April 23rd 2018, 15:34
When it comes to sustainable healthcare, the West could learn from the East
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Robert Verkerk PhD is the executive and scientific director of the Alliance for Natural Health International, a consumer group that aims to protect our right to natural healthcare and information. For more information and to get involved, please visit: www.anh-europe.org
When it comes to sustainable healthcare, the West could learn from the East
Mutated genes don't automatically lead to cancer, says Rob Verkerk
Angelina Jolie is the pin-up woman for an entire new industry centered around cancer prevention (see page 20). Just like Jolie, you can find out if you have mutations in one or both of the genes that most affect your chances of getting breast cancer (BRCA1 and BRCA2) and decide whether you want to undergo preventative surgery to slash your risk. If you have the 'faulty' genes, you'll consult with a new-fangled 'genetic oncologist' and may well be persuaded to kiss your breasts, ovaries and fallopian tubes goodbye.
Big Food corporations are increasingly buying out the top natural-food players
Technology has drastically altered the lives of most humans on the planet. Infant mortality has plummeted, with most babies in the developed world now surviving birth and their early years. Agricultural and food technology makes sure more people are fed than we ever thought possible. And when we start to ail in later life, technology gives us a better chance of staying alive.
You've probably heard about Big Pharma's patent cliff in the early part of this decade—when the patents of huge blockbuster drugs like Lipitor, Plavix and Singulair expired. The effect was a precipitous drop in sales. But the decline in use of these drugs didn't send disease rates skyrocketing, because people tend not to suffer from Lipitor, Plavix or Singulair deficiency diseases.
I am writing this column some 40,000 feet above Indonesia, bound from Sydney, Australia, to London. After a tight schedule of meetings following the second annual Lifestyle Medicine Australasia conference, I presented on the subject of healthcare sustainability.
The terms 'public health' and 'consumer protection,' as used by governments, are among the biggest misnomers of all time. Governments and Big Business love telling us just how hard they're working to protect our health and our interests. Well, they're lying to us.
We've been fed multiple mistruths about the safety of the vaccine, says Rob Verkerk
With people losing faith in pharmaceutical drugs as the primary mechanism for managing health, drug companies are doing their best to expand their portfolios with vaccines.
The key is building a parallel system of preventative care, says Rob Verkerk
I recently visited the BodyPower Expo at the NEC in Birmingham, billed as the "world's number 1 fitness expo". I wanted to learn more about those interested in powerful bodies and the commercial sector that provides products for them, and to see how far things have moved on since the early days of bodybuilding supplements—which were sometimes laced with questionable ingredients and steroids, and almost always loaded with synthetic additives, colours and sweeteners.
You're running late for a flight and when you get to security, you hope to get diverted to the manual security channel. But it's not your day—and you can't face the stress of trying to explain to the security officers why you want a manual pat-down—you're going to be bombarded with the new-fangled millimeter (mm)-wave technology. The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the presumed global experts in airport security, considers the devices safe. But are they?
Junk food and ready meals aren't as cheap as you might think, says Rob Verkerk
Vaccination is possibly the single most controversial issue in public health. Western medicine has devised a number of key strategies for managing health, and the three most widely used are drugs, surgery and vaccines. Drugs and surgery have thousands of years of historical use, but until around 70 years ago, most drugs were derived from plant-based or natural inorganic compounds.
The BBC TV series Horizon has been exploring scientific issues affecting the British populace since 1964. It exposed whale meat in pet food in 1972, and examined the question (sadly, with insufficient evidence) of whether the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) jab causes autism.
Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) is rated the fifth largest employer—not in the UK and Europe, but in the world! A remarkable 1.7 million people are employed by what is sometimes referred to as the ‘jewel in Britain’s welfare crown’. The only bigger global employers, in decreasing order of size, are the US Department of Defense (3.2 million), the People’s Liberation Army of China (2.3 million), Walmart (2.1 million) and McDonald’s (1.9 million).
In the last six weeks, I’ve met with leaders of ketogenic dietary approaches for cancer in Melbourne and London who were targets of personal and professional attacks, I’ve met families in California who plan to leave the state because they don’t want their kids vaccinated, yet still want to send them to school, and I’ve met doctors in Australia and the US under threat of having their licences revoked because they exempted children at high risk of adverse vaccine reactions.
Yes, cancer treatments and vaccination are still the two most controversial areas between mainstream and so-called alternative medicine—which is strange, as mainstream medicine has not had unparalleled success in treating cancer or protecting people from the diseases targeted by vaccination. And while the available data are neither convincing nor reliable, with remarkably few pharma-independent attempts to pool these data and publish findings in peer-reviewed journals, the status quo is maintained.
At 35,000 feet over the Pacific between Sydney and LA, I’d hoped this view of our troubled planet offered greater objectivity—but then I read the latest news about the US elections, more reactions to the High Court’s decision re Brexit, the political strife—and bushfires—in Australia . . . with more to come.
I doubt I’m alone in sensing the greatest level of social disquiet since perhaps WWII. I celebrate people’s distrust of governments and big corporations—but it’s the apparent absence of any popular wisdom that might in the past have resulted in an orchestrated rebellion to unseat evil or immoral authorities to replace them with something better.
The Conservative Party conference of early October marked the decision by British PM Theresa May to reveal her true sovereign colours following the June referendum. But committed Europhiles won’t like it, as she’ll be doing deals with the likes of Canada, China, India, Mexico, Singapore and South Korea, all of which are willing to engage in free-trade negotiations with the UK—and the excitement in the British air has been palpable.
Even Brexit doubters have raised eyebrows at the prospect of getting rid of the EU-derived red tape that has for years unashamedly strangled many small businesses and their capacity to innovate. The natural-health sector was particularly hard hit, given the precarious legislative balancing acts that many products were forced to endure on the legal borderline between foods and drugs.
One week last September, the headlines exclaimed to the parents of young children that it was imperative to get their daughters, and even their young sons, vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV).Behind the headlines was a seemingly weighty scientific paper, published in the journal Clinical Reviews of Infectious Diseases, headed by one of the world’s leading HPV experts, Prof Suzanne Garland of the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. Supporting her were 14 other HPV experts.
The newspapers echoed various snippets, including that the study involved 187 to 205 million or more doses of HPV vaccines in 129 countries.