Public health

I told them, I warned them…now watch them come for sugar and fat

Health activists hailed the decision on legal liability, saying it could set a precedent for holding other industries accountable for environmental damage or public health harms they could cause.

I have spoken at a few conferences, warning attendees that their industries were next under the gun from health busy-bodies and that one of the weapons they will use is legal processes.

I’m in the front line of this, with three health busy-bodies attempting to silence me, Carrick Graham and the Food and Grocery Council. They are using very expensive legal processes, probably well funded by a vested interest, to sue us and attempt to silence us.

The reason is we take the fight to them.Where this is will head is easy to predict. Whatever is perceived as a successful attack on tobacco will be used against sugar, alcohol and fat.

They are coming for your business as we speak…and they have always started with tobacco.

The latest development is to sue

A global conference on tobacco control has pledged to hold the tobacco industry legally liable for health consequences of smoking and protect public health policies from the influence of tobacco companies.

Representatives from around 180 countries participating in the World Health Organization’s global tobacco control treaty negotiations on Saturday adopted a declaration in which they also vowed to prohibit or regulate the sale of e-cigarettes. ? Read more »

Time for the government to change the rules for e-cigarettes


Many of our New Zealand laws have not kept up with technology so laws designed for one thing are clumsily applied to another. One glaring example of this problem is how the law applies to e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes and ordinary cigarettes are legal and tobacco is legal but the e-liquids that contain nicotine and that are needed for e-cigarettes cannot be sold legally. People can buy e-liquids online and import them for personal use but it is still illegal to sell them.

This will surprise many consumers who have purchased them in New Zealand from both physical and online shops. New Zealand remains in legal limbo with a Ministry of Health that is choosing to not prosecute retailers who flout the law and a government who as yet has not changed a law that clearly needs changing. If Tobacco is legal it makes no sense at all that liquid nicotine should be illegal.

Read more »

Do our scientists and health professionals know anything about Zika?

First it was something that happened overseas. ?

Then we had some cases come to New Zealand. Then we discovered it could be spread through sex. Then we got one case that started here, and now we hear our mosquitoes are capable of transmitting the disease.

This doesn’t inspire confidence.

Brazilian scientists have found one of the 15 species in this country can be infected with the virus in the laboratory.

More studies were being done to find out whether the mosquitoes could transmit zika in the wild. ? Read more »

Anti-vaxxers worried about measles outbreak in Australia; one woman wants help for her infected baby

Anti-vaxxers are dangerous idiots?and they are putting their children at risk of serious illnesses, all off of the back of false claims that have been thoroughly disproved.

Now one anti-vaxxer is seeking help for her sick child…a child that didn’t need to get sick if she had vaccinated it.

An Australian surgeon has warned that Melbourne’s measles outbreak could be worse than reported after a mother sought medical advice about her infected baby on a secret, anti-vaccination social media page.

In a post on the private Facebook page Vaccine Free Australia, Natasha O’Leary reported her unvaccinated, 12-month-old son had measles and asked members for advice on how to treat highly contagious disease naturally.

Members responded?with suggestions that she give him?cod liver oil, homeopathic remedies, vitamin A and?C supplements.

In the post, O’Leary, who runs a hospitality business in Melbourne’s western suburbs, said she looked forward to a time “when we don’t need secret anti-vax groups!”.

John Cunningham, a Melbourne surgeon and spokesman for pro-vaccination group Stop the AVN, said failing to report suspected cases of?measles to health authorities would?expose other people to the virus.

“We know about?four cases, this is now a fifth,” he said. ?? Read more »

Could the people from Palmerston North and Hamilton please board the bus back home

No, it's not spaghetti

No, it’s not spaghetti

It looks like our visitors from Palmerston North and Hamilton are overstaying their welcome.

The Auckland District Health Board has issued an alert to doctors and other health professionals about a sharp jump in the number of cases of syphilis.

Health Ministry figures show the number has almost doubled in the Auckland region – from 44 in 2013 to 84 last year. Read more »

Seriously? You have this guy talking about Maori leadership?


Maori politics is often confusing to an outsider. That?s why when a source in Wellington sent us this link to the upcoming Maori Public Health Symposium, it was worth a look.

It didn?t take long to see who they were concerned about ? my good friend Shane Kawenata Federick Bradbrook, who for some very very strange reason is talking about Maori public health leadership.

This trougher has been exposed again and again for refusing to get out of the trough.

Shane Kawenata Federick Bradbrook continues to be in denial about what he actually delivered for the $1.2 million that Te Reo Marama received ? and why the Ministry of Health axed their funding.

Instead he blames #DirtyPolitics.

Our source in Wellington is saying there?s a lot of unease about having Shane Kawenata Federick Bradbrook on the Public Health Association?s panel, especially when he?s been so discredited as someone who believes travelling around the world on the conference circuit is actually helping Maori.

Here?s how Shane Kawenata Federick Bradbrook is positioning himself;


He?s got one thing right, years of troughing off the taxpayer so he can race around the world saving Maori. Though I am still at a loss as to what the kaffiyeh means to Maori.

Still he’s been a warrior in the “tobacco resistance movement” if such a thing even exists anywhere else other than the fanciful delusions of Shane Kawenata Federick Bradbrook.

Maybe he?s going to talk about Nga Manukura (leadership) in troughing?

On thing is for sure, Maori have a great sense of humour, as they can?t be serious saying the ?Symposium will showcase the new wave of Maori public health leadership? when they have Shane Kawenata Federick Bradbrook involved.


Anti-vaxx nutters putting kids at risk, and some of them are midwives

Anti-vaxx nutters are dangerous, but none more so than midwives who are playing with kids’ lives.

Expectant parents are being advised against vaccination by the very nurses and teachers who are supposed to give babies the best start in life.

The Immunisation Advisory Centre has received complaints of midwives and pregnancy class teachers trying to dissuade families from giving babies the MMR jab, despite overwhelming medical evidence that immunisation saves lives.

Dr Nikki Turner, the centre’s director, said some of the advice was “jaw-dropping”.

Women are being told vaccines are dangerous, unsafe or don’t work. In other cases there is no discussion of vaccine benefits.

Read more »

#Nannystate back-pedals after threatening dairies


What a fiasco. Auckland Regional Public Health Service’s (ARPHS) Dr Julia Peters is now back-pedaling faster than a duck on heat.

Yesterday Julia Peters was front and centre blaming dairies for the obesity problem in Auckland and said they shouldn?t be allowed to sell unhealthy foods.

What a difference 24 hours can make.

Following a backlash from near on everyone, Julia Peters had to go back on air trying to defend her calls. But did she?

No. Instead she?s now saying

She says the dairy idea was one of many in the ARHPS paper, and has been overblown.

“We’re not looking at a ban on dairies ? in fact, that’s not even in the paper.

Read more »

Comment of the Day


My mate Carrick Graham gives it back to Peter Griffin who wrote up a piece crying a river of tears about Carrick.

Griffin was decrying that the people Carrick works for could dare to ahve a say and how we must listen without question or debate to what scientists ahve to say.

Carrick naturally disagrees with his world view.

Dear Peter,

I read your post ?Carrick Graham still gunning for public health researchers? Sciblogs, 13 May, with interest. The post warrants a response.

It may surprise your readers but I agree with Prof Shaun Hendy, particularly his comment that ?? business and industry should have a voice at the table??.

But therein lies a significant problem ? a thought process within certain sectors of the public health community that business and industry shouldn?t have a seat at the table. They on the other hand, should have free reign on what is right and what is wrong. Read more »

Eric Crampton on “public health costs” for sin products like tobacco, sugar, etc


There is an increasing propensity for health campaigns and their idiot mouthpieces in the media like Duncan Garner to talk about the increasing public health costs of this or that.

The latest target is sugar…but before that we had tobacco and to a certain extent alcohol.

Of course the health busybodies and troughers like to quote massive numbers that they generally fetched from their rectal cavity. No one ever queries how those numbers are derived or justified, they are accepted carte-blanche and then regurgitated as fact.

Eric Crampton however does push back on this.

Health care takes up an increasing part of government budgets due to an expansion in the proportion of basic healthcare covered by governments rather than privately, due to demographic change, and due to increased cost of dealing with those illnesses that were once untreatable. Health budgets are then really salient. Voters are always looking for no-cost ways of saving money. All those political parties that promise vast savings by identifying “efficiencies” and stamping out waste? They’re appealing for a reason. ? Read more »