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Corporate Corruption Media Articles

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U.S. regulators rejected Elon Musk’s bid to test brain chips in humans, citing safety risks
2023-03-02, Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/neuralink-musk-fda/

On at least four occasions since 2019, Elon Musk has predicted that his medical device company, Neuralink, would soon start human trials of a revolutionary brain implant to treat intractable conditions such as paralysis and blindness. Yet the company, founded in 2016, didn’t seek permission from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) until early 2022 – and the agency rejected the application. Musk has detailed a bold vision for Neuralink: Both disabled and healthy people will pop into neighborhood facilities for speedy surgical insertions of devices with functions ranging from curing obesity, autism, depression or schizophrenia to web-surfing and telepathy. Musk also has said Neuralink would restore full mobility to paralyzed patients. Reuters exclusively reported late last year that the federal government was investigating the company’s treatment of its research animals. The probe was launched amid growing employee concern that the company is rushing experiments, causing additional suffering and deaths of pigs, sheep and monkeys. Musk’s company ... trails at least one direct rival in the race for FDA approval. Synchron, a competitor making a BCI implant, has won the agency’s blessing for human trials. The company first tested its device on four patients in Australia who successfully sent text messages with their minds. Synchron recently raised $75 million, including from funds backed by tech billionaires Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos.

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


As crime-solving goes hi-tech, public defenders scramble to keep up
2023-02-24, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2023/feb/24/fourth-amendment-battles-g...

Caleb Kenyon, a defense attorney in Florida, saw a geofence warrant was when a new client received an alarming email from Google in January 2020. Police were requesting personal data from the client, Zachary McCoy, and Kenyon had just seven days to stop Google from turning it over, the email said. The geofence warrant included a map and GPS coordinates, and instructed Google to provide identifying information for every user whose device was found within the radius of that location at a certain date and time. “It was so bizarre that I just didn’t even have a concept for what I was dealing with,” he said. Kenyon is not alone. As tech firms build ever more sophisticated means of surveilling people and their devices – technology that law enforcement is eager to take advantage of – the legal community is scrambling to keep up. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) ... recently created the Fourth Amendment Center, named for the constitutional right against unreasonable searches. The center is one of the few resources available for helping attorneys better understand how new technology is being used against their clients. It can be years before the defense community catches wind of the newest surveillance tools. Unlike other search warrants, geofence warrants don’t require probable cause or a specific suspect in mind; they gather information on anyone within the vicinity of an alleged crime. Advocates argue this violates the fourth amendment.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on court system corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Vinyl chloride's invisible threat: Thousands of pounds are released every year in the U.S. as part of "poison plastic” manufacturing
2023-02-20, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/vinyl-chloride-ohio-train-derailment-thousands-p...

Vinyl chloride entered the spotlight after the Feb. 3 Ohio train derailment. But the hazardous substance has been around for decades and is everywhere — from buildings and vehicle upholstery to children's toys and kitchen supplies — and factories have been emitting the EPA-designated toxic chemical into the air for years. The train that derailed had the manmade and volatile compound on board, prompting temporary evacuations. But the derailment isn't the first time vinyl chloride has alarmed experts. Experts say that the volatile compound, "used almost exclusively by the plastics industry," has "leached into groundwater from spills, landfills, and industrial sources," and that people who live around plastic manufacturing facilities "may be exposed to vinyl chloride by inhalation of contaminated air." According to the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), which "tracks the management of certain toxic chemicals that may pose a threat to human health and the environment," there are 38 TRI facilities in 15 states — mostly around the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern U.S. — that use vinyl chloride, emitting about half a million pounds of the substance every year. The problem begins at vinyl chloride's origins. It's generated from ethane, which is obtained through fracking natural gas. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said ethane production hit a monthly record last year of more than 2.4 million barrels per day. The global PVC market is expected to become a $56.1 billion industry within the next 3 years. 

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


How pesticides impair our senses
2023-02-15, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20230215-how-pesticides-harm-human-health

Regenerative agriculture is an approach to farming that prioritises soil and environmental health by minimising synthetic inputs. [Farm manager Tim Parton] switched to using biologically active inputs after experiencing headaches and skin rashes from using pesticides. After sheep dipping, which involves immersing sheep in insecticide and pesticide mixtures to eliminate parasites, lumps would often show up on his arms. "I would be a mess, but if I went to the doctors, they would say 'you've just had a reaction' and would not take it seriously," he says. Since adopting a biological farming method, Parton has not experienced any negative health impacts. He has not had to use any phosphorus and potassium fertilisers on his crops for over 10 years. He says he has observed a big increase in insect and bird species since he stopped using pesticides. Pesticides may be responsible for the loss of smell in honeybees and salmon. Despite global regulations on pesticide use, one study estimates that about 385 million cases of unintentional, acute pesticide poisoning occur among farm workers each year. A 2020 study found that of the estimated 860 million agricultural workers worldwide, 44% are affected by pesticide poisoning annually. Acute health impacts can range from seizures to respiratory depression. Pesticide exposure has been associated with conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Parkinson's disease. Pesticide exposure has also been linked to sensory deterioration.

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


Why the train wreck in Ohio is such a major public health disaster
2023-02-15, Salon
https://www.salon.com/2023/02/15/why-the-train-wreck-in-ohio-is-such-a-major-...

On Feb. 3, a train of about 150 freight cars — many carrying several loads of hazardous materials — crashed and exploded in the town of East Palestine, Ohio. The tangled knot of boxcars operated by Norfolk Southern Railway shot out flames reaching 100 feet and sent a massive plume of coal-black smog. Five days later, crews ignited a controlled burn of the toxic chemicals in order to prevent a much bigger explosion, but the situation appears to be worsening. Residents and local news agencies have posted viral videos of streams and creeks cluttered with dead fish and frogs. Reports have also surfaced that fumes sickened and even killed pets. Many are drawing comparisons to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, which turned Pripyat, a city of roughly 50,000 people, into a ghost town. "We basically nuked a town with chemicals so we could get a railroad open," Sil Caggiano, a hazardous materials specialist, told WKBN. On Feb. 8, state officials told residents that they could "safely" return home. "If it's safe and habitable, then why does it hurt?" Nathen Velez, a resident of East Palestine, said to CNN. "Why does it hurt me to breathe?" As more details emerge, the gravity of the situation only seems to worsen. In a letter sent to Norfolk Southern Railway on Feb. 11, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that in addition to vinyl chloride, four additional toxic chemicals were on board the train: ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, ethylhexyl acrylate, butyl acrylate and isobutylene.

Note: An on-the-ground report discusses this tragic issue beyond the official narrative: how corporate greed is the underlying cause of the crash, local media outlets owned by private equity firms who have significant stakes in Norfolk Southern, and potential long-term impacts. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


‘Aims’: the software for hire that can control 30,000 fake online profiles
2023-02-14, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/feb/15/aims-software-avatars-team-jorg...

Advanced Impact Media Solutions, or Aims, which controls more than 30,000 fake social media profiles, can be used to spread disinformation at scale and at speed. It is sold by “Team Jorge”, a unit of disinformation operatives based in Israel. Tal Hanan, who runs the covert group using the pseudonym “Jorge”, told undercover reporters that they sold access to their software to unnamed intelligence agencies, political parties and corporate clients. Team Jorge’s Aims software ... is much more than a bot-controlling programme. Each avatar ... is given a multifaceted digital backstory. Aims enables the creation of accounts on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Telegram, Gmail, Instagram and YouTube. Some even have Amazon accounts with credit cards, bitcoin wallets and Airbnb accounts. Hanan told the undercover reporters his avatars mimicked human behaviour and their posts were powered by artificial intelligence. [Our reporters] were able to identify a much wider network of 2,000 Aims-linked bots on Facebook and Twitter. We then traced their activity across the internet, identifying their involvement ... in about 20 countries including the UK, US, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Greece, Panama, Senegal, Mexico, Morocco, India, the United Arab Emirates, Zimbabwe, Belarus and Ecuador. The analysis revealed a vast array of bot activity, with Aims’ fake social media profiles getting involved in a dispute in California over nuclear power; a #MeToo controversy in Canada ... and an election in Senegal.

Note: The FBI has provided police departments with fake social media profiles to use in law enforcement investigations. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Now for sale: Data on your mental health
2023-02-13, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2023/02/13/mental-health-data-brokers/

A study published Monday ... outlines how expansive the market for people’s health data has become. After contacting data brokers to ask what kinds of mental health information she could buy, researcher Joanne Kim reported that she ultimately found 11 companies willing to sell bundles of data that included information on what antidepressants people were taking, whether they struggled with insomnia or attention issues, and details on other medical ailments, including Alzheimer’s disease or bladder-control difficulties. Some of the data was offered in an aggregate form that would have allowed a buyer to know, for instance, a rough estimate of how many people in an individual Zip code might be depressed. But other brokers offered personally identifiable data featuring names, addresses and incomes, with one data-broker sales representative pointing to lists named “Anxiety Sufferers” and “Consumers With Clinical Depression in the United States.” Some even offered a sample spreadsheet. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, known as HIPAA, restricts how hospitals, doctors’ offices and other “covered health entities” share Americans’ health data. But the law doesn’t protect the same information when it’s sent anywhere else, allowing app makers and other companies to legally share or sell the data. Some of the data brokers offered ... opt-out forms. But ... many people probably didn’t realize the brokers had collected their information in the first place. Privacy advocates have for years warned about the unregulated data trade, saying the information could be exploited by advertisers or misused for predatory means. The health-data issue has in some ways gotten worse, in large part because of the increasing sophistication with which companies can collect and share people’s personal information — including not just in defined lists, but through regularly updated search tools and machine-learning analyses.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


A world in which your boss spies on your brainwaves? That future is near
2023-02-09, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/feb/09/boss-spies-brainwaves-d...

The reptilian annual World Economic Forum at Davos, where the masters of the universe meet to congratulate themselves on their benevolent dictatorship, is home to many sinister ideas. This year, one of the creepiest discussions of all was delivered under the guise of progress and productivity. Nita Farahany, a Duke University professor and futurist, gave a presentation at Davos about neurotechnology that is creating “brain transparency.” The new technologies, which Farahany says are being deployed in workplaces around the world ... include a variety of wearable sensors that read the brain’s electrical impulses and can show how fatigued you are, whether you’re focused on the task at hand or if your attention is wandering. According to Farahany, thousands of companies have hooked workers ranging from train drivers to miners up to these devices already, in the name of workplace safety. But what we are really discussing is workplace surveillance. Farahany paints a picture of a near future in which every office worker could be fitted with a small wearable that would constantly record brain activity, creating an omnipotent record of your thoughts, attention and energy that the boss could study at leisure. Farahany acknowledges that there could be drawbacks here: “Done poorly, it could become the most oppressive technology we’ve ever introduced on a wide scale.” All of this raises the question: what exactly is your employer buying when they give you a paycheck? For bosses, the answer is simple: “Everything.”

Note: Tune into a fascinating, 17 min. conversation about this issue that raises important questions about the overreliance on technology as a tool of control, under the guise of workplace safety. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


Facial recognition bias frustrates Black asylum applicants to US, advocates say
2023-02-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/feb/08/us-immigration-cbp-one-app-fa...

The US government’s new mobile app for migrants to apply for asylum at the US-Mexico border is blocking many Black people from being able to file their claims because of facial recognition bias in the tech, immigration advocates say. The app, CBP One, is failing to register many people with darker skin tones, effectively barring them from their right to request entry into the US. People who have made their way to the south-west border from Haiti and African countries, in particular, are falling victim to apparent algorithm bias in the technology that the app relies on. The government announced in early January that the new CBP One mobile app would be the only way migrants arriving at the border can apply for asylum and exemption from Title 42 restrictions. Racial bias in face recognition technology has long been a problem. Increasingly used by law enforcement and government agencies to fill databases with biometric information including fingerprints and iris scans, a 2020 report by Harvard University called it the “least accurate” identifier, especially among darker-skinned women with whom the error rate is higher than 30%. Emmanuella Camille, a staff attorney with the Haitian Bridge Alliance ... said the CBP One app has helped “lighter-skin toned people from other nations” obtain their asylum appointments “but not Haitians” and other Black applicants. Besides the face recognition technology not registering them ... many asylum seekers have outdated cellphones – if they have cellphones at all – that don’t support the CBP One app.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


Here’s Why Big Pharma Spends More On Ads Pushing Lower Benefit Drugs
2023-02-07, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/roberthart/2023/02/07/heres-why-big-pharma-spend...

Big pharma spends more money on advertising for drugs that have lower health benefits for patients, according to a study published in JAMA on Tuesday, shedding new light on the almost uniquely American practice amid fierce debate over whether direct-to-consumer prescription drug ads should be banned. The proportion of advertising spending allocated to direct-to-consumer ads was an average of 14.3 percentage points higher for drugs with a low added benefit compared to those with a high added benefit, according to the peer-reviewed analysis of the 150 best-selling branded prescription drugs. Manufacturers of the top six best-selling drugs spent the bulk of their promotional budgets—more than 90%—targeting consumers directly rather than clinicians for a range of treatment options for conditions including HIV, multiple sclerosis and numerous cancers. The findings could suggest pharma firms are aiming promotional dollars directly towards consumers ... as part of a “strategy to drive patient demand for drugs that clinicians would be less likely to prescribe,” said the study’s lead author Michael DiStefano. Just two countries in the world allow drug makers to market prescription medications directly to consumers: the U.S. and New Zealand. Most countries prohibit directly advertising prescription medications to the public, something the WHO says influences both people and, indirectly, the medical professionals treating them, making it “harder to make decisions on evidence based medicine.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Congress is set to expose what may be the largest censorship system in U.S. history
2023-02-04, The Hill
https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/3843751-congress-is-set-to-expose-what-...

The “Twitter files” revealed an FBI operation to monitor and censor social media content. Dozens of FBI employees worked on the identification and removal of material on a wide range of subjects and that Twitter largely carried out their requests. Nor was it just the FBI, apparently. Emails reveal FBI figures like a San Francisco assistant special agent in charge asking Twitter executives to “invite an OGA” (or “Other Government Organization”) to an upcoming meeting. A week later, Stacia Cardille, a senior Twitter legal executive, indicated the OGA was the CIA, an agency under strict limits regarding domestic activities. Twitter’s own ranks included dozens of ex-FBI agents and executives. The dozens of disclosed emails ... do not include still-undisclosed but apparent government coordination with Facebook and other social media companies. Much of that work apparently was done through the multi-agency Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF), which operated secretly it seems to censor citizens. This is a First Amendment violation. The Twitter files have substantiated long-standing concerns over “censorship by surrogate” or proxy. As with other amendments like the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches or seizures, the government cannot use private agents to do indirectly what it cannot do directly. Just as a police officer cannot direct a security guard to break into an apartment and conduct a search, the FBI cannot use Twitter to censor Americans.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


How is the World Health Organization funded, and why does it rely so much on Bill Gates?
2023-02-03, Yahoo News
https://uk.news.yahoo.com/world-health-organization-funded-why-143601256.html...

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ... said last month it was “not right” for the charity to take on such a big role in funding the World Health Organization (WHO). Over the years, the billionaire philanthropists have become the WHO’s second biggest donor, making the health agency heavily dependent on their support to keep functioning. Global health experts say that while this money is welcome, it gives the Gates an outsized influence and underscores the chronic funding problem WHO faces even as it contends with more and more health crises. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation alone is responsible for over 88 per cent of the total amount donated by philanthropic foundations to the WHO. Other contributors include the Bloomberg Family Foundation (3.5 per cent), the Wellcome Trust (1.1 per cent) and the Rockefeller Foundation (0.8 per cent). In 2018-2019, the United States was the largest donor at $893 million, accounting for around 15 per cent of WHO’s budget. The Gates Foundation came only second, with $531 million. Most of these voluntary contributions are “specified” - meaning they are tied to a specific programme or health campaign in a specific part of the world and are given a detailed time frame during which to be spent. Polio eradication, for instance, has long been WHO’s best-funded program, mainly because much of the Gates Foundation’s contributions have been directed to that cause.

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


White House-Linked Venture Capital Fund Boasts China War Would Be Great For Business
2023-02-03, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/02/03/china-americas-frontier-fund/

A war between China and Taiwan will be extremely good for business at America’s Frontier Fund ... according to audio from a February 1 event. The remarks occurred at a tech finance symposium hosted at the Manhattan offices of Silicon Valley Bank. “If the China-Taiwan situation happens, some of our investments will 10x, like overnight,” [a] person who identified as “Tom” said. “So I don’t want to share the name, but the one example I gave was a critical component that ... the total market value is $200 million, but it is a critical component to a $50 billion market cap. That’s like a choke point, right. And so if it’s only produced in China, for example, and there’s a kinetic event in the Pacific, that would 10x overnight, like no question about it. There’s a couple of different things like that.” AFF is surely not the only venture fund that would see stratospheric returns throughout their portfolio in the case of a destabilizing global crisis, like a “kinetic event in the Pacific” — that is to say, war. Gilman Louie, AFF’s co-founder and current CEO, serves as chair of the National Intelligence University, advises Biden through his Intelligence Advisory Board, and was tapped for the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board. Louie previously ran In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital arm. In other words, AFF stands to massively profit from a geopolitical crisis while its CEO advises the Biden administration on geopolitical crises. AFF was founded last year with support from former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

Note: While the detection of a Chinese spy balloon drums up significant fear and outrage over hostile foreign “threats,” an incisive article reveals how US surveillance of foreign countries is quite common, including their recent expansion of military bases in Southeast Asia to monitor and surveil China. Furthermore, many independent journalists are questioning the war-fueling narrative that China is a threat to national security. Watch an insightful analysis uncovering the deeper story of what’s behind the growing tensions between the US and China.


J&J’s Talc Bankruptcy Case Thrown Out by Appeals Court
2023-01-30, Wall Street Journal
https://www.wsj.com/articles/j-js-talc-bankruptcy-case-thrown-out-by-appeals-...

A federal appeals court in Philadelphia rejected Johnson & Johnson ‘s use of chapter 11 bankruptcy to freeze roughly 40,000 lawsuits linking its talc products to cancer, blunting a strategy the consumer health giant and a handful of other profitable companies have used to sidestep jury trials. The Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday dismissed the chapter 11 case of J&J subsidiary LTL Management LLC, which the company created in 2021 to move the talc injury lawsuits to bankruptcy court and freeze them in place. J&J is now exposed once again to talc-related cancer claims that have cost the company’s consumer business $4.5 billion in recent years and are expected to continue for decades. J&J tried to stanch those costs through an emerging corporate restructuring strategy that offered J&J and other companies the protections of bankruptcy, despite their solvent balance sheets and solid credit ratings, and put a total of more than 250,000 injury lawsuits against the businesses on hold. Monday’s decision marks the first time a federal appeals court has disapproved of the bankruptcy strategy, known in legal circles as the Texas Two-Step. The court’s decision could mark tougher scrutiny of the legal tactic, which would make it harder for big companies to move past potentially costly and time-consuming personal-injury litigation. Bankruptcy allows companies swamped by lawsuits to drive settlements of legal liabilities through a chapter 11 plan and stop litigation from advancing in the civil justice system.

Note: Johnson & Johnson knew that its products caused cancer and lied to the public about it for decades. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


New Research Shows Pfizer’s mRNA Vaccine Can Instruct Cells To Produce ‘off-target’ Proteins
2023-01-30, The Pulse
https://www.thepulse.one/p/new-research-shows-pfizers-mrna-vaccine

Since the rollout of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, experts and academics from around the world have been raising numerous short-term and long-term safety concerns. One of these deals with the spike protein that the human cell is instructed to generate as a result of the shot, and how it differs from the spike protein that’s generated from a natural infection. A “pseudouridine” molecule has been added to the mRNA to give it a longer half-life than normal mRNA. Therefore, the production of spike protein within the cell, of those who have been vaccinated, is not being turned off. This is concerning because multiple studies have shown that the vaccine induced spike protein can leak outside of the cell and enter into the blood- stream. This is one possible mechanism of action in which vaccine injuries are occurring. During an autopsy of a vaccinated person who had died after mRNA vaccination, it was found that the vaccine disperses rapidly from the injection site and can be found in nearly all parts of the body. Looking into these concerns is important to figure out why so many COVID vaccine injuries around the world have been reported compared to previous vaccines. Approximately 50 percent of vaccine injuries reported to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) in the last 30 years have all been from COVID products. Concerning autopsy results have also been published. It’s quite clear something very serious about these shots is and has been ignored.

Note: VAERS only captures a portion of vaccine injuries and deaths. Vaccine adverse event numbers are made publically available, and currently show 2,579,111 COVID vaccine injury reports and 37,100 COVID Vaccine Reported Deaths (out of 47,290 Total Reported Deaths from all vaccines). Read our in-depth report about this concerning trend, and how the VAERS system presents an incomplete picture of vaccine injuries. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on COVID vaccines from reliable major media sources.


Congress Should Address Health Care Monopolies
2023-01-30, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/congress-should-address-health-care-monopolies-opini...

A recent Gallup poll found that a whopping 18 million Americans—including 20 percent of Americans who make less than $24,000 annually—cannot afford at least one of their prescriptions. The status quo is sad and tragic and needs to end. Congress can help by addressing seemingly monopolistic forces in the industry that may be keeping costs high. Congress should start by investigating the potential anti-competitive activities posed by the nation's leading drug wholesalers. The nation's three largest pharmaceutical distributors own an estimated 75 percent of the nation's pharmacy services administrative organizations (PSAOs)—the organizations that are supposed to negotiate good drug contract deals on pharmacies' behalf. If the major companies that sell drugs owning the entities that are supposed to restrain drug prices sounds like a clear conflict of interest, that's because it probably is one. And the fact that these three pharma distributors have already been the subject of nationwide Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission lawsuits for seemingly predatory business activities only compounds this alarming antitrust issue. A growing number of states—including Louisiana, Maryland, and Wisconsin—have begun investigating the role that PSAOs may play in America's drug price-gouging problem and have passed legislation to increase PSAO transparency and oversight. That said, this is a federal issue and requires a federal solution.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.


$5.4 billion in covid aid may have gone to firms using suspect Social Security numbers
2023-01-30, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2023/01/30/ppp-covid-fraud-social-sec...

The U.S. government may have awarded roughly $5.4 billion in coronavirus aid to small businesses with potentially ineligible Social Security numbers, offering the latest indication that Washington’s haste earlier in the pandemic opened the door for widespread waste, fraud and abuse. The top watchdog overseeing stimulus spending — called the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, or PRAC — offered the estimate in an alert issued Monday and shared early with The Washington Post. It came as House Republicans prepared to hold their first hearing this week to study the roughly $5 trillion in federal stimulus aid approved since spring 2020. The suspected wave of grift targeted two of the government’s most generous emergency initiatives: the Paycheck Protection Program, known as PPP, and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan, dubbed EIDL. Studying more than 33 million applicants, the PRAC uncovered more than 221,000 ineligible Social Security numbers on requests for small-business aid. That included thousands of cases where the number was “not issued” by the government, for example, or it did not match the correct name and birth information. More than a quarter of those applications, using nearly 70,000 suspect Social Security numbers, were still approved between April 2020 and October 2022 despite the questionable data — and the government loaned those applicants about $5.4 billion, the watchdog found. The full extent of taxpayers’ losses remains unknown, even to Washington.

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


The ‘carbon pirates’ preying on Amazon’s Indigenous communities
2023-01-21, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jan/21/amazon-indigenous-communi...

A number of Indigenous communities in the Amazon say that “carbon pirates” have become a threat to their way of life as western companies seek to secure deals in their territories for offsetting projects. Across the world’s largest rainforest, Indigenous leaders say they are being approached by carbon offsetting firms promising significant financial benefits from the sale of carbon credits if they establish new projects on their lands, as the $2bn (£1.6bn) market booms with net zero commitments from companies in Europe and North America. Proponents of carbon markets, especially those that aim to protect rainforests, say that carbon credits are a good way to fund the new areas and pay Indigenous communities for the stewardship of their lands. The resulting credits could then be used for climate commitments by western companies. Indigenous communities are being taken advantage of in the unregulated sector, with opaque deals for carbon rights that can last up to a century, lengthy contracts written in English, and communities being pushed out of their lands for projects. Examples include Peru’s largest ever carbon deal involving an unnamed extractive firm, where the Kichwa community claim they have been forced from their land in Cordillera Azul national park and received nothing from the $87m agreement. Several Indigenous communities spoke of training themselves in carbon market regulation and organising global exchanges to help others avoid falling victim to “carbon pirates”.

Note: An excellent investigation reveals that over 90% of rainforest offsets are likely to be “phantom credits” and do not represent real carbon reductions, yet are being used by Disney, Shell, Gucci, Salesforce, the band Pearl Jam, and other large corporations. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on climate change from reliable major media sources.


Less Than a Third of Heavily Advertised Drugs have 'High Therapeutic Value': Study as reported by US News and World Report
2023-01-18, US News & World Report
https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2023-01-18/less-than-a-third...

Television ads for drugs are filled with glowing images of people living their best lives, all thanks to that new med they've been prescribed. But drugs being touted on TV often have little to no benefit compared to other treatments, a new study published online Jan. 13 in JAMA Network Open finds. Fewer than one-third of drugs commonly advertised in the United States are highly rated first-line therapies, based on regulatory reviews from three different health agencies, the researchers said. Further, medications categorized as "low benefit" accounted for nearly $16 billion of the $22 billion in TV ad spending during the six-year study period, the results showed. "Proponents of direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising often argue that these ads have high public health value by encouraging uptake of the most therapeutically beneficial therapies. Our study pushes back against this argument," said lead researcher Neeraj Patel. "The U.S. is one of only two high-income countries in the world that widely permits direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs," Patel said. "And there's been a ton of empirical research over the past two decades that has suggested that this type of advertising can be misleading, lead to inappropriate prescribing, and inflate health care costs." In the meantime, people should have frank discussions with their doctor about any drug that's caught their eye on TV, focusing on the real risks and benefits, Patel said.

Note: This profoundly eye-opening interview of a top cardiologist reveals without doubt how big Pharma has corrupted science and greatly damaged public health. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


COVID-19 Drugmakers Pressured Twitter to Censor Activists Pushing for Generic Vaccine
2023-01-16, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/01/16/twitter-covid-vaccine-pharma/

Vaccine-makers sought to shape content moderation actions at Twitter. Stronger, a campaign run by Public Good Projects, a public health nonprofit specializing in large-scale media monitoring programs, regularly communicated with Twitter on regulating content related to the pandemic. The firm worked closely with the San Francisco social media giant to help develop bots to censor vaccine misinformation and, at times, sent direct requests to Twitter with lists of accounts to censor and verify. Internal Twitter emails show regular correspondence between an account manager at Public Good Projects, and various Twitter officials, including Todd O’Boyle, lobbyist with the company who served as a point of contact with the Biden administration. The content moderation requests were sent throughout 2021 and early 2022. The entire campaign ... was entirely funded by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a vaccine industry lobbying group. BIO, which is financed by companies such as Moderna and Pfizer, provided Stronger with $1,275,000 in funding for the effort, which included tools for the public to flag content on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for moderation. Many of the tweets flagged by Stronger contained absolute falsehoods. But others hinged on a gray area of vaccine policy through which there is reasonable debate, such as requests to label or take down content critical of vaccine passports and government mandates to require vaccination.

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