Saturday, April 23, 2011

DDT Only Solution For Malaria--Stockholm Convention Allows

Anopheles Mosquito

Development Community Forced To Make Own DDT For Malaria Control
Professor Donald Roberts, tropical public health specialist, said:malaria control will be enhanced when DDT is produced locally. Africa Fighting Malaria (AFM) says the move will save many lives. However, UNEP and several environmental movement groups are set on banning DDT.

Richard Tren, Executive Director of Africa Fighting Malaria, said:
"DDT is not only the most effective, affordable insecticide for use in indoor spraying in malaria control, but as a recent World Health Organization review concluded, there is no evidence showing its use in malaria control harms humans. Extremists like the Pesticide Action Network have been untruthful in calling DDT dangerous to humans, when actually WHO wrote that 'evidence to date does not point to concern about levels of exposure'."

Under the Stockholm Convention on POPs (persistent organic pollutants), pressure not to use DDT from UNEP (EN Environment Program) has driven the Southern African Development Community to announce its plan to produce DDT locally, the organization Africa Fighting Malaria informs.

The Southern African Development Community, also known as SADC, has made its intentions public just before the meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Stockholm Convention. Regional
"Publicly available documents as well as leaked emails show senior officials of UNEP pressuring countries to stop using and producing DDT. This is in direct violation of the letter of the Stockholm Convention, which allows countries to use DDT in disease control should they wish to, within the guidelines set by the World Health Organization."

India is the only nation currently producing DDT locally for malaria control. It is being charged to set a date to curtail production by Mr. Paul Whylie, a UNEP officer.

UNEP has arbitrarily set a deadline date of 2020 when all DDT production will be stopped. However, the Convention guarantees countries the right to continue using DDT until alternatives that are "affordable, effective and safe" are found - this has not yet occurred.

Amir Attaran, the Canada Research Chair and Professor of Law and Medicine at the University of Ottawa, said:
"UNEP's attempt to force countries off making or using DDT flagrantly violates international law, and if successful definitely will kill people, mostly children who are most susceptible to malaria."

Professor Donald Roberts, tropical public health specialist, said:
"DDT is not only the most effective, affordable insecticide for use in indoor spraying in malaria control, but as a recent World Health Organization review concluded, there is no evidence showing its use in malaria control harms humans. Extremists like the Pesticide Action Network have been untruthful in calling DDT dangerous to humans, when actually WHO wrote that 'evidence to date does not point to concern about levels of exposure'."

Africa Fighting Malaria claims UNEP is not working within the authority of the UN (United Nations). A recent African Heads of State meeting, attended by UN Secretary Generl Ban-Ki Moon, endorsed the targeted use of DDT indoor spraying for malaria control in the African continent - it is extremely effective in reducing rates of death and illness.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Spring In Saskatchewan

I love the wild prairie crocus it is just symbolic of everything that is good and wonderful in the spring.  It is not the province's official flower although some think it should be. 
The  sixty spring lambs had a good frolic in the sun yesterday.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The 'right to be forgotten' versus Google

An article which really affects everyone and it should be interestings to see how it plays out in the various jurisdictions around the globe.  My favorite quote from this condensed version:

"Google becoming the God of not only publishing but also the God of deletion is a phenomenally scary notion," said Jules Polonetsky, director of the U.S. Future of Privacy Forum in Washington.

MADRID – Their ranks include a plastic surgeon, a prison guard and a high school principal. All are Spanish, but have little else in common except this: They want old Internet references about them that pop up in Google searches wiped away.
The issue isn't a new one for Google, whose search engine has become a widely used tool for learning about the backgrounds about potential mates, neighbors and co-workers. What it shows can affect romantic relationships, friendships and careers.
"This is just the beginning, this right to be forgotten, but it's going to be much more important in the future," said Artemi Rallo, director of the Spanish Data Protection Agency. "Google is just 15 years old, the Internet is barely a generation old and they are beginning to detect problems that affect privacy. More and more people are going to see things on the Internet that they don't want to be there."
Many details about the Spaniards taking on Google via the government are shrouded in secrecy to protect the privacy of the plaintiffs. But the case of plastic surgeon Hugo Guidotti vividly illustrates the debate.
In Google searches, the first link that pops up is his clinic, complete with pictures of a bare-breasted women and a muscular man as evidence of what plastic surgery can do for clients. But the second link takes readers to a 1991 story in Spain's leading El Pais newspaper about a woman who sued him for the equivalent of euro5 million for a breast job that she said went bad.
Guidotti, whose case is one of the first five appealed by Google, declined requests for an interview. His lawyer says the original lawsuit was dropped after Guidotti was cleared.
No media ever published stories about the end of the lawsuit so the news never made it to the Internet, said the lawyer, Gabriel Gomez.
As a result, the surgeon "has no way of measuring it, but naturally it did him harm," said Gomez said. "I'm sure that people consulted his name and said, 'I'm not going to that doctor.'"
The names of other people defended by the data agency haven't been made public, but Rallo has provided some details about the cases.
And the prison guard is worried that a link to a job-related sanction that pops up in Google listing his name might put family at risk for retribution by criminals because they might be able to find out where he works. Spanish police and prison guards are often granted widespread anonymity because of fears they could be identified, located and targeted by the armed Basque separatist group ETA.
Spain has no Freedom of Information law guaranteeing access to documents, and Rallo said that "a person who has been notified about a sanction or absolved of an offense doesn't want it known by others forever."
As an example, he cited the case of a person accused of homicide four decades ago who was not convicted because a court ruled the suspect suffered from a temporary mental illness. The man has since recovered.
"Anyone who keys his name into Google 40 years later can fish out the original news of the accusation but not what happened after the information and this is causing him serious harm in his daily life," Rallo said, declining to identify the man.
Google and privacy experts fear that a ruling against Google would turn it into a publisher responsible for what its searches turn up. And that, they say, could severely limit access to information that exploded with the introduction of searches.
"Google becoming the God of not only publishing but also the God of deletion is a phenomenally scary notion," said Jules Polonetsky, director of the U.S. Future of Privacy Forum in Washington.
"I don't think I want China to tell Google what it can publish about its citizens," he said.
Google says Spain should force the publications that made the material available via Internet to embed coding that would tell search engines not to index the information, and that it can't be held responsible for what others publish.
Doing so "would have a profound chilling effect on free expression," said Peter Barron, Google's director of external relations for Europe, Middle East and Africa.
The legislation being researched by the EU will focus on data, photos and videos people post of themselves on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and others that they later want taken down.
Users, the EU commission says, should have a "right to be forgotten" when the data isn't needed anymore or when people want it taken down. The existing EU data protection legislation was drawn up back in 1995, but that was at the dawn of the Internet long before Facebook and other social networking sites existed.
"In the United States we have a very strong tradition of free speech freedom of expression. We would strongly caution against any interpretation of the right to be forgotten that infringes upon that," said Justin Brookman, director of the Center for Democracy and Technology's Privacy Project.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


You just can't win for losing.  How many times in the last few years have we been led down the garden path by those supposedly in the know?  First it's good for you then it's not.  Maybe doing nothing will be better in the long run than sitting on a seesaw.  I'm beginning to think that one should not put any faith in anything coming out of the medical community anymore......and this from a former medical community worker!!!

"Our own recommendation is to critically review the use of calcium supplements, since the data in this paper suggests that they do more harm than good," added Reid, who is professor of medicine and endocrinology at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.
"The cautious way forward seems to be to encourage people to obtain their calcium from the diet, rather than from supplements, since food calcium has not been shown to carry this increased risk of heart disease," Reid added.
A recent meta-analysis done by the same group of researchers found a 27 to 31 percent increased risk of heart attacks in women taking calcium without vitamin D.
Many older women take calcium supplements with or without vitamin D to keep their bones strong, especially since that has long been standard medical advice. In addition, the mammoth, U.S.-government funded Women's Health Initiative (WHI) earlier found no negative link between calcium and heart health.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Canadian Press
Date: Tuesday Apr. 19, 2011 6:55 AM ET
OTTAWA — Home Depot is considering banning dogs from its stores after an Ottawa-area employee says she was viciously bitten by a Shih Tzu.
Anne Riel, 39, says she had to be rushed to hospital for emergency surgery Friday afternoon after a customer's dog bit off the end of her nose.
The mother of two says she was working near the doors at the Home Depot store in Gloucester, east of Ottawa, when a woman came in with a Shih Tzu in her shopping cart.
Riel says she greeted the woman and bent down slightly to pet the pup when it leapt out of the cart and sank its teeth into her nose.
Riel says the dog's owner showed little interest as a blood-soaked Riel was loaded into an ambulance and rushed to hospital.
There, doctors had to use seven stitches to sew her skin together and another two or three to reattach her left nostril.
"My nose will never be the same again," Riel said in a telephone interview on Monday, adding that she will be seeking damages from the dog's owner.
"God only knows how many plastic surgeries I will need to even make it look somewhat normal," she said.
A Home Depot Canada spokesperson said the chain allows pets in its stores as long as they are under the owner's control.
But that policy might be changing, said Tiziana Baccega, given the recent incident.
Home Depot is currently reviewing its policy on pets, and only service animals -- such as guide dogs for the blind -- will be allowed inside the stores if a ban is put in place.
"We want to make sure that the safety of our associates and our customers is number one," Baccega said.
Baccega said she's hoping for a resolution to the issue by the end of the week.
Meanwhile, Riel says the outpouring of concern from her coworkers and from store customers has been overwhelming.
"The support has been absolutely enormous," said Riel, who came in for her scheduled shift on Monday morning because she can't afford to stay home sick.
City of Ottawa bylaw officers came to the store Monday morning and took Riel's statement, she said.
They told her they will be issuing a muzzle order to the dog's owner, as well as pressing charges that carry a fine of around $600.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Two articles in the news today continue to keep public awareness to the fore of just how important it is to pay attention to how we handle the food we buy particularly in the raw preparation of it in our homes. Mass production is feeding the masses but it is increasingly unsafe. 
ALWAYS prepare raw meats especially poultry while wearing gloves to prevent skin infections that may not respond to antibiotics in today’s climate of scientific know-it-all.  Never re-use utensils that touch raw products without washing them first.  When I prepare any poultry I start with a sink of hot water with a splash of bleach in it and then put every object used in it as I’m finished with them.  I only use plastic cutting boards or mats AND wash the counter afterward as well. If you find mats slippery on the counter, use a piece of rubber matting under them that comes in rolls sold by most retail stores, they too can be tossed into the hot water.  After you remove your gloves wash your hands in clean water.
Buy locally whenever possible from people you know or from small retailers instead of chain stores or mega retailers. 
This trend will only continue to worsen because no one can prevent it.  Science is not the savior of the world after all.  Imagine that!
 According to the Center for Disease Control, some 48 million cases of illness in the United States each year are caused by spoiled or contaminated food. Many of these come from fresh produce that is consumed in its raw state. Two ways to ameliorate this "epidemic" are to improve our control over the conditions in which food is kept as it moves from farm to consumer markets, and to enhance the traceability of food shipments within the supply chain.
The quote from the second article only serves to prove how poorly managed the food industry is…….

"For the first time, we know how much of our meat and poultry is contaminated with antibiotic-resistant Staph, and it is substantial," said Lance Price of the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, and senior author of the study.

A sampling of grocery store meat in five US cities has shown a type of drug-resistant bacteria is contained in about one quarter of beef, chicken, pork and turkey for sale, a study said Friday.

Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria that can cause skin infections, pneumonia, sepsis or endocarditis in people with weak hearts, was found in 47 percent of samples, said the study in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The study drew fire from the meat industry, which pointed to the "small sample" taken and said its findings were misleading.
More than half -- 52 percent -- of the infected samples contained a tough strain of S. aureus that was resistant to at least three types of antibiotics.

Most of the time, the bacteria would be killed off during cooking, but risks of contamination can come from handling raw meat in the kitchen and touching other utensils, or from eating meat that is not fully cooked.

"For the first time, we know how much of our meat and poultry is contaminated with antibiotic-resistant Staph, and it is substantial," said Lance Price of the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, and senior author of the study.

"The fact that drug-resistant S. aureus was so prevalent, and likely came from the food animals themselves, is troubling, and demands attention to how antibiotics are used in food-animal production today."

S. aureus is not among the four bacteria routinely tested in meat by the US government: Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli, and Enterococcus.
More than two million people in the United States are infected with these bacteria annually, and hundreds die. The young and the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are most at risk.

The 136 samples that were tested included 80 brands of meat and were taken from 26 retail grocery stores in five cities: Los Angeles; Chicago; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Flagstaff, Arizona; and the US capital, Washington.

The report said the bacteria was found inside the meat and therefore was not likely to have come from handling.

Instead the likely culprit was "densely stocked industrial farms, where food animals are steadily fed low doses of antibiotics... ideal breeding grounds for drug-resistant bacteria that move from animals to humans," the study said.

"Antibiotics are the most important drugs that we have to treat Staph infections; but when Staph are resistant to three, four, five or even nine different antibiotics -- like we saw in this study -- that leaves physicians few options," Price said.

"Now we need to determine what this means in terms of risk to the consumer," said co-author Paul Keim, director of the Center for Microbial Genetics and Genomics at Northern Arizona University.

The biggest meat and poultry trade association in the US, the American Meat Institute, said the study "misleads consumers about US meat and poultry, which is among the safest in the world."

"Despite the claims of this small study, consumers can feel confident that meat and poultry is safe," said AMI Foundation president James Hodges in a statement.

The AMI statement added: "These bacteria are destroyed through normal cooking procedures, which may account for the small percentage of food borne illnesses linked to these bacteria."

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Adolf Eichmann wanted to return to Germany, historian claims

Helen Pidd in Berlin
Tuesday April 12 2011
The Guardian
For more than a decade after the second world war, his whereabouts were officially unknown. Adolf Eichmann, chief architect of the Holocaust, had escaped from a US POW camp, slipped into Italy and on to a ship bound for Argentina.

The West German government, busy rebuilding the country and rehabilitating its reputation, knew from at least 1952 where he was living, yet never made any real attempt to bring him to justice. But a new book claims Eichmann had wanted to return to his homeland and claim his place in history several years before he was captured by Israeli intelligence in 1960 and put on trial in Jerusalem.
In 1956, Eichmann wrote an open letter to the West German chancellor, Konrad Adenauer.
"It is time to relinquish my anonymity and introduce myself," wrote Eichmann, who was living under the name Ricardo Klement in a suburb of Buenos Aires. "Name: Adolf Otto Eichmann. Occupation: SS Obersturmbannf?hrer a. D [lieutenant colonel]."
   The letter was supposed to be published by an Argentinian company with Nazi sympathies, although it never saw the light of day. It was unearthed from German state archives by historian Dr Bettina Stangneth in Hamburg, whose book, Eichmann Before Jerusalem, is published in Germany this week.
In the letter to Adenauer, Eichmann, aged 50, suggests he should be allowed home to tell the young people of Germany what really happened under Hitler.  "How long fate will allow me to live, I don't know, but I know that someone has to be the one to tell future generations about these events," he says, neglecting to mention that "these events" involved the mass murder of millions of people. "I had a big role in leading and directing these programmes," he adds.  Eichmann ran the "Jewish section" at the Reich security head office, the SS organisation responsible for fighting "enemies of the Reich". In practice, this meant it was his job to work out how best to deport Jewish people to concentration camps. He took great pride in figuring out the most profitable and effective way of carrying out mass murder: it was he and his unit who dreamt up the idea of the authorities and the police robbing the victims before deportation.
   Stangneth said Eichmann was unhappy with his lowly life in Argentina, where he was a rabbit farmer. He craved the power and recognition he enjoyed in the Third Reich. "That's why he wrote the letter to Adenauer ? because he wanted to be famous," said Strangneth. "He wanted to claim his part in history alongside Adolf Hitler.  "He wanted to be put on trial in Germany and give his version of events. Of course, if that had happened, he would have been given a very different trial from the one he got in Jerusalem. There was no death penalty in Germany by then, so he would certainly not have been executed."  Nearly 50 years since Eichmann was hung in Israel, awkward questions are now being asked in Germany about the country's role in bringing him to justice or otherwise.

A series of articles in Der Spiegel magazine recently have suggested West German secret agents knew full well where Eichmann was following his escape, but were never ordered to recapture him.

Following Eichmann's kidnapping by the Mossad in May 1960, Adenauer's government held a crisis meeting, where they agreed they should do everything to make clear that "Eichmann was a stooge of Himmler's SS" and that he was not an authorised agent of Germany. A foreign ministry official is noted as saying it was crucial that "leading figures in West Germany" were not harmed by the trial.

The latest edition of the magazine claims Adenauer personally sent an agent from the German secret service, the BND, to monitor the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem.

Adenauer told Rolf Vogel, a spy, to observe the trial in the guise of a reporter and influence it where possible. "You must go to the Eichmann trial for me," wrote Adenauer, according to secret papers unearthed by Der Spiegel, which describes Vogel's deployment as "one of the most delicate diplomatic/secret service operations in the history of West Germany".

Der Spiegel claims Adenauer was terrified that the Nazi past of one of his most trusted aides, Hans Globke, his chief of staff at the chancellery, would be exposed by the trial.

Adenauer reportedly went as far as discreetly trying to pay Eichmann's legal fees because he was terrified that if he didn't, the Eastern bloc would, and his Soviet enemies would attempt to influence the trial for their own ends. But when the media got wind of the plot, back in 1961, the plan was shelved, and the 100,000 Deutschmarks already sent by Germany ended up with the Israelis, said Der Spiegel.

In the event, Eichmann did not expose any high-ranking West German parliamentarians or civil servants.

A week after Eichmann was executed on 31 May 1962, Adenauer met Israel's deputy defence minister, Shimon Peres, and asked him to thank the prime minister, Ben Gurion, for the way the trial was conducted. "It was excellent," said Adenauer, "and I will never forget it."

In August 1962, the Adenauer government donated 240m marks to Israel's military programme.