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Great Britain

Science Round-Up- Over five years for importing illegal steroids into Britain - The Post

A 37-year-old Danish pharmaceutical company owner has been sentenced to five years and four months in prison for smuggling steroids into the UK.

Jacob Sporon-Fiedler, who was arrested in 2018, had pleaded guilty to bringing the steroids into the UK. It was proven in court that he had imported 16 tonnes of anabolic steroids – drugs with a value of nearly 100 million kroner.

Six-year investigation
The British authorities had been investigating Fiedler’s company, Alpha-Pharma, since 2012 – the year Sporon-Fiedler’s link to the UK illegal steroids market was detected.

Alpha-Pharma is based in India where the company has been legally producing steroids in pills and ampoules and then selling them in countries where sales for non-medical use are illegal.

Compulsive overeating a diagnosis in 2022
According to Landsforeningen mod spiseforstyrrelser og selvskade (LMS), over 40,000 Danes are suffering from Binge Eating Disorder (BED), which involves overeating, losing control and a negative body image. While WHO has not yet recognised BED as a disease, its latest diagnosis manual does include BED. This means people who are suffering from the disease in Denmark will be able to receive treatment from 2022.

Scabies outbreaks in Zealand
New figures from Sundhedsdatastyrelsens Landspatientregister reveal that there are an increased number of people in Denmark with scabies, a skin infestation in which microscopic mites (most commonly passed on via sex) burrow under your skin. In 2016, there were 520 doctor visits related to scabies. By 2018, that figure had risen over 2,000. According to Gregor Jemec, a senior consultant at the dermatology department at Zealand University Hospital, it is not clear whether the epidemic is nationwide. Last week, pharmacies across the country ran out of Stromectol tablets – a medication used to treat several parasitic roundworm infections.

More Danes have diabetes
Niels Jessen, the head of research at the Steno Diabetes Centre in Aarhus, says the number of diabetes patients is gradually growing – 2 to 3 percent per year worldwide – and scientists don’t know why. Not only are more people getting the disease but they are getting it earlier in life. One of the theories regarding the cause of the disease is the weather. “We see more of the disease, the further north we are. In Finland and Norway, they are more troubled than we are, and down south less,” Jesson told DR. “And, most importantly, if people move from the north to the south, their risk of type 1 diabetes decreases to resemble that of the area they are moving to.”

Danish forests badly cared for
According to a new report from the University of Copenhagen, Danish forests are among the most poorly cared for in Europe. This is paradoxically due to the tendency to remove deadwood – a practice that has increased over the past five years. Dead trees play a big role as many animals inhabit, store or find food in them. Up to one-third of all animals in the forests depend on deadwood. Carsten Rahbek, a professor at the University of Copenhagen, highlights that it is important to leave the forests untouched.

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