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.
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Some risk linked to plastic chemical
2007-08-09, Los Angeles Times
A federal panel of scientists [has concluded] that an estrogen-like compound in plastic could be posing some risk to the brain development of babies and children. Bisphenol A, or BPA, [a component of polycarbonate plastic,] is found in low levels in virtually every human body. The decision by the 12 advisors of the Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction ... is the first official, government action related to the chemical. The scientists ranked their concerns about BPA, concluding they had "some concern" about neurological and behavioral effects in fetuses, infants and children, but "minimal" or "negligible" concern about reproductive effects. The findings put the panel roughly in the middle -- between the chemical industry, which has long said there is no evidence of danger to humans, and the environmental activists and scientists who say it is probably harming people. Environmentalists lambasted the panel, saying it had minimized the risks and ignored important research. "Only the chemical industry agrees with the decision that BPA has little or no human health risks. That by itself should speak volumes about the corrupted process endorsed by the panel today," said Dr. Anila Jacob of the Environmental Working Group. The panel's preliminary report on BPA was drafted by a private consulting firm with financial ties to the chemical industry. The National Toxicology Program fired the company but ruled that the report was unbiased. The panel rejected several dozen animal studies that found reproductive effects. The decision to reject the studies has been controversial with toxicologists.
Scientists issue warning on chemical
2007-08-03, Los Angeles Times
In an unusual effort targeting a single chemical, several dozen scientists on Thursday issued a strongly worded consensus statement warning that an estrogen-like compound in plastic is likely causing an array of serious reproductive disorders in people. The compound, bisphenol A or BPA, is one of the highest-volume chemicals in the world and has found its way into the bodies of most human beings. Used to make hard plastic, BPA can seep from beverage containers and other materials. It is used in all polycarbonate plastic baby bottles as well as ... large water cooler containers, sports bottles and microwave oven dishes, along with canned food liners and some dental sealants for children. The scientists — including four from federal health agencies — reviewed about 700 studies before concluding that people are exposed to levels of the chemical exceeding those that harm lab animals. Infants and fetuses are most vulnerable, they said. The statement, published online by the journal Reproductive Toxicology, was accompanied by a new study from researchers from the National Institutes of Health that found uterine damage in newborn animals exposed to BPA. That damage is a possible predictor of reproductive diseases in women, including fibroids, endometriosis, cystic ovaries and cancers. It is the first time BPA has been linked to disorders of the female reproductive tract, although earlier studies have found early-stage prostate and breast cancer and decreased sperm counts in animals exposed to low doses. The scientists' statement and the new study — accompanied by five scientific reviews summarizing the 700 studies — intensify a contentious debate over whether the plastic compound poses a public threat. So far no government agency here or abroad has restricted its use.
CDC Requests Bay Area Morgellons Study
2007-08-02, KTVU (San Francisco FOX affiliate)
The federal Centers for Disease Control has asked Kaiser Permanente to begin the nation’s first epidemiologic study of "Morgellons Disease," a mysterious ailment that the government terms an "unexplained and debilitating condition that has emerged as a public health concern." KTVU Health and Science Editor John Fowler was the first in the nation to report on this “mystery disease” as it was called in 2004. He reported the skin disorder seemed to cause fibers and filaments to emerge from the skin of sufferers, and also seemed to cause neurological problems patients described as "brain fog." John followed up with other reports, and founders of a non-profit group hoping to help sufferers understand the disease named it Morgellons. As of February this year, the Morgellons Research Foundation has identified more than ten thousand families nationwide. John profiled former A’s pitcher Billy Koch who says both he and his wife have symptoms. KTVU has obtained a federal Request for Quotation, delivered to Kaiser Permanente, that says the CDC now wants its nationwide study to be focused in the Bay Area because 24% of Morgellons patients "reside in California with geographic clustering in the San Francisco metropolitan area." Federal doctors now want Kaiser Permanente to conduct an urgent epidemiologic investigation with results due by next May "...to better characterize the clinical and epidemiologic features of this condition; to generate hypotheses about factors that may cause or contribute to sufferers' symptoms; and to estimate the prevalence of the condition in the population; and to provide information to guide public health recommendations." The CDC for the first time publicly says Morgellons is "an emerging public health problem."
F.D.A. Panel Votes to Keep Diabetes Drug on Market
2007-07-30, New York Times
A federal drug advisory committee voted 20 to 3 late this afternoon that Avandia, a controversial diabetes drug made by GlaxoSmithKline, raises the risks of heart attacks, but it then voted 22 to 1 that the drug should nonetheless remain on the market. Dr. Clifford J. Rosen, chairman of the committee [said] “there was enough concern on the advisory committee that virtually everybody felt there was risk” of heart attacks from taking Avandia. Patients who have congestive heart failure or a history of cardiovascular disease, or those taking insulin or nitrates should not be given Avandia, Dr. Rosen said. The votes came after an extraordinary meeting in which officials from the Food and Drug Administration, which brought the committee together, openly disagreed with one another about the right course to take. Dr. David Graham, a drug safety officer at the F.D.A., called for the drug’s withdrawal and estimated that its toxic effects on the heart had caused as many as 205,000 heart attacks, strokes and death from 1999 to 2006. For every month that Avandia is sold, he said, another 1,600 to 2,200 patients are likely to suffer from heart attacks and strokes, some of them fatal. Dr. Robert Meyer, director of the office within the F.D.A. that approved Avandia’s initial application, immediately disagreed with Dr. Graham. Dr. Douglas C. Throckmorton, a deputy director of the F.D.A.’s center for drugs, explained at a news conference after the meeting that the split within the agency resulted from the “complexity” of the issue. The open disagreement within the F.D.A. reflects a fierce debate that has occurred among diabetes experts across the country since The New England Journal of Medicine published a study in May suggesting that Avandia increases the risks of heart attacks.
Note: To read a succinct, powerful summary of how drug companies control the regulation of their own industry, click here.
Politics reportedly stifled health report
2007-07-29, San Francisco Chronicle/Washington Post
A surgeon general's report in 2006 that called on Americans to help tackle global health problems has been kept from the public by a Bush political appointee without any background or expertise in medicine or public health, chiefly because the report did not promote the administration's policy accomplishments. The report described the link between poverty and poor health, urged the U.S. government to help combat widespread diseases as a key aim of its foreign policy, and called on corporations to help improve health conditions in the countries where they operate. Its publication was blocked by William Steiger, a specialist in education and a scholar of Latin American history whose family has long ties to President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Since 2001, Steiger has run the Office of Global Health Affairs in the Department of Health and Human Services. Richard Carmona, who commissioned the "Call to Action on Global Health" while serving as surgeon general from 2002 to 2006, recently cited its suppression as an example of the Bush administration's frequent efforts during his tenure to give scientific documents a political twist. Carmona told lawmakers that, as he fought to release the document, he was "called in and again admonished ... via a senior official who said, 'You don't get it. This will be a political document, or it will not be released.' "
A few days before the end of his term as the nation's senior medical officer, he was abruptly told he would not be reappointed.
We spend far more, but our health care is falling behind
2007-07-10, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
These days, fewer Americans are buying the claim that the United States has the best medical system in the world.
Consumers are buying lower-cost online drugs from foreign sources, and some even become "medical tourists" to obtain affordable treatment in other countries.
Studies show Americans aren't healthier, nor are they living longer than people in industrialized nations that spend half per capita of what we do on care.
A 2007 ... study that compared the United States with five other nations -- Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and the United Kingdom -- ranked the U.S. health system last. And a 2000 report by the World Health Organization ... put the United States 37th out of 190 nations in health care services -- between Costa Rica and Slovenia. France was rated No. 1. In a New York Times/CBS poll conducted in March, health care ranked as the top domestic concern. We spend far more, but our health care is falling behind, studies say. "We, unlike any other country, have 46 million people who are uninsured, and that raises a whole host of health and financial issues," said Ken Thorpe, professor of health policy at Emory University. "Ours is really is a sick-care system." Thorpe said. He argues ... that it is far more cost-effective to prevent people from getting sick or at least catch illnesses early through better monitoring. Karen Davis, president of .... a nonprofit foundation that supports health care research said, "We tend to have more medical errors than other countries, in part because of this highly specialized, fragmented system. More things can go wrong and do go wrong."
Note: For many highly informative major media articles on the U.S. health crisis, click here.
Surgeon General Sees 4-Year Term as Compromised
2007-07-10, New York Times
Former Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona told a Congressional panel Tuesday that top Bush administration officials repeatedly tried to weaken or suppress important public health reports because of political considerations. The administration, Dr. Carmona said, would not allow him to speak or issue reports about stem cells, emergency contraception, sex education, or prison, mental and global health issues. Top officials delayed for years and tried to “water down” a landmark report on secondhand smoke, he said. Released last year, the report concluded that even brief exposure to cigarette smoke could cause immediate harm. Dr. Carmona said he was ordered to mention President Bush three times on every page of his speeches. He also said he was asked to make speeches to support Republican political candidates and to attend political briefings. Dr. Carmona is one of a growing list of present and former administration officials to charge that politics often trumped science within what had previously been largely nonpartisan government health and scientific agencies. On issue after issue, Dr. Carmona said, the administration made decisions about important public health issues based solely on political considerations, not scientific ones. “I was told to stay away from those because we’ve already decided which way we want to go,” Dr. Carmona said. He described attending a meeting of top officials in which the subject of global warming was discussed. The officials concluded that global warming was a liberal cause and dismissed it, he said.
Organic fruit and vegetables really are better for your heart
2007-07-05, The Times (London)
Organic fruit and vegetables may be better for the heart and general health than eating conventionally grown crops, new research has found. A ten-year study comparing organic tomatoes with standard produce found that they had almost double the quantity of antioxidants called flavonoids which help to prevent high blood pressure and thus reduce the likelihood of heart disease and strokes. Alyson Mitchell, a food chemist, who led the research at the University of California, believes that flavonoids can also help to stave off some forms of cancer and dementia. Her findings are due to be published in full in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. The team believes that the different levels of flavonoids in tomatoes are due to the absence of fertilisers in organic farming. Plants produce flavonoids as a defence mechanism; they are triggered by nutrient deficiency. Feeding a plant with too many nutrients, such as inorganic nitrogen commonly found in conventional fertiliser, curbs the development of flavonoids. The lower levels of flavonoids in conventional tomatoes were caused by “over-fertilisation”, the research team concluded.
Attack of the mutant rice
2007-07-02, Fortune magazine
In the spring of 2001, a ... rice farmer named Jacko Garrett watched a fleet of 18-wheelers haul away truckloads of rice that he had grown with great care. "It just bothers me so bad," Garrett said. "I'm sitting here trying to find food to feed people, and I've got to bury five million pounds of rice." Garrett's rice was genetically modified, part of an experiment that was brought to an abrupt halt by its sponsor, a ... biotechnology company called Aventis Crop Science. The company had contracted with a handful of farmers to grow the rice, which was known as Liberty Link because its genes had been altered to resist a weed killer called Liberty, also made by Aventis. In January 2006, small amounts of genetically engineered rice turned up in a shipment that was tested ... by a French customer of Riceland Foods. Because no transgenic rice is grown commercially in the U.S., the people at Riceland were stunned. Then came another shock. Testing revealed that the genetically modified rice contained a strain of Liberty Link that had not been approved for human consumption. What's more, trace amounts of the Liberty Link had mysteriously made their way into the commercial rice supply in all five of the Southern states where long-grain rice is grown. The tainted rice was everywhere. If in the past year or so you or your family ate Uncle Ben's, Rice Krispies, or Gerber's, or drank a Budweiser ... you probably ingested a little bit of Liberty Link, with the unapproved gene. Last November, over the howls of anti-GMO activists, the USDA retroactively approved the Liberty Link rice, known as LL601. The department said the genes that it approved are similar to those inserted for years into canola and corn, with no apparent ill effects.
Note: To read a ten-page summary of Seeds of Deception, a ground-breaking exposé of the dangers of the genetic engineering of foods, click here.
A Challenge to Gene Theory, a Tougher Look at Biotech
2007-07-01, New York Times
The $73.5 billion global biotech business may soon have to grapple with a discovery that calls into question the scientific principles on which it was founded. Last month, a consortium of scientists published findings that challenge the traditional view of how genes function. The exhaustive four-year effort was organized by the U.S. National Human Genome Research Institute and carried out by 35 groups from 80 organizations around the world. To their surprise, researchers found that the human genome might not be a “tidy collection of independent genes” after all, with each sequence of DNA linked to a single function, such as a predisposition to diabetes or heart disease. Instead, genes appear to operate in a complex network, and interact and overlap with one another and with other components in ways not yet fully understood. According to the institute, these findings will challenge scientists “to rethink some long-held views about what genes are and what they do.” Biologists have recorded these network effects for many years in other organisms. But in the world of science, discoveries often do not become part of mainstream thought until they are linked to humans. With that link now in place, the report is likely to have repercussions far beyond the laboratory. The presumption that genes operate independently has been institutionalized since 1976, when the first biotech company was founded. In fact, it is the economic and regulatory foundation on which the entire biotechnology industry is built. The principle that gave rise to the biotech industry promised benefits that were equally compelling. Known as the Central Dogma of molecular biology, it stated that each gene in living organisms, from humans to bacteria, carries the information needed to construct one protein.
Anger at deadly Nigerian drug trials
2007-06-29, BBC News
In school, Anas Mohammadu's mates call him "horror" and make fun of him. But Anas is lucky to be alive. Other children who were used in the controversial 1996 drug trial by US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer died. Anas, then only three years old, was the first child to be given the experimental antibiotic Trovan at the Infectious Diseases Hospital, Kano, during the drug trial. Pfizer tested the then unregistered drug in Nigeria's north-western Kano State during an outbreak of meningitis which had affected thousands of children. Officials in Kano say more than 50 children died in the experiment, while many others developed mental and physical deformities. But Pfizer says only 11 of the 200 children used in the drug trial died. Following pressure from rights groups and families affected by the trial, the Nigerian government set up an expert medical panel to review the drug trial. The experiment was "an illegal trial of an unregistered drug", the Nigerian panel concluded, and a "clear case of exploitation of the ignorant". After more than a decade of silence, the Nigerian government has decided to sue Pfizer, seeking $7bn (£3.5bn) in damages for the families of children who allegedly died or suffered side-effects in the experiment. Kano State government has also filed separate charges against Pfizer.
Note: Pfizer settled the case out of court, as reported by BBC at this link.
Psychiatrists Top List in Drug Maker Gifts
2007-06-27, New York Times
As states begin to require that drug companies disclose their payments to doctors for lectures and other services, a pattern has emerged: psychiatrists earn more money from drug makers than doctors in any other specialty. How this money may be influencing psychiatrists and other doctors has become one of the most contentious issues in health care. For instance, the more psychiatrists have earned from drug makers, the more they have prescribed a new class of powerful medicines known as atypical antipsychotics to children, for whom the drugs are especially risky and mostly unapproved. Vermont officials disclosed Tuesday that drug company payments to psychiatrists in the state more than doubled last year, to an average of $45,692 each from $20,835 in 2005. Antipsychotic medicines are among the largest expenses for the state’s Medicaid program. Over all last year, drug makers spent $2.25 million on marketing payments, fees and travel expenses to Vermont doctors, hospitals and universities, a 2.3 percent increase over the prior year, the state said. The number most likely represents a small fraction of drug makers’ total marketing expenditures to doctors since it does not include the costs of free drug samples or the salaries of sales representatives and their staff members. According to their income statements, drug makers generally spend twice as much to market drugs as they do to research them. Endocrinologists received the second largest amount, according to the Vermont analysis, earning an average of $33,730. Since the state identified the specialties of only the top 100 earners, these averages represent the money earned by only some of the state’s specialists. There were 11 psychiatrists and 5 endocrinologists in that top group of 100.
Note: For much more reliable, verifiable information on corruption in the pharmaceutical industry, click here.
2007-06-27, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Opponents of GE [genetically engineered] food ... say problems suggested in some health studies could take years to show up. Meanwhile, we're eating lots of GE foods anyway, whether we know it or not -- especially in processed foods, because corn, soy and canola are the Big 3 GE food crops." Since our government has refused to label these foods, how do we avoid buying and eating these foods?" asks [Andrew] Kimbrell, an attorney who heads the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Food Safety, a vocal opponent of GE foods. His new book, Your Right to Know: Genetic Engineering and the Secret Changes in Your Food ... answers that question. For conscious eaters, the heart of the book is a 14-page guide to your local supermarket. It tells you which foods are the most likely to contain GE ingredients (chips, snacks and baby formula), which aren't (fruits, vegetables, wheat), and how to read labels for "hidden ingredients" derived from corn, soy or canola (hint: look for high fructose corn syrup, soy lecithin and canola oil). A passport-size version of the guide, small enough to slide into most pockets or purses, comes along with the book. "I wanted to give people a usable tool to avoid these foods so they don't feel so helpless," said Kimbrell. The book isn't intended to present the pros and cons of GE foods. Kimbrell is 100 percent against the technology and spends a lot of time in court fighting companies like Monsanto, to keep GE crops from spreading. The Center for Food Safety also opposes irradiation and food animal cloning, and has labored to keep industry from weakening federal organic standards. In fact, Kimbrell is the man who calls the current administration's efforts to protect food safety "Katrina on a plate."
Nonorganic ingredients get tentative OK
2007-06-23, Los Angeles Times
The U.S. Department of Agriculture gave interim approval Friday to a controversial proposal to allow 38 nonorganic ingredients to be used in foods carrying the "USDA Organic" seal. Manufacturers of organic foods had pushed for the change, arguing that the 38 items are minor ingredients in their products and are difficult to find in organic form. But consumers opposed to the use of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, antibiotics and growth hormones in food production bombarded the USDA with more than 1,000 complaints last month. "If the label says organic, everything in that food should be organic," wrote Kimberly Wilson of Austin, Texas, in one typical comment. "If they put something in the food that isn't organic, they shouldn't be able to call it organic. No exception." The list approved Friday includes 19 food colorings, two starches, hops, sausage casings, fish oil, chipotle chili pepper, gelatin, celery powder, dill weed oil, frozen lemongrass, Wakame seaweed, Turkish bay leaves and whey protein concentrate. Manufacturers will be allowed to use conventionally grown versions of these ingredients in foods carrying the USDA seal, provided that they can't find organic equivalents and that nonorganics comprise no more than 5% of the product. A wide range of organic food could be affected, including cereal, sausage, bread, beer, pasta, candy and soup mixes. The Organic Consumers Assn. ... has led the opposition to the USDA proposal. Ronnie Cummins, executive director of the consumers group, said ... that the USDA was caving in to pressure from large food companies. USDA officials "don't seem to care what the public wants. They're just more interested in what's convenient for the big companies."
Extraordinary Kiwis: Saving the World
2007-06-23, TVNZ.co.nz (New Zealand's leading TV station)
A garage in an Auckland suburb is an unlikely laboratory for a 57-year-old millionaire with a passion to change the world. But Ray Avery is anything but typical. A charismatic Kiwi ... he's taken a horrific childhood, combined it with a passion and prodigious aptitude for science and turned it into a motivation to change the world. Ray now runs Medicine Mondiale, a non-profit aid organisation dedicated to doing things differently. Medicine Mondiale is based from his home ... and his garage has been converted into high tech lab. Here Ray works designing and developing simple and sustainable medical solutions for the many health problems in the developing world. He enlists the help of other scientists and experts to work on specific projects with him. Ray dragged himself up by the bootstraps, from a childhood in orphanages and on the streets of London, to become a scientist, businessman and self-made millionaire. After coming to New Zealand, a chance meeting with Fred Hollows (world renowned eye surgeon) set him on a path to Eritrea and Nepal to build lens factories for the Fred Hollows Foundation. Exposure to the raw and real shortcomings of heath care in these regions made him determined to use his knowledge of pharmaceuticals, science, project management, design and development to tackle the issues at a very practical level.
Care in need of a cure
2007-06-18, Los Angeles Times
The knee-jerk attitude that the U.S. is the best place on earth to be sick, fueled by the reputations of great institutions like the Mayo Clinic and by America's leadership in drug and technology development, is beginning to be challenged by rigorous international comparisons. There is increasing evidence that, despite justified pride in individual institutions and medical breakthroughs, the world's biggest medical spender isn't buying its citizens the longest, healthiest lives in the world. It's not just moviemakers and comics saying so. The dire message that the U.S. healthcare system is, by some measures, an also-ran on the worldwide stage is being delivered by doctors, researchers — even insurance industry giants. On screen, slamming U.S. medical care is coming of age with Michael Moore's documentary "Sicko." Through the eyes of people who have faced healthcare catastrophes, he tells graphic stories of the problems with America's system. Considerably more sobering are the warnings from an official at the National Institutes of Health, who declared in the May 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Assn. that the U.S. healthcare system is "a dysfunctional mess." Amid stacks of reports, all with ... measures of access, equity, efficiency and medical outcomes, two statistics stand out. The U.S. spends more on medical care than any other nation, and gets far less for it than many countries. The U.S. spends an annual $6,102 per person — more than any other country and more than twice the average of $2,571. Yet Americans have the 22nd highest life expectancy among those nations at 77.2 years. People in Japan, the world leader in longevity, live an average of 81.8 years.
Autism Debate Strains a Family and Its Charity
2007-06-18, New York Times
A year after their grandson Christian received a diagnosis of autism in 2004, Bob Wright, then chairman of NBC/Universal, and his wife, Suzanne, founded Autism Speaks, a mega-charity dedicated to curing the dreaded neurological disorder that affects one of every 150 children in America today. The Wrights’ venture was also an effort to end the internecine warfare in the world of autism — where some are convinced that the disorder is genetic and best treated with intensive therapy, and others blame preservatives in vaccinations and swear by supplements and diet to cleanse the body of heavy metals. With its high-powered board ... the charity was a powerful voice, especially in Washington. It also made strides toward its goal of unity by merging with three existing autism organizations and raising millions of dollars for research into all potential causes and treatments. The Wrights call it the “big tent” approach. But now the fissures in the autism community have made their way into the Wright family, where father and daughter are not speaking after a public battle over themes familiar to thousands of families with autistic children. The Wrights’ daughter, Katie, the mother of Christian, says her parents have not given enough support to the people who believe, as she does, that the environment — specifically a synthetic mercury preservative in vaccines — is to blame. No major scientific studies have linked pediatric vaccination and autism, but many parents and their advocates persist, and a federal “vaccine court” is now reviewing nearly 4,000 such claims.
Note: For a highly revealing interview with Katie Wright on this critical topic, click here. For a treasure trove of reliable and verifiable articles on autism, click here.
Intricate Toiling Found In Nooks of DNA Once Believed to Stand Idle
2007-06-14, Washington Post
The first concerted effort to understand all the inner workings of the DNA molecule is overturning a host of long-held assumptions about the nature of genes and their role in human health and evolution, scientists reported yesterday. The new perspective reveals DNA to be not just a string of biological code but a dauntingly complex operating system that processes many more kinds of information than previously appreciated. The findings ... confirm growing suspicions that the stretches of "junk DNA" flanking hardworking genes are not junk at all. But the study goes further, indicating for the first time that the vast majority of the 3 billion "letters" of the human genetic code are busily toiling at an array of previously invisible tasks. The new work also overturns the conventional notion that genes are discrete packets of information arranged like beads on a thread of DNA. Instead, many genes overlap one another and share stretches of molecular code. The new picture of the inner workings of DNA probably will require some rethinking in the search for genetic patterns that dispose people to diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease, the scientists said, but ultimately the findings are likely to speed the development of ways to prevent and treat a variety of illnesses. One implication is that many, and perhaps most, genetic diseases come from errors in the DNA between genes rather than within the genes, which have been the focus of molecular medicine. Complicating the picture, it turns out that genes and the DNA sequences that regulate their activity are often far apart along the six-foot-long strands of DNA.
Diagnosis: Conflict of Interest
2007-06-13, New York Times
The revelation that the diabetes drug Avandia can potentially cause heart disease is the latest in a string of pharmaceutical disappointments. Vioxx was pulled from the market in 2004 because it doubled the risks for heart attacks and strokes. Eli Lilly recently paid $750 million to settle lawsuits alleging that Zyprexa causes diabetes. Many have criticized the Food and Drug Administration as being too lax about monitoring drug safety. While those criticisms have merit, there is another culprit: the transformation of continuing medical education into an enterprise for drug marketing. The chore of teaching doctors how to practice medicine has been handed to the pharmaceutical industry. As a result, dangerous side effects are rarely on the curriculum. Most states require that doctors obtain a minimum number of credit hours of continuing medical education each year to maintain their medical licenses. Not so long ago, most of these courses were produced and paid for by universities and medical associations. But this has changed drastically over the past decade. Drug-industry financing of continuing medical education has nearly quadrupled since 1998, from $302 million to $1.12 billion. Half of all continuing medical education courses in the United States are now paid for by drug companies, up from a third a decade ago. Because pharmaceutical companies now set much of the agenda for what doctors learn about drugs, crucial information about potential drug dangers is played down, to the detriment of patient care. For example, GlaxoSmithKline footed the bill for dozens of educational courses intended to emphasize the benefits of Avandia over other drugs.
Note: For a concise, reliable overview of medical corruption, click here.
Fight Over Vaccine-Autism Link Hits Court
2007-06-10, Washington Post
For more than a decade, families across the country have been warring with the medical establishment over their claims that routine childhood vaccines are responsible for the nation's apparent epidemic of autism. In an extraordinary proceeding that begins tomorrow, the battle will move from the ivory tower to the courts. Nearly 5,000 families will seek to convince a special "vaccine court" in Washington that the vaccines can cause healthy and outgoing children to withdraw into uncommunicative, autistic shells -- even though a large body of evidence and expert opinion has found no link. The court has never heard a case of such magnitude. The shift from laboratory to courtroom means the outcome will hinge not on scientific standards of evidence but on a legal standard of plausibility. The decision could not only change the lives of thousands of American families but also have a profound effect on the decisions of parents around the world about whether to vaccinate their children. Advocates of the vaccine theory have argued that the increase in cases was triggered by a mercury-based preservative in vaccines that, they say, is toxic to children's brains. The law requires people claiming they were harmed by a vaccine to bring the case in the special court first, but if they lose, they can still file suit in civil courts. Scientific advocates for the vaccine-autism theory ... say fears about damaging public health programs have prompted scientists and the government to hide evidence of a problem. Many of the families believe that the medical establishment and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have conspired in a massive coverup.
Note: For a powerful report on the alleged link between autism and vaccines, click here. For more reliable news on this crucial issue, click here.
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.