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Health Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Health Media Articles from Major Media


Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important health articles reported in the mainstream media suggesting a cover-up. Links are provided to the full articles on major media websites. If any link should fail to function, click here. These health articles are listed by article date. For the same list by order of importance, click here. For the list by date posted, click here. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.



Note: For an index to revealing excerpts of media articles on several dozen engaging topics, click here.

Vatican Radio is told to pay out over cancer risk scare
2011-03-01, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/vatican-radio-is-told-to-pay-o...

Italy's supreme Court has ordered Vatican Radio to compensate a small town near Rome following claims that children there were at a higher risk of cancer because of the broadcaster's high-powered transmitters. Reports emerged in 2001 that electro-magnetic radiation produced by Vatican Radio's transmitters near Cesano was above the legal limit. The station cut the strength of its signals, but the case went to court when a health authority released a study claiming that children in the area were six times more likely to develop leukaemia than youngsters elsewhere. Codacons, the national consumer association which backed residents' claims, hailed the court's decision. "Finally justice is done and the people of Cesano will be able to have the compensation they deserve," said the president of Codacons, Carlo Rienzi. Some experts believe high-powered radio transmitters might raise the risk of cancer in children. However, unlike ionising radiation, such as X-rays, it is not clear how radio waves might damage cells in a way that causes the disease.

Note: For a related BBC article, click here.




Shocking History of Medical Experiments on People
2011-02-27, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory?id=13012856

Shocking as it may seem, U.S. government doctors once thought it was fine to experiment on disabled people and prison inmates. Such experiments included giving hepatitis to mental patients in Connecticut, squirting a pandemic flu virus up the noses of prisoners in Maryland, and injecting cancer cells into chronically ill people at a New York hospital. Much of this horrific history is 40 to 80 years old, but it is the backdrop for a meeting in Washington this week by a presidential bioethics commission. The meeting was triggered by the government's apology last fall for federal doctors infecting prisoners and mental patients in Guatemala with syphilis 65 years ago. U.S. officials also acknowledged there had been dozens of similar experiments in the United States. Inevitably, they will be compared to the well-known Tuskegee syphilis study. In that episode, U.S. health officials tracked 600 black men in Alabama who already had syphilis but didn't give them adequate treatment even after penicillin became available. Though people in the studies were usually described as volunteers, historians and ethicists have questioned how well these people understood what was to be done to them and why, or whether they were coerced. In the last 15 years, two international studies sparked outrage. U.S.-funded doctors failed to give the AIDS drug AZT to all the HIV-infected pregnant women in a study in Uganda even though it would have protected their newborns. The other study, by Pfizer Inc., gave an antibiotic named Trovan to children with meningitis in Nigeria, although there were doubts about its effectiveness. Critics blamed the experiment for the deaths of 11 children and the disabling of scores of others. Pfizer settled a lawsuit with Nigerian officials for $75 million but admitted no wrongdoing.

Note: If the above link fails, click here. Though it appears these highly unethical studies have stopped in the US, the article points out that many drug companies are now doing their studies in countries where ethical codes are not strong. For an astounding list of government-sponsored programs where humans were used as guinea pigs, click here. For a two-page summary of solid evidence of government involvement in mind control programs, click here.




Scientist warns on safety of Monsanto's Roundup
2011-02-24, MSNBC/Reuters
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41759713

Questions about the safety of a popular herbicide made by Monsanto Co have resurfaced in a warning from a U.S. scientist that claims top-selling Roundup may contribute to plant disease and health problems for farm animals. Plant pathologist and retired Purdue University professor Don Huber has written a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack warning that a newly discovered and widespread "electron microscopic pathogen appears to significantly impact the health of plants, animals, and probably human beings." Huber coordinates a committee of the American Phytopathological Society as part of the USDA National Plant Disease Recovery System. Huber said the organism has been found in high concentrations of Roundup Ready soybean meal and corn, which are used in livestock feed. He said laboratory tests have confirmed the presence of the organism in pigs, cattle and other livestock that have experienced spontaneous abortions and infertility. The organism is also prolific in corn and soybean crops stricken by disease, according to Huber. "It should be treated as an emergency." He requested USDA participation in an investigation, and he urged a moratorium on approvals of Roundup Ready crops. USDA officials declined to comment about the letter's contents. Roundup has long been a draw for critics, who say the herbicide promotes widespread weed resistance, or "super weeds." "While the evidence is considered preliminary, the potential damage to humans and animals is severe," said Jeffrey Smith, executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology. There have been other alarms raised about Roundup, including a report last year from Argentine scientists who claimed that Roundup can contribute to birth defects in frogs and chickens.

Note: This revealing article seems to have disappeared from MSNBC and other websites, yet you can still find it on the Reuters website at this link. For other revealing major media articles showing the clear risks and dangers of genetically modified foods already on our plates, click here. For a vital essay by Jeffrey Smith detailing scientific studies where lab animals died from eating these foods, click here.




Parents Lose High Court Appeal in Vaccine Case
2011-02-22, U.S. News & World Report/Associated Press
http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2011/02/22/parents-lose-high-court-appeal...

The Supreme Court closed the courthouse door ... to parents who want to sue drug makers over claims their children developed autism and other serious health problems from vaccines. The ruling was a stinging defeat for families dissatisfied with how they fared before a special no-fault vaccine court. The court voted 6-2 against the parents of a child who sued the drug maker Wyeth in Pennsylvania state court for the health problems they say their daughter, now 19, suffered from a vaccine she received in infancy. Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the court, said Congress set up a special vaccine court in 1986 to ... create a system that spares the drug companies the costs of defending against parents' lawsuits. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented. Nothing in the 1986 law ''remotely suggests that Congress intended such a result,'' Sotomayor wrote, taking issue with Scalia. Scalia's opinion was the latest legal setback for parents who felt they got too little from the vaccine court or failed to collect at all. Such was the case for Robalee and Russell Bruesewitz of Pittsburgh, who filed their lawsuit after the vaccine court rejected their claims for compensation. According to the lawsuit, their daughter, Hannah, was a healthy infant until she received the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine in April 1992. Within hours of getting the DPT shot, the third in a series of five, the baby suffered a series of debilitating seizures.

Note: Vaccines have been strongly promoted for decades, yet the research supporting many vaccines is amazingly weak. For more powerful information questioning the efficacy of vaccines, click here.




Cellphone study shows one-hour exposure changes brain activity
2011-02-22, Washington Post
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/posttech/2011/02/cell_phone_study_shows_1_ho...

Scientists at the National Institute of Health on [February 22] released a study that showed 50 minutes of cellphone use could alter the activity of the part of the brain closest to a cellphone antenna. The study was led by Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Her research shows that those people exposed to 50 minutes of cellphone radio frequencies saw an increased brain glucose metabolism in the region closest to the antenna. "The dramatic increase in use of cellular telephones has generated concern about possible negative effects of radiofrequency signals delivered to the brain," JAMA wrote in background material on the study's release. "However, whether acute cellphone exposure affects the human brain is unclear." Public-interest groups say the regulatory agencies haven't updated guidelines on cellphone health in more than one decade. And the rapid adoption of cellphones -- 290 million in the U.S. -- call for greater protections, particularly among children who have thinner skulls and ears than adult cellphone users.

Note: For key health reports from reliable sources, click here.




Scientist Finds Bottom Of Gulf Still Oily, Dead
2011-02-20, NPR/Associated Press
http://www.npr.org/2011/02/20/133912491/scientist-finds-bottom-of-gulf-still-...

Oil from the BP spill remains stuck on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, according to a top scientist's video and slides that she says demonstrate the oil isn't degrading as hoped and has decimated life on parts of the sea floor. That report is at odds with a recent report by the BP spill compensation czar that said nearly all will be well by 2012. At a science conference in Washington Saturday, marine scientist Samantha Joye of the University of Georgia aired early results of her December submarine dives around the BP spill site. She went to places she had visited in the summer and expected the oil and residue from oil-munching microbes would be gone by then. It wasn't. "There's some sort of a bottleneck we have yet to identify for why this stuff doesn't seem to be degrading," Joye told the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual conference in Washington.




Doctors, nurses, execs among record number charged with Medicare fraud
2011-02-17, CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/02/17/medicare.arrests/index.html

Federal authorities indicted and arrested more than 100 doctors, nurses and health care executives nationwide [on February 17] in what officials said was the biggest crackdown ever in a single day in connection with Medicare fraud. The arrests occurred in nine cities. Thirty-two defendants including two doctors and eight nurses were charged in Miami with various fraud schemes. Another 21 defendants were charged in Detroit, along with 11 in Chicago; 10 in Brooklyn, New York; 10 in Tampa, Florida; nine in Houston; seven in Dallas; six in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and five in Los Angeles. Officials from the Justice Department and the Department of Health and Human Services said the cost of enforcing health care fraud laws is proving to be a good financial investment. Last year, federal agencies recovered a record $4 billion from fraudsters. "From 2008 to 2010, every dollar the federal government spent under its health care fraud and abuse control programs averaged a return on investment (of) $6.80," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said.

Note: For powerful information from a top MD exposing how many in the health care industry put profits above public health and put us all at risk, click here.




Why Aren’t G.M.O. Foods Labeled?
2011-02-15, New York Times blog
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/15/why-arent-g-m-o-foods-labeled

If you want to avoid sugar, aspartame, trans-fats, MSG, or just about anything else, you read the label. If you want to avoid G.M.O.’s — genetically modified organisms — you’re out of luck. They’re not listed. You could, until now, simply buy organic foods, which by law can’t contain more than 5 percent G.M.O.’s. Now, however, even that may not work. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved three new kinds of genetically engineered (G.E.) foods: alfalfa (which becomes hay), a type of corn grown to produce ethanol), and sugar beets. And super-fast-growing salmon — the first genetically modified animal to be sold in the U.S., but probably not the last — may not be far behind. It’s unlikely that these products’ potential benefits could possibly outweigh their potential for harm. But even more unbelievable is that the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S.D.A. will not require any of these products, or foods containing them, to be labeled as genetically engineered, because they don’t want to “suggest or imply” that these foods are “different.” They are arguably different, but more important, people are leery of them. Nearly an entire continent — it’s called Europe — is so wary that G.E. crops are barely grown there and there are strict bans on imports (that policy is in danger). Furthermore, most foods containing more than 0.9 percent G.M.O.’s must be labeled.

Note: For an article showing how cozy the relationship between Monsanto and the White House is on this issue, click here.




Avastin increases fatal side effects in cancer patients
2011-02-02, USA Today
http://www.usatoday.com/yourlife/health/medical/cancer/2011-02-02-avastin02_o...

One of the most financially successful cancer drugs in the world appears to cause more fatal side effects than previously realized, a new study says. Avastin, a blockbuster drug with more than $5.5 billion in global sales, increases the rate of fatal side effects by almost 50% when added to traditional chemotherapy, compared with chemo alone. About 2.5% of cancer patients who combine Avastin and chemo die from their treatment — rather than their disease, according to an analysis of 10,217 patients in today's Journal of the American Medical Association. In comparison, 1.7% of cancer patients who received only conventional chemo died as a result of therapy. The most common causes of death were hemorrhages, the loss of infection-fighting white blood cells, and perforations in the stomach or intestines, says Shenhong Wu of Stony Brook University School of Medicine, co-author of the analysis of 10,217 patients.

Note: Sadly, most studies that reveal such results are suppressed by the pharmaceutical industry.




USDA Won't Impose Restrictions on Biotech Alfalfa Crop
2011-01-27, Wall Street Journal
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703399204576108601430251740.html

The Obama administration Thursday abandoned a proposal to restrict planting of genetically engineered alfalfa, the latest rule-making proposal shelved as part of the administration's review of "burdensome" regulation. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack's decision not to regulate alfalfa genetically modified to survive applications of the Monsanto Co. herbicide Roundup is a victory for the big seed and agri-chemicals company and the American Farm Bureau Federation. The Obama administration said earlier this month it is reviewing all proposed government regulation to weed out proposals that are overly burdensome to businesses—part of a broader effort to repair relations with employers and industry. The administration has also shelved two proposed workplace-safety rules opposed by business. Alfalfa is raised as hay on about 20 million acres, making it the fourth-biggest U.S. crop by acreage. Only about 250,000 acres of alfalfa is raised organically, however. Some biotechnology officials have predicted that U.S. farmers will use genetically modified seeds to grow half of the nation's alfalfa. The vast majority of the nation's corn, soybeans and cotton are grown from genetically modified varieties.

Note: The US government once again sides with big business and endangers public health. For a powerful, well researched essay which shows how these genetically engineered crops have been proven to cause cancer and kill lab animals in many studies, click here. For more reliable information, click here and here.




Why Almost Everything You Hear About Medicine Is Wrong
2011-01-24, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/2011/01/23/why-almost-everything-you-hear-about-medic...

If you follow the news about health research, you risk whiplash. First garlic lowers bad cholesterol, then—after more study—it doesn’t. Hormone replacement reduces the risk of heart disease in postmenopausal women, until a huge study finds that it doesn’t. But what if wrong answers aren’t the exception but the rule? More and more scholars who scrutinize health research are now making that claim. It isn’t just an individual study here and there that’s flawed, they charge. Instead, the very framework of medical investigation may be off-kilter, leading time and again to findings that are at best unproved and at worst dangerously wrong. The result is a system that leads patients and physicians astray—spurring often costly regimens that won’t help and may even harm you. Even a cursory glance at medical journals shows that once heralded studies keep falling by the wayside. A major study concluded there’s no good evidence that statins (drugs like Lipitor and Crestor) help people with no history of heart disease. The study ... was based on an evaluation of 14 individual trials with 34,272 patients. Cost of statins: more than $20 billion per year. “Positive” drug trials, which find that a treatment is effective, and “negative” trials, in which a drug fails, take the same amount of time to conduct. But negative trials took an extra two to four years to be published. With billions of dollars on the line, companies are loath to declare a new drug ineffective. As a result of the lag in publishing negative studies, patients receive a treatment that is actually ineffective. From clinical trials of new drugs to cutting-edge genetics, biomedical research is riddled with incorrect findings.

Note: For the good of your health, the entire article at the link above is well worth reading. For lots more on how the profit-oriented health profession puts public health at risk, click here and here.




U.S. says too much fluoride in water
2011-01-07, USA Today/Associated Press
http://www.usatoday.com/yourlife/health/medical/2011-01-07-too-much-fluoride_...

Fluoride in drinking water — credited with dramatically cutting cavities and tooth decay — may now be too much of a good thing. Getting too much of it causes spots on some kids' teeth. A reported increase in the spotting problem is one reason the federal government will announce [that] it plans to lower the recommended levels for fluoride in water supplies — the first such change in nearly 50 years. About 2 out of 5 adolescents have tooth streaking or spottiness because of too much fluoride, a surprising government study found recently. In some extreme cases, teeth can even be pitted by the mineral. Maryland is the most fluoridated state, with nearly every resident on a fluoridated water system. In contrast, only about 11% of Hawaii residents are on fluoridated water, according to government statistics. Fluoridation has been fought for decades by people who worried about its effects, including conspiracy theorists who feared it was a plot to make people submissive to government power. "It's amazing that people have been so convinced that this is an OK thing to do," said Deborah Catrow, who successfully fought a ballot proposal in 2005 that would have added fluoride to drinking water in Springfield, Ohio.

Note: This article fails to mention a key recent study showing "about 28 percent of the children in the low-fluoride area scored as bright, normal or higher intelligence compared to only 8 percent in the 'high' fluoride area. In the high-fluoride city, 15 percent had scores indicating mental retardation and only 6 percent in the low-fluoride city." For a truly awesome, revealing interview with a BBC producer on the major deceptions, risks, and dangers of fluoride in water, click here. For more on this key topic from Dr. Mercola, click here. And for the top website on the risks and dangers of flouride in water, click here.




Top Ten Legal Drugs Linked to Violence
2011-01-07, Time Magazine
http://healthland.time.com/2011/01/07/top-ten-legal-drugs-linked-to-violence/...

When people consider the connections between drugs and violence, what typically comes to mind are illegal drugs like crack cocaine. However, certain medications — most notably, some antidepressants like Prozac — have also been linked to increase risk for violent, even homicidal behavior. A new study from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices published in the journal PloS One and based on data from the FDA's Adverse Event Reporting System has identified 31 drugs that are disproportionately linked with reports of violent behavior towards others. Please note that this does not necessarily mean that these drugs cause violent behavior. Nonetheless, when one particular drug in a class of nonaddictive drugs used to treat the same problem stands out, that suggests caution: unless the drug is being used to treat radically different groups of people, that drug may actually be the problem. Here are the top ten offenders: * 10. Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) * 9. Venlafaxine (Effexor) * 8. Fluvoxamine (Luvox) * 7. Triazolam (Halcion) * 6. Atomoxetine (Strattera) * 5. Mefoquine (Lariam) * 4. Amphetamines: (Various) * 3. Paroxetine (Paxil) * 2. Fluoxetine (Prozac) * 1. Varenicline (Chantix)

Note: As mentioned in this article, all of these drugs are 8 to 18 times time more likely to be linked to violent acts than other drugs. For excellent reports on health issues from reliable sources, click here.




When Insurers Put Profits Between Doctor and Patient
2011-01-06, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/06/health/views/06chen.html

In articles, interviews, op-eds and testimony on Capitol Hill, Wendell Potter has described the dark underbelly of the health care insurance industry — unkept promises of care, canceled coverage of those who get sick and fearmongering campaigns designed to quash any change that might adversely affect profits. He should know what he is talking about. For 20 years, Mr. Potter was the head of corporate communications at two major insurers, first at Humana and then at Cigna. Now Mr. Potter has written a fascinating book that details the methods he and his colleagues used to manipulate public opinion and describes his transformation from the idealistic son of working-class parents in eastern Tennessee to top insurance company executive, to vocal critic and industry watchdog. Using little of the fiery rhetoric or lurid prose that usually marks corporate exposés or memoirs of redemption, the book, Deadly Spin ... is an evenhanded yet riveting account of the inner workings of the health care insurance industry, a cautionary tale that doctors and patients would be wise not to miss. Mr. Potter [describes] the myth-making he did, interspersing descriptions of front groups, paid spies and jiggered studies with a deft retelling of the convoluted (and usually eye-glazing) history of health care insurance policies.

Note: Mr. Potter has written a powerful condemnation of health care industry practices at this link. For other major media articles on this courageous whistleblower, click here. And for other highly informative reports on important health issues, click here.




Study: Many defibrillator implants went to marginal candidates
2011-01-05, CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/01/04/defibrillator.implants.study/index.html

More than 20% of patients who received an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator -- a high-tech device that produces electrical impulses to regulate heartbeats and prevent life-threatening arrhythmias -- in recent years were not good candidates to receive the device, a new study suggests. Researchers at Duke University looked at more than 111,000 patients who received ICD implants between 2006 and 2009. More than 25,000 of those patients did not meet evidence-based criteria for receiving the device, according to the study. The risk of dying in the hospital was significantly higher for patients who received the ICD but did not meet the criteria, and 1 out of 121 patients in this category experienced complications following the implant, the study found. Dr. Robert Michler, chairman of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at Montefiore-Einstein Heart Center, said the data should act as a "wake-up call" for physicians, surgeons and patients. "Doctors are well-intentioned, but not all doctors should be determining the use of what is a very sophisticated therapy," Michler says. He says that in this case electophysiologists should be making the final determination if the patient needs the device.

Note: For powerful information from a top MD on how the profit motive corrupts the medical industry and endangers our health, click here.




Bees in freefall as study shows sharp US decline
2011-01-03, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jan/03/bumblebees-study-us-decline

The abundance of four common species of bumblebee in the US has dropped by 96% in just the past few decades, according to the most comprehensive national census of the insects. Scientists said the alarming decline, which could have devastating implications for the pollination of both wild and farmed plants, was likely to be a result of disease and low genetic diversity in bee populations. Bumblebees are important pollinators of wild plants and agricultural crops around the world ... thanks to their large body size, long tongues, and high-frequency buzzing, which helps release pollen from flowers. Sydney Cameron, an entomologist at the University of Illinois, led a team on a three-year study of the changing distribution, genetic diversity and pathogens in eight species of bumblebees in the US. By comparing her results with those in museum records of bee populations, she showed that the relative abundance of four of the sampled species (Bombus occidentalis, B. pensylvanicus, B. affinis and B. terricola) had declined by up to 96% and that their geographic ranges had contracted by 23% to 87%, some within just the past two decades. Cameron's findings reflect similar studies across the world. According to the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in the UK, three of the 25 British species of bumblebee are already extinct and half of the remainder have shown serious declines, often up to 70%, since around the 1970s. Last year, scientists inaugurated a £10m programme, called the Insect Pollinators Initiative, to look at the reasons behind the devastation in the insect population.

Note: For news on a leaked EPA memo expressing concern over chemicals causing bee deaths, click here. And for a list of other excellent, revealing links on this key topic, see the bottom of the webpage at this link.




Glaxo Whistle-Blower Lawsuit: Bad Medicine
2011-01-02, CBS News 60 Minutes
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/12/29/60minutes/main7195247.shtml

Of all the things that you trust every day, you want to believe your prescription medicine is safe and effective. The pharmaceutical industry says that it follows the highest standards for quality. But in November, we found out just how much could go wrong at one of the world's largest drug makers. A subsidiary of GlaxoSmithKline pleaded guilty to distributing adulterated drugs. Some of the medications were contaminated with bacteria, others were mislabeled, and some were too strong or not strong enough. It's likely Glaxo would have gotten away with it had it not been for a company insider: a tip from Cheryl Eckard set off a major federal investigation. Eckard worked in Glaxo quality control and over ten years she had risen to become a manager of global quality assurance. In 2002, Eckard was assigned to help lead a quality assurance team to evaluate one of Glaxo's most important plants, in Cidra, Puerto Rico. Nine hundred people worked there, making 20 drugs for patients in the U.S. But Eckard says that when she saw what was happening to some of the company's most popular drugs, she couldn't believe it. "All the systems were broken, the facility was broken, the equipment was broken, the processes were broken. It was the worst thing I had run across in my career," she [said]. As her team continued its evaluation of the plant, Eckard says ... that powerful medications were getting mixed up.

Note: For lots more on how this major pharmaceutical is endangering lives, watch the 60 Minutes video segment at the above link.




Portugal's drug policy pays off; US eyes lessons
2010-12-27, Washington Post/Associated Press
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/26/AR20101226006...

These days, Casal Ventoso is an ordinary blue-collar community - mothers push baby strollers, men smoke outside cafes, buses chug up and down the cobbled main street. Ten years ago, the Lisbon neighborhood was a hellhole, a "drug supermarket" where some 5,000 users lined up every day to buy heroin and sneaked into a hillside honeycomb of derelict housing to shoot up. At that time, Portugal, like the junkies of Casal Ventoso, had hit rock bottom: An estimated 100,000 people - an astonishing 1 percent of the population - were addicted to illegal drugs. So, like anyone with little to lose, the Portuguese took a risky leap: They decriminalized the use of all drugs in a groundbreaking law in 2000. Now, the United States, which has waged a 40-year, $1 trillion war on drugs, is looking for answers in tiny Portugal, which is reaping the benefits of what once looked like a dangerous gamble. "The disasters that were predicted by critics didn't happen," said University of Kent professor Alex Stevens, who has studied Portugal's program. "The answer was simple: Provide treatment." Drugs in Portugal are still illegal. But here's what Portugal did: It changed the law so that users are sent to counseling and sometimes treatment instead of criminal courts and prison. The switch from drugs as a criminal issue to a public health one was aimed at preventing users from going underground.




Panel challenges Gulf seafood safety all-clear
2010-12-27, MSNBC
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40494122/ns/us_news-environment

A New Orleans law firm is challenging government assurances that Gulf Coast seafood is safe to eat in the wake of the BP oil spill, saying it poses “a significant danger to public health.” Citing what the law firm calls a state-of-the-art laboratory analysis, toxicologists, chemists and marine biologists retained by the firm of environmental attorney Stuart Smith contend that the government seafood testing program, which has focused on ensuring the seafood was free of the cancer-causing components of crude oil, has overlooked other harmful elements. And they say that their own testing — examining fewer samples but more comprehensively — shows high levels of hydrocarbons from the BP spill that are associated with liver damage. “What we have found is that FDA simply overlooked an important aspect of safety in their protocol,” contends William Sawyer, a Florida-based toxicologist on Smith’s team. Five months after crude oil stopped gushing from the broken BP wellhead into the Gulf of Mexico, the federal government has reopened more than 90 percent of fishing waters that were in danger of contamination from the broken Deepwater Horizon rig. But many fishermen have yet to return to sea, and consumer confidence in Gulf seafood remains lukewarm.

Note: For important reports from reliable sources on government corruption, click here.




Stanford faculty still taking drug firms' money
2010-12-20, San Francisco Chronicle/ProPublica
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/12/20/MNB51GSBQO.DTL

Last year, Stanford banned its physicians from giving paid promotional talks for pharmaceutical companies. One thing it didn't do was make sure its faculty followed that rule. A ProPublica investigation ["Dollars for Docs"] found that more than a dozen of the school's doctors were paid speakers in apparent violation of Stanford policy - two of them were paid six figures since last year. Conflict-of-interest policies have become increasingly important as academic medical centers worry that promotional talks undermine the credibility not only of the physicians giving them, but also of the institutions they represent. Yet when it comes to enforcing the policies, universities have allowed permissive interpretations and relied on the honor system. That approach isn't working. Many physicians are in apparent violation, and ignorance or confusion about the rules is widespread. As a result, some faculty physicians stay on the industry lecture circuit, where they can net tens of thousands of dollars in additional income. Critics of the practice say delivering talks for drug companies is incompatible with teaching future generations of physicians. That's because drug firms typically pick the topic of the lecture, train the speakers and require them to use company-provided presentation slides.

Note: "Dollars for Docs" is an ongoing investigation into the influence of drug company marketing payments on medical providers. To search for a doctor in the database, click here.





 

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