UK Medicines Regulator
All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on pandemic response and recovery has raised "serious patient safety concerns"
about the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), along with other aspects of a system that, "far from protecting
patients, continues to put them at serious risk".'
Largest Covid vaccine study ever finds shots are linked to small increased risk of neurological, blood and heart disorders - but they are still
by Ted Griffith in International Policy Digest: 'During my forty-year career as a communications adviser to governments,
corporations, non-profits, and individuals, I have never experienced a time when so many people and organizations
were not only lying but were also repeating the lies of others. I understand the reason for lies in general,
each born of enlightened self-interest. But why do so many of us believe these lies, so much so that we allow
them to influence what we put in our bodies (or don't), how we vote, and perhaps most importantly, how we
feel about other people (including friends, family, and foreigners)?'
Russian Geneticist Dismissed
'Russia's Ministry of Science and Higher Education has removed the head of a prestigious genetics institute,
Alexander Kudryavtsev, who stirred controversy by asserting that ancient humans lived for centuries, and the reduced lifespan of modern humans is a result of
'Dragons' Den has been accused of a pattern of featuring "extravagant claims" about controversial products without subjecting them to proper scrutiny.'
Concerns have been raised
by Good Thinking Society, a pro-science group founded by science writer Simon Singh, whose campaigning project manager Michael Marshall
is well known to skeptics worldwide. The most recent complaint concerns the recent appearance of Giselle Boxer, an entrepreneur who claimed that her "Acu Seeds"
(which are placed on the patient's ears) aided her recovery from myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) within 12 months.
She received a £50,000 investment, despite there being no proven benefits of these products for ME. Outrage has also been expressed
by academics and medical practitioners and the campaigning group Action for ME. 'Days after it was revealed the corporation had removed the recent
episode from streaming platform BBC iPlayer, the instalment ....has been reinstated, but
with a disclaimer.'
Caroline Richmond, 'Determined medical journalist known for her campaigning zeal against health misinformation'
died on December 24, 2023.
In 1988, 'convinced that the UK needed an organisation to call out health misinformation', she helped launch the Campaign Against Health Fraud (CAHF),
later renamed HealthWatch and now HealthSense.
'Health experts have warned "we must act now" as
measles cases have soared across the country amid an increase in unvaccinated children. There were 1,603 suspected cases of measles in England and
Wales in 2023, new statistics from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) show. MMR cases have increased significantly in the last two years - in 2022,
there were 735 cases, and just 360 the year before.'
Synagogue Church of all Nations
'British members of a
global evangelical church … have spoken out amid claims its leader raped and tortured followers, forcing some to undergo abortions. Dozens of
former members of the Synagogue Church of all Nations (SCOAN) - five of whom are British - claim that its leader, the late Temitope Balogun Joshua,
known as TB Joshua, who had hundreds of millions of followers around the world, ran a "cult" which enabled his campaign of abuse.'
Hongchi Xiao from Cloudbreak, California,
has pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of a 71-year-old diabetic patient who died on 20.10.16 during a 'slapping therapy' workshop he was running in
Wiltshire in 2016. The workshop is understood to have involved paida lajin therapy,
during which patients are repeatedly slapped, or slap themselves, until their skin turns red or bruised.
Reasons to be Cheerful
2023 was a depressing year in so many ways that have been extensively reported by our mainstream media. And the omens for
2024 don't read too well. But is there too much emphasis on the bad things that are happening? Are there good reasons for
us to feel more hopeful and optimistic? Look at the facts, the evidence! The Sunday Times (1.1.24) lists '54 ways the world
got more wonderful' in 2023. It's at
this website and will cost you just £1 for a 4-month introductory subscription. And a new book by scientist Hannah Ritchie
presents a much more positive outlook on the world's efforts to mitigate climate change than we are used to reading about
('Not the End of the World'). Meanwhile for long-term trends, visit the late great Hans Rosling's 'Gapminder'
'Wellness firms are exploiting a national shortage of ADHD medication to push so-called
as an alternative to prescribed drugs. As patients struggle to get hold of medication - or face years-long waits for NHS assessments
- companies are peddling unproved products as a "natural" treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. In some cases
the supplements are being marketed for use in children as young as three.'
'The King's charity is being forced to return up to £110,000 to the Indian government after Charles fronted a deal for
NHS alternative medicine clinic that was never set up. In April 2018, Charles unveiled a plaque marking the "inauguration
of a centre of excellence and research and Indian traditional medicine" at St Charles Hospital, an NHS centre in Kensington,
west London, with Narendra Modi, the Indian prime minister. Under the plans, local GPs were to refer patients for "Ayush"
treatments. The term refers to practices including Ayurveda, the system of Indian traditional medicine, yoga, naturopathy
and homeopathy.' And ...
'King Charles's appointment of
a pro-homeopathy head of the royal medical household has been described as worrying and
inappropriate by academics and campaigners. Dr Michael Dixon, who has championed faith healing and herbalism in his work
as a GP, has quietly held the senior position for the last year, the Sunday Times reported. While Dixon, 71, is head of
the royal medical household, for the first time the role is not combined with being the monarch's physician. Duties include
having overall responsibility for the health of the king and the wider royal family - and even representing them in talks
with government. Dixon, who has a penchant for bow ties and a long association with the king, worked in the NHS for almost
half a century and is an outspoken advocate of complementary medicine.'
'Politicians, experts, and patient representatives call for the UK government to reverse the rate of antidepressant
prescribing. … Over the past decade, antidepressant prescriptions have almost doubled in England, rising from
47.3 million in 2011 to 85.6 million in 2022-23. Over 8.6 million adults in England are now prescribed them
annually (nearly 20% of adults), with prescriptions set to rise over the next decade. In addition, the average
duration of time for which a person takes an antidepressant has doubled between the mid-2000s and 2017, with
around half of patients now classed as long term users. Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have similar rates
of antidepressant prescribing. …. Rising antidepressant prescribing is not associated with an improvement in mental
health outcomes at the population level, which, according to some measures, have worsened as antidepressant prescribing has risen.'
From The New York Times: 'Disruptions to health systems during the Covid-19 pandemic have left more than
60 million children worldwide without a single dose of standard childhood vaccines, in turn
resulting in large outbreaks of diseases that primarily kill children. Many who missed their
shots have now aged out of routine immunization programs. Protecting them will require a costly
vaccination blitz. By the numbers: By the midpoint of this year, 47 countries were reporting serious
and deadly measles outbreaks, compared with 16 countries in June 2020. Twelve countries reported the
polio virus was circulating. Nigeria is facing a major outbreak of diphtheria, with nearly 600 deaths so far.'
From Sense About Science
'We're thrilled to announce that Nancy Olivieri, a senior scientist at Toronto General Hospital,
has been awarded the 2023 John Maddox Prize for courageously advancing public discourse with sound science,
despite challenges or hostility. The judges commended Nancy for communicating the importance of being open
with patients about medical research whilst withstanding great personal cost. The 2023 Early Career Award
goes to Chelsea Polis, a senior scientist of epidemiology at the Population Council's Center for Biomedical
Research, New York, for her courage in challenging false marketing claims made by medical device manufacturers.'
'Top science journal faced secret attacks from Covid conspiracy theory group: A conspiratorial group of
extreme Brexit lobbyists mounted an extraordinary campaign against one of the world's most prestigious
science journals - part of a series of joint investigations between Byline Times and Computer Weekly. ...
The group attempted to have Nature and its staff put under surveillance and investigated by MI5, MI6, the CIA, Mossad, and Japanese and Australian intelligence agencies. They met Cabinet minister Michael Gove and later asked him to arrange phone taps and electronic surveillance. One member of the group led intrusive investigations into the intimate personal life and background circumstances of senior Nature staff the group suspected of "extreme Sinophile views".'
'Medical-evidence giant Cochrane battles funding cuts and closures. The group that helped to revolutionize medical practice
has lost key funding and is reorganizing - moves that concern some researchers.'
The World Health Organization has held its first summit on traditional medicine, with the group saying it was seeking to
collect evidence and data to allow for the safe use of such treatments. However....'The World
Health Organisation (WHO) is meant to implore us to ignore hearsay and folklore, and to follow the
scientific evidence. So why is it now suddenly promoting the likes of herbal medicine, homeopathy and acupuncture?
Actor Leah Remini is taking her fight against the Church of Scientology
to court with a new lawsuit alleging that the
church and its current leader, David Miscavige, are behind years of "mob-style tactics"
used against her in a targeted campaign of harassment.'
Nessie: The Search to End all Searches (until the next time)
'What has been described as the biggest
search for the Loch Ness Monster since the early 1970s is due to be held later this month.
Drones fitted with infrared cameras are to be flown over the loch, and a hydrophone is to be used
to detect unusual underwater sounds. Organisers said volunteers would also look for possible signs
of a creature from safe vantage points on land. The search is to be held on 26 and 27
Medical Clinics Fake Reviews
'Consumer groups say fake reviews are a "significant and persistent problem" and have called on
internet firms to do more to remove them and fine companies. Which? has warned it could be a
serious issue if someone chooses a treatment clinic based on reading a fake review. The government
said it was toughening the law to protect consumers, while Google said it removed fake
The Berlin Lion
'Sheepish authorities in Germany have called off the hunt for a loose lioness after admitting the missing animal is actually a boar.
Authorities determined on Friday that there is "no acute danger" to people in
Kleinmachnow on the edge of Berlin where a potentially dangerous animal was spotted, saying they no
longer believe that a lioness is at large and calling off the hunt. A search turned up no sign of
such a predator and experts who analysed a video have concluded that it was likely a wild boar,
'In the US: 'A former US intelligence official told a Congress hearing on UFOs that "non-human biologics" were recovered
from crash sites. He said he prefers to use the term "non-human" rather than
'Medicine is plagued by untrustworthy clinical trials. How many studies are faked or flawed? Investigations
suggest that, in some fields, at least one-quarter of clinical trials might be problematic or even
entirely made up, warn some researchers. They urge stronger scrutiny.'
In the US, a ' long-awaited report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence put
the lie to the theory that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, leaked from a virology lab
in Wuhan, China, where the disease was first detected in humans. The lab-leak conspiracists were
certain that the report would validate their contentions, for which there has never been any valid
scientific evidence. Instead it did just the opposite.'
Antivax GP Struck Off
'A GP has been erased from the medical register after an MPTS tribunal concluded today that
her statements on vaccines amounted to misconduct. Dr Jayne Donegan, who no longer works as an NHS GP, was found by the tribunal
to have encouraged parents to mislead healthcare professionals about their children's diet or
immunisation history". The GMC brought several allegations against Dr Donegan, about
statements made between 2019 and 2020, however the determination of impaired fitness to practise
(FTP) and subsequent erasure was based solely on her suggestions to parents. The tribunal
determined that her misconduct "posed an ongoing risk to patient safety given her lack of
insight and lack of remediation" and that "public confidence would be undermined" if
such a doctor was allowed to remain in practice. … Other GMC allegations, such as Dr Donegan's
statements failing to "give balanced information on the risks and benefits of
immunisation", were proved true by the tribunal but were not determined to be serious
On May 31st, a
NASA panel held its first public meeting on its study of UFOs, or what the US government now
terms UAPs ('unidentified anomalous phenomena'). The panel was set up last year and a
report on its findings is due for release in July. Nasa define UAPs as 'observations of events
in the sky that cannot be identified as aircraft or known natural phenomena from a scientific
perspective.' Its study is separate from the previous investigation by intelligence officials
at the Pentagon. The 16-member panel said that scant high-quality data and a lingering stigma pose
the greatest barriers to unravelling such mysteries.