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Health Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Health Media Articles in Major Media


Below are highly revealing excerpts of important health articles reported in the media suggesting a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full articles on major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These health articles are listed by article date. You can also explore the articles listed by order of importance or by date posted. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


Former FDA Reviewer Speaks Out About Intimidation, Retaliation and Marginalizing of Safety
2017-07-21, TruthOut.org
http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/10524-former-fda-reviewer-speaks-out-about...

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is often accused of serving industry at the expense of consumers. This week, [there are reports] of an institutionalized FDA spying program on its own scientists, lawmakers, reporters and academics that included an enemies list of "actors" and collaborators. "Devicegate" dates back at least to January 2009 when scientists ... wrote President Obama that top FDA managers "committed the most outrageous misconduct by ordering, coercing and intimidating FDA physicians and scientists to recommend approval, and then retaliating when the physicians and scientists refused to go along." Unsafe [medical] devices - including those that emit excessive radiation - were approved. For reporting the safety risks, the scientists became targets. Some lost their jobs. The ... reprisals against FDA device reviewers [did not surprise former FDA drug reviewer Ronald Kavanagh]. "After FDA management learned I had gone to Congress about certain issues, I found my office had been entered and my computer physically tampered with," [said Kavanagh]. "Then, after I openly reported irregularities in an antipsychotic drug review and FDA financial collusion with outsiders to ... the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, I was threatened with prison. The threats, however, can be much worse than prison. One manager threatened my children - who had just turned 4 and 7 years old - and ... I was afraid that I could be killed for talking to Congress and criminal investigators."

Note: Read more on how the FDA spied on whistle-blowing scientists to suppress safety concerns. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the scientific community.


Who Needs Hard Drives? Scientists Store Film Clip in DNA
2017-07-12, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/12/science/film-clip-stored-in-dna.html

It was one of the very first motion pictures ever made: a galloping mare filmed in 1878 by the British photographer Eadweard Muybridge. More than a century later, that clip ... is now the first movie ever to be encoded in the DNA of a living cell, where it can be retrieved at will and multiplied indefinitely as the host divides and grows. The advance, reported on Wednesday in the journal Nature ... is the latest and perhaps most astonishing example of the genome’s potential as a vast storage device. George Church, a geneticist at Harvard and one of the authors of the new study, recently encoded his own book, “Regenesis,” into bacterial DNA and made 90 billion copies of it. With the new research, he and other scientists have begun to wonder if it may be possible one day to do something even stranger: to program bacteria to snuggle up to cells in the human body and to record what they are doing, in essence making a “movie” of each cell’s life. When something goes wrong, when a person gets ill, doctors might extract the bacteria and play back the record. It would be, said Dr. Church, analogous to the black boxes carried by airplanes whose data is used in the event of a crash. In 1994, [mathematician Leonard Adleman] Adleman reported that he had stored data in DNA and used it as a computer to solve a math problem. He determined that DNA can store a million million times more data than a compact disc in the same space.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and the mysterious nature of reality.


Some seeking help for opioid abuse are lost in a circle of lies
2017-07-08, Boston Globe
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/07/08/statopioid/tS5LOG86odKWCXtL4rEgo...

Drug users, desperate to break addictions to heroin or pain pills, are pawns in a sprawling national network of insurance fraud, an investigation by The Boston Globe and STAT has found. They are being sent to treatment centers hundreds of miles from home for expensive, but often shoddy, care that is paid for by premium health insurance benefits procured with fake addresses. Patient brokers are paid a fee to place insured people in treatment centers, which pocket thousands of dollars in claims for each patient. Patients from across the United States have been taken in by these profiteers capitalizing on the surge in opioid addiction. The patients are often enrolled through HealthCare.gov, the online insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act that connects patients to insurers in dozens of states. The brokers, patients’ families, or marketers for the treatment centers pay the insurance premium. Within a few weeks, the insurer is billed tens of thousands of dollars for what is often subpar care. Many patients have no idea how their insurance coverage was obtained or that they are part of a scam. They are often told they are receiving free care — or that their insurance is being taken care of by the patient broker. Some find out their coverage is from a company in a state where they have never lived only when a billing problem arises or when the broker stops paying the premium. By then, they’re far from home, stranded without any insurance.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.


United Nations and World Health Organisation call for drugs to be decriminalised
2017-07-01, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/united-nations-world-health-organisa...

The United Nations and World Health Organisation have issued a call for drugs to be decriminalised. Buried in a joint release on ending healthcare discrimination, the organisations called for the “reviewing and repealing punitive laws that have been proven to have negative health outcomes” by member states. Among a number of measures, this included “drug use or possession of drugs for personal use”. While the WHO has previously called for drugs to be decriminalised in the context of HIV reduction, the UN has limited its calls to health- and evidence-based solutions to drug abuse. Last year, nations meeting at the UN General Assembly Special Session on drugs maintained a criminal approach to narcotics, despite strong concerns from a number of countries. But last month, on the International Day Against Drug Abuse, UN Secretary General António Guterres called for tackling the problem through “prevention and treatment,” adhering to human rights. He said: “Despite the risks and challenges inherent in tackling this global problem, I hope and believe we are on the right path, and that together we can implement a coordinated, balanced and comprehensive approach that leads to sustainable solutions. Mr Guterres was Prime Minister of Portugal when the country launched its landmark drug decriminalisation programme, which also introduced greater resources for drug prevention and treatment projects. Portugal saw its drug fatalities fall to one of the lowest in Europe and also reduced the prevalence of HIV among injectors.

Note: The war on drugs is a "trillion-dollar failure". Portugal's remarkable success with decriminalization suggests that drug addiction can be curbed without sacrificing human rights. Read the account of Mike Levine, a 25-year veteran of the DEA who personally witnessed large-scale drug smuggling by the government, to find out why some of those in power strongly oppose drug decriminalization.


California to List Herbicide as Cancer-Causing; Monsanto Vows Fight
2017-06-27, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2017/06/27/us/27reuters-usa-glyphosate-califo...

Glyphosate, an herbicide and the active ingredient in Monsanto Co's popular Roundup weed killer, will be added to California's list of chemicals known to cause cancer effective July 7, the state's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) said on Monday. Monsanto vowed to continue its legal fight against the designation, required under a state law known as Proposition 65. The listing is the latest legal setback for the seeds and chemicals company, which has faced increasing litigation over glyphosate since the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer said that it is "probably carcinogenic" in a controversial ruling in 2015. Dicamba, a weed killer designed for use with Monsanto's next generation of biotech crops, is [also] under scrutiny in Arkansas after the state's plant board voted last week to ban the chemical. OEHHA said the designation of glyphosate ... will proceed following an unsuccessful attempt by Monsanto to block the listing in trial court. Listing glyphosate as a known carcinogen ... would require companies selling the chemical in the state to add warning labels to packaging. Monsanto and other glyphosate producers would have roughly a year from the listing date to re-label products or remove them from store shelves if further legal challenges are lost.

Note: The negative health impacts of Monsanto's Roundup are well known. Major lawsuits are building over Monsanto's lies to regulators and the public about the safety of glyphosate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food industry corruption and health.


Hypnosis, grounded in science
2017-06-12, The Globe and Mail (One of Canada's leading newspapers)
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/science-hypnos...

Hypnosis isn’t just for hucksters and Hollywood villains any more. Clinical trials have demonstrated its effectiveness in treating anxiety, phobias, skin rashes, irritable-bowel syndrome and acute and chronic pain. In North America, medical centres such as the Mayo Clinic have added hypnosis to their pain-management tools. As with mindfulness meditation, hypnosis harnesses the brain’s natural abilities to regulate the body and control the random thoughts that ricochet through our minds, says Dr. David Patterson, a University of Washington psychologist. But, he adds, meditation can take weeks or months of practice before it helps patients. With hypnosis, “the relief is just a lot quicker and more dramatic.” About 10 per cent to 15 per cent of adults are “highly hypnotizable,” meaning they can easily slip into a trance and act on hypnotic suggestions. The same percentage of adults do not respond to hypnosis at all, while the rest are somewhere in between. In hypnosis circles, the word “powerful” comes up a lot. But it’s hardly an overstatement when you consider the work of Dr. Marie-Elisabeth Faymonville, director of the pain clinic ... at the University Hospital of Ličge, Belgium. Hypnosis allows patients to avoid general anesthesia in surgeries ranging from mastectomies to heart-valve replacements, Faymonville says. Since 1992, she has treated more than 9,500 surgery patients with “hypno-sedation,” combining hypnosis with small amounts of local anesthesia. Of those patients, just 18 had to switch to general anesthesia.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Is your diet making you depressed?
2017-06-12, Fox News
http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/06/12/is-your-diet-making-depressed.html

Globally, millions of people suffer from depression, an estimated 300 million to be exact. In fact, major depression constitutes one of the most common mental health disorders in the United States. For decades, people have correlated healthy eating with feeling better, including in the area of mental health. However, many people who do not eat well also have outside stress factors, such as a busy schedule or low income. Health professionals can easily attribute any depression in these groups to these outside factors strained by a poor diet. However, one study set out to evaluate the direct link between diet and depression. The researchers ... observed 67 patients with moderate to severe depression. Patients [in the control group] received social support rather than switching their eating habits. The other patients then received a series of seven one-hour dietary counseling sessions where they were advised to eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. After the trial period, the researchers found that over 30 percent of the patients had gone into remission with their depression. Only 8 percent of the control group actually experienced this same improvement. The participants that showed the most remarkable results had improved their diet the most. According to the research, diet and depression do go hand in hand. Those suffering from depression should eliminate processed foods as much as possible. Instead, they should replace them with a plant-rich diet alongside lean, quality meats.

Note: Read an essay by Jeffrey M. Smith, author of Seeds of Deception, that describes how replacing processed foods with healthy, non-GMO meals at an Appleton Wisconsin high school led to dramatic improvements in the mood and behavior of students. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food industry corruption and health.


Why Weight Training Is Ridiculously Good For You
2017-06-06, Time
http://time.com/4803697/bodybuilding-strength-training/

Modern exercise science shows that working with weights - whether that weight is a light dumbbell or your own body - may be the best exercise for lifelong physical function and fitness. Brad Schoenfeld, an assistant professor of exercise science at New York City’s Lehman College ... has published more than 30 academic papers on every aspect of resistance training - from the biomechanics of the push-up to the body’s nutrient needs following a hard lift. Later in life, bone tissue losses accelerate and outpace the creation of new bone. This loss of bone tissue leads to the weakness and postural problems that plague many older adults. “Resistance training counteracts all those bone losses and postural deficits,” he says. For anyone at risk for metabolic conditions - type-2 diabetes, but also high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels and other symptoms of metabolic syndrome - strength training is among the most-effective remedies. Strength training also seems to be a potent antidote to inflammation, a major risk factor for heart disease and other conditions. More research has linked strength training to improved focus and cognitive function, better balance, less anxiety and greater well-being. If all that isn’t convincing enough ... perhaps this is: maintaining strength later in life “seems to be one of the best predictors of survival," says [University of Michigan professor Mark] Peterson. “When we add strength ... almost every health outcome improves.”

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Raw milk: a superfood or super risky?
2017-05-30, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/may/30/raw-milk-health-superfoo...

The vast majority of milk we drink is pasteurized – heat-treated to kill off harmful pathogens. Raw milk, on the other hand, goes straight from udder to bottle. Fans call it milk as nature intended: nutrient-rich and full of probiotics, the good kind of bacteria. Some fans go further, calling it a superfood that aids digestion, boosts the immune system and treats asthma, eczema and allergies. Due to concerns about safety, retail sales of raw milk are prohibited in about 20 states. Something called a “herd-share” scheme ... lets people buy an “interest” in a group of dairy cows. “As a part-owner, you’re entitled to what that cow produces,” [food blogger Jennifer McGruther] explains. “It’s difficult for the state to say you can’t drink the milk from cows you own.” The US government estimates that 3.2% of people now drink it. But ... pasteurization is the norm for a reason – it’s highly effective at killing things such as E coli, salmonella, campylobacter and listeria. Raw milk, on the other hand, relies heavily on the skill of the farmer and the cleanliness of the operation to avoid contamination. A study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says raw milk illnesses have spiked as more people drink it. Between 2009 and 2014, raw milk and raw milk cheese caused the vast majority (96%) of all illnesses linked to contaminated dairy products. Several European studies and observations of Amish farm children do suggest those who drink raw milk have less asthma and fewer allergies.

Note: A 2012 mercola.com article on the raw milk debate suggests that US regulators are against raw milk because it can not be safely produced by large factory farms. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food industry corruption and health.


The brain is the next logical frontier for futurists
2017-05-17, Financial Times
https://www.ft.com/content/ac9e8d4c-371f-11e7-99bd-13beb0903fa3?accessToken=z...

Your perceptions of the outside world arise through brain activity. Scientists in China have managed to reverse-engineer this process, using brain activity to guess what people are looking at. Their algorithm, which analyses functional MRI brain scans collected while volunteers gaze at digits and letters, is able to furnish uncannily clear depictions of the original images. It has been termed a mind-reading algorithm; a more accurate, though less catchy, description would be a “reconstruction of visual field” algorithm. The algorithm, called the Deep Generative Multiview Model, was highlighted this month by MIT Technology Review as an emerging technology to watch. What is true for the visual cortex is also true for our auditory systems: if you hear a song, the auditory part of your brain whirrs into action. Scientists in the US have developed a programme that can turn the associated firing of neurons back into real sounds. These technologies are turning thoughts into pictures and sounds. In short, science is coming remarkably close to being able to access what is inside our heads. If such algorithms were to find their way into advertising, we may find ourselves digitally stalked not only by images of hotels and consumer goods that we once clicked on, but also by pictures we glanced at or by songs that we streamed. This requires access to brain signals, but who would bet against such a future? Millions of people, by wearing fitness bands, sign up to having their physiological signals charted round the clock.

Note: Software breakthroughs like this have many potential benefits. But these new technologies may also be used for electronic harassment or mind control. And a 2008 US Defense Intelligence Agency report described the brain as the "battlefield of future".


Feds sue UnitedHealth alleging at least $1 billion in false claims
2017-05-17, Star Tribune (Minneapolis' leading newspaper)
http://www.startribune.com/feds-sue-unitedhealth-alleging-false-claims/422660...

The federal government sued UnitedHealth Group on Tuesday alleging the Minnetonka-based health care company wrongly received from Medicare at least $1 billion in “risk adjustment” payments based on inaccurate data submissions. The federal government’s civil fraud action comes in a whistleblower case first brought by a former UnitedHealth Group employee. Earlier this year, the federal government disclosed it had ongoing investigations about risk adjustment practices at four other carriers including Aetna and a division of Cigna. In Medicare Advantage plans, the government pays health insurers a per-member per-month payment for enrollees. The government says the fees can be increased when health plans submit information about an enrollee’s health that justifies a higher “risk score” for the patient. The federal lawsuit filed Tuesday highlighted UnitedHealth’s program to review charts, calling it a “one-sided revenue-generating program.” The insurer collected “millions of medical records” and employed chart reviewers “in order to mine for diagnoses that the providers themselves did not report to United for their patients,” the lawsuit states. “United used the results of the chart reviews to only increase government payments ... while in bad faith systematically ignoring other information from the chart reviews which would have led to decreased payments.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.


The labels said ‘organic.’ But these massive imports of corn and soybeans weren’t.
2017-05-12, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-labels-said-organic-but-t...

A shipment of 36 million pounds of soybeans sailed late last year from Ukraine to Turkey to California. Along the way, it underwent a remarkable transformation. The cargo began as ordinary soybeans. They were fumigated with a pesticide [and] priced like ordinary soybeans. But by the time the 600-foot cargo ship carrying them to Stockton, Calif., arrived in December, the soybeans had been labeled “organic,” according to receipts, invoices and other shipping records. That switch - the addition of the “USDA Organic” designation - boosted their value by approximately $4 million, creating a windfall for at least one company in the supply chain. About 21 million pounds of the soybeans have already been distributed to customers. The multimillion-dollar metamorphosis of the soybeans, as well as two other similar grain shipments in the past year examined by The Post, demonstrate weaknesses in the way that the United States ensures that what is sold as “USDA Organic” is really organic. The three shipments, each involving millions of pounds of “organic” corn or soybeans, were large enough to constitute a meaningful proportion of the U.S. supply of those commodities. All three were presented as organic, despite evidence to the contrary. USDA officials say that their system for guarding against fraud is robust. The system suffers from multiple weaknesses: Farmers hire their own inspection companies; most inspections ... lack the element of surprise; and testing for pesticides is the exception rather than the rule.

Note: Sign an online petition to stop an Oregon county from forcing a well-established organic farm to spray their gardens with Monsanto's poisonous Roundup. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the food system and in the corporate world.


Tuskegee syphilis study descendants speak about tragedy, seek healing
2017-05-10, CBS News/Associated Press
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/tuskegee-syphilis-study-descendants-speak-about-t...

Decades later, it's hard to grasp what the federal government did to hundreds of black men in rural Alabama. For 40 years starting in 1932, medical workers in the segregated South withheld treatment for unsuspecting men infected with a sexually transmitted disease simply so doctors could track the ravages of the horrid illness and dissect their bodies afterward. Finally exposed in 1972, the study ended and the men sued, resulting in a $9 million settlement. Twenty years ago this May, then President Bill Clinton apologized for the U.S. government. But it did not mark the end of the study's ugly legacy. Relatives of the men still struggle with the stigma of being linked to the experiment, what's commonly known as the "Tuskegee Syphilis Study." In 1929, government doctors ... recruited 600 black men into a health program with the promise of free medical checks, free food, free transportation and burial insurance. Health workers told syphilitic fathers, grandfathers, sons, brothers and uncles only that they had "bad blood." None of the men was asked to consent to take part in a medical study, [or] told that "bad blood" actually was a euphemism for syphilis. Instead, doctors purposely hid the study's purpose from the men, subjecting them ... to painful spinal taps and blood tests. Medical workers periodically provided men with pills and tonic that made them believe they were being treated, but they weren't. And doctors never provided them with penicillin after it became the standard treatment for syphilis in the mid-1940s.

Note: The "Tuskegee Syphilis Study" is one of many known cases of humans being used as guinea pigs by corrupt scientists.


Life expectancy gap between rich and poor US regions is 'more than 20 years'
2017-05-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/may/08/life-expectancy-gap-rich-p...

Your average life expectancy now varies by more than 20 years depending on where you live in the United States, according to an in-depth study by the University of Washington. America’s “life expectancy gap” is also predicted to grow even wider in future, with 11.5% of US counties having experienced an increase in the risk of death for residents aged 25–45 over the period studied (1980-2014). No previous study has put the disparity at even close to 20 years. “This is way worse than any of us had assumed,” said [study author] Ali Mokdad. The researchers found that while residents of certain affluent counties in central Colorado had the highest life expectancy at 87 years, people in several counties of North and South Dakota, typically those with Native American reservations, could expect to die far younger, at only 66. “Inequalities will only increase further if recent trends are allowed to continue uncontested,” the report states. If the figures are surprising, the factors cited in the study to explain the “large and increasing” geographic inequalities perhaps are not. The authors point the finger at differences in socioeconomic and race/ethnicity factors, the availability of – and access to – quality healthcare and insurance, and “preventable risk factors” such as smoking, drinking and physical inactivity. “You expect disparities in any country, but you don’t expect the disparities to be increasing in a country with our wealth and might,” Mokdad said.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality and health.


America’s Tap Water: Too Much Contamination, Not Enough Reporting, Study Finds
2017-05-04, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/04/us/tapwater-drinking-water-study.html

If you live in the United States, there is a nearly one-in-four chance your tap water is either unsafe to drink or has not been properly monitored for contaminants in accordance with federal law, a new study has found. In 2015, nearly 77 million Americans lived in places where the water systems were in some violation of safety regulations, including the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act, according to the report released on Tuesday from the Natural Resources Defense Council. It’s not only that some tap water has high levels of lead, nitrates, arsenic or other pollutants, said Mae Wu, a senior attorney with the council’s health program. It is that too often, a lack of reporting means residents cannot be sure whether their drinking water is contaminated or not. Marc Edwards, a scientist at Virginia Tech ... played a major role in bringing the crisis to national attention. Mr. Edwards said he agreed with the resources defense council’s conclusion that the government has not done enough to enforce regulations on drinking water safety. “This has been tolerated so long, and it is so ingrained in the E.P.A. culture to look the other way,” he said. “They’re going to need outside pressure to act and enforce existing laws.” The council’s report found that there were around 80,000 reported violations of drinking water safety regulations in 2015. Of those, more than 12,000 were “health-based” violations, or cases that involved actual contamination problems. In addition, the N.R.D.C. said, “Nearly nine in 10 violations were subject to no formal action.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and health.


Wild dolphins' immune systems are failing because of ocean pollution
2017-05-04, International Business Times
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/wild-dolphins-immune-systems-are-failing-because-oce...

Wild dolphins are struggling with high levels of mercury and industrial pollution in the oceans off the coasts of Florida and South Carolina. The pollution is putting their immune system on constant alert, which makes it less able to fight off bacteria, fungus, viruses and parasites in the water, according to a study in the journal PLOS ONE. The industrial pollution was strongest in the oceans near Charleston, South Carolina in the US. Organic compounds released into the water accumulate in microorganisms – that are eaten by fish, which are in turn eaten by dolphins. The toxins become more concentrated in each step of the food chain. Large amounts of mercury were found in dolphins that live in the Indian River Lagoon. Previous research has shown that the Indian River Lagoon dolphins developed a fungal skin disease because of their suppressed immune systems and new viruses. Some of these are also potentially infectious to humans. By comparison, the dolphins kept in the Georgia Aquarium had fewer diseases and their immune systems were under a lot less stress. This is because the environment at the aquarium is more tightly controlled for water quality. Keeping dolphins in captivity comes with its own impact on the overall health of the mammals. Dolphins are highly intelligent and have complex social structures that can't be maintained in small tanks. As a result, dolphins in captivity live shorter lives than those in the wild.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on dolphins and whales from reliable major media sources.


Hog Farms Spray Pig Urine, Feces Into Air Around North Carolina's Black Communities
2017-05-03, International Business Times
http://www.ibtimes.com/hog-farms-spray-pig-urine-feces-air-around-north-carol...

Residents in North Carolina are fighting back against one of the state's most prominent industries: hog farming. But the legislation may not be on their side - a group of lawmakers in the state passed House Bill 467 last week, legislation that limits how much residents can collect in damages from hog farms. Hog farms in North Carolina dispose of pig feces and urine by spraying it, untreated, into the air where residents live. In response, nearly 500 of those residents ... from eastern North Carolina, brought a class action suit against Murphy-Brown, the state's largest producer of hogs. The lawsuit has now made its way to federal court. Residents have said the process of waste disposal has caused health problems. Much of the waste disposal affects low-income residents and black communities. "It can, I think, very correctly be called environmental racism or environmental injustice that people of color, low-income people bear the brunt of these practices," [University of North Carolina professor] Steve Wing ... said. "I shut my hog operation down, and I got out of it. And I ... just couldn't do another person that way, to make them smell that," Don Webb, a former pig factory farm owner, told Democracy Now. "You get stories like, 'I can't hang my clothes out.' Feces and urine odor comes by and attaches itself to your clothes." HB 467 ... was passed by both houses of the North Carolina Legislature. The bill would prevent people from recovering damages like those for healthcare bills and pain and suffering.

Note: In 2014, video footage of toxic cesspools around North Carolina farms exposed shockingly lax agricultural waste disposal standards. In response, the North Carolina Legislature passed a law to prevent whistle-blowers from exposing corporate wrongdoing. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.


Why your ‘organic’ milk may not be organic
2017-05-01, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/why-your-organic-milk-may-not...

The High Plains dairy complex reflects the new scale of the U.S. organic industry: It is big. The complex is home to more than 15,000 cows, making it more than 100 times the size of a typical organic herd. It is the main facility of Aurora Organic Dairy, a company that produces enough milk to supply the house brands of Walmart, Costco and other major retailers. But a closer look at Aurora and other large operations highlights critical weaknesses in the unorthodox inspection system that the Agriculture Department uses to ensure that “organic” food is really organic. The critical issue is grazing. Organic dairies are required to allow the cows to graze daily throughout the growing season. The cows are supposed to be grass-fed, not confined to barns and feedlots. But during visits by The Washington Post to Aurora’s High Plains complex across eight days last year, signs of grazing were sparse, at best. During most Post visits the number of cows seen on pasture numbered only in the hundreds. The milk from Aurora also indicates that its cows may not graze as required by organic rules. Testing ... by Virginia Tech scientists shows that on a key indicator of grass-feeding, the Aurora milk matched conventional milk, not organic. The inspectors who visited Aurora’s High Plains dairy and certified it as “USDA Organic” ... conducted the annual audit well after grazing season, [and] would not have seen whether the cows were grazing as required, a breach of USDA inspection policy.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the food system and in the corporate world.


Drug Prices in the U.S. Are Ridiculous
2017-04-28, Yes! Magazine
http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/science/why-drug-prices-in-the-us-are-ridic...

Public money and public universities boost Big Pharma’s profits, so shouldn’t the public be able to afford the drugs? Almost 1 in 2 people used a prescription drug in the past month, and more than 1 in 5 used three or more. As the population ages and deals with more chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and depression, the percentage of people needing prescription medicines is growing. But what really sets us apart is how much they cost. Medicines in the US cost 2 to 6 times more than the rest of the world. 1 in 5 Americans - 35 million people - do not get their prescriptions filled because they don't have enough money. Big Pharma says high prices are necessary to invest in breakthrough research. But corporations don't actually do much of that, [and] have shifted money away from new-drug research to quick-profit minor variations on proven moneymakers. So who funds new-drug and breakthrough-drug research? Taxpayers. 84% of new-drug research is funded by the government. The public also subsidizes drug research through generous R&D tax credits. Using public research (plus charging high prices) gives corporations big profits. Drug companies' annual stock returns are twice the standard.

Note: A comprehensive infographic showing Big Pharma's preferential treatment by US regulators can be found at the link above. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the pharmaceutical industry.


Crowdfunding for medical expenses is rising — when it should be eradicated
2017-04-28, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-crowdfunding-medical-20...

Public appeals by families or individuals for help paying basic medical bills seem to be on the rise in the United States. Crowdfunding websites such as GoFundMe.com report that medical expenses rank as their largest single category of appeals; other sites such as HelpHopeLive have sprung up specifically for medical expense appeals. [This points] to a crisis in the American healthcare system in two ways. One involves the gaps and other problems with U.S. healthcare that make crowdfunding campaigns necessary. Lawmakers who support policies that drive people to expose their personal lives in order to obtain desperately needed care should be ashamed of themselves. The other crisis underscored by the rise of crowdfunding concerns the ethical issues raised by public appeals for medical care itself. Those are addressed in a new article in the Journal of the American Medical Assn.. Crowdfunding for expenses that should be met by private insurers or government healthcare programs ... can make the delivery of healthcare fundamentally unfair. They can direct resources away from patients who need them the most toward those whose campaigns are merely “more vocal, photogenic, or emotionally appealing.”

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