Health & ScienceHealth & Science
Concerns have been expressed about the possibility of the current Ebola outbreak spreading globally after an infected airline passenger introduced the deadly virus to Nigeria. All outbreaks since 1976, when Ebola was first identified, have been confined to rural and forested areas in Africa, with the previous highest death toll being 280.
The debate over the impact of peak oil has been raging for decades. Although few deny that the end of mass oil consumption is drawing nearer, educated estimates now range between 2020 and 2030.
The New York Times called for the legalization of marijuana, in a bold editorial comparing the federal ban on cannabis to Prohibition. The prestigious publication said pot laws disproportionately impact young black men and that addiction and dependence are “relatively minor problems” -- especially when compared with alcohol and tobacco.
Chinese branches of fast food chains, including McDonald's and KFC, have stopped using meat from a supplier in Shanghai following allegations it sold them out of date meat. According to Xinhua, the state-owned news agency, authorities in Shanghai have ordered the suspension of operations at Shanghai Husi Food Co.
UN Member States have reaffirmed their commitment to take bold measures to reduce the avoidable burden of non-communicable diseases. These ailments, including heart disease and stroke, cancer, diabetes and lung disease kill 38 million people every year, many of them before they reach the age of 70.
A “Top Ten” list identifying the food-borne parasites of greatest global concern has been released by FAO, and new guidelines are being developed to control them. The parasites affect the health of millions of people every year, infecting muscle tissues and organs, causing epilepsy, anaphylactic shock, amoebic dysentery and other problems. Some can live on in our bodies for decades.
A dangerous antibiotic-resistant “superbug” has been found in the North American food supply for the first time, according to researchers from the University of Saskatchewan.
Plans are in the making in Jamaica for the decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana. Among the proposals is that users of small quantities of the drug will no longer have a criminal record, and smoking of the weed would be lawful under certain conditions. However possession of cannabis would still be unlawful, though it would not lead to a criminal record.
Almost 30% of the world’s population, 2.1 billion people, is considered obese or overweight, researchers said, while rates among children have increased by a whopping 47% in the last 33 years.
On World No Tobacco Day (31 May), WHO calls on countries to raise taxes on tobacco to encourage users to stop and prevent other people from becoming addicted to tobacco. Based on 2012 data, WHO estimates that increasing tobacco taxes by 50%, all countries would reduce the number of smokers by 49 million within the next three years and ultimately save 11 million lives.