Corruption in Science News ArticlesExcerpts of Key Corruption in Science News Articles in Media
UCSF researchers believe they have uncovered a decades-old effort by the sugar industry to exonerate sugar as a dietary culprit for heart disease and shift the blame onto fat and cholesterol. In a paper published in Monday’s JAMA Internal Medicine, the researchers reveal a scheme in which the sugar industry’s main trade group paid two Harvard scientists to conduct a literature review in the mid-1960s that challenged emerging evidence linking sugar consumption to risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The Harvard scientists concluded there was “no doubt” that reducing dietary cholesterol and substituting polyunsaturated fat for saturated fat would prevent heart disease. Such recommendations helped persuade Americans to replace their butter with margarine and eat fat-free cookies and other sugar-laden treats. “We have been indoctrinated in this belief that if we don’t eat a low-fat diet, we’ll die of the No. 1 killer disease,” said co-author Laura Schmidt, professor of health policy at UCSF School of Medicine. “Now we’ve learned the sugar industry paid off Harvard to tell us that.” They showed that the Sugar Research Foundation, which is now known as the Sugar Association, paid Fredrick Stare and fellow faculty member D. Mark Hegsted the equivalent of about $50,000 in 2016 dollars to write a heavily critical review of studies that linked sucrose to heart disease. Their reviews were published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine in 1967.
Note: For more on how the sugar industry conspired against public health, see this Time magazine article. For even more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.
Piltdown Man was heralded as the missing link, connecting humans to their ape ancestors. Discovered in England in 1912, the fossils were exactly what British paleontologists were hoping to find. Newspapers proclaimed: "Missing Link Found - Darwin's Theory Proved." In 1953, scientists concluded that Piltdown Man was an elaborate fraud, compiled of pieces of a human skull and orangutan jaw and teeth. Now ... scientists have definitively narrowed the blame down to just one person: Charles Dawson, an amateur archaeologist and fossil collector. “The shocking thing was how many people accepted it because it fell right into their belief system,” [said] David Begun, a paleoanthropologist professor at the University of Toronto. “Dawson put together this fraudulent fossil to fit the preconceptions of the time." Anthropologists hadn't pinned down where humans first arose, so it was still possible to link them back to Europe. More recent discoveries of human ancestors have immediately raised red flags because they upended people's expectations, including the enigmatic "hobbit" from Indonesia, and strange, small human ancestors in the Rising Star cave in South Africa. But those excavations were carefully documented and the specimens were verified as real. In contrast, the greatest scientific fraud in history fit exactly what scientists were looking for. Because it confirmed the biases of the time, the Piltdown Man closed people's eyes to the new things there were to discover.
Note: Scientists all too often herald discoveries which confirm their theories without carefully checking the facts. The carefully researched book "Forbidden Archeology" raises serious questions about the origins of the human race. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing archeology and history news articles from reliable major media sources.
Cats, dogs and pigs will no longer be guinea pigs. Late last month, the last medical school in the U.S. and Canada to use live animals to teach surgical skills to students - the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Chattanooga - announced it would cease the practice. In an email sent to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which has fought the practice for years, Robert C. Fore, the interim dean for the medical school at UT, wrote that “effective immediately” the college will no longer use live pigs to teach surgical skills to students. Instead they will use simulators of human bodies that can bleed, breathe, blink and have lifelike organs and skin. “It’s a watershed moment,” John Pippin, a retired cardiologist and director of academic affairs for PCRM, told Washington Post. “For anyone who went to medical school in years past it was a rite of passage, often a disturbing rite of passage to use a dog or cat or another animal in medical courses.” Students were instructed to use the animals to practice surgical procedures or inject them with various drugs to monitor responses. After being used for such training procedures, the animals were killed. UT’s ban of using live animals follows Johns Hopkins’ May 18 announcement that they would stop the practice because “almost all medical schools have stopped using live animals” and “that the experience is not essential.”
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Robert Lustig is a paediatric endocrinologist at the University of California. A 90-minute talk he gave in 2009, titled Sugar: The Bitter Truth ... argues forcefully that fructose, a form of sugar ubiquitous in modern diets, is a “poison” culpable for America’s obesity epidemic. John Yudkin ... was a British professor of nutrition who had sounded the alarm on sugar back in 1972, in a book called Pure, White, and Deadly. “If only a small fraction of what we know about the effects of sugar were to be revealed in relation to any other material used as a food additive,” wrote Yudkin, “that material would promptly be banned.” The book did well, but Yudkin paid a high price for it. Prominent nutritionists combined with the food industry to destroy his reputation. The US government issued its first Dietary Guidelines [in 1980]. The most prominent recommendation ... was to cut back on saturated fats and cholesterol. Consumers dutifully obeyed. But instead of becoming healthier, we grew fatter and sicker. Look at a graph of postwar obesity rates and it becomes clear that something changed after 1980. Just 12% of Americans were obese in 1950, 15% in 1980, 35% by 2000. Today, as nutritionists struggle to comprehend a health disaster they did not predict and may have precipitated, the field is ... edging away from prohibitions on cholesterol and fat, and hardening its warnings on sugar. But its senior members still retain a collective instinct to malign those who challenge its tattered conventional wisdom too loudly.
Note: The sugar industry skewed US dental research using Big Tobacco's propaganda tactics. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing science corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
The phrase “cancer screening saves lives” is ... familiar to most consumers of public service announcements. But that advice may be misleading. The ubiquitous adage ... fails to take into account deaths linked to factors related to the screening itself. For example, prostate cancer screening is known to return “numerous” false positives, writes Vinay Prasad, an assistant professor at Oregon Health and Science University, and contributes to over 1 million prostate biopsies a year. The procedure is “associated with serious harms, including admission to hospital and death.” What’s more, men diagnosed with prostate cancer are “more likely to have a heart attack or commit suicide in the year after diagnosis,” he writes. A similar case can be made for breast cancer screening. Fully 60 percent of women who get regular mammograms for 10 years have been handed a false positive result at some point. Being told you have breast cancer - even if it turns out that the test result was incorrect - has been associated with “psychosocial distress as great as a breast cancer diagnosis.” A massive study of 90,000 women over 25 years found that the regular screening did not change the women’s death rates. In fact, if anything, the screenings harmed some women: Out of every five cancers detected with the technology and treated, one was “not a threat to the woman’s health and did not need treatment such as chemotherapy, surgery or radiation,” all of which can cause serious side effects.
Note: Read more about routine over-diagnosis and unnecessary treatment of cancer in this New York Times article. And learn about the promising cancer research that has been largely suppressed by the medical-industrial complex. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.
The Environmental Protection Agency concluded in June that there was “no convincing evidence” that glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the U.S. and the world, is an endocrine disruptor. The decision was based almost entirely on pesticide industry studies. Most of the studies were sponsored by Monsanto or an industry group called the Joint Glyphosate Task Force. Of the small minority of independently funded studies that the agency considered in determining whether the chemical poses a danger to the endocrine system, three of five found that it did. One, for instance, found that exposure to glyphosate-Roundup “may induce significant adverse effects on the reproductive system of male Wistar rats.” Another concluded that “low and environmentally relevant concentrations of glyphosate possessed estrogenic activity.” And a review of the literature turns up many more peer-reviewed studies finding glyphosate can interfere with hormones. Many of the industry-funded studies contained data that suggested that exposure to glyphosate had serious effects. Yet in each case, sometimes even after animals died, the scientists found reasons to discount the findings — or to simply dismiss them. Having companies fund and perform studies that affect them financially [is] the standard practice at EPA. The International Agency for Research on Cancer labeled glyphosate a probable carcinogen in March.
Note: Read an excellent mercola.com article titled "GMO cookie is crumbling." Monsanto is trying to stop the state of California from listing Glyphosate as carcinogenic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
Corporations have poured money into universities to fund research for decades, but now, the debate over bioengineered foods has escalated into a billion-dollar food industry war. Companies like Monsanto are squaring off against major organic firms like Stonyfield Farm. Both sides have aggressively recruited academic researchers. The biotech industry has published dozens of articles, under the names of prominent academics, that in some cases were drafted by industry consultants. Monsanto and its industry partners have also passed out an undisclosed amount in special grants to scientists ... to help with “biotechnology outreach” and to travel around the country to defend genetically modified foods. The moves by Monsanto, in an alliance with the Biotechnology Industry Organization and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, are detailed in thousands of pages of emails that were at first requested by the nonprofit group U.S. Right to Know, which receives funding from the organic foods industry. The emails show how academics have shifted from researchers to actors in lobbying and corporate public relations campaigns. An inner circle of [biotech] industry consultants, lobbyists and executives ... devised strategy on how to block state efforts to mandate G.M.O. labeling. The opponents of genetically modified foods have used their own creative tactics, although their spending on lobbying and public relations amounts to a tiny fraction of that of biosciences companies.
Note: Read an article which takes it even deeper and shows what the NYT left out. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the corruption of science and the controversy surrounding GMOs.
In 1945, as a first-year student at Kyushu Imperial University’s medical school in southern Japan, [Toshio] Tono became an unwilling witness to atrocities. Just weeks after he began his studies, a US B-29 Superfortress crashed in northern Kyushu island. The [surviving] airmen were rounded up by police and placed in military custody. The prisoners were led to believe they were going to receive treatment for their injuries. But over the following three weeks, they were to be subjected to a depraved form of pathology at the medical school – procedures to which Tono is the only surviving witness. According to testimony ... at the Allied War Crimes Tribunals, they injected one anaesthetised prisoner with seawater. Other airmen had parts of their organs removed, with one deprived of an entire lung. In another experiment, doctors drilled through the skull of a live prisoner. “The experiments had absolutely no medical merit,” [Tono] said. “They were being used to inflict as cruel a death as possible on the prisoners. Of the 30 Kyushu University doctors and military staff who stood trial in 1948, 23 were convicted of vivisection and the wrongful removal of body parts. But they were never punished. President Truman issued an executive order that led to freedom for imprisoned war criminals. By the end of 1958, all Japanese war criminals had been released and began reinventing themselves, some as mainstream politicians, under their new, US-authored constitution.
Note: The German Nazis conducted similarly horrifying experiments on humans, as described in this Harper's Magazine article. Many of the Nazi scientists involved were secretly brought to the U.S. under Operation Paperclip. And according to this disturbing essay of a survivor, Nazi torturers were brought to the US to train CIA to train operatives in how to create multiple personality super spies through torture, drugs, and hypnosis.
A powerful new technique for generating “supercharged” genetically modified organisms that can spread rapidly in the wild has caused alarm among scientists. The development of so-called “gene drive” technology promises to revolutionize medicine and agriculture. However, scientists at the forefront of the development believe ... gene-drive technology poses a serious threat to the environment and human health if accidentally or deliberately released from a laboratory without adequate safeguards. Last week the US National Academy of Sciences initiated a wide-ranging review of gene-drive technology in “non-human organisms” and in this week’s journal Science a group of 27 leading geneticists call on the scientific community to be open and transparent about both the risks and benefits of gene drives. Researchers have likened gene-drive technology to a nuclear chain reaction because it allows GM genes to be amplified within a breeding population of insects or other animals without any further intervention once the trait has been initially introduced. This is the case even if the trait is non-beneficial to the organism. Laboratory experiments on fruit flies have shown that a modified gene introduced into one individual fly can take just a few generations to “infect” practically every other fly in the breeding population, in defiance of the normal rules of genetics which dictate a far slower spread.
Note: A large segment of the scientific community called for a moratorium on using this technology on humans. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
For years, politicians wanting to block legislation on climate change have bolstered their arguments by pointing to the work of a handful of scientists who claim that greenhouse gasses pose little risk to humanity. One of the names they invoke most often is Wei-Hock Soon, known as Willie, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He has often appeared on conservative news programs, testified before Congress and in state capitals, and starred at conferences of people who deny the risks of global warming. But newly released documents show the extent to which Dr. Soon’s work has been tied to funding he received from corporate interests. He has accepted more than $1.2 million in money from the fossil-fuel industry over the last decade while failing to disclose that conflict of interest in most of his scientific papers. At least 11 papers he has published since 2008 omitted such a disclosure, and in at least eight of those cases, he appears to have violated ethical guidelines of the journals that published his work. The documents show that Dr. Soon, in correspondence with his corporate funders, described many of his scientific papers as “deliverables” that he completed in exchange for their money. He used the same term to describe testimony he prepared for Congress. Dr. Soon has found a warm welcome among politicians in Washington and state capitals who try to block climate action. United States Senator James M. Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican who claims that climate change is a global scientific hoax, has repeatedly cited Dr. Soon’s work over the years.
Note: One of Dr Soon's primary funding sources is Donors Trust, a secretive organization found to have orchestrated a vast climate denial conspiracy. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing science corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Researchers may have found a way to aim a high-energy laser beam into clouds to make it rain or trigger lightning. Researchers from the University of Central Florida and the University of Arizona say that a laser beam could activate those large amounts of static electricity and create storms on demand. By surrounding a beam with another beam that will act as an energy reservoir, the central beam will be sustained for greater distances than previously possible. The secondary beam will refuel ... the primary beam. Although lasers can already travel great distances, it behaves differently than usual, collapsing inward on itself when a laser beam becomes intense enough, according to Matthew Mills, a graduate student at the UFC Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers. "The collapse becomes so intense that electrons in the air's oxygen and nitrogen are ripped off creating plasma - basically a soup of electrons," Mills explained. Afterwards, the plasma tries to spread the beam back out - causing an internal struggle between collapsing and spreading - what's known as "filamentation." "Because a filament creates excited electrons in its wake as it moves, it artificially seeds the conditions necessary for rain and lightning to occur," Mills explained. Previous work done by other researchers have led to some type of "electrical event" in clouds. Development of the technology was funded by the Department of Defense and the researchers' findings were published in the journal Nature Photonics.
Note: In another CBS video physics professor Michio Kaku states "even hurricanes ... could be subject to weather modification." Then learn about HAARP, a US military technology which some serious researchers believe has been used to manipulate the weather in big ways.
The authors of a study calling for GM crops to be fast-tracked into Britain’s farms and kitchens all have links to the industry. The report was presented as the work of ‘independent’ scientists and was published on [March 13] by a government advisory body. It was used to support a bid to speed up the development of the controversial crops in the UK, but it has emerged that all five authors have a vested interest in promoting GM crops and food – and some are part-funded by the industry. Critics of GM [have] described the report as ‘biased and downright dangerous’, and accused the biotech giants and the Government of mounting a crude propaganda campaign to overturn public opposition. The academics behind the study were chosen by the Council for Science and Technology, the body that advises the Prime Minister on science policy issues. They include Professor Sir David Baulcombe, from Cambridge University, who works as a consultant for GM firm Syngenta, which gives his department research funding. Syngenta is behind a genetically modified maize or corn, called GA21, which could go into UK farms as early as next spring, making it Britain’s first commercially grown GM crop. Also on the list is Professor Jonathan Jones, of the Sainsbury Laboratory, which is at the centre of Britain’s GM research. It is part-funded by former Labour science minister, Lord Sainsbury, who is one of the country’s biggest supporters of the technology. Another co-author was Professor Jim Dunwell, of the University of Reading. He was a founder member of CropGen, which describes its mission as ‘to make the case for GM crops and foods’
Note: For more on government corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here. For an excellent summary of the risks and dangers from GMO foods, click here.
Genetically modified maize causes cancer: that was the gist of one of the most controversial studies in recent memory, published in September 2012 by Food and Chemical Toxicology. [But] on November 28th the journal retracted it. The article was by Gilles-Eric Séralini of the University of Caen, in France, and his colleagues. It described what happened to rats fed with NK603 maize, a variety made resistant to a herbicide called glyphosate by a genetic modification made by Monsanto. Monsanto also discovered glyphosate’s herbicidal properties. It sells it under the trade name “Roundup”. In Dr Séralini’s experiment, rats fed with the modified maize were reckoned more likely to develop tumours than those which had not been. Females were especially badly affected: their death rates were two or three times as high as those of control groups. The article was explosive. Jean-Marc Ayrault, France’s prime minister, said that if its results were confirmed his government would press for a Europe-wide ban on NK603 maize. Russia suspended imports of the crop. Kenya banned all GM crops. Though the paper has been retracted, that is unlikely to be end of the matter. The journal’s publisher said there was “no evidence of fraud or intentional misrepresentation of the data”, which are the usual justifications for retraction. Scientific opinion runs strongly against the conclusion that GM foods are harmful—but not universally so. A group called the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility backed Dr Séralini.
Note: Over 100 scientists have signed a pledge to boycott Elsevier, the publisher of the journal which retracted the GMO study, as you can see at this link. For an excellent video review of the study, click here. For more on the health risks of GMO foods, see the deeply revealing report available here.
A group of experts advising the nation’s premier cancer research institution has recommended changing the definition of cancer and eliminating the word from some common diagnoses as part of sweeping changes in the nation’s approach to cancer detection and treatment. The recommendations, from a working group of the National Cancer Institute, were published [in] The Journal of the American Medical Association. They say, for instance, that some premalignant conditions, like one that affects the breast called ductal carcinoma in situ, which many doctors agree is not cancer, should be renamed to exclude the word carcinoma so that patients are less frightened and less likely to seek what may be unneeded and potentially harmful treatments that can include the surgical removal of the breast. The group, which includes some of the top scientists in cancer research, also suggested that many lesions detected during breast, prostate, thyroid, lung and other cancer screenings should not be called cancer at all but should instead be reclassified as IDLE conditions, which stands for “indolent lesions of epithelial origin.” The impetus behind the call for change is a growing concern among doctors, scientists and patient advocates that hundreds of thousands of men and women are undergoing needless and sometimes disfiguring and harmful treatments for premalignant and cancerous lesions that are so slow growing they are unlikely to ever cause harm. Once doctors and patients are aware a lesion exists, they typically feel compelled to biopsy, treat and remove it, often at great physical and psychological pain and risk to the patient.
Note: Isn't it interesting that a diagnosis which might not even be accurate can so change a person's life? For more on promising cancer cures which are being suppressed by the medical-industrial complex, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
When Cristin Couzens went on the hunt for evidence that Big Sugar had manipulated public opinion, she had no idea what she was doing. She was a dentist, not an investigative reporter. But she couldn't let go of the nagging suspicion that something was amiss. Her obsession started in an unlikely place, at a dental conference in Seattle in 2007 about diabetes and gum disease. When one speaker listed foods to avoid, there was no mention of sugar. "I thought this was very strange," Couzens said. She quit her job, exhausted her savings and spent 15 months scouring library archives. Then one day she found what she was looking for, in a cardboard box at the Colorado State University archives. What Couzens found was something food industry critics have been seeking for years — documents suggesting that the sugar industry used Big Tobacco tactics to deflect growing concern over the health effects of sugar. "So I had lists of their board reports, their financial statements, I had names of their scientific consultants, I had a list of research projects they funded, and I had these memos where they were describing how their PR men should handle conflict of interest questions from the press," she said. As Couzens sorted through the documents, the full extent of that campaign to forge public opinion emerged. The documents describe industry lobby efforts to sponsor scientific research, silence media reports critical of sugar, and block dietary guidelines to limit sugar consumption.
Note: Cristin Couzens publicized secret sugar industry documents in a magazine article titled "Big Sugar's Sweet Little Lies." For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corporate corruption, click here.
Unethical and illegal drug company activities have driven the prescription of toxic antipsychotic drugs to children. Now the “success” of this campaign has been documented in the Archives of General Psychiatry. In a comparison between the years 1993-1998 and 2005-2009, prescriptions of antipsychotic drugs for per 100 children (0-13 years old) rose from 0.24 to 1.83. That’s more than a sevenfold increase. Given that most of prescriptions are for the older children in this age range, the rate would be substantially higher among preteens and 13-year-olds. For adolescents (14-20 years old) the increase was nearly fivefold. The drugging of children with antipsychotic drugs is a direct result of off-label (unapproved) uses promoted by the drug companies in cooperation with unscrupulous psychiatrists and researchers. The new ... study confirms that most of the prescriptions of antipsychotic drugs to children have indeed been off-label for disruptive behavioral disorders. Instead of helping parents and teachers to improve their methods of disciplining children, psychiatrists are suppressing the overall mental life and behavior of these youngsters with antipsychotic drugs. As I describe in my new book, Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal: A Guide for Prescribers, Therapists, Patients and Their Families, health professionals must stop the psychiatric drugging of children and focus on developing facilities and approaches for helping children as well as adults to withdraw from these drugs as safely as possible.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Is your doctor telling you the truth? Possibly not, according to a new survey in Health Affairs of nearly 1,900 physicians around the country. The researchers found that 55% of doctors said that in the last year they had been more positive about a patient’s prognosis than his medical history warranted. And 10% said they had told patients something that wasn’t true. About a third of the MDs said they did not completely agree that they should disclose medical errors to patients, and 40% said they didn’t feel the need to disclose financial ties to drug or device companies. Nearly 20% of the doctors admitted that they didn’t disclose a medical error to their patients because they were afraid of being sued for malpractice. Doctors’ fear of malpractice suits may often be misplaced. Studies suggest that in cases where physicians are open about their mistakes, patients are more likely to be understanding and refrain from suing. So how can doctors learn to be more honest with their patients? More training about how to communicate with people about their health is critical — especially when it comes to delivering bad news. Patients also need to be clear and firm about how honest they want their doctors to be. Communication is a two-way street, after all, even in the doctor’s office.
Note: For key reports from reliable sources on important health issues, click here.
Scientists who drew up the key World Health Organisation guidelines advising governments to stockpile drugs in the event of a flu pandemic had previously been paid by drug companies which stood to profit. An investigation by the British Medical Journal and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the not-for-profit reporting unit, shows that WHO guidance issued in 2004 was authored by three scientists who had previously received payment for other work from Roche, which makes Tamiflu, and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), manufacturer of Relenza. Pharmaceutical companies banked more than $7bn (ďż˝4.8bn) as governments stockpiled drugs. "The tentacles of drug company influence are in all levels in the decision-making process," said Paul Flynn, the Labour MP who sits on the council's health committee. Although the experts consulted made no secret of industry ties in other settings, declaring them in research papers and at universities, the WHO itself did not publicly disclose any of these in its seminal 2004 guidance.
Note: For wide coverage from reliable sourcesof the swine and avian flu "fake pandemics" designed for corporate profit, click here.
A new report finds that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did a poor job of screening medical experts for financial conflicts when it hired them to advise the agency on vaccine safety. Most of the experts who served on advisory panels in 2007 to evaluate vaccines for flu and cervical cancer had potential conflicts that were never resolved, the report said. Some were legally barred from considering the issues but did so anyway. In the report ... Daniel R. Levinson, the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services, found that the centers failed nearly every time to ensure that the experts adequately filled out forms confirming they were not being paid by companies with an interest in their decisions. The report found that 64 percent of the advisers had potential conflicts of interest that were never identified or were left unresolved by the centers. Thirteen percent failed to have an appropriate conflicts form on file at the agency at all, which should have barred their participation in the meetings entirely, Mr. Levinson found. And 3 percent voted on matters that ethics officers had already barred them from considering.
Prozac, the bestselling antidepressant taken by 40 million people worldwide, does not work and nor do similar drugs in the same class, according to a major review released today. The study examined all available data on the drugs, including results from clinical trials that the manufacturers chose not to publish at the time. The trials compared the effect on patients taking the drugs with those given a placebo or sugar pill. When all the data was pulled together, it appeared that patients had improved - but those on placebo improved just as much as those on the drugs. The only exception is in the most severely depressed patients, according to the authors - Prof Irving Kirsch from the department of psychology at Hull University and colleagues in the US and Canada. But that is probably because the placebo stopped working so well, they say, rather than the drugs having worked better. "Given these results, there seems little reason to prescribe antidepressant medication to any but the most severely depressed patients, unless alternative treatments have failed," says Kirsch. "This study raises serious issues that need to be addressed surrounding drug licensing and how drug trial data is reported." The paper, published today in the journal PLoS (Public Library of Science) Medicine, is likely to have a significant impact on the prescribing of the drugs. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence already recommends that counselling should be tried before doctors prescribe antidepressants.
Note: For many key reports on health issues from reliable sources, click here.
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