California coffee cups to get cancer warning

The National Coffee Association failed to demonstrate that a known-carcinogen produced during the coffee brewing process is not harmful. A judge in the Bear Republic ruled coffee cups need to carry a warning.

Via the NYT:

The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed in 2010 by the Council for Education and Research on Toxics, a nonprofit group based in Long Beach. The group charged that Starbucks and other companies — a group that eventually included 91 defendants — did not warn consumers that ingesting coffee would expose them to acrylamide, a chemical formed when coffee beans are roasted.

California keeps a list of chemicals it considers to cause cancer or reproductive harm, and acrylamide has been included since 1990. The state’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, known as Proposition 65 after it was passed in 1986, requires businesses to provide warning labels when exposing consumers to any of the hundreds of chemicals listed.

Judge Elihu M. Berle, in Los Angeles County Superior Court, wrote in a proposed decision on Wednesday that the companies failed to show that acrylamide does not pose a significant risk when produced during the coffee roasting process.

“Since defendants failed to prove that coffee confers any human health benefits, defendants have failed to satisfy their burden of proving that sound considerations of public health support an alternate risk level for acrylamide in coffee,” the judge wrote.

Barry's Gold Blend tea merely invokes an existential crisis. Drink Barry's. Read the rest

Tobacco giant Philip Morris is quietly funding an "anti-smoking" foundation offering $1 billion in "grants" to public health leaders

Derek Yach, president of The Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, sent a letter to 344 public health researchers and groups inviting them to bid for grants from a $1b fund set up by tobacco giant -- the list was a roster of Yach's former colleagues from his stint at the World Health Organization. Read the rest

For the next year, TV, newspapers, and the web will run massive ads from tobacco companies admitting that their products kill people, that they were engineered to be addictive, and that they covered this up

After losing their 19-year court battle with the US Department of Justice, tobacco giants Altria, R.J. Reynolds, Lorillard and Philip Morris USA are now beginning to run their court-ordered "corrective statements" as full-page newspaper ads, major web display ads, and primetime TV spots, containing frank admissions that they violated federal racketeering and fraud laws when they conspired to cover up the fact that their products killed their customers and that they intentionally designed their products to be as addictive as possible. Read the rest

For more than half a century, the sugar industry has used Big Tobacco tactics to suppress sugar/cancer link and to confuse the science

UCSF researchers have published an important paper in PLOS Biology that draws on internal documents from the US sugar industry lobby that shows that the industry deliberately suppressed research on the link between sucrose and bladder cancer and heart disease, and then deliberately sowed misinformation about the health effects of sugar, using tactics straight out of the tobacco industry's cancer-denial playbook. Read the rest

Nanomachines drill through cancer cells and kill them

Researchers demonstrated single-molecule nanomachines that can target diseased cells and then kill them by drilling through the cell membrane. Developed by a team at Rice University, Durham University (UK), and North Carolina State University, the single-molecule nanomotors are about one-billionth of a meter wide and spin at 2 to 3 million rotations per second. They're activated by ultraviolet light and could also be used to deliver drug treatment into the cells. From Rice:

“These nanomachines are so small that we could park 50,000 of them across the diameter of a human hair, yet they have the targeting and actuating components combined in that diminutive package to make molecular machines a reality for treating disease,” Tour said...

The researchers found it takes at least a minute for a motor to tunnel through a membrane. “It is highly unlikely that a cell could develop a resistance to molecular mechanical action,” Tour said.

Pal expects nanomachines will help target cancers like breast tumors and melanomas that resist existing chemotherapy. “Once developed, this approach could provide a potential step change in noninvasive cancer treatment and greatly improve survival rates and patient welfare globally,” he said...

The Pal lab at Durham tested motors on live cells, including human prostate cancer cells. Experiments showed that without an ultraviolet trigger, motors could locate specific cells of interest but stayed on the targeted cells’ surface and were unable to drill into the cells. When triggered, however, the motors rapidly drilled through the membranes.

"Molecular machines open cell membranes" (Nature)

Read the rest

Monsanto's lawyers forgot to ask a court to suppress damning evidence about cancer and corrupt science

Monsanto is facing over 100 lawsuits in a Federal district court in San Francisco brought by people who attribute their non-Hodgkin's lymphoma to exposure to glyphosate in Monsanto's Roundup weed-killer, and as part of the discovery process, it submitted internal documents to the court that detailed shenanigans in the company's internal science and its dealings with regulators and the press. Read the rest

Xeni passionately credits the ACA in helping her survive cancer

Our Xeni visited MSNBC's 'All in With Chris Hayes' to explain that the Affordable Care Act helped her survive cancer, and why a thoughtless repeal will kill thousands of fellow Americans. Read the rest

Judge blocks Texas from defunding Planned Parenthood

Authorities in Texas who falsely claimed that Planned Parenthood sells fetal body parts are prohibited from withholding federal Medicaid funds from Planned Parenthood, a federal judge ruled today. This is a significant legal victory for Planned Parenthood, which is under renewed conservative attack under President Donald Trump. Read the rest

Despite Trump's vow to kill ACA, the American Cancer Society held annual fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago

Jonathan Peltz at the Miami New Times: “'Donald Trump' and 'protecting patients’ access to health care' are two phrases that aren't generally associated with each other. But that fact didn't seem to bother the American Cancer Society (ACS), which hosted its fundraiser Rock Palm Beach at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago [on February 10].” Read the rest

"Obamacare saved my life" - Xeni on CNN

Xeni's posted many times about her cancer, what it took to treat it, what helped, and the financial issues at stake. For CNN, she writes that Obamacare saved her life. With Republicans rushing to dismantle the healthcare law formally known as the Affordable Care Act, it's more important than ever to understand what Americans will face if insurance companies are put back in charge. Even if you think you have good insurance, you might be surprised to learn what it won't cover if the ACA goes away.

I am a breast cancer survivor because the Affordable Care Act, politicized by the GOP as "Obamacare," ensures that for-profit insurance companies can't deny me coverage because I had the audacity to be diagnosed with cancer.

My insurance provider paid people to work hard to deny me life-saving chemotherapy because they thought I had a preexisting condition. I am alive in part because that is no longer legal under the ACA. In cancer treatment, timing is everything. Cancer does not wait to progress until your coverage kicks in.

The Affordable Care Act is all that stands between me and insurance company greed. I only have enough in me to fight cancer, not insurance companies.

Obamacare saved my life [CNN] Read the rest

YouCaring shuts down healthcare fundraiser for Hugh Mungus

The Hugh Mungus saga continues (previously). Hugh Mungus nemesis Zarna Joshi posted a series of videos outlining her views and asking viewers to support her financially via funding platform YouCaring. Ethan Klein at H3H3 gave Zarna $100, then created a companion fundraiser for Hugh Mungus (aka Rudy Pantoja), who recently revealed he has costs related to health treatment. On Monday night, YouCaring abruptly shut down both fundraisers. Read the rest

Afghan Whigs benefit concerts for their guitarist Dave Rosser who has cancer

My friend Dave Rosser, the NOLA-based guitarist for the Afghan Whigs (and the Gutter Twins, and Mark Lanegan, etc.), was just diagnosed with inoperable colon cancer. Dave is a brilliant musician, a true gentleman, and a total laugh riot. Now he has a long, hard road ahead of him and the medical expenses he faces are absolutely overwhelming. There's a GoFundMe campaign to help Dave with those bills and the Afghan Whigs have just announced two very special benefit performances to support their much-loved bandmate. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Afghan Whigs's dark soul-rock masterpiece Black Love, they will play the album in its entirety in New Orleans on December 10 and Los Angeles on December 14. Tickets go on sale tomorrow (Friday 11/3).

“Dave Rosser has been my close friend and bandmate for over a decade now,” Afghan Whigs singer Greg Dulli commented. “By doing these shows for him we hope to ease any financial stress he may face as he pursues treatment to combat his illness. 100% of the proceeds from these shows will go to his medical care. I’m hopeful that folks will come out and show their support for Dave who will be performing with us.”

The New Orleans show will take place at The Civic Theatre on Saturday December 10th and feature performances from: The Afghan Whigs, Mark Lanegan, Ani DiFranco, Morning 40 Federation, King James & The Special Men, and C.C. Adcock & The Lafayette Marquis along with special guests.

The Los Angeles show will take place on December 14th at The Teragram Ballroom featuring sets from: The Afghan Whigs, Mark Lanegan, Moby and Carina Round.

Read the rest

Cancer now beats heart disease as top cause of death in 22 U.S. states

A new report out today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says cancer is now the leading cause of death in California and 21 other states, surpassing heart disease.

Back in the early 2000s, only Alaska and Minnesota lost more lives to cancer than heart disease. And back in the 1950s, heart disease deaths were overall 2.5 times the number of cancer deaths. Read the rest

Can losing weight help breast cancer patients survive? Fitbit joins study to find out.

Scientists are recruiting thousands of women for a large clinical trial to find out if weight loss should be prescribed as a treatment for breast cancer in some patients.

The trial will put obese and overweight women who are 18 and older and recently diagnosed with breast cancer on diets and track exercise to see if losing a little weight could help prevent a cancer recurrence. Read the rest

US trade rep threatens Colombia's peace process over legal plan to offer cheap leukemia meds

Colombia wants to produce Novartis's leukemia drug imatinib under a compulsory license, something it is allowed to do under its trade agreement with the USA, to bring the price down from $15,161/year (double the annual average income) to prices like those charged in India ($803/year). Read the rest

Boy, 7, who donated his hair to child cancer patients is diagnosed with metastatic cancer

For two years, Vinny Desautels grew out his hair to donate to children with cancer who have lost their hair during treatment. The 7 year old Roseville, California boy was recently diagnosed with an unknown form of metastatic cancer, according to reports from his family and in local news. Read the rest

Exponential population growth and other unkillable science myths

There's a widespread understanding that the vaccine-autism link and climate denial are bullshit, but there are plenty of widespread science myths that are repeated by people who should know better, from the idea that early screening lowers cancer mortality to the idea that the human population is growing exponentially. Read the rest

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