Corruption in Science News ArticlesExcerpts of key news articles on corruption in science
More than 200 scientists employed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service say they have been directed to alter official findings to lessen protections for plants and animals, a survey released Wednesday says. More than half of the biologists and other researchers who responded to the survey said they knew of cases in which commercial interests, including timber, grazing, development and energy companies, had applied political pressure to reverse scientific conclusions deemed harmful to their business.
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A group of student activists sat in the library at George Mason University this past week feeling both vindicated and violated. The group, Transparent GMU, had sued ... last year after it was denied requests for documents that it suspected showed how deep-pocket donors were given undue influence over academic affairs. After a recent court hearing in the case, the university released those documents. The documents reveal in surprising detail that for years, as George Mason grew from a little-known commuter school to a major public university and a center of libertarian scholarship, millions of dollars in donations from conservative-leaning donors like the Charles Koch Foundation had come with strings attached. As early as 1990, entities controlled by the billionaire brothers Charles G. and David H. Koch were given a seat on a committee to pick candidates for a professorship that they funded. Similar arrangements that continued through 2009 gave donors decision-making roles in selecting candidates for key economics appointments. In 2016, executives of the Federalist Society, a conservative national organization of lawyers, served as agents for a $20 million gift from an anonymous donor, and were given the right to terminate installments of the gift at their discretion. Federalist Society officials were also involved in hiring discussions and had suggested a student for admission. In academia, such influence is viewed as inappropriate.
Note: The above article suggests that the secretive empire built by the Koch brothers to manipulate US politics extends deep into academia. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
North Carolina officials say the third and final compensation payment to sterilization victims should be mailed soon, marking the end of a 15-year pursuit of financial help for them. A spokeswoman for the state Department of Administration tells the Winston-Salem Journal that officials are verifying the final number of qualified claimants and confirming addresses. Spokeswoman Gena Renfrow says payments will be prepared once that's done. About 7,600 people were sterilized under North Carolina's eugenics program before it ended in 1974. The N.C. Industrial Commission has certified more than 200 victims, who have received two previous payments of $20,000 and $15,000. The payments are being finalized nearly two months after a decision by the N.C. Court of Appeals rejecting arguments from the heirs of some victims about the law.
Note: North Carolina was one of 31 US states to run a eugenics program. An estimated 65,000 people were sterilized by these programs. Female prison inmates in California were sterilized without consent as recently as 2010. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Since 2000, the number of overdose deaths from drugs in the U.S. has risen more than 137%. Deaths from opioids - which include painkillers and heroin - make up a large portion of these deaths; 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Federal numbers like these reveal a dire situation. But a new study finds that many opioid-related deaths are underreported, and that the full picture of the epidemic may be worse than even those numbers show. In the report, Christopher Ruhm, a professor of public policy & economics at the University of Virginia ... found that nationwide, the death rate from opioids is 24% higher than what has been estimated previously. Deaths related to heroin, which is cheaper than prescription painkillers, are 22% higher, he says. When hospitals enter the cause of death on a person’s death certificate, the drugs that contributed might not be specified, or multiple drugs will be listed as present. Between 20%-25% of the overdose death certificates Ruhm studied did not have any drug specified, suggesting that statewide estimates of deaths linked to opioids could be significantly off. Ruhm found that the overall death rates from opioids were substantially underreported across the U.S. - by more than half in Pennsylvania, for example. The growth in death rates from 2008 to 2014 - the time period Ruhm studied - was also substantially underestimated in many states.
Note: The city of Everett, Washington is currently suing Purdue Pharma, maker of the opioid pain medication OxyContin, for the company's alleged role in the diversion of its pills to black market buyers. For other reliable information on pharmaceutical involvement in the huge increase in opioid deaths, see Dr. Mercola's excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing pharmaceutical corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Law enforcement officials announced last spring that they were pursuing fraud investigations against the world’s largest oil company, ExxonMobil. “Fossil fuel companies ... deceived investors and consumers about the dangers of climate change,” [Attorney General Maura] Healey said at the time. Now those words are being used against Healey, in a lawsuit filed by ExxonMobil. In a stunning offense-is-the-best-defense legal strategy, the company is ... saying the Massachusetts Democrat’s investigation violates their free speech and other constitutional rights. In its legal battle to shut down her investigation, ExxonMobil has demanded that she testify about her efforts and provide documents from her office. Healey contends the corporate response is unprecedented: Not only is [ExxonMobil] refusing to comply, it is demanding an investigation of the investigating agency. “They took the tack of trying to shut down this investigation by suing us,” she said. When Healey issued subpoenas seeking ExxonMobil’s documents on climate change dating to the 1970s, she was “abusing the power of government to silence a speaker she disfavors,” lawyers for ExxonMobil wrote in their June lawsuit against her, alleging a violation of the company’s rights. And they criticized the stories that prompted the investigation: Reports published in 2015 ... suggested ExxonMobil had encouraged climate change confusion for years, despite its own research documenting the risks.
Would you read a story if this was the headline: "New study raises questions about an experimental treatment that might not work and won't be ready for a long time." That description would apply to most medical studies that make the news but would be unlikely to generate the clicks, taps, likes and shares that propel a story through cyberspace and social media. What gets clicks? Words like "breakthrough," "groundbreaking," "game changer" and "lifesaver." Since the 1970s, the use of positive words in scientific abstracts increased by 880 per cent, according to a study last December in the British Medical Journal. And now, the world's stem cell scientists have been told to stop the hype. The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) issued new guidelines last week that urge scientists to dial back their enthusiasm when talking publicly about their research. Because people are getting hurt. Last December, the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. issued a warning letter to a U.S.-based company offering stem cell therapies for a range of diseases, including autism, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. And a U.K. newspaper claims its undercover investigation lead to the closure of a controversial clinic in Germany where a child died after having stem cells injected into his brain. "There is ... an industry already out there that is marketing unproven therapies directly to patients," said George Daley, a member of the ISSCR and a professor at Harvard Medical School. "It is part of the concern that has raised the alarm."
Note: According to Richard Horton, chief editor of The Lancet, up to half of all science journal claims may be untrue. Read also the revealing comments of Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, on the massive corruption she found in the health industry. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing science corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Doctors and psychologists the CIA employed to monitor its "enhanced interrogation" of terror suspects came close to, and may even have committed, unlawful human experimentation, a medical ethics watchdog has alleged. Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), a not-for-profit group that has investigated the role of medical personnel in alleged incidents of torture at Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram and other US detention sites, accuses doctors of being far more involved than hitherto understood. PHR says health professionals participated at every stage in the development, implementation and legal justification of what it calls the CIA's secret "torture programme". The most incendiary accusation of PHR's latest report, Aiding Torture, is that doctors actively monitored the CIA's interrogation techniques with a view to determining their effectiveness, using detainees as human subjects without their consent. The report concludes that such data gathering was "a practice that approaches unlawful experimentation". Human experimentation without consent has been prohibited in any setting since 1947 [with] the Nuremberg Code, which resulted from the prosecution of Nazi doctors. In April, a leaked report from the International Committee of the Red Cross found that medical staff employed by the CIA had been present during waterboarding, and had even used what appeared to be a pulse oxymeter, placed on the prisoner's finger to monitor his oxygen saturation during the procedure. PHR is calling for an official investigation into the role of doctors in the CIA's now widely discredited programme. It wants to know exactly how many doctors participated, what they did, what records they kept and the science that they applied.
A new analysis concludes that the Food and Drug Administration approved experiments with artificial blood substitutes even after studies showed that the controversial products posed a clear risk of causing heart attacks and death. The review of combined data from more than 3,711 patients who participated in 16 studies testing five different types of artificial blood, released yesterday, found that the products nearly tripled the risk of heart attacks and boosted the chances of dying by 30 percent. Based on the findings, the researchers questioned why the FDA allowed additional testing of the products to go forward and why the agency is considering letting yet another study proceed. "It's hard to understand," said Charles Natanson, a senior investigator at the National Institutes of Health who led the analysis. "They already had data that these products could cause heart attacks and evidence that they could kill." An artificial blood substitute that has a long shelf life and does not need refrigeration could save untold lives by providing an alternative to trauma patients in emergencies, especially in rural areas and in combat settings. But attempts to develop such products have been marred by repeated failures and fraught with controversy, in part because some products have been studied under rules allowing researchers to administer them without obtaining consent from individual patients. After the Washington-based consumer group Public Citizen sued the FDA to gain access to data submitted to the agency, Natanson and colleagues at NIH and Public Citizen pooled data from studies conducted between 1998 and 2007.
Note: For a treasure trove of reports from reliable, verifiable sources on government corruption, click here.
The Ministry of Defence's announcement that it is to award Ł3m in compensation to 360 veterans of chemical weapons tests has put the spotlight on the Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down. 1916: Building work begins at Porton Down ... to create an experimental base for research into chemical warfare. 1920: Large-scale expansion of the site begins, initially focusing on the effects of mustard gas - experiments in which thousands of volunteers were to participate. 1940: After the outbreak of war, a secret group is set up at Porton Down to investigate biological warfare. 1945: Thousands of military personnel had taken part in trials at Porton Down during World War II. As the war ended, volunteers began participating in nerve-agent trials there - a practice that was to continue until 1989. 1953: Leading Aircraftman Ronald Maddison participates in chemical experiments at Porton Down. Within an hour of being given sarin, he is dead. Military chiefs conduct an inquest in secret. Verdict: misadventure. 1989: Nerve-agent trials at Porton Down cease. 2002: Ministry of Defence (MoD) helpline set up to enable Porton Down veterans to find out more about the trials they were involved in. 2004: Fresh inquest into the 1953 death of Ronald Maddison returns a verdict of unlawful killing. The MoD [only two years later] admits "gross negligence". 2008: The BBC learns of a Ł3m out-of-court settlement between the MoD and veterans, under which the  ex-servicemen will each receive Ł8,300 and an apology ... without admission of liability.
Note: The military has repeatedly condoned horrendous research on live subjects. For a revealing list of highly unethical experimentation on human over the past 75 years, click here. For a concise summary of the government's secret quest to control the mind and human behavior no matter what the cost, click here.
"Primetime" wanted to know if ordinary people today would still follow orders, even if they believed their actions were causing someone else pain. Would as many follow the seemingly dangerous and painful orders as in the original experiment [conducted by Stanley Milgram at Yale in 1963]? After contacting respected psychologist Jerry Burger at Santa Clara University in California, ABC News was able to replicate Milgram's study in a modified way. Burger said, "People have often asked the question, 'Would we find these kinds of results today?' and some people try to dismiss the Milgram findings by saying, 'That's something that happened back in the '60s. People aren't like that anymore.'" In ABC News' version of the Milgram experiment, we tested 18 men, and found that 65 percent of them agreed to administer increasingly painful electric shocks when ordered by an authority figure. 22 women signed up for our experiment. Even though most people said that women would be less likely to inflict pain on the learner, a surprising 73 percent yielded to the orders of the experimenter. Out of the 30 people we tested with an additional accomplice acting as a moral guide, 63 percent still inflicted electric shocks, even though the accomplice refused to go on. Our subjects had an unusually high level of education. 22.9 percent had some college, 40 percent had bachelor's degrees and 20 percent had master's degrees.
In its first year, the Trump administration has amassed a dismal record on science and science advice. Now a new report, Abandoning Science Advice: One Year In, the Trump Administration Is Sidelining Science Advisory Committees ... suggests the problem is even worse than previously recognized. Science advisory committees at the Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have met less often in 2017 than at any time since 1997, when the government began collecting such data. At the DOE, the EPA, and the Department of Commerce, fewer experts serve on science advisory committees than at any time since 1997. As the report notes, the government’s system of some 1,000 federal advisory committees plays an important role in alerting federal officials to the policy implications of the latest scientific research, often with major consequences for Americans’ health and safety. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board has been hit by Administrator Scott Pruitt’s directive to purge EPA-funded scientists from its ranks, replacing many of them with industry representatives. Not only that, but since announcing the change to the roster in November, the SAB has held no meetings. The absence of SAB feedback means that there is no scientific peer review on Pruitt’s decisions to roll back protections like emissions standards and improvements to chemical facility accidental release plans.
Note: Hundreds of people have left or been forced out of the Environmental Protection Agency since the current administration took office. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the scientific community.
A panel of scientists is disputing a World Health Organization report published earlier this year that concluded glyphosate, the world's most widely used weed killer and main ingredient in Monsanto Co's Roundup herbicide, is probably carcinogenic to humans. The 16-member panel, assembled by Intertek Scientific & Regulatory Consultancy, will present its findings to the annual meeting of the Society for Risk Analysis on Monday, aiming to publish the study at a later date after peer review. Monsanto paid Intertek for the panel's work. Concerns about glyphosate on food have been a hot topic of debate in the United States recently and contributed to the passage in Vermont last year of the country's first mandatory labeling law for foods that are genetically modified. Critics say that industry-linked scientists are downplaying the risk to human health and trying to discredit the IARC report by casting doubt on some of the scientific studies that it reviewed. Ten of the 16 scientists on the Intertek panel have been consultants for Monsanto in the past and two others are former Monsanto employees.
Note: Read an informative article titled "Monsanto Charged With Crimes Against Humanity" on mercola.com. Read how the EPA used industry studies while ignoring independent studies to declare Roundup safe. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
Coca-Cola, the world’s largest producer of sugary beverages, is backing a new “science-based” solution to the obesity crisis: To maintain a healthy weight, get more exercise and worry less about cutting calories. Health experts say this message is misleading and part of an effort by Coke to deflect criticism about the role sugary drinks have played in the spread of obesity and Type 2 diabetes, [and] convince the public that physical activity can offset a bad diet despite evidence that exercise has only minimal impact on weight compared with what people consume. “Coca-Cola’s sales are slipping, and there’s this huge political and public backlash against soda, with every major city trying to do something to curb consumption,” said Michele Simon, a public health lawyer. “This is a direct response.” Coke’s [campaign] is not the only example of corporate-funded research and advocacy to come under fire lately. The American Society for Nutrition and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics have been criticized by public health advocates for forming partnerships with companies such as Kraft Foods, McDonald’s, PepsiCo and Hershey’s. Dietitians have also faced criticism for taking payments from Coke to present the company’s soda as a healthy snack. A recent analysis of beverage studies ... found that those funded by Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, the American Beverage Association and the sugar industry were five times more likely to find no link between sugary drinks and weight gain than studies whose authors reported no financial conflicts.
Scientists have been alarmed and puzzled by declines in bee populations in the United States and other parts of the world. They have suspected that pesticides are playing a part, but to date their experiments have yielded conflicting, ambiguous results. In Thursday’s issue of the journal Science, two teams of researchers published studies suggesting that low levels of a common pesticide can have significant effects on bee colonies. One experiment, conducted by French researchers, indicates that the chemicals fog honeybee brains, making it harder for them to find their way home. The other study, by scientists in Britain, suggests that they keep bumblebees from supplying their hives with enough food to produce new queens. The authors of both studies contend that their results raise serious questions about the use of the pesticides, known as neonicotinoids. “I personally would like to see them not being used until more research has been done,” said David Goulson, an author of the bumblebee paper who teaches at the University of Stirling, in Scotland. “If it confirms what we’ve found, then they certainly shouldn’t be used when they’re going to be fed on by bees.” Environmentalists say that both studies support their view that the insecticides should be banned. The insecticides, introduced in the early 1990s, have exploded in popularity; virtually all corn grown in the United States is treated with them. Neonicotinoids are taken up by plants and moved to all their tissues — including the nectar on which bees feed.
Note: For many disturbing reports from reliable sources on the mysterious mass deaths of animals, click here.
In a sweeping critique ... an expert panel of the National Research Council said the federal government was not doing enough to identify potential health and environmental risks from engineered nanomaterials. Nanomaterials are engineered on the scale of a billionth of a meter, perhaps 1/10,000 the width of a human hair. They are turning up in a range of items including consumer products like toothpaste and tennis rackets and industrial products like degreasers or adhesives. But some experts say they may pose health or environmental risks. For example, researchers in Scotland reported this year that carbon nanotubes may pose the same health risks as asbestos. “Industry wants to run with it,” said Andrew D. Maynard, chief science adviser to the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies at the Woodrow Wilson Institute, who was the chairman of the panel. But he added, “one of the big barriers at the moment is understanding how to use it safely.” The panel analyzed the risk research strategy of the National Nanotechnology Initiative, the program to coordinate federal efforts in nanotechnology research and development. Its report concluded that the initiative’s strategy “does not present a vision, contain a clear set of goals, have a plan of action for how the goals are to be achieved, or describe mechanisms to review and evaluate funded research and assess whether progress has been achieved.” An informal coalition of environmental and business organizations praised the report, saying that for three years they had been urging the federal government to do more to assess potential health and environmental effects of nanomaterials.
Note: For many important articles on health issues from reliable sources, click here.
The Department of Homeland Security confirmed last week that the highly contagious foot-and-mouth virus had briefly spread within the Plum Island Animal Disease Center in two previously undisclosed incidents earlier this summer. The incidents and their belated public disclosure raised new questions about laboratory safety and communications to the public. In a letter to the laboratory director, Beth Lautner, dated Aug. 2, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Representative Timothy Bishop of Southampton said they were alarmed that the two incidents had taken place within a one-month span. A spokesman for the department, said the virus had remained within the laboratory's sealed biocontainment area. Asked why the department did not make a public announcement of the events, Mr. Tighe said: "It was within the laboratory environment, safely sealed in biocontainment. This was really an operational issue." Plum Island is the only location in the United States where research on the foot and mouth virus is legally permitted. In 1978, a foot and mouth outbreak among animals in pens outside the laboratory resulted in new procedures for keeping animals used in research inside the biocontainment area. Since taking over the laboratory just over a year ago, Homeland Security had been emphasizing its intention to keep the public informed. But department officials apparently did not heed calls from elected officials to disclose the two incidents sooner.
Note: At the northernmost tip of Long Island, Plum island sits directly across from the town of Lyme, Conn., famous as the epicenter of the Lyme disease outbreak. For a powerful, multiple award-winning film showing shocking ignorance and even political corruption on the part of the medical community about the Lyme disease epidemic spreading across the US and even around the world, click here. It shows evidence that Lyme may be even the cause of many cases of ALS, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's disease.
Disturbing new questions have been raised about the role of doctors and other medical professionals in helping the Central Intelligence Agency subject terrorism suspects to harsh treatment, abuse and torture. The Red Cross previously documented, from interviews with â€śhigh-valueâ€ť prisoners, that medical personnel helped facilitate abuses in the C.I.A.â€™s â€śenhanced interrogation programâ€ť during the Bush administration. Now Physicians for Human Rights has suggested that the medical professionals may also have violated national and international laws setting limits on what research can be performed on humans. The groupâ€™s report focused particularly on a few issues where medical personnel played an important role â€” determining how far a harsh interrogation could go, providing legal cover against prosecution and designing future interrogation procedures. In the case of waterboarding, a technique in which prisoners are brought to the edge of drowning, health professionals were required to monitor the practice and keep detailed medical records. Their findings led to several changes, including a switch to saline solution as the near-drowning agent instead of water, ostensibly to protect the health of detainees who ingest large volumes of liquid but also, the group says, to allow repeated use of waterboarding on the same subject.
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on the unlawful actions of US intelligence and military forces in the "global war on terror," click here.
The Bureau of Land Management blocked at least 14 of its staff archaeologists and other specialists from attending a major scientific conference this year, at a time when archeological sites have become a flashpoint in the debate over public lands protection. The archeologists and other BLM employees ... were originally scheduled to attend the annual meeting in Washington of the Society for American Archaeology. But officials at BLM’s headquarters in Washington only authorized the attendance of three archaeologists, citing “the potential travel and other costs” of the trips. The archaeologists from BLM were scheduled to give a presentation at a symposium titled “Tough Issues in Land Management Archaeology,” which ultimately had to be cancelled due to the lack of participation of government scientists. Some ... point to the decision as another example of the Trump Interior Department’s effort to restrict researchers’ communications with the public and fellow scientists." This entire incident reeks of scientific interference," said Aaron Weiss, media director at the Center for Western Priorities. Last year, officials at Interior headquarters directed the U.S. Geological Survey to delete a line from a news release discussing the role climate change played in raising Earth’s oceans and removed two top climate experts at Montana's Glacier National Park from a delegation scheduled to show Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg around the park full of shrinking glaciers.
Note: This follows reports that the Department of Agriculture, Department of Health and Human Services and Environmental Protection Agency have been "gagged" by the Trump administration. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the scientific community.
Jean Maria Arrigo’s inbox is filling up with apologies. For a decade, colleagues of the 71-year-old psychologist ignored, derided and in some cases attacked Arrigo for sounding alarms that the American Psychological Association was implicated in US torture. But now ... a devastating report has exposed deep APA complicity with brutal CIA and US military interrogations – and a smear campaign against Arrigo herself. David Hoffman, a former federal prosecutor, confirmed what she has crusaded against for a decade: the APA’s institutional involvement with torture led to a concerted effort to quash dissent, lie to the public, and silence people like her. In 2005, Arrigo ... was a member of an internal panel, known as the Task Force on Psychological Ethics and National Security (Pens), that greenlit psychologist participation in national-security interrogations. The taskforce was intentionally weighted in favor of the US department of defense, through stacking it with representatives from the military and CIA. It rejected efforts ... to include references to the Geneva Convention and specific interrogation techniques that psychologists could not be involved in. Arrigo took her concerns public. In response, [Gerald] Koocher ... who served as APA president in 2006, [launched] “a highly personal attack.” Arrigo said she was untroubled by Koocher’s “idiotic” broadside. What was more troubling to her, she said, were the well-meaning members of APA who did not challenge the attacks.
Note: Read an article on how military psychologists are fighting against torture reforms. For more, read about how the torture program fits in with a long history of human experimentation by corrupt intelligence agencies working alongside unethical scientists.
The endless adaptability of the human brain is summed up by the term "neuroplasticity". A few decades ago, scientists thought the brain was relatively fixed. It was also believed that different areas of the brain had their own specialities and didn't veer from these. Now we know that ... new neurons do grow. New neural pathways can be formed and, when disease or damage occurs in one part of the brain, cortical maps can be redrawn to make up for lost function. [Norman] Doidge, a Canadian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, is the master of explaining how the brain's plasticity can be harnessed to improve the symptoms of brain-related disorders, ranging from stroke to autism. Doidge [identifies] stages of healing [the brain]: corrections of general cellular functions of the neurons and glia, neurostimulation, neuromodulation, neurorelaxation and neurodifferentiation and learning. The first stage [is] about restoring brain cell health. Doidge says that he has seen patients with depression, bipolar disorder and attention deficit disorder "make major progress by eliminating toxins and certain foods, such as sugar and grains, that they were sensitive to". Neurostimulation is when "dormant circuits in the hurt brain" are stimulated. This is followed by neuromodulation, where the brain is reset so that it's neither too excited nor too inhibited. Brain disorders often leave the person exhausted, so relaxation is an important part of recovery. Neurodifferentiation and learning is ... the stage when the brain does "what it does best" which is, apparently, "making fine distinctions".
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