Eighteen college and universities worldwide have researched and validated 233 independent news stories for the annual Project Censored review cycle. These independent news stories have seen little if any coverage by the corporate media. The Project Censored network is currently voting on the top 25 most important stories for inclusion in Censored 2014: Fearless Speech in Fateful Times, the latest edition of our annual yearbook, scheduled for release by Seven Stories Press in October 2013.
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Mickey Huff—Director of Project Censored
Andy Roth—Associate Director of Project Censored
Peter Phillips—President, Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored
Validated Independent News: Human Health
Campaign to Fluoridate America Corporate media obscure an ongoing battle over water fluoridation in the U.S. While a recent New York Times editorial cites the Center for Disease Control’s claim that fluoridation is one of the top accomplishments in public health over the past century, James Tracy reports that fluoridating the nation’s water supply appears to have been a carefully coordinated plan designed to shield major aluminum and steel producers from liabilities for the substantial fluorine pollution their plants generated. Thus American industrial interests, supported by public relations firms, have been the chief forces behind water fluoridation.
Cow Hormones in Water Supply A May 2012 study published by the journal Environmental Science & Technology reported that large dairy farms are a “primary source” of estrogen contamination in the environment. Researchers found three primary estrogens in the wastewater, and further analysis revealed that, because of the rapid conversion from one form estrogen to another, these hormones do not degrade, but persist in the environment.
Potential of African-led Health Research A 2011 study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank and USAid found that investing an additional $21-$36 per person on healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa would save more than 3 million lives in the year 2015. 90% of those saved would be women and children. Such an investment would also generate $100 billion in economic benefits.
Wireless Technology a Looming Health Crisis As a multitude of hazardous wireless technologies are deployed in homes, schools and workplaces, government officials and industry representatives continue to insist on their safety despite growing evidence to the contrary. A major health crisis looms that is only hastened through the extensive deployment of “smart grid” technology.
Corporate Hypocrisy in Fight against Breast Cancer Each year in October, corporations such as General Mills and Johnson & Johnson adorn their products in pink to raise awareness and money for breast cancer research; however, many of these companies’ products contain cancer-linked chemicals and toxins. As Brittany Shoot reports, “Food manufacturing giants use packaging full of cancer-linked chemicals, yet partner with breast cancer organizations to funnel money toward research.” This “pink washing” may distract consumers from how these companies actual contribute to the problem.
U.S. Health Law May Curb Rising Maternal Deaths America’s mothers are dying in increasing numbers. The U.S. had the highest rate of maternal mortality of all developed nations in 2009 with 16.1 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, an increase from 6.6 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1987, according to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. Definitive explanations for the rising maternal mortality rate are lacking, but some evidence suggests that hew health care laws, improving preventative care for pregnant women, could contribute to reversing the trend.
Should Childhood Vaccination be Mandatory? Childhood vaccines killed or injured 2,699 children last year in America, the US government has admitted – and 101 children developed autism after vaccination, even though researchers continue to insist that no link exists. Paul Offit advocates that, although vaccines are not free of risk, their benefits clearly outweigh their risks. If parents were well informed, they would choose to vaccinate their children.
Missing Medicines in Malawi Malawi suffers from shortages of essential drugs. A 2012 Oxfam report found that only nine percent of local health facilities (54 of 585) had the full Essential Health Package list of drugs for treating 11 common diseases.
China Acknowledges “Cancer Villages” In February 2013, China’s environmental ministry officially acknowledged the presence of cancer hot spots, known informally as “cancer villages,” throughout the country. Chinese media have reported 459 “cancer villages” throughout China, in every province and autonomous region except Qinghai and Tibet. Once a rare disease, cancer is now the biggest killer in both urban and rural China, with mortality rates as high as 80 percent in the last 30 years.
The Drugs in US Meat–We’re Eating What? Synthetic growth hormones routinely administered in the US to livestock are not listed on food package labels. Other drugs used to increase muscle mass in pigs and turkeys, including ractopamine, have been banned in 160 but remain in use in the US. A European scientific commission believes there is an association between steroid hormones and cancers, including breast and prostate cancers, and that meat consumption is the culprit. The US has the highest rates of both and also uses the most hormones in its meat production. Since 1989, Europe has banned most US meat.
Genital Mutilation in the US Although genital mutilation is concentrated in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, thousands of US girls living in immigrant communities are sent out of the country to places where genital mutilation is practiced, or relatives from practicing counties come to the US to do the procedure. The New York metropolitan area has the highest cases of female genital mutilation in the US; approximately 41,000 cases. These women face major complications to their health, including infections, post-traumatic stress disorder and painful menstruation cycles.
Routine Infant Circumcision: Exempt from American Medical Ethics The US is the only country in the world that circumcises male infants for non-religious reasons. This pro-circumcision bias of American culture is reflected in medical theory and policy. However, most proponents lack awareness of the health impact of circumcision.
South Africa “Over 25% Schoolgirls HIV Positive” About five million people in South Africa are HIV positive, which is about 10% of the total population. Those numbers are higher when looking at the school-age female population. Over 25% of school-aged girls are HIV positive, some as young as 10 years old. Many contract HIV as a result of sexual relations with older “sugar-daddies.”
Private equity (PE) firms are targeting the US health-care providers. Growing PE interest in low profit or non-profit sectors like hospitals is expanding. PE investors are betting on new profit opportunities from the growing needs of the baby-boomer generation and from the Affordable Care Act, which will dramatically expand health-insurance coverage.
Federally Funded Health-Care Co-ops —Coming to Your Community With funding from the Affordable Care Act (ACA), communities are coming together to develop Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans—CO-Ops to operate community health care facilities or cooperative insurance plans. Unlike private health insurance companies, these co-ops are owned and democratically controlled by their members. Beginning in 2014, a first wave of co-ops will launch in 24 states, with an estimated 19 million previously uninsured Americans expected to use insurance exchanges to buy health coverage.
The US has left Iraq with an Epidemic of Cancers and Birth Defects After ten years of war in Iraq, Dahr Jamail reports, the US has left Iraq (and especially the city of Fallujah) with a rising epidemic of toxic contamination. After the US military used depleted uranium munitions in 2004, Iraqi medical officials have tracked twice number of cancer cases as in 1995.
Mozambique’s First HIV Vaccine Trial Heralds New Era in Local Research Mozambique’s Polana Cancio Centre for Research and Public Health has finished its first HIV vaccine trial and is preparing to start the second trial. According to the preliminary test, the vaccine is safe for use. According to Ilesh Jani, the studies mark an important step towards bolstering clinical trial and research capacity for diseases such as HIV and malaria. One goal of this research is to develop a vaccine that will be affordable in countries such as Mozambique.
Skyrocketing HIV/AIDS Rates in African American Women In August 2012 at the International AIDS Conference in Washington DC, HIV advocates met to discuss the skyrocketing HIV infection rates in black women that are increasing to levels found in sub-Sahara Africa. The recent growth in HIV cases among African-American women especially among youth has public health professionals concerned. In 2010, black women contracted 44 percent of new HIV infections.
Background TV Poses Danger for Children A recent study conducted at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington (UNCW) sheds new light on the detrimental impact background television has on children’s neural development and social skills. The UNCW study shows that children exposed to more TV are more likely to develop problems with hyperactivity and antisocial behavior. When children accustomed to such high doses of daily television stop watching all together, depression has a tendency to develop.
US Veterans Prescribed Lethal Drugs to Treat PTSD A number of US war veterans were issued a variety of potentially deadly pharmaceuticals to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) including the dangerous antipsychotic drug Seroquel. Pleas from the families of deceased veterans finally persuaded the U.S. Central Command to remove the dangerous antipsychotic from the list of military PTSD treatments. Information about Seroquel and similar drugs is often kept hidden from the public, leaving consumers of generic brands unaware of corporate deceit and veteran deaths.
Antidepressant Drugs Pose Serious Health Concerns for Unborn Babies The world’s largest drug companies are encouraging pregnant women to take prescription drugs, get vaccine shots, and even have chemotherapy. Among these are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or antidepressants, which are causing miscarriages and a variety of birth defects. Excessive prescription drug use in pregnant women is also linked to the increase of babies born with autism, preterm birth, newborn behavioral syndrome, persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn and longer-term neurobehavioral effects.
Pesticides May Lead to Cancer and Autism in Children Pesticides are harmful to the health and intelligence of America’s children, according to an October 2012 report released by the Pesticide Action Network of North America. Titled, “A Generation in Jeopardy,” the study notes how chemicals from pest control products are one key cause of a range of disorders such as ADHD, autism, cancer, disrupted metabolism, and even low IQs.
Laboratory Study of Rats Supports Dangers of GM Corn A study published in September issue of The Food & Chemical Toxicology Journal found that rats fed Monsanto’s genetically modified corn over several months showed significant health problems including premature death and tumors. The study found that over half of the male rats and 70 percent of the females who were fed a lifetime of Monsanto’s corn died prematurely with significant liver and kidney damage. Scientists also found the rats to contain cancerous tumors so large they blocked organ function. While numerous studies have examined their short-term impact, this is the first ever study to examine the long-term effects of GMO consumptions.