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Corporate Corruption News Stories

Below are key excerpts of revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable news media sources. If any link fails to function, a paywall blocks full access, or the article is no longer available, try these digital tools.

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A Democrat’s obsessive quest to change the way America is farmed and fed
2023-07-26, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-08-15 13:23:09
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jul/26/earl-blumenauer-agricultu...

Each year for the last 26 years – nearly his entire tenure in the US Congress – Earl Blumenauer has advocated for a law that would utterly transform US agriculture. Nearly every time, though, his proposals have been shut down. Even so, he persists. Blumenauer, a Democrat from Oregon, wants to see a version of US agriculture that centers people, animals and the environment, rather than the large-scale, energy-intensive commodity crop farms that currently receive billions of dollars in subsidies. Blumenauer’s newest plan, the Food and Farm Act, was introduced earlier this year, as an alternative to the farm bill – the package of food and agricultural policies passed every five years that is up for renewal this fall. His proposal would redirect billions of dollars away from subsidies for commodity farms towards programs that support small farmers, climate-friendly agriculture and increasing healthy food access. “Most of us don’t even know that the public dollars initially designed to protect farmers and keep supply managed to feed a hungry nation in the Great Depression are now reinforcing wealthy agribusiness corporations to grow commodities that are not even meant for human consumption,” said Joshua Newell, a policy analyst. Most of the farms excluded from subsidy payments are those using sustainable growing methods that preserve soil and benefit the climate. Blumenauer’s bill would ... ensure more funding goes toward sustainable farming practices.

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


Why did the National Honey Board hire a PR firm that works for the pesticide industry?
2023-08-08, U.S. Right to Know
Posted: 2023-08-15 13:16:54
https://usrtk.org/pesticides/national-honey-board-porter-novelli/

In 2016, the American honey industry faced a crisis: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had found high levels of glyphosate, an herbicide linked to cancer, in honey samples from Iowa. The National Honey Board (NHB), a honey industry-funded agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, did what many businesses under fire have done: They hired a crisis management public relations firm, in this case to downplay the risks of glyphosate in honey. The PR firm, Porter Novelli, later worked with the NHB to deflect concerns about honey containing neonicotinoids. The insect-killing chemicals are tied to the collapse of bee colonies. At the same time, Porter Novelli was working for Bayer, a leading manufacturer of glyphosate and neonicotinoids. The PR firm’s work for Bayer included promoting the use of neonicotinoids and opposing regulations that would safeguard honey bees. CropLife America, the pesticide industry lobby group, has also hired Porter Novelli’s subsidiary, Paradigm Communications, to “lead the effort to shift how pesticide products were portrayed in search engine results,” according to the Intercept. Search terms compiled by CropLife America staff included “neonicotinoid,” “pollinators,” and “neonics.” As other countries responded to the science by banning neonics, in the U.S., “industry dug in, seeking not only to discredit the research but to cast pesticide companies as a solution to the problem." Studies show the insecticides are toxic to the brain and nervous system [of humans].

Note: According to the CDC, about half the U.S. population is exposed to at least one neonic on a regular basis, with children ages 3-5 years old having the highest levels. Merchants of Poison: How Monsanto Sold the World on a Toxic Pesticide is a recent and comprehensive analysis of documents released in litigation against Monsanto that expose years of pesticide industry disinformation. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption.


The Biden Appointee Spearheading AI Accountability Has Close Ties To Google
2023-07-31, Huffington Post
Posted: 2023-08-07 21:38:18
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/alan-davidson-google-ai-accountability_n_64c7f...

Alan Davidson currently leads the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, or NTIA, the agency now crafting recommendations on how federal regulators can hold AI companies accountable. But for years, he worked as Google's chief lobbyist in Washington. NTIA's recommendations will help form the basis of the Biden administration's response to AI and machine learning. "People are warning that there are really serious downsides possible to AI, and I would want a hard-headed regulator to run down those concerns," said Jeff Hauser, the executive director of the Revolving Door Project, a watchdog focused on conflicts of interest in government. "Davidson is not likely, based on his CV, to be detached." Rapid advances in AI present a potential turning point for Silicon Valley's dominant tech firms. Notably, the first company to capture national attention with the launch of a new AI product was not a household name, like Google or Microsoft, but the independent research lab OpenAI, with its splashy launch of ChatGPT. Google reportedly sees the AI products it has in the pipeline as so pivotal to the company's future that Sergey Brin, the Google co-founder lately absorbed with outside projects, has returned to company headquarters to work directly with the team building its flagship AI system. "Google is the biggest player who cares about this issue," [said former Hill aide involved in antitrust policy]. "I cannot imagine Google doesn't view Alan Davidson as an asset to them."

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


'Verified human': Worldcoin users queue up for iris scans
2023-07-25, Reuters
Posted: 2023-08-07 21:36:41
https://www.reuters.com/technology/verified-human-worldcoin-users-queue-up-ir...

People around the world are getting their eyeballs scanned in exchange for a digital ID and the promise of free cryptocurrency. The Worldcoin project says it aims to create a new "identity and financial network" and that its digital ID will allow users to, among other things, prove online that they are human, not a bot. The project launched on Monday, with eyeball scans taking place in countries including Britain, Japan and India. At a crypto conference in Tokyo, people on Tuesday queued in front of a gleaming silver globe flanked by placards stating: "Orbs are here." Applicants lined up to have their irises scanned by the device, before waiting for the 25 free Worldcoin tokens the company says verified users can claim. Worldcoin's data-collection is a "potential privacy nightmare," said the Electronic Privacy Information Center. Worldcoin's privacy policy ... says that data may be passed to subcontractors and could be accessed by governments and authorities. UK privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch said there was a risk biometric data could be hacked or exploited. "Digital ID systems increase state and corporate control over individuals' lives and rarely live up to the extraordinary benefits technocrats tend to attribute to them," senior advocacy officer Madeleine Stone said. In a mall in Bengaluru, India, orb-operators approached passers-by on Tuesday and showed them how to sign up. Most interviewed by Reuters said they were not worried about privacy.

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.


The Military Origins of Facebook
2021-04-12, Unlimited Hangout
Posted: 2023-08-07 21:32:08
https://unlimitedhangout.com/2021/04/investigative-reports/the-military-origi...

While Facebook has long sought to portray itself as a "town square" that allows people from across the world to connect, a deeper look into its apparently military origins and continual military connections reveals that the world's largest social network was always intended to act as a surveillance tool to identify and target domestic dissent. LifeLog was one of several controversial post-9/11 surveillance programs pursued by the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) that threatened to destroy privacy and civil liberties in the United States. LifeLog sought to .. build a digital record of "everything an individual says, sees, or does." In 2015, [DARPA architect Douglas] Gage told VICE that "Facebook is the real face of pseudo-LifeLog." He tellingly added, “We have ended up providing the same kind of detailed personal information without arousing the kind of opposition that LifeLog provoked.” A few months into Facebook's launch, in June 2004, Facebook cofounders Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz [had] its first outside investor, Peter Thiel. Thiel, in coordination with the CIA, was actively trying to resurrect controversial DARPA programs. Thiel formally acquired $500,000 worth of Facebook shares and was added its board. Thiel's longstanding symbiotic relationship with Facebook cofounders extends to his company Palantir, as the data that Facebook users make public invariably winds up in Palantir's databases and helps drive the surveillance engine Palantir runs for a handful of US police departments, the military, and the intelligence community.

Note: Consider reading the full article by investigative reporter Whitney Webb to explore the scope of Facebook's military origins and the rise of mass surveillance. Read more about the relationship between the national security state and Google, Facebook, TikTok, and the entertainment industry. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Pentagon Profiteers: Executive Compensation In The Arms Industry
2022-12-12, Forbes
Posted: 2023-07-23 15:26:28
https://www.forbes.com/sites/williamhartung/2022/12/12/pentagon-profiteers-ex...

Funding for the Department of Defense and related work on nuclear weapons at the Department of Energy will reach more than $850 billion in Fiscal Year 2023, far higher than spending at the height of the Cold War or the peak years of the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. While advocates of spending these enormous sums often argue that the money is needed to "support the troops," more than half of the Pentagon's yearly budget goes to private contractors, many of whom are making hefty profits at taxpayer expense while producing flawed products at exorbitant prices. One telling example of how these companies waste taxpayer dollars is how much they pay their top executives. In 2021 ... the CEOs of the top five contractors received compensation ranging from $18 million to $23 million each, including James Taiclet of Lockheed Martin, $18.1 million; David Calhoun of Boeing, $21.1 million; Gregory Hayes of Raytheon, $21.8 million; Phebe Novakovic of General Dynamics, $23.5 million; and Kathy Warden of Northrop Grumman, $19.9 million. Since these firms receive a large share of their revenue from U.S. government contracts, much of this excessive executive compensation is essentially subsidized by the taxpayers. Defense executives wouldn't be able to earn multi-million dollar salaries if their companies weren't grabbing billions in Pentagon contract awards. In addition to campaign contributions, the industry spent over $100 million on lobbying in just the first three quarters of 2022.

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


World's 722 biggest companies 'making $1tn in windfall profits'
2023-07-05, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-07-23 15:22:28
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/jul/06/worlds-722-biggest-companies...

The world's 722 biggest companies collectively are making more than $1tn a year in windfall profits on the back of soaring energy prices and rising interest rates. The companies made $1.08tn this way in 2021 and $1.09tn last year, according to analysis of Forbes magazine data by the charities Oxfam and ActionAid. The collective profits were 89% higher than the previous four-year average covering 2017-2020. Windfall profits are defined as those exceeding average profits in the previous four years by more than 10%. Energy companies recorded the highest windfall profits. Of the 45 energy firms on Forbes list of the 2,000 biggest companies, they made on average $237bn a year in windfall profits in 2021 and 2022. Many food and beverage corporations, banks, pharmaceutical companies and retailers also reported a surge in profits during a cost-of-living crisis in which more than a quarter of a billion people in 58 countries experienced acute food insecurity in 2022. Those profits have stoked accusations of "greedflation" – pushing through excessive price increases and driving up inflation. Katy Chakrabortty, Oxfam's head of advocacy, said "A corporate bonanza is supercharging inflation, leaving millions of people in the UK and around the world struggling to pay their bills and feed their families. The windfall profits of 18 food and beverage corporations are more than twice the amount needed to cover the shortfall in life-saving assistance to tens of millions of people."

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


'Outrageous': MEPs condemn pesticide companies for withholding toxicity data
2023-07-19, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-07-23 15:20:23
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jul/19/meps-condemn-pesticide-co...

The pesticide companies Bayer and Syngenta have been excoriated in a European parliament hearing after failing to disclose studies on the brain toxicity of their products. European regulators said the companies had breached legal obligations and behaved unethically. The withholding of nine brain toxicity studies from European regulators over the last 20 years was revealed by the Guardian in June, reporting findings from Swedish academics. They discovered that these toxicity studies had been submitted to the US pesticide regulator but not to the EU authorities. Dr Axel Mie, of Stockholm University, who led the research ... told a special hearing in the European parliament on Tuesday: "If a company decides by themselves which studies to disclose and which ones to withhold, it is obvious that the decisions by the [regulatory] authorities become unreliable." He said risk management decisions had been delayed by 18 years in one case. MEPs were scathing about the companies. The Swedish MEP Emma Wiesner, a member of the European parliament's committee on the environment, public health and food safety, said: "The behaviour found in this study is really unacceptable. More than a quarter of the studies [sent to US authorities] were not sent into the European agencies – that is outrageous." Martin H¤usling, a German MEP and member of the agriculture committee, said: "This is a right old scandal. These [are] clear breaches of existing law and previous law. And yet there are no consequences."

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


The Google employee who helped Edward Snowden in Hong Kong
2023-06-18, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-07-17 15:06:45
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jun/18/google-employee-edward-snowde...

On the morning of 10 June 2013 ... the journalist Glenn Greenwald and film-maker Laura Poitras published on the Guardian site a video revealing the identity of the NSA whistleblower behind one of the most damning leaks in modern history. It began: "My name is Ed Snowden." William Fitzgerald, then a 27-year-old policy employee at Google, knew he wanted to help. Fitzgerald found himself waiting in the lobby of the Hong Kong W Hotel to meet Greenwald and introduce him to Robert Tibbo and Jonathan Man – the men who became Snowden's legal representatives and hid him in the homes of Tibbo's refugee clients. The Snowden files told a ... sinister story, revealing mass surveillance by the US National Security Agency (NSA). The NSA files suggested that some tech firms, including Google, Facebook and Apple, were aware. Google and other tech firms worked to distance themselves from the NSA's efforts. But over time [Google's] culture appeared to shift, reflecting the changing needs of various governments. Google stopped promoting its transparency report to the media, free expression advocates were replaced by more traditional business-focused executives, and then there was Project Maven – the controversial Department of Defense drone project that Google signed on to build artificial intelligence for. Google isn't alone in vying for government contracts – Microsoft, Amazon, IBM have all since made a play for or struck multimillion-dollar deals to build tools of surveillance for various entities including the Pentagon.

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


Meltdowns Have Brought Progressive Advocacy Groups to a Standstill at a Critical Moment in World History
2022-06-13, The Intercept
Posted: 2023-07-17 15:03:31
https://theintercept.com/2022/06/13/progressive-organizing-infighting-callout...

Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and other reproductive health organizations [have] been locked in knock-down, drag-out fights between competing factions of their organizations ... which has, more or less, effectively ceased to function. The Sierra Club, Demos, the American Civil Liberties Union, Color of Change, the Movement for Black Lives, Human Rights Campaign, Time's Up, the Sunrise Movement, and many other organizations have seen wrenching and debilitating turmoil in the past couple years. In fact, it's hard to find a Washington-based progressive organization that hasn't been in tumult, or isn't currently in tumult. This is a caricature of the left: spend more time in meetings ... fighting with each other than changing the world. It has become nearly all-consuming for some organizations, spreading beyond subcultures of the left and into major liberal institutions. "My last nine months, I was spending 90 to 95 percent of my time on internal strife," [a] former executive director said. [Activist Loretta] Ross, in an essay for the New York Times, ends with a call for grace. "I say to people today, as a survivor of COINTELPRO," she told me, referring to the FBI scheme to infiltrate and disrupt leftist movements by sowing internal dissension, "if you're more wedded to destabilizing an organization than unifying it, part of me is gonna think you're nave, and the other part of me is gonna think you're a plant. And neither one of those is going to look good on you."

Note: Watch Loretta Ross's powerful Ted Talk on simple tools to help shift our culture from fighting each other to working together in the face of polarizing social issues. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


'I'm not a doctor just FYI': the influencers paid to hawk drugs on TikTok
2023-03-17, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-07-10 16:44:46
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/mar/17/patient-influencers-tiktok-in...

A young TikTok user has long, wavy hair. She's slim and wants you to know exactly why: she's using Wegovy, a prescription drug originally developed to treat diabetes that's become a popular drug for weight loss. In one clip, she picks up the medication from a pharmacy ... then demonstrates in a following clip how she injects it into her leg. She's what's called a patient influencer. They have no medical training and claim that they're simply sharing their personal experiences with their TikTok and Instagram followers. But in this ... unregulated arena, it's gotten harder to tell when influencing crosses legal and ethical lines. Many patient influencers offer prescription drug advice to their followers without always revealing their relationships with drug companies, according to Erin Willis ... who authored a study about patient influencers. A patient influencer can expect to earn anywhere from "the low hundreds to a few thousand dollars" per social media post. Part of what makes patient influencers effective is that they often push messaging further than what would be allowed on media like TV, where ads are far more closely scrutinized by regulators like the FDA and Federal Trade Commission. Willis calls patient influencing "an interactive form of advertising" that's "difficult to regulate, if it's been regulated at all". Studies find [direct-to-consumer] ads lead to doctors prescribing them more – driving the market for these ads to nearly $7bn last year, industry statistics show.

Note: This controversial marketing tactic is only legal in the United States and New Zealand. Read more about how these tactics are quickly becoming the "wild west of pharma advertising," especially when the FDA’s social media guidance hasn’t been updated since 2014. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


Weapons contractors hitting Department of Defense with inflated prices for planes, submarines, missiles
2023-05-21, CBS News
Posted: 2023-07-10 16:36:38
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/weapons-contractors-price-gouging-pentagon-60-mi...

With the U.S. supplying billions-of-dollars of munitions to Ukraine and growing tensions in the Taiwan Strait, some Pentagon generals are sounding alarms about the dwindling supply of U.S. weapons ... at a time when the cost of replacing them is skyrocketing. A six-month investigation by 60 Minutes found it has less to do with foreign entanglements than domestic ones - what can only be described as price gouging by U.S. defense contractors. It wasn't always like this. The roots of the problem can be traced to 1993, when the Pentagon, looking to cut costs, urged defense companies to merge. Fifty one major contractors consolidated to five giants. The landscape has totally changed. In the '80s, there was intense competition amongst a number of companies. And so the government had choices. They had leverage. We have limited leverage now. The problem was compounded when the Pentagon, in another cost saving move, cut 130,000 employees whose jobs were to negotiate and oversee defense contracts. The Pentagon granted companies unprecedented leeway to monitor themselves. Instead of saving money ... the price of almost everything began to rise. In the competitive environment before the companies consolidated, a shoulder fired stinger missile cost $25,000 in 1991. With Raytheon now the sole supplier, it costs more than $400,000 to replace each missile sent to Ukraine ... even accounting for inflation and some improvements that's a seven-fold increase

Note: Leading military contractors are hiking up prices of everyday products as well, costing US taxpayers more than $1.3 million in unnecessary markups. Explore how the Pentagon paid arms manufacturer Boeing over $200,000 for four trash cans used in surveillance planes (roughly $51,606 per unit).  War profiteering happens on many levels, as articulated in a summary of War is a Racket by General Smedley D. Butler.


The AI firm that conducted ‘state surveillance’ of your social media posts
2023-06-03, The Telegraph (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-07-10 16:34:03
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2023/06/03/logically-ai-firm-social-media-po...

These blank-looking warehouses are home to an artificial intelligence (AI) company used by the Government to monitor people’s posts on social media. Logically has been paid more than £1.2 million of taxpayers’ money to analyse what the Government terms “disinformation” – false information deliberately seeded online – and “misinformation”, which is false information that has been spread inadvertently. It does this by “ingesting” material from more than hundreds of thousands of media sources and “all public posts on major social media platforms”, using AI to identify those that are potentially problematic. It has a £1.2 million deal with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), as well as another worth up to £1.4 million with the Department of Health and Social Care to monitor threats to high-profile individuals within the vaccine service. Other blue-chip clients include US federal agencies, the Indian electoral commission, and TikTok. It also has a “partnership” with Facebook, which appears to grant Logically’s fact-checkers huge influence over the content other people see. A joint press release issued in July 2021 suggests that Facebook will limit the reach of certain posts if Logically says they are untrue. “When Logically rates a piece of content as false, Facebook will significantly reduce its distribution so that fewer people see it, apply a warning label to let people know that the content has been rated false, and notify people who try to share it,” states the press release.

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


Agency Under Homeland Security Masterminded the Attempt to Control Public's Thought and Speech During Pandemic
2023-06-30, The Defender
Posted: 2023-07-10 16:31:18
https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/cisa-homeland-security-control-th...

On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee released a report on how the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) "colluded with Big Tech and 'disinformation' partners to censor Americans." The 36-page report raises three familiar issues: first, government actors worked with third parties to overturn the First Amendment; second, censors prioritized political narratives over truthfulness; and third, an unaccountable bureaucracy hijacked American society. The House Report reveals that CISA, a branch of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, worked with social media platforms to censor posts it considered dis-, mis- or malinformation. Brian Scully, the head of CISA's censorship team, conceded that this process, known as "switchboarding," would "trigger content moderation." Additionally, CISA funded the nonprofit EI-ISAC in 2020 to bolster its censorship operations. In launching the nonprofit, the government boasted that it "leverage[d] DHS CISA's relationship with social media organizations to ensure priority treatment of misinformation reports." The switchboard programs directly contradict sworn testimony from CISA Director Jen Easterly. The report outlines how CISA censored "malinformation – truthful information that, according to the government, may carry the potential to mislead." Dr. Kate Starbird, a member of CISA's "Misinformation & Disinformation" subcommittee, lamented that many Americans seem to "accept malinformation as 'speech' and within democratic norms."

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


Government Contracts With COVID Vaccine Makers Let Federal Agencies Bypass Normal Regulatory Process, FOIA Documents Show
2023-06-30, The Defender
Posted: 2023-07-10 16:28:49
https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/hhs-barda-covid-vaccine-makers-by...

A little-known federal agency called BARDA dedicated to countering "health security threats" was responsible for conducting the quality review of every COVID-19 vaccine dose administered in the U.S., Sasha Latypova reported on her Substack. But BARDA, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which has a "militarized" purpose according to Latypova, is not subject to the same regulations as typical pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors or regulatory agencies. "The public was told these vaccines are made by Pfizer and Moderna and rigorously approved by the FDA," [said Latypova]. That ... would mean that the "consumer protections we expect from pharmaceutical products, medical devices and even food ... we expect them to be in place." But in fact, countermeasures contracts made available through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests ... and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission disclosures show the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and BARDA contracts with the pharmaceutical companies were structured such that these protections weren't required. The contracts also specified that manufacturers and federal agencies were protected by the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act, which shields "covered persons" – such as pharmaceutical companies, or the DOD/BARDA – from liability for injuries sustained from "countermeasures," such as vaccines ... administered during a public health emergency.

Note: Sasha Latypova is a former pharmaceutical industry executive who now specializes in uncovering fraud in pharmaceutical research, development, and manufacturing. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.


Merck accused of downplaying early evidence of drug's brain impact
2023-06-26, Reuters
Posted: 2023-07-03 15:52:52
https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/merck-accused-dow...

An early magazine advertisement for Merck's breakthrough asthma and allergy medicine, Singulair, featured a happy child, hanging upside-down from a tree. Asthmatic kids could now breathe easier, the text assured, and side effects were "usually mild" and "similar to a sugar pill." When the drug launched in 1998, its label said the drug's distribution in the brain was "minimal," with no mention of psychiatric side effects. Merck's early safety claims later faced intense scrutiny amid reports over two decades that patients, including many children, had died by suicide or experienced neuropsychiatric problems after taking the drug. The FDA in 2020 ordered its most serious warning, known as a "black box," on Singulair's label. And Merck now faces a raft of lawsuits alleging it knew from its early research that the drug could impact the brain and that it minimized the potential for psychiatric problems in statements to regulators. The lawsuits cite the research of Julia Marschallinger, a cell biologist who has studied the drug along with colleagues at the Institute of Molecular Regenerative Medicine in Austria. That team found in 2015 that the drug's distribution into the brain was more significant than its label described. In its original patent for Singulair, Merck cited other applications for the drug, beyond asthma and allergies, including as a treatment for "cerebral spasm," a neurological condition. Lawsuits filed against Merck cite this 1996 patent as evidence of Merck's knowledge of the drug's potential brain impacts.

Note: Read more about Singulair and its dangers to human health, along with the tremendous financial conflicts of interests resulting in the FDA protecting the pharmaceutical industry first, and the health of the people second. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption from reliable major media sources.


A son died, his parents tried to sue. How U.S. courts protect Big Pharma
2023-06-26, Reuters
Posted: 2023-07-03 15:50:33
https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-lawsuits-merck-singul...

Nicholas England, a healthy 22-year-old from Virginia, shot himself in the head in 2017, less than two weeks after he started taking an allergy medicine that had been linked for years to episodes of depression and suicidal thinking. His parents soon started exploring a lawsuit against Merck, the developer of the blockbuster asthma and allergy drug, Singulair. Nicholas had no history of mental-health problems, they said. The Englands were shocked to learn from legal advisers that they had no case. Like countless other potential plaintiffs, they had run into one of Corporate America's most effective liability shields: the legal doctrine of preemption, the principle that federal law supersedes state law. Armed with U.S. Supreme Court rulings on preemption starting in the 1990s, companies increasingly argue that federally regulated products or services should be immune from lawsuits alleging state-law violations. State laws historically have provided the legal basis for some of the most common lawsuits against U.S. companies alleging injuries, deaths or illnesses caused by negligence or defective products. Pending lawsuits against Merck allege that the company's own early research indicated the drug could impact the brain but that Merck downplayed any risks in statements to regulators. It wasn't until 2020 that the FDA slapped its most serious warning, called a "black box," on the drug's label. By that time, the FDA had received more than 80 reports of suicides in people taking the medicine.

Note: Read more about Singulair and its dangers to human health, along with the tremendous financial conflicts of interests resulting in the FDA protecting the pharmaceutical industry first, and the health of the people second. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption from reliable major media sources.


Instagram Connects Vast Pedophile Network
2023-06-07, Wall Street Journal
Posted: 2023-06-26 19:05:45
https://www.wsj.com/articles/instagram-vast-pedophile-network-4ab7189?mod=tre...

Instagram, the popular social-media site owned by Platforms, helps connect and promote a vast network of accounts openly devoted to the commission and purchase of underage-sex content, according to investigations by The Wall Street Journal and researchers at Stanford University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Instagram doesn't merely host these activities. Its algorithms promote them. Instagram connects pedophiles and guides them to content sellers via recommendation systems that excel at linking those who share niche interests. Certain accounts invite buyers to commission specific acts. Some menus include prices for videos of children harming themselves and "imagery of the minor performing sexual acts with animals." At the right price, children are available for in-person "meet ups." Current and former Meta employees who have worked on Instagram child-safety initiatives estimate the number of accounts that exist primarily to follow such content is in the high hundreds of thousands, if not millions. In 2022, the [National Center for Missing & Exploited Children] received 31.9 million reports of child pornography ... up 47% from two years earlier. Meta accounted for 85% of the child pornography reports filed to the center, including some 5 million from Instagram. Instagram has permitted users to search for terms that its own algorithms know may be associated with illegal material. In such cases, a pop-up screen for users warned that "These results may contain images of child sexual abuse."

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


How Facebook and Instagram became marketplaces for child sex trafficking
2023-04-27, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-06-26 19:04:10
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2023/apr/27/how-facebook-and-instagram-becam...

Maya Jones* was only 13 when she first walked through the door of Courtney’s House, a drop-in centre for victims of child sex trafficking. When she was 12, she had started receiving direct messages on Instagram from a man she didn’t know. She decided to meet him in person. Then came his next request: “Can you help me make some money?” According to Frundt, Maya explained that the man asked her to pose naked for photos, and to give him her Instagram password so that he could upload the photos to her profile. Frundt says Maya told her that the man, who was now calling himself a pimp, was using her Instagram profile to advertise her for sex. The internet is used by human traffickers as “digital hunting fields”, allowing them access to both customers and potential victims, with children being targeted by traffickers on social media platforms. The biggest of these, Facebook, is owned by Meta, the tech giant whose platforms, which also include Instagram, are used by more than 3 billion people. In 2020, according to a report by US-based not-for-profit the Human Trafficking Institute, Facebook was the platform most used to groom and recruit children by sex traffickers (65%), based on an analysis of 105 federal child sex trafficking cases that year. The HTI analysis ranked Instagram second most prevalent, with Snapchat third. While Meta says it is doing all it can, we have seen evidence that suggests it is failing to report or even detect the full extent of what is happening.

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


JPMorgan to Pay $290 Million in Settlement With Epstein's Victims
2023-06-12, New York Times
Posted: 2023-06-26 19:02:43
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/06/12/business/jpmorgan-settlement-jeffrey-epste...

JPMorgan Chase reached a tentative settlement with sexual abuse victims of Jeffrey Epstein, the deceased financier, after weeks of embarrassing disclosures about the bank's longstanding relationship with him. David Boies, one of the lead lawyers for the victims, said the bank was prepared to pay $290 million to resolve the lawsuit. The proposed deal would settle a lawsuit filed ... on behalf of victims who were sexually abused by Mr. Epstein over a roughly 15-year period when they were teenage girls and young women. The number of victims could potentially rise to more than 100. JPMorgan still faces a related lawsuit by the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands. That suit remains the biggest outstanding Epstein-related case after years of lawsuits against Mr. Epstein's estate and Ghislaine Maxwell's conviction in 2021 in Manhattan federal court for helping Mr. Epstein engage in sex trafficking. The lawsuit filed by the victims claimed that JPMorgan ignored repeated warnings that Mr. Epstein had been trafficking teenage girls and young women for sex, even after he registered as a sex offender and pleaded guilty in a 2008 Florida case to soliciting prostitution from a teenage girl. The complaint said the bank had overlooked red flags in Mr. Epstein's activity because it valued him as a wealthy client who had access to dozens of even wealthier people. Legal documents revealed that after designating Mr. Epstein a "high risk client" in 2006, the bank kept him on as a customer.

Note: One Nation Under Blackmail is a new book by Whitney Webb, an investigative journalist who explores the deep ties between Jeffrey Epstein and US and Israeli Intelligence criminal networks. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of news articles on Jeffrey Epstein's child sex ring from reliable major media sources.


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