Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Disappearing Male

Silicon in hair products to make our hair shine, vinyl toys for our children to chew on, phthalates to make colognes last all day, flame retardants in our pillows... the list goes on. In fact there are thousands of chemicals sold that end up inside our house and almost none of them have been tested for long-term safety.

CCNM was priveledged to have Rick Smith (who is the Executive Director of Environmental Defence and author of, Slow Death by Rubber Duck) speak on the effects of common chemicals. As he made clear, pollution is not something out there like big smoke stacks, but right inside us: we are polluted!
The Canadian Government's recent 180 turn on the hormone disruptor Bisphenol-A (BPA) is an indication that, with public pressure, changing the influence of the chemical giants is possible. Removing BPA from baby bottles is an excellent start, but the problem is much bigger. The problem is about a regulatory system that failed, about 85% of chemicals that have never been tested, and about the unknown (since it will take decades to see the effects of this toxic legacy).

The CBC documentary, The Disappearing Male, showed that baby boys are the first ones to be effected by chemical hormone disruptors. Even in adulthood, male reproductive problems can be linked to petroleum byproducts. However, consumers have great power and vote everyday with what they purchase.

Check out toxicnation.ca for information on how to go toxic free. Naturopathic doctors are very educated in this area and can work with you towards removing the pollution from your body and providing you with resourceful ways to minimize your exposure.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Book Review 9

The Truth About the Drug Companies by Marcia Angell, M.D.

This is one of the most powerful books outlining some of the major problems in the pharmaceutical drug industry. It is written in factual, unemotional prose by the former editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine. As a medical doctor, she supports the appropriate use of pharmaceuticals but is outraged at many unethical practices of the industry including: how extensive marketing is used to deceive people into believing new "me-too" drugs are superior to old ones, how doctors are given kick-backs, lures and bribes to sell drugs, how people are told that drugs are extremely expensive to pay for innovative research and development, and how clinical trials are biased and rigged by the drug companies who support the research.

Although some time in the book is spent on the unnecessary creation of drug markets, unlike other good books on this topic, the author does not allocate much space to side effects and harm many drugs can do, nor the potential for inappropriate drug dependence (especially with psychological drugs) - no conspiracy theories contained! Instead, the book, which is numerically tedious at times, highlights in great detail the outlandish "marketing" costs of industry. The author's point is supported by undeniable cases of corruption directly from within the industry. One of the main points of the book is drugs that work could be sold at a fraction of the cost and the pharmaceutical industry should be re-focused back to finding truly life saving drugs instead of creating and marketing dubious "me-too" drugs.

This issue is now directly important to naturopathic doctors in Canada as British Columbia's ND's have prescribing rights and more provinces will be on board in the future (some States in the US have also granted prescribing writes several years ago).

The Truth About Drug Companies

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Quote of the Month

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."

Albert Einstein