Time Bomb: a Journey into Old Exposures, Gametic Glitches, and the Autism Explosion

Slides from Society for Neuroscience Wonder, February 2017

This presentation to a student-run chapter of SFN explained the history and science behind the “Time Bomb” hypothesis of autism.

DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

Rapid resolution and redress scheme for severe birth injury

Seeks views on the proposed investigations into severe avoidable birth injury and the support and compensation scheme

 

England is a safe place to give birth, and every year thousands of babies are safely delivered to delighted parents by experienced and dedicated NHS staff. This is the outcome that all families expect and the vast majority of families experience. However, tragedies can sometimes occur, and babies can suffer serious harm during delivery. Thankfully these incidents are rare, but it is clear that there is still more that the UK Department of Health can do to achieve its vision to make NHS maternity services among the safest in the world.   

The rapid resolution and redress scheme (RRR) aims to introduce a system of consistent and independent investigations for all instances where there may be severe avoidable birth injury, along with access to ongoing support and compensation for eligible babies through an administrative scheme.

The main aims are:

  • reducing the number of severe avoidable birth injuries by encouraging a learning culture
  • improving the experience of families and clinicians when harm has occurred
  • making more effective use of NHS resources

This consultation – opened since 2 March 2017 and closing at
11:45pm on 26 May 2017 – seeks views about the proposed scheme, including:

  • how the scheme is administered
  • the eligibility threshold for compensation
  • how learning would best be shared and acted on to reduce future harm

This consultation is accompanied by a consultation-stage impact assessment and 2 independent research reports that were commissioned by the department to inform the early stages of policy development in preparing for the consultation.

2017 Documents

  • A rapid resolution and redress scheme for severe avoidable birth injury: a consultation, PDF, 871KB, 42 pages.
  • A rapid resolution and redress scheme for severe avoidable birth injury: impact assessment, PDF, 3.34MB, 81 pages.
  • DH birth injury compensation policy research
    PDF, 1.61MB, 74 pages.
  • No-Fault Compensation Schemes: review, PDF, 1.68MB, 87 pages.

How to eliminate the risk of the third leading cause of death

Dr Peter Gøtzsche’s views on prescription drugs

Video published on 1 April 2015 by John McDougall.

Peter C. Gøtzsche, MD is a Danish medical researcher, and leader of the Nordic Cochrane Center at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark. He has written numerous reviews within the Cochrane collaboration.

Dr.Gøtzsche has been critical of screening for breast cancer using mammography, arguing that it cannot be justified; His critique stems from a meta-analysis he did on mammography screening studies and published as Is screening for breast cancer with mammography justifiable? in The Lancet in 2000. In it he discarded 6 out of 8 studies arguing their randomization was inadequate.

In 2006 a paper by Gøtzsche on mammography screening was electronically published in the European Journal of Cancer ahead of print. The journal later removed the paper completely from the journal website without any formal retraction. The paper was later published in Danish Medical Bulletin with a short note from the editor, and Gøtzsche and his coauthors commented on the unilateral retraction that the authors were not involved in.

In 2012 his book Mammography Screening: Truth, Lies and Controversy was published. In 2013 his book Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime: How Big Pharma has Corrupted Healthcare was published.

A smear test lasts 5 minutes

Cervical Cancer Prevention and Awareness Poster

Cervical Cancer Prevention : see what Jo’s Trust is doing.

Image source: Cervical screening and cervical abnormalities Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust Information.

Good Coffee?

Fracking Chemicals Detected in Pennsylvania Drinking Water

In 2015, the New York Times reported that fracking fluid had been found in well water in Bradford County, Pennsylvania.

The industry criticized the study, saying that it provided no proof that the chemical came from a nearby well.

Sources and More Information

Fluorene-9-bisphenol may not be safe for the use in materials that come into contact with food

Your BPA-free container may contain other toxic chemicals

BHPF, introduced for the production of so-called ‘BPA-free’ plastics, has been found to be very toxic at extremely low doses.

2017 Study Abstract

Bisphenol A (BPA) is used in the production of plastic but has oestrogenic activity. Therefore, BPA substitutes, such as fluorene-9-bisphenol (BHPF), have been introduced for the production of so-called ‘BPA-free’ plastics.

Here we show that BHPF is released from commercial ‘BPA-free’ plastic bottles into drinking water and has anti-oestrogenic effects in mice. We demonstrate that BHPF has anti-oestrogenic activity in vitro and, in an uterotrophic assay in mice, induces low uterine weight, atrophic endometria and causes adverse pregnancy outcomes, even at doses lower than those of BPA for which no observed adverse effect have been reported. Female mice given water containing BHPF released from plastic bottles, have detectable levels of BHPF in serum, low uterine weights and show decreased expressions of oestrogen-responsive genes. We also detect BHPF in the plasma of 7/100 individuals, who regularly drink water from plastic bottles.

Our data suggest that BPA substitutes should be tested for anti-oestrogenic activity and call for further study of the toxicological effects of BHPF on human health.

Download the full PDF study (free access).

Sources
  • Fluorene-9-bisphenol is anti-oestrogenic and may cause adverse pregnancy outcomes in mice, Nature Communications, ncomms14585, 01 March 2017.
  • Your BPA-free water bottle may contain another harmful chemical, Quartz, March 01, 2017.
  • Image credit Carsten ten Brink.

Reducing pesticide use while preserving crop productivity and profitability on arable farms

Crops in France found to thrive despite reduced use of pesticides

A new study shows that it is possible for farmers to reduce their use of pesticides right now, without any real risk of financial loss.

2017 Study Abstract

Achieving sustainable crop production while feeding an increasing world population is one of the most ambitious challenges of this century.

Meeting this challenge will necessarily imply a drastic reduction of adverse environmental effects arising from agricultural activities.

The reduction of pesticide use is one of the critical drivers to preserve the environment and human health. Pesticide use could be reduced through the adoption of new production strategies; however, whether substantial reductions of pesticide use are possible without impacting crop productivity and profitability is debatable.

Here, we demonstrated that low pesticide use rarely decreases productivity and profitability in arable farms. We analysed the potential conflicts between pesticide use and productivity or profitability with data from 946 non-organic arable commercial farms showing contrasting levels of pesticide use and covering a wide range of production situations in France. We failed to detect any conflict between low pesticide use and both high productivity and high profitability in 77% of the farms. We estimated that total pesticide use could be reduced by 42% without any negative effects on both productivity and profitability in 59% of farms from our national network. This corresponded to an average reduction of 37, 47 and 60% of herbicide, fungicide and insecticide use, respectively.

The potential for reducing pesticide use appeared higher in farms with currently high pesticide use than in farms with low pesticide use. Our results demonstrate that pesticide reduction is already accessible to farmers in most production situations. This would imply profound changes in market organization and trade balance.

How to reduce your risk of becoming a breast cancer patient by one third

Dr Peter Gøtzsche’s views on breast cancer screening

Video published on 1 April 2015 by John McDougall.

Peter C. Gøtzsche, MD is a Danish medical researcher, and leader of the Nordic Cochrane Center at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark. He has written numerous reviews within the Cochrane collaboration.

Dr.Gøtzsche has been critical of screening for breast cancer using mammography, arguing that it cannot be justified; His critique stems from a meta-analysis he did on mammography screening studies and published as Is screening for breast cancer with mammography justifiable? in The Lancet in 2000. In it he discarded 6 out of 8 studies arguing their randomization was inadequate.

In 2006 a paper by Gøtzsche on mammography screening was electronically published in the European Journal of Cancer ahead of print. The journal later removed the paper completely from the journal website without any formal retraction. The paper was later published in Danish Medical Bulletin with a short note from the editor, and Gøtzsche and his coauthors commented on the unilateral retraction that the authors were not involved in.

In 2012 his book Mammography Screening: Truth, Lies and Controversy was published. In 2013 his book Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime: How Big Pharma has Corrupted Healthcare was published.