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No More Peanut Butter, No More Toast ‘n Jam

Posted By Worker Bee On February 20, 2007 @ 9:34 pm In Health,Prevention,Research Analysis,Women's Health | Comments Disabled

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites

We’re feeling feisty. Something about Tuesdays…

Wait, what are we talking about – we’re feisty every day.

Sisson’s top picks are downright controversial today, so dig in:

Blue Genes

You may have heard the news yesterday that carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by genes, not overuse (then why do so many office assistants get…sigh…who are we to question a study). Well, evidently, you can blame your happiness [7] – or lack of it – on your parents, too. So, parents, on top of being lame, nerdy, totally not cool, a dorky dresser, using slang – like – so wrong, and just generally being out of it, you are also responsible for your child’s future grumpy reaction to the Tivo being broken.

Look, genes clearly play a big role in who we are – they’re literally…well…who we are. But how productive or empowering it is to hand over responsibility for your emotions and choices to the past, which is out of your control? While this kind of news is interesting, it can also be emotionally limiting, especially when one tiny study gets sensationalized by the media, as with this week’s stories.

We’re all for genetic research, but when it starts getting into the “blame game” territory the media love so much, we sure wish we could push it back into the “cure disease” territory.

We Have to Smerck

Poor little Merck. After what can only be described as “mad aggressive” lobbying tactics for their HPV vaccine, Gardasil, Merck announced this week [8] that they’re giving up for now to focus on preventing cervical cancer instead. (Isn’t that what vaccinating with Gardasil would be doing? Sounds like Pharma spin to us).

Human papilloma virus, if untreated, can lead to deadly cervical cancer. Enter Gardasil, a vaccine to stop HPV. Merck began lobbying politicians way back, before the Feckless Death Association (that’s FDA) had even approved Gardasil. Merck, and many state governments, weren’t expecting the overwhelming controversy that ensued, largely fueled by conservative groups concerned that inoculating against cervical cancer might send a message to girls that premarital sexual activity is O.K.

We welcome differing opinions on this one. While we’re no friends of Merck, and we’re all for abstinence and parental rights, it is a little unclear to us how inoculating a twelve-year-old against potential cancer would actually encourage said child to begin having, um, relations. (In our view, the apparent widespread social acceptance of inappropriate advertising is what is really causing problems [9] with many children’s healthy emotional development, particularly for girls – and we hope you’ll write your senator [10] and make him or her do something about it.)

(Jean Scheijen photo.)

Ultimately, the bigger concern – for the health hipsters [11], anyway – was this speedy FDA approval yet another wise decision for public health on the part of Uncle Sam? How safe is this vaccine to begin with? The idea of preventing cancer is pretty appealing, but this is Merck we’re dealing with. We’ll look into it and report back soon.

Your thoughts, Apples? Apples with young seedlings?

Further clickativity:

Wow [12]. Just, wow. 1 in 3?


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[7] you can blame your happiness: http://www.geneticsandhealth.com/2007/02/20/your-gene-determine-a-third-of-your-happiness/

[8] Merck announced this week: http://informedvoters.wordpress.com/2007/02/20/merck-admits-it-was-wrong-to-lobby-for-making-hpv-vaccine-mandatory/

[9] causing problems: http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2007-02-19-sexualized-girls_x.htm?POE=NEWISVA

[10] write your senator: http://senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

[11] health hipsters: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-awards/

[12] Wow: http://www.webmd.com/content/article/131/118212?src=RSS_PUBLIC

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