The Over-the-Counter Emergency Contraception Saga, Or Why Medicine and Politics Do Not Mix

Q: Guess who is suing the FDA and why?

A: The Center for Reproductive Rights over the FDA's refusal to make emergency contraception (EC) available over-the-counter to women of all ages.

***Note: When you read any of the included links, replace "Plan B" with "Plan B One-Step". Plan B, a 2 pill brand, is no longer manufactured and it's been replaced with Plan B One-Step, a 1 pill brand.***

For more than a year and a half, the FDA and the Obama Administration has ignored a court order to reconsider its refusal to make emergency contraception (EC) available over-the-counter to women of all ages. The Center has given the FDA ample time to end its baseless restrictions, but as of today it has not taken any steps to comply with the court order—most recently saying it will wait to review a new application from the manufacturer that may or may not be filed at some unspecified time in the future.

The Center is now taking the FDA back to court and are calling on supporters to write the FDA Commissioner to take immediate action to end restrictions on emergency contraception.

At the start of his administration, President Obama declared that politics would no longer play a role in U.S. science policy, stating, "we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology." And soon after FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg was confirmed, she told reporters that it was her mantra to make FDA's decisions more "science-based."

So in March 2009, when the court ruled that the FDA acted in "bad faith and in response to political pressure" when it repeatedly and unreasonably delayed making a decision on Plan B and departed in significant ways from its normal procedures, it thought the new administration would "conduct a fair assessment of the scientific evidence." This has obviously not happened, and the Center is returning to the courts to make sure the FDA complies with medical and scientific consensus that says there is no rationale for age restrictions to emergency contraception.

Have You Met My Imaginary Online Boyfriend?

Are women you meet online, who may, or may not, be figments of your imagination, and for whom you have no contact information the latest trend in flimsy alibis?

Tom Hackbarth, a Minnesota State Representative, started the trend when he used armed staking of a woman he met online, who may only exist in his imagination, to explain his presence in the parking lot of a Planned Parenthood clinic.

And now we have the story of a suicidal father who claims to have entrusted his three sons to the care of a woman with whom he had an online relationship but whose existence police hasn't been able to confirm.

Pfc. Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks Are True Heroes

Their ongoing effort to insure America's undisputed world dominance by having the leaders, politicians, diplomats, military and secret services of foreign countries, friend and foe alike, die of laughter at our ineptitude must be applauded.

On a more serious note, as a government, when your national interests are defeated by a 22-year-old confused loser like Bradley Manning and assorted WikiLeaks bozos it is high time to call a time out and reassess you competence.

The US embassy cables are marked "Sipdis" – secret internet protocol distribution. They were compiled as part of a programme under which selected dispatches, considered moderately secret but suitable for sharing with other agencies, would be automatically loaded on to secure embassy websites, and linked with the military's Siprnet internet system.

They are classified at various levels up to "SECRET NOFORN" [no foreigners]. More than 11,000 are marked secret, while around 9,000 of the cables are marked noforn. The embassies which sent most cables were Ankara, Baghdad, Amman, Kuwait and Tokyo.

More than 3 million US government personnel and soldiers, many extremely junior, are cleared to have potential access to this material, even though the cables contain the identities of foreign informants, often sensitive contacts in dictatorial regimes. Some are marked "protect" or "strictly protect".

Last spring, 22-year-old intelligence analyst Bradley Manning was charged with leaking many of these cables, along with a gun-camera video of an Apache helicopter crew mistakenly killing two Reuters news agency employees in Baghdad in 2007, which was subsequently posted by WikiLeaks. Manning is facing a court martial.

In July and October WikiLeaks also published thousands of leaked military reports from Afghanistan and Iraq. These were made available for analysis beforehand to the Guardian, along with Der Spiegel and the New York Times.

Update: More here.


Catholic God Revises Position on Condom Use

In 2009 God told Pope Benedict XVI to tell you that using condoms increases the problem of AIDS. It's now a year later and it looks like God has informed the Pope that it has an update on its position on condom use and HIV:

VATICAN CITY – In a seismic shift on one of the most profound — and profoundly contentious — Roman Catholic teachings, the Vatican said Tuesday that condoms are the lesser of two evils when used to curb the spread of AIDS, even if their use prevents a pregnancy.


The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, told reporters Tuesday that he asked the pope whether he intended his comments to apply only to men. Benedict replied that it really didn't matter, the important thing was that the person took into consideration the life of another.

"I personally asked the pope if there was a serious, important problem in the choice of the masculine over the feminine," Lombardi said. "He told me no. The problem is this: ... It's the first step of taking responsibility, of taking into consideration the risk of the life of another with whom you have a relationship."

"This is if you're a man, a woman, or a transsexual. ... The point is it's a first step of taking responsibility, of avoiding passing a grave risk onto another," Lombardi said.

Any guesses on what God's position on condom use will be next year?

What Is Going on at the U.N.?

Between the U.N. Human Rights Council and the United Nations Women's Rights Council it's getting harder and harder to see the utility of subsidizing the New York City fun-filled adventure of a bunch of bureaucrats.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving

I love pumpkin pie. I love healthy food. I love the raw vegan diet. Today I saw a "Raw Pumpkin Pie". Completely vegan and only made up by nuts, seeds, spices and pumpkin.

I cried with joy. Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

How to get your crunk on - ethically.

When telling my friend that we were going to offer vegan alcohol at the vegan party coming up this Friday she replied what my naive brain had thought for many years: "Isn't all alcohol vegan?"
Oh, silly you. That's what I thought too! But fish bladders and gelatin are (strangely enough) not vegan or even vegetarian! The online vegan wine and beer guide Barnivore, has listed companies who uses animal products such as dairy, egg whites, gelatin, isinglass (fish bladders) and sometimes a "whole chicken" as ingredients for their spirits, wines and beers.
Most of these companies do not list these fascinating ingredients on the label. Why? Well for starters, they are not obligated to do that by law. Secondly, fish bladders and boiled pig bones does not actually sound appetizing for a lot of people. I mean, even meat eaters would be a bit apprehensive drinking a fish's questionable body parts right?
So, if you are serious about being a vegan, a vegetarian, or a non-bladder eating person, go and check yo party juice. 'Cause the jucie aint gonna check itself fool.


I encourage you all to come down to Notting Hill this Friday for a Vegan Party at Lush, Portobello Road 202! I know a vegan party sounds like a place full of hemp ponchos, people who smell of vegetable stock and weird guys with dreadlocks who like to hug trees on their free time...and you know what. I'm ready for it. Bring it on.

Murderation Sensations

Cocuhon 555, a cooking competition which celebrates the slaughtering and consumption of pigs has announced it 2011 tour dates. If you have the chance you should all attend. With a bucket of red paint and PeTA T-shirt.

Mike Tyson + Kosher = Restaurant?

Remember when I wrote about Mike Tyson becoming a strict vegan, declaring that "meat was poison"? Well now, he is apparantly interested in opening a restaurant. A Kosher one. Yeah, I know.
The weird thing is though, that I would probably visit it. Preferably with Jonathan Safran Foer as my date. And Natalie Portman.


I went to Saf in Shoreditch yesterday to enjoy a healthy nutritious lunch and it was so filling it was crazy! I know I'm a plant eater and all but this was some vegan wonder-food ...I felt like I've had eaten a Thanksgiving meal even six hours after lunch, because I even went to bed full! Nice vegan food does a tummy good!

Another sign that the world is going crazy

Wouldn't it be c r a z y if we would have fascists writing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or convicted pedophiles running schools and daycare centers? Wouldn't that just be completely crazy? Just as crazy as letting McDonald's and PepsiCo write government policies on obesity and diet-related disease.

According to the Guardian: " secretary Andrew Lansley has set up five "responsibility deal" networks with business, co-chaired by ministers, to come up with policies...The groups are dominated by food and alcohol industry members, who have been invited to suggest measures to tackle public health crises. " Food members such as McDonald's, PepsiCo, KFC and Kelloggs.

Oh. Ok. Maybe we should let tobacco companies write governmental reports on lung cancer then. I''m sure they wouldn't be biased at all.

Veteran's Day

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields, the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place, and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

- Lt.-Col. John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)

It's Good To Be the Prosecutor, the Rev. Philip L. "Flip" Benham Edition

Vincent (Vinny Gorgeous) Basciano, a former mob boss, is being held under conditions reserved for terrorists after he was accused of scribbling a "hit list" with the names of the judge, a prosecutor and cooperating witnesses five years ago.

Meanwhile, Rev. Philip L. "Flip" Benham, director of the Dallas-based Operation Rescue/Operation Save America, convicted stalker of Ob/Gyns and proud creator and distributor of "Wanted"-style posters of the doctors, which included their names and home addresses, is sentenced to two years probation.

So, to recap:

Judges and prosecutors: The mere accusation of scribbling a "hit list" gets you held under conditions reserved for terrorists.

Ob/Gyns: The actual distribution of a "hit list" and stalking conviction gets you 2 years probation.

Vegan in Camden Town

Today I had a wonderful Raw Vegan Sunflower burger with some steamed greens and a salad made out of edible flowers for lunch at inSpiral in Camden Town. Then for dessert I had a Vegan Coco/Almond Macaroni. Yeah, I'm so naughty.

Spam it!

The passengers on the luxury cruise ship which has been stranded in the pacific for two days have been forced to take a break from their beluga caviar and champagne. Instead, they are being given emergency Spam and Pop tarts supplied from airplanes.

Ew. Spam and Pop tarts. Seriously, does anyone even know what Spam is? And what trees do Pop tarts grow on? I wonder if I would eat canned meat and sugar on fake toast if I was on that ship? Probably not, I would raid the ship after some eatable plants lying around.

I feel bad for the luxury cruise shippers though. I don't. They were on a luxury cruise ship.


So this "farmer" in Calofornia claimed he was selling organic vegetables at this market which was running in conjunction with California Certified Farmers' Markets the non-profit organization Inspiration.

Well, he wasn't. Apparently, he was buying whole sale from Mexico, and presenting it as his own organically grown food.

AY CARAMBA! He got caught but it still makes me wonder, how do I really really know that my vegetables and fruit and anything else I eat is organic?

One idea is to keep an eye out for stamps like the Soil Association or the USDA ones on your food to ensure that your food is actually certified organic!

We live in a scary time people, when one can just fake organic food. Scary, scary...

Would you trust this man?


The nice veggie design on this site is composed by my beautiful veggie friend Nadja Endler. You can find her work on her own blog.

Big love to you my Nadja.

For Some Good Clean Fun This Sunday

Come down to the Kensington Town Hall (facing Whole Foods) for the Kensington Animal Charities Fair. Loads of organizations will be there, providing information about animal welfare and vegetarianism. See you there!

The Perfect Present

Here's a tip on what you can give all your loved ones and those interested in health this Christmas! A Whole Foods Gift Box! I know I would love waking up to this on Christmas morning. Especially if it was filled with kale, dried banana chips, peanutbutter bars, almonds, dried mango, hemp seeds, bee pollen, coconut water...ok, I'm getting too excited now.

Scary Facts

1. Today, 40% of the U.S population suffer from heart problems. A 100 years ago, it was less than 3%.

2. During the years 1935-2005, when people in Europe and North America started to excessively consume vitamin pills and supplements , diseases such as cancer, allergies and asthma rose extensively.

2. The consumption of a US citizen of processed food is 62%. In the UK it's 58%.

3. The typical consumption of fruit and vegetables by a UK citizen is less than 12%. That includes potato chips and fries, since potato is a vegetable.

4. Folic Acid which the media recommends pregnant women to take is not something which can be found in nature. It's completely synthetic and has actually been proven to increase the cancer risk within the mothers who take it.

5. Heart diseases is the number one death cause in the whole world. More people die from that than of starvation. We are officially dying by the symptoms of overweight instead of underweight for the first time in human history.

Source: Lecture by Dr. Joel Fuhrman at the Royal Institute in London.

PS. Yes I was there tonight.

PSS. Yes it was amazing.

Futuristic Lettuce

I have a food philosophy that goes a little something like this: If it's green and it grows on earth - it's good. If it's green and grows in a lab grown with technical equipments - it's bad. So you can imagine my confusion when I read this article. It's basically an article about a new Japanese invention called the "Chef's Farm"; a small vegetable plant which is capable of producing 20,000 heads of lettuce per year by planting lettuce seeds on nutriculture beds that includes long and thin metal frames.

Now, I don't really know what to think about this. On the one hand, this plant is producing salads which is good because we need some green weapons to fight of the fatty fries from the people. On the other hand....the salad is grown with 12 40W fluorescent lamps as lighting equipment in a little vegetable steel plant. That just sounds sooo...synthetic and too high-tech for a natural food worshiper like me. At the same time I'm not a conservative old hag that hates soy and wasabi and other "weird futuristic food".

Gahh. Inner dilemma. Should I Yay or should I Ney? What do you think?