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Chemical used by Colgate Total toothpaste to fight off gum disease is linked to cancer

By Lydia Warren

A chemical that has been linked to cancer cell growth is being used by millions of Americans in toothpaste every day, it has emerged.

The company behind Colgate Total insists that triclosan, which it uses to stave off gum disease, is safe to use because the toothpaste was approved in 1997 by the Food and Drug Administration.

But the toxicology documents used by the FDA to approve the toothpaste were only released early this year after a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit last year – and reveal the agency relied upon company-backed science to reach its conclusion, Bloomberg News reported.

The 35-page report reveals the FDA had concerns that triclosan could increase the risk of cancer – but Colgate said the chemical was only problematic in large doses.

Concerns: Colgate Total toothpaste, pictured, contains a chemical called triclosan, which it uses to stave off gum disease - but studies have suggested it could harm animal growth
Concerns: Colgate Total toothpaste, pictured, contains a chemical called triclosan, which it uses to stave off gum disease – but studies have suggested it could harm animal growth
Healthy or harmful?: A chemical that has been linked to cancer cell growth is being used by millions of Americans in toothpaste every day
Healthy or harmful?: A chemical that has been linked to cancer cell growth is being used by millions of Americans in toothpaste every day

But evidence available at the time, as well as newer studies, show there are indeed concerns with the chemical – including premature births and underdeveloped bones in animals.

‘The recently released pages, taken alongside new research on triclosan, raise questions about whether the agency did appropriate due diligence in approving Total 17 years ago,’ scientists told Bloomberg.

In 2010, a student linked triclosan, which has commonly been used to reduce bacteria contamination, to reduced fertility in mice and a 2013 study linked it to lowered sperm production in rats.

And a study from 2003 found triclosan in the urine of 75 per cent of 2,517 Americans – including children – who were tested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Total lairs: The company behind Colgate Total insists that the ingredient triclosan was approved by the FDA but it has emerged that the agency relied upon company-backed science to reach its conclusion
Total lairs: The company behind Colgate Total insists that the ingredient triclosan was approved by the FDA but it has emerged that the agency relied upon company-backed science to reach its conclusion

Choosing the Right Toothpaste from Dr. E Coaching on Vimeo.

Despite evidence – including pages in the report showing how tests found fetal bone malformations in mice and rats – Colgate deemed the results irrelevant because they were conducted on animals.

‘We have created a system where we are testing these chemicals out on the human population,’ scientist Thomas Zoeller told Bloomberg. ‘I love the idea they are all safe. But when we have studies on animals that suggest otherwise, I think we’re taking a huge risk.’

‘I love the idea they are all safe – but when we have studies on animals that suggest otherwise, I think we’re taking a huge risk’

Dr Thomas Zoelle

Still, Colgate said that the 35 pages do not prove the chemical is harmful to humans and said that its safety is proved by more than 80 clinical studies of 19,000 people.

‘In the nearly 18 years that Colgate Total has been on the market in the U.S., there has been no signal of a safety issue from adverse-event reports,’ spokesman Thomas DiPiazza told Bloomberg.

He added that, while the FDA had been worried about the chemical’s carcinogenicity, a study in 1997 found it did not pose a cancer risk for humans.

Colgate said it has no plans to reformulate Total toothpaste.

The FDA said on its website that triclosan is ‘not known’ to be dangerous to humans – but the results found in animals has given them enough of a reason to run tests again.

Drug regulators are now reviewing the dangers of the chemical, but they will only re-visit the approval of Total if they find a great enough reason to.

In a sign of the concern over the chemical, Minnesota lawmakers banned the chemical in May. Avon and Johnson & Johnson have also announced plans to cut the chemical from its products.

In 2010, the European Union banned triclosan in materials that come into contact with food.

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Underworld

Havana Syndrome again? CIA officers are mowed down by a mysterious disease

A CIA officer in Moscow experienced symptoms of the so-called “Havana syndrome” in 2017. This became known to The New York Times with reference to sources in diplomatic circles.

CIA officer Mark Polimepulos, who helped lead covert operations in Russia and Europe, complained about the manifestation of mysterious symptoms. According to the newspaper, in December 2017, he felt severe dizziness, which later developed into a prolonged migraine, forcing him to retire. At that time, Polymerpoulos was 48 years old.

It is noted that such a case was not the only one. Similar symptoms were experienced by the staff of the American ambassadors in Cuba and China in 2016-2018. However, the exact number of cases and the place where this happened is not named. It is alleged that the US diplomats have tried to influence in a similar way around the world.

At the same time, the US State Department was unable to establish an unambiguous reason that caused the “Havana syndrome.” Among other things, it was assumed that the diplomats may have been exposed to an unidentified sound effect.

In 2017, it was reported that, beginning in late 2016, American diplomatic officials and their relatives in Cuba began to complain of symptoms such as hearing loss, nausea, headaches and balance disorder. 

The Associated Press received audio footage of the attack and described the harassing sounds as “the high-pitched sound of crickets combined with fingernails scratching on a board.” Then the American government suggested that Russia or China could be the culprit.

Many victims are still undergoing rehabilitation. Specialists from the University of Pennsylvania performed magnetic resonance imaging and revealed visible changes in the structure of the brain in the diplomatic missions.

Differences were found in 23 men and 17 women who complained of health problems while on diplomatic duties in Havana. Scientists have yet to figure out what causes the unusual symptoms.

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Underworld

How Russia and the United States nearly started a nuclear war in 1995

The Norwegian meteorological rocket incident remains the only time in history that the Russian president has activated his nuclear briefcase.

On January 25, 1995, Doomsday could have come in the world: the Russian Federation was preparing to launch a nuclear strike on the United States. How did it come about that the states that left the confrontation of the Cold War in the past and had just normalized relations with each other found themselves on the verge of mutual destruction?

The beginning of the war?

The cause of the crisis was an ordinary Norwegian meteorological rocket. Its launch from the small island of Anneia at 7 am local time (10 am Moscow time) towards Spitsbergen caused a stir in Russia. 

Black Brant XII.

Black Brant XII. Legion Media / ZUMA Press

Equipped with scientific equipment to study the aurora borealis, the Black Brant XII was similar in size to the nuclear-powered American Trident D-5 ballistic missile, intended for launch from submarines. In addition, it flew along a trajectory along which, as the Russian Defense Ministry believed, American missiles would fly in the event of a nuclear war. 

In December 1994, Norway informed 28 states, including Russia, about the planned launch, but did not give a specific date, limiting itself to specifying the period: from January 15 to February 10 of the next year. Due to bureaucratic delays, this information did not reach the Russian Missile Warning System, which sounded the alarm.

Decisive minutes

An emergency meeting with the country’s top political and military leadership was convened in the Kremlin. Defense Minister Pavel Grachev, Chief of the General Staff Mikhail Kolesnikov and President of the Russian Federation (as Supreme Commander-in-Chief) Boris Yeltsin had three strategic missile forces control terminals activated – the so-called nuclear suitcases.

Vladimir Sayapin / TASS

The military believed the lone missile could have been fired to create an electromagnetic pulse that knocked out Russian radars and communications systems. Following it, a massive blow could be expected.

For several tense minutes, as leaders watched it flight, it was decided whether Russia would launch a nuclear strike against the United States. 

“Little is known today about what Yeltsin said at the time, given that it could have been some of the most dangerous moments in the entire history of the nuclear era,” The Washington Post journalist, David Hoffman wrote three years after the incident : “They make it clear that the Cold War nuclear readiness system continues to operate, and how catastrophic its consequences could be, despite the fact that the feud between the great powers is already over.”   

The situation was discharged only when it became clear that the rocket had gone towards Spitsbergen (not far from which it fell into the ocean). The nuclear cases have been deactivated. Russian President Boris Yeltsin (center) and Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev (right).

Russian President Boris Yeltsin (center) and Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev (right). Igor Mikhalev / Sputnik

The incident with bringing Russia’s Strategic Nuclear Forces to combat readiness, soon became the property of the world community. When, four years later, the Norwegians were about to repeat their launch of Black Brant XII and reported this to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the US additionally warned all key Russian military departments about it through their channels. As a result, this time there were no unpleasant surprises. 

Source: rbth.com

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Underworld

Germany conducted exercises in case of nuclear war

Bundeswehr / Birthe Brechters

The Bundeswehr with partners in the North Atlantic Alliance ( NATO) trained in operations in a nuclear war.

The German army, together with Italian, Belgian and Dutch colleagues, conducted exercises in the event of a conflict with the use of nuclear weapons.

The location of the exercise “Steadfest Noon” was chosen airbase “Nörfenich”, where the tactical squadron of the Luftwaffe 31 “Boelcke” is located. Together with the Luftwaffe of the Bundeswehr, the air forces of other NATO countries, in particular, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium, took part in the exercises.

According to a report by Bild, the exercise scenario involved training procedures for safely removing nuclear weapons from storage, delivering ammunition and installing them on aircraft. The training flights took place without nuclear weapons, and in parallel with the aviation exercises at the Büchel airbase, where the tactical squadron of the Luftwaffe 51 Immelman is located, the Resilient Guard air defense systems were trained to protect the airfield from air attacks.

The training sites for the Luftwaffe of the Bundeswehr were not chosen by chance, since the Nörfenich airbase is a reserve storage site for the B61, a hydrogen bomb that forms the basis of nuclear weapons of the US strategic nuclear forces. 

Some of this ammunition is stationed at NATO bases in Europe. The exact number of hydrogen bombs that are stored at European sites and which ones are not reported. In Europe, the B61 is carried by Panavia Tornado fighter-bombers (pictured) and General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters.

Recall that the B61 thermonuclear bomb is the main weapon of the US strategic nuclear forces, although it entered service in 1968. Since 2012, a new guided version of the B61-12 has been under development, which will replace all B61 and B83 bombs that have been in service since 1983. It can be used both on strategic bombers and tactical aircraft. About two billion dollars were spent on the development of the 12th modification of the aerial bomb.

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