FDA Ineptitude, Polio in Nigeria and the Origin of Aids - NewsGrabs 6 October 2007
Health Supreme's NewsGrabs are a selection of alternative health and other underprivileged news. Find what you may have missed in your everyday reading - watch out for these weekly NewsGrabs .... and if some of these news seem strange, don't worry. You aren't required to believe what is being reported. Just pick what seems of interest and then make up your own mind.
On the subject of contradictory information, I have found it useful to suspend judgement and merely note the contradictions - to be later resolved as more information becomes available...
In this issue:
Plant colors and antioxidants - Natural Medicine and Europe - Texas Medical Board attacks Environmental Medicine - FDA Oversight of Clinical Trials - F.D.A. INEPTITUDE COST LIVES - Clinical Trial Registry? - FDA Officials' Conflicts of Interests - Failure of FDA reform - Pfizer employees to face trial in Nigeria? - A Library of Pharma Documents - Peer Review Mediocre - Ghost Management - The worrying wonder drug - Canada pulls osteoarthritis drug - Purdue Pharma Sued Over OxyContin - Women Not Warned About SSRI-Related Birth Defect - Polio outbreak in Nigeria sparked by vaccine - Deaths Associated with HPV Vaccine - AIDS activist to refile AIDS origin lawsuit - The Zyprexa Whitewash - Video: Bill Maher on Pharmaceuticals - Is Alzheimer's a form of Diabetes? - Petition: Recognize MCS as environmental illness! - Quantum Dynamics of Life - Being a Science Activist - Ice Age Defrosted by Warming Ocean - Silent Guardian: Weapon or instrument of torture?
More information out there...
Of course there is much I cannot cover but other sources for this kind of information exist and are active.
The Alternative Medicine Yahoo Group is another great place to get information on what is happening in the world of nutrition and other natural health options.
For the influence of electromagnetic waves from radio, mobile phones and other radio emitting devices, check out the emfrefugee group on Yahoo.
If you are interested in a different take on the news that isn't health centered but is certainly fun, check out Robin Good TV News.
Some more sites to keep up to date with the other side of world affairs, the stuff you won't find on tv:
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New research into plant colors sheds light on antioxidants
The scientists, at the John Innes Centre and Institute of Food Research in Norwich, have pinpointed a key group of enzymes involved in the production of plant pigments. The pigments, called anthocyanins, are what give some plants the vivid colours that they use to attract insects and foraging animals. They also give plants protection against environmental stresses and disease. Hundreds of different anthocyanins exist in nature, all with slightly different chemical compositions. The international research team, supported by BBSRC, identified the genes responsible for the enzymes which chemically modify anthocyanins to alter their properties.
“What’s more, these anthocyanins that had been modified by the enzymes were more stable than those that hadn’t. This is significant because stabilised anthocyanins could be used as natural food colourants to replace many artificial colours used in various foods.
UK: The biggest danger facing Natural Medicine is called Europe
Many people are still unaware of the damaging effect the EU Food Supplement Directive and the Herbal Directive, both passed into UK law last year, will have on our natural health industry. This is beginning to affect the type of courses people can take and the schools who offer these courses. These pieces of unscientific legislation were brought in by a very underhand process and it was little publicised so that the public have largely remained oblivious to what is going on. The media have a lot to say about the ‘detrimental’ effect of supplements [they receive massive advertising revenue from the industry] but have kept a scandalous silence about what is really going on. Health and safety as usual has been touted as the reason, but this is untrue. The real reason is harmonisation with Europe.
Free Insecticide Treated Bednets Cut Childhood Malaria-Caused Deaths Up To 44%
"Children sleeping under insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) are less likely to die from malaria and nets should be distributed free to all who need them, according to research from Kenya."
"Increased ITN coverage in Kenya has resulted in 44 per cent fewer deaths in children, and increases in the birth weight of babies, according to preliminary data from the Malaria Control Department of the Kenyan Ministry of Health, announced at a meeting in Nairobi last week (16 August)."
Texas Medical Board attacks Environmental Medicine
The typical pattern in these attacks is to single out physicians they do not like and file anonymous complaints against them with different state medical boards. For example, over the past 10 years the number of physicians who are willing to diagnose and treat Lyme Disease has dropped sharply, while cases of Lyme disease have skyrocketed. This is because several health insurance companies have systematically targeted the doctors who specialized in treating that illness. Many of these physicians have had complaints made against them in exactly the same manner that they have been made against me. These same types of complaints have been made against doctors who treat patients for chemical sensitivities, mold exposure, for Gulf War Syndrome, and now possibly against physicians who are treating patients who were injured in the 911 tragedy.
Inspector General Report Assails FDA Oversight of Clinical Trials
Although human subjects are the linchpin of the multi-billion dollar clinical trial industry--without whom such trials, and the data collected from those trials, could not be conducted--no one has bothered to tally the number of human subjects. As Dr. Art Caplan, ethicist at the University of Pennsylvania concedes, "In many ways, rats and mice get greater protection as research subjects in the United States than do humans."
F.D.A. INEPTITUDE COST MANY LIVES
The surprise came on direct to consumer advertising which Big Pharma didn’t even try to defend as the were sure they had no leg to stand on. Media and advertising lobbyists realized they were about to loose a huge cash cow. They went into full swing and spent a fortune to portray a restriction on direct to consumer advertising as a violation of Big Pharma’s first amendment rights. The rights of Big Pharma to deceive, injure, and kill Americans are preserved – with the media as a main player in the con game and the blessing of a congress on the take.
Clinical Trial Registry of WHAT?
... if you don't mind receiving only part of the efficacy and safety data, then don't do anything. Send no emails, tell none of your friends, don't bother your local journal editor, and don't ask your doctor if he/she is aware that the so-called bedrock of evidence based medicine (i.e., results published in scientific journals) is based on selectively reported information.
FDA Officials Sued Over Conflicts of Interests
A lawsuit recently filed in a federal court in Ohio against FDA officials on behalf of terminal cancer patients provides a rare window into the inner workings of an agency hijacked by pharmaceutical industry giants and stacked with insiders by President George Bush to guard against any threat to the profits of his top campaign contributors. The lawsuit's complaint describes a conspiracy orchestrated by top FDA officials to basically drive a small company, Dendreon, out of business with the obvious goal of eliminating competition in what has become a thriving new industry involving the treatment of men with prostate cancer.
The failure of FDA reform
The legislation signed by President Bush last week falls far short of the major changes sought by consumer groups and the agency's sternest critics. Asked by reporters Thursday if the changes in the bill would shift the agency's emphasis from rushing new drugs to market to better surveillance of existing drugs, FDA commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach said only: "The new authorities are going to be helpful." Not by much, claimed David Graham, the man who nearly lost his job in the agency's safety department after going public with his analysis of the damage done by Merck's Vioxx.
Pfizer employees to face trial in Nigeria?
Even as out-of-court settlement talks are under way between Pfizer and the Nigerian state of Kano, which is suing the drugmaker for $2.75 billion, the government’s justice commissioner, Aliyu Umar, threatened to have Steere, a Pfizer director and former ceo, and nine other Pfizer employees arrested if they fail to appear on November 6 to face criminal charges.
A Library Packed With Pharma Documents
Based on their success in creating the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, which has helped legislators, policy makers and consumer advocates probe the tobacco industry, the center now wants to expand the Drug Industry Document Archive into a full-blown resource that has endless searchable documents about pharma. Already, an unnamed New York law firm is willing to donate 20 million pages of Merck documents about Vioxx.
“We want to add documents from other pharma companies so that journalists, attorneys, consumer groups, academic researchers, policy makers and others can understand more fully the pharmaceutical industry’s scientific research, manufacturing, marketing, sales and governmental relations practices,” writes Kim Klausner, the Tobacco Digital Library Manager, who hopes to secure funding to make it happen.
Peer Review Is Mediocre at Best
Regarding bias in "science" and the utter balderdash that passes for peer-reviewed science, I sometimes feel like a lone voice in the wilderness. Well, thank God -- another blogger has thrown down the gauntlet on the topic.
"Most people think peer review is some infallible system for evaluating knowledge. It's not. Here's what peer review does not do: it does not try to verify the accuracy of the content. They do not have access to the raw data. They don't re-run the statistical calculations to see if they're correct. They don't look up references to see if they are appropriate/accurate."
Ghost Management: How Much of the Medical Literature Is Shaped Behind the Scenes by the Pharmaceutical Industry?
Articles in medical journals have real effects upon physician prescribing behavior, which is why pharmaceutical companies invest so much in their publication. Journal articles are heavily used in detailing, to validate claims and rebut worries. Even independent of detailers, responsible physicians and medical researchers search the literature to gather evidence about the best treatments. Published scientific articles are the sources of medical information with the highest authority. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses almost all start with the published literature—so even fully independent reviews are influenced by ghostly activities. Therefore, the ghost management of journal articles is a step in the intervention into medical practice.
The worrying wonder drug
while many in the medical establishment are so confident of the benefits that they will not even countenance a debate, there are others who believe that these pills have been found wanting. One such dissenter is Malcolm Kendrick, a Cheshire GP with a special interest in cholesterol and heart disease, and author of The Great Cholesterol Con. Dr Kendrick believes that, for most people, statins are at best pointless and at worst highly dangerous. And he claims that those who prescribe them and those who take them are victims of clever global marketing.
Health Canada pulls osteoarthritis drug Prexige
The drug, known generically as lumiracoxib, was barred from sale in Australia in August 2007 after incidents of serious liver damage were linked to the 200 mg and 400 mg daily doses. Four incidents of hepatitis, including two Canadian cases, have been linked to use of the drug.
Four incidents of hepatitis ... since they can't find the virus, perhaps drugs and toxins in general are a much better candidate as the culprit at the bottom of liver inflammation. See Hepatitis C epidemic - where is the virus?
Kentucky: Purdue Pharma Sued Over OxyContin
A group of 120 Kentucky counties, along with various cities and the state, tomorrow plan to file a class-action lawsuit against Purdue Pharma and its parent for its marketing of the OxyContin painkiller, a highly addictive and controversial med that became known as Hillbilly Heroin. Pike County executive and judge Wayne Rutherford said: “This company has to be held responsible for their wrongdoing. This suit is not about money, but rather the people who have been affected and seen first-hand the devastation this drug has wrought on Kentucky.”
Women Not Warned About SSRI-Related Lung Birth Defect
A study of nearly 500,000 women by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, in the September 18, 2007, Annals of Internal Medicine, found that nearly 50% of women taking a prescription drug that could cause birth defects did not receive warnings to avoid pregnancy. The authors note that the pregnancy risks of a drug should be discussed with women before they begin taking it. The disorder, persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN), occurs when a newborn does not adjust to breathing outside the womb. PPHN refers to high pressure in the lungs' blood vessels which prevents the body's oxygen-poor blood from entering the lungs to absorb oxygen, and leaves the infant with not enough oxygen into the bloodstream.
Polio outbreak in Nigeria sparked by oral vaccine
A polio outbreak in Nigeria was caused by the vaccine designed to stop it, international health officials say, leaving at least 69 children paralyzed. The outbreak was caused by the live polio virus that is used in vaccines given orally — the preferred method in developing countries because it is cheaper and doesn't require medical training to dispense. The CDC and the World Health Organization announced the cause of the polio outbreak last week, even though they knew about it last year.
Deaths Associated with HPV Vaccine Start Rolling In, Over 3500 Adverse Affects Reported
As Canada, in large part due to aggressive behind the scenes lobbying, rolls out the not-comprehensively-tested Merck HPV vaccine for girls as young as nine, a look at developments on the vaccine south of the border should cause Canadians serious concern. In the United States a similar lobby campaign by the same company launched the mass HPV vaccination of girls beginning in June last year. In just little over a year, the HPV vaccine has been associated with at least five deaths, not to mention thousands of reports of adverse effects, hundreds deemed serious, and many that required hospitalization.
AIDS activist to refile AIDS origin lawsuit
International AIDS Activist, Boyd Ed Graves, J.D. will re-file the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the United States for “full disclosure” of the formerly secret U.S. Special Virus Program (1962 – 1978). “The annual progress reports of this federal program (some fifteen) had lain dormant for some thirty years until the people began inquiring,” Graves said. “Then Dr. Alan Rabson removed progress reports #14 and progress report #15, representing the years 1977 & 1978. The law requires Dr. Rabson to return all of the confiscated progress reports to the archives.”
The Zyprexa Whitewash
Unattributed quote from a Lilly document in the Furious Seasons article: "Lilly is playing a language game with the FDA pronouncements. Because the FDA class warning is about diabetes, Lilly can claim that there is no direct link with diabetes--which is true in one sense. But there is a direct link with weight gain, visceral fat, insulin sensitivity, and thus diabetes, stroke, and myocardial infarction. So while Lilly is technically correct, this is whitewash. They are, however, doing an outstanding job of politicizing and language games."
Is Alzheimer's a form of Diabetes?
Scientists at Northwestern University have discovered why brain insulin signaling -- crucial for memory formation -- would stop working in Alzheimer’s disease. They have shown that a toxic protein found in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer’s removes insulin receptors from nerve cells, rendering those neurons insulin resistant. With other research showing that levels of brain insulin and its related receptors are lower in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, the Northwestern study sheds light on the emerging idea of Alzheimer’s being a “type 3” diabetes.
Petition: Multiple Chemical Sensitivity - Recognize MCS as environmentally induced illness!
"...it is essential that MCS be immediately and fully recognized in America as an organic physiological disorder induced by toxic environmental insults. Environmental toxicants and irritants from perfumes, smoke, pesticides, industry, and building materials must be reduced or effectively regulated through legislation and enforcement to prevent injury to all citizens. Immediate accommodation with a safe environment for school, work, and housing should be granted to MCS victims who are still capable of working, while those permanently injured should receive disability benefits."
The Quantum Dynamics of Life
In the essay "Space and the Basis of Life" Roger Gouin, from the viewpoint of biology, shows how the cell as a common manifestation of life is organized in a complex way that defies purely physical analysis. And the basis for cellular organization and duplication is not DNA, as we might assume. Before developing DNA as a central molecule, cells duplicated with the help of a biological supramolecule called the centriole. He also introduces the concept of manipulation of the geometry of space by matter, particularly living matter.
The Importance of Being a Science Activist
Darwin is wrong, nature does not work like that, and when we run the world guided by this mistaken ideology, we get into deep trouble, as she is telling us loud and clear right now: global warming, fossil fuels and water running out, and food production in trouble from decades of destructive monoculture farming. Not to mention accelerating species extinction, and the huge inequalities that support a few mega-rich people on top of massive poverty in the world. We need a change of paradigm and a change of heart, and here is where science can help most of all. ISIS has been promoting a postmodernist holistic, organic science emerging across the disciplines, in place of the reductionist, mechanical perspective of modernist science.
Ice Age Defrosted by Warming Ocean, Not Rise in CO2
Ice cores drawn from Antarctica and Greenland have shown that carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere began to rise at roughly the same time as the vast ice sheets began to melt. But it remained unclear exactly which came first: melting ice and warming seas released more CO2 or more CO2 led to melting ice and warming seas. By studying sediment cores from the deep Pacific near the Philippines, paleoclimatologist Lowell Stott of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and his colleagues revealed that the temperatures of the deepest seas rose by around 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) at least 1,000 years before sea-surface temperatures.
Silent Guardian: Secret weapon or instrument of torture?
Built by the U.S. firm Raytheon, it is part of its “Directed Energy Solutions” programme. What it amounts to is a way of making people run away, very fast, without killing or even permanently harming them. That is what the company says, anyway. The reality may turn out to be more horrific. I tested a table-top demonstration model, but here’s how it works in the field. A square transmitter as big as a plasma TV screen is mounted on the back of a Jeep. When turned on, it emits an invisible, focused beam of radiation - similar to the microwaves in a domestic cooker - that are tuned to a precise frequency to stimulate human nerve endings. It can throw a wave of agony nearly half a mile.
Dr John Wood, a biologist at UCL and an expert in the way the brain perceives pain, is horrified by the new pain weapons. “They are so obviously useful as torture instruments,” he says. “It is ethically dubious to say they are useful for crowd control when they will obviously be used by unscrupulous people for torture.”
posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Saturday October 6 2007
updated on Wednesday August 15 2012
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