Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

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April 13, 2006

Disease Mongering: Corporations Create New 'Illnesses'

"Disease mongering exploits the deepest atavistic fears of suffering and death. It is in the interests of pharmaceutical companies to extend the range of the abnormal so that the market for treatments is proportionately enlarged." Iona Heath, General Practitioner at the Caversham Practice in London

Prevention is conspicuously absent from today's public health scene. The use of nutrition and other natural means of preventing and curing illness is actively, if covertly, discouraged by most health authorities across the world. It is strictly forbidden to inform the public about preventive and curative properties of any product not registered as a pharmaceutical drug, creating the illusion that foods and nutrition are ineffective in prevention and healing. But more importantly even - normal, everyday behavior is increasingly medicalized, actually creating new diseases that 'must be treated'.

Some of the diseases that are actively promoted to justify drug treatment include, according to a recent article in The Guardian, erectile dysfunction, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), female sexual dysfunction (FSD), bipolar disorder and restless legs syndrome.

diseasemonger.gif

Image Credit: Anthony Flores

In his article. The Latest Mania: Selling Bipolar Disorder, David Healy, writing in PLoS Medicine - a peer reviewed, open access journal of the Public Library of Science - analyzes how, by change of definitions, bipolar disorder has been made into a 'common disease'. The problem is that the cure - 'mood stabilizing' drugs - has not been tested in any meaningful way in a long term setting. The side effects of the medications which are often as serious as death by suicide, change the equation for the much enlarged group of potential patients. Those side effects become a real problem, often more serious than the condition was to begin with.

"Disease mongering turns healthy people into patients, wastes precious resources, and causes iatrogenic harm. Like the marketing strategies that drive it, disease mongering poses a global challenge to those interested in public health, demanding in turn a global response," write Ray Moynihan and David Henry, guest editors at PLoS Medicine, in their article outlining the problem for the April 2006 issue of the journal. "In our view, disease mongering is the selling of sickness that widens the boundaries of illness and grows the markets for those who sell and deliver treatments."

First Disease Mongering Conference...

- - -

Vera Hassner Sharav of the Alliance for Human Research Protection - AHRP - informs that "an Inaugural Conference on Disease-Mongering, April, 11 to 13, is being hosted by the Newcastle Institute of Public Health and School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle, Australia. The conference program is available from www.diseasemongering.org.

Sharav adds that an important issue was not included in the conference discussions :

"Big Pharma money and advertising not only influence the perception of illness, the demand for drugs, and the practice of medicine, but government budgets, including health service and oversight agencies have become dependent on Big Pharma money. An out of the box analysis opened our eyes to a fundamental conflict of interest that has never been discussed. Public health policies are not merely influenced by Big Pharma; they are formulated so as to increase industry’s profits because GOVERNMENT BUDGETS are tied to this industry’s profits." (more...)

While National Health Services in most developed countries where modern medicine is practiced are all but breaking down under the load of rapidly rising costs, these same services are doing anything possible to facilitate the growth of the pharmaceutical industry. Medicine is largely operated as a business and it is only natural that the maximization of profits would be one of its primary aims. Often profit conflicts with what we see as the aim of medicine - prevention and real healing.

Three broad steps to overcome the predicament

1 - Personal responsibility: First of all, people should be made aware that their health is their own to take care of, and they should be given the tools to do so. This includes information about biochemical facts, health and nutrition, early recognition of signs of disease and prompt preventive intervention with nutrition, including supplements and other non-toxic natural means. We need an operating manual for good health.

2 - Medical pluralism: When disease has developed, the method of treatment should be decided in agreement between medical professional and patient and the choices should include all known methods, regardless of 'general acceptance'. We must strive to overcome the de-facto monopoly of pharma-centered western medicine in treating disease. Once we choose medical pluralism, the most successful treatments will become the most popular.

3 - Real understanding: Research should not be restricted to finding the next new blockbuster drug but should instead lead to understanding biochemical pathways and the human body's own mechanisms of protection and real healing. The aim would be to allow medicine, with simple interventions, to help human bodies heal themselves while abstaining from damaging interventions that merely suppress symptoms.

Certainly, these are far reaching changes, but the direction is clear: We must choose between pampering an already immensely profitable industry and achieving our goals for public health. In today's world, the two are clearly incompatible.


Further reading and links:

The Nation: A Disease for Every Pill
by RAY MOYNIHAN & ALAN CASSELS
[from the October 17, 2005 issue]

UK: House of Commons Health Committee (2005)
The influence of the pharmaceutical industry. (PDF)

The Telegraph: Should we keep taking the tablets?

The Guardian: Drug firms accused of turning healthy people into patients

PLoS Medicine: Bigger and Better: How Pfizer Redefined Erectile Dysfunction

PLoS Medicine: Medicine Goes to School: Teachers as Sickness Brokers for ADHD

PLoS Medicine: Female Sexual Dysfunction: A Case Study of Disease Mongering and Activist Resistance

PLoS Medicine: Giving Legs to Restless Legs: A Case Study of How the Media Helps Make People Sick

PLoS Medicine: The Latest Mania: Selling Bipolar Disorder

Inaugural Conference on Disease Mongering
April 11 to 13 2006, Newcastle, Australia

- - -

Beldeu Singh, who has contributed several articles to this site, adds his point of view, extending the list of artificially created diseases:

DRUG COMPANIES "DISEASE-MONGERING" TO BOOST PROFITS

In our newspaper I saw the above headline to an interesting article that says "Pharmaceutical companies are systematically creating diseases to sell their products, turning healthy people into patients and placing many at risk, a special edition of a medical journal claimed today.

The practice of "disease-mongering" by the drug industry is promoting non-existent illnesses or exaggerating minor ones for the sake of profits, according to the journal PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE MEDICINE" (NST, Wednesday April 12, 2006 p 28).

The "diseases" include menopause, irritable bowel syndrome, sexual dysfunction, osteoporosis, ADHD and restless legs.

"Other minor problems that are a normal part of life such as symptoms of menopause are also becoming increasingly "medicalised" while risk factors such as
high cholesterol levels or osteoporosis are being presented as diseases in their own right, the editors said.

"Disease-mongering turns healthy people into patients, wastes resources and causes iatrogenic (medically induced) harm".

This article appeared in THE TIMES and you may have seen it. We have written along similar lines as noted in many articles including those below.

1. Beldeu Singh: Can I Have my Chemo Supplement Please?
March, 2006 - The future is written in emerging history. As it is emerging and slowly creeping upon us, we find medical associations banning ...

2. And the smell of scandal in the drug industry does not stop there with this one drug called AZT. Julian Whitaker M.D. said that "Ritalin is legally sanctioned "Speed". Ritalin is the number one prescription drug for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This drug has such tremendous potential for abuse that it is classified as a controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Agency. Ritalin is an amphetamine (in street jargon, "speed") with a lengthy list of side effects, including nervousness, insomnia, nausea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, dizziness, palpitations, headaches, irregular heart rhythms, and psychic dependence - in short, addiction.

Following the acceptance of ADD/ADHD as medical diagnoses, sales of Ritalin and similar stimulants have skyrocketed, with more than 6 million such prescriptions being written in 1995, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. In fact, Ritalin's appeal to drug users and its potential for abuse are so high that US House Judiciary Chair Henry Hyde (R-IL) recently filed a request with the General Accounting Office (GAO) to conduct an investigation of Ritalin abuse in public schools. "In 1996 the World Health Organization warned that Ritalin over-use has reached dangerous proportions. Ritalin, for instance, may provoke seizures and suppress growth, or it may cause angina, blood pressure changes, depression or any of a very long list of serious side effects," Dr. Allen Buresz. Very likely, Ritalin is another drug with free radical generating toxicity.

Class action lawsuits have been filed in Texas, California and New Jersey charging Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis, maker of Ritalin, with conspiracy to create the psychiatric disorder known as ADHD in order to fuel the market for their product."

These lawsuits filed in Texas, California and New Jersey claim that the booming success of Ritalin is the result of a conspiracy in which the American Psychiatric Association, Novartis Pharmaceutical Corp. and national parents' group Children and Adults With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) colluded to create the diagnoses of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

It's a scary business out there. You can create a diagnosis to market your product!

3. Biologically, menopause is not a medical problem and it is not entirely correct to say that "she was diagnosed with menopause". It is not a medical problem that needs "treatment" although it is associated with sleep disorders but sound medical advice and support helps. Menopause is a natural aging process and must be managed in that perspective.

see: Managing the Aging Process After Menopause

- - -

HARMACEUTICAL - a new word created probably unintentionally - seems to be a potentially very descriptive term for the pharma crowd.

I found it in the Crusador newsletter - Health Lies Exposed...

Drugs Companies 'Inventing Diseases to Boost Their Profits'
Date: 4/21/06 Author: Mark Henderson Source: The Times of London

HARMACEUTICAL companies are systematically creating diseases in order to sell more of their products, turning healthy people into patients and placing many at risk of harm, a special edition of a leading medical journal claims today.
read more


Also related:

Monterey Herald - The business of selling sickness

The Times April 08, 2006
We’re sick of being shy
by Roger Dobson
Is bashfulness a personality disorder?
Or are we in danger of medicalising a harmless trait?
Goodbye shyness, hello avoidant-personality disorder. Shyness, once an accepted and even admired trait, has been hijacked and given the status of a syndrome. Some experts believe that half the population now “suffer” from it. But is it natural or a medical affliction? “Social phobia” was recognised as a diagnosis in 1980 and, since then, it has been joined in the textbooks by social-anxiety disorder and avoidant-personality disorder. For those deemed to be afflicted there is counselling available as well as self-help books, hypnotherapy and psychotherapy. And for severe cases, there are drugs — mainly antidepressants, but also beta-blockers and botulinum toxin (for the excess sweating caused by shyness). There are even half a dozen shyness clinics around the country.

Glaxo denies pushing 'lifestyle' treatments
GlaxoSmithKline, Europe's biggest drugs manufacturer, yesterday defended itself against accusations that it is turning healthy people into patients by "disease mongering" and pushing "lifestyle" treatments for little-known ailments. Studies published in a respected medical journal, the Public Library of Science Medicine, this month accused the big pharmaceutical companies of "medicalising" problems such as high cholesterol and sexual dysfunction. The authors of the report highlighted the "restless legs" syndrome, described by GSK as "common yet unrecognised" when it launched its Ropinirole treatment last year.

 


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Thursday April 13 2006
updated on Wednesday December 8 2010

URL of this article:
http://www.communicationagents.com/sepp/2006/04/13/disease_mongering_corporations_create_new_illnesses.htm

 


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Readers' Comments


A comment received by email:

From: "Robert Pocock"
To: sepp
Subject: Re: Disease Mongering: Corporations Create New 'Illnesses'
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2006 19:19:25 +0100

Dear Sepp,

Regarding it being strictly prohibited to inform the public about preventive and curative properties of a product not registered as a pharmaceutical drug, there is of course one exception -- hexafluorosilicic acid which is used in 90% of US and all of Irish and English fluoridated drinking water with the oft-stated purpose of preventing dental caries.

Fluorosilicates have never obtained product authorization in either Ireland or England and in the US, the FDA classes this form of fluoride as 'an unapproved new (!) drug'.

The National Research Council of the US National Academy of Sciences, in its
'Fluoride in drinking water' published on 22nd March 2006, called for testing of fluorosilicates (silicofluorides), the chemicals used to fluoridate water in 92% of US fluoridated water supplies.

Dr Robert Carton, former manager of EPA professionals union stated
"This is a shocking admission that the real chemicals used to fluoridate water have never been tested by the government."

Source: Mary Sparrowdancer 'Fluoridation, The NRC Report And 'Crucial' False News Alerts Or 'When is Toxic Sludge Good For Us?' (see article on www.rense.com)

Even the FDA might have difficulty in approving this 'new drug' under its licensing procedures. If it did succeed, it would certainly give a whole new meaning to drug licensing.

On checking the origin of the phrase about the exception proving the rule, I found that Jules Tellier (1863-1889) is credited with it. I quote
"On dit que l'exception confirme la regle. Elle la confirme en ce sens, qu'elle lui donne un soufflet."

What a slap in the face water fluoridation gives this particular rule!

Kind regards,
Robert

Posted by: Robert Pocock on April 13, 2006 10:01 PM

 


Betty Martini comments to the BBC upon an article titled "Drug firms 'inventing diseases":

Perhaps the best way to say this is pharmaceutical and chemical firms are causing more diseases, and then making drugs to treat the problems they caused, which then interact. Searle was the original manufacturer of aspartame. The phenylalanine in aspartame lowers the seizure threshold and depletes serotonin. Lowered serotonin triggers psychiatric and behavioral problems and insomnia. So Searle made a drug for sleep.

Aspartame hardens the synovial fluids and along with the toxic breakdown of the poison causes agonizing joint pain many times called fibromyalgia. Dr. H. J. Roberts calls fibromyalgia a diagnostic junk bucket. So Searle made Celebrex, a horrible drug, for joint pain, which interacts with aspartame. Aspartame damages the mitochondria and therefore interacts with all drugs, the reason so many die from drug interaction no doubt.

Aspartame also is notorious in triggering restless leg. As to menopause, it is of interest that for years women took Premarin to be more vibrant. All of a sudden articles wrote that women were complaining that now they were experiencing chronic fatigue syndrome from the drug. Aspartame destroys the immune system and causes chronic fatigue, and it interacts with hormones big time. A University of Florida study years ago showed that if you omitted aspartame chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia disappeared.

Aspartame can trigger irritable bowel syndrome as well. Just look at the medical text: Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic, www.sunsentpress.com by H. J. Roberts, M.D. It's all there, all of these diseases and the mechanism by which aspartame can trigger them.

So yes I would turn this around and say that pharmaceutical firms are causing these diseases and then making drugs to treat them. And that doesn't work with aspartame victims because the drugs interact and aggravate the problem.

As an example, aspartame is pushed on diabetics by the professional organizations and front groups who are funded by the manufacturers. Yet, aspartame can precipitate diabetes, aggravates and simulates diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy and destroys the optic nerve. It also interacts with insulin. So we have an epidemic of diabetes. The free methyl alcohol in aspartame converts to formaldehyde and formic acid and destroys the optic nerve, so look at all the laser surgery to treat the eye problems aspartame triggers.

After being on the market for over two decades research into scientific peer reviewed studies and funding reveals that 92 per cent of independent studies show the problems that aspartame can cause. Only studies funded and controlled by industry ever said it was safe. Searle originally did all sorts of things to try and prove a deadly excitoneurotoxic carcinogenic drug showed safety, and got caught. As the FDA audit shows they were even excising brain tumors from rats and then putting them back in the study. When they died they would resurrect them on paper. So the FDA asked for the indictment of Searle under Title 18, Section 1001, fraud. But the pharmaceutical industry is very powerful with bottomless checkbooks, and the bought the U.S. Prosecutors because they knew it was an open and shut case. Prosecutors Skinner and Conlon hired on with Searle's defense team and the statute of limitations expired. But still the FDA would not approve this poison so Don Rumsfeld said he would call in his markers and get it approved regardless of their refusal and regardless of the fact that it is a deadly poison. Here James Turner, Washington DC Attorney who tried along with Dr. John Olney to prevent approval, explains how Rumsfeld did this deadly deed: A clip from Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World (www.amazon.com) : Here is a promo to the film.

Now that the Ramazzini Study in Italy, peer reviewed by 7 world experts, has proven beyond any shadow of a doubt the same thing the FDA found, that aspartame is a multipotential carcinogen, efforts have been made to fabricate a study to rebut it. A multifood form 16 pages long with 56 questions completed a decade ago, was claimed to be an aspartame cancer study. Aspartame was only mentioned once when asked if you drank coffee and tea, and if not to skip to number 27 and tell us if you use vitamins. The aspartame manufacturers admit to this toxin being in 6000 products, yet on this form there were no questions about whether you used any of them or whether you took them for years, since only 12 months was the time limit. As Dr. Ralph Walton said, if you did a 12 month study on whether smoking caused cancer you would conclude that smoking does not cause cancer. If these elderly people who filled out the form, and even could remember what they took in the last 12 months, checked they used regular soda pop again they would not be counted as using aspartame. Yet in l995 they could have been using Fresca or Tab, both with aspartame.

Then front groups like the Calorie Control Council tout this as showing aspartame is safe. The American Dietetics Assn is just as bad, often called Monsanto's media flacks. The experts, of course, immediately exposed this bogus study. You will note that Dr. Russell Blaylock comments on the Ramazzini Study as well as this new bogus study. And Dr. Roberts not only comments, but his peer reviewed journal article about 15 years ago exposed the aspartame lymphoma link. The Ramazzini study showed aspartame causes lymphoma, leukemia, kidney cancer and cancer of the cranial peripheral nerves.

Today, the FDA is simply an extension of industry and has given their complete loyalty to the pharmaceutical and cancer industry. They find employment at the FDA to be a bureaucrat so they can become a plutocrat. They have absolutely no interest in safe food and drugs and are responsible for approving poisons. As proof of this, while their own records show aspartame to be a chemical poison, and they themselves originally wanted the company indicted, they lie to the public and protect the pharmaceutical and chemical industry. There is a law that says if someone files a Citizens Petition they must answer in 180 days, and not to do so means they have committed a crime. I filed a Citizens Petition to ban aspartame 4 years ago in June, and they refuse to answer saying they have more important things to do. Here is the petition.

The FDA not only protects the pharmaceutical industry but tries to help them take over our vitamins and herbs. The FDA knows without a shadow of a doubt that aspartame damages the cardiac conduction system and causes death. The FDA has this report and others but when the athletes started dropping dead they used ephedra as the cause and banned it. Dr. John Olney is on the Ephedra Council and reviewed the complaints at the FDA. What they had was a comedy to read. In one case a man left his wife and didn't go to church and the cause was given as ephedra. There were some problems, not with natural Ma-Haung, but with the pharmaceutical kind where they synthesized it. Showing you it doesn't matter what the pharmaceutical companies do they left the synthesized drug version on the market and took off the safe Ma-Haung. They removed ephedra because of an athlete who dropped dead in West Palm Beach. An investigation into his diet habits found that he was worried about his fluctuating weight and was going without food for a couple of days and then using nothing but Diet Coke all day sweetened with aspartame. The athlete no doubt was just another aspartame murder. And when Ephedra was put back on the market they only allowed a small amount, so there would be little necessity to use it since the dose would be too low. Recently the FDA bragged on their web site that they had found someone here in Georgia who was selling a little more, and how happy they were to protect the people from this harmless and useful product being used for thousands of years.

In the meantime, millions of people all over the world are dying from neurodegenerative diseases, drug interactions, cancers and birth defects for starters. As I have heard Doctors Roberts and Blaylock say a lot of people in mental hospitals today are simply aspartame victims.

Talking about aspartame murders, Charles Fleming, a basketball playing athlete and body builder, who used aspartame pop and other products with this toxin, died. On the autopsy it showed death from methanol poisoning. It also showed chronic methanol poisoning which showed he had been using it for years. You saw the usual things you would see in an aspartame victim, the fatty liver, pulmonary edema, and cardiomegaly (enlarged heart), and metabolic acidosis. The doctor in the case not knowing what caused the methanol poisoning, and completely unaware that aspartame liberates free methyl alcohol, told his wife Diane to call the
police. She did and also took a polygraph test. The police report says the polygraph showed she was truthful. So the police knew Diane had nothing to do with it, and the detective on the case told me personally he would have never allowed her to be indicted but all of a sudden he was promoted and taken off the case. Diane Fleming, a sweet Sunday School teacher lost not only her husband to the aspartame murderers but also her children, her home and her freedom. She was sentenced to 30 and 20 years and now resides in a Virginia prison.

Doctors looking at the autopsy report and realizing Fleming died from aspartame wrote affidavits. The medical examiner, Dr. Marcella Fierro, agreed to talk to Dr. H. J. Roberts about it but cancelled appointments. Then she said she would have a phone conference on a certain date during a meeting for that purpose. At that time she said she wouldn't talk to him because there was no peer reviewed journal article on aspartame and methanol. She said this while holding in her hand the peer reviewed journal article, Aspartame: Methanol and the Public Health by Dr. Woodrow Monte: So we decided to investigate Dr. Fierro and found other cases she had been involved in including the Vince Foster case. The Artificially Sweetened Times published by the Idaho Observer (www.idaho-observer.com) which are distributed to warn the public about aspartame carried the story: "Fleming's chances for post-conviction relief dashed by medical examiner capable of moving bullet wounds for political reasons". She was reported to the Virginia Medical Board, Grievance Committee, by myself and Dr. H. J. Roberts, and they reviewed the case for a long time but allowed Fierro not to be punished. More investigation is needed for Fierro's other links to people like Senator Orrin Hatch who was paid by Monsanto and who prevented aspartame congressional hearings for so long. There were many errors in the two day trial so a powerful habeas was written and for some strange reason was turned down. Now we are asking for help to get this Sunday School teacher and mother of three out of prison, for as the detective on the case said, "Diane Fleming is an innocent woman and never should have been indicted."

As Dr. James Bowen wrote the FDA years ago, the people responsible for putting aspartame on the market and those working to keep it on the market should be criminally prosecuted.

The pharmaceutical industry has lots of influence and power, and they have to have endless checkbooks to keep it. No wonder drugs are so expensive. As one man said, his insurance company would not pay for the second month's of pills because they would cost $2800.00 - 30 pills. The elderly try to get their medication in Canada because living on a set income they can't afford the pharmaceutical company's outrageous fees. So the FDA, industry's handmaiden has worked to prevent consumers from getting them cheaper in Canada. The same pharmaceutical drugs purchased in the US are sent to Canada, and they are sealed, but FDA's excuse is that they are not safe. A burglar would have a better alibi.

So perhaps this title should be turned around to show the real problem. Many of these diseases are created by the aspartame manufacturers using a deadly excitoneurotoxic carcinogen drug that interacts with all drugs and vaccines. Shame on the FDA who has given them their loyalty and sold out the people. As Mr. Horton, Editor of the Lancet said years ago, the FDA endangers the lives of the people by taking money from industry.

When those responsible to solve the problem ARE the problem they should be removed from office and prosecuted like they prosecute innocent health food people selling a little bit of a healthful drug. To show you how industry cares not for the lives of the people when they got ahold of the vitamins in England they added aspartame, even though you swallow them. Then they can sell more of these drugs that interact with the poison. However, you look at it the pharmaceutical and chemical industry - they are guilty. They not only invent disease but create it.

Dr. Betty Martini, D.Hum
Mission Possible International
9270 River Club Parkway
Duluth, Georgia 30097
770 242-2599

Posted by: Betty Martini on April 16, 2006 12:01 PM

 















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The Individual Is Supreme And Finds Its Way Through Intuition

 

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