Thursday, May 21, 2009


A new bill, H.R. 2067, was recently introduced into the House which will amend the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. This bill authorizes the Secretary of Labor to prevent employee exposure to imminent dangers, to increase whistleblower protections, to increase penalties for certain violators and for other purposes. Go to this link: to read the full bill text.

Changes in OSHA law are way over due. The current OSHA law is outdated and does not provide safeguards to adequately protect workers or the public’s health and safety, especially with the development of new dangerous technologies in biotechnology and nanotechnology.

This new bill, if passed, unfortunately, will not fix OSHA’s overall problems. Serious issues regarding worker’s rights to safety forums and to exposure records for their health care will remain serious deficiencies.

Nevertheless, this new bill should provide OSHA with extra strongholds that could possibly make OSHA more effective. For example, the addition of whistleblower protections, if effective, will go a long way in protecting public health and safety.

“Will Bill H.R. 2067 pass?” is the big question. With industry’s lobbyists buzzing around DC, busy placing roadblocks to any worker’s rights, it may be squashed in no time.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dr. David Michaels Speaks about Scientific Propaganda

Dr. David Michaels, speaks about scientific propaganda in his book, "Doubt Is Their Product". He tells us of personal stories as a top level advisor in Public Health and how our scientific leadership has lost integrity, many of which have sold out to the highest bidder in industry. He speaks about the conflicts of interest between government, academia and private industry, causing a great chasm in public health and safety. He speaks about how science is misused to shape public policy. Michaels speaks the truth. He understands the driving forces working within the scientific community that influence and degrade public health and safety.

View his video talking about his book here:


WHO investigates claim swine flu escaped from laboratory

by Rich Bowden - May 13 2009, 06:40
Post from the Tech Herald-Science

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is to investigate claims that the swine flu currently infecting the world was the result of genetic experiments by scientists which then leaked from a laboratory.

The extraordinary claims were made by 75-year-old Australian researcher Adrian Gibbs, who was part of the team behind development of the Tamiflu drug. Gibbs contends the deadly H1N1 strain may have been accidentally born in eggs scientists use to grow viruses and in vaccine research.

"One of the simplest explanations is that it’s a laboratory escape," Gibbs said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. "But there are lots of others."
Earlier, Gibbs had said his escape theory was formulated because the strain looks to have evolved at a faster than normal rate.

"Because I couldn't find any evidence that the authorities were seriously considering a lab escape, I thought it would be a good idea to come out in public and say: 'Well, the data looks to me like that. And that should be checked,'" he said.

However, flu experts have said there is no evidence to back up Gibbs' claim.
"We don't see evidence that there's accelerated evolution indicating that there would have been a new host that the virus was introduced into, be it eggs or any other host," said Dr. Nancy Cox, head of the influenza division at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.
Gibbs has submitted his findings to WHO scientists over the weekend who, it is reported, are looking into the possibility of human error being responsible for the virus.

The Tech Herald: WHO warning: swine flu could return 'with a vengeance'
The Tech Herald: Swine flu hysteria triggers numerous conspiracy theories
The Tech Herald: Con artists use swine flu panic to make a fast buck
The Tech Herald: Swine flu pandemic imminent as alert level raised to five
The Tech Herald: Swine flu 'unstoppable' says Australian health minister

Also see: PrisonPlanet


Canada disease lab worker faces US smuggling charge
13 May 2009
Source: Reuters

SASKATOON, Saskatchewan, May 13 (Reuters) - A researcher at a top-ranked Canadian infectious disease laboratory has been charged with attempting to smuggle vials of biological materials into the United States, Canadian and U.S. officials said on Wednesday.

The researcher, Konan Michel Yao, is alleged to have taken vials of basic biological materials for vaccine development from the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, Manitoba, said Renee Robert, a spokeswoman for the Public Health Agency of Canada. Yao did not take infectious pathogens, she said.

"At no time was the health of citizens at risk because the materials seized were non-infectious," Robert said, adding she doesn't know of any similar incident involving the lab.
Yao was apprehended by U.S. officials as he attempted to enter the United States at the Pembina, North Dakota, border crossing on May 5, said Mike Milne, spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

Details of Yao's apprehension and current status were not immediately available.
Yao never had access to Level 3 and 4 pathogens, which include the H1N1 flu virus, HIV and Ebola virus, Robert said. He did have access to a Level 2 laboratory, similar to those at hospitals and universities, which may deal with lower-level infectious agents, she said.
Robert declined to say how Yao was able to get the vials out of the laboratory, but she said the laboratory has "very strict" controls in place.

The lab is Canada's top facility for the identification, control and prevention of infectious diseases and deals with the most deadly infectious organisms, including the Ebola virus, HIV and H1N1 flu. (Reporting by Rod Nickel; editing by Peter Galloway)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Monday, May 11, 2009
by Jivin J

Slow down the stem cell hype
In Science, James Wilson has a piece (abstract here and what appears to be the full piece here) entitled, “A History Lesson for Stem Cells” where he compares the hype around embryonic stem cell research to previously hyped research into gene therapy. Wilson is a proponent of embryonic stem cell research who applauds President Obama’s decision to overturn President Bush’s restrictions on the funding of embryonic stem cell lines yet he warns about the consequences of pushing research too fast.

The field of gene therapy began with laboratory studies in the mid- to late-1980s and grew linearly during the 1990s (see figure, right). Very early in this evolution, clinical trials were initiated, and their number and overall patient recruitment figures grew in step with the science. During that period, gene therapy was touted as a potential cure for a huge array of ailments. By 2000, researchers had launched more than 400 clinical trials, testing the approach against a wide spectrum of illnesses. Yet the Food and Drug Administration concluded in a September 2000 review, "the hyperbole has exceeded the results" and "little has worked" (2). Although the field has improved since then, with notable successes against inherited blindness (3–5) and immune deficiency (6), those successes are shadowed by several tragic adverse events, including treatment-induced cancers in some volunteers (7) and, in 1999, the death of an 18-year-old, Jesse Gelsinger, in a gene therapy clinical trial that I led (8). Gelsinger's death initiated a chain of events that seriously derailed the field.....

Many of the factors that fueled gene therapy's premature expansion are major drivers of the hESC and iPS research agenda today. A large and vocal population of patients suffering from a wide variety of ailments is pressing for stem cell–based therapies. Disease-specific stem cell research groups are more politically sophisticated than ever, in some cases employing congressional lobbyists. Unrealistic expectations have been fueled by relentless media coverage, driven in part by a factor not present in the gene therapy roll-out: a debate over the ethics of research on human embryos and embryo cells, which has served as a "news hook" that brings media attention to even the most incremental of advances.....Despite advances, our understanding of the biology of hESCs and iPS cells remains thin with regard to clinical safety and utility. Controlled incorporation of transplanted stem cells into host tissues and organs remains a major challenge. Questions about engraftment, rejection, and toxicity abound.

I find it incredibly interesting that this article was written and published only after the restrictions on embryonic stem cell research funding have been removed. It's almost like Science is saying, "Alright guys, we got what we wanted by hyping this research. Now let's tone it down a bit and make sure we know what we're doing before we get someone killed."

Post from

Friday, May 8, 2009


Singlepayer health reform was not allowed to be represented at a recent Senate committee discussing healthcare reform, despite the fact there is substantial public support for it. Angry and upset, singlepayer advocates decided to show up and protest. They were all carted off to jail.

Insurance companies pay big $ contributions $ to our government officials. They have lobbied against the single payer system. Obviously, the insurance industry has more influence than the public since singlepayer was excluded from options brought to the table for discussion that day. For more video and articles here.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

New Contagious Rabies Virus Develops---Serious Threat

A new Rabies Virus has emerged in northern Arizona. The virus has become contagious among skunks and foxes with passive exposure. That means, the animal doesn't necessarily have to be bitten to contract the disease. Serious stuff. Read more here.

Why are we experiencing increases in new emerging disease?