Catastrophic Humanitarian Harm

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Doctors have an obligation to tell it as it is.



Ronald McCoy



Medicine is a social science, and politics is nothing else

but medicine on a large scale.

Physicians are the natural attorneys of the poor,

and social problems fall to a large extent within their jurisdiction.

Rudolf Virchow (1821-1902)



The read more

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Hidden Danger in Genetically Modified Foods.

Regulators Discover a Hidden Viral Gene in Commercial GMO Crops
Jonathan Latham and Allison Wilson
Independent Science News, January 21 2013

Synopsis: A scientific paper published in late 2012 shows that US and EU GMO regulators have for many years been inadvertently approving transgenic events containing an unsuspected viral gene. As a result, 54 different transgenic events commercialized internationally contain a substantial segment of the multifunctional Gene VI from Cauliflower Mosaic Virus (CaMV) within them. Among these are some of the most widely grown GMOs, including Roundup Ready Soybean (40-3-2) and MON810 Maize. The oversight occurred because regulators failed to appreciate that Gene VI overlaps the commonly used CaMV 35S gene regulatory sequence. The authors of the paper, working for the European Food Safety Authority, concluded that functions of Gene VI were potential sources of harmful consequences. They further concluded that, if expressed, the fragments of Gene VI are substantial enough for them to be functional (Podevin and du Jardin (2012) GM Crops and Food 3: 1-5). This discovery has multiple ramifications for biotechnology. Foremost, there is the immediate question of GMO safety and whether the 54 events should be recalled, but secondly, the failure implicates regulators and the industry in a circle of mutual incompetence and complacency. The discovery will also strengthen the argument for GMO labeling: if regulators and industry cannnot protect the public then why should they not be allowed to protect themselves? How should a regulatory agency announce they have discovered something potentially very important about the safety of products they have been approving for over twenty years?In the course of analysis to identify potential allergens in GMO crops, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has belatedly discovered that the most common genetic regulatory sequence in commercial GMOs also encodes a significant fragment of a viral gene (Podevin and du Jardin 2012). This finding has serious ramifications for crop biotechnology and its regulation, but possibly even greater ones for consumers and farmers. This is because there are clear indications that this viral gene (called Gene VI) might not be safe for human consumption. It also may disturb the normal functioning of crops, including their natural pest resistance.

What Podevin and du Jardin discovered is that read more

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IPPNW video

Play video IPPNW’s Co-President, Ira Helfand, explains the medical, environmental, and humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, and urges viewers of this video to take action for their… 00:14:01 Added on  24/1/2013 182 views   The medical, environmental, and humanitarian consequences of nuclear war

The medical, environmental, and humanitarian consequences of nuclear war Play video IPPNW?s Co-President, Ira Helfand, explains the medical, environmental, and humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, read more

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Not in my Name

Judicial caning, torture of detainees and the death penalty infringe human rights

I have not witnessed judicial caning in our prisons nor do I wish to.  Perhaps the only reason I may wish to, given the opportunity, is to witness and publicize this inhuman form of punitive justice.

A medical officer read more

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ICAN Australia Progress Report 2012

Below is the ICAN Australia Progress Report for 2012:


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Most EU nuclear plants are “unsafe”.

Europe: Most EU nuclear power plants “unsafe” Berlin, 16 Oct (IPS/Julio Godoy) — The so-called ‘stress tests’ on nuclear power plants in the European Union (EU) have confirmed environmental and energy activists’ worst fears: most European nuclear facilities do not meet minimum security standards. The tests on 134 nuclear reactors operating in 14 EU member states were carried out in response to widespread concern among the public that an accident similar to the catastrophic meltdown of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power reactor in March 2011 could occur in Europe. According to the report, “EU citizens must… be confident that Europe’s nuclear industry is safe.” But the findings of the report, released in Brussels on October 4, suggest that, contrary to feeling safe, EU citizens have good reason to be afraid. Only four countries “currently operate additional safety systems (e. g. bunkered systems or a ‘hardened core’ of safety systems) independent of the normal safety systems, located in areas well protected against external events.” The stress tests also found that in “four reactors (located in two different countries), there is less than one hour available to operators to restore the safety functions in case of loss of all electrical power and/or ultimate heat sink.” Additionally, “in ten reactors, on-site seismic instrumentation is not installed yet.” Only seven countries are in possession of “mobile equipment, especially diesel generators needed in case of total loss of power, external events or severe accident situations.” Activists have also lamented that the tests were almost entirely theoretical, whose findings and recommendations are not legally binding. The report itself states, “Peer review teams mainly composed of experts from the Member States visited 24 sites out of the total of 68, taking into account the type of reactor as well as the geographical location. Team visits to selected sites in each country were organised in order to firm up the implementation of the stress tests, without encroaching on the responsibilities of national authorities in the area of nuclear safety inspections.” The catastrophe of Fukushima, deemed the worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl disaster of 1986, demonstrated that nuclear power plants must be protected even against accidents that have been deemed ‘highly improbable’. In the EU’s own words, “Events at Fukushima revealed well-known and recurring issues: faulty design, insufficient backup systems, human error, inadequate contingency plans, and poor communications.” The EU stress tests only confirmed what environmental groups and anti-nuclear power activists have feared for years. Now, these groups are using the results of the tests to call for a gradual phasing out of nuclear power across the continent. Tobias Muenchmeyer, nuclear power expert for the German office of Greenpeace, told IPS, “The stress tests confirm that the warning systems are insufficient, and that the application of guidelines in cases of major accidents is also deficient. In such cases, nuclear power plants must be shut down.” “The stress tests on nuclear power plants across Europe constitute a fire signal for a pan-European phasing out of nuclear power,” Muenchmeyer added. At the very least, according to other activists and politicians, the results of the tests should lead to the immediate shutting down of all nuclear power plants situated in border regions, where nuclear accidents will not only impact the local environment and population but foreign regions and citizens as well. Such measures would affect nuclear power plants in Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, the Netherlands, the Slovak Republic, and Romania. Johannes Remmel, minister for the environment in the German federal state of North-Rhine-Westphalia, said in a press conference that all deficient nuclear power plants operating in border regions in Europe should be shut down, or, at least, not be allowed to function past their ‘operational life’. “An accident with leakage of radioactivity would affect populations in several countries,” Remmel said. He specifically referred to the Belgian nuclear power plants of Tihange and Doel, considered particularly fragile, which are situated between 60 and 120 kilometres away from German territory. Similar calls were made in Austria referring to the nuclear power plants in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The stress tests also shed light on just how expensive nuclear power plants can be. The EU assures that “All participating countries have begun to take operational steps to improve the safety of their plants”, adding that “the costs of additional safety improvements are estimated to be in the range of 30 million to 200 million (euros) per reactor unit. Thus, the total costs for the 132 reactors operating in the EU could be in the order of 10 (to) 25 billion (euros)… over the coming years.” These figures are based on estimates published by the French nuclear safety authority, which covers more than one-third of the reactors in the EU, and are subject to confirmation in national action plans. Experts like Jo Leinen, former minister of the environment in the German federal state of Saarland, and present member of the European parliament, believe this money can be put to better use. “Either the EU and its member states invest in upgrading the nuclear power plants to make them safer, or they shut them down,” he told IPS. “If the upgrading actually costs 25 billion (euros), such a sum (could) be better invested in renewable energy sources.” The accident at Fukushima showed that nuclear power plants must be prepared to withstand even the most improbable accidents. Fukushima also reinforced popular opposition to nuclear power around the world. Meanwhile, numerous nuclear power plants currently under construction, such as the Olkiluoto 3 in Finland and the Flamanville power plant in France, are incurring skyrocketing costs. Now, the EU stress tests have added yet another nail in the coffin of nuclear power. The growing global share of renewable energy sources shows that a world free of nuclear power is possible and feasible. The share of nuclear power in global power generation has steadily declined from a historic peak of 17 percent in 1993 to about 11 percent in 2011. +
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???- Forwarded message ???- From: ICAN Global (Google Groups) Date: Thu, Oct 18, 2012 at 3:05 PM Subject: Google Groups Invitation: ICAN Campaigners To: ICAN Global has invited you to join the ICAN Campaigners group with this read more

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Fukushima One year on…

“Planetary Genocide”:   Fukushima One  Year Later : The Poisoning  of Planet Earth by Dr.  Ilya Sandra  Perlingieri


Global Research, March 8, 2012 Email this article to a friend Print this article


“The most difficult thing of all is to see is what is right in front of your eyes.”  Goethe.


As we approach the tragic one-year anniversary of Fukushima’s multiple nuclear reactors’ accident on March 11, that initially affected the entire Japanese read more

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The Standards of Medical Education in Malaysia and Its Acceptability

The Standards of Medical Education in Malaysia and Its Acceptability

The Standards of Medical Education in Malaysia and Its Acceptability Dr. David KL Quek, MBBS, MRCP, FRCP, FAMM, FCCP, FASCC, FAPSC, FNHAM, FACC, FAFPM (Hon.) Immediate Past President, Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) (Lecture presented at the Medico-Legal Society of Malaysia Conference, Royale Chulan Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, on 16 November 2011)

Glut of Medical Graduates—Too Many, Too Soon… The past 5 to 10 years have been a watershed period for medical education in the country. During this time, Malaysia has embarked on an ambitious if misguided (in my opinion) approach to rapidly attaining ‘self-sufficiency’ in health care providers for the nation’s perceived needs and demands. For doctors, it was finally announced that there is now a directed plan by the government to try and achieve a doctor-population ratio of 1:400 from the current (2010) 1:903.

To achieve this, some 34 medical schools have been now licensed by the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), with almost 50 medical programmes (these include public medical schools teaming up with other foreign or local medical schools to form for-profit private joint medical programmes). The objective read more

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