Cellphone industry continues to control the safety message

In the U.S., the industry has influenced science, regulators, public perception and government policy

Cellphone industry continues to control the safety messageWhen industry wants science to say something, how does it do it? Last year, The Nation showed us how in its special investigation, How Big Wireless Made Us Think That Cell Phones Are Safe. In 1993, a lawsuit alleged that cellphones caused a woman’s terminal brain cancer. As wireless stocks headed downward, the industry unleashed…

New breast screening guidelines fail Canadian women

Outdated material used by the task force could result in the deaths of far too many women. A new set of guidelines must be drawn up

New breast screening guidelines fail Canadian womenChanges to breast cancer screening guidelines have been big news since the release of the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care’s updated guidelines in December. Women aged 50 to 74 are now recommended to undergo screening mammography every two to three years, while women 40 to 49 are advised not to undergo screening and…

National pharmacare can hurt patients more than it helps

Will likely result in reduced access to new drugs, and delay research and development

National pharmacare can hurt patients more than it helpsThe federal government’s pharmacare advisory council released a report last week outlining the “foundational” elements of a national plan. And Tuesday’s federal budget may include more details. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding regarding core aspects of the pharmacare debate. Given that proponents in Canada often cite government-funded pharmacare programs in the United…

Marijuana’s medical attributes vastly overstated

Pot’s benefits have been overstated by political advocates and scientists, whose bias may have tainted research results

Marijuana’s medical attributes vastly overstatedMarijuana users want society to believe the very thing they’ve told themselves for years – that the highs of marijuana far outweigh its lows when it comes to health and the effect on the masses. Informed minds that remain sober and less tainted by personal bias realize that’s probably not the case. Cannabis is demonstrably…

Monsanto lawsuit ruling leaves Bayer in need of more Aspirin

Monsanto, now a division of Bayer, ordered to pay $289M to a single plaintiff. Even if Monsanto’s brands no longer exist, its legacy remains

Monsanto lawsuit ruling leaves Bayer in need of more AspirinIn California, where lawsuits can be found more easily than drinking water, German chemical giant Bayer has been dealt a huge legal blow. Monsanto, now a division of Bayer, was ordered to pay a whopping US$289 million in damages to a gardener suffering from cancer, allegedly from using Monsanto products. Given that more than 5,000 such…

Three Canadian drivers bring added excitement to this year’s Honda Indy

James Hinchcliffe, Robbie Wickens and Zachary Claman De Melo are all vying to bring Toronto a Canadian winner

Three Canadian drivers bring added excitement to this year’s Honda IndyThe first time I attended the Honda Indy race in Toronto, my friend Scot Cameron, a former race car driver, told me to stand at the wall of the track at the straightaway and look directly across as a car goes past. “All you’ll see is a blur,” he said. “You’ll know it went past,…

Is your home killing you?

Radon is an invisible, silent, odourless killer. But it can be easily detected with this device

Is your home killing you?It lurks in your home but you can’t see or smell it. And it may just be putting your life at risk. No, it’s not carbon monoxide – it’s radon gas. According to Health Canada, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Smokers are at even a higher risk. Radon is…

Patients being kept in the dark about best treatment plans

To fight costs, Canadian patients are being denied coverage for biologics until all other (less expensive and less effective) measures are explored

Patients being kept in the dark about best treatment plansAs a stem cell biologist, I was very excited when Nobel laureate Dr. Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University developed cellular reprogramming, which enables us to generate patient-specific, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Being pluripotent, these cells have the potential to make any cell or tissue type in the body. Being patient specific, tissues derived from…

For colon cancer, the best test is the one you’re willing to do

New immigrants and those from poorer neighbourhoods screened at lower rates in Canada

For colon cancer, the best test is the one you’re willing to doIf you live in Ontario and you’re turning 50, expect to receive a birthday letter in the mail. It’s not from your loved ones (though they may send one, too) – it’s from the province’s cancer agency, Cancer Care Ontario. These letters represent a paradigm shift. A health-care agency is reaching out to people at risk…

HPV vaccine must be given to all Canadian children

Recent statistics show an alarming increase in mouth and throat cancers caused by the human papillomavirus, especially among men

HPV vaccine must be given to all Canadian childrenThe evidence of the need to administer the HPV vaccine to all Canadian boys and girls is irrefutable. For 30 years, the Canadian Cancer Society has partnered with Statistics Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada to publish annual data about cancer in Canada. This year’s report warns of an alarming increase in mouth…