- The Facts:
Written by Sydney Ross Singer, a pioneer of the field of Applied Medical Anthropology, author, & Director of the Institute for the Study of Culturogenic Disease. Originally published at Greenmedinfo.com, it is shared here with permission.
- Reflect On:
Is it time to ditch the bra?
If you are a woman, then there is important information you need to know to keep healthy and avoid disease. This is information that you should be told by your doctor and other health professionals, but many of these professionals simply don’t have this information.
The issue pertains to the wearing of tight clothing. Studies, and common sense, tell us that wearing anything tight is bad for health. Tight clothing compresses our soft body tissues, impairing the function of blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, nerves, and more. Research shows tight neckties, tight pants, girdles, corsets, bras, and other compression garments can cause serious harm.
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The purpose of the International Bra-Free Study is to assess the changes a woman experiences once she stops using bras. The study began in 2018 and is still recruiting participants from around the world. Participants pledge to stop using bras and their progress is followed through open and closed-ended questions. The study is ongoing, but we have seen some amazing patterns in the experience of women who stop wearing bras. We believe it is extremely important to share these preliminary findings with the public at this time, hoping to warn as many women as possible about the effect of bra usage on health.
We started our study considering the effect of bras on breasts, and expected improvement in breast pain, cysts, and reduced cancer incidence in our group of bra-free women. What we discovered was that, in addition to the above, we also found that women recovered from many other bodily ailments that seemed completely unrelated to bra usage.
We are discovering the many ways tight bras harm health, including every part of the body. As you will see, bras cause more than breast disease.
Much of fashion is about altering the body to achieve a culturally-defined shape. When tight garments cause disease, the fashion industry opposes the research revealing the disease, and the medical industry gets caught in the middle. Medicine is a business that profits from the detection and treatment of disease, and makes money when people are sick, not well. This conflict of interest helps perpetuate harmful cultural practices, such as wearing tight clothing, since medicine, and the culture in general, are influenced more by industry and money than by health.
Bras have been shown in numerous studies to contribute to breast cancer incidence. While the link between breast cancer and bras has been recognized by doctors since bras became popular, in the early 20th Century, cultural acceptance1 of the bra and extensive promotion by the fashion and lingerie industries have eclipsed information that bras pose a significant threat to health.
When cultural influences from industry and social practices bias human behavior and cause disease, the resulting disease can be called “culturogenic”. Breast cancer is mostly a culturogenic disease, with a small (less than 10%) genetic component, and a large cultural-environmental component. These non-genetic causes of breast cancer include exposure to environmental carcinogens and x-rays(including mammograms), along with direct inhibition of the breast lymphatic system by tight bra usage.
How Bras Cause Breast Cancer
Impaired lymphatics is central to the etiology of breast cancer. The lymphatic system is part of the immune system, and is responsible for the circulation of interstitial fluid. This fluid develops from the bloodstream, delivering nutrition and oxygen to the cells, along with toxins that are in the bloodstream as a result of contaminants in our air, water, and food. The lymphatic system consists of microscopic vessels with one-way valves that lead to lymph nodes. Lymph fluid passively passes into lymphatic vessels to be eliminated from the tissue, inspected by the lymph nodes, and returned to the bloodstream.
Waste products from cellular metabolism, along with toxins delivered to the cells from our petrochemically-polluted air, food, and water, are removed from the tissues by the lymphatic system. In addition, pathogens and cancer cells are also swept through the lymphatic, to the lymph nodes, where an immune response is elicited.
However, when the tiny, easily-compressed lymphatic vessels are constricted by tight bras, this fluid channel becomes restricted, causing a variety of problems. Most women who wear bras experience breast pain and cysts as a result of this lymphatic impairment. In addition, the resulting lymph-stasis and lymph congestion of the tissue results in reduced toxin elimination, causing the progressive toxification of the breasts. The local tissue environment becomes low in oxygen, reducing the body’s ability to process free radicals. The resulting accumulation of endogenous and exogenous toxins increases cancer risk significantly.
According to our 1991-93 US Bra and Breast Cancer Study, published in our book, Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras, the bra-cancer link is the major cause of breast cancer. This study concluded that bra-free women have about the same risk of breast cancer as men, while the tighter and longer the bra is worn the higher the risk rises, to 125 times higher for a 24/7 bra user compared to a bra-free woman.
This was the world’s first study that looked directly at the bra-cancer link. A 1991 study from Harvard found pre-menopausal bra-free women had half the risk of breast cancer compared to bra users, but this finding was incidental to the main focus of the study, which was on breast size, handedness, and breast cancer incidence.
Since the release of Dressed to Kill in 1995, there have been dozens of other bra-cancer studies performed internationally that show a significant link. However, this issue is considered “controversial” due to its potential cultural and economic impact, similar to resistance to the tobacco-cancer link back in the mid-20th Century. Current opponents of the bra-cancer link include thought leaders such as the American Cancer Society2 and Susan G. Komen Foundation3, which have publicly called the link scientifically implausible.
Figures Don’t Lie, but Liars Figure
Critics of the bra-cancer link refer to a 2014 study that was commissioned by the National Cancer Institute, which has been denying any possibility of a bra-cancer link since the release of Dressed to Kill. Due to public acceptance of the link, NCI felt it necessary to counter the studies showing a link by funding a study to oppose the link. This study was done at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, which raises money for breast cancer research through promoting “Bra Dash” events4. The study was done on post-menopausal women only, and none of the women were bra-free, so there was no control group. The author of the study, who is a female graduate student who also wore bras, unsurprisingly found no bra-cancer link in her selected group of bra users.
This single, un-reproduced, flawed study has been used by the ACS and Komen Foundation, and others who follow them, as final proof of no bra-cancer link. While conflicting studies are typical of scientific research, this one study has been considered the first and last word on this issue by the cancer “experts” who deny the bra-cancer link. This study clearly serves the interests of the cancer detection and treatment industry, as well as the lingerie industry which fears class action lawsuits for the harms caused by bras.
Nevertheless, since that attempt to stop interest in the bra-cancer link in 2014, there have been many newer studies that show the link. And a recent trend5 in breast cancer research is asking about bra usage as a standard question, just like asking about family history. In fact, a recent study from Iran shows bra usage is a bigger factor in causing breast cancer than family history.6
Culturally, bra usage has been questioned as a result of the #MeToo movement that has been challenging sexism and abuse in the workplace. Many women are now opting for being comfortable and bra-free at work, as well as in their everyday lives. Girls in high school are objecting to dress codes that require bras. And the general legal consensus is that women at work cannot be forced to wear sexualizing clothing, including high heels, short skirts, and bras.7 These trends are making it easier for the culture to accept the fact that bras are causing disease.
Perhaps the biggest impediment to this potentially lifesaving information is the resistance from the medical field, such as the ACS and others who follow their lead. We discuss in the 2018, updated, second edition of Dressed to Kill why we believe there is this resistance to this information, instead of a call for further research. Regardless of the reason, this unscientific, biased opposition to the bra-cancer link is a public health threat.
It is to combat this threat to health that we began the International Bra-Free Study in 2018. This study, which is free to join, is designed to create a cohort of bra-free women in order to see what happens to their breast health over time. While the study accepts women who have been bra-free for years, most of our participants have been bra users, allowing us to see what changes happen to their breasts and overall health once they stop using bras.
While this study is expected to help women avoid breast cancer and other breast disease associated with bra usage, the women in our study could also be available for other breast studies which require bra-free women. One big flaw in breast cancer and other breast disease research is that bra usage has been ignored as a factor. This is as scientifically flawed as ignoring smoking when doing lung disease research, which was the case prior to the acceptance of the tobacco-cancer link.
The 2014 Hutchinson study did not include any bra-free women as a control group, which that study admits is a flaw. They rationalize that flaw by saying that it was nearly impossible to find bra-free women for their study. Of course, you cannot do a valid breast cancer study looking at the bra-cancer link without including a control group of bra-free women for comparison. So instead of conducting poor breast cancer research without control groups, we hope to offer our study participants for possible inclusion in their future studies.
The response from the medical industry was swift after we announced our International Bra-Free Study. The American Council on Science and Health, a public relations firm that aims to dismiss and discredit all those who challenge the interests of the drug industry, published a hit piece against me and the study. Ironically, they claimed8 the study is flawed by not including a control group of bra users.
Nevertheless, despite the resistance by the medical industry over the years, many women have heard about the bra-cancer link and have stopped wearing bras. Many have joined the International Bra-Free Study. We expect that this group of women will have a lower incidence of breast cancer than the general public, which is our control group.
However, we have discovered something unexpected in the study. There have been some definite health changes following the elimination of bra usage, and while the study is ongoing, we felt it important to report these surprising findings.
Bras Constrict More Than the Lymphatics
First, we must explain that tight bras compress more than just the lymphatics. They also compress nerves and muscles. In fact, research has shown that wearing tight bras impairs the autonomic nervous system, leading to a host of problems.
For example, researchers have found that tight bras essentially create a full-body stress response. According to one study9, “The main results can be summarized as follows: (1) urinary excretion of adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol was facilitated, and the amounts of urinary excretion were significantly higher when TC (tight clothing) were worn. Heart rate was significantly higher in the TC group; (2) nocturnal urinary melatonin excretion was significantly greater in the TC group. These results are discussed in terms of an enhancement of diurnal sympathetic nervous system activity caused by pressure on the skin produced by tight clothing.”
Another study of tight bras found that constipation is a result10, presumably due to suppression of the parasympathetic nervous system and intestinal mobility.
Another study11 found that women who were bra-free had shorter menstrual cycles, averaging 30 days, compared to bra users, whose menstrual cycle averaged 45 days.
A study also found that tight clothing hampers breathing12, reducing lung expansion, inhalation volume, and deep breathing.
Research has also shown that breasts lift and tone once the bra is no longer worn.13 The study author concluded, “Medically, physiologically, anatomically – breasts gain no benefit from being denied gravity. On the contrary, they get saggier with a bra.” While this scientific finding stands in contrast to bra-industry propaganda claiming that bras prevent droop, the science behind the bra-causes-droop effect is that reliance on the bra results in weakened suspensory ligaments and more droop. Once the bra is no longer worn, the ligaments strengthen and the breasts lift and tone. In addition. bras make the breasts heavy with excess fluid due to lymphatic impairment, resulting in more pendulous breasts.
Surprising Results of the International Bra-Free Study
I must admit that before we started the International Bra-Free Study in 2018, we thought we already knew what to expect when women stopped wearing bras. Since we first announced the results of our research in 1995, women have stopped wearing bras and have reported to us that their breast pain and cysts disappeared. In fact, this surprising recovery was rapid, within a month of no longer wearing bras. Many times, women felt a big improvement in pain and cysts within days of ending the bra-caused constriction of their breasts. Indeed, this tangible self-demonstration of the harm caused by bras has kept this issue alive despite denials of any ill effects from bras by the cancer industry.
But we had no idea how many other problems would improve by not wearing bras, until we started the International Bra-Free Study. While the study is ongoing, we feel that it is imperative that women learn how bras can interfere with their health, to take proper precautionary measures.
From the hundreds of women who are part of this study, with more joining daily, it has become clear that bras cause more than breast disease.
Everyone has reported reduction of breast pain and cysts, if they had them before starting the study. In no case has breast pain or cysts worsened.
Most report that their breasts are less saggy, and are rounder. Some report that their nipples now have more feeling than when they wore bras.
Every woman reports that she breathes easier without a bra.
Most women report that their digestion has improved.
Women who had shoulder pain with a bra report loss of that pain once being bra-free.
Many women report loss of headaches since being bra-free.
Most women report having more confidence in public without a bra, and a greater sense of confidence and empowerment.
Women in the study report they have no problem being bra-free at work, and appreciate the comfort.
Most women report that they like their breasts more since being bra-free.
Most report friends and family supporting their decision to be bra-free.
Surprisingly, being bra-free does not seem to alter these women’s sex lives.
Some women reported that their menstrual cycles became shorter and normalized after being bra-free.
Importantly, not one participant has experienced any negative effects of being bra-free.
We also found that once women freed themselves from bras, they began to free themselves from other oppressive aspects of their lives. As one participant explained, “I am more confident, I like my breasts now, and I want to advocate for girls and women to understand the link between bras and cancer and how easy, rewarding and healthful it can be to feel this comfortable. I am more empowered now, too.”
To Be Continued…
It should be clear that when you use a garment that compresses and constricts the lymphatic system and the autonomic nervous system, you are potentially altering the physiology of the breasts and of the entire body. Breast cancer may be the end disease for the breasts, but there will also be other disease conditions caused by tight bras, and other tight clothing, that can lead to nervous, hormonal, and circulatory problems.
When we first researched the bra-cancer link, we were surprised at how little research there was on the subject. Many people assume there can’t be a bra-cancer link, or they would have heard about it. People assume that the American Cancer Society would be warning women about bras if there was research that linked bra usage to cancer, just like the ACS finally got to warning people about smoking (after taking decades to finally accept the link.) But we are not just dealing with smoking. When we talk about bras, we are talking about breasts. And in our breast-obsessed culture, breasts are sexualized, objectified, molded, squeezed, sucked, compressed, constricted, pushed-up, tattooed, pierced, implanted, cut off, and framed in a lacy bra. It’s a cultural package that interferes with science and common sense. And even as doctors smoked cigarettes in the 1950s and promoted their use, doctors today wear bras and promote their use, oblivious to the obvious.
We are all victims of a bra-using culture. As a result, there is an epidemic of breast pain and cysts than affects more than half of women who use bras. Most of this is caused by the bra and improves rapidly once bra usage ends.
Some women will develop breast cancer as a result of a bra-constricted lymphatic system and exposure to cancer-causing chemicals, which consequently become concentrated in their breasts.
Radiation damage and other harmful impacts, such as trauma, to the breasts cannot be as effectively repaired when the lymphatics are constricted by bras. And the immune system cannot as effectively fight developing cancer cells without good lymphatic circulation.
Through the International Bra-Free Study, we have also seen confirmation of other research into the effects of tight clothing, including bras, on various bodily functions, due to impacts on the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. This means that women are suffering from constipation, shallow breathing, increased stress, menstrual abnormalities, and other possible problems because of their bras.
How tight is tight? If it leaves a mark in the skin, then it is too tight.
While the impact of bras on the autonomic nervous system has been known for decades, it has been largely ignored, along with research showing the other health hazards of bras. When a carcinogen is part of the fabric of the culture, it takes ripping the culture apart to remove it.
Denial is a much easier and profitable strategy for the industries that sell bras, and sell disease detection and treatment services.
We encourage women everywhere to join the International Bra-Free Study and see for themselves, on themselves, how chronic health problems that plagued them for years could be related to the cultural practice of wearing tight bras and other tight clothing. You have nothing to lose but your discomfort and chronic health problems, and this almost certainly will help you prevent breast cancer.
Join the International Bra-Free Study at https://brafreestudy.com.
SOME STUDIES THAT SUPPORT THE BRA-CANCER LINK14
• 1991 Harvard study (CC Hsieh, D Trichopoulos (1991). Breast size, handedness and breast cancer risk. European Journal of Cancer and Clinical Oncology 27(2):131-135.). This study found that, “Premenopausal women who do not wear bras had half the risk of breast cancer compared with bra users…”
• 1991-93 U.S. Bra and Breast Cancer Study by Singer and Grismaijer, published in Dressed To Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras (Second Edition, Square One Publishers, 2018). Found that bra-free women have about the same incidence of breast cancer as men. 24/7 bra wearing increases incidence over 100 times that of a brafree woman.
• Singer and Grismaijer did a follow-up study in Fiji, published in Get It Off! (ISCD Press, 2000). Found 24 case histories of breast cancer in a culture where half the women are bra-free. The women getting breast cancer were all wearing bras. Given women with the same genetics and diet and living in the same village, the ones getting breast disease were the ones wearing bras for work.
• A 2009 Chinese study (Zhang AQ, Xia JH, Wang Q, Li WP, Xu J, Chen ZY, Yang JM (2009). [Risk factors of breast cancer in women in Guangdong and the countermeasures]. In Chinese. Nan Fang Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao. 2009 Jul;29(7):1451-3.) found that NOT sleeping in a bra was protective against breast cancer, lowering the risk 60%.
• 2011 a study was published, in Spanish, confirming that bras are causing breast disease and cancer. It found that underwired and push-up bras are the most harmful, but any bra that leaves red marks or indentations may cause disease.
• 2015 Comparative study of breast cancer risk factors at Kenyatta National Hospital and the Nairobi Hospital J. Afr. Cancer (2015) 7:41-46. This study found a significant bracancer link in pre-and post-menopausal women.
• 2016 Wearing a Tight Bra for Many Hours a Day is Associated with Increased Risk of Breast Cancer Adv Oncol Res Treat 1: 105. This is the first epidemiological study to look at bra tightness and time worn, and found a significant bra-cancer link.
• 2016 Brassiere wearing and breast cancer risk: A systematic review and metaanalysis World J Meta-Anal. Aug 26, 2015; 3(4): 193-205 This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the association between 8 areas of brassiere-wearing practices and the risk of breast cancer. Twelve case-control studies met inclusion criteria for review. The meta-analysis shows statistically significant findings to support the association between brassiere wearing during sleep and breast cancer risk.
• 2018 Lymph stasis promotes tumor growth Journal of Dermatological Science “(t)hese findings come as no surprise to us who for a long time have been aware that alterations in regional lymphatic flow may produce dysregulation in skin immune function and consequent oncogenesis. In fact, since 2002, our team has held the view that lymphedematous areas are immunologically vulnerable sites for the development of neoplasms as well as infections and immune-mediated diseases. In recent years, increasing evidence has confirmed this assumption.”
1 For example, Dr. John Mayo, one of the founders of the Mayo Clinic, wrote in the article “Susceptibility to Cancer” in the 1931 Annals of Surgery, that “Cancer of the breast occurs largely among civilized women. In those countries where breasts are allowed to be exposed, that is, are not compressed or irritated by clothing, it is rare.” A bra patent in 1950 stated, “Even in the proper breast size, most brassieres envelop or bind the breast in such a fashion that normal circulation and freedom of movement is constricted. Many cases of breast cancer have been attributed to such breast constriction as caused by improperly fitted brassieres.” (Taken from the 2018 edition of Dressed to Kill.)
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COVID-19 Has A 99.95% Survival Rate For People Under 70 – Stanford Professor of Medicine
- The Facts:
Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, MD, PhD, from the Stanford University School of Medicine recently shared that the survival rate for people under 70 years of age is about 99.95 percent. He also said that COVID is less dangerous than the flu for children.
- Reflect On:
Why is there such a large divide between so many doctors and scientists with regards to the response to the pandemic? Why is one side constantly ridiculed and censored by Big Tech companies? Should governments have the authority to mandate lockdowns?
What Happened: Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, MD, PhD, from the Stanford University School of Medicine in California recently appeared on a JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association) Network conversation alongside Mark Lipsitch, DPhil and Dr. Howard Bauchner, who interviews leading researchers and thinkers in health care about their JAMA articles.
During the conversation, Dr. Bhattacharya said that the survival rate from COVID-19, based on approximately 50 studies that’ve been published providing seroprevalence data, for people over 70 years of age is 95 percent. For people under the age of 70, the survival rate of COVID-19 is 99.95 percent. He went on to state that the flu is more dangerous than COVID-19 for children, and that we’ve (America) had more flu deaths in children this year than COVID deaths.
Obviously, his comments are open to interpretation and similar comments floating around the internet have been refuted by Facebook ‘fact-checkers.’
Bhattacharya has cited this study, published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization to come to his conclusion, along with, as mentioned above, many more.
These facts and many others are what inspired Bhattacharya, along with Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University, a biostatistician, and epidemiologist, and Dr. Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology to create The Great Barrington Declaration.
The declaration strongly opposes lockdown measures that are being and have been put in place by various governments around the globe. The declaration has an impressive list of co-signers from renowned doctors and professors in the field from around the world, and now has nearly 50,000 signatures from doctors and scientists. The declaration also has approximately 660,000 signatures from concerned citizens.
The Declaration states,
The Declaration was written from a global public health and humanitarian perspective, with special concerns about how the current COVID-19 strategies are forcing our children, the working class and the poor to carry the heaviest burden. The response to the pandemic in many countries around the world, focused on lockdowns, contact tracing and isolation, imposes enormous unnecessary health costs on people. In the long run, it will lead to higher COVID and non-COVID mortality than the focused protection plan we call for in the Declaration.
The declaration also states that as herd immunity builds, the risk of infection to all, including the most vulnerable, falls. Bhattacharya has explained that he and his colleagues don’t see herd immunity as a strategy but as a simple “biological fact,” adding, “It will eventually happen. That’s how epidemics end. So, the only question is how you get there with the least amount of human misery, death, and harm.” The best way, he said, is to “acknowledge who actually is in danger and devote enormous creativity, resources, and energy to protect them.”
The Declaration recommends implementing measures that protect the vulnerable without locking down the entire population, shutting down businesses and limiting people’s access to health-care.
Stefan Baral, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, said he supported adaptive interventions to protect at-risk people rather than broad lockdowns of entire populations. He said his mother lives in Sweden and “there’s nowhere else I would have wanted my mom to be. I love my mom and I feel she’s safe there.”
A report published in the British Medical Journal titled Covid-19: “Staggering number” of extra deaths in community is not explained by covid-19″ has suggested that quarantine measures in the United Kingdom as a result of the new coronavirus may have already killed more UK seniors than the coronavirus has during the months of April and May . According to the data, Covid-19 only accounts for 10,000 of the 30,000 excess deaths that have been recorded in senior care facilities during the height of the pandemic. The article suggests and also quotes British Health officials stating that these unexplained deaths may have occurred because Quarantine measures have prevented seniors from accessing the health care that they need.
Bhattacharya has also cited an estimate from the United Nations World Food Program indicating that pandemic lockdowns causing breaks in the food chain are expected to push 135 million people into severe hunger and starvation by the end of this year.
These are just a few many examples and concerns the declaration is referring to.
Another perspective on these survival rates? According to Professor Robyn Lucas, head of the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University,
Survival rates and the percentage of the population who have not died are two very different numbers, “They are using the whole population, rather than the number who have diagnosed infection. So this is not really ‘survival’ – to survive a disease you have to have the disease in the first place,” Prof Lucas told AAP FactCheck in an email. (source)
Why This Is Important: Never before have we seen so many renowned doctors, scientists, and experts in the field oppose the recommendations and actions taken by the World Health Organization and multiple governments to combat a health crises. The fact that there is a great divide among the scientific and medical community makes one ponder how governments can have the mandatory authority to lockdown our planet when there isn’t really a scientific consensus to do so.
What’s also quite concerning is the fact that big tech companies, like Facebook, have been actively censoring and flagging information and opinions that oppose those of the WHO and government health authorities. Unpopular opinions and recommendations aren’t really given any attention by mainstream media either, and they’re often ridiculed by them. The Great Barrington Declaration is a great example.
Because of all the discrepancy, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for governments to simply present the science and make strong recommendations and leave the citizenry to do what they’d like to do. To each is own, that’s just my opinion. I believe we are more than capable enough, and intelligent enough to determine the right course of action for ourselves. A lot of people have lost trust in their government and this is because actions taken by them have simply called into question whether or not they make decisions with humanities best interests at heart.
Are they really executing the will of the people?
When it comes to COVID-19, we’ve seen that this may not be the case. Kamran Abbas is a doctor, executive editor of the British Medical Journal, and the editor of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization. He has published an article about COVID-19, the suppression of science and the politicization of medicine in the British Medical Journal.
It it, he states the following:
Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. Covid-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science.
When we allow governments and give them the power to use force when so many people disagree with their recommendations, it makes one question just how much power do thee entities have? And why? Why do we choose to be governed in such a way? Why aren’t we free to make our own decisions?
More important than facts is our ability to get along with one another and see from the perspective of another. We must understand why those who disagree with us feel the way they do, and they must try to understand us. Constantly arguing and disagreeing with each other and always being in a state of constant separation doesn’t solve anything. Now more than ever we need to respect one another and try see from a perspective that’s not our own. Can’t we find some middle ground and all get along? It’s ok to ask questions and challenge our governments, in fact, it should be encouraged.
Many of us are feeling the loss of freedoms, and even with new measures like that which is presented in this article, we are now seeing how our reality may become limited should we choose not to participate in certain measures we don’t agree with. The trouble we seem to be having is determining how to communicate about COVID, the fears we have around it, and how to come together as a community to ‘draw a line’ as to where we may be taking things too far.
Can we truly accept that controlling everyone’s lives and what they can and can’t do is the best thing to do with an extremely low mortality virus? Does this indicate the level of fear we have towards life? The issues with our general health? If the worry is straining health care systems, are we seeing the limitations of how our rigid social infrastructures can’t be flexible and maybe it’s time to look at a new way of living within society? Perhaps a new way built on a completely different worldview?
No, I’m not talking about no Great Reset here, I’m talking about something much deeper. I’m talking about re-examining the deep questions of who we are, why we are here and what type of future we truly want to create. Questions that we may have forgotten about as we have gone on chasing what our current worldview and system dangles in front of us. Perhaps it’s time to take a breath and see the crisis’ in front of us as a call to ask some much deeper questions than common conversation invites us to ask.
A great place to start with these questions, and something I deeply urge people to consider doing, is doing something like a media/news fast that includes important questions and reflections designed to re-imagine and examine your worldview. I have just released a new short course on CETV called How To Do An Effective Media Detox. Check out CETV and this course as a great place to start. – Joe Martino
New Research Adds Evidence That Weed Killer Glyphosate Disrupts Hormones
New research is adding worrisome evidence to concerns that the widely used weed killing chemical glyphosate may have the potential to interfere with human hormones.
In a paper published in the journal Chemosphere titled Glyphosate and the key characteristics of an endocrine disruptor: A review, a trio of scientists concluded that glyphosate appears to have eight out of ten key characteristics associated with endocrine disrupting chemicals . The authors cautioned, however, that prospective cohort studies are still needed to more clearly understand the impacts of glyphosate on the human endocrine system.
The authors, Juan Munoz, Tammy Bleak and Gloria Calaf, each affiliated with the University of Tarapacá in Chile, said their paper is the first review to consolidate the mechanistic evidence on glyphosate as an endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC).
Some of the evidence suggests that Roundup, Monsanto’s well-known glyphosate-based herbicide, can alter the biosynthesis of the sexual hormones, according to the researchers.
EDCs may mimic or interfere with the body’s hormones and are linked with developmental and reproductive problems as well as brain and immune system dysfunction.
The new paper follows publication earlier this year of an assortment of animal studies that indicated glyphosate exposures impact reproductive organs and threaten fertility.
Glyphosate is the world’s most widely used herbicide, sold in 140 countries. Introduced commercially in 1974 by Monsanto Co, the chemical is the active ingredient in popular products such as Roundup and hundreds of other weed killers used by consumers, municipalities, utilities, farmers, golf course operators, and others around the world.
Dana Barr, a professor at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, said the evidence “tends to overwhelmingly indicate that glyphosate has endocrine disrupting properties.”
“It’s not necessarily unexpected since glyphosate has some structural similarities with many other endocrine disrupting pesticides; however, it is more concerning because glyphosate use far surpasses other pesticides,” said Barr, who directs a program within a National Institutes of Health-funded human exposure research center housed at Emory. “Glyphosate is used on so many crops and in so many residential applications such that aggregate and cumulative exposures can be considerable.”
Phil Landrigan, director of the Global Observatory on Pollution and Health, and a professor of biology
at Boston College, said the review pulled together “strong evidence” that glyphosate is an endocrine disruptor.
“The report is consistent with a larger body of literature indicating that glyphosate has a wide range of adverse health effects – findings that overturn Monsanto’s long-standing
EDCs have been a subject of concern since the 1990s after a series of publications suggested that some chemicals commonly used in pesticides, industrial solvents, plastics, detergents, and other substances could have the capacity to disrupt connections between hormones and their receptors.
Scientists generally recognized ten functional properties of agents that alter hormone action, referring to these as ten “key characteristics” of endocrine-disruptors. The ten characteristics are as follows:
- Alter hormone distribution of circulating levels of hormones
- Induce alterations in hormone metabolism or clearance
- Alter the fate of hormone-producing or hormone-responsive cells
- Alter hormone receptor expression
- Antagonize hormone receptors
- Interact with or activate hormone receptors
- Alter signal transduction in hormone-responsive cells
- Induce epigenetic modifications in hormone-producing or hormone-responsive cells
- Alter hormone synthesis
- Alter hormone transport across cell membranes
The authors of the new paper said a review of the mechanistic data showed that glyphosate met all of the key characteristics with the exception of two: “Regarding glyphosate, there is no evidence associated with the antagonistic capacity of hormonal receptors,” they said. As well, “there is no evidence of its impact on hormonal metabolism or clearance,” according to the authors.
Research over the last few decades has largely focused on links found between glyphosate and cancer, particularly non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL.) In 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen.
More than 100,000 people have sued Monsanto in the United States alleging exposure to the company’s glyphosate-based herbicides caused them or their loved ones to develop NHL.
The plaintiffs in the nationwide litigation also claim Monsanto has long sought to hide the risks of its herbicides. Monsanto lost three out of three trials and its German owner Bayer AG has spent the last year and a half trying to settle the litigation out of court.
The authors of the new paper took note of the ubiquitous nature of glyphosate, saying “massive use” of the chemical has “led to a wide environmental diffusion,” including rising exposures tied to human consumption of the weed killer through food.
The researchers said that though regulators say the levels of glyphosate residue commonly found in foods are low enough to be safe, they “cannot rule out” a “potential risk” to people consuming foods containing contaminated with the chemical, particularly grains and other plant-based foods, which often have higher levels than milk, meat or fish products.
Canadian government researchers have also reported glyphosate residues in foods. One report issued in 2019 by scientists from Canada’s Agri-Food Laboratories at the Alberta Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry found glyphosate in 197 of 200 samples of honey they examined.
Despite the concerns about glyphosate impacts on human health, including through dietary exposure, U.S. regulators have steadfastly defended the safety of the chemical. The Environmental Protection Agency maintains that it has not found ”any human health risks from exposure to glyphosate.”
Positive Association Found Amongst COVID Deaths & Flu Shot Rates Worldwide In Elderly
- The Facts:
A recently published paper has found a positive association between COVID-19 deaths and influenza vaccination rates in elderly people worldwide.
- Reflect On:
Why does vaccine hesitancy continue to grow worldwide? What's going on? What information/factors are contributing to this hesitancy?
What Happened: A recently published study in PeerJ by Christian Wehenkel, a Professor at Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango in Mexico, has found a positive association between COVID-19 deaths and influenza vaccination rates in elderly people worldwide.
According to the study, “The results showed a positive association between COVID-19 deaths and IVR (influenza vaccination rate) of people ≥65 years-old. There is a significant increase in COVID-19 deaths from eastern to western regions in the world. Further exploration is needed to explain these findings, and additional work on this line of research may lead to prevention of deaths associated with COVID-19.”
To determine this association, data sets from 39 countries with more than half a million people were analyzed.
The study was published on October 1st, and two weeks later a note from the publisher appeared atop the paper emphasizing that correlation does not equal causation, and that this paper “should not be taken to suggest that receiving the influenza vaccination results in an increased risk of death for an individual with COVID-19 as there may be confounding factors at play.”
The paper provides evidence from others which have recently been published that ponder if the flu shot could increase ones chance of contracting and dying from COVID-19.
For example, this study published in April of 2020, reported a negative correlation between influenza vaccination rates (IVRs) and COVID-19 related mortality and morbidity. Marín-Hernández, Schwartz & Nixon (2020) also showed epidemiological evidence of an association between higher influenza vaccine uptake by elderly people and lower percentage of COVID-19 deaths in Italy, which directly contradicts the author’s own findings and suggests that the flu shot may help prevent COVID-19 related deaths.
He goes on to mention another study:
In a study analyzing 92,664 clinically and molecularly confirmed COVID-19 cases in Brazil, Fink et al. (2020) reported that patients who received a recent flu vaccine experienced on average 17% lower odds of death. Moreover, Pawlowski et al. (2020) analyzed the immunization records of 137,037 individuals who tested positive in a SARS-CoV-2 PCR. They found that polio, Hemophilus influenzae type-B, measles-mumps-rubella, varicella, pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13), geriatric flu, and hepatitis A/hepatitis B (HepA-HepB) vaccines, which had been administered in the past 1, 2, and 5 years, were associated with decreased SARS-CoV-2 infection rates.
So, its important to mention that correlations between the flu vaccine have also found that it may decrease ones chance of deaths from COVID-19.
But are there studies that have shown an increased chance of death or contracting other respiratory viruses as a result of getting the flu shot? Yes.
That’s also discussed in the paper. For example, he mentions a paper published in 2018:
In a study with 6,120 subjects, Wolff (2020) reported that influenza vaccination was significantly associated with a higher risk of some other respiratory diseases, due to virus interference. In a specific examination of non-influenza viruses, the odds of coronavirus infection (but not the COVID-19 virus) in vaccinated individuals were significantly higher, when compared to unvaccinated individuals (odds ratio = 1.36).
The study above found the flu shot to increase the risk of other coronaviruses among those who had been vaccinated for influenza by 36 percent. The study was conducted prior to COVID-19, so it’s not included and only applies to pre-existing coronaviruses. The study also found an even higher chance of contracting human metapneumovirus amongst those who had received the flu shot.
Below are some more studies regarding the flu shot and viral infections that hint to the same idea.
- A 2018 CDC study (Rikin et al 2018) found that flu shots increase the risk of non-flu acute respiratory illnesses (ARIs), including coronavirus, in children.
- A 2011 Australian study (Kelly et al 2011) found that flu shots doubled the risk for non-flu viral lung infections.
- A 2012 Hong Kong study (Cowling et al 2012) found that flu shots increase the risk for non-flu respiratory infections by 4.4 times.
- A 2017 study (Mawson et al 2017) found vaccinated children were 5.9 times more likely to suffer pneumonia than their unvaccinated peers.
Why This Is Important: We live in an age where vaccinations are heavily marketed. We’ve seen this with the flu shot time and time again and we are also living in an age where a push for more mandated vaccines seems to be growing.
Dr. Peter Doshi is an associate editor at The BMJ (British Medical Journal) and also an assistant professor of pharmaceutical health services research at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. He published a paper in The BMJ titled “Influenza: Marketing Vaccines By Marketing Disease.” In it, he points out that the CDC pledges “to base all public health decisions on the highest quality of scientific data, openly and objectively derived,” and how this isn’t the case when it comes to the flu vaccine and its marketing. He stresses that “the vaccine may be less beneficial and less safe than has been claimed, and that “the threat of influenza seems to be overstated.”
This is a touchy subject that dives into medical ethics and the connections that big pharmaceutical companies have with our federal health regulatory agencies and health associations. Vaccines are a multi billion dollar industry.
At a recent World Health Organization conference on vaccine safety, it was expressed that vaccine hesitancy is growing at quite a fast pace, especially among doctors who are now becoming hesitant to recommend certain vaccines on the schedule. You can read more about that and find links to the conference here.
We have to ask ourselves, why is this happening? Is it because people and professionals are becoming aware of certain information that warrants the freedom of choice? Should freedom of choice with regards to what we put in our body always remain? Are we really protecting the “herd” by taking these actions?
In a 2014 analysis in the Oregon Law Review by New York University (NYU) legal scholars Mary Holland and Chase E. Zachary (who also has a Princeton-conferred doctorate in chemistry), the authors show that 60 years of compulsory vaccine policies “have not attained herd immunity for any childhood disease.” It is time, they suggest, to cast aside coercion in favor of voluntary choice.
When it comes to the flu shot, I put more information and science as to why so many people seem to refuse it, in this article if interested.
The University of California is currently being sued for mandating the flu shot for all staff, faculty and students. A judge has prevented them from doing so as a result until a decision has been made. You can read more about that here.
In South Korea, 48 people have now died after receiving the flu shot this season causing a lot of controversy. You can read more about that here.
The Takeaway: There are many concerns with vaccines, and vaccine injury is one of them. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act has paid more than $4 billion to families of vaccine injured children. A 2010 HHS pilot study by the Federal Agency for Health Care Research (AHCR) found that 1 in every 39 vaccines causes injury, a shocking comparison to the claims from the CDC of 1 in every million.
Should these statistics alone warrant the freedom of choice? Should the government have the ability to force us into measures, or would it simply be better for them to present the science, make recommendations and urge people to follow them? When the citizenry is forced and coerced into certain actions, sometimes under the guise of good-will, there always seems to be a tremendous amount of uproar and people who disagree. Why are these people silenced? Why are they censored? Why are they ridiculed? Why don’t independent health organizations receive the same voice and reach that government and state “owned” or organizations do? What’s going on here? Do we really live in a free, open and transparent world or are we simply subjected to massive amounts of perception manipulation?
When it come to the flu shot there is plenty of information on both sides of the coin that point to its effectiveness, and on the other hand there is information that points to the complete opposite. When something is not 100 percent clear, freedom of choice in all places should always remain, in my opinion.
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