Sunscreen Dangers

My daughter Teal rang me this week asking what ingredients to avoid in sunscreens. the very next day I received an email promoting one that looked promising, at first glance. It had a list of natural ingredients at the top of the web site but when I read the fine print it contained Micronised Titanium Dioxide. Here is some interesting data on the difference between products at normal size being non-toxic and micronised or nano-particles (really, really small ones) being destructive to cellular health.

Tragedy in Tibet

In the past month, nine Buddhist monks and nuns have set themselves on fire to protest a growing Chinese crackdown in Tibet. These tragic acts are a desperate cry for help — and we can answer their call. China restricts access to the region, but if we can get key governments with close ties to China to send diplomats to the area, it will expose this growing brutality and save lives. Join me in this campaign here:

Fracking May Have Caused 50 Earthquakes in Oklahoma

Cuadrilla Resources, a British energy company, recently admitted that its hydraulic fracturing operations “likely” caused an earthquake in England. Predictably, this news quickly sent a shockwave through the U.K., the oil and natural gas industries, and the environmental activist community. And it certainly feeds plenty of speculation that the same phenomenon could be occurring elsewhere. Right on the heels of Cuadrilla’s announcement, news is spreading that the United States Geological Survey has released a report (pdf) that links a series of earthquakes in Oklahoma last January to a fracking operation underway there. Evidently, a resident reported feeling some minor earthquakes, spurring the USGS to investigate. They found that some 50 small earthquakes had indeed been registered, ranging in magnitude from 1.0 to 2.8. The bulk of these occurred within 2.1 miles of Eola Field, a fracking operation in southern Garvin County.

The Latest Release of DSM, the Scammer's Bible

Martin Whitely MLA, sent me an email as follows:

The blog below was recently written by Dr Allen Frances, the psychiatrist who on behalf of the American Psychiatric Association led the DSMIV process. The blog encourages people critical of the proposed DSM5 to sign up to an on-line petition organised by several divisions of the American Psychological Association. Please take the time to read and hopefully sign up to the petition which is available at (Note: You can ignore the request for a donation from the company that runs ipetitions and still register on the petition.)

Martin Whitely MLA – Author Speed Up and Sit Still

PS- For information on the proposed revised diagnostic criteria for ADHD in DSM5 see

US Psychologists Start Petition Against DSM 5

A Users Revolt Should Capture the American Psychiatric Associations Attention by Dr Allen Frances

Originally published October 24 2011, in DSM5 in Distress

Several divisions of the American Psychological Association have just written an open letter highly critical of DSM 5. They are inviting mental health professionals and mental health organizations to sign a petition addressed to the DSM5 Task Force of the American Psychiatric Association. You can read the letter and sign up at It is an extremely detailed, thoughtful and well written statement that deserves your attention and support.

The letter summarizes the grave dangers of DSM 5 that for some time have seemed patently apparent to everyone except those who are actually working on it. The short list of the most compelling problems includes: reckless expansion of the diagnostic system (through the inclusion of untested new diagnoses and reduced thresholds for old ones); the lack of scientific rigor and independent review; and dimensional proposals that are too impossibly complex ever to be used by clinicians.

The American Psychiatric Association has no special mandate or ownership rights giving it any sovereignty over psychiatric diagnosis. APA took on the task of preparing DSM’s sixty years ago because it then seemed so thankless that no other group was prepared or willing to do it. The DSM franchise has stayed with APA only because its products were credible enough to gain widespread acceptance. People used the manual only because it was useful.

DSM 5 has strained that credibility to the breaking point and (unless radically changed) will be much more harmful than useful. We have reached a turning point that will soon become a point of no return. A near final version of DSM 5 must be ready by next spring and all final wording will be set in stone within a year. Time is running out if DSM 5 is to be saved from itself.

Rescue attempts and pushback are coming from numerous directions and are fast gaining in momentum. The American Psychological Association’s petition was preceded by an even harsher critique by the British Psychological Society. The Society of Biological Psychiatry has wondered why we need a DSM 5. Experts in personality disorder have universally decried the proposed revisions in DSM 5. And the American Counseling Association will soon weigh in with its own statement.

Meanwhile DSM 5 has lived in a world that seems to be hermetically sealed. Despite the obvious impossibility of many of its proposals, it shows no ability to self-correct or learn from outside advice. The current drafts have changed almost not at all from their deeply flawed originals. The DSM 5 field trials ask the wrong questions and will make no contribution to the endgame.

But the DSM 5 deafness may finally be cured by a users’ revolt. The APA budget depends heavily on the huge publishing profits that accrue from its DSM sales. APA has ignored the scientific, clinical, and public health reasons it should omit the most dangerous suggestions- but I suspect APA will be more sensitive to the looming risk of a boycott by users.

Here are best case and worst case scenarios. Best case: APA opens up DSM 5 to external, independent review and only those suggestions that pass muster are included. DSM 5 becomes safe, usable, and widely used.

Worst case: DSM 5 stumbles along blindly as it has and includes most or all of its harmful suggestions. DSM 5 loses its status as a useful and standard guide to psychiatric diagnosis, creating an unnecessary and unfortunate babel of diagnostic practice and research habits. And the American Psychiatric goes broke.

The APA Trustees and Assembly have thus far been almost completely and puzzlingly passive in exercising their governance role over DSM 5. I believe they can wait no longer if they are to fulfill their fiduciary responsibility to the public, to the mental health field, and to their own membership. It is pretty much now or never.