[VIDEO] Can Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Save The World From Zika? 

Should we fear the GM mosquitoes? A look at several mosquito-modification projects and the political and cultural pushback they’re facing.

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UPDATE: The trial release in the Florida Keys was approved by public referendum, but the Keys Mosquito District now has to seek FDA approval.

 


New MDMA Trials Moving Forward To Test Ecstasy As Treatment For PTSD

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New research may have found a more efficient way of treating patients who suffer from PTSD: by using MDMA, which is ecstasy in its purest form. The assisted drug treatment could be approved by the FDA.

“The medicine allows them to look at things from a different place and reclassify them. Honestly, we don’t have to do much. Each person has an innate ability to heal. We just create the right conditions.” 

— Ann Mithoefer, psychiatric nurse

MDMA, the pure form of ecstasy, will be employed in treating . The drug is also tested for its properties when it comes to treating terminally ill patients.

[Read the full story here, at Tech Times]

The tests conducted for possible  have had positive outcomes and researchers consider the approval of MDMA as a prescription drug sometime in the near future.

However, more tests should be carried out before this. The Food and Drug Administration already approved a Phase III trial as part of the procedure.

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MDMA – Possible Medical Solution To PTSD

The first two studies treated patients for 12 weeks, in the form of psychotherapy sessions and MDMA sessions. The MDMA sessions lasted eight hours each, during which the . After being given the drug, the patients would sit in a relaxing environment, surrounded by chill music, flowers and candles in order to suggest a calm state of mind to balance the euphoric effects of the drug. Read the rest of this entry »


Despite Gun Control Rhetoric, Obama Arms Federal Civilian Agencies More than Ever 

Obama Big brother

According to a recent report from openthebooks.com, non-military spending on guns, ammo and military-style equipment soared from $119.3 million in 2008, President George W. Bush’s last year in office, to a high of $224.7 million dollars in 2012, the year Obama won re-election.

Kellan Howell report: The U.S. Agriculture Department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service doesn’t seem like a Wild West sort of federal agency since its biologists mostly check on the human health impact of animal and plant species.

“Much of this spending on guns, ammunition and military-style equipment is redundant, inefficient and unnecessary.”

But it reported buying $4.7 million in high-powered weapons, ammunition and military gear during the last decade, including shotguns, night vision goggles, and propane cannons, according to federal purchasing records reviewed by the nonpartisan government spending watchdog openthebooks.com.

About $1.7 million of that spending occurred in 2014 alone.

The agency says it needs the equipment to protect its workers in the wild from feral swine, more commonly known as wild hogs.  But spending critics like openthebooks.com see such purchases as part of a much larger trend toward militarizing federal civilian agencies and local police at taxpayer expense.

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“Beyond automatic rifles, armored cars and hollow-round bullets, some agencies seemed to have expanded their purchases to the more sublime, even booking hundreds of thousands of dollars of paint ball equipment, the report showed.”

And the irony is such purchases have massively expanded over the last decade, even as President Obama has repeatedly pushed to limit access to high-powered gun and weapons in America, most recently after the Orlando terror attack last month.

“This massacre is, therefore, a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school, or in a house of worship, or a movie theater, or in a nightclub,” the president said after the most recent mass shooting.

Laws are for the little people

But on his watch, government agencies are arming themselves more than ever before.

According to a recent report from openthebooks.com, non-military spending on guns, ammo and military-style equipment soared from $119.3 million in 2008, President George W. Bush’s last year in office, to a high of $224.7 million dollars in 2012, the year Obama won re-election.

In 2014, the latest year for which there are complete records, total militarized spending by civilian federal agencies dropped to $150 million, still much higher than the end of the Bush years.

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The Department of Homeland Security was the biggest spender on guns and ammo, requesting to purchase 1.7 billion bullets alone since 2004. Read the rest of this entry »


OH YES THEY CAN: Children as Young as 11 Can Now Take OxyContin, Says FDA

juice-Kids

Youth opiate advocates celebrate victory with juice box party.
drugs-kid

Sarah Begley reports: The powerful painkiller OxyContin can now be prescribed to children as young as 11, the Food and Drug Administration has decided.

The FDA requested that the drug’s manufacturer, Purdue Pharma, conduct studies to determine the safety of OxyContin for pediatric patients, and found that it would be safe for those in the 11 to 16 age range to take the drug, NBC News reports. However, before a doctor can prescribe OxyContin, the child must already be responding to and tolerating a certain dosage of opioids, so the doctor is sure that the patient will be safe. Read the rest of this entry »


Dems’ Objections to OTC Birth Control?

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Republicans Are Behind It

S. E. Cupp writes: A long, long time ago — way back in 2013 — pro-choice progressives united in a new clarion call to make prescription birth control available over the counter. Now, for political reasons, they’re changing their tune.

“So why can’t we have this, when the public and the medical establishment both think it’s a great idea?

—  Progressive journalist Amanda Marcotte, two years ago

If you’re one of the 10 million women in America who uses the pill, the prospect is nothing short of life-changing. Going to the doctor to refill the pill every month or even a couple times a year is annoying and time-consuming. And, according to many doctors, it’s unnecessary. The pill is safe to take without a prescription.

[Also see – Over-the-Counter Birth Control Bill Provokes Irrational Ire on the Left]

“So why can’t we have this, when the public and the medical establishment both think it’s a great idea?” asked progressive journalist Amanda Marcotte two years ago.

[More – Liberals could lose the ‘war on women’ talking point]

Indeed. Just last year, far-left women’s groups Planned Parenthood and Emily’s List also thought making birth control available OTC was a great idea.

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“Why the about-face? Well, the story the libs are going with is that the bill will actually make the pill more expensive once it’s no longer prescription…Which would be a fair point if it were true.”

And according to a Reason-Rupe poll, so do 70 percent of Americans.

Well, in an uncanny and highly unusual turn of events, lawmakers in Washington actually listened. Just this week, legislators introduced a bill that would encourage drug companies to apply to sell contraceptives without a prescription.

[Read the full text here, at TownHall.com]

But if Republican Sens. Cory Gardner of Colorado and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, along with four other GOP senators, were expecting flowers from Planned Parenthood and others for their bill, the Allowing Greater Access to Safe and Effective Contraception Act, they should brace for disappointment. Suddenly, the idea doesn’t sound so great, and the former supporters aren’t mincing words. Read the rest of this entry »


Acid Test: Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies Pursues MDMA as Treatment for Psychological Disorders

BOOKS-ACIDTEST

MAPS and PSTD: Scientific MDMA research works against the stigma associated with psychedelics

Known as “ecstasy” or “molly,” MDMA may soon be an effective treatment against post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).acid-test

[Order Tom Shroder’s book “Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy, and the Power to Heal” from Amazon.com]

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is attempting to legalize MDMA as a prescription for certain illnesses. In a newsletter sent to their constituents on March 16, MAPS said it had received approval from the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) on Friday, March 13 for a Schedule I license for Phil Wolfson, M.D., the principal investigator in a new MAPS study. This isn’t the only time the license has been awarded to MAPS — this is currently the seventh MDMA clinical trial with DEA approval.

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“MDMA reduces activity in the amygdala where fear is processed and it increases activity in the frontal cortex where people put things in association and context. So people are able to look at traumatic memories.”

“Obtaining DEA approval was the last step in the complex, arduous, and lengthy
process of getting approval for our study,” Dr. Wolfson said in the newsletter.

This was the final step before initiating experiments regarding the safety and effectiveness of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to treat anxiety associated with life-threatening illnesses. MAPS had already received approval from the Institutional Review Board, FDA and the Research Advisory Panel of California to conduct the phase-2 study.

“They’re able to separate out that it was happening then and not now. We’re saying that MDMA itself is not the medicine. It’s MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.”

— MAPS founder Rick Doblin, in an interview with CNN

Connor McKay, president of the Students for Sensible Drug Policy chapter at Northeastern, said this type of scientific research works against the stigma associated with psychedelics. McKay will also be welcoming the founder of MAPS, Rick Doblin, and former Washington Post Editor Tom Shroder, author of “Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy, and the Power to Heal,” to Northeastern on April 3 to discuss psychedelic research.

“I think studies like this play an important role…both medical and personal. It gives a personal story to these treatments. It gives medical legitimacy to these substances.”

— Connor McKay, president of the Students for Sensible Drug Policy chapter at Northeastern

“I think studies like this play an important role … both medical and personal. It gives a personal story to these treatments. It gives medical legitimacy to these substances,” McKay said. “I don’t think people are going to stop using MDMA recreationally. I think people will see it as abusing medicine … rather than ‘you’re just doing drugs.’ This will open the medical discussion about these substances.”

MDMA, chemically called 3,4-Methylenedioxy-methamphetamine, is typically sold as ecstasy or molly, but these can contain adulterants or other substances. In a 2006 study by Vanderbilt University, only 39 percent of tablets sold as ecstasy were pure and 46 percent had no MDMA at all. Read the rest of this entry »


Extreme Identification Policy: Shanghai Market Lets Shoppers Track and Return Eggs

china-eggs

A local food market named Miyunlu in ‪Shanghai‬ has started selling eggs with identification numbers on their shells to help consumers. According to reports, when shoppers find eggs that are out of date, they can instantly trace the item back to the original producing farm and date of the eggs.

Reports say that the Shanghai store’s ‪‎eggs‬ have gone through an additional strict sterilization process before being placed on the store’s shelves. Shoppers were also ensured that the eggs have no dirt on the exterior and that they have been coated with protective oils to extend the shelf life.

As a result, consumers are buying quality eggs with confidence, and are now able to receive ‪‎compensation‬ when returning damaged egg shells or out of date eggs to the market.


War On Vaping: Big Tobacco & Big Government Snuffing Out Competition

vape-war

It’s lobbying state governments to impose taxes and regulations on its competitors. 

Gregory Conley writes: When the success of America’s largest companies is threatened, they often turn to the government for a helping hand. They have been doing that for at least the past century. In recent years Congress gave more than $1 trillion in bailouts to banks, car companies, and credit lenders in the midst of great financial turmoil. But that kind of generosity isn’t the only way Uncle Sam has helped many of America’s biggest companies maintain market share. Using the growing bureaucracy’s powerful regulations, many corporations have worked hand in hand with government to snuff out competition.

House-Congress-DC

“In Big Tobacco’s war on these innovative technology products, it’s not just adult smokers and ex-smokers who will suffer at the hands of misguided regulators and lawmakers.”

A recent example of this offensive is Big Tobacco’s actions against the thousands of small startups that are helping people quit smoking. Cigarette companies are spending millions of dollars to push product bans, higher taxes, and expensive regulations on their competitors.

An R.J. Reynolds sign seen outside cigarette manufacturing facility in Tobaccoville

“Reynolds’s push for more-coercive taxation, burdensome regulations, and even bans on their competitors make sense, as no company wants to see its consumers switch to products it doesn’t sell.”

The cigarettes sold by Reynolds American Inc. and Altria (formerly Philip Morris) are highly taxed and regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and over the past several years cigarette consumption has declined more rapidly than forecast by analysts and shareholders. Electronic cigarettes (“e-cigs,” or “vapor products”) have accounted for a significant portion of this reduction. These battery-operated and smokeless devices represent a free-market solution to a grave public-health problem. As alternatives to cigarettes, which kill more than 400,000 people each year, vapor products are far less hazardous. Read the rest of this entry »


Psychedelics: Poised for a Comeback

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In an interview with The Daily Beast, author Tom Shroder explains why psychedelics are so important to veterans, and the roadblocks researchers face getting it to them.

Abby Haglage writes: LSD, an illicit drug with a serious stigma, was once the darling of the psychotherapy world.Synthesized by Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann in 1938, the two decades following its birth were populated with study after study showing positive effects. With its ability to reduce defensiveness, help users relive early experiences, and make unconscious material accessible, it proved tremendously successful in therapy.
Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, nearing retirement, is reportedly using LSD regularly. Pictured here is one of Reid's drug-inspired pause to study his own hand during a floor speech

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, nearing retirement, is rumored to be using LSD regularly. Seen here is one of Reid’s characteristic pauses to observe chem trails from his undulating hand during a floor speech

In a plethora of studies from the 1950s, researchers found the drug, and other psychedelics in its family, to be successful in treating victims of psychosomatic illnesses ranging from depression to addiction. With fear and hesitation stripped away, psychologists could help their patients dive headfirst into a painful memory, feeling, or thought, and work through it. For some, it sped up a process of awakening that may have taken years. For others, it opened a door that mayacid test book never have been found otherwise.

[Check out Tom Shroder‘s book “Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy, and the Power to Heal” at Amazon.com]

But with the widespread recreational use of LSD beginning the 1960s, came both fear from both the general public and the government. After 1970 (when LSD was put on the schedule 1 substance list) it wasn’t technically illegal to do research with psychedelics but rather virtually impossible, given the professional and regulatory hurdles.

More than 40 years later, the criminalization of Hofmann’s drug still persists. The means and approval to research the psychedelic on humans is few and far between. The freedom of sufferers who may benefit to access it is all but nonexistent.

Nowhere are the negative effects of psychedelics’ fate more pronounced than in the story of America’s veterans. Of the many illnesses for which the psychedelic-assisted therapy showed promise, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder was one of the most profound.

[Also see – LSD, Reconsidered for Therapy]
[More – New Drugs May Help Heal Old Psychological Traumas]

An estimated 500,000 Iraq-Afghanistan military veterans are suffering from PTSD, an excruciating illness that is believed to fuel the estimated 20 suicides that result from that demographic per day. In FDA sanctioned studies using MDMA-assisted therapy to treat veterans with PTSD, the success rate has been astounding. Why has no one noticed? Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] GOP Candidate Cory Gardner’s New Ad Backs Over-the-Counter Birth Control

Washington Examiner reports: Colorado Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner is calling for birth-control pills to be sold without a prescription in a new TV ad, putting campaign cash behind a conservative argument that’s been picking up steam in recent months.

“I believe the pill ought to be available over the counter, round the clock, without a prescription — cheaper and easier, for you.”

In a 30-second ad released Tuesday, Gardner argues for cheaper, over-the-counter access to birth-control pills, an argument he previously made in a June op-ed in the Denver Post.

[In an op-ed in 2012, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal argued that adult women should be allowed to buy birth-control pills without a prescription.]

[In 2013, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a leading group of women’s physicians, endorsed over-the-counter birth-control pills.]

[Here’s how it’s reported in backward, behind-the-times New York City – Bobby Jindal Offers “Unexpected” Endorsement of Over the Counter Birth Control Pills – nymag.com]

Gardner is running a highly competitive race against incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, but he’s not the first one to call for over-the-counter birth control. Read the rest of this entry »


Military-Style Units From Government Agencies are Wreaking Havoc on Non-Violent Citizens

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The United States of SWAT?

John Fund writes: Regardless of how people feel about Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s standoff with the federal Bureau of Land Management over his cattle’s grazing rights, a lot of Americans were surprised to see TV images of an armed-to-the-teeth paramilitary wing of the BLM deployed around Bundy’s ranch.

“Since 9/11, the feds have issued a plethora of homeland-security grants that encourage local police departments to buy surplus military hardware and form their own SWAT units.”

They shouldn’t have been. Dozens of federal agencies now have Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams to further an expanding definition of their missions. It’s not controversial that the Secret Service and the Bureau of Prisons have them. But what about the Department of Agriculture, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Office of Personnel Management, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service? All of these have their own SWAT units and are part of a worrying trend towards the militarization of federal agencies — not to mention local police forces.

“By 2005, at least 80 percent of towns with a population between 25,000 and 50,000 people had their own SWAT team.”

Law-enforcement agencies across the U.S., at every level of government, have been blurring the line between police officer and soldier,” journalist Radley Balko writes in his 2013 book Rise of the Warrior Cop. “The war on drugs and, more recently, post-9/11 antiterrorism efforts have created a new figure on the U.S. scene: the warrior cop — armed to the teeth, ready to deal harshly with targeted wrongdoers, and a growing threat to familiar American liberties.”

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Attkisson: Obama Administration’s “Chilling effect” on Journalism

ATTKISSON: I didn’t run into that same kind of sentiment [at CBS] as I did in the Obama administration when I covered the Bush administration very aggressively, on its secrecy and lack of Freedom of Information responses, and its poor management of the Food and Drug Administration and the national laboratories, the Halliburton-Iraq questions of fraud. I mean, there was one thing after another. The bait-and-switch of TARP, the bank bailout program. All of those stories under Bush were met with a good reception. There were different managers as well, but no one accused me of being a mouthpiece for the liberals at that time.

Attkisson told Kurtz that the White House would pressure her to change or drop her reporting, and when that didn’t work, they worked her bosses instead. Kurtz asked how this differed from the “working the refs” actions that go on all the time in Washington, and Attkisson says that it went too far.

“It’s just a lot of obfuscation, accusations, saying things are ‘phony scandals,’ ‘bogus,’ ‘not real,’ giving misinformation and false information. I mean, that’s provably true in some cases.”

Mediaite‘s transcript captures Attkisson’s complaint about broadcast journalism in the age of Obama:

ATTKISSON:Now there’ve always been tensions, there have always been calls from the White House under any administration I assume, when they don’t like a particular story. But it is particularly aggressive under the Obama administration and I think it’s a campaign that’s very well organized, that’s designed to have sort of a chilling effect and to some degree has been somewhat successful in getting broadcast producers who don’t really want to deal with the headache of it — why put on these controversial stories that we’re going to have to fight people on, when we can fill the broadcast with other perfectly decent stories that don’t ruffle the same feathers?

Read the rest of this entry »


Faster, Please: How A Simple New Invention Seals A Gunshot Wound In 15 Seconds

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An Oregon startup has developed a pocket-size device that uses tiny sponges to stop bleeding fast

Rose Pastore reports:  When a soldier is shot on the battlefield, the emergency treatment can seem as brutal as the injury itself. A medic must pack gauze directly into the wound cavity, sometimes as deep as 5 inches into the body, to stop bleeding from an artery. It’s an agonizing process that doesn’t always work–if bleeding hasn’t stopped after three minutes of applying direct pressure, the medic must pull out all the gauze and start over again. It’s so painful, “you take the guy’s gun away first,” says former U.S. Army Special Operations medic John Steinbaugh.

Even with this emergency treatment, many soldiers still bleed to death;hemorrhage is a leading cause of death on the battlefield. “Gauze bandages just don’t work for anything serious,” says Steinbaugh, who tended to injured soldiers during more than a dozen deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. When Steinbaugh retired in April 2012 after a head injury, he joined an Oregon-based startup called RevMedx, a small group of veterans, scientists, and engineers who were working on a better way to stop bleeding. 

Read the rest of this entry »

Poll: Americans Want the Government to Stop Banning Things They Like

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Breanna Deutsch reports: Americans want the government to stop acting like their mother.

According to a Reason-Rupe poll, Americans do not want government to ban trans-fats, e-cigarettes, online poker, violent video games or genetic testing kits.

Many Americans are becoming frustrated with the government’s growing involvement in what they believe should be their personal decisions.

For one, they do not want the government to be their personal nutritionist. The poll found that 71 percent of Americans oppose the Food and Drug Administration’s proposed trans-fats ban. Only 24 percent of Americans would support measures to outlaw the additive.

Read the rest of this entry »


FDA Shuts Down 23andMe: Outrageously Banning Consumer Access to Personal Genome Information

8VBGQ61g14N4-jiWwL7oJA_img_kitReason Magazine’s  reports: For a couple of years, I have been warning all my friends and colleagues to purchase $99 personal genome testing from 23andMe before the Feds banned it. Well, now the Food and Drug Administration has banned it sending the genome testing company a warning letter:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is sending you this letter because you are marketing the 23andMe Saliva Collection Kit and Personal Genome Service (PGS) without marketing clearance or approval in violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act).

This product is a device within the meaning of section 201(h) of the FD&C Act, 21 U.S.C. 321(h), because it is intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions or in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or is intended to affect the structure or function of the body. For example, your company’s website at http://www.23andme.com/health (most recently viewed on November 6, 2013) markets the PGS for providing “health reports on 254 diseases and conditions,” including categories such as “carrier status,” “health risks,” and “drug response,” and specifically as a “first step in prevention” that enables users to “take steps toward mitigating serious diseases” such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, and breast cancer. Most of the intended uses for PGS listed on your website, a list that has grown over time, are medical device uses under section 201(h) of the FD&C Act. Most of these uses have not been classified and thus require premarket approval or de novo classification, as FDA has explained to you on numerous occasions.

Read the rest of this entry »


American Banana Republic

bananaman

The decay of a free society doesn’t happen overnight, but we’re getting there. 

Mark Steyn writes: ‘This is the United States of America,” declared President Obama to the burghers of Liberty, Mo., on Friday. “We’re not some banana republic.”

He was talking about the Annual Raising of the Debt Ceiling, which glorious American tradition seems to come round earlier every year. “This is not a deadbeat nation,” President Obama continued. “We don’t run out on our tab.” True. But we don’t pay it off either. We just keep running it up, ever higher. And every time the bartender says, “Mebbe you’ve had enough, pal,” we protest, “Jush another couple trillion for the road. Set ’em up, Joe.” And he gives you that look that kinda says he wishes you’d run out on your tab back when it was $23.68.

Still, Obama is right. We’re not a banana republic, if only because the debt of banana republics is denominated in a currency other than their own — i.e., the U.S. dollar. When you’re the guys who print the global currency, you can run up debts undreamt of by your average generalissimo. As Obama explained in another of his recent speeches, “Raising the debt ceiling, which has been done over a hundred times, does not increase our debt.” I won’t even pretend to know what he and his speechwriters meant by that one, but the fact that raising the debt ceiling “has been done over a hundred times” does suggest that spending more than it takes in is now a permanent feature of American government. And no one has plans to do anything about it. Which is certainly banana republic-esque. Read the rest of this entry »