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The Greatest Speech Ever Made

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Drugging our kids: The Big Pharma alliance

Drugging our kids: The Big Pharma alliance By Karen de Sá, kdesa@mercurynews.com Copyright 2014, Bay Area News Group Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014 – 5:07 p.m. Olivia Hernandez, 22, a UCLA student, on Nov. 18, 2014, at her home. She was prescribed as many as four psychiatric medications at a time as a foster youth in Ventura County. (Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group) Read the full report on a mobile device Olivia Hernandez always trusted the doctors who scribbled out prescription after prescription for the heavy-duty psychiatric drugs that clouded her teenage years in foster care. Now, she feels “betrayed.” Three of her former doctors are among a chosen group of California foster care prescribers who received gifts and payments for meals, travel, speaking and industry-sponsored research from the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies. An investigation by this newspaper has found that drugmakers, anxious to expand the market for some of their most profitable products, spent more than $16 million from 2010 to 2013 to woo the California doctors who treat this captive and fragile audience of patients at taxpayers’ expense. Advertisement Drugmakers distribute their cash to all manner of doctors, but the investigation found that they paid the state’s foster care prescribers on average more than three times what they gave to the typical California physician. The connection raises concerns that Hernandez and many other unsuspecting youth have been caught in the middle of a big-money alliance that could be helping to drive the rampant use of psychiatric medications in the state’s foster care system.”It sucks that the people marketed it that way, but that’s not that shocking. I’m more mad at the doctors for just going along with it,” said Hernandez, 22, who was prescribed as many as four psychiatric medications at a time as a foster youth in Ventura County. Overall, drugmakers reported payments to 916 doctors — well over half of those who prescribed psych medications to the state’s foster children, according to this newspaper’s analysis of prescribing data and four years of pharmaceutical company payments compiled by the public interest journalism nonprofit ProPublica. And those who prescribed the most typically received the most, the analysis found. Read the full report at webspecial.mercurynews.com/druggedkids. Read more...

Charlotte Gerson on Cancer and Disease

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Perspectives: The most honest three and a half minutes of television, EVER…

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Activist eat from dumpster to highlight food waste

By eating from dumpsters during his cycling tour across America, activist Rob Greenfield is hoping to draw attention to, and find solutions for, food waste. Last summer, Greenfield cycled 4,700 miles across the US on a bamboo bicycle during his Off the Grid Across America bike tour, and he’s also gone a year without showering, pedaled across Iowa with no bike seat for his Stand Up for Sustainability tour, and biked from NYC to Boston using only water from leaky faucets (Drip by Drip tour) to highlight water conservation, so he’s no stranger to putting it all on the line for what he believes in. Greenfield is now cycling across America on a bamboo bicycle during his Goodfluence tour, seeking to inspire Americans to help boost the sustainability movement, starting with their own lives. And along the way, he’s also finding that dumpsters, which most of us associate with being virtually untouchable, can be a viable source of food, not only for himself, but also for many others, and he’s drawing attention to what he calls Food Waste Fiascos. More http://www.treehugger.com/green-food/activist-fuels-his-bicycle-tour-food-dumpsters-call-attention-food-waste-fiascos.html Read more...

This Post Will Make You Stop Drinking Soda Instantly | Care2 Healthy Living

Think that daily can of soda is something you’re sneaking into your diet? Your mouth knows what’s it drinking. And even though your body craves it, your insides beg to differ. Of course, it’s hard to actually hear your gut begging for mercy, especially when your brain full of cravings and tastebuds full of desire are the entire trumpet section. It’s easy to ignore the signs. It’s easy to ignore the return of your teenage acne. It’s easy to wonder if your weight gain is a result of simply forgetting the gym for a month straight. And it might be. Bodies are, after all, very complicated. As miraculously complex as the human body is, there are a few basic truths about the way it ticks. And one of those truths is: soda isn’t good for the body. Even just one can a day can affect everything from your bones to your butt size. So, sit back, crack open a sparkly water, and sip your way through these eleven soda facts that’ll have you glad you’ve decided to kick that 20-oz fountain soda habit. Disclaimer: This information is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your primary health physician for further advice. 1. Soda can give you kidney stones. Kidney stones are painful…like as painful or more painful than giving birth, if you can even fathom that. Only thing? No cute baby to nuzzle when it’s all over. This study has found a serious link between soda consumption and kidney stones. (Do you really want another reason to pull out the Lamaze breathing? 2. Soda makes Type-2 Diabetes More Likely. The possibility of getting a disease simply from drinking soda is gross. Even worse? Studies indicate drinking just one soda per day will boost your Type 2 Diabetes risk by 25 percent. Check out this studyand toss that aluminum can, stat. 3. Soda Steals Your Extra Cash. If a bottle of soda costs $1.49 each, you’ll be blowing through $543.85 a year. That’s enough to fly to Barbados, Aruba, or Costa Rica. Take your pick. 4. Soda can cause infertility. Soda cans have BPA in them. Here’s BPA in a nutshell. Technically called “Bisphenol A”, BPA is a chemical linked topotential reproductive problems. When you purchase soda pop in an aluminum can, the can liner contains BPA, which can then leak into the soda. Yuck. More http://www.care2.com/greenliving/this-post-will-make-you-stop-drinking-soda-instantly.html Read more...

New Study Links Pesticide Exposure to Autism | Care2 Healthy Living

Scientists at the University of California (UC), Davis and UC Los Angeles published findings that further strengthen the link between pesticide exposure and autism. According to the researchers, this is the third major study identifying a specific connection between autism and pesticide exposure. Additional studies have concluded that pesticides are also implicated in developmental delay in children. The study, published in the journalEnvironmental Health Perspectives assessed whether pregnant women living close to areas using agricultural pesticides gave birth to children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) or developmental delay (DD). California maps the use of agricultural pesticides extensively, allowing the scientists from UC Davis and UC Los Angeles to track 970 pregnant women and their pesticide exposures across the state. Commercial pesticide application data from theCalifornia Pesticide Use Report (1997-2008) were linked to the addresses of the women during pregnancy. The researchers totalled the amounts of active ingredient applied for various pesticide compounds (organophophates, organochlorines, pyrethroids, and carbamates) within 0.77 mile (1.25 kilometer), 0.93 mile (1.5 kilometer), and 1.1 miles (1.75 kilometers) from the home. More http://www.care2.com/greenliving/new-study-links-pesticide-exposure-to-autism.html Read more...

Scientists Declare “Bee Killing Pesticides Must Be Banned” | Care2 Healthy Living

An international panel of independent scientists has issued a warning about two widely-used pesticides and declared them as dangerous to the environment as DDT. Specifically, the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides is pushing for the elimination of neonicotinoids and fipronil, pesticides linked to the wide-spread death of bee populations around the world. The scientists conducted a meta-analysis comprising 800 peer-reviewed reports and concluded that these pesticides, in addition to being a key factor in declining bee populations, are also causing significant damage to a wide range of beneficial invertebrate species, such as earthworms. Neonicotinoids (commonly known as neonics) attack the central nervous system of insects, paralyzing and eventually killing them. It can collect on plants and accumulate in pollen, which makes it deadly to numerous beneficial pollinators. Fipronil, a lesser known but widely-used insecticide, can be not only in agricultural areas but on gold courses and in residential applications as well. Studies have shown that this chemical cocktail affects bees’ capacity to learn and behave like healthy bees. Its danger is not limited to bees as other species, including humans, are at risk from its toxicity. More http://www.care2.com/greenliving/scientists-declare-bee-killing-pesticides-must-be-banned.html Read more...

[health] Ice sheets may have already passed point of no return – environment – 25 June 2014 – New Scientist

THE cracks are beginning to show. Greenland’s ice sheets slid into the sea 400,000 years ago, when Earth was only a little warmer than it is today. That could mean we are set for a repeat performance. The finding, along with data from Antarctica, suggests both of Earth’s big ice sheets may have already passed a crucial tipping point, condemning them to collapse – either melting, or sliding into the ocean. That will mean sea levels rising by as much as 13 metres, leading to massive coastal flooding. So how fast will the ice collapse, and can we stop it? Rising seas are an inevitable consequence of global warmingas warmer water expands. Butthe big risk comes from the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica, which contain enough ice to force the oceans up by tens of metres if they melt completely. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has estimated that sea levels could rise by a metre this century, and that will just be the start. The obvious danger is that low-lying coastal areas will be gradually swamped. That includes many major cities, such as New York, London and Rio de Janeiro. In the long run, we will have to choose between protecting them with elaborate sea defences or abandoning them to move inland. But long before that, rising seas will make coastal flooding worse. The deluge that swept through New York whensuperstorm Sandy struck in 2012 was worsened by sea level rise, as were the floods caused by typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines last year. More http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22229752.600#.U6wRjol5mc0 Read more...

Trillions of plastic pieces found in Arctic ice

Matt Durham and Miriam Goldstein pulled a large patch of sea garbage from the Pacific Ocean in August 2009. Arctic Ocean ice may hold trillions of small pieces of plastic and other synthetic trash, and they are being released into the world’s oceans as global warming melts the polar cap, researchers say. Though the finding is surprising and worrying, the possible harm to marine life is so far unknown, the authors concluded. Called microplastics, the pollutants come mostly from debris that has broken apart, as well as from cosmetics and fibers released from washing clothes, according to thestudy, which was published in the journal Earth’s Future and first reportedby Science magazine. At current melting trends, more than 1 trillion pieces 5 millimeters or smaller could wind up in the oceans during the coming decade, the authors estimate. More http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/05/23/arctic-ice-trapped-plastic/9507653/ Read more...