range of 70–120% and RSDr (precision) below 20%. Linearity and matrix effects were also established. The LOQs of pesticides were in the range of 1–100 ng/g.

The developed method allows determination of insecticides at concentrations of 10 ng/g or less, except abamectin and tebufenozide. LOQ values are lower than the median lethal doses LD50 for bees.

The method was used to investigate more than 70 honeybee poisoning incidents. Data about detected pesticides and their metabolites are included.

Double mastectomy after breast cancer is pointless for most women, experts find

Rates of prophylactic mastectomy have tripled in past decade despite no survival benefit

Double Mastectomy image
The latest data show that more women are removing healthy breasts to avoid cancer. But that isn’t helping them to prevent the disease or to survive longer.

Abstract

Growing Use of Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy Despite no Improvement in Long-term Survival for Invasive Breast Cancer, Annals of Surgery, doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000001698, March 8, 2016.

Objective
To update and examine national temporal trends in contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM) and determine whether survival differed for invasive breast cancer patients based on hormone receptor (HR) status and age.

Methods
We identified women diagnosed with unilateral stage I to III breast cancer between 1998 and 2012 within the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registry. We compared characteristics and temporal trends between patients undergoing breast-conserving surgery, unilateral mastectomy, and CPM. We then performed Cox proportional-hazards regression to examine breast cancer-specific survival (BCSS) and overall survival (OS) in women diagnosed between 1998 and 2007, who underwent breast-conserving surgery with radiation (breast-conserving therapy), unilateral mastectomy, or CPM, with subsequent subgroup analysis stratifying by age and HR status.

Results
Of 496,488 women diagnosed with unilateral invasive breast cancer, 59.6% underwent breast-conserving surgery, 33.4% underwent unilateral mastectomy, and 7.0% underwent CPM. Overall, the proportion of women undergoing CPM increased from 3.9% in 2002 to 12.7% in 2012 (P < 0.001). Reconstructive surgery was performed in 48.3% of CPM patients compared with only 16.0% of unilateral mastectomy patients, with rates of reconstruction with CPM rising from 35.3% in 2002 to 55.4% in 2012 (P < 0.001). When compared with breast-conserving therapy, we found no significant improvement in BCSS or OS for women undergoing CPM (BCSS: HR 1.08, 95% confidence interval 1.01-1.16; OS: HR 1.08, 95% confidence interval 1.03-1.14), regardless of HR status or age.

Rates of prophylactic mastectomy have tripled in past decade despite no survival benefit, BRIGHAM AND WOMEN’S HOSPITAL, eurekalert, 11-MAR-2016.

Conclusions
The use of CPM more than tripled during the study period despite evidence suggesting no survival benefit over breast conservation. Further examination on how to optimally counsel women about surgical options is warranted.