Guardian | Dec 9, 2006
A world-famous British scientist failed to disclose that he held a paid consultancy with a chemical company for more than 20 years while investigating cancer risks in the industry, the Guardian can reveal.
Sir Richard Doll, the celebrated epidemiologist who established that smoking causes lung cancer, was receiving a consultancy fee of $1,500 a day in the mid-1980s from Monsanto, then a major chemical company and now better known for its GM crops business.
While he was being paid by Monsanto, Sir Richard wrote to a royal Australian commission investigating the potential cancer-causing properties of Agent Orange, made by Monsanto and used by the US in the Vietnam war. Sir Richard said there was no evidence that the chemical caused cancer.
Documents seen by the Guardian reveal that Sir Richard was also paid a £15,000 fee by the Chemical Manufacturers Association and two other major companies, Dow Chemicals and ICI, for a review that largely cleared vinyl chloride, used in plastics, of any link with cancers apart from liver cancer – a conclusion with which the World Health Organisation disagrees. Sir Richard’s review was used by the manufacturers’ trade association to defend the chemical for more than a decade.
The revelations will dismay scientists and other admirers of Sir Richard’s pioneering work and fuel a rift between the majority who support his view that the evidence shows cancer is a product of modern lifestyles and those environmentalists who argue that chemicals and pollution must be to blame for soaring cancer rates.
BBC | Dec 7, 2006
So far, I have not been able to discern who the proud father is. Could it be Ann Coulter? Your guess is as good as mine.
“The vice president and Mrs. Cheney are looking forward with eager anticipation” to the arrival of their sixth grandchild, a spokeswoman said.
Conservative groups have expressed dismay at news that US Vice-President Dick Cheney’s lesbian daughter is pregnant.
Mary Cheney, 37, and partner Heather Poe are expecting a baby in late spring 2007, the vice president’s office said.
Concerned Women for America said the pregnancy was “unconscionable”.
Meanwhile, a gay-rights group said Mr Cheney faced “a lifetime of sleepless nights” for serving in a White House opposed to same-sex marriage.
Lawrence Journal-World | Dec 10, 2006
The first bill in the legislative hopper for the 2007 session is one near and dear to Lawrence’s Linda Weinmaster and a number of parents across the state.
Senate Bill 1 would ban the use of mercury-based thimerosal in childhood vaccines.
“I’m somewhat optimistic that it will pass this session,” Weinmaster said. “We’re going to give it our best try.”
Weinmaster and many others claim that thimerosal, which is used as a preservative in some vaccines, has caused the recent increase in the number of autistic children. Weinmaster’s 15-year-old son, Adam, has several impairments that she attributes to vaccinations.
Federal officials maintain there is no association between the disorders and thimerosal. Critics, however, say the studies are flawed and note that mercury is a known toxin.
In recent years, thimerosal is being used less and less in vaccines, according to health officials. And at least six states have banned or are phasing out the use of thimerosal.
Bangkok Post | Dec 9, 2006
A Singapore-based company has extracted key active ingredients from the elderberry to create herbal lozenges that could rival Tamiflu, HerbalScience claimed Saturday.
The firm claims that its pills are more effective than Tamiflu, the oral antiviral drug used against bird flu.
The raw elderberry comes from a farm in Austria, John McClelland, senior vice-president for HerbalScience, told The Straits Times. Elderberries are freeze-dried and delivered to the processing plant in Singapore.
The extract, delivered in the form of lozenges, will be on the market in January at a cost of 3 to 5 Singapore dollars (1.92-3.20 US dollars) for a one-day dosage.
CNN | Dec 10, 2006
“Obviously it was not Putin himself, of course not. But what Putin does around him in Russia makes it possible to kill a British person on British soil. I believe that it could have been the Russian authorities.
The widow of the murdered former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko says she believes Russian authorities could be responsible for his death.
Marina Litvinenko, 44, told British newspapers about her husband’s last days as he lay dying of radioactive poisoning, revealing his final words to her were: “Marina, I love you so much.”
She told the Mail on Sunday she had placed her trust in British authorities, and did not plan to talk to Russian investigators because she did not believe they would tell the truth.
Asked who she blamed for the killing, she said: “Obviously it was not Putin himself, of course not. But what Putin does around him in Russia makes it possible to kill a British person on British soil. I believe that it could have been the Russian authorities.