The eAlert 2017 Hall of Shame

It looks like 2017 is practically in the rear-view mirror! How in the world did that happen so fast?

During the past 12 months, we’ve told you about many exciting natural therapies and remedies that have been shown — even proven — to be able to fight cancer, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, diabetes, and on and on.

There’s no doubt that cures for some of today’s most deadly diseases are available right now, straight from Mother Nature’s “pharmacy”!

Along with that good news, however, there’s the flip side: Deadly and often worthless meds have come out of Pharma Land and been given the green light by the FDA. In fact, 2017 marks a record for that agency — the most drug approvals in a single year.

But of the many shocking and shameful examples we told you about this year regarding Big Pharma’s greed and the failure of the FDA and other federal regulators to do their jobs, the following stand out as top picks for the 2017 Hall of Shame.

#1 Scarier than shingles

At the end of the year, the FDA fast-tracked GlaxoSmithKline’s shiny new shingles shot, called Shingrix, out of its doors and straight to your doctor’s office.

While the mainstream media was all agog with praise for this new vaccine, they didn’t bother telling you that it contains a risky ingredient — something called an “adjuvant” — that’s supposed to help rev up your immune system. You also didn’t hear from pharma’s media pals about how seven members of the CDC’s panel of experts were so worried that this new jab could cause “unanticipated” side effects that they voted against it. Or that that Shingrix causes “more reactions” than other adult vaccines.

Perhaps by this time next year, we’ll know the true fallout from Shingrix. But the safest bet of all is to keep your sleeves rolled all the way down!

#2 Dyeing on the inside

We’ve told you a lot this year about the hidden danger of toxic gadolinium-based contrast dyes used in “enhanced” MRIs, called GBCAs.

And although health agencies around the globe have recently banned several brands containing this heavy metal due to the health risks they pose, the FDA has refused to do so.

The fact that gadolinium can accumulate in your body (especially your brain) is something the FDA has yet to acknowledge to be a serious health risk, despite piles of evidence to the contrary.

As HSI panel member Dr. Allan Spreen says, all such GBCAs are “highly toxic” and should be “adamantly refused.”

#3 Playing chicken with our health

Leave it to the feds to make a chicken dinner a matter of life and death!

Despite the fact that the number of people in China hit with the deadly H7N9 bird flu is on the rise, the USDA has OK’d a bizarre plan involving taking chickens slaughtered in the U.S. and shipping them to China, where they’re processed, cooked, and then sent back to America.

That’s right — we have to trust that these birds will be carefully handled, thoroughly cooked and kept safe, despite the fact that Chinese poultry is becoming a hotbed of this deadly flu strain.

And that plan looks to be just the beginning. There’s another proposal on the table to start shipping Chinese-bred chicken to the U.S. in the form of nuggets!

Since we have no idea where these Chinese chickens are landing, the only way to steer clear of this danger is to make sure you know exactly where your chicken is coming from — the best bet being U.S. organic-certified farms.

#4 Blinded to — and by — side effects

When some popular allergy meds went from Rx to OTC, something went missing — the label warnings telling how these easy-to-find, best-selling nasal sprays can rob you of your vision.

If you get the prescription version of Flonase, for example, you’d learn how it can “result in the development of glaucoma and/or cataracts.” Pick up a bottle off the shelf, however, and it only hints that you should stop using the product if you have “new changes” to your vision.

Not quite the same thing, is it?

We also told you about dozens of commonly prescribed drugs that can bring on glaucoma, although most people who take them are never told a thing about that risk.

Despite the fact that drugmakers would prefer to keep you in the dark over this, if you’re taking any meds for a prolonged period of time, especially Flonase or other nasal allergy sprays, be sure that your annual eye exam includes a glaucoma test.

#5 Snooze alarms

Falling and fracturing a hip is just one of the many risks of sleep medications, which fully a third of seniors now rely on, according to some of the latest research. Besides the dangers they pose — which also include car accidents, memory problems, and fatigue — they’re also among the most addictive drugs now easily available.

And that’s not all, because some of the ones most commonly prescribed can actually give you “drug-induced apnea” by reducing your respiratory rate or affecting muscles used in breathing while you sleep — literally taking your breath away.

But what many doctors won’t bother to tell you is that are several proven — and safe — ways to get a good night’s sleep, and one of the best is to drink tart cherry juice every day! Cherry extracts are also easily available in supplement form.

It’s hard to guess at what 2018 will bring, but it really all comes down to the fact that knowing the inside story when it comes to food and drugs has never been more important.

So, stay tuned — and be sure to keep reading the eAlert.

And best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year from all your friends here at HSI!