Archive for December, 2013

China investigates vaccine maker after deaths of infants. Health authorities in China are investigating one of the nation’s biggest vaccine makers after eight infants died in the past two months following injections that were meant to immunize them against hepatitis B. New York Times (more…)

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The Barbara’s Bakery settlement resolves a class action lawsuit (Trammell v. Barbara’s Bakery) that all alleges the company mislabeled its cereal and snack products as “all natural” when they actually contain genetically modified (GMO) ingredients. By Sarah Pierce

Class Members of the Barbara’s Bakery settlement include all U.S. consumers who purchased eligible products from May 23, 2008 through July 5, 2013. These products include cereals, cereal bars, fig bars, cheese puffs, granola bars, Snackimals animal cookies, organic mini cookies, snack mixes and crackers. See the full list of eligible products.

http://www.topclassactions.com/lawsuit-settlements/open-lawsuit-settlements/4683-barbara-s-bakery-class-action-lawsuit-settlement/ (more…)

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Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Urinary Metabolites of Organophosphate Pesticide

Conclusions: These findings support the hypothesis that organophosphate exposure, at levels common among US children, may contribute to ADHD prevalence. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2010/05/17/peds.2009-3058.abstract

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Urinary Metabolites of Organophosphate Pesticide

Maryse F. Bouchard, PhDa,bDavid C. Bellinger, PhDa,c,  Robert O. Wright, MD, MPHa,d,eMarc G. Weisskopf, PhDa,e,f Author Affiliations Departments of aEnvironmental Health and fEpidemiology, School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts;bDepartment of Environmental and Occupational Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Departments of cNeurology and dPediatrics, School of Medicine, Harvard University, and Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts; and eChanning Laboratory, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, Harvard University, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts


Objective: The goal was to examine the association between urinary concentrations of dialkyl phosphate metabolites of organophosphates and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children 8 to 15 years of age.

Methods: Cross-sectional data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2000–2004) were available for 1139 children, who were representative of the general US population. A structured interview with a parent was used to ascertain ADHD diagnostic status, on the basis of slightly modified criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition.

Results: One hundred nineteen children met the diagnostic criteria for ADHD. Children with higher urinary dialkyl phosphate concentrations, especially dimethyl alkylphosphate (DMAP) concentrations, were more likely to be diagnosed as having ADHD. A 10-fold increase in DMAP concentration was associated with an odds ratio of 1.55 (95% confidence interval: 1.14–2.10), with adjustment for gender, age, race/ethnicity, poverty/income ratio, fasting duration, and urinary creatinine concentration. For the most-commonly detected DMAP metabolite, dimethyl thiophosphate, children with levels higher than the median of detectable concentrations had twice the odds of ADHD (adjusted odds ratio: 1.93 [95% confidence interval: 1.23–3.02]), compared with children with undetectable levels.

Conclusions: These findings support the hypothesis that organophosphate exposure, at levels common among US children, may contribute to ADHD prevalence. Prospective studies are needed to establish whether this association is causal.

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Environmentally Realistic Exposure to the Herbicide Atrazine Alters Some Sexually Selected Traits in Male Guppies Kausalya Shenoy* Bruce Cushing, Editor

Copyright Kausalya Shenoy. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
 Abstract Male mating signals, including ornaments and courtship displays, and other sexually selected traits, like male-male aggression, are largely controlled by sex hormones. Environmental pollutants, notably endocrine disrupting compounds, can interfere with the proper functioning of hormones, thereby impacting the expression of hormonally regulated traits. Atrazine, one of the most widely used herbicides, can alter sex hormone levels in exposed animals. I tested the effects of environmentally relevant atrazine exposures on mating signals and behaviors in male guppies, a sexually dimorphic freshwater fish.
Prolonged atrazine exposure reduced the expression of two honest signals: the area of orange spots (ornaments) and the number of courtship displays performed. Atrazine exposure also reduced aggression towards competing males in the context of mate competition. In the wild, exposure levels vary among individuals because of differential distribution of the pollutants across habitats; hence, differently impacted males often compete for the same mates.
Disrupted mating signals can reduce reproductive success as females avoid mating with perceptibly suboptimal males. Less aggressive males are at a competitive disadvantage and lose access to females. This study highlights the effects of atrazine on ecologically relevant mating signals and behaviors in exposed wildlife. Altered reproductive traits have important implications for population dynamics, evolutionary patterns, and conservation of wildlife species.

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“It has been found that prenatal blood concentrations of chlorpyrifos to be associated with maternal report of ADHD/attention problems at 3 years of age” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3002198/?report=reader“Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate insecticide, a powerful class of pesticide that has toxic effects on nervous systems. It was widely used in homes and yards to kill cockroaches and other insects, but in 2001 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency banned its residential use because of health risks to children.”  http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=common-insecticide-may-harm-boys-brains-more-than-girls (more…)

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American Public Health Association(APHA) :  “APHA declare its support that any food product containing genetically modified organisms be so labeled.”  http://www.apha.org/advocacy/policy/policysearch/default.htm?id=250

2. British Medical Association, “Governments should ensure that non-genetically modified foods continue to be widely available and affordable to consumers, and that GM foods are labelled in a consistent and understandable manner.”  and “The precautionary principle should be applied in developing genetically modified crops or foodstuffs, as we cannot at present know whether there are any serious risks to the environment or to human health involved in producing GM crops or consuming GM food products. Adverse effects are likely to be irreversible; once GMOs are released into the environment they cannot be subject to control. It is therefore essential that release does not take place until the level of scientific certainty is sufficient to make the risk acceptable.”

http://www.twnside.org.sg/title/genmo-cn.htm (more…)

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Prenatal Origins of Endocrine Disruption. Recent advances in research confirm that endocrine disruptors can interfere with the gene-controlled, normal signaling systems that determine every aspect of embryonic and fetal development. Over the past decade it has been demonstrated that there are endless ways endocrine disruptors can interfere with gene expression.

Published from The Endocrine Disruption Exchange, Inc. (TEDX)



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