San Francisco woman dies after drinking poisonous tea

A woman is dead after drinking tea containing a lethal poison that she unwittingly bought from an herbalist in San Francisco’s Chinatown, public health officials announced Monday.

The woman, whose identity was not released, became sick within an hour after sipping tea in February, according to Rachael Kagan, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco Department of Public Health. The woman, who was in her 50s, immediately developed weakness and abnormal heart rhythms, which required resuscitation. The San Francisco resident was hospitalized for weeks. She died Saturday, Kagan said.

A man in his 30s, who also drank the tea, suffered the same health ailments. He became critically ill and was hospitalized. The San Francisco resident has since recovered and was released on March 12, she said.

According to the health department, the patients purchased tea leaves at Sun Wing Wo Trading Company in Chinatown. They bought different blends of medicinal teas with several ingredients. The teas were mixed at the shop, health officials said.

Laboratory tests were performed on the patients and tea samples, and a plant-based toxin, aconite, was found in both. Health officials are testing ingredients in the patients’ tea blends.

Aconite is a wild plant and extremely toxic, according to the Journal of Clinical Toxicology. Commonly called monkshood, Wolf’s bane, helmet flower, “chuanwu,” “fuzi,” and “caowu,” the plant is used in Asian herbal medicine to treat bruises, pain and other conditions.

In traditional Chinese medicine, the roots are used only after they are processed to reduce toxicity, according to the journal. When high doses of aconite are consumed, patients can experience numbness, weakness, palpitations, chest pains, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

The toxin attacks the heart and can be lethal, Dr. Tomás Aragón, health officer for the city and county of San Francisco, said in a written statement. According to health officials, there is no antidote for aconite poisoning.

After the tea poisoning, environmental health inspectors visited the herbalist and removed the leaves consumed by the patients from the shop. The shop’s owner is working with the health department to find the source of the toxin.

“Anyone who has purchased tea from this location should not consume it and should throw it away immediately,” Aragon said.

It is unclear how the poisonous plant got mixed up with the tea leaves, Kagan said.

“We don’t know what happened,” she said. “Something went wrong in this case.”

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Could Meals On Wheels Really Lose Funding? Yes, But It’s Hard To Say How Much

Southern Maine Agency on Aging’s Meals on Wheels program.

Gabe Souza/Portland Press Herald/Getty Images

Call it an outburst of outrage giving.

Since President Trump’s budget proposal was unveiled last Thursday, Meals on Wheels America, the national group which says it supports more than 5,000 community-based organizations that deliver meals to homebound seniors, has seen a flood of donations.

“On a given day, Meals on Wheels America typically receives $1,000 in unsolicited online donations. Since Thursday morning, we’ve received more than $160,000 in online donations,” says Jenny Bertolette, vice president for communications for the national group — which speaks on behalf of local programs and advocates for seniors, but does not itself deliver meals. It plans to use the money to fund awareness campaigns, among other things.

That surge in generosity comes in the wake of news stories suggesting that Trump’s budget plan asks Congress for cuts that would gut federal funding for the program. But is that really the case?

The White House says no.

“Some of the stories are just either grossly wrong or nearly grossly wrong, all the stories about how we cut Meals on Wheels,” Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday.

Actually, how the meal programs are funded is kind of complicated.

The brouhaha stems from two community development block grants that would be eliminated under Trump’s budget. States and cities receive the grants to help them fight poverty, and some of them use that money to help pay for Meals on Wheels programs.

Meals on Wheels, you see, isn’t a federal program. It’s a network of thousands of independently run groups that receive varying amounts of government aid – or none at all. (Some rely entirely on private donations). Together, they deliver hot meals to 2.4 million seniors each year. Some of these programs get federal funding, but how that will be affected is still unclear.

That’s because we don’t know how many programs get at least some of their funding through the block grants that are on the chopping block in Trump’s budget. It’s up to localities to allocate those funds, and as far as Bertolette knows, no one keeps a national tally of which cities and states are using those grants to fund Meals on Wheels, or how much is going to the programs.

But by far, the biggest source of federal funding for Meals on Wheels programs comes from another source: the Older Americans Act Nutrition Program, which is run by the Department Of Health and Human Services. In the aggregate, Bertolette says Meals on Wheels programs across the country rely on the HHS program for 35 percent of their funding.

The White House has proposed slashing the Health and Human Services budget by nearly 18 percent, but the details of those cuts have not been released. Will the Older Americans Act Nutrition Program be affected? No way to know.

But Bertolette says “it’s difficult to imagine a scenario in which these critical services would not be significantly and negatively impacted if [the budget proposal is] enacted into law,” she says.

Even at current federal funding levels, some Meals on Wheels programs are struggling to meet demand.

“We have a waiting list for home-delivered meals of 815 seniors, and it’s growing,” says Mark Adler, executive director of Meals On Wheels South Florida, which gets 65 percent of its $5.2 million yearly budget through the federal Older Americans Act.

“We’re already facing a situation where almost all of the seniors on our waiting list aren’t going live to see their first meal delivered,” says Adler.

His group serves 1.2 million meals to 10,000 seniors each year. Since Thursday, it’s seen a spike in donations, taking in $1,000 over a three-day period, Adler says, where normally “we’d get $100 if we’re lucky.”

Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland serves Baltimore City and seven other counties in the state. It relies on HHS funds for half of its $9 million annual budget.

Over the last four days, the Maryland group received $6,300 in donations, a huge increase over normal, a spokesperson said. The outpouring was welcome, because federal funds cover only about 30-60 percent of the cost of the roughly 1,500 meals it serves each day, so the organization is constantly fundraising to bridge that gap.

“Loss of [federal] funding would mean that we would have to drastically reduce the number of people we can serve,” Stephanie Archer-Smith, executive director of Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland, said in a statement.

Until the White House releases details of what will happen with funding for the Older Americans Act Nutrition Program, Adler says he’ll remain on tenterhooks.

“The sword of Damocles is hanging over our head with what is going to happen with this administration,” Adler says.

Chemical Agents in Water and Food Supply Feminize Human Population

http://www.renegadetribune.com/chemical-agents-water-food-supply-feminize-human-population/
By Russ Winter of The New Nationalist

The Crime Syndicate — or what some call the “New World Order” — do much more than culturally attack masculinity. A critical element of their crackpot plan and assault is to put or allow toxic agents into the environment that cause demasculinization.

metrosexual male circa 2005

For those who live in the U.S., this is manifested in what I would call the metrosexual or fem look. I first became aware of it in about 2000. At first, I thought it was just dress and changing cultural norms, but gradually I realized it was more. This has mostly emerged in the Millennial/Y generations, meaning people born between 1981 and 2000. It is a bit less pronounced in Europe, at least as you go east. It’s demonstrated in the first photo (at right). Clearly a male but just a tad low on testosterone. Sitting around using electronic devices may also contribute to a lack of male muscle mass. The agents may also contribute to the softness and flabbiness of older males as well.

Welcome to the Future

The front end of Generation Z, or Boomlets (starting in 2000, many in their pubescent years), are truly becoming freakish in terms of gender appearances. The photo to the left is of Cover Girl’s first-ever male model. Note the all-seeing eye on his T-shirt.

All Species Becoming More Feminized

The herbicide atrazine is one of the most liberally applied pesticides in the world. As a result, atrazine is the most commonly detected pesticide contaminant of ground, surface and drinking water. It’s also a potent endocrine disruptor that is active at low concentrations.

National Academy of Science studies demonstrate the reproductive consequences of atrazine exposure in adult amphibians. Atrazine-exposed males were both demasculinized (chemically castrated) and completely feminized as adults. Ten percent of the exposed genetic males developed into functional females that copulated with unexposed males and produced viable eggs. Atrazine-exposed males suffered from depressed testosterone, decreased breeding gland size, demasculinized/feminized laryngeal development, suppressed mating behavior, reduced spermatogenesis and decreased fertility.

Explosion in Unisex or Intersex Fish

If that isn’t enough, a nine-year study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey discovered an abundance of intersex fish in American rivers. Overall, 44 percent of the large-mouth and small-mouth bass dissected turned out to be intersex, but at some sites 91 percent of the male large-mouth bass were affected. Biologist Jo Ellen Hinck’s team found intersex males at 34 of 111 sites in eight of nine major river basins, including the Columbia, the Colorado and the Mississippi. The southeastern U.S. was hit hardest.

Scientists claim to be uncertain about the culprit. Previous research indicates that wastewater treatment plants flush endocrine-disruptive compounds (EDCs), including pharmaceuticals, pesticides and hormones, into rivers. Even minuscule amounts of EDCs can trigger powerful hormonal shifts that deform male fishes’ reproductive organs. Synthetic estrogen used in birth-control pills added to closed lakes collapsed the entire fish population.

An even more likely culprit is rain runoff with waste that is laden with hormones excreted from millions of chickens and cattle. And lo and behold, both food sources are picking up EDC compounds in the environment. One is called phthalates, which possess anti-androgenic properties. This means that they alter the natural expression of male androgen hormones, which are responsible for male characteristics. Accordingly, pregnant women whose fetuses are exposed to this agent end up reproducing males with smaller or deformed genitalia. An increasing amount of our males are experiencing delayed puberty, falling sperm counts and a rise in gender confusion as boys are increasingly feminized.

Tips for Aging Men to Maintain Male Hormones

  • Avoid Statins
  • Avoid Painkillers – Use healthy alternatives such as turmeric for pain
  • Avoid Fragrance – Fragrance often contains EDs, use essential oils
  • Dust & Vacuum – Use vacuum with HEPA filter
  • Clean Regularly – Clean with vinegar, borax, baking soda
  • Clean Indoor Air – Large-leaf houseplants filter toxins from air
  • Avoid Thermal – Don’t take receipts or, if must, wash hands immediately after touching
  • Sweat To Detoxify – Exercise regularly

TNN Takeaway

This topic goes on and on, and we could write a 5,000-word article full of just-the-facts citations. But of particular note is the lack of concern and the “what, me worry?” attitude of the Monsanto lobby, trans-humanists, transgender- and homosexual-infested health and governmental agencies running the show. Not much shows up in the lugenpresse on this development either. TNN submits it is all by design.


This article originally appeared on The New Nationalist and was republished here with permission.

Renegade Editor’s Note: As alarming as the preceding information is, it is likely not nearly as disruptive as all of the sex steroids found in animal products, which have incredibly high concentrations of actual animal estrogen, with a huge culprit being milk. Does it really do a body good?

Company recalls 21,000 pounds of frozen pizza sold at Walmart over potential listeria

A California-based company is recalling more than 21,200 pounds of frozen pizza sold at Walmart retail stores in 11 states due to potential listeria contamination. RBR Meat Company Inc. issued the recall for its Marketside Extra Large Supreme Pizza after possible listeria was discovered during routine sampling.

The product was available for purchase in Walmart store locations across California, Colorado, Nevada, Washington state, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming, Alaska and Hawaii. According to a news release on the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) the products were produced on Feb. 23 and are packaged in a 50.6-ounce corrugated box containing one shrink-wrapped 16-inch pizza with lot code 20547.

According to FSIS, no illnesses tied to the recall had been reported as of March 15. However, consumers who have the product in their freezer or who have purchased it are urged to discard of it or return it for a refund.

Virtual reality has moved beyond science fiction to become a very real part of people’s lives. What advances will help VR go ma…

The recall comes amid a deadly listeria outbreak linked to a New York-based creamery that has resulted in at least six illnesses and two fatalities. Consuming foods contaminated with listeria could cause fever, muscle aches, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, convulsions, diarrhea or other stomach issues. Pregnant women who are exposed to listeria may suffer miscarriage, stillbirths or premature delivery. Those with compromised immune systems are also considered at an increased risk of health complications after exposure.

Consumers with additional questions may contact FSIS at AskKaren.gov or 1-888-674-6854.

UN TURNS STARVATION INTO A CASH COW

 

Less than a week ago, Stephen O’Brien, the United Nations Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief stated, “More than 20 million people across four countries face starvation and famine. Without collective and coordinated global efforts, people will simply starve to death. Many more will suffer and die from disease.” Mr. O’Brien also said “$4.4bn was needed by July to avert disaster.”

Here is what I’d like to know: Mr. O’Brien has been in office for nearly two years now. What has he been doing all this time? What has the UN been doing? Starvation of twenty million people does not happen overnight. Why has the UN not sounded the alarm before? All of a sudden, the Internet and newsfeeds are inundated with harrowing images of emaciated children. Could the UN not tell the world about this when only five or ten million people were starving? Apparently, someone in that defunct institution calculated that it requires no less than twenty million starving people to redeem a ransom of $4.4 bn by July.

The billions of dollars the organization already receives could have cured the world’s hunger problems several times over. They could have shipped a few million of the 1.3 billion tons of excess food trashed each year and solved this crisis, but they have no interest in doing so. Starving children bring in donations. Feeding them would dry up the flow of money and kill this cash cow.

More than anything, Mr. O’Brien’s declaration is an admission that the UN is rotten to the core. The sole interests of the politicians and diplomats who serve in it are their paychecks and promoting their careers. For example, consider this piece of information coming from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). On its Frequently Asked Questions page, UNICEF USA refutes the “vicious” and unsubstantiated rumor that Caryl M. Stern, President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, “earns more than $1 million.” In truth, the organization proclaims, Mrs. Stern “earns $521,820.” Indeed, a CEO who is a role model of austerity.

The Root Cause of Our Problems

The growing decadence of the UN should not surprise us. It goes hand in hand with humanity’s exponential growth of self-absorption and narcissism. To find a real alternative to the nations’ governing body, we need to start by addressing the root cause of all the problems.

In 1964, Nobel Prize laureate in physics Dennis Gabor wrote, “Till now man has been up against Nature; from now on he will be up against his own nature.” In fact, we have been up against our own nature since Biblical times, when we learned that all of our problems are because “The inclination of a man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Gen 8:21). Still, until recently, when we began to realize the great harm that excessive selfishness inflicts on the world, we obstinately tried to circumvent the problem rather than solve it.

Over the eons, humanity has tried every conceivable form of governance in search of the ideal way to balance our need for social connections with our inherent self-centeredness. Slavery, feudalism, capitalism, liberalism, fascism, communism, and Nazism have all been part of the trail of blood and suffering we call “the annals of human history.” Still, we have not found a single form of governance that is both sustainable and guarantees the well-being of all people. And the reason we have not found one is that, not only are we narcissistic and selfish to the core, but are also growing incrementally more so exponentially! Now we are at a tipping point. We have become so apathetic to each other that if we do not find a remedy for the ills of human nature, media outlets will soon regard twenty million starving people as not newsworthy.

To truly help ourselves, we must address two issues. The first is provision of sustenance. In a world where so much food gets lost or wasted, it is unacceptable that human beings should starve. The food already exists. All we need is to collect and ship it where it’s needed.

The second issue to address concerns prevention. This entails a long-term program that will ultimately change the way we think and feel about the world—from the current exploitative mindset to a more balanced and sustainable approach.

The Secret of Our Nation

In a TED talk given in May 2010, acclaimed American sociologist and physician Nicholas Christakis stated that human beings form a kind of superorganism. Approximately eighty years prior, acclaimed commentator on The Book of Zohar Rav Yehuda Ashlag wrote, “We have already come to such a degree that the whole world is considered one collective and one society. …In our generation, when each person is aided for his happiness by all the countries in the world … the possibility of leading a good, happy, and peaceful life in one country is inconceivable when it is not so in all the countries in the world.” To this, Ashlag added, “People have not yet grasped this,” but stressed that it is only because “the act comes before the understanding, and only actions will prove and push humanity forward.” In other words, we will not feel that we are a single superorganism (as Christakis put it) until we begin to act the part.

This begs the question: How could such a deeply divided world operate as one superorganism? Consider this curious fact: The only nation to have survived since antiquity is the Jewish nation. The Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman nations have all vanished, and only Judaism remains. Scholars, philosophers, philo-Semites and anti-Semites throughout the ages have pondered, “What is the secret of his immortality?” as Mark Twain asked about the Jew.

The answer lies in a fundamental difference between the Jews and all other nations. The secret to our endurance is the adhesive of unity. The early Jews came from different tribes and cultures. The only thing that held them together was an idea that Abraham had taught them: Mercy and love are the foundation stones upon which to build society. Whenever the ego erupts, do not fight or part ways, but cover it with love instead. The wisest of all men, King Solomon, succinctly summarized Abraham’s principle: “Hate stirs strife, and love covers all crimes” (Proverbs 10:12).

Living by this approach has held the Jews together through crises and wars for approximately 1,500 years—from Abraham’s time until the ruin of the Second Temple some two millennia ago. Moreover, history has proven that the “cement” of unity that covers egoism is so strong that it not only sustained the Jewish people longer than any other nation, but also kept them intact through countless attempts to destroy and disperse them. Although today’s Jews have lost that special unity that had sustained them for centuries, the persistent strength of that adhesive is still strong enough to keep our nation in existence.

Successful Proof of Concept

The historic fact of our unique survival is the key to solving the world’s problems. Unity over egoism is the one mode of governance the world has not yet tried. Faced with the risk of another world war, mass starvation, accelerated global warming, and pollution of natural resources, I think we simply must give this approach a serious consideration. Of all unlikely people, it was notorious anti-Semite Henry Ford who wrote, “Modern reformers, who are constructing model social systems, would do well to look into the social system under which the early Jews were organized.” On this point, he could not be more right.

As Ashlag said, “the act comes before the understanding.” Today, we are implementing Abraham’s principle of unity above enmity de facto. After numerous successful unity events throughout the world, including in conflict zones such as Israel, with Arabs and Jews, we are certain that we can reinstate our forefathers’ method on a large scale (Example 1, Example 2, Example 3 [the latter is in Hebrew, switch on the Subtitles option]).

In my view, until we deal with the heart of the problem—the egoism in human nature—and do so specifically in the way that Abraham bequeathed to his disciples, by bonding atop their animosity, we will find no relief to our woes. The notion that we need not suppress our unruly egos, but simply exert to unite above them may be a novel idea to some, but in my view, we have run out of options. The implementation of Abraham’s method is the only way to spare humanity many more years of needless torment.

Michael Laitman is a Professor of Ontology, a PhD in Philosophy and Kabbalah, an MSc in Medical Bio-Cybernetics, and was the prime disciple of Kabbalist, Rav Baruch Shalom Ashlag (the RABASH). He has written over 40 books, which have been translated into dozens of languages. Click Here to visit his author page.

 

UN: 20 million people in four countries face starvation and famine

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The world faces the largest humanitarian crisis since the United Nations was founded in 1945 with more than 20 million people in four countries facing starvation and famine, the UN humanitarian chief said Friday.

Stephen O’Brien told the UN Security Council that “without collective and coordinated global efforts, people will simply starve to death” and “many more will suffer and die from disease.”

He urged an immediate injection of funds for Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and northeast Nigeria plus safe and unimpeded access for humanitarian aid “to avert a catastrophe.”

“To be precise,” O’Brien said, “we need $4.4 billion by July.”

Stephen O'Brien, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator

Without a major infusion of money, he said, children will be stunted by severe malnutrition and won’t be able to go to school, gains in economic development will be reversed and “livelihoods, futures and hope will be lost.”

UN and food organizations define famine as when more than 30 percent of children under age 5 suffer from acute malnutrition and mortality rates are two or more deaths per 10,000 people every day, among other criteria.

“Already at the beginning of the year we are facing the largest humanitarian crisis since the creation of the United Nations,” O’Brien said. “Now, more than 20 million people across four countries face starvation and famine.”

O’Brien said the largest humanitarian crisis is in Yemen where two-thirds of the population — 18.8 million people — need aid and more than seven million people are hungry and don’t know where their next meal will come from. “That is three million people more than in January,” he said.

The Arab world’s poorest nation is engulfed in conflict and O’Brien said more than 48,000 people fled fighting just in the past two months.

During his recent visit to Yemen, O’Brien said he met senior leaders of the government and the Shiite Houthi rebels who control the capital Sanaa, and all promised access for aid.

“Yet all parties to the conflict are arbitrarily denying sustained humanitarian access and politicize aid,” he said, warning if that behavior doesn’t change now “they must be held accountable for the inevitable famine, unnecessary deaths and associated amplification in suffering that will follow.”

For 2017, O’Brien said $2.1 billion is needed to reach 12 million Yemenis “with life-saving assistance and protection” but only 6 percent has been received so far. He announced that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will chair a pledging conference for Yemen on April 25 in Geneva.

The UN humanitarian chief also visited South Sudan, the world’s newest nation which has been ravaged by a three-year civil war, and said “the situation is worse than it has ever been.”

“The famine in South Sudan is man-made,” he said. “Parties to the conflict are parties to the famine — as are those not intervening to make the violence stop.”

O’Brien said more than 7.5 million people need aid, up by 1.4 million from last year, and about 3.4 million South Sudanese are displaced by fighting including almost 200,000 who have fled the country since January.

“More than one million children are estimated to be acutely malnourished across the country, including 270,000 children who face the imminent risk of death should they not be reached in time with assistance,” he said. “Meanwhile, the cholera outbreak that began in June 2016 has spread to more locations.”

In Somalia, which O’Brien also visited, more than half the population — 6.2 million people — need humanitarian assistance and protection, including 2.9 million who are at risk of famine and require immediate help “to save or sustain their lives.”

He warned that close to one million children under the age of five will be “acutely malnourished” this year.

“What I saw and heard during my visit to Somalia was distressing — women and children walk for weeks in search of food and water. They have lost their livestock, water sources have dried up and they have nothing left to survive on,” O’Brien said. “With everything lost, women, boys, girls and men now move to urban centers.”

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres is surrounded by Somali refugees as he speaks to the media in an area where arrivals from Somalia have settled, on the outskirts of Dagahaley Camp, outside Dadaab, Kenya, July 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

The humanitarian chief said current indicators mirror “the tragic picture of 2011 when Somalia last suffered a famine.” But he said the UN’s humanitarian partners have a larger footprint, better controls on resources, and a stronger partnership with the new government which recently declared the drought a national disaster.

“To be clear, we can avert a famine,” O’Brien said. “We’re ready despite incredible risk and danger … but we need those huge funds now.”

In northeast Nigeria, a seven-year uprising by the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram has killed more than 20,000 people and driven 2.6 million from their homes. A UN humanitarian coordinator said last month that malnutrition in the northeast is so pronounced that some adults are too weak to walk and some communities have lost all their toddlers.

Are Bad Diets Causing a Bowel Cancer Crisis Among Millennials?

‘Things,’ that age old dictum goes, were always harder back in the day. That was of course before we had climate change and an impending new wave of fascism in the West. Suddenly “back in the day” seems to have nothing on what is to come. Need extra convincing? How about this new study, which reports a “sharp rise” in colorectal cancer among young adults in their 20s and 30s.

The study, led by scientists from the American Cancer Society, compared the colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence rates of people born around 1950, when risk was at its recorded lowest, with those born in 1990. Their overall findings, published late February in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, showed that “three in ten rectal cancer diagnoses are now in patients younger than age 55.”

This statistic reflects a disturbing trend: the incidence of CRC, which had previously been decreasing for people born between 1890 and 1950, has steadily increased in each consecutive generation born ever since. What’s most concerning is that scientists can’t explain why.

Here is what they do know. Recent studies had begun reporting an increase in CRC incidence among adults under 50. To better understand this, the American Cancer Society researchers decided to conduct a “retrospective study” of all patients—measured in 5-year age group increments—that were diagnosed with CRC from 1974 through 2013. For the study, they used the “the nine oldest Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program registries,” which included 490,305 cases. The team also made sure to use a research model that removed extraneous factors, such as changes in medical practice, when comparing their data.

Their results revealed that incidences of colon cancer have risen the fastest among people aged 20-29. Specifically, they found that this rate has grown by 2.4 percent per year since 1974. A similar rising trend was observed among people in their 30s and 40s. For rectal cancer, the rate was recorded as rising at 3-4 percent per year for adults in their 20s. By contrast, rates of rectal cancer in adults 55 and older have generally been in decline for the past 40 years.

“There is no mistaking these dramatic increases, especially for rectal cancers,” Dr. Thomas Weber, a professor of surgery at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, told the New York times. Although Weber himself was not involved in the study, he has served on the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable and confirmed that the study’s findings show a very real and increasing trend. He added that the number of new CRC patients under 50 each year now exceeds the “total number of new cases” of other less common cancers. This article further emphasizes that “colorectal cancers are considered a disease of aging.” The fact that there has been a decrease in the rates of this disease among older people, “is both baffling and worrisome.”

It’s important to note at this point the full implications of these findings. As Dr. Gilbert Welch, a professor of medicine at the Dartmouth Institute, explained in an interview with CNN, the number of actual increased cases of CRC among young people still remains relatively low. What is concerning, however, is that there are more cases among young people now than there were before, which translates to more serious stages of the cancer later on in life if these sections of the population continue to go unscreened.

In terms of accounting for this increase, the researchers were unable to provide an exact cause. In a statement to the press, though, they did note how, “it is not surprising that the timing of the obesity epidemic parallels the rise in colorectal cancers because many behaviors thought to drive weight gain, such as unhealthy dietary patterns and sedentary lifestyles, independently increase colorectal cancer risk.”

Dr. Rebecca Siegel, the lead author on this study, explained how this could be the case by citing a different study that found people from Africa who suddenly switched to an American diet showed signs of inflammation in their colons within just two weeks. “So this change can happen fairly rapidly,” she said.

The link between dietary habits and CRC is of course nothing new. Previous research has found that diets comprised of fast food meals, or really any foods containing high sugar content, can increase the risk of CRC. A large consumption of alcohol, as well as smoking, are also big contributors.

In the same Times article, Dr. Mohamed E. Salem, an assistant professor at Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University, confirmed that at age 42 he was older “than about 60 percent of his patients.” Although obesity is a factor of concern among the scientific community, Salem said, “we suspect there is also something else going on.”

The question of possible causes was explored further in a recent article by Richard Harris published on NPR. The article cited a different, British study that suggested that “only 11 percent of colon cancer cases could be tied to trends in obesity.” Welch offered his own possible explanation to NPR, saying how this trend might simply be reflective of the fact that people are receiving colonoscopies for more reasons nowadays, and, as a result, doctors are “coming upon early cases of colon cancer that might not have turned up so soon.” To that end, Harris referenced a different study which shows that although the rate of new CRC cases has increased among Americans aged under-50, the death rate has remained relatively the same.

“Trends in young people are a bellwether for the future disease burden,” said Siegel, in her statement to the press. For Siegel, the results of their study should prompt a rise in awareness among “clinicians and the general public” in order to “reduce delays in diagnosis” as well as “encourage healthier eating and more active lifestyles to try to reverse this trend.”

One practical suggestion made by Siegel and her team is lowering the average risk age for screening people for CRC. More generally, Siegel urges doctors and patients to become more aware of possible signs and symptoms. She lists these warning signs as follows:

  • A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool, that lasts for more than a few days.
  • A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that is not relieved by doing so
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Dark stools, or blood in the stool
  • Cramping or abdominal (belly) pain
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Unintended weight loss

In an article published on the American Cancer Society’s website, Dr. Otis Brawley, the society’s chief medical officer, listed several practical ways young people could mitigate their chances of being diagnosed with CRC.

  • Eat lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains and less red meat (beef, pork, or lamb) and processed meats (hot dogs and some luncheon meats).
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Watch your weight.
  • Avoid tobacco.
  • Limit alcohol. The American Cancer Society recommends no more than 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women.

Yes, there is a lot to possibly fear about the future. There is also a lot we can do now to avoid those fears. Think about the environment, think about your health. Be proactive now, and who knows, we may just be able to one day complain again about how much harder things used to be.

 

Robin Scher is a freelance writer from South Africa currently based in New York. He tweets infrequently @RobScherHimself.

2 fall critically ill after drinking toxic tea in San Francisco

Two people are critically sick in San Francisco after drinking tea from the same Chinatown herbalist.

The tea leaves bought at Sun Wing Wo Trading Company contained the plant-based toxin Aconite, the Department of Public Health said Friday.

A man in his 50s last month and a woman in her 30s this month became critically ill within an hour of drinking the tea, and both remain hospitalized, health officials said.

Each person grew weak then had life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms that required resuscitation and intensive care.

Aconite, also known as monkshood, helmet flower and wolfsbane, is used in Asian herbal medicines. But it must be processed properly to be safe.

Health officials are working to find the original source of the tea leaves, and they are warning others to stop consuming it.

“Anyone who has purchased tea from this location should not consume it and should throw it away immediately,” said Dr. Tomás Aragón, health officer for the city and county of San Francisco. “Aconite poisoning attacks the heart and can be lethal.”

Egyptians protest over new bread subsidies system

CAIRO, Egypt — Dozens of Egyptians protested across the country on Tuesday because they were unable to get their share of subsidized bread, police said.

The protests followed a supply ministry decision to limit the number of subsidized loaves bakeries can sell to people who do not yet have digital cards that are being introduced under a new distribution system, Supply Minister Ali al-Meselhy said.

The new system, which the government launched in 2014, replaces paper documents, and is designed to allow stricter state control and oversight to ensure no subsidized flour is stolen by bakeries.

Protests were reported on Tuesday in the provinces of Alexandria, Kafr el-Sheikh, Minya and Assiut, with a small demonstration also taking place in Cairo, officials said, requesting anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.

In Alexandria, angry protesters gathered outside the ministry’s offices.

An Egyptian man shows a paper documents as dozens of Egyptians take part in demonstration in front of a government office in downtown Alexandria on March 7, 2017, against the decision of the supply ministry to limit the distribution of subsidized bread to holders of a new system of digital cards issued by the ministry. (AFP PHOTO / STR)

An Egyptian man shows a paper documents as dozens of Egyptians take part in demonstration in front of a government office in downtown Alexandria on March 7, 2017, against the decision of the supply ministry to limit the distribution of subsidized bread to holders of a new system of digital cards issued by the ministry. (AFP PHOTO / STR)

Meselhy said at a press conference later in the day that the ministry had limited to 500 the number of loaves that could be distributed by each accredited bakery to non-digital card holders.

He said data on people still using paper documents for their subsidized bread will be collected so they can be issued with digital cards within a week.

Until then, the minister promised citizens who did not get bread on Tuesday that the problem would be resolved within 48 hours.

Bacon, soda, and too few nuts tied to a big portion of US deaths

CHICAGO — Gorging on bacon, skimping on nuts? These are among food habits that new research links with deaths from heart disease, strokes, and diabetes.

Overeating or not eating enough of healthful foods and nutrients contributes to about 45 percent of US deaths from these causes, the study suggests.

‘‘Good’’ foods that were under-eaten include: nuts and seeds, seafood rich in omega-3 fats including salmon and sardines; fruits and vegetables; and whole grains.

‘‘Bad’’ foods or nutrients that were over-eaten include salt and salty foods; processed meats including bacon, bologna, and hot dogs; red meat including steaks and hamburgers; and sugary drinks.

The research is based on US government data showing there were about 700,000 deaths in 2012 from heart disease, strokes, and diabetes and on an analysis of national health surveys that asked participants about their eating habits. Most didn’t eat the recommended amounts of the foods studied.

It may sound like a familiar attack on the typical American diet, and the research echoes previous studies on the benefits of heart-healthy eating. But the study goes into more detail on specific foods and their risks or benefits, said lead author Renata Micha, a public health researcher and nutritionist at Tufts University.

The results were published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Micha said 10 foods and nutrients were singled out because of research linking them with the causes of death studied. For example, studies have shown that excess salt can increase blood pressure, putting stress on arteries and the heart. Nuts contain healthful fats that can improve cholesterol levels, while bacon and other processed meats contain saturated fats that can raise levels of unhealthful LDL cholesterol.

In the study, too much salt was the biggest problem, linked with nearly 10 percent of the deaths. Overeating processed meats and undereating nuts and seeds and seafood each were linked with about 8 percent of the deaths.

The Food and Drug Administration’s recent voluntary sodium reduction guidelines for makers of processed foods and taxes that some US cities have imposed on sugar-sweetened beverages are steps in the right direction, Micha said.

A journal editorial said public health policies targeting unhealthful eating could help prevent some deaths, while noting that the study isn’t solid proof that ‘‘suboptimal’’ diets were deadly.

The study’s recommended amounts, based on US government guidelines, nutrition experts’ advice, and amounts found to be beneficial or harmful in previous research:

‘‘Good’’ ingredients

 Fruits: three average-sized fruits daily

 Vegetables: 2 cups cooked or 4 cups raw vegetables daily

 Nuts/seeds: 5 1-ounce servings per week — about 20 nuts per serving

 Whole grains: 2 ½ daily servings

 Polyunsaturated fats, found in many vegetable oils: 11 percent of daily calories

 Seafood: about 8 ounces weekly

‘‘Bad’’ ingredients

 Red meat: 1 serving weekly — 1 medium steak or the equivalent

 Processed meat: None recommended

 Sugary drinks: None recommended

 Salt: 2,000 milligrams daily — just under a teaspoon.