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A widely publicized study first published in the Feb. 23, 2000 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, (JAMA), questions the rise in prescription drugs such as Ritalin and Prozac in toddlers 2 to 4 years of age. The study indicates that there was a 50% jump in usage of these psychiatric drugs in this age group between the years of 1991 and 1995.
A number of news organizations picked up the story including MSNBC who reported, "Experts said they are troubled by the findings because the effects of such drugs in children so young are largely unknown." They go on to say that doctors are worried that these drugs used so early could be dangerous for a child's development. The study showed that in 1991 about 100,000 children were getting the drugs. In 1995 that jumped up to 150,000 children. Of that 60% were age 4, 30% were age 3, and 10% were 2 year olds!
US News and World Report also carried the same story in their March 6, 2000 issue. In that report they also questioned doctors ability to understand using these drugs. This story cited a 1999 survey from the University of North Carolina sent to Family Physicians and Pediatricians. In that survey 72% of the doctors said they had prescribed antidepressants to children under 18, but only 16% of those said they felt comfortable doing so, and only 8% said they had adequate training to treat childhood depression. The article in US News goes on to say, "Almost nothing is known about how antidepressants and other psychoactive drugs affect a child's developing brain."
Just last week the United Nations, "lambasted" the United States for "over prescribing psychiatric drugs." According to the UN panel the United States consumes 80 percent of the worlds methylphenidate (generic of Ritalin). The US News article then asks the question, "Are American youngsters indeed suffering more behavioral illnesses, or have we as a society become less tolerant of disruptive behavior?"
The lead author of the original study, Julie Mango Zito PhD, sums it up best as reported on Feb 22, 2000 in www.thehealthnetwork.com when she said, "I am very concerned about long term safety. They are starting kids earlier on medication and keeping them on longer. Who knows what development process could be influenced by regular daily dosage? It could affect their brain, heart, liver, or other organs."
From an October 15, 2002 Associated Press release comes a chilling story of how Nursing Homes kill thousands of senior citizens each year. The story, also picked up by many other news organizations including ABC News, noted that government documents and court records were the source of the information. The story originally came from a series of investigative reports appearing in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
According to the story, investigators and researchers say that most of the deaths were caused by neglect traced to caregivers whom the elderly rely on for food and liquid, and for turning them in their beds to prevent life-threatening sores. In the latest national compilation, of the more than 500,000 deaths in nursing homes in 1999, a total of 4,138 death certificates lists the causes of death as starvation, dehydration or bedsores.
The US Department of Health and Human Services reported to Congress this year that nine of 10 nursing homes have inadequate staff. It is an inadequate number of nurses and aides that the story site as the reason for most of the nursing home caused deaths.
Several news stories including a June 3, 2008 ABC News story reported that the consumer watchdog group, the "Center for Science in the Public Interest" (CSPI), has petitioned the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban artificial food coloring. The group CSPI claims that Yellow 5, Red 40, and six other widely used artificial colorings are linked to hyperactivity and behavior problems in children and should be prohibited from use in foods.
A June 4, 2008 report in Medical News today notes that several of these food dyes have already been banned in the United Kingdom. Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, D.C states the CSPI case by stating, "I think it's crystal clear the dyes affect kids' behavior. The tougher questions are how many kids, and to what extent is their behavior affected? But time is long overdue to get rid of these dyes from the food supply. Let scientists study them in a laboratory."
Dr David Schab, a psychiatrist at Columbia University Medical Center and one of the authors of a 2004 comprehensive review of the literature, published in the journal Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, noted in the Medical News story, "The science shows that kids' behavior improves when these artificial colorings are removed from their diets and worsens when they're added to their diets. While not all children seem to be sensitive to these chemicals, it's hard to justify their continued use in foods, especially those foods heavily marketed to young children."
The FDA maintains that there is no evidence of a link. The ABC News story noted that pressure from the British government on the food industry has caused food companies to make changes. For instance in Britain, a strawberry sundae at a London McDonald's contains real strawberries, whereas the U.S. sundae is red because of the dye Red #40.
CSPI Executive Director Michael F Jacobson, summed up the petition to the FDA by stating, "The continued use of these unnecessary artificial dyes is the secret shame of the food industry and the regulators who watch over it." He added that these food dyes can be removed from the US food supply, "Absolutely, the dyes can be eliminated," Jacobson said. "They're unnecessary, they have no health benefits to the consumers whatsoever. They only pose a risk and that risk is intolerable."
In spite of extensive news coverage and government officials appearing in the media urging the public to get the H1N1 vaccine, the usage has been far below expected levels. Several news stories and articles reported on the fact that people are just not getting the vaccine in the numbers the drug companies had hoped.
Even though the initial news reports were reporting that there was a shortage of H1N1 vaccine, and that the public should rush out to get their shots, the response has been so much less than anticipated that many countries have canceled as much as half or more of the orders of H1N1 they previously requested.
An article in Reuters on January 5, 2010, reported that the French government canceled over half of their H1N1 flu vaccine orders. The article noted that France followed cutbacks by Germany, Spain and Switzerland. In the case of the French government, the article noted that they "aimed to cancel 50 million of the 94 million doses ordered".
A January 10, 2010 article in PharmaTimes, noted that the United Kingdom also joined other European countries in canceling orders of H1N1 flu vaccines as demand for the vaccine fell. The Reuters article noted that the UK had only received a fraction of the original H1N1 vaccine orders but that, "cases of swine flu in the UK have fallen significantly. Since the first cases were reported in April 2009 there have been 360 deaths and many of those people had underlying health conditions." Even a news article on January 6, 2010 on the Healthzone.ca website reported that Canada was looking to donate their excess supply.
An article on December 18, 2009 on the website NaturalNews.com by health reporter Mike Adams posted a headline "H1N1 vaccine liquidation sale now on." His article further reported, "People who got the vaccine are no better off than those who skipped it. In fact, there's no difference in mortality between those who were vaccinated and those who weren't, indicating yet again that the swine flu vaccine was a medical hoax to begin with."
Jennifer Mee became famous because of her relentless case of hiccups that lasted 37 days. During that time many health professionals came forward and offered to help. Two publications, the March 2, 2007 St. Petersburg Times and the March 4, 2007 Buffalo News, reported that help also came to Jennifer from chiropractic care. After not being helped by medical care Jennifer and her family reached out to accept offers of assistance from other sources. These included offers from a chiropractor, as well as an acupuncturist and a hypnotist.
The Buffalo News story reported that Jennifer began hiccupping on Jan. 23, 2007. From that point forward she tried numerous remedies, such as standing on her head and swallowing spoons full of sugar. None of these worked and the hiccups continued for 37 days. As the situation continued Jennifer appeared on numerous TV news shows and drew national attention.
Dr. Eric Springer of St. Petersburg, Florida was the chiropractor who offered to help. In a phone interview with the Buffalo publication, Dr. Springer noted, "It was a team effort. There were a lot of things involved in getting her body to correct itself." He further explained, "The mother of the girl contacted me, and I brought her in as a patient. We did an exam and took X-rays and started treatment, which included some chiropractic adjustments that entailed some gentle force to the neck." (Image right is from the Buffalo News and is of Jennifer receiving an adjustment from Dr. Springer.)
The story also noted that none of the medical experts could come up with a definitive diagnosis for Jennifer's problem. Dr. Springer's examination revealed compression on a nerve in her cervical spine, commonly known as a subluxation. "I had just started treating her last week, and she actually stopped on the day of her last adjustment," Dr. Springer said. "I was the only chiropractor involved, but I don't want to take full credit for [Jennifer being cured]. I'm just glad I was able to help her out."