Friday, May 23, 2014

Top autism organization, officials tied to vaccine company

In a May 20th Congressional hearing titled “Examining the Federal Response to Autism Spectrum Disorders,” it was revealed that 84% of 1200 autism projects conducted over a five-year period had the potential to be duplicative, while some objectives were not funded by any government agency, leaving gaps in research.
Congressman Bill Posey

This information came as no surprise to Congressman Bill Posey who asked tough questions of Dr. Tom Insel – brother to a former vaccine developer and Chair of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee. IACC is a federal committee that advises on allocation of funding for autism research. Posey accused IACC of obstructing environmental research (which would include studying vaccination as a cause of autism), while allowing genetic research to be funded at 3-fold the recommendation in IACC’s own strategic plan. Although Insel conceded that virtually no expert would doubt that environmental factors are important for autism, he still maintained that the disproportionate funding for genomic research was justified.

Insel had one staunch defender. Representative Gerry Connolly of Virginia lambasted the critique of the IACC and the federal autism projects. In 2009, Connolly was featured in a television commercial for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), pushing both the H1N1 and seasonal flu shots, which were later revealed to be associated with an unprecedented spike in the number of miscarriages in the U.S. reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).

Vaccine industry watchdog Dr. Brian Hooker expressed dismay that Dr. Insel stated an interest in partnering with the vaccine industry’s lead spokesman Dr. Paul Offit – developer of Merck’s Rota Teq vaccine. Insel praised the non-profit, “Autism Science Foundation,” which lists Offit as secretary/treasurer in its 2012 990 form. According to Hooker, “ASF promotes the vaccine industry’s agenda while posing as an autism charity. The red flag is that it expressly excludes research from being funded that examines a vaccine-autism link. What could be more anti-science than to exclude a line of scientific inquiry? It will be a tragic farce if ASF receives tax dollars.”

Dr. Hooker, a PhD biochemist, was also contemptuous of Autism Speaks being cited by Insel as a potential research partner. “The world’s largest autism charity has not only aligned with pharmaceutical interests, it actively encourages autism families to have their children vaccinated with a mercury-containing flu shot without educating them about the ‘mercury-free’ option,” said Hooker.

It has been over a decade since former Senator Dan Burton – grandfather to a severely autistic boy who regressed into autism following his childhood vaccines - presided over the historic 2003 Congressional report that concluded, "Our public health agencies' failure to act is indicative of institutional malfeasance for self- protection and misplaced protectionism of the pharmaceutical industry."

Barry Segal, whose foundation sponsors the work of several scientists including Dr. Hooker, said “The next hearing is pivotal. We can’t move forward until Brian Hooker is given the opportunity to testify about CDC malfeasance. As long as the truth remains buried in the CDC’s whitewashed studies, future research will be based on the false assumption that there is no vaccine/autism link.”

Brian Hooker, PhD, PE, has 15 years experience in the field of bioengineering and is an associate professor at Simpson University where he specializes in biology and chemistry. His over 50 science and engineering papers have been published in internationally recognized, peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Hooker has a son, aged 16, who developed normally, but then regressed into autism after receiving Thimerosal-containing vaccines.

The Focus Autism Foundation is dedicated to providing information to the public that exposes the cause or causes of the autism epidemic and the rise of chronic illnesses – focusing specifically on the role of vaccinations. To learn more, visit A Shot of Truth is an educational campaign sponsored by Focus Autism.

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Painkiller Abuse Lawsuit Suggests NFL Players Need Non-addictive Natural Pain Treatments

Washington, DC--In the wake of Tuesday's lawsuit alleging that the National Football League intentionally addicted players to dangerous painkillers, pain management specialist Reza Ghorbani, MD, ABIPP, FIPP says athletes should try safe and effective natural alternatives.

"This case is the latest warning about the risks of over prescribing narcotics and other addicting drugs for pain.  Drug use in sports is nothing new.  What's different here is the assertion that players were coerced to take drugs so they could play hurt.  If true, that's medical malpractice," says Dr. Ghorbani.  He is the president and medical director of the Advanced Pain Medicine Institute of Washington, DC. 

While prescription painkillers are valuable for unremitting pain, they should be used sparingly, says Dr. Ghorbani, a Harvard trained board certified pain management specialist. 

"Why not equip NFL locker rooms, or all training facilities for that matter, with safe, natural pain relievers?  They contain anti-inflammatory ingredients that have been used for centuries to ease aches and pains.  Crucially important here: they pose no risk of addiction," says Dr. Ghorbani.

The current action involves more than 600 NFL former players—including Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon and Hall of Fame defensive end Richard Dent— who claim they suffered severe, long-term injuries from drugs that weren't legally prescribed or appropriately given.  So far NFL attorneys have declined to comment , but an NFL team physician reportedly said he was surprised by the action, because the league always puts the health of the players first. 

What does it take to play in the NFL?  Former Dallas Cowboy Pete Gent, a critic of the game, summed it up this way, "My teammates...[possessed] the rare combination of great athletic skill, commitment, dedication, discipline, desire plus the willingness to sacrifice [their] physical, mental and emotional health."

Sports, particularly at the professional level, will never be injury free.  That doesn't mean efforts to relieve pain should damage the players' health and undermine the integrity of the game.  There is a natural solution that's a win-win for everyone, says Dr. Ghorbani, author of the book "Secrets to a Pain Free Life".

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Island of Aegina pistachios some of the world's best

By John Fisher

Aegina is the first of the islands in the Argosaronic Gulf out from Piraeus, the port city near Athens. It takes about 45 minutes to reach by boat or ferry.

With bright sunshine, warm clear blue sea, excellent weather and rich archealogical history, it makes the perfect place to stay not far from Athens. The climate is also perfect for agriculture, particularly growing pistachio nuts.

Pistachio trees were first planted on the Island of Aegina in 1860. Now they are found abundantly on the island and pistachio nuts are the major export. Throughout Aegina, the dominant variety is known by the name " Aeginis", or "koilarati" meaning " round."  The variety is high-yieding and one of the best quality nuts in the world.

We visited Aegina as part of a three island cruise offered by Hydraiki cruise lines. We arrived about 4 p.m. and took at bus tour of the archeological and historical sites of the island. As we traveled we saw pistachio trees along the way. At the Temple of Aphaia we bought our first pistachios for 3.50 euros for 250 kg.

The temple of Athena Aphaia is built in the northern part of the island in a place covered with pine trees and with a view of the beautiful blue sea. It's in a very good condition. Twenty-four pillars of the temple remain, out of a total of 34. It was built in 480 b.c. just after the naval battle in Salamina.

In front of the Temple of Aphaia

Pafsanias gives us more information about Aphaia from some traditions in Crete. According to those, Vritomartis was born from Zeus and Karmi and because she liked hunting very much, Goddess Artemis was fond of her. Minoas fell in love with Virtomartis and in order to get away from him, she fell into the sea where she got tangled up in some fishermen's nets and they took her with them on their ship.

But on the ship, a sailor fell in love with Vritomartis so she was forced to fall into the sea again in order to get away from him and she managed to swim to the island. The girl headed towards the forest of the island and the sailors watched her from the ship as she was vanishing with some kind of holy intervention and that's why they named her Aphaia from the word afandos which in greek means that someone has vanished into thin air.

When the atmosphere is clear, you can see Poseidon's temple in Sounio and the Acropolis of Athens. It is said that the 3 temples form a triangle (the holy triangle of ancient times).

After visiting the temple of Aphaia, we stopped at the Monastery of Saint Nektarios. Major construction on the Monastery of Saint Nektarios took place from 1904-1910 by the bishop Pentapoleos Nektarios. Construction continues even today. Scafolding was in the main sanctuary where artists are working on the ceiling paintings.

The Monastery of Saint Nektarios

Nektarios lived in the Monastery and died in 1920.  In 1961 he was declared a Saint because of his healing powers. His casket is in an annex to the central sanctuary. It is said that the faithful who put their ears to the casket and hear his heartbeat are healed. Many devout Orthodox Catholics visit the Monastery because of the many accounts of healing that have occurred there.

The Monastery is on the road to Saint Marina and is about 6 kilometers away from the town of Aegina. The church has two tall bell-towers and 4 rows of windows which all have red archs. Fourteen nuns live in this Monastery.  After visting the Monastery we stopped at a roadside kiosk and paid 5 euros for a half kilo of postachios. (California pistachios cost about $20 a kilo.)

Pistachio tree and nuts

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