On a fairly regular basis one eminent "authority" or another will pop-up in the media with some research which claims that there may well be dramatic, not to say extremely serious consequences related to the subject of the research . The research may be limited, will not be definite and the claims will always be accompanied by the words "could lead to...". The media will gleefully latch on to this with a consequent frightening blaze of publicity and the "authority" will have 10 minutes of fame whilst the public may be unnecessarily alarmed.
The one thing all these reports have in common is that nothing has been proved but the public has been unnecessarily alarmed.
This page is a rolling collection of such reports. If readers have evidence of similar items, set out as below, countrydoctor would be pleased to consider them for publication. There have, after all, been very many over the last several years - and we have all rather remarkably survived.
Please mail your contribution to Davidroberts@doctors.org.uk
|21 May, 2004||General media via "Pathology"||nvCJD||Thousands of people could still die of new variant CJD||An examination of 12,000 operative appendix and tonsillar specimens which found 3 infected ones. The owner of the report urged caution on his own interpretation of his research..|
|2002||Eminent researcher plus multi-media||Women & antibiotics||Antibiotics could cause breast cancer||Women taking a/bs for > a year or 25 prescriptions over 17 years may have double the risk but that may also be due to the infections. More research is needed says Cancer Research UK.|
|2003||Reading and Weybridge researchers||Anti-perpsrants||Anti-perspirants could cause breast cancer||Tumours in 20 women had parabens (oestrogen-like preservatives) in them. Parabens has not been linked to breast Ca and may be harmless - said the researchers|
|May 2004||University of Michigan||Antibiotics||Antibiotics could be the cause of asthma||Antibiotics given to children may be the cause of the "explosion" in adult asthma cases due to disturbances of the immune system. More research needed.|
|June 2004||Cancer Research Council & MRC||
|Bowel cancer could be linked to diabetes||Examination of some 1000s of cases show there may be a link. More research is needed, they admit.|
|July 12 2004||German Association for Environmental Protection (quoted in "GP")||Wearing flip-flops||Wearing flip-flops could make men impotent||None cited but phthalates could damage reproductive organs|
|July 31 2004||BMJ||Childhood exposure to smoke||Childhood exposure to smoke may increase risk of adult back pain||Exposure to second hand smoke may affect developing spine. Limited study on nurse aides (Univ. of Oslo)|
|August 8 2004||The Observer||Secret mass medication||There's so much Prozac prescribed by GPs that it's contaminating the water supply||LibDem Environment spokesman, Mr Baker, says it is secret mass medication but that the amount of Prozac in the water is unknown|
|August 20 2004||Mr Thompson, American scientist and the WHO via BBC R4 6 pm News, 20/8/04||Bird 'flu has transmitted to pigs||Millions of humans will die if it transmits to humans||There is no evidence that it can or will|
|October 19 2004||Dr Alexandra Farrow, Brunel University, W London||Air fresheners and aerosols||May cause babies to have stomach upsets and diarrhoea and women to have post-natal depression||Looking at data from University of Bristol's "Children of the 90s" project. Monitoring 170 women for a year|
|November 29 2004||American Journal of Clinical Nutrition||Ovarian cancer and milk||Drinking more than one glass/day of milk could double the risk of ovarian cancer||"Major" study of 61,000 women over 13 years. Milk consumption only studied for first three years.|
|December 6 2004||Minot State University, North Dakota||Sexuality||Pregnant women taking amphetamine slimming pills may make their babes lesbians||Mothers of 5000 students and members of gay and lesbian support groups traced|
|December 6, 2004||Minot State University, North Dakota||Sexuality||Mothers of heterosexual men were more likely to have taken anti-nauseants than those of gays.||None given|
|February 14 2004||Medical College of Georgia||Hypertension||2 cans/day of fizzy drinks could cause hypertension in teenagers||A study of 160 teenage boys and girls aged 15-19|
|June 11 2005||Biology Letters reported in Daily Mail and PULSE||Sexuality||Mobile phones decrease male fertility by 15%||A world-shattering study of a 52 men|
|19 October 2005||Britain's Chief Medical Officer||Avian 'flu||50,000 Britons will be killed by the pandemic of avian flu - but not this year!||The disease has been rife in SE Asian birds for a considerable time and 50% of 126 affected humans have died. The virus MAY mutate to cause a pandemic. At present there is no pandemic.|
|13 December 2005||Newcastle University and the European Journal of Cancer + the Daily Mail!||Childhood leukaemia||Common illnesses such as the common cold in the mother may trigger cancer...||...but only if they carry mutant cells already. Study over 45 years BUT how can it be proved the mother had a cold during pregnancy. Don't most people? The researchers admit they need more evidence. Then why the blistering hell did they go public and worry people?|
|28 December 2005||
Radio 4, BBC and other media.
Researchers in California
|Cancer prevention||Large doses of Vitamin D2 may prevent many common cancers||
Doses of 2.5 times the recommended
dose. Limited research.
If only it were so simple.
|9 January, 2006||Russian Academy of Sciences; Daily Mail||Deformed babies||Eating GM crops could harm your baby||Tests on rats point to a risk of underweight babies who may die early. Unproven, not peer-reviewed|
|10 May 2006||Liverpool University; Daily Mail 8/5/06||Nervous system of children||The colours of Smarties could have a "cocktail effect" on the nervous system and should be removed - especially the blue ones||"A recent study by experts at Liverpool University". Dr Lizzie Vann of Organix "applauds" Nestles but did not reveal how many tons of the colourant children would need to ingest to cause the effect.|
|16 June 2006||Health expert senior midwife at King's College, Annette Briley, Daily Mail||Maternity. In particular Britney Spears seen sun bathing||Sunbathing on the beach may break down folic acid and may cause chloasma||"Evidence shows that UV rays can break down folic acid needed in pregnancy". No other evidence cited.|
|12 July 2006||
Dr Odent, French expert obstetrician
at the Birthright Trust Cambridge Conference.
|Maternity||Caesars may prevent mothers bonding with their babies||
"Caesars somehow prevent the provision
of bonding hormone oxytocin", he believes. Midwives
agree but say they don't know what low oxytocin causes.
No evidence given.
|28 July 2006||
Paper in Royal Society of medicine Journal by Drs Vassilliou and Zipitis from Addenbrookes. Reported in D Mail 27 July.
|Asthma||Asthma drugs may kill. Salometerol and formotorel have increased death rates in asthmatics especially children.||Contradicted by Dr M. Partridge of the Asthma Society who said the report was not new and patients should continue their drugs|
|3 August 2006||
Joanna Verran, Manchester University microbiologist
|Infections||Mobile phones health hazards. They harbour more "germs" than a toilet seat||
No evidence cited nor what proportion of the
55million British users are adversely affected - if any.
No comparison made with ordinary phones.
|3 August 2006||
Mike O-Neill, "foot surgeon" , amongst others, in Daily Mail
|Muscular injuries||Flip-flops can damage your health. Shin-splints, tendonitis||
"Figures show 55,100 flip-flop related complaints
went to hospital in 2002".
What "figures" and where?
No serious evidence cited.
|21 August 2006||
DoH D. Mail
|CT scans||Screening test could cause cancer. "Private companies are making money out of scanning people". DoH worried about safety and called for enquiry.||No clear evidence|
|21 August 2006||
Prof Douglas McMahon, Tenessee in Paediatric Research and Prof. Shennon of Tommy's Baby Charity. D. Tel
|Psychiatry and behaviour||Hospital lighting could harm babies. May make them feel depressed and have a lasting effect on their behaviour||A study on baby mice by Prof McMahon and an extrapolation relating from SAD in adults. No other evidence and certainly none directly related to human babies.|
|5 October 2006||Dr Yvonne Kohlhammer, Neuherberg, Germany reported in D Mail||Allergy||Swimming pools "can cause hay fever" . Chlorination may not be harmless. Allergy UK said there was no proven link between hayfever and swimming pools.||Those who swim once a month are 70% more likely to develop hay fever in retrospective study, with no controls, of 2600 adults between 35 & 74.|
|12 October 2006||Harvard School of Public Health in D Mail||Pregnancy||Eating oily fish during pregnancy could cause prematurity.||1024 women tested, 44 gave birth prematurely but "further work is needed" to establish a connection. May be due to mercury.|
|20 October 2006||Inst. of Pharmacological Research, Milan in International Journal of Cancer||Cancer||Eating 5 slices of white bread a day may increase the risk of kidney cancer||A study of 2300 Italians asked them to remember what they had eaten every day for the previous 5 years.|
|26 October 2006||Reproductive Research Centre, Cleveland Clinic., Ohio, Prof Agarwal. Radio 4, Daily Mail etc.||Fertility||4 hours daily on mobile phones could impair male fertility||Not made clear how a phone being used at the ear could affect testes. It is understood that only politicians speak through their rear ends and therefore are even slightly at risk.|
|31 October 2006||Prof Stern, British Govt for the Chancellor of the Exchequer||Climate change||Effects of climate change will cost >£3trillion so must put up taxes to prevent this.||Chancellor Gordon Brown, well known to have a very deep "black hole" in his financial arrangements - and the originator of billions in increased stealth taxes - commissioned a global warming report. Stern carried this out using the flimisiest of scientific and financial evidence and came up with an answer which would, surprise, surprise require the imposition of massive increases in taxation as "green taxes". Stern is not the first "expert" this govt has appointed to get the answer it wanted.|
|29 November, 2006||"Scientists" at Harvard Medical School||Bladder cancer||
Bacon sandwiches could cause bladder cancer.
Eating skinless chickens regularly could also cause bladder cancer
|Scientists analysed diet and lifestyle of 135,000 people over 22 years (Really!!!). 800 are said to have developed bladder cancer after eating five bacon sandwiches a week. Did they really keep such detailed records or did they rely on peoples' memories?|
|7 April 2007||Dermopathic Institute, Rome in The European Journal of Cancer||Skin cancer||Home insecticide sprays could double the risk of skin cancer||Scientists believe their findings may account for some of the 10% of skin cancer cases not caused by the sun. Of the 300 questioned, those who used the sprays more than four times a year doubled the risk. Cancer Research UK, paraphrased, said "Crap".|
|18 April, 2007||Columbia University Medical School, New York. Dr Rui Jiang in American Journal of Respiratory and critical Care Medicine||Chronic lung disease||Bacon may cause lung disease||Eating bacon at least 14 times a month may cause smoking-type diseases due to the nitrites used in curing it. Study from diets of "thousands".|
|18 April 2007||Leeds University via Daily Mail||Post-menopausal breast cancer||2oz red meat daily may raise the risk by 56%||No evidence quoted|
|25 April 2007||Wayne State Uni, Michigan and European Journal of Cancer Prevention||Endometrial cancer||Uterine cancer may be caused by electric blankets||Those asked if they had ever used an electric blanket were 15% more likely to develop endometrial cancer. 36% if used regularly for 20 years. The research methods are not stated.|
|8 May, 2007||Dr Winchester, paediatrician, Indiana Medical School||Intelligence||Pesticide use in spring may make spring babies less intelligent||Dr Winchester says he cannot prove the link but his findings supported one.|
|18 July, 2007||
University of Southern California and of
British Journal of Cancer
|Breast cancer||Eating a quarter of a grapefruit a day raises the risk of breast cancer by 30% in post-menopausal women||"It is thought" that it boosts oestrogen levels.|
|18 July 2007||Harvard Medical School||Breast cancer||A single alcoholic drink may increase the risk||None given|
|18 July 2007||American Journal of Epidemiology||Kidney cancer||Fluctuating weight loss through dieting may cause kidney cancer. 10 episodes in life of losses of 10lb on dieting.||140,000 women in Sweden and Britain.|
|15 August 2007||Royal Veterinary College, London||Maternal junk food diet||A maternal diet of junk food during pregnancy could cause babes and children to prefer these foods||300 rats were used. "Our research shows that healthy eating habits need to start during the foetal and suckling life of an individual" said Prof Strickland.|