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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For an index to revealing excerpts of media articles on several dozen engaging topics, click here
When Fakery Turns Fatal
2007-06-05, New York Times
They might be called China’s renegade businessmen, small entrepreneurs who are experts at counterfeiting and willing to go to extraordinary lengths to make a profit. But just how far out of the Chinese mainstream are they? Cutting corners or producing fake goods is not just a legacy of China’s initial rush toward the free market three decades ago but [is] still woven into the fabric of the nation’s thriving industrial economy. It is driven by entrepreneurs who are taking advantage of a weak legal system, lax regulations and a business culture where bribery and corruption are rampant. “This is cut-throat market capitalism,” said Wenran Jiang, a specialist in China who teaches at the University of Alberta. Since this country’s economic reforms began to take root in the 1980s, businesses have engineered countless ways to produce everything from fake car parts, cosmetics and brand name bags to counterfeit electrical cables and phony Viagra. Counterfeiting rings are broken nearly every week; nonetheless, the government seems to be waging a losing battle against the operations. Dozens of Chinese cities have risen to prominence over the last two decades by first specializing in fake goods, like Wenzhou, which was once known for selling counterfeit Procter & Gamble products, and Kaihua in Zhejiang province, which specialized in fake Philips light bulbs. For a time, people even derided the entire province of Henan as the capital of substandard or fake goods, like medicines that could make you miraculously grow taller.
Note: The fact that China recently sentenced to death the former head of the State Food and Drug Administration may show that China is trying to address the problem, yet corruption is rampant in the drug industries of China, the U.S., and most other countries.
Sicko? The truth about the US healthcare system
2007-06-04, The Independent
Within a few hours, Cynthia Kline was dead. She died in an American city with one of the highest concentrations of top-flight medical specialists in the world. And it happened largely because of America's broken health care system - one where 50 million people are entirely without insurance coverage and tens of millions more struggle to have the treatment they need approved. As a result, medical problems go unattended until they reach crisis point. America's health system offers a tremendous paradox. In medical technology and in the scientific understanding of disease, it is second-to-none. And yet many, if not most, Americans are unable to reap the advantages of this. In fact, as The New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has argued, the very proliferation of research and high-tech equipment is part of the reason for the imbalance in coverage between the privileged few and the increasingly underserved masses. "[The system] compensates for higher spending on insiders, in part, by consigning more people to outsider status --robbing Peter of basic care in order to pay for Paul's state-of-the-art treatment," Krugman wrote. "Thus we have the cruel paradox that medical progress is bad for many Americans' health." Having the system run by for-profit insurance companies turns out to be inefficient and expensive as well as dehumanising. America spends more than twice as much per capita on health care as France, and almost two and a half times as much as Britain. And yet it falls down in almost every key indicator of public health, starting ... with infant mortality, which is 36 per cent higher than in Britain.
U.S. health care is bad for your health
2007-06-03, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
[A new] study ... finds that not only is the U.S. health care system the most expensive in the world (double that of the next most costly comparator country, Canada) but comes in dead last in almost any measure of performance. Although U.S. political leaders are fond of stating that we have the best health-care system in the world, they fail to acknowledge an important caveat: It is the best only for the very rich. For the rest of the population, its deficits far outweigh its advantages. [The] study compared the United States with Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Although the most notable way in which the United States differs from the other countries is in the absence of universal coverage, the United States is also last on dimensions of access, patient safety, efficiency and equity. The other five countries considered spend considerably less on health care, both per capita and as a percent of gross domestic product, than the United States. The United States spends $7,000 per person per year on health care, almost double that of Australia, Canada and Germany, each of which achieve better results on health status indicators than the United States. The United States also lags behind all industrialized nations in terms of health coverage. 46.6 million Americans (about 15.9 percent of the population) had no health insurance coverage during 2005. It is no wonder, then, that medical bills are overwhelmingly the most common reason for personal bankruptcy in the United States.
Note: For a treasure trove of reliable information on health, click here.
Let children be children
2007-06-03, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
We've just finished test time again in the schools of California. The mad frenzy of testing infects everyone from second grade through high school. Because of the rigors and threats of No Child Left Behind, schools are desperate to increase their scores. As the requirements become more stringent, we have completely lost sight of the children taking these tests. For 30 years as a teacher of primary kids, I have operated on the Any Fool Can See principle. And any fool can see that the spread between what is developmentally appropriate for 7- and 8-year-old children and what is demanded of them on these tests is widening. A lot of what used to be in the first-grade curriculum is now taught in kindergarten. Is your 5-year-old stressed out? Perhaps this is why. Currently, 2 1/2 uninterrupted hours are supposed to be devoted to language arts and reading every morning. I ask you, what adult could sustain an interest in one subject for that long? The result of this has been a decline in math scores at our school. The teaching of art is all but a subversive activity. Teachers whisper, "I taught art today!" as if they would be reported to the Reading Police for stealing time from the reading curriculum. The present emphasis on testing and test scores is sucking the soul out of the primary school experience for both teachers and children. So much time is spent on testing and measuring reading speed that the children are losing the joy that comes but once in their lifetime. The teachers around them, under constant pressure to raise those test scores, radiate urgency and pressure. They are not enjoying their jobs.
The great unspoken secret of primary school is that a lot of what is going on is arrant nonsense, and it's getting worse. Any fool can see.
China corners vitamin market
2007-06-03, Seattle Times (One of Seattle's two leading newspapers)
If you pop a vitamin C tablet in your mouth, it's a good bet it came from China. Indeed, many of the world's vitamins are now made in China. In less than a decade, China has captured 90 percent of the U.S. market for vitamin C, driving almost everyone else out of business. Chinese pharmaceutical companies also have taken over much of the world market in the production of antibiotics, analgesics, enzymes and primary amino acids. According to an industry group, China makes 70 percent of the world's penicillin, 50 percent of its aspirin and 35 percent of its [Tylenol], as well as the bulk of vitamins A, B12, C and E. In the wake of a pet-food scandal, in which adulterated wheat gluten from China led to the deaths of thousands of pets in North America, and other instances of food and toothpaste tampering, China's vitamin producers are reaching out to reassure U.S. consumers that their vitamins are safe. Whether that's true isn't clear, however. Foreign food-safety experts say China's larger companies have reputations to protect. The question is how they maintain quality control. Since U.S. laws don't require food and drug sellers to label products with the country of origin of ingredients, it's impossible for consumers to know where food or supplements are coming from, not to mention what factory produced them.
US on Mad Cow: Don't Test All Cattle
2007-05-29, New York Times/Associated Press
The Bush administration said Tuesday it will fight to keep meatpackers from testing all their animals for mad cow disease. The Agriculture Department tests less than 1 percent of slaughtered cows for the disease, which can be fatal to humans who eat tainted beef. But Kansas-based Creekstone Farms Premium Beef wants to test all of its cows. Larger meat companies feared that move because, if Creekstone tested its meat and advertised it as safe, they might have to perform the expensive test, too. The Agriculture Department regulates the test and argued that widespread testing could lead to a false positive that would harm the meat industry. A federal judge ruled in March that such tests must be allowed. U.S. District Judge James Robertson noted that Creekstone sought to use the same test the government relies on and said the government didn't have the authority to restrict it. The ruling was to take effect June 1, but the Agriculture Department said Tuesday it would appeal -- effectively delaying the testing until the court challenge plays out. Mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, is linked to more than 150 human deaths worldwide, mostly in Britain. There have been three cases of mad cow disease in the U.S.
Inside Medicine: Some 'diseases' invented for profit
2007-05-26, Sacramento Bee (Sacramento's leading newspaper)
By Dr. Michael Wilkes. When is a disease really a disease? Young doctors in training work hard, and so do lots of other people. When people work 24 hours in a row ... the body feels tired. Is this fatigue an abnormal physiologic state requiring medication and treatment, or is it a normal part of belonging to the human race? If abnormal, then doctors and pharmaceutical companies argue that the fatigue requires treatment. If it is normal -- despite a movement to label it as an illness -- then post-work fatigue belongs to the growing phenomenon of disease-mongering. "Disease-mongering" ... is the process of trying to convince healthy people that they are sick, or people with minor problems that they have extremely worrisome symptoms. This is all in an attempt to sell treatments. Countless examples of disease-mongering are driven by the pharmaceutical industry's drive to sell drugs. Conditions such as female sexual dysfunction syndrome, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, toenail fungus, baldness and social anxiety disorder (a.k.a. shyness) are a few places where the medical community has stepped in, thereby turning normal or mild conditions into diseases for which medication is the treatment. Most pharmaceutical companies devote huge amounts of money to prevent, control and cure diseases. When their profits don't match corporate expectations, they invent "new" diseases to be cured by existing drugs. What happens to real diseases when [the media] are filled with information promoting disease mongering? Government funding for public health campaigns pales by comparison with the billions spent by pharmaceutical companies on disease mongering intended to increase the markets for their products.
Note: For more reliable information about major corruption in the pharmaceutical industry, click here.
Doctors, Legislators Resist Drugmakers' Prying Eyes
2007-05-22, Washington Post
Pediatrician Rupin Thakkar's first inkling that the pharmaceutical industry was peering over his shoulder ... came in a letter from a drug representative about the generic drops Thakkar prescribes to treat infectious pinkeye. In the letter, the salesperson wrote that Thakkar was causing his patients to miss more days of school than they would if he put them on Vigamox, a more expensive brand-name medicine made by Alcon Laboratories. "My initial thought was 'How does she know what I'm prescribing?' " Thakkar said. "It feels intrusive ... I just feel strongly that medical encounters need to be private." He is not alone. Many doctors object to drugmakers' common practice of contracting with data-mining companies to track exactly which medicines physicians prescribe and in what quantities -- information marketers and salespeople use to fine-tune their efforts. The concerns are not merely about privacy. Proponents say using such detailed data for drug marketing serves mainly to influence physicians to prescribe more expensive medicines, not necessarily to provide the best treatment. "We don't like the practice, and we want it to stop," said Jean Silver-Isenstadt, executive director of the National Physicians Alliance. (Thakkar is on the group's board of directors.) "We think it's a contaminant to the doctor-patient relationship, and it's driving up costs." The American Medical Association makes millions of dollars each year by helping data-mining companies link prescribing data to individual physicians. It does so by licensing access to the AMA Physician Masterfile, a database containing names, birth dates, educational background, specialties and addresses for more than 800,000 doctors.
Note: For more reliable, verifiable information about major corruption in the drug industry, click here.
Moore film attacks health U.S. care
2007-05-19, ABC News/ Reuters
Director Michael Moore says the U.S. health care system is driven by greed in his new documentary "SiCKO," and asks of Americans in general, "Where is our soul?" He also said he could go to jail for taking a group of volunteers suffering ill health after helping in the September 11, 2001 rescue efforts on an unauthorized trip to Cuba, where they received exemplary treatment at virtually no cost. In "SiCKO" he turns his attention to health, asking why 50 million Americans, 9 million of them children, live without [coverage], while those that are insured are often driven to poverty by spiraling costs or wrongly refused treatment at all. But the movie, which has taken Cannes by storm, goes further by portraying a country where the government is more interested in personal profit and protecting big business than caring for its citizens, many of whom cannot afford health insurance. "I'm trying to explore bigger ideas and bigger issues, and in this case the bigger issue in this film is who are we as a people?" Moore told reporters after a press screening. "Why do we behave the way we behave? What has become of us? Where is our soul?" One section of the film explains how a U.S. man severed the tip of two fingers in an accident and was told he would have to pay $12,000 to re-attach the end of his ring finger, and $60,000 to re-attach that of his index finger. "Being a hopeless romantic, Rick chose his ring finger," Moore quipped in a typically sardonic voiceover. It also follows a woman whose young daughter falls seriously ill but who said she was refused admission to a general hospital and instructed to go to a private one instead. By the time she got to the second hospital, it was too late to save the girl.
Senators who weakened drug bill got millions from industry
2007-05-16, USA Today
Senators who raised millions of dollars in campaign donations from pharmaceutical interests secured industry-friendly changes to a landmark drug-safety bill. The bill, which passed 93-1, grants the Food and Drug Administration broad new authority to monitor the safety of drugs after they are approved. It addressed some shortcomings that allowed the painkiller Vioxx to stay on the market for years after initial signs that it could cause heart attacks. However, the powers granted to the FDA in the bill's original version were pared back during private meetings. And efforts to curb conflicts of interest among FDA advisers and allow consumers to buy cheaper drugs from other countries were defeated in close votes. A measure that blocked an effort to allow drug importation passed, 49-40. The 49 senators who voted against drug importation received about $5 million from industry executives and political action committees since 2001 — nearly three quarters of the industry donations to current members of the Senate. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. [was] the lone vote against the bill. "You have a culture in which big money has significant influence. Big money gains you access, access gives you the time to influence people." The pharmaceutical companies spend more money on lobbying than any other single industry — $855 million from 1998 to 2006. The biggest drug trade group, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, praised the bill after it passed. The group's spokesman, Ken Johnson, said its critics "never point out that a great deal of this money is spent trying to defeat bills … that are designed to cripple this industry."
Note: For lots more reliable, verifiable information on drug company manipulations, click here.
Michael Moore blasts Bush over federal probe
2007-05-11, MSNBC/Associated Press
Filmmaker Michael Moore has asked the Bush administration to call off an investigation of his trip to Cuba to get treatment for ailing Sept. 11 rescue workers for a segment in his upcoming health-care expose, “Sicko.” Moore, who made the hit documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11” ... said in a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on Friday that the White House may have opened the investigation for political reasons. “For five and a half years, the Bush administration has ignored and neglected the heroes of the 9/11 community,” Moore said in the letter. “I understand why the Bush administration is coming after me — I have tried to help the very people they refuse to help, but until George W. Bush outlaws helping your fellow man, I have broken no laws and I have nothing to hide.” Harvey Weinstein, whose Weinstein Co. is releasing “Sicko,” told The Associated Press the movie is a “healing film” that could bring opponents together over the ills of America’s health-care system. “This time, we didn’t want the fight, because the movie unites both sides,” Weinstein said. “We’ve shown the movie to Republicans. Both sides of the bench love the film." Moore won an Academy Award for best documentary with his 2002 gun-control film “Bowling for Columbine” and scolded Bush in his Oscar acceptance speech as the war in Iraq was just getting under way. The investigation has given master promoter Moore another jolt of publicity just before the release of one of his films.
Note: WantToKnow.info founder Fred Burks was hit with a $7,500 fine for a 10-day vacation to Cuba in 1999. For some strange reason, his was the first Cuba travel case prosecuted. He has taken it to court, where the case is still undecided. For more, including a link to a Los Angeles Times article on his case, click here.
Psychiatrists, Children and Drug Industry’s Role
2007-05-10, New York Times
When Anya Bailey developed an eating disorder after her 12th birthday, her mother took her to a psychiatrist at the University of Minnesota who prescribed a powerful antipsychotic drug called Risperdal. Created for schizophrenia, Risperdal is not approved to treat eating disorders, but increased appetite is a common side effect and doctors may prescribe drugs as they see fit. Anya gained weight but within two years developed a crippling knot in her back. She now receives regular injections of Botox to unclench her back muscles. She often awakens crying in pain. Isabella Bailey, Anya’s mother, said she had no idea that children might be especially susceptible to Risperdal’s side effects. Nor did she know that Risperdal and similar medicines were not approved at the time to treat children. Just as surprising, Ms. Bailey said, was learning that the university psychiatrist who supervised Anya’s care received more than $7,000 from 2003 to 2004 from Johnson & Johnson, Risperdal’s maker, in return for lectures about one of the company’s drugs. The intersection of money and medicine, and its effect on the well-being of patients, has become one of the most contentious issues in health care. Nowhere is that more true than in psychiatry, where increasing payments to doctors have coincided with the growing use in children of a relatively new class of drugs known as atypical antipsychotics. These best-selling drugs, including Risperdal, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Abilify and Geodon, are now being prescribed to more than half a million children in the United States to help parents deal with behavior problems despite profound risks and almost no approved uses for minors.
Note: For lots more reliable information on cover-ups affecting your health, click here. To read an inspiring story on the benefits of healthy school diet for students' health, behavior and studies, click here.
Doctors Reap Millions for Anemia Drugs
2007-05-09, New York Times
Two of the world’s largest drug companies are paying hundreds of millions of dollars to doctors every year in return for giving their patients anemia medicines, which regulators now say may be unsafe at commonly used doses. The payments are legal, but very few people outside of the doctors who receive them are aware of their size. The payments give physicians an incentive to prescribe the medicines at levels that might increase patients’ risks of heart attacks or strokes. At just one practice in the Pacific Northwest, a group of six cancer doctors received $2.7 million from Amgen for prescribing $9 million worth of its drugs last year. [A] report prepared by F.D.A. staff scientists said no evidence indicated that the medicines either improved quality of life in patients or extended their survival. Several studies suggested that the drugs can shorten patients’ lives when used at high doses. The medicines ... are among the world’s top-selling drugs. They represent the single biggest drug expense for Medicare. Since 1991 ... the average dose given to dialysis patients in this country has nearly tripled. About 50 percent of dialysis patients now receive enough of the drugs to raise their red blood cell counts above the level considered risky by the F.D.A. Unlike most drugs, the anemia medicines do not come in fixed doses. Therefore, doctors have great flexibility to increase dosing — and profits. The companies have [failed] to test whether lower doses of the medicines might work better than higher doses. There is little evidence that the drugs make much difference for patients with moderate anemia, and federal statistics show that the increased use of the drugs has not improved survival in dialysis patients.
Note: For lots more on major corruption in health care, click here.
Study suggests cancer risk from depleted uranium
2007-05-08, The Guardian
Depleted uranium, which is used in armour-piercing ammunition, causes widespread damage to DNA which could lead to lung cancer, according to a study of the metal's effects on human lung cells. The study adds to growing evidence that DU causes health problems on battlefields long after hostilities have ceased. DU is a byproduct of uranium refinement for nuclear power. It is much less radioactive than other uranium isotopes, and its high density - twice that of lead - makes it useful for armour and armour piercing shells. It has been used in conflicts including Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq and there have been increasing concerns about the health effects of DU dust left on the battlefield. In November, the Ministry of Defence was forced to counteract claims that apparent increases in cancers and birth defects among Iraqis in southern Iraq were due to DU in weapons. Prof Wise and his team believe that microscopic particles of dust created during the explosion of a DU weapon stay on the battlefield and can be breathed in by soldiers and people returning after the conflict. Once they are lodged in the lung even low levels of radioactivity would damage DNA in cells close by. "The real question is whether the level of exposure is sufficient to cause health effects. The answer to that question is still unclear," he said, adding that there has as yet been little research on the effects of DU on civilians in combat zones. "Funding for DU studies is very sparse and so defining the disadvantages is hard," he added.
Note: We suspect a major cover-up of the dangers of DU, on which the media have reported little. How convenient that this pesky waste product from nuclear power plants which is radioactive for thousands of years could be sold to the military for weapons. For lots more on this vital topic, click here.
New fears over additives in children's food
2007-05-08, The Guardian
Food safety experts have advised parents to eliminate a series of additives from their children's diet while they await the publication of a new study that is understood to link these ingredients to behaviour problems in youngsters. The latest scientific research into the effect of food additives on children's behaviour is thought to raise fresh doubts about the safety of controversial food colourings and a preservative widely used in sweets, drinks and processed foods. It will be several months before the results are published, despite the importance of the findings for children's health. Researchers at Southampton University have tested combinations of synthetic colourings and preservative that an average child might consume in a day to measure what effect they had on behaviour. A source at the university [said] their results supported findings first made seven years ago that linked the additives to behavioural problems, such as temper tantrums, poor concentration and hyperactivity, and to allergic reactions. Independent experts say that consumers should consider removing these additives from their children's diets now. Dr Alex Richardson, the director of Food and Behaviour Research and senior research scientist at Oxford University, said: "There are well-documented potential risks from these additives. In my view the researchers had done an excellent piece of work first time round and there was enough evidence to act. If this new study essentially replicates that, what more evidence do they need to remove these additives from children's food and drink?"
Note: For how drug companies collude with government to suppress this kind of information, click here.
Former Marine Claims Illness From Mystery Vaccine
2007-05-07, WLWT-TV (Cincinnati, Ohio's NBC affiliate)
An alarming number of U.S. troops are having severe reactions to some of the vaccines they receive in preparation for going overseas.
"This is the worst cover-up in the history of the military," said an unidentified military health officer who fears for his job. A shot from a syringe is leaving some U.S. servicemen and women on the brink of death. Lance Corporal David Fey, 20, has dialysis three days a week. His kidneys are failing, his military career is over, and he feels like his country abandoned him. Fey said he loved every minute of boot camp and combat training at 29 Palms in California. But on Nov. 28, 2005, his life would change forever. Fey was one of a group of Marines who lined up for an undisclosed shot. "They asked us our name. We stood on these yellow footprints, and they gave us this shot, and we got the rest of the day off," he recalled. "After that shot, I started swelling up. I gained 30 pounds of water. My eyes swelled up where I couldn't see. I started snoring. I developed a rash on my hand." Three weeks later, Fey was back in Clermont County on his death bed at Clinton Memorial Hospital. His kidneys were failing, and his body was so swollen that it left stretch marks. Fey is one of a growing number of U.S. servicemen and women who are getting sick after receiving vaccines. And the ... Department of Defense medical officer who spoke with [WLWT] said that the number is up in the thousands. The symptoms range from joint aches and pains and arthritic symptoms to death. The officer said those who have claimed to have had adverse reactions to shots are treated like it is all in their heads. Asked whether servicemen and women are receiving experimental vaccines, the officer said, "I would hope to God not. But from what I've seen, I would have to say yes."
From China to Panama, a Trail of Poisoned Medicine
2007-05-06, The New York Times
The syrupy poison, diethylene glycol, is an indispensable part of the modern world, an industrial solvent and prime ingredient in some antifreeze. It is also a killer. And the deaths, if not intentional, are often no accident. Over the years, the poison has been loaded into all varieties of medicine — cough syrup, fever medication, injectable drugs — a result of counterfeiters who profit by substituting the sweet-tasting solvent for a safe, more expensive syrup, usually glycerin, commonly used in drugs, food, toothpaste and other products. Toxic syrup has figured in at least eight mass poisonings around the world in the past two decades. Researchers estimate that thousands have died. In many cases, the precise origin of the poison has never been determined. But records and interviews show that in three of the last four cases it was made in China, a major source of counterfeit drugs. Panama is the most recent victim. Last year, government officials there unwittingly mixed diethylene glycol into 260,000 bottles of cold medicine — with devastating results. Families have reported 365 deaths from the poison, 100 of which have been confirmed so far. Panama’s death toll leads directly to Chinese companies that made and exported the poison as 99.5 percent pure glycerin.
Inside Medicine: Is your doctor giving you this important number?
2007-05-05, Sacramento Bee (Leading newspaper of California's capital city)
By Dr. Michael Wilkes. I recently wrote a column about cholesterol-lowering medications. I stated that if 67 healthy men with elevated cholesterol took a cholesterol-lowering drug ... for five years, only one would benefit. The other 66 would not benefit, and it would cost about $5,500 over the five-year period. I received a ton of e-mail from readers. Many readers wrote that after knowing this number, they did not feel taking the drug was worth the effort or expense. Others took the opposite view. Both interpretations are valid, depending on the person's values. This number -- the 1 in 67 -- is a term doctors call "the number needed to treat," or NNT. It is a relatively new concept [that] is grossly underused in sharing information with the public. Doctors and pharmacists do a poor job talking with patients about their medications. Many people will derive little or no benefit from their medicines, but they are never told this. The key is for doctors and patients to understand the NNT. Here are some estimates of NNT: 1 in 2,550: The number of breast cancer deaths prevented in women between the ages of 50 and 59 screened annually for five years with mammograms. 1 in 2,000: The number of women ages 60-64 without risk factors who would prevent a hip fracture by taking medicine for osteoporosis for five years. 1 in 700: The number of people with mild high blood pressure who would prevent a stroke or heart attack by taking blood pressure medicine for one year. 1 in 16: The number of infections prevented by treating a victim of a dog bite with a week of antibiotics. 1 in 7: The number of children (otherwise healthy children) who benefit from treatment with an antibiotic for an ordinary ear infection.
Note: Many doctors and scientists have made valid claims that drug companies are hyping disease in order to make profits on their drugs. For a top MD's discussion of this vital topic, click here.
Doctors' Ties to Drug Companies Called Commonplace
2007-04-25, Washington Post
The ties between doctors and drug manufacturers are close indeed. Most physicians (94 percent) reported some type of relationship with the pharmaceutical industry ... according to [a] study, published in the April 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Most of these relationships involved receiving food in the workplace (83 percent) or receiving drug samples (78 percent). More than one-third of the respondents (35 percent) were reimbursed for costs associated with professional meetings or continuing medical education, while more than one-quarter (28 percent) were paid for consulting, delivering lectures or enrolling patients in clinical trials. Over the past two decades, physician-industry relationships have attracted increasing scrutiny. One review found that, on average, physicians meet with industry representatives four times a month, and medical residents accept six gifts annually from industry representatives. "We know that these relationships have benefits and risks, and we know that they benefit the companies that are involved, and we know from our data that they benefit doctors," said study author Eric G. Campbell, an assistant professor of health care policy at the Institute for Health Policy at Harvard Medical School. "The real question is to what extent do these relationships benefit patients, and the answer is, we don't know." Campbell said that he found it hard to believe that free football tickets for a doctor would trickle down to benefit patients.
Note: For an excellent article by one of the foremost doctors in the nation on how the pharmaceutical industry has corrupted politics and damaged our health, click here.
Cancer clusters at phone masts
2007-04-22, The Times (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Seven clusters of cancer and other serious illnesses have been discovered around mobile phone masts, raising concerns over the technology’s potential impact on health. Studies of the sites show high incidences of cancer, brain haemorrhages and high blood pressure within a radius of 400 yards of mobile phone masts. One of the studies, in Warwickshire, showed a cluster of 31 cancers around a single street. A quarter of the 30 staff at a special school within sight of the 90ft high mast have developed tumours since 2000, while another quarter have suffered significant health problems. Phone masts have provoked protests throughout Britain with thousands of people objecting each week to planning applications. There are about 47,000 masts in the UK. Dr John Walker, a scientist who compiled the cluster studies with the help of local campaigners in Devon, Lincolnshire, Staffordshire and the West Midlands, said he was convinced they showed a potential link between the angle of the beam of radiation emitted from the masts’ antennae and illnesses discovered in local populations. “Masts should be moved away from conurbations and schools and the power turned down,” he said. Studies in other European countries suggest a rise in cancers close to masts.
Note: For many highly important articles from reliable sources on major health issues, click here.