Category Archives: Science
Always, Always,ALWAYS get a second opinion! And do some research before you jump into chemo or radiation as well. (E)
July 25, 2013 by: Ethan A. Huff
(NaturalNews) If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with cancer, you may want to
get a second opinion before agreeing to proceed with treatment, especially if you plan to opt for
a conventional chemotherapy or radiation protocol. A Houston-area woman recently learned this
the hard way after agreeing to undergo eight rounds of chemotherapy treatment over the course of
seven months, only to learn in the end that she never even had cancer in the first place.
Herlinda Garcia, a 54-year-old woman from Victoria, Texas, is still reeling with bouts of anxiety
and depression as a result of her misdiagnosis, which conventional chemoQuack doctors insisted
was stage four terminal breast cancer. As it turned out, a chemoQuack by the name of Dr. Ahmad
Qadri misread Garcia’s lab results, which ultimately sent her down the miserable road of being
chemically poisoned and having her health destroyed by chemotherapy.
As reported by KHOU.com in Houston, Garcia was misdiagnosed with breast cancer not long
after having a benign tumor removed from her left breast. The part-time civil process worker
was devastated by the news, but rather than seek a second opinion, she proceeded to sell most
of her belongings and begin regular chemotherapy treatments. She also created a “bucket list” of
activities and goals she wanted to achieve before dying.
“When you’re told you have stage four terminal cancer, that’s it,” Garcia is quoted as saying to
KHOU.com. “I put trust in the doctor.”
This is, of course, to be expected, as the population at large has been trained to trust what their
doctors say without looking into the matter themselves, or bothering to seek third-party advice.
And while Garcia is obviously not to be blamed for her misdiagnosis — who would ever conceive
that it might be possible to receive a false terminal illness diagnosis? — her experience serves as
an example to others about the fallibility of the conventional medicine model.
“Everything was swollen,” recalls Garcia about how the needless chemotherapy treatments
destroyed her health. “I lost my eyebrows, my eyelashes. It’s really hard. I can’t explain how I felt.
It’s like I was in a dream. I wanted to give up on everything.”
Worse than cancer: Chemotherapy for nonexistent condition caused lasting
When Garcia was later admitted to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston (the Quack
Capital of the world) due to perpetual anxiety and depression symptoms, initial scans revealed
that she did not actually have breast cancer. And further investigation confirmed her worst
nightmare — Garcia never had breast cancer at all, and Dr. Qadri, who is now dead, had made a
huge mistake with her diagnosis.
“I was happy, but at the same time, I had that anger,” recalls Garcia about how she felt upon
learning the news. “The damage had been done.”
Not surprisingly, Garcia sued for damages and won. But a Victoria County court awarded her a
measly $367,500 in damages, according to KHOU.com, which is hardly an adequate remedy to
cover both the costs of her treatments and the lasting pain and suffering she has endured. If she
could do it all over again, Garcia would have immediately sought a second opinion so as to avoid
the horrors she endured.
“I know I’m never going to feel the same because of what I went through,” added Garcia to
reporters. “It changed my life… I don’t wish this on anybody.”
- Woman gets chemo only to find out she never had cancer (cbsnews.com)
- Texas Mom’s Cancer Misdiagnosis: 54-Year-Old Herlinda Garcia Suffered 7 Months Of Chemo, Damages Included Depression And Anxiety (medicaldaily.com)
- Cancer Patient Misdiagnosed, Finds Out During Chemo Treatment [VIDEO] (designntrend.com)
MONDAY, JULY 15, 2013
By Ron Paul
Ten-year old cystic fibrosis patient Sarah Murnaghan captured the nation’s attention when federal bureaucrats imposed a de facto death sentence on her by refusing to modify the rules governing organ transplants. The rules in question forbid children under 12 from receiving transplants of adult organs. Even though Sarah’s own physician said she was an excellent candidate to receive an adult organ transplant, government officials refused to even consider modifying their rules.
Fortunately, a federal judge intervened so Sarah received the lung transplant. But the welcome decision in this case does not change the need to end government control of organ donations and repeal the federal ban on compensating organ donors.
Supporters of the current system claim that organ donation is too important to be left to the marketplace. But this is nonsensical: if we trust the market to deliver food, shelter and all other necessities, why should we not trust it to deliver healthcare—including organs?
It is also argued that it is “uncompassionate” or “immoral” to allow patients or insurance companies to provide compensation to donors. But one of the reasons the waiting lists for transplants is so long, with many Americans dying before receiving a transplant, is because of a shortage of organs. If organ donors, or their heirs, were compensated for donating, more people would have an incentive to become organ donors.
Those who oppose allowing patients to purchase organs should ask themselves how compassionate it is to allow those people to die on the transplant waiting list who might otherwise have lived if they were able to obtain organs though private contracts.
Some are concerned that if organ donations were supplied via the market instead of through government regulation, those with lower incomes would be effectively denied access to donated organs. This ignores our current two-tier system for allocating organs, as the wealthy can travel overseas for transplants if they cannot receive a transplant in America. Allowing the free market to alleviate the shortage of organs and reduce the costs of medial procedures like transplants would benefit the middle class and the poor, not the wealthy.
The costs of obtaining organs would likely be covered by most health insurance plans, thus reducing the costs directly borne by individual patients. Furthermore, if current federal laws distorting the health care market are repealed, procedures such as transplants would be much more affordable. Expanded access to health savings accounts and flexible savings accounts, combined with generous individual tax deductions and credits, would also make it easier for people to afford health care procedures such as transplants.
There is also some hypocrisy in the argument against allowing market forces in organ transplants. Everyone else involved in organ transplantation procedures, including doctors, nurses and even the hospital janitor, receives compensation. Not even the most extreme proponent of government-provided health care advocates forcing medical professionals to provide care without compensation. Hospitals and other private institutions provide compensation for blood and plasma donations, and men and women are compensated for donations to fertility clinics, so why not allow compensation for organ donation?
Sarah Murnaghan’s case shows the fallacy in thinking that a free-market system for organ donations is less moral or less effective than a government-controlled system. It is only the bureaucrats who put adherence to arbitrary rules ahead of the life of a ten-year-old child. It is time for Congress to wake up and see that markets work better in all aspects of health care, including organ donation, just as they work better in providing all other goods and services.
Dr. Ron Paul, a medical doctor and longtime Texas Representative to the US House, continues to promote and educate on issues of liberty through his “Ron Paul’s Texas Straight Talk” column, pubished weekly here.
For those of us who do not eat shellfish for religious reasons this is a disaster. We will no longer be able to eat vegetables and fruits not grown locally which in Iowa leaves very few options. Especially in winter and spring months. (E)
This guy knows what he’s talking about. Worth listening to. http://www.tunewiki.com/posts/1345706982568710340
Recent studies indicate that depletion of the ozone layer threatens to substantially reduce world loblolly pine production (the major source of pulp for paper)—by up to 30% or even 50%, depending on the fluctuation of the density of the ozone shield. But hemp not only resists the damage caused by increased ultraviolet radiation – it actually flourishes in it.
Paper mills can return to full production levels and loggers will find new work in hemp trades.
Truck drivers can continue to haul pulp to the mills, and lumber for construction, although the price of lumber will go down as other demands on our timber resources are reduced by substituting farm-grown hemp for forest-grown wood pulp.
There will also be a lot of work to do in reforestation. Our rivers will go through a period of recovery when hemp replaces woods pulp in the paper industry resulting in a 60-80% reduction of papermaking chemicals being dumped into them.
This means more fish and more fishing, as well as increased camping and tourism in the beautiful and vital new-growth forest regions-and the spared old-growth forests.
Jack Herer, Ah-ha Publishing, Austin, Texas, June 2011, pp. 86-87
Thanks to my friend Henry for this information. It is obvious to any thinking person that the return to legalized hemp production would go a long way toward healing much of what is wrong with this country.Henry has a newsletter in which he regularly places these quotes on hemp, mostly from Jack Herer, in order to educate people on it’s many benefits. I plan to begin regularly placing some of them here as well for the same reasons Anyone who is interested in receiving Henry’s Health Newsletter please contact me and I will be more than happy to put you in contact with him. Many people have benefited from his advice including myself. He has developed protocols for many conditions from diabetes to cancer and has seen some good success in helping people. Blessings E
- How Hemp Is Used for Food, Clothing, Building Materials and In Cars Like Lotus (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)
- Hemp: Power Food or Just for Smoking? (diet-blog.com)
Thank you to my friend Henry. He has a Health newsletter that he publishes by email. If you send a request he will probably add you to his email list if you ask nicely Let him know Ephraiyim from Iowa sent you…
This tidbit was in a recent one.
In 1913, two Russian researchers fed large amounts of cholesterol to a group of hungry rabbits. When they saw yellow gunk clogging the rabbits arteries, they leap to the conclusion that cholesterol must be responsible for coronary artery disease.
Robert Ford, as long ago as 1969, called the cholesterol theory of heart disease a tragic blunder. In a book called Stale Food vs. Fresh Food, he gave us some important information about the Russian experiment that had been overlooked. He wrote, ‘Their finding was one of those unfortunate half-truths which only served to mislead.’ In his commonsense way of looking at the cholesterol theory of heart disease, Ford said, ‘It is absurd to say that something we are largely made of would be harmful for us to eat.’
Ford explained that dietary cholesterol is harmful only if it is stale or rancid. When he read the original article by the Russians he was amazed to discover that they had fed their rabbits ‘pure crystalline cholesterol dissolved in vegetable oil’ to produce the cholesterol buildup in arteries. They didn’t stop to think that crystalline cholesterol is not something the body can use but is ‘an unnatural stale substance now known as oxycholesterol, which is not found in fresh food or in the healthy human body.’ Ford said the cholesterol theory is untrue and has served to deceive us by delaying discovery of the true causes and cures.
Udo Erasmus wrote an enlightening book about fats and oils called Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill. From his decades-long research he concludes, ‘The cholesterol scare is big business for doctors, laboratories, and drug companies. It is also a powerful marketing gimmick for vegetable oil and margarine manufacturers. In the end, cholesterol will be exonerated from its role as primary villain in cardiovascular disease. The accusing finger points at ‘experts’ who concocted the cholesterol theory to drum up business by spreading fear.’
Why anyone would ever be surprised by this is a mystery. Law Can Not deter crime. The less of it the better. Most people know what is right and wrong. Adding endless penalties to try and deter them is unjustifiable. The problem is a system that is motivated by politics rather than letting a judge determine what sentence should be imposed.
There are probably no more sex crimes today than ever but we are setting ourselves up for bigger problems when everyone is a sex offender including the 6th grade boy who snaps a girls bra in the lunch line. You Are All Criminals as far as your government is concerned. They pass thousands of new laws every year. Believe me when they want you they will already have you tried and convicted.
If you are a believer, it will probably be for a capital offense…that’s death penalty for those who don’t know. Hve a Good day in Amerika.
August 30, 2011
Two studies in the latest issue of the Journal of Law and Economics cast doubt on whether sex offender registry and notification laws actually work as intended.
One study, by J.J. Prescott of the University of Michigan and Johan Rockoff of Columbia University, found that requiring sex offenders to register with police may significantly reduce the chances that they will re-offend. However the research also finds that making that same registry information available to the broader public may backfire, leading to higher overall rates of sex crime.
Prescott and Rockoff—Do Sex Offender Registries and Notification Laws Deter Crime?
Using data from 15 states over more than 10 years, Prescott and Rockoff examine the evolution of sex offense rates as states passed and began to enforce their registration and notification laws. Registration laws require that sex offenders check in with and provide information to the police following their release from prison, whereas notification laws make sex offender information available to the public, often via the Internet. The researchers analyze sex offender registration and notification laws separately, which is important because the laws are designed to work in very different ways.
Prescott and Rockoff find that a registration requirement without public notification reduces reported sex crime substantially, most likely through better police monitoring and more effective apprehension of recidivists. For a state with an average-sized registry, a registration requirement reduces crime by about 13 percent from the sample mean. The drop in crime gets larger as registries grow larger, indicating that registry laws lower crime by discouraging registered offenders from re-offending, as opposed to discouraging potential first-time offenders.
In contrast, public notification laws, such as the listing of released offenders on the Internet, may actually undo some or all of a registry’s crime-reducing power. While Prescott and Rockoff discover that the threat of being subjected to notification deters some potential first-time sex offenders from committing crime, released offenders appear to become more likely to do so. In fact, adding public notification to an average state’s registration law leads to slightly higher levels of total reported sex crime. Taken as a whole, the research shows that while police registration discourages sex offender recidivism, public notification actually encourages it.
Why would public notification encourage sex offenders to re-offend? Perhaps because they have little else to lose. In particular, notification can make the threat of prison less effective. According to Prescott and Rockoff, their findings suggest that “convicted sex offenders become more likely to commit crimes when their information is made public because the associated psychological, social, or financial costs make a crime-free life relatively less desirable.”
Amanda Agan—Sex Offender Registries: Fear Without Function?
Agan finds no evidence that sex offender registries are effective in increasing public safety.
Her study used three different types of analysis to test the effectiveness of sex offender laws. First, she compared arrest rates for sex crimes in each U.S. state before and after registry laws were implemented and found no appreciable changes in crime trends following the introduction of a registry.
Second, Agan tested whether registries discourage convicted offenders from re-offending. To do that, she looked at data on over 9,000 sex offenders released from prison in 1994. About half of those offenders were released into states where they needed to register, while the other half did not need to register. She could then compare crime rates in the two groups.
She found little difference in the two groups’ propensity to re-offend. In fact, those released into states without registration laws were slightly less likely to re-offend.
“The results show that an offender who should have had to register appears to behave no differently, or possibly worse, than on who did not have to register,” she writes. “If anything, registered offenders have higher rates of recidivism.”
Third, Agan looked at census blocks in Washington D.C. to see if higher numbers of sex offenders in a given block correspond to higher rates of sex crime arrests. She found that crime rates in general, and sex crimes in particular, do not vary according to the number of sex offenders in the area.
The block-by-block analysis was designed to assess “the potential effectiveness of registries by considering whether where offenders live is predictive of where they offend,” Agan writes.
“The results show that knowing where a sex offender lives does not reveal much about where sex crimes, or other crimes, will take place,” she writes. That result calls into question the rationale for creating registries in the first place.
She concludes that sex offender registries do little to increase public safety, “either in practice or in potential.”
Amanda Y. Agan, “Sex Offender Registries: Fear without Function?” Journal of Law and Economics 54:1.
Provided by University of Chicago
Some of these quotes go back more than a century for those who think the NWO is a relatively new phenomenon. (E)
July 20, 2011
Infowars.com researcher Aaron Dykes analyzes top players in the global system who’ve called for Eugenics to become the new religion of the world state. Under the New World Order, individuals are relinquished of their freedoms and control over everything in society, including life and death, falls to the State. Note below where figures like White House science advisor John P. Holdren and Bertrand Russell discuss using an international authority to distribute food to the world, and withhold it from over-populated regions
ALBERT E. WIGGAM: “Had Jesus been among us, he would have been president of the First Eugenics Congress.” (The New Decalogue of Science, 1923)
PART 1: Eugenics – Religion of the Future
JULIAN HUXLEY AND EUGENICS: Huxley said of Dean Inge’s dictum, “Eugenics is capable of becoming the most sacred ideal of the human race, as a race: one of the supreme religious duties” in his 1936 Galton lecuture that:
“I entirely agree with him. Once the full implications of evolutionary biology are grasped, eugenics will inevitably become part of the religion of the future, or of whatever complex of sentiments may in the future take the place of organized religion.” (Huxley 1936)
SIR FRANCIS GALTON, FATHER OF EUGENICS: “It must be introduced into the national conscience, like a new religion. It has, indeed, strong claims to become an orthodox religious, tenet of the future, for eugenics co-operate with the workings of nature by securing that humanity shall be represented by the fittest races…. I see no impossibility in Eugenics becoming a religious dogma among mankind.” (Eugenics: Its Definition Scope and Aims, 1904)
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW (In response to Galton’s 1904 paper): I agree with the paper, and go so far as to say that there is now no reasonable excuse for refusing to face the fact that nothing but a eugenic religion can save our civilization from the fate that has overtaken all previous civilizations.
Charles B. Davenport, head of the Eugenics Records Office and director of the Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory, wrote a 1916 booklet also given as a lecture, entitled “Eugenics as a Religion” which included a 12 point creed. Further, the American Eugenics Society ran a sermon contest in 1926 paying prizes to religious leaders who best incorporated the tenets of the new religion in their Sunday sermons.
PART 2: Under the New World Order, the State is God
As former Constitution Party presidential candidate Michael Peroutka wisely observed, “The whole concept of New World Order is something else, it really says that the State is God.”
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW: “Under socialism you would not be allowed to be poor. You would be forcibly fed, clothed, lodged, taught, and employed whether you like it or not. If it were discovered that you had not character enough to be worth all this trouble, you might possibly be executed in a kindly manner; but whilst you were permitted to live you would have to live well.”
– George Bernard Shaw, “The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism and Capitalism” pg 470, 1928
BERTRAND RUSSELL: “The dependence of emotional disposition upon the ductless glands, said Mr. Russell , was a discovery of great importance, which would in time make it possible to produce artificially an disposition desired by Governments.” (Birth Control News, Feb. 1924; Quoted in G.K. Chesterton ‘Eugenics and Other Evils’)
BERTRAND RUSSELL: “Scientific societies are as yet in their infancy. . . . It is to be expected that advances in physiology and psychology will give governments much more control over individual mentality than they now have even in totalitarian countries. Fitche laid it down that education should aim at destroying free will, so that, after pupils have left school, they shall be incapable, throughout the rest of their lives, of thinking or acting otherwise than as their schoolmasters would have wished. . . . Diet, injections, and injunctions will combine, from a very early age, to produce the sort of character and the sort of beliefs that the authorities consider desirable, and any serious criticism of the powers that be will become psychologically impossible.” (Impact of Science on Society, Page 50)
BERTRAND RUSSELL: “The social psychologist of the future will have a number of classes of school children on whom they will try different methods of producing an unshakable conviction that snow is black. When the technique has been perfected, every government that has been in charge of education for more than one generation will be able to control its subjects securely without the need of armies or policemen.” (Impact of Science on Society, 1953)
FOOD AS A WEAPON
HENRY KISSINGER, NSSM #200: Curtailing food supplies to targeted states, in part to force compliance with birth control policies
“There is also some established precedent for taking account of family planning performance in appraisal of assistance requirements by AID [U.S. Agency for International Development] and consultative groups. Since population growth is a major determinant of increases in food demand, allocation of scarce PL 480 resources should take account of what steps a country is taking in population control as well as food production. In these sensitive relations, however, it is important in style as well as substance to avoid the appearance of coercion.”
“Mandatory programs may be needed and we should be considering these possibilities now… Would food be considered an instrument of national power? … Is the U.S. prepared to accept food rationing to help people who can’t/won’t control their population growth?”
BERTRAND RUSSELL: “To deal with this problem [increasing population and decreasing food supplies] it will be necessary to find ways of preventing an increase in world population. If this is to be done otherwise than by wars, pestilence, and famines, it will demand a powerful international authority. This authority should deal out the world’s food to the various nations in proportion to their population at the time of the establishment of the authority. If any nation subsequently increased its population it should not on that account receive any more food. The motive for not increasing population would therefore be very compelling. What method of preventing an increase might be preferred should be left to each state to decide.” (The Impact of Science on Society)
ECOSCIENCE (Ehrlich, Ehrlich and Holdren) – Toward a Planetary Regime
“Perhaps those agencies, combined with UNEP and the United Nations population agencies, might eventually be developed into a Planetary Regime—sort of an international superagency for population, resources, and environment. Such a comprehensive Planetary Regime could controlthe development, administration, conservation, and distribution of all natural resources, renewable or nonrenewable, at least insofar as international implications exist… The Regime might also be a logical central agency for regulating all international trade, perhaps including assistance from DCs to LDCs, and including all food on the international market. The Planetary Regime might be given responsibility for determining the optimum population for the world and for each region and for arbitrating various countries’ shares within their regional limits. Control of population size might remain the responsibility of each government, but the Regime would have some power to enforce the agreed limits.” (Page 942-3)
“If voluntary birth reduction methods did not work a nation might have to resort to ‘the addition of a temporary sterilant to staple food or to the water supply” – June 1972 Dr. Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist and author of The Population Bomb
BERTRAND RUSSELL: “I do not pretend that birth control is the only way in which population can be kept from increasing. There are others, which, one must suppose, opponents of birth control would prefer. War, as I remarked a moment ago, has hitherto been disappointing in this respect, but perhaps bacteriological war may prove more effective. If a Black Death could be spread throughout the world once in every generation survivors could procreate freely without making the world too full. There would be nothing in this to offend the consciences of the devout or to restrain the ambitions of nationalists. The state of affairs might be somewhat unpleasant, but what of that? Really high-minded people are indifferent to happiness, especially other people’s.” (Impact of Science on Society, p. 26)
- The Early Days of Eugenics (scientificamerican.com)
- Obama’s Science Czar Wants Global Police to Enforce Depopulation (fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com)
- Jay Rockerfeller’s Connection to Modern Eugenics (visionvine.wordpress.com)
- Eugenics: The Evil of National Socialism (4limitedgov.wordpress.com)
- Alan Watt NWO & Neo-Eugenics (2012patriot.wordpress.com)
Exposed documents reveal Napolitano, TSA lied about safety of cancer-causing naked body scanners
Tuesday, June 28, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) Remember when Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano claimed back in 2010 that the US Transportation Security Administration‘s (TSA) naked body scanners had been proven safe by research conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) (http://epic.org/privacy/backscatter…)? A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request recently brought to light internal emails that were sent by NIST to DHS that basically decry Napolitano’s false assertion that NIST had verified the safety of the naked body scanners.Amid the string of emails discussing the matter, an undisclosed sender explains that NIST was “a little concerned” over Napolitano’s public reassurances that TSA’s naked body scanners are safe. After all, NIST does not test products, and it never tested the naked body scanners in the first place. Napolitano apparently took the individual machine dose measurements that NIST had gathered and twisted them to say what she wanted them to say, which was that the machines are safe.You can view a partially-censored copy of that email exchange here:
http://epic.org/privacy/backscatter…Worse, NIST had actually warned DHS and TSA that the machines were not necessarily safe, and that airport screening agents should avoid standing next to them because of the harmful radiation they emit. It is unclear whether or not this warning was ever taken seriously by TSA officials.
http://epic.org/privacy/backscatter…Worse, NIST had actually warned DHS and TSA that the machines were not necessarily safe, and that airport screening agents should avoid standing next to them because of the harmful radiation they emit. It is unclear whether or not this warning was ever taken seriously by TSA officials.
Napolitano also falsely claimed that research conducted by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory confirms the safety of naked body scanners, even though the research actually suggests the opposite. Dr. Michael Love from the school publicly stated that the machines are going to give people skin cancer, and the specific findings of the report indicate that “radiation zones” around the machines emit enough radiation to exceed the “General Public Dose Limit.”
One thing is for sure, though. Many current and former TSA agents who have developed cancers are now speaking out against the machines, as they believe repeated and continual exposure to them is responsible for their conditions. Many TSA agents have repeatedly requested that they be given dosimeters to wear that will warn them of dangerous radiation exposure — but TSA higher-ups have never followed through in addressing their concerns, despite empty promises that they would.
Sources for this story include:
Original Article: http://www.naturalnews.com/032839_body_scanners_TSA.html
- Full Body Scanner FRAUD !!! (2012patriot.wordpress.com)
- New Documents Prove TSA “Mischaracterized” Safety Aspects Of Full Body Scanners (mountainrepublic.net)
- TSA backscatter radiation safety tests were rigged (genomega1.wordpress.com)
- Scientists question TSA scanner claims (aviationjustice.org)
- TSA Pat-down traumatizes and humiliates Elderly Woman (skydancingblog.com)
- House Passes Budget for TSA, Cuts Funding for Body Scanners (yubanet.com)
- Napolitano: “Very, very, very few” people get TSA patdowns (hotair.com)
Governments Do Not Care About You!!
Researchers argue ‘addiction’ a poor way to understand the normal use of drugs
April 12th, 2011 in Medicine & Health / Other
A new review from UK and German researchers claims that the vast majority of people who routinely use drugs are using them to achieve their goals and cope better with the stresses of modern life.
Christian Muller and Gunter Schumann suggest that drugs, from alcohol and nicotine through to ecstasy and even cocaine, can have ‘beneficial effects for an individual in modern environments’. They argue for an acknowledgment that typical, non-addicted use of drugs by many people improves their experience, behavior, or performance in various contexts such as career or social life. By accepting this reality, they suggest, drugs advice in schools and clinical settings can be made more realistic and effective.
Muller and Schumann acknowledge the risk that a fraction of users will become addicted or engage in risky drug related behavior but they advocate that giving realistic advice based on how the majority of people are using drugs would actually help to cut addiction rates:
“A better understanding of the mechanisms of drug use in non-addicts might serve to better prevent the transition to drug addiction in the future.”
In the journal of Behavioral and Brain Sciences published by Cambridge University Press, Muller and Schumann’s article, ‘Drugs as instruments – a new framework for non-addictive psychoactive drug use’, introduces the concept that drugs are being routinely used by many as helpful ‘instruments’ in their lives.
After an exhaustive trawl of scores of studies into drug use, they claim that most regular consumers of drugs are not, and will never become, addicts. While considerable research effort has been made to understand drug addiction and how it develops, they write, there has been no similar attempt to research the beneficial effects of drugs on non-addicted users.
Presenting a new framework for non-addictive drug use, they list the advantages reported by people engaged in this behavior, including beneficial effects on mood enhancement, stress reduction, sociability, mental health, long-term cognitive functioning and work performance.
Muller and Schumann write: “We propose that the majority of non-addicted humans, who consume psychoactive drugs as a normal part of their life take drugs because their effects are useful for their personal goals. When it comes to using drugs or other stimulants as instruments, for example, most adults can drive a car un-drugged. However, after a long working day, having a last coffee to awake and refresh the mind may enable the driver to drive home more safely. In this case, caffeine is the instrument that improves the mental state.”
Muller and Schumann go on to suggest that a non-addictive use of drugs may have evolved to help the human race adapt to different aspects of life, and that we have learned to use drugs in ways that enhance our chances for survival and reproduction. Examples include alcohol helping a shy person overcome their shyness and initiate a sexual encounter, or amphetamines helping a tired student stay awake and study for crucial exams that will determine success in their professional life.
They also suggest that our modern environment demands that we constantly move between ‘microenvironments’ which require stressful rapid transitions:
“In fast-changing microenvironments, short transition times between mental states may be advantageous. We suggest [that] psychoactive drug use facilitates the transition between different mental states.”
For instance, drugs like alcohol, cocaine, amphetamine and ecstasy help us make the rapid transition from a work microenvironment to a social one: “alcohol reduces social inhibition, social anxiety, and increases talkativeness”. Similarly the demands of modern work microenvironments cause fatigue and declines in cognitive performance: “having the means to ‘artificially’ prolong performance may be a benefit”.
Acknowledging that their thesis has implications for drug policy, they suggest three new approaches:
a. For ‘drug naïve’ individuals, usually adolescent to early adult age, provide information not only on the adverse effects of addiction but also on how drugs are being successfully ‘instrumentalized’: “the goal should not be to prevent drug use in general, but to foster control over it by the individual.”
b. For people who have already integrated drugs in their life’s routines, emphasize the need to stay in control of drug use. In particular, during stressful periods of transition in life, there is an increased danger of developing new forms of drug instrumentalization. Education programms “should aim to train young people to self-analyze their drug instrumentalization”.
c. For people who are at risk of a transition to drug addiction, over-instrumentalization of drugs, and a dependence on the drug to achieve major goals in life, needs to be prevented. A drug-use ‘biography’ should be created predicting whether the user is likely to be able to maintain use of drugs to help with goals or lose control of their use.
Muller and Schumann admit that their ideas will be seen as controversial: “Although we argue for evolutionary benefits of non-addictive drug use, it has to be emphasized that the instrumentalization of psychoactive drugs comes at a price, which ultimately qualifies it as a risky behavior.”
Provided by University of Cambridge
“Researchers argue ‘addiction’ a poor way to understand the normal use of drugs.” April 12th, 2011. http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-04-addiction-poor-drugs.html
- Alcohol helps the brain remember, says new study (eurekalert.org)
- Startling similarities between drug and food addiction (holykaw.alltop.com)
February 15, 2011, 9:00 PM
By MARK BITTMAN
Mark Bittman on food and all things related.
If you want to avoid sugar, aspartame, trans-fats, MSG, or just about anything else, you read the label. If you want to avoid G.M.O.’s — genetically modified organisms — you’re out of luck. They’re not listed. You could, until now, simply buy organic foods, which by law can’t contain more than 5 percent G.M.O.’s. Now, however, even that may not work.
In the last three weeks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved three new kinds of genetically engineered (G.E.) foods: alfalfa (which becomes hay), a type of corn grown to produce ethanol), and sugar beets. And the approval by the Food and Drug Administration of a super-fast-growing salmon — the first genetically modified animal to be sold in the U.S., but probably not the last — may not be far behind.
It’s unlikely that these products’ potential benefits could possibly outweigh their potential for harm. But even more unbelievable is that the F.D.A.and the U.S.D.A. will not require any of these products, or foods containing them, to be labeled as genetically engineered, because they don’t want to “suggest or imply” that these foods are “different.” (Labels with half-truths about health benefits appear to be O.K., but that’s another story.)
They are arguably different, but more important, people are leery of them. Nearly an entire continent — it’s called Europe — is so wary that G.E. crops are barely grown there and there are strict bans on imports (that policy is in danger). Furthermore, most foods containing more than 0.9 percent G.M.O.’s must be labeled.
G.E. products may grow faster, require fewer pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides, and reduce stress on land, water and other resources; they may be more profitable to farmers. But many of these claims are in dispute, and advances in conventional agriculture, some as simple as drip irrigation, may achieve these same goals more simply. Certainly conventional agriculture is more affordable for poor farmers, and most of the worlds’ farmers are poor. (The surge in suicides among Indian farmers has been attributed by some, at least in part, to G.E. crops, and it’s entirely possible that what’s needed to feed the world’s hungry is not new technology but a better distribution system and a reduction of waste.)
To be fair, two of the biggest fears about G.E. crops and animals — their potential to provoke allergic reactions and the transfer to humans of antibiotic-resistant properties of G.M.O.’s — have not come to pass. (As far as I can tell, though, they remain real dangers.) But there has been cross-breeding of natural crops and species with those that have been genetically engineered, and when ethanol corn cross-pollinates feed corn, the results could degrade the feed corn; when G.E. alfalfa cross-pollinates organic alfalfa, that alfalfa is no longer organic; if a G.E. salmon egg is fertilized by a wild salmon, or a transgenic fish escapes into the wild and breeds with a wild fish … it’s not clear what will happen.
This last scenario is impossible, say the creators of the G.E. salmon — a biotech company called AquaBounty — whose interest in approval makes their judgment all but useless. (One Fish and Wildlife Service scientist wrote in material obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, “Maybe they should watch ‘Jurassic Park.’ “)
But the testing process is suspect: the F.D.A. relied on data submitted by AquaBounty (that data is for fish raised in Prince Edward Island, even though the company plans to raise the fish in Panama, which is possibly illegal).
Also curious is that the salmon is being categorized as a “new animal drug” which means that the advisory committee in charge of evaluating it is composed mostly of veterinarians and animal scientists, instead of, say, fish ecologists or experts in food safety. Not surprisingly, the biotech industry has spent over half a billion dollars on G.M.O. lobbyists in the last decade, and Michael Taylor, the F.D.A. deputy commissioner for foods, was once vice president for public policy at Monsanto. Numerous groups of consumers, farmers, environmental advocates, scientists, supporters of organic food and now even congressmen — last week, a bill was introduced to ban G.E. salmon — believe that the approval process demonstrated a bias towards the industry.
Cross-breeding is guaranteed with alfalfa and likely with corn. (The U.S.D.A. claims to be figuring out ways to avoid this happening, but by then the damage may already be done.) And the organic dairy industry is going to suffer immediate and frightening losses when G.E. alfalfa is widely grown, since many dairy cows eat dried alfalfa (hay), and the contamination of organic alfalfa means the milk of animals fed with that hay can no longer be called organic. Likewise, when feed corn is contaminated by G.E. ethanol corn, the products produced from it won’t be organic. (On the one hand, U.S.D.A. joins the F.D.A. in not seeing G.E. foods as materially different; on the other it limits the amount found in organic foods. Hello? Guys? Could you at least pretend to be consistent?)
The subject is unquestionably complex. Few people outside of scientists working in the field — self included — understand much of anything about gene altering. Still, an older ABC poll found that a majority of Americans believe that G.M.O.’s are unsafe, even more say they’re less likely to buy them, and a more recent CBS/NYT poll found a whopping 87 percent — you don’t see a poll number like that too often — wants them labeled.
In the long run, genetic engineering may prove to be useful. Or not. The science is adolescent at best; not even its strongest advocates can guarantee that there aren’t hidden dangers. So consumers are understandably cautious, and whether that’s justified or paranoid, it would seem we have a right to know as much as Europeans do.
Even more than questionable approvals, it’s the unwillingness to label these products as such — even the G.E. salmon will be sold without distinction — that is demeaning and undemocratic, and the real reason is clear: producers and producer-friendly agencies correctly suspect that consumers will steer clear of G.E. products if they can identify them. Which may make them unprofitable. Where is the free market when we need it?
A majority of our food already contains G.M.O.’s, and there’s little reason to think more isn’t on the way. It seems our “regulators” are using us and the environment as guinea pigs, rather than demanding conclusive tests. And without labeling, we have no say in the matter whatsoever.
- Bittman: Why Aren’t G.M.O. Foods Labeled? (huffingtonpost.com)
- Frankenfood and the FDA (pochp.wordpress.com)
- Why Farmers Are Worried About GE Alfalfa Deregulation (news.change.org)
- Why Farmers Need Consumers to Oppose GMOs (news.change.org)
- Paula Crossfield: GM and Organic Co-Existence: Why We Really Just Can’t Get Along (huffingtonpost.com)
- Experts: Contamination from GM alfalfa certain (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
Interview with Paul Glasko of ThinkTownUSA See his channel at http://youtube.com/thinktownusa
For years, the FBI believed that it had identified the perpetrator of the 2001 anthrax attacks — former Army researcher Steven Hatfill — only to be forced to acknowledge that he wasn’t involved and thenpay him $5.8 million for the damage he sufferedfrom those false accusations. In late July, 2008, the FBI announced that, this time, it had identified the Real Perpetrator: Army researcher Bruce Ivins, who had just committed suicide as a result of being subjected to an intense FBI investigation. Ivins’ death meant that the FBI’s allegations would never be tested in a court of law.
From the start, it was obvious that the FBI’s case against Ivins was barely more persuasive than its case against Hatfill had been. The allegations were entirely circumstantial; there was no direct evidence tying Ivins to the mailings; and there were huge, glaring holes in both the FBI’s evidentiary and scientific claims. So dubious was the FBI’s case that even the nation’s most establishment media organs, which instinctively trust federallaw enforcement agencies, expressed serious doubts and called for an independent investigation (that included, among many others, the editorial pages of The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal). Mainstream scientific sources were equally skeptical;Nature called for an independent investigation and declared in its editorial headline: “Case Not Closed,” while Dr. Alan Pearson, Director of the Biological and Chemical Weapons Control Program at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation — representative of numerous experts in the field — expressed many scientific doubts and also demanded a full independent investigation. I devoted much time to documenting just some of the serious flaws in the FBI’s evidentiary claims, as well as the use of anonymous FBI leaks to unquestioning reporters to convince the public of their validity (see here, here, here, and here).
Doubts about the FBI’s case were fully bipartisan. In August, 2008, The New York Times documented “vocal skepticism from key members of Congress.” One of the two intended Senate recipients of the anthrax letters, Sen. Patrick Leahy, flatly stated at a Senate hearing in September, 2008, that he does not believe the FBI’s case against Ivins, and emphatically does not believe that Ivins acted alone. Then-GOP Sen. Arlen Specter, at the same hearing, told the FBI they could never have obtained a conviction against Ivins in court based on their case — riddled, as it is, with so much doubt — and he also demanded an independent evaluation of the FBI’s evidence. And in separate interviews with me, GOP Sen. Charles Grassleyand Democratic Rep. Rush Holt (a physicist who represents the New Jersey district from which the anthrax letters were mailed) expressed substantial doubts about the case against Ivins and called for independent investigations.
Despite all of this, the FBI managed to evade calls for an independent investigation by announcing that it had asked the National Academy of Sciences to convene a panel to review only the FBI’s scientific and genetic findings (but not to review its circumstantial case against Ivins or explore the possibility of other culprits). The FBI believed that its genetic analysis was the strongest aspect of their case against Ivins — that it definitively linked Ivins’ research flask to the spores in the mailed anthrax — and that once the panel publicly endorsed the FBI’s scientific claims, it would vindicate the FBI’s case and end calls for a full-scale investigation into the accusations against Ivins.
But yesterday, the National Academy panel released its findings, and it produced a very unpleasant surprise for the FBI (though it was entirely unsurprising for those following this case). As The New York Times put it in an article headlined “Expert Panel Is Critical of F.B.I. Work in Investigating Anthrax Letters”: “A review of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s scientific work . . . concludes that the bureau overstated the strength of genetic analysis linking the mailed anthrax to a supply kept by Bruce E. Ivins“; while the panel noted that the genetic findings are “consistent” with the claim that Ivins mailed the letters and can “support” an association, the evidence is far from “definitive,” as the FBI had long suggested. The report, commissioned by the FBI, specifically concluded that “the scientific link between the letter material and [Ivins’] flask number RMR-1029 is not as conclusive as stated in the DOJ Investigative Summary.” This morning’s Washington Post article — headlined: “Anthrax report casts doubt on scientific evidence in FBI case against Bruce Ivins” — noted that “the report reignited a debate that has simmered among some scientists and others who have questioned the strength of the FBI’s evidence against Ivins.”
In addition to reigniting doubts, the report has also reignited calls for an independent investigation into the entire FBI case. Yesterday, Rep. Holt re-introduced his legislation to create a 9/11-style Commission, complete with subpoena power, with a mandate to review the entire matter. Sen. Grassley told the Post: “There are no more excuses for avoiding an independent review.” Ivins’ lawyer added that the report confirms that the case against his client is “all supposition based on conjecture based on guesswork, without any proof whatsoever.” All of that has been clear for some time, and yesterday’s report merely underscored how weak is the FBI’s case.
It is hard to overstate the political significance of the anthrax attacks. For reasons I’ve described at length, that event played at least as much of a role as the 9/11 attacks in elevating the Terrorism fear levels which, through today, sustain endless wars, massive defense and homeland security budgets, and relentless civil liberties erosions. The pithy version of the vital role played by anthrax was supplied by Atrios here and here; in essence, it was anthrax that convinced large numbers of Americans that Terrorism was something that could show up without warning at their doorstep — though something as innocuous as their mailbox — in the form of James-Bond-like attacks featuring invisible, lethal powder. Moreover, anthrax was exploited in the aftermath of 9/11 to ratchet up the fear levels toward Saddam Hussein, as ABC News‘ Brian Ross spent a full week screeching to the country — falsely — that bentonite had been found in the anthrax and that this agent was the telltale sign of Iraq’s chemical weapons program, while George Bush throughout 2002 routinely featured “anthrax” as one of Saddam’s scary weapons.
That there’s so much lingering doubt about who was responsible for this indescribably consequential attack is astonishing, and it ought to be unacceptable. Other than a desire to avoid finding out who the culprit was (and/or to avoid having the FBI’s case against Ivins subjected to scrutiny), there’s no rational reason to oppose an independent, comprehensive investigation into this matter.
- Serious Doubt Cast on FBI’s Anthrax Case Against Bruce Ivins (cryptogon.com)
- You: Evidence linking anthrax to Bruce Ivins ‘not as definitive as stated,’ panel says (latimes.com)
- Science Review Casts Doubt on Some Evidence in FBI’s Anthrax Investigation (propublica.org)
- Sean McBride: Anthrax report casts doubt on scientific evidence in FBI case against Bruce Ivins (washingtonpost.com)
- Science Review Casts Doubt on Some Evidence in FBI’s Anthrax Investigation (alternet.org)