Shonkies, vaccine myths, pesticides, and more…

Friend’s news and articles

Alternative Therapies enter CHOICE Hall of Shame: Choice launched its Shonkies in 2006, to “call out some of the shonkiest products and companies taking advantage of Australian consumers each year”. Joining the Shonkys “Hall of Shame” this year was Pharmacare’s Bioglan, for its homeopathic sleep formula. “In 2017, we awarded Bioglan and another Pharmacare brand, Nature’s Way, a Shonky for its outrageous claims that sticky, sugary lollies are in fact good for teeth,” says Choice. “This year, Pharmacare and Bioglan receive another dubious honour for its over-the-counter Melatonin Homeopathic Sleep Formula.

WHO endorses Traditional Chinese Medicine. Expect deaths to rise: “As the Nature article points out, TCM has been a scam for decades: it was revived and heavily promoted in China by former dictator Mao Zedong, who didn’t believe in it himself, but pushed it as a cheap alternative to real medicine. I won’t go over that again here, but see these stories from Alan Levinovitz in Slate and David Gorski at Science-based Medicine. 

Toxic myths about vaccinesA nice round-up of all the common misconceptions advanced by anti-vax about vaccine ingredients that cause autism, Alzheimer’s, cancer, (insert favourite disease here). Some claims are about vaccine ingredients that are so far below toxic levels that it is absurd to even mention them, ie aluminium, formaldehyde. Others are just plain wrong, like antifreeze and ether. And please note how anti-vaxxers like moving the goalposts. Now that the mercury-containing preservative thimersol has been removed from essentially every vaccine, anti-vax must come up with new ingredients for you to fret over: aluminium, hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide.

In short, the dose makes the poison. The miniscule amounts of potentially toxic compounds in vaccines are not harmful. And all of this noise distracts from the basic message: the diseases vaccines prevent are potentially deadly. Why would anyone want to take that chance?


New study finds concurrent use of prescription drugs and dietary supplements could pose health risks: “The study reveals that the health consequences of these interactions include alterations in the concentration or effects of drugs such as blood pressure treatments, statins, and aspirin, and the most hazardous outcomes are related to increased blood glucose concentration, risk of bleeding, and reducing the effectiveness of a prescription drug.”

Cancer patients using Alternative Meds unaware of risks:  The problem with marketing CAM as ‘wellness therapies’ means that many patients don’t think of them as drugs with potential side effects or interactions – thus they might not inform their doctor if they are taking anything that might interfere with recommended medications.

Anti-vax billboard ‘fear speech, not free speech’, Health Minister wants it taken down: Answer: THE ONES THAT SUFFER AND DIE LESS.

Health promotion and disease prevention

In Australia, cervical cancer could soon be eliminated: Cervical cancer could be eliminated in Australia within the next two decades because of a government program to vaccinate children against the cancer-causing human papillomavirus.

Abused Health Concept

Science by Courtroom: Stop worrying and trust the evidence: it’s very unlikely Roundup causes cancer: Juries don’t decide science, and this latest court case produced no new scientific data. Yet it has sparked much debate about this relatively safe chemical. Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), reviewed the safety of glyphosate after IARC’s determination, and found it to be safe when the instructions are followed. Health fear mongers like to point that IARC added Glyphosate to its list of probable carcinogens. However according to IARC’s list, glyphosate is in the same category as eating read meat, being a hair dresser, having a wood heater in the house, drinking hot beverages or doing shift work.

Thanks to Science

Explainer: what is Helicobacter pyloriThanks to science and two tenacious Australian researchers – we can treat most gastric ulcers with a course of antibiotics. The discovery of Helicobacter pylori in the stomach of ulcer patients was a game changer – not just because previously no bacteria were thought to colonise the stomach, but because it was the first direct link made between a bacterial infection and tumour development. H. pylori is thought to be behind up to 90% of cases of gastric adenocarcinoma, one of the leading causes of cancer death in Australia. So if you have recurrent gastritis, it might be wise to consider a trip to the doctor for a H. pylori test.

Great moments in Health and Science

History of Blood Transfusion:  Blood transfusion is an important and life-saving intervention that, whilst seeming straightforward, has a complex history and is only possible to perform safely thanks to modern science.