Below are a few articles that we thought you might find of use and interest.
US DECLARES SWINE FLU EMERGENCY
Whether fact or fiction, the U.S. government has officially declared the 'swine flu outbreak' a national public health
emergency. Swine flu has sickened at least 91 people in the U.S. by the CDC's latest count. "We are declaring
today a public health emergency," Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said on April 26th at a White
House news briefing. That declaration is "standard operating procedure," Napolitano said. "It is similar to what we
do when we see a hurricane approaching a site. The hurricane might not actually hit, but this will allow us to take a
number of preparatory steps. We really don't know ultimately what the size or seriousness of this outbreak is going
As part of the emergency, the Department of Homeland Security is releasing 25% of stockpiled antivirals -- Tamiflu
and Relenza -- to the states. Here's what officials want you to do: Stay home if you're sick, avoid close contact with
people who are sick, wash your hands often, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, cover your mouth or nose
with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and keep up with health information in your own community.
All of the swine flu cases reported in the US have so far been relatively mild, although one person was briefly
hospitalized and one person has now died, according to Keiji Fukuda, MD, Assistant Director-General for Health
Security and Environment at the World Health Organization. Eight swine flu cases in New York City involved
students at Saint Francis Preparatory School in Queens. All have recovered fully, according to a news release from
the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
So far, U.S. cases of swine flu have been milder than those seen in Mexico, where the World Health Organization has confirmed that at
least 20 people have died from swine flu; health officials are investigating dozens more deaths in Mexico that may be related to the
SWINE FLU SYMPTOMS
Symptoms of swine flu seen in U.S. patients so far have been relatively nonspecific -- high fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches,
possibly vomiting and diarrhea in some cases.
The seriousness of this flu notwithstanding, just 20 people found sick resulted in an unusually fast declaration of a national Public
Emergency by the U.S. Government--this while a study by researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles found 1,473 major
adverse events and 564 deaths from Viagra reported to the FDA, most of them from cardiovascular causes, yet nothing is done for years!
It begs the question as to why deaths caused by a drug company warrant such a different policy approach.
PEANUT ALLERGIES: NEW INSIGHTS ON TREATMENT AND PREVENTION
Among food allergens, peanuts warrant special concern because the allergy is relatively common, typically permanent, and often severe.
Studies within the last 15 years have indicated approximately a doubling in the prevalence of peanut allergy among young children, and
estimates of peanut allergy from studies in North America and the United Kingdom indicate that peanut allergy affects over 1% of all
Among fatalities from food-induced anaphylaxis* reported in the United States, peanut is responsible for the majority of deaths. Currently,
the only proven form of treatment is to avoid ingesting the allergen and to be prepared to treat severe reactions with self-injectable
epinephrine. Living with a severe food allergy induces anxiety and reduces quality of life because management requires constant vigilance.
These features of peanut allergy have resulted in greater attention to research on prevention and treatment. Novel observations have
*Anaphylaxis is a full-body allergic reaction caused by the release of histamine dilating the blood vessels and causing swelling throughout
the body. The histamine release can cause a number of effects in the body, the most serious including obstruction of the airways; a
sudden, dramatic drop in blood pressure; and shock.
Between 1998 and 2000, the UK Food Standards Agency and the American Academy of Pediatrics introduced recommendations, aimed
at women with infants at risk for allergic disease, to avoid consuming peanut during pregnancy and lactation and to avoid feeding peanut to
the child until age 3 years. These recommendations were based on the understanding that exposure to an allergen is required for
Studies over the past several years, however, have offered an alternative view on the assumed benefits of peanut avoidance. In a part-
retrospective, part-prospective study, Lack and colleagues found no increased risk for peanut allergy when maternal ingestion of peanut
occurred during pregnancy or lactation, but they did find an increased risk if the infant was using skin preparations containing peanut oil.
Given the lack of evidence for or against peanut avoidance in infants at risk (i.e.., those with a family history of atopic disease), the
American Academy of Pediatrics has rescinded the prior recommendation about maternal and infant avoidance, now indicating that data
are insufficient to make firm recommendations.
Bottom line - they have no idea at all!
SUPPLEMENTS: A TIME TO ADDRESS THE NAY-SAYING MAINSTREAM MEDIA?
As yet another TV show, magazine article and newspaper reports that supplements are unnecessary, even dangerous, is the ignorance of
the mainstream media few putting the health of the many at risk?
Professor Regan's Diet Clinic, a TV programme broadcast recently as part of BBC2's acclaimed Horizon series, came to the conclusion
that supplements are totally unnecessary for people eating a balanced diet. Several academics interviewed in the program also supported
this view, and went so far as to point out the dangers of certain vitamins "when taken in large doses."
Comments and views much in line with the anti-vitamin legislation in the EU Food Supplements Directive and Codex Alimentarius.
Whether Professor Regan's message was made with all the best intentions or not - that a balanced diet is the ideal way of meeting
nutritional needs - the issue is not 'how things should be' but 'how things actually are'. How many people get to eat a balanced diet? How
many actually could, with foods increasingly bio-engineered, hormonally enhanced, full of pesticides from significant volumes of chemical
fertilizers routinely uses...and the long trip by freighter and truck to market. Hence the need for intelligent supplementation.
Consider vegans and their lack of vitamin B12, or how many people in northern climates are vitamin D deficient during winter and some
summer months as well. Are supplements unnecessary for them? And what about folic acid to reduce the incidence of birth defects in
Interestingly, current recommendations in Europe are for supplements for women of childbearing age as many pregnancies are not
planned. Why? Because many women are not getting enough nutrition via their normal diets.
So, while it may be all well and good to say that a balanced diet is the ideal - the benefits of supplements to correct nutritional shortfalls
should not be dismissed.
And as a final note, many of the "research studies" that go toward supporting the mainstream media propaganda that supplements are not
necessary or even fatal in certain dosages, have been proven erroneous, faulty and even fictitious in all cases.
When you come across such an article, radio or television program, take the time to make your views known. Question the research such
glib positions are allegedly supported by.
You will create quite a stir!
Key Consumer Actions:
Let your government representatives know YOUR position
Help support WINHS
And review the WINHS web site periodically for updates and to keep you up to speed with what the WINH and our associated campaign
organizations have been doing to protect freedom of choice in 2009.
Rudi C. Loehwing
World Institute of Natural Health Sciences
UPDATE: Health and Nutrition News
Page created 4/29/09
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