Corruption in Science News StoriesExcerpts of Key Corruption in Science News Stories in Major Media
Note: This comprehensive list of corruption in science news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
A leading medical journal is launching a global campaign to separate medicine from big pharma. The BMJ [British Medical Journal] says doctors are being unduly influenced by industry-sponsored education events and industry-funded trials for major drugs. Those trials cannot be trusted, the journal's editor and a team of global healthcare leaders write in a scathing editorial. The "endemic financial entanglement with industry is distorting the production and use of healthcare evidence, causing harm to individuals and waste for health systems", they write. They are calling for governments to start funding independent trials of new drugs and medical devices, rather than relying on industry-funded studies. Sponsored research is more likely to find a favourable result compared to independent research. And they want medical associations to discourage doctors from going to industry-funded education events. Assistant Professor Ray Moynihan, a ... researcher studying the link between money and medicine, and is one of the leaders of The BMJ's campaign. “When we want to decide on a medicine or a surgery, a lot of the evidence we used to inform that decision is biased," he says. "It cannot be trusted. Because so much of that has been produced and funded by the manufacturers of those healthcare products." Dr Moynihan points to ... Johnson & Johnson, which sold pelvic mesh to thousands of Australian women. It knew the mesh could cause serious harm, but never properly warned women of the risks.
Note: Read the highly revealing comments of Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, on the massive corruption she found in the medical industry. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.
In the 1960s, the sugar industry funded research that downplayed the risks of sugar and highlighted the hazards of fat, according to a newly published article in JAMA Internal Medicine. The article draws on internal documents to show that an industry group called the Sugar Research Foundation wanted to "refute" concerns about sugar's possible role in heart disease. The SRF then sponsored research by Harvard scientists that did just that. The result was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1967, with no disclosure of the sugar industry funding. There's no evidence that the SRF directly edited the manuscript published by the Harvard scientists in 1967, but there is "circumstantial" evidence that the interests of the sugar lobby shaped the conclusions of the review, the researchers say. The documents in question are five decades old, but the larger issue is of the moment, as Marion Nestle notes in a commentary in the same issue of JAMA Internal Medicine: "Is it really true that food companies deliberately set out to manipulate research in their favor? Yes, it is, and the practice continues. In 2015, the New York Times obtained emails revealing Coca-Cola's cozy relationships with sponsored researchers who were conducting studies aimed at minimizing the effects of sugary drinks on obesity. More recently, the Associated Press obtained emails showing how a candy trade association funded and influenced studies to show that children who eat sweets have healthier body weights than those who do not."
Note: Read more on the sugar industry's manipulation of science. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.
Can any medical-research studies be trusted? That question has been central to [Dr. John] Ioannidis’s career. He’s what’s known as a meta-researcher, and he’s become one of the world’s foremost experts on the credibility of medical research. He zoomed in on 49 of the most highly regarded research findings in medicine over the previous 13 years, as judged by the science community’s two standard measures: the papers had appeared in the journals most widely cited in research articles, and the 49 articles themselves were the most widely cited articles in these journals. Of the 49 articles, 45 claimed to have uncovered effective interventions. Thirty-four of these claims had been retested, and 14 of these, or 41 percent, had been convincingly shown to be wrong or significantly exaggerated. If between a third and a half of the most acclaimed research in medicine was proving untrustworthy, the scope and impact of the problem were undeniable. “Even when the evidence shows that a particular research idea is wrong, if you have thousands of scientists who have invested their careers in it, they’ll continue to publish papers on it,” he says. “It’s like an epidemic, in the sense that they’re infected with these wrong ideas, and they’re spreading it to other researchers through journals.” Of those 45 super-cited studies that Ioannidis focused on, 11 had never been retested. Perhaps worse, Ioannidis found that even when a research error is outed, it typically persists for years or even decades.
Note: For more along these lines, read 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 medical industry. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in science from reliable major media sources.
An institute whose experts have occupied key positions on EU and UN regulatory panels is, in reality, an industry lobby group that masquerades as a scientific health charity, according to a peer-reviewed study. The Washington-based International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) describes its mission as “pursuing objectivity, clarity and reproducibility” to “benefit the public good”. But researchers from the University of Cambridge, Bocconi University in Milan, and the US Right to Know campaign assessed over 17,000 pages of documents under US freedom of information laws to present evidence of influence-peddling. The paper’s lead author, Dr Sarah Steele, a Cambridge university senior research associate, said: “Our findings add to the evidence that this nonprofit organisation has been used by its corporate backers for years to counter public health policies. ILSI should be regarded as an industry group – a private body – and regulated as such, not as a body acting for the greater good.” Around this time, ILSI was caught up in a separate controversy, when the Guardian revealed that ILSI Europe’s vice-president Prof Alan Boobis chaired a UN panel that found glyphosate was probably not carcinogenic to humans. The final panel report included no conflict of interest statements, even though ILSI Europe had received donations of $500,000 (Ł344,234) from Monsanto, which uses glyphosate in its RoundUp weedkiller, and $528,500 from its industry representative, Croplife International.
Note: Check out a great article on how lobby groups like this cause the media to become industry lapdogs. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.
Scientists in China have reportedly created part human, part monkey chimera embryos for the first time. The team hope the technique will bring animals used to grow human organs for transplantation a step closer. An international team of scientists working in China genetically modified the embryos of monkeys by turning off the genes which create organs, and then inserted human stem cells. The approach involves the embryo of a species which is a few days old, and human embryonic stem cells, brought together in a way which would enable them to grow harmoniously, according to MIT Technology Review. If successful, scientists could create chimeras which contain organs made of human cells. A chimera is an organism which contains two different sets of DNA. However, the would-be chimera is not alive as researchers stopped the process. The work, led by scientist Juan Carlos Izpisúa of the Salk Institute, California and researchers at Murcia Catholic University (UCAM), was carried out in China to side-step the potential legal issues. Biologist Estrella Núńez of Spain's Murcia Catholic University who worked on the project told El Pais: "The results are very promising." Núńez said the researchers plan to experiment with human cells and rodent and pig cells, as well as with non-human primates. Such experiments are not condoned in the U.S., where the National Institutes of Health has stopped short of a ban by blocking funding for chimera experiments.
Note: Read a Washington Post article on the creation of human-animal hybrids without clear ethical guidelines. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in science from reliable major media sources.
Sir Martin Rees, Britain’s dapper astronomer royal, issues a dark warning in his new book, "On the Future." While assessing various threats facing our species, he turns his attention to particle-accelerator experiments designed to probe the laws of nature. “Some physicists raised the possibility that these experiments might do something far worse — destroy the Earth or even the entire universe,” he writes. In one current or future scenario that Rees describes, the particles crashing about inside an accelerator could unleash bits of “strange matter” that shrink Earth into a ball 300 feet across. In another, the experiments could create a microscopic black hole that would inexorably gnaw away at our planet from the inside. In the most extreme scenario Rees describes, a physics mishap could cause space itself to decay into a new form that wipes out everything from here to the farthest star. These doomsday events are unlikely, Rees concedes, but "given the stakes, they should not be ignored.” Is he right to sound the alarm? Rees follows in a long tradition of experts cautioning that modern technology could lead us to disaster. How serious are the risks, really? A team of physicists ... evaluated the possibility of a disastrous mishap in 2003, and they returned to the issue in 2008. Both times they found the risks inconsequential.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the nature of reality from reliable major media sources.
When future generations try to understand how the world got carried away around the end of the 20th century by the panic over global warming, few things will amaze them more than the part played in stoking up the scare by the fiddling of official temperature data. Steven Goddard’s US blog Real Science [shows] how shamelessly manipulated has been one of the world’s most influential climate records, the graph of US surface temperature records published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Goddard shows how, in recent years, NOAA’s US Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) has been “adjusting” its record by replacing real temperatures with data “fabricated” by computer models. The effect of this has been to downgrade earlier temperatures and to exaggerate those from recent decades, to give the impression that the Earth has been warming up much more than is justified by the actual data. In several posts headed “Data tampering at USHCN/GISS”, Goddard compares the currently published temperature graphs with those based only on temperatures measured at the time. These show that the US has actually been cooling since the Thirties, the hottest decade on record; whereas the latest graph, nearly half of it based on “fabricated” data, shows it to have been warming at a rate equivalent to more than 3 degrees centigrade per century.
Note: See the graph on the official NASA website in an article written by NASA's famed climate scientist James Hansen et al. in 1999. The article states "during the past century ... in the U.S. the warmest decade was the 1930s and the warmest year was 1934. and "in the U.S. there has been little temperature change in the past 50 years, the time of rapidly increasing greenhouse gases." Then go to this 2018 webpage on the NASA website and click on the link "Annual Mean Temperature Change in the United States." Compare the graph there with the same graph in the 1999 article. The data has been changed to show warming. Lots more in this article and this video.
In 2014, U.S. officials imposed a moratorium on experiments to enhance some of the world’s most lethal viruses by making them transmissible by air, responding to widespread concerns that a lab accident could spark a global pandemic. Apparently, the government has decided the research should now move ahead. In the past year, the U.S. government quietly greenlighted funding for two groups of researchers, one in the United States and the other in the Netherlands, to conduct transmission-enhancing experiments on the bird flu virus. Neither the approval nor the deliberations or judgments that supported it were announced publicly. This lack of transparency is unacceptable. Making decisions to approve potentially dangerous research in secret betrays the government’s responsibility to inform and involve the public when approving endeavors ... that could put health and lives at risk. Hundreds of researchers ... publicly opposed these experiments when they were first announced. In response to these concerns, the government issued a framework in 2017 for special review of “enhanced” pathogens that could become capable of causing a pandemic. The framework ... requires that experts in public-health preparedness and response, biosafety, ethics and law, among others, evaluate the work, but it is unclear from the public record if that happened. This secrecy means we don’t know how these requirements were applied, if at all, to the experiments now funded by the government.
Note: Read more on strangeness from governments surrounding the avian flu here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the scientific community.
The unstated goal of most company-sponsored studies is to increase the bottom line. “It’s marketing research, not science,” [New York University professor Dr. Marion Nestle] said. Noting that nutrition research, especially that funded by industry, “requires careful interpretation,” she suggests an approach that all consumers would be wise to follow: “Whenever I see studies claiming benefits for a single food, I want to know three things: whether the results are biologically plausible; whether the study controlled for other dietary, behavioral, or lifestyle factors that could have influenced its result; and who sponsored it.” “Fifty years of research has demonstrated the influence of pharmaceutical companies on physicians’ behavior — even giving doctors pads or pens printed with the brand name of a drug can prompt doctors to ignore a generic or competing brand,” Dr. Nestle [said]. However ... while there have been thousands of studies of conflicts of interest among physicians who publish drug studies and those who prescribe industry-touted medications, she could identify only 11 such studies of the influence of industry funding on the outcome of food and beverage research in relation to health. Consumers who are not scientifically savvy can be easily misled by the findings of studies, especially when they emanate from a prestigious institution or professional association. Dr. Nestle says such organizations need to pay closer attention to both blatant and potential conflicts of interest lest they be caught touting sloppy science.
Note: Dr. Marion Nestle recently published a book on this topic titled, "Unsavory Truth: How Food Companies Skew the Science of What We Eat." Read more about the bias in industry-funded nutrition research in this article. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in science and in the food system.
Researchers with UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Princeton University have walked back scientific findings published last month that showed oceans have been heating up dramatically faster than previously thought as a result of climate change. In a paper published Oct. 31 in the journal Nature, researchers found that ocean temperatures had warmed 60% more than outlined by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. However, the conclusion came under scrutiny after mathematician Nic Lewis, a critic of the scientific consensus around human-induced warming, posted a critique of the paper. “A quick review of the first page of the paper was sufficient to raise doubts as to the accuracy of its results,” [Lewis wrote]. Coauthor Ralph Keeling, a climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, took full blame. Keeling said he and his colleagues have redone the calculations, finding the ocean is still likely warmer than the estimate used by the IPCC. A correction has been submitted to the journal Nature.
Note: Climate change is possibly the most politicized topic out there. Both sides have exaggerated their claims so much that it's hard to know what is really true, other than that global warming is a reality in most parts of the planet. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing science corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
A study that claims to show that a homeopathic treatment can ease pain in rats has caused uproar after it was published in a peer-reviewed journal. Groups that promote homeopathy in Italy, where there is currently a debate about how to label homeopathic remedies, have held the study up as evidence that the practice works. But several researchers have cast doubt on its claims. The authors acknowledge some errors ... but stand by its overall conclusions. This latest claim has attracted attention, in part, because it passed peer review at the journal Scientific Reports. “Either the paper is true, so it’s of extraordinary importance, or it’s false and should be closely scrutinized,” says Enrico Bucci, the researcher who carried out [an] analysis of the paper. Homeopathy is based on the claim that illnesses can be treated using substances that produce similar symptoms. Mostly, these have been heavily diluted in water or alcohol so that none or only a few molecules of the active ingredient are present. Some supporters of the practice say that the water or alcohol ‘remembers’ the substance, which triggers a healing response. In the ... study, Patil and colleagues report that a homeopathic product - a heavily diluted extract from Toxicodendron pubescens, a plant commonly known as Atlantic poison oak - is as effective as the prescription drug gabapentin in reducing inflammation and pain responses in both cells grown in the lab and in animals.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.
In order to get prescription drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration, companies must conduct clinical trials to show that the drugs are safe and effective. But drug companies don’t have direct access to human subjects, so they’ve always contracted with academic researchers to conduct the trials on patients in teaching hospitals and clinics. Traditionally, they gave grants to the institutions for interested researchers to test their drugs, then waited for the results and hoped that their products looked good. That began to change in the 1980s, partly as a result of a new law that permitted researchers and their institutions, even if funded by the National Institutes of Health ... to patent their discoveries and license them exclusively to drug companies in return for royalties. That made them business partners, and the sponsors became intimately involved in all aspects of the clinical trials. Drug company involvement biases research in ways that are not always obvious, often by suppressing negative results. A review of 74 clinical trials of antidepressants, for example, found that 37 of 38 positive studies — that is, studies that showed that a drug was effective — were published. But 33 of 36 negative studies were either not published or published in a form that conveyed a positive outcome. Bias can also be introduced through the design of a clinical trial. It’s often possible to make clinical trials come out the way you and your sponsors want. Disclosure is better than no disclosure, but it does not eliminate the conflict of interest.
Note: The above was written by Marcia Angell, former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine. For more, see this mercola.com article. Then see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Parma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Dewayne Johnson tries not to think about dying. Doctors have said the 46-year-old cancer patient could have months to live. The father of three and former school groundskeeper has been learning to live with the gift and burden of being in the spotlight in the month since a California jury ruled that Monsanto caused his terminal cancer. The historic verdict against the agrochemical corporation, which included an award of $289m, has ignited widespread health concerns about the world’s most popular weedkiller. Johnson ... was the first person to take Monsanto to trial on allegations that the global seed and chemical company spent decades hiding the cancer risks of its herbicide. He is also the first to win. The groundbreaking verdict further stated that Monsanto “acted with malice” and knew or should have known that its chemicals were “dangerous”. The chemical that changed Johnson’s life is glyphosate, which Monsanto began marketing as Roundup in 1974. The corporation presented the herbicide as a technological breakthrough that could kill nearly every weed without posing dangers to humans or the environment. Roundup products are now registered in 130 countries. Glyphosate can be found in food, water sources and agricultural workers’ urine. Research ... has repeatedly raised concerns about potential harms linked to the herbicide. In 2015, the World Health Organization’s international agency for research on cancer classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans”.
Note: The EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. A recent independent study published in a scientific journal also found a link between glyphosate and gluten intolerance. Internal FDA emails suggest that the food supply contains far more glyphosate than government reports indicate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.
Recently, secret documents have been unearthed detailing what the energy industry knew about the links between their products and global warming. In the 1980s, oil companies like Exxon and Shell carried out internal assessments of the carbon dioxide released by fossil fuels, and forecast the planetary consequences of these emissions. In 1982, for example, Exxon predicted that by about 2060, CO2 levels would reach around 560 parts per million – double the preindustrial level – and that this would push the planet’s average temperatures up by about 2°C over then-current levels. in 1988, an internal report by Shell projected similar effects but also found that CO2 could double even earlier, by 2030. Privately, these companies did not dispute the links between their products, global warming, and ecological calamity. On the contrary, their research confirmed the connections. The effect is all the more chilling in view of the oil giants’ refusal to warn the public about the damage that their own researchers predicted. Although the details of global warming were foreign to most people in the 1980s, among the few who had a better idea than most were the companies contributing the most to it. Despite scientific uncertainties, the bottom line was this: oil firms recognized that their products added CO2 to the atmosphere, understood that this would lead to warming, and calculated the likely consequences. And then they chose to accept those risks on our behalf, at our expense, and without our knowledge.
During the Cold War, the CIA funded a series of secret brainwashing experiments at a prestigious psychiatric clinic. No method was too bizarre, including using LSD, hypnosis, prolonged periods of induced sleep, and electrical shocks to the brain. Patients were given the treatment without explanation or consent, and even decades later complained that they had never completely recovered. Bob Logie was admitted to Allen Memorial hospital at age 18 to treat psychosomatic leg pain. He was repeatedly given LSD as a test subject without his consent, [and was] exposed to massive doses of electroshock therapy and kept asleep for up to a month at a time. Tape messages were played repeatedly while he slept. Logie said the effect of the treatments stayed with him. No one knows how many patients were exposed to the program of chemical and electro-shock treatments. But documents and testimony have revealed that the Montreal experiments were part of a series of psychological projects given code names such as MK Ultra and run by the CIA in a quest to understand how to brainwash people. Many years passed before there was any public or official acknowledgment of what patients at Allen Memorial had been through. [In 1998] the CIA agreed to pay some of the patients an out of court settlement of $750 thousand. It emerged that during that time Ottawa helped suppress evidence that CIA officials had apologized to the Canadian government when the CIA experiments were first revealed.
Note: Watch the complete Fifth Estate report at the link above. The Canadian government has been actively attempting to silence victims of this program for over forty years. Read more on the court cases stemming from Dr Ewen Cameron's CIA-funded experiments in this Times of London article. Read also an excellent summary on the involvement of doctors in the CIA's brainwashing experiments. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing mind control news articles from reliable major media sources.
Once among the world’s most acclaimed scientists, Jose Manuel Rodriguez Delgado has become an urban legend. Delgado pioneered ... the brain chip, which manipulates the mind by electrically stimulating neural tissue with implanted electrodes. In 1965, [he] stopped a charging bull in its tracks by sending a radio signal to a device implanted in its brain. He also implanted radio-equipped electrode arrays, which he called “stimoceivers,” in dogs, cats, monkeys, chimpanzees, gibbons, and humans. With the push of a button, he could evoke smiles, snarls, bliss, terror, hunger, garrulousness, lust, and other responses. Delgado also invented implantable “chemotrodes” that could release precise amounts of drugs directly into the brain. In 1952, Delgado co-authored ... the first peer-reviewed paper describing deep brain stimulation of humans. Over the next two decades, he implanted electrodes in some 25 subjects. Most were schizophrenics and epileptics at the now-defunct State Hospital for Mental Diseases in Howard, Rhode Island. The sponsorship of his experiments by the Office of Naval Research and the Air Force Aeromedical Research Laboratory (as well as several civilian agencies) raised eyebrows. He invented a halo-like device and a helmet that could deliver electromagnetic pulses to specific neural regions. Testing the gadgets on animals and human volunteers, including himself and his daughter, Delgado discovered that he could induce drowsiness, alertness, and other states.
Note: Read a 1965 New York Times article on Delgado's disturbing research. Imagine how far the military has gone with this microchip technology in the over 50 years since Delgado invented it. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on microchip implants and mind control.
It’s been three weeks since a San Francisco jury found that exposure to Monsanto’s Roundup herbicides contributed to former school groundskeeper Dewayne “Lee” Johnson’s terminal cancer and awarded a stunning $289 million in damages. During that time, we’ve seen repeated assertions from the pesticide giant and its allies that, in fact, the jury was wrong. Corporate assurances of safety leave out one important word - a word that is critically important to anyone who wants to make an informed decision about the cancer risk associated with ... glyphosate-based herbicides. That word is “independent.” Truly independent research has shown that there is reason for concern. Independent and peer-reviewed works ... convinced the cancer research arm of the World Health Organization to determine that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen. In the wake of that WHO finding, California added glyphosate to the state’s list of cancer-causing chemicals. Monsanto’s response to that 2015 classification was more manipulated science. An “independent review” of glyphosate showed up in a peer-reviewed scientific journal decrying the IARC classification. The review not only was titled as being independent, but declared that no Monsanto employee had any involvement in the writing of it. Yet the company’s internal emails, turned over in discovery associated with the litigation, revealed that a Monsanto scientist in fact aggressively edited and reviewed the analysis prior to its publication.
Note: The EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. A recent independent study published in a scientific journal also found a link between glyphosate and gluten intolerance. Internal FDA emails suggest that the food supply contains far more glyphosate than government reports indicate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.
Johnson & Johnson and its cosmetics lobby have known about the link between its talcum powder and cancer for 40 years, distorted research about the talcum-cancer connection, and lied to the public about the dangers. The big lie was exposed [when] jurors blasted Johnson & Johnson with an 8-figure verdict in a trial charging that the company knew that its talc-based Baby Powder and Show to Shower Powder causes ovarian cancer. Talc was found in the ovarian tissue after a hysterectomy of the plaintiff, Gloria Ristesund. She was diagnosed with cancer in 2011 after using J&J’s talc-based feminine hygiene products for almost 40 years, and the jury awarded her $55 million. Another jury in the same courthouse awarded $72 million on February 22 to the family of Jacqueline Fox of Birmingham, AL, who used Johnson’s baby powder for 35 years. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2013 and died last year. For decades, according to the plaintiffs, J&J and its lobby the Talc Interested Party Task Force (TIPTF) distorted scientific papers to prevent talc from being classified as a carcinogen. As a result, J&J is facing now 1,200 lawsuits in Missouri and New Jersey, charging it with fraud, negligence, conspiracy, and failing to warn consumers about the cancer risks. Talc is a mineral [that] absorbs moisture well and helps reduce friction. The risk of ovarian cancer is one-third higher among women who regularly powdered their genitals with talc, according to a 2016 study in Epidemiology.
Note: J & J was eventually fined over $4 billion in this case. For more, see this article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.
Monsanto has long worked to “bully scientists” and suppress evidence of the cancer risks of its popular weedkiller, a lawyer argued on Monday in a landmark lawsuit against the global chemical corporation. “Monsanto has specifically gone out of its way to bully ... and to fight independent researchers,” said the attorney Brent Wisner, who presented internal Monsanto emails that he said showed how the agrochemical company rejected critical research and expert warnings over the years while pursuing and helping to write favorable analyses of their products. Wisner ... is representing DeWayne Johnson, known also as Lee, a California man whose cancer has spread through his body. The father of three ... is the first person to take Monsanto to trial over allegations that the chemical sold under the Roundup brand is linked to cancer. Thousands have made similar legal claims across the US. The suit centers on glyphosate ... which Monsanto began marketing as Roundup in 1974, presenting it as a technological breakthrough that could kill almost every weed without harming humans. Studies have suggested otherwise, and in 2015, the World Health Organization’s international agency for research on cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans”. Glyphosate has been found in food, a variety of water sources, and the urine of agricultural workers. A number of countries have policies banning or restricting the sale and use of glyphosate.
Note: For more, see this article from the San Francisco Chronicle. As major lawsuits like this one against Monsanto unfold, the EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. A recent independent study published in a scientific journal found a link between glyphosate and gluten intolerance. Internal FDA emails suggest that the food supply contains far more glyphosate than government reports indicate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.
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.
A Chinese official has suggested China may still be using organs farmed from the bodies of executed prisoners. Huang Jiefu, director of Beijing’s transplant program, said at a Vatican summit on the topic that organ collection could still be taking place, despite China declaring zero tolerance for the practice at the end of 2014. At the summit held to discuss the practice of organ trafficking, Huang Jiefu told the assembled crowd - which included 80 doctors and NGO representatives - that China was trying to improve on its history of taking organs from those on death row. His attendance at the Organ Transplant and Transplant Tourism Summit was criticized by some attendees, who said that China’s presence reduced the legitimacy of the conference. The BBC reported that the Doctors Against Forced Harvesting described China’s involvement as “compromising.” Reports in the early 2000s suggested organs were frequently harvested from executed prisoners. Reports last year suggested the practice may have continued. The spiritual group Falun Gong, which was outlawed in China in 1999, is one of the most outspoken groups against organ harvesting. Members of the group, and supportive Western politicians, have suggested that waiting times for organ transplantation in China are so short due to the harvesting from prisoners. A 2008 paper ... co-authored by Jiefu published in The Lancet, suggested that more than half of organ transplants in China came from death row prisoners.
Note: For more evidence this practice may still be happening, see this article in the UK's Daily Mail. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Survivors and families of those who allegedly underwent brainwashing experiments at McGill University in Montreal are planning a class-action lawsuit against the Quebec and federal governments because of what they claim had been done to them decades ago. Dr. Ewen Cameron, a former psychiatrist at McGill University’s Alan Memorial Institute, conducted CIA-funded experiments in the 1950s and 1960s involving sleeping drugs, electroshock therapy and the powerful hallucinogenic LSD to see if the brain could be reprogrammed. Patients entered the program - known as Project MKUltra - with relatively minor mental health issues, such as anxiety. “These were innocent people that went in for mild depression… They came out completely ravaged and their life was ruined,” Marlene Levenson, whose aunt was admitted to the facility, told CTV Montreal. Many victims of these experiments have since passed away, but some family members have documents that share first-hand accounts of what allegedly transpired at the facility. Angela Bardosh’s mother Nancy Layton showed CTV Montreal a letter from her mother that read in part: "They destroyed many parts of me. I'm lucky to be alive." Bardosh said Layton was admitted to the facility at age 18 due to depression. Within six months of Cameron’s treatment, her mother developed acute schizophrenia. The victims and their families have now banded together in the hopes of filing a class-action lawsuit against the Quebec and federal governments, and maybe even McGill too, seeking damages and an apology for what they had to endure.
Note: The Canadian government has been actively attempting to silence victims of this program for over forty years. Read more on the court cases stemming from Dr Ewen Cameron's CIA-funded experiments in this Times of London article. Read also an excellent summary on the involvement of doctors in the CIA's brainwashing experiments. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing mind control news articles from reliable major media sources.
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.
In 1956, Velma Orlikow checked herself into a renowned Canadian psychiatric hospital, the Allan Memorial Institute in Montreal. Instead of improving, her condition deteriorated – and her personality underwent jarring changes. More than two decades passed before ... her family had an explanation, and it was much stranger than any of them could imagine: in 1977 it emerged that the CIA had been funding experiments in mind-control brainwashing at the institute as part of a North America-wide project known as MK Ultra. Orlikow was one of several hundred patients who became unwitting subjects of these experiments in Montreal in the late 1950s and early 60s. “It’s almost impossible to believe,” said her granddaughter, Sarah Anne Johnson. “Some of the things [psychiatrist Ewen Cameron] did to his patients are so horrible and unbelievable that it sounds like the stuff of nightmares.” Patients were subjected to high-voltage electroshock therapy several times a day, forced into drug-induced sleeps that could last months and injected with megadoses of LSD. After reducing them to a childlike state ... Cameron would attempt to reprogram them by bombarding them with recorded messages for up to 16 hours at a time. Years later, Johnson found out that the experiments had wreaked havoc on Orlikow’s brain; it could take her three weeks to read a newspaper, months to write a letter, and years to read a book. Similar scenes played out across Canada as former patients of the institute attempted to return to their lives. “It tainted our whole family,” said Alison Steel, whose mother was admitted to the institute in 1957.
Note: The Canadian government has been actively attempting to silence victims of this program for over forty years. Read more on the court cases stemming from Dr Ewen Cameron's CIA-funded experiments in this Times of London article. Read also an excellent summary on the involvement of doctors in the CIA's brainwashing experiments. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing mind control news articles from reliable major media sources.
He is a cheerful old farmer who jokes as he serves rice cakes made by his wife, and then he switches easily to explaining what it is like to cut open a 30-year-old man who is tied naked to a bed and dissect him alive, without anesthetic. The old man, who insisted on anonymity, explained the reason for the vivisection. The Chinese prisoner had been deliberately infected with the plague as part of a research project ... to develop plague bombs for use in World War II. After infecting him, the researchers decided to cut him open to see what the disease does to a man's inside. No anesthetic was used, he said, out of concern that it might have an effect on the results. That research program was one of the great secrets of Japan during and after World War II: a vast project to develop weapons of biological warfare, including plague, anthrax, cholera and a dozen other pathogens. Unit 731 of the Japanese Imperial Army conducted research by experimenting on humans and by "field testing" plague bombs ... to see whether they could start plague outbreaks. They could. At least 3,000 people ... were killed in the medical experiments; none survived. The research was kept secret after the end of the war in part because the United States Army granted immunity from war crimes prosecution to the doctors in exchange for their data. Japanese and American documents show that the United States helped cover up the human experimentation. Instead of putting the ringleaders on trial, it gave them stipends.
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.
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.
Japan has again been forced to confront its wartime conduct after a former doctor in the country's imperial navy admitted he had conducted experiments on Filipino prisoners during the second world war. Akira Makino, 84, said in an interview with the Kyodo news agency that he had performed surgery and amputations on dozens of prisoners of war before they were executed in the Philippines. Mr Makino is one of several former Japanese soldiers who decided to reveal the truth about their country's use of human guinea pigs before they die. Unit 731, the imperial Japanese army's notorious germ warfare unit, killed thousands of Chinese civilians and Allied PoWs at its sprawling complex in Harbin, northern China. The victims ... were injected with typhus, cholera and other diseases. They died during the experiments or were executed to prevent them from talking about their experiences. As the end of the war approached, the unit destroyed evidence of their activities. The extent of their activities only came to light following testimony from repentant former doctors, soldiers and nurses. US authorities secretly granted unit officials immunity from prosecution in return for access to years of research into biological weapons. Several former Unit 731 officials went on to enjoy prominent careers in medicine, academia and business. Mr Makino ... said he remained haunted by memories of the experiments. "We should not repeat that misery again," he said. "I want to tell the truth about the war."
Note: Explore a list depicting the rampant use of humans as guinea pigs in government, military, and medical experiments over the last century.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine sued agricultural giant Monsanto on Monday, alleging the company concealed dangers posed by a toxic chemical compound it manufactured for nearly a half century. In the suit ... prosecutors argued that the company should pay for the clean-up of what it says are dozens of rivers, lakes and other water bodies contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs. The company stopped manufacturing the chemical in 1977 and it was banned in 1979 by the Environmental Protection Agency. According to the suit, Monsanto produced nearly all of the PCBs - which were used in everything from lubricants to electrical equipment - in the United States between 1929 and 1977. The chemical has been linked to cancer, liver damage and other negative health effects. The suit alleges that Monsanto learned of PCBs’ toxic effects in the 1930s, yet it kept producing the compound while concealing its effects. The suit claims the company acknowledged that prolonged exposure could produce "systemic toxic effects" in an internal memo in 1937, so it undertook a "decades-long campaign of misinformation and deception."
Note: Other major lawsuits are beginning to unfold over Monsanto's lies to regulators and the public on the dangers of its products, most notably Roundup. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.
It was 1956. Papers had run a photograph of President Dwight D. Eisenhower sweetening his coffee with saccharin, with the news that his doctor had advised him to avoid sugar if he wanted to remain thin. The [sugar] industry responded with a national advertising campaign. The ads explained that there was no such thing as a “fattening food”: “All foods supply calories and there is no difference between the calories that come from sugar or steak or grapefruit or ice cream.” More than 60 years later, the sugar industry is still making the same argument, or at least paying researchers to do it for them. The stakes have changed, however, with a near tripling of the prevalence of obesity in the intervening decades and ... an almost unimaginable 655 percent increase in the percentage of Americans with diabetes diagnoses. When it comes to weight gain, the sugar industry and purveyors of sugary beverages still insist, a calorie is a calorie, regardless of its source. The assumption ignores decades of medical science, including much of what has become textbook endocrinology (the science of hormones and hormone-related diseases) and biochemistry. Different carbohydrates, like glucose and fructose, are metabolized differently, leading to different hormonal and physiological responses. Fat accumulation and metabolism [are] influenced profoundly by these hormones. In light of this research, arguing today that your body fat responds to everything you eat the exact same way is almost inconceivably naďve.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing food system corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
There are few federal food policies as contentious as the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, developed every five years after a report by the independent U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The guidelines [are] used to develop approaches to everything from food labeling regulations to school lunch menus and food stamp benefits. Following the 2015 committee report, which had recommended that Americans reduce their consumption of red and processed meat and sugar-sweetened foods and beverages, the food and beverage industry scrambled to respond. But newly released emails suggest a broader strategy for shaping policy. The chain, which began with a mass email from the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC), an industry-funded group, included a conversation between two former executives of Coca-Cola Co. and of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), also an industry-funded group. These emails lay out “what appears to be the food industry’s roadmap for dealing with scientific challenges,” said Gary Ruskin ... an author of a report on the significance of the emails. The emails “reveal deliberate use of [the tobacco industry’s] ‘playbook’ tactics: cast doubt on the science, influence reporters, use front groups (e.g., ILSI and IFIC) to undermine concerns about the harmful effects of sugary drinks and head off dietary guidelines raising such concerns, and regulation,” said Marion Nestle, a professor ... at New York University and author of Food Politics and Soda Politics.
A reputable-sounding nonprofit organization released a report attacking the organic food industry in April 2014. The 30-page report by Academics Review, described as “a non-profit led by independent academic experts in agriculture and food sciences,” found that consumers were being duped into spending more money for organic food. The [group's] press release ends on this note: “Academics Review has no conflicts-of-interest associated with this publication, and all associated costs for which were paid for using our general funds without any specific donor’ influence or direction.” What was not mentioned in the report, the news release or on the website: Executives for Monsanto Co., the world’s leading purveyor of agrichemicals and genetically engineered seeds, along with key Monsanto allies, engaged in fund raising for Academics Review, collaborated on strategy and even discussed plans to hide industry funding, according to emails obtained by U.S. Right to Know. Jay Byrne, former head of communications at Monsanto ... offered to act as a “commercial vehicle” to help find corporate funding for Academics Review. In March 2016, Monica Eng reported ... on documents showing that Monsanto paid Professor Bruce Chassy more than $57,000 over a 23-month period to travel, write and speak about GMOs - money that was not disclosed to the public. The money was part of at least $5.1 million in undisclosed money Monsanto sent through the University of Illinois Foundation.
Note: Monsanto has reportedly pushed fake science in other circumstances as well. Major lawsuits are beginning to unfold over Monsanto's lies to regulators and the public on the dangers of its products, most notably Roundup. Yet the EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.
The Environmental Protection Agency is shifting course. Some former EPA officials ... say the agency is skipping vital steps that protect the public from hazardous chemicals that consumers have never used before, undermining new laws and regulations that Congress passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in 2016. In recent months, the EPA has quietly overhauled its process for determining whether new chemicals - used in everything from household cleaners and industrial manufacturing to children’s toys - pose a serious risk to human health or the environment. The agency will no longer require that manufacturers who want to produce new, potentially hazardous chemicals sign legal agreements that restrict their use under certain conditions. Such agreements, known as consent orders, will still be required if the EPA believes that the manufacturer’s intended use for a new chemical poses a risk to the public health and the environment. But the agency won’t require consent orders when it believes there are risks associated with “reasonably foreseen” uses of the new chemical. Instead the EPA will rely on a broader measure, known as significant new-use rules, to regulate chemicals. Under EPA administrator Scott Pruitt’s leadership, the agency has taken major industry-friendly steps to loosen its regulation of legacy chemicals. Last year, the EPA delayed bans on chemicals already in widespread use, including a lethal substance in paint strippers and a pesticide linked to developmental disabilities in children.
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.
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.
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.
Most pharmaceutical companies have sworn off ghostwriting, the practice of writing "research" papers for doctors and then paying them to add their names as authors even when they had little involvement or the results were trivial. Merck (MRK), Forest Labs (FRX), and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) have all been caught doing it. But what happens to the articles that have been disavowed by companies or discredited by lawyers? Not much, it turns out. They sit inside prestigious online archives of academic material, unretracted, where they look just like real studies with robust results. Ghostwriting doesn't look good in lawsuits, either. Pfizer (PFE) must now pay $9.5 million to a woman who claimed menopause drug Prempro gave her breast cancer; Wyeth - the company that made the drug and was later acquired by Pfizer - commissioned ghostwritten articles about the drug. So it's interesting to note that many of those pay-for-play articles are still sitting in scholarly archives such as PubMed, notching up bibliography references and footnotes, even though they shouldn't be. You can search for more ghostwritten papers here.
Note: Big Pharma giant Merck created a fake medical journal and created a list of doctors to discredit in order to popularize a dangerous drug that may have killed as many as 500,000 people before it was finally recalled. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing pharmaceutical corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Baby Boomers are sucking the blood of the young. They are ... after the plasma. In Monterey, California, a new startup has emerged, offering transfusions of human plasma: 1.5 litres a time, pumped in across two days, harvested uniquely from young adults. Ambrosia, the vampiric startup concerned, is run by a 32-year-old doctor called Jesse Karmazin, who bills $8,000 (Ł6,200) a pop for participation in what he has dubbed a “study”. So far, he has 600 clients, with a median age of 60. The blood is collected from local blood banks, then separated and combined – it takes multiple donors to make one package. The idea has become faddish in tech circles. Mike Judge’s Silicon Valley sitcom recently parodied the notion, with arch-tech guru Gavin Belson relying on a “blood boy” following him around to donate pints of sticky red at inopportune moments. That fictionalised account may well be based on the real-life adventures of Peter Thiel, the PayPal founder. A 2014 Harvard report ... seems to have kickstarted the present revival of interest in transfusions. There, scientists injecting old mice with the plasma of a younger generation found it improved their memory and their ability to learn. Conversely, injecting old blood into young seemed to knobble the young rodents. The scientific community has rolled its eyes at the “trial” element of Ambrosia. There is no control group and, with participation costing so much, no one involved is very randomised.
Note: Read more about Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel's investment in this questionable technology. One university researcher has found that many in the European royalty until the end of the 18th century practiced selective cannibalism in the belief if would keep them young. Another article goes into greater depth about the practice some elder members of the wealthy elite taking blood infusions from young people to stay young.
More than 700 people have left the Environmental Protection Agency since President Trump took office, a wave of departures that puts the administration nearly a quarter of the way toward its goal of shrinking the agency to levels last seen during the Reagan administration. Of the employees who have quit, retired or taken a buyout package since the beginning of the year, more than 200 are scientists. An additional 96 are environmental protection specialists, a broad category that includes scientists as well as others experienced in investigating and analyzing pollution levels. Nine department directors have departed the agency as well as dozens of attorneys and program managers. Most of the employees who have left are not being replaced. The departures reflect poor morale and a sense of grievance at the agency, which has been criticized by President Trump and top Republicans in Congress. That unease is likely to deepen following revelations that Republican campaign operatives were using the Freedom of Information Act to request copies of emails from E.P.A. officials suspected of opposing Mr. Trump and his agenda. Employees say the exodus has left the agency depleted of decades of knowledge about protecting the nation’s air and water. Many also said they saw the departures as part of a more worrisome trend of muting government scientists, cutting research budgets and making it more difficult for academic scientists to serve on advisory boards.
Note: The EPA is one of three federal agencies reported to 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.
The US government has lifted a three-year ban on making lethal viruses in the lab, saying the potential benefits of disease preparedness outweigh the risks. Labs will now be able to manufacture strains of influenza, Sars and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers). The ban was imposed following safety breaches at federal institutions involving anthrax and avian flu. Now a scientific review panel will have to green-light each research proposal. It will only be allowed to go ahead if the panel determines there is no safer way to conduct the research and that the benefits it will provide justify the risk. Critics say such "gain-of-function" research still risks creating an accidental pandemic. The ban was imposed in 2014 after embarrassing safety lapses including ... dozens of workers at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) being exposed to anthrax bacteria, [and] long forgotten vials of smallpox left in a cardboard box being discovered at a research centre near Washington. In addition, there was concern that research into transmissible pathogens, which is published, could be used to deliberately engineer a mutant virus. Now, the US National Institutes of Health says it is time to lift the ban on funding such research.
Note: Despite FBI assurance to the contrary, the 2001 weaponized anthrax attacks remain unsolved. From November of 2001 to March of 2002, eleven microbiologists mysteriously died. According to this 2009 ABC News article, swine flu may be a "man-made product of genetic experiments accidently leaked from a laboratory". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on avian and swine flu from reliable major media sources.
The Trump administration is prohibiting officials at the nation’s top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases - including “fetus” and “transgender” - in official documents being prepared for next year’s budget. Policy analysts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta were told of the list of forbidden words at a meeting Thursday. The forbidden words are “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.” The Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the CDC, “will continue to use the best scientific evidence available to improve the health of all Americans,” HHS spokesman Matt Lloyd [said]. It’s likely that other parts of HHS are operating under the same guidelines regarding the use of these words. At the CDC, several offices have responsibility for work that uses some of these words. The National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention is working on ways to prevent HIV among transgender people and reduce health disparities. The CDC’s work on birth defects caused by the Zika virus includes research on the developing fetus. The ban is related to the budget and supporting materials that are to be given to the CDC’s partners and to Congress. The budget blueprint is generally shaped to reflect an administration’s priorities. The reaction of people in the meeting was “incredulous,” [a CDC] analyst said. “It was very much, ‘Are you serious? Are you kidding?’”
Forty years after revelations that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency funded brainwashing experiments on unsuspecting Canadians, the Trudeau government is continuing a pattern of silencing the victims. A recent Department of Justice gag order in an out-of-court settlement was designed to avoid responsibility and avert compensation to more victims and their families, said Alan Stein, [a lawyer] who has represented numerous survivors who were once patients at the Allan Memorial Institute in Montreal. Successive federal governments have demanded confidentiality agreements in at least five of the cases he has settled. The Trudeau government's quiet non-disclosure payment in March 2017 to the daughter of a now-deceased victim is just the latest development in a decades-old scandal that saw both the CIA and the Canadian government fund brutal science experiments on unsuspecting patients. Revelations of mental torture on hundreds of Canadian patients first surfaced in the late 1970s. At the centre of the controversy was Dr. Ewen Cameron, a respected psychiatrist and first director of the Allan Memorial Institute, the psychiatric facility at McGill University where the brainwashing experiments took place from 1950 to 1965. Cameron ... ran experiments called "psychic driving" and "depatterning" that attempted to erase a patient's memories and reprogram them with new thoughts. To this day, neither the CIA nor the Canadian government has apologized for its role in the experiments.
Note: Read more on the court cases stemming from Dr Ewen Cameron's CIA-funded experiments in this Times of London article. Read also an excellent summary on the involvement of doctors in the CIA's brainwashing experiments. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing mind control news articles from reliable major media sources.
In the summer of 1977, Capitol Hill was gripped by revelations of the CIA’s top-secret MK-Ultra mind control research program, targeting unsuspecting American citizens, in some cases by luring them to brothels to be fed LSD-laced cocktails. Hearings that summer, chaired by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy ... touched some of the country’s rawest nerves. The August 1977 MK-Ultra hearings specifically explored what seemed like an outlandish idea straight out of science fiction: the possibility of government mind control. Kennedy ... had a complex relationship with the CIA, given what the agency knew about the assassinations of his brothers Robert and John in the 1960s. One MK-Ultra project involved CIA-run brothels in San Francisco and New York City, established specifically to study LSD’s effects on unsuspecting adults. Project Midnight Climax ran in San Francisco from 1955 to 1965. Operatives reported that it helped refine sexual blackmail tactics, surveillance technology, LSD’s use in interrogations and how to better use empathy as an investigation tactic. Brothel operatives later [admitted] that they had dosed unsuspecting subjects at nearby restaurants, bars and beaches. In one case, a U.S. marshal held up a San Francisco bar with his service revolver after an MK-Ultra agent slipped LSD into his bourbon and soda. In the early 1970s, CIA Director Richard Helms, who ran the agency from 1966 to 1973, along with one of MK-Ultra’s architects, Sidney Gottlieb, ordered all the relevant paperwork destroyed.
Note: Read more about Midnight Climax and the CIA's MK ULTRA program. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing mind control news articles from reliable major media sources.
The sugar industry funded animal research in the 1960s that looked into the effects of sugar consumption on cardiovascular health - and then buried the data when it suggested that sugar could be harmful, according to newly released historical documents. Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at U.C.S.F. and an author of the new report, said that even though the newly discovered documents are 50 years old, they are important because they point to a decades-long strategy to downplay the potential health effects of sugar consumption. “This is continuing to build the case that the sugar industry has a long history of manipulating science,” Dr. Glantz said. The documents described in the new report are part of a cache of internal sugar industry communications that Cristin E. Kearns, an assistant professor at the U.C.S.F. School of Dentistry, discovered in recent years. Last year, an article in The New York Times highlighted some of the previous documents that Dr. Kearns had uncovered, which showed that the sugar industry launched a campaign in the 1960s to counter “negative attitudes toward sugar” in part by funding sugar research that could produce favorable results. The campaign was orchestrated by John Hickson, a top executive at the sugar association who later joined the tobacco industry. Mr. Hickson secretly paid two influential Harvard scientists to publish a major review paper in 1967 that minimized the link between sugar and heart health and shifted blame to saturated fat.
Note: Read more about the sugar industry conspiracy. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the food system and in the scientific community.
More than four decades ago, a study in rats funded by the sugar industry found evidence linking the sweetener to heart disease and bladder cancer. The results of that study were never made public. Instead, the sugar industry pulled the plug on the study and buried the evidence, said senior researcher Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine and director of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. Glantz likened this to suppressed Big Tobacco internal research linking smoking with heart disease and cancer. "This was an experiment that produced evidence that contradicted the scientific position of the sugar industry," Glantz said. "It certainly would have contributed to increasing our understanding of the cardiovascular risk associated with eating a lot of sugar, and they didn't want that." Researchers at the University of Birmingham in England conducted Project 259 between 1967 and 1971, comparing how lab rats fared when fed table sugar versus starch. The scientists specifically looked at how gut bacteria processed the two different forms of carbohydrate. Early results in August 1970 indicated that rats fed a high-sugar diet experienced an increase in blood levels of triglycerides, a type of fat that contributes to cholesterol. Rats fed loads of sugar also appeared to have elevated levels of beta-glucuronidase, an enzyme previously associated with bladder cancer in humans, the researchers said.
Note: Read more about the sugar industry conspiracy. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the food system and in the scientific community.
Alison Steel was only 4˝ years old when her mother's life changed forever. In 1957, Jean Steel was admitted to Montreal's Allan Memorial Institute. In the months that followed, Steel became the victim of CIA-funded brainwashing experiments conducted by Dr. Ewen Cameron. She was kept in a chemically induced sleep for weeks and subjected to rounds of electroshocks, experimental drugs and tape-recorded messages played non-stop. Steel said her mother was never quite the same. Now, 60 years after Cameron's experiments left her mother damaged for life, Alison Steel has finally won a measure of justice for her family. The federal government quietly reached an out-of-court settlement with Steel earlier this year, paying her $100,000 in exchange for dropping the legal action she launched in September 2015. The settlement with Steel is the latest development in the decades-old saga that began with Cameron's experiments at the Allan Memorial Institute in the '50s and '60s. What patients and their families didn't know was that Cameron's experiments were ... being funded by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's MK Ultra program. The CIA ... funded mind-control experiments across North America. In 1992, Conservative Justice Minister Kim Campbell decided to compensate dozens of Cameron's former patients. An estimated 70 patients were compensated, but hundreds more who applied were rejected because the government said they hadn't been "de-patterned" enough to warrant compensation.
Members of Congress are demanding answers after a St. Louis scholar's new book revealed details of secret Cold War-era U.S. government testing in which countless unsuspecting people, including many children, pregnant women and minorities, were fed, sprayed or injected with radiation and other dangerous materials. Lisa Martino-Taylor ... wrote "Behind the Fog: How the U.S. Cold War Radiological Weapons Program Exposed Innocent Americans," [using] Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain previously unreleased documents, including Army records. She found that a small group of researchers, aided by leading academic institutions, worked to develop radiological weapons and later "combination weapons" using radioactive materials along with chemical or biological weapons. Martino-Taylor said the offensive radiological weapons program was a top priority for the government. Unknowing people in places throughout the U.S., as well as parts of England and Canada, were subjected to potentially deadly material through open-air spraying, ingestion and injection. "They targeted the most vulnerable in society," Martino-Taylor said. "They targeted children. They targeted pregnant women. People who were ill in hospitals. They targeted wards of the state. And they targeted minority populations." [House Democrat William Lacy] Clay said he was angered that Americans were used as "guinea pigs" for research. "I join with my colleagues to demand the whole truth about this testing," Clay said in a statement.
Note: See this news article for photos and a video of this event. Read about dozens of other incidents in which humans were used as guinea pigs, at times resulting in deaths that were covered up. Another video is available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the scientific community.
The idea that pesticides are necessary to feed the world’s fast-growing population is “inaccurate and misleading”, a UN report has warned. The document, which is expected to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council this week, strongly denounced the “aggressive promotion” of pesticides by the industry as experts found the chemicals had “catastrophic impacts on the environment, human health and society as a whole”. [These impacts] have been exacerbated by corporations’ “systematic denial”, “aggressive, unethical marketing tactics” and by having “obstructed reforms and paralysed global pesticide restrictions globally”. Lobbyists have often defended pesticides as being necessary to increase yields as the world is facing threats of climate change impact. But the report debunks this idea. “The assertion promoted by the agrochemical industry that pesticides are necessary to achieve food security is not only inaccurate, but dangerously misleading. In principle, there is adequate food to feed the world; inequitable production and distribution systems present major blockages that prevent those in need from accessing it.” The report notes that while pesticides have “not succeeded in eliminating worldwide hunger”, studies indicate that food can contain “a cocktail of pesticides”. Washing has no effect on modern pesticides.
Note: Pesticide giant Monsanto was recently banned from the European parliament after shunning important hearings with regulators. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.
Monsanto lobbyists have been banned from entering the European parliament after the multinational refused to attend a parliamentary hearing into allegations of regulatory interference. It is the first time MEPs have used new rules to withdraw parliamentary access for firms that ignore a summons to attend parliamentary inquiries or hearings. Monsanto officials will now be unable to meet MEPs, attend committee meetings or use digital resources on parliament premises in Brussels or Strasbourg. While a formal process still needs to be worked through, a spokesman for the parliament’s president Antonio Tajani said that the leaders of all major parliamentary blocks had backed the ban in a vote this morning. MEPs had been incensed at a Monsanto decision to shun a hearing organised by the environment and agriculture committees, with academics, regulators and campaigners, on 11 October. The meeting is expected to hear allegations that Monsanto unduly influenced regulatory studies into the safety of glyphosate, a key ingredient in its best-selling RoundUp weedkiller. “Those who ignore the rules of democracy also lose their rights as a lobbyist in the European parliament,” said the Green party president Philippe Lamberts. “US corporations must also accept the democratic control function of the parliament. Monsanto cannot escape this.” Monsanto spends between €300,000-€400,000 (Ł260,000 - Ł350,000) annually on lobbying in Brussels.
Note: Monsanto's use of scientists as industry puppets, its lies to regulators and the public and its massive lobbying campaign have not kept information on the risks and dangers of its products from getting out. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.
In perhaps its most audacious and elaborate incursion into academia, the CIA has secretly spent millions of dollars staging scientific conferences around the world. Its purpose was to lure Iranian nuclear scientists out of their homeland and into an accessible setting, where its intelligence officers could approach them individually and press them to defect. While a university campus might have only one or two professors of interest to an intelligence service, the right conference – on drone technology, perhaps, or Isis – could have dozens. The FBI and CIA swarm conferences. At gatherings in the US, says one former FBI agent, “foreign intelligence officers try to collect Americans; we try to collect them”. The CIA is involved with conferences in various ways: it sends officers to them; it hosts them through front companies in the Washington area, so that the intelligence community can tap academic wisdom; and it mounts sham conferences to reach potential defectors from hostile countries. Scientific conferences have become such a draw for intelligence agents that one of the biggest concerns for CIA operatives is interference from agency colleagues trapping the same academic prey. “We tend to flood events like these,” a former CIA officer who writes under the pseudonym Ishmael Jones observed in his 2008 book, The Human Factor: Inside the CIA’s Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture.
The companies responsible for programming your phones are working hard to get you and your family to feel the need to check in constantly. Some programmers call it “brain hacking” and the tech world would probably prefer you didn’t hear about it. Ramsay Brown studied neuroscience before co-founding Dopamine Labs. The company is named after the dopamine molecule in our brains that aids in the creation of desire and pleasure. Brown and his colleagues write computer code for apps ... designed to provoke a neurological response. The computer code he creates finds the best moment to give you ... rewards, which have no actual value, but Brown says trigger your brain to make you want more. When Brown says “experiments,” he’s talking generally about the millions of computer calculations being used every moment by his company and others use to constantly tweak your online experience. "You’re part of a controlled set of experiments that are happening in real time across you and millions of other people," [said Brown]. "You’re guinea pigs ... pushing the button and sometimes getting the likes. And they’re doing this to keep you in there. You don’t pay for Facebook. Advertisers pay for Facebook. You get to use it for free because your eyeballs are what’s being sold there." While Brown is tapping into the power of dopamine, psychologist Larry Rosen and his team at California State University ... are researching the effect technology has on our anxiety levels. Their research suggests our phones are keeping us in a continual state of anxiety in which the only antidote – is the phone.
Note: This new form of "brain hacking" adds to a vast arsenal of behavior modification technologies developed by government and industry. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mind control and the disappearance of privacy.
It started with nausea and vomiting in the morning, followed by insomnia and the annoying sound of clicking in her ears. Marika Bandera, sitting in her east-end Toronto apartment, begins to cry as she recalls how her symptoms gradually got worse over the course of a year. They included everything from shaking hands and blurred vision to burning skin and mild convulsions. Sessions at a sleep clinic, brain scans, an epilepsy test and numerous visits to her family doctor and various specialists in Toronto failed to determine the cause. It wasn’t until a trip to Europe that a doctor there suggested her symptoms may be related to extreme electrical sensitivity, or ES, a suspected allergic- like reaction to radio and electrical frequencies associated with cellphones, wireless base stations, computer screens, power lines and common household appliances. Dr. Magda Havas, a professor of the environmental and resource studies program at Trent University in Peterborough, is one of the few trying to track the condition in Canada. Havas estimates as much as 35 per cent of the population may be suffering from moderate ES, with the severe form Bandera experiences affecting 2 per cent. She speculates that ES may have an association with diseases such as multiple sclerosis and diabetes. Havas ... has experimented with filters that help block what she calls “ electropollution.” “I have videos of MS patients who walked with a cane and can now walk unassisted after a few days or weeks with the filters.”
Note: This article appears to have been erased from the website of the Toronto Star. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.
The U.S. Air Force has notified Congress that it intends to shut down HAARP, a controversial Alaska-based research facility that studies an energetic and active region of the upper atmosphere. HAARP (short for High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) has long been the center of wild speculation that the program is designed to control the weather - or worse. In 2010, Venezuelan leader Huge Chavez claimed that HAARP or a program like it triggered the Haiti earthquake. HAARP is a research program designed to analyze the ionosphere, a portion of the upper atmosphere that stretches from about 53 miles (85 kilometers) above the surface of the Earth to 370 miles (600 kilometers) up. The program has been funded by the Air Force, the Navy, the University of Alaska and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. The U.S. military is interested in the ionosphere because this portion of the atmosphere plays a role in transmitting radio signals. HAARP sends radio beams into the ionosphere to study the responses from it. HAARP cost more than $290 million to build. The site was host to numerous projects over the years, including the creation of the first artificially produced aurora in 2005. Conspiracy theorists think HAARP's purpose is far more sinister than meets the eye. The program has been blamed for everything from global warming to natural disasters to mysterious humming noises in the sky.
Note: Recent natural disasters have some researchers wondering if HAARP-like technologies are being used to manipulate the weather. For powerful, reliable information that these technologies are capable of this, see this excellent webpage filled with verifiable information about HAARP and its capabilities.
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.
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.
Documents released Tuesday in a lawsuit against Monsanto raised new questions about the company’s efforts to influence the news media and scientific research and revealed internal debate over the safety of its highest-profile product, the weed killer Roundup. The active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, is the most common weed killer in the world. The documents underscore the lengths to which the agrochemical company goes to protect its image. Documents show that Henry I. Miller ... a vocal proponent of genetically modified crops, asked Monsanto to draft an article for him that largely mirrored one that appeared under his name on Forbes’s website in 2015. An academic involved in writing research funded by Monsanto, John Acquavella, [wrote] in a 2015 email to a Monsanto executive, “I can’t be part of deceptive authorship on a presentation or publication.” He also said of the way the company was trying to present the authorship: “We call that ghost writing and it is unethical.” Mr. Miller’s 2015 article on Forbes’s website was an attack on the findings of ... a branch of the World Health Organization that had labeled glyphosate a probable carcinogen. The documents also show that A. Wallace Hayes, the former editor of a journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology, has had a contractual relationship with Monsanto. In 2013, while he was still editor, Mr. Hayes retracted a key study damaging to Monsanto that found that Roundup, and genetically modified corn, could cause cancer and early death in rats.
Few science writers have worked as hard as Keith Kloor to impact public opinion on genetically modified organism (GMO) agriculture. An adjunct professor at New York University and former editor for Audubon and blogger for Discover, Kloor has spent years championing GMO products and portraying skeptics and critics as scientifically illiterate quacks. His curious form of advocacy includes bitter attacks on anyone who disagrees with him. Kloor’s targets have included Jake Tapper of CNN; Michael Pollan, professor of journalism at UC-Berkeley; Tom Philpott of Mother Jones; Mark Bittman, the noted food columnist; Glenn Davis Stone, Guggenheim Fellow and professor of archaeology at Washington University; Nassim Taleb, professor of risk engineering at NYU; Marion Nestle, professor of food science at NYU; and Charles Seife, professor of science journalism at NYU. The public has known for some time that Keith Kloor loves GMOs. What they haven’t known, until now, is how hard he’s worked with industry-funded “experts” to present corporate talking points as journalism and then try to cover his tracks. An avalanche of documents released through court proceedings and freedom of information requests point to a coordinated effort by corporate front groups, scientists secretly funded by agrichemical industry giants, and allied reporters attempting to portray themselves as arbiters of scientific expertise while condemning critics of GMO technology as “antiscience.”
Note: The above article provides an in-depth view of Monsanto's corruption of mass media. This company's use of scientists as industry puppets, its lies to regulators and the public and its massive lobbying campaign have not kept information on the risks and dangers of GMOs from getting out.
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.
Johnson & Johnson, the company that makes the antipsychotic drug Risperdal, has tentatively agreed to a settlement of $2.2 billion to resolve a federal investigation into the company’s marketing practices. Johnson & Johnson confidentially paid psychiatrists such as Harvard’s Joseph Biederman to promote adult drugs such as the powerful antipsychotic drug Risperdal for children. The company has even ghost-written at least one of the Harvard professor’s “scientific” articles. Another recent DOJ settlement with drug company GlaxoSmithKline resulted in Glaxo’s agreement to pay $3 billion in criminal and civil fines. GlaxoSmithKline employed several tactics aimed at promoting the use of [Paxil] in children, including helping to publish a medical journal article that misreported data from a clinical trial. GlaxoSmithKline also secretly paid about $500,000 to psychiatrist Charles Nemeroff ... to promote Paxil. Glaxo even ghostwrote a psychopharmacology textbook for family doctors, who write many prescriptions for children, which was “coauthored“ by Nemeroff and psychiatrist Alan Schatzberg. None of these drug-company-bought psychiatrists has suffered serious consequences. Meanwhile, the DOJ has now enforced a total of $8.9 billion in criminal and civil fines against GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, and Johnson & Johnson. Stimulants, antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs are very harmful to the brain. The health professions would do far more good stopping the drugging of children than continuing or increasing it.
Note: The above was written by Peter Breggin, MD, author of the book, "Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal: A Guide for Prescribers, Therapists, Patients and Their Families" For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Fifteen years after he helped devise the brutal interrogation techniques used on terrorism suspects in secret C.I.A. prisons, John Bruce Jessen, a former military psychologist, expressed ambivalence about the program. He described himself and a fellow military psychologist, James Mitchell, as reluctant participants in using the techniques, some of which are widely viewed as torture. The two psychologists ... are defendants in the only lawsuit that may hold participants accountable for causing harm. Revelations about the C.I.A. practices ... led to an eventual ban on the techniques and a prohibition by the American Psychological Association against members’ participation in national security interrogations. The two psychologists argue that the C.I.A., for which they were contractors, controlled the program. But it is difficult to successfully sue agency officials because of government immunity. Under the agency’s direction, the two men ... proposed [and applied] the “enhanced interrogation” techniques. Their business received $81 million. When [the psychologists] wanted to end the waterboarding sessions as no longer useful, C.I.A. supervisors ... ordered them to continue. Dr. Mitchell said that the C.I.A. officials told them: “‘You guys have lost your spine.’ I think the word that was actually used is that you guys are pussies. There was going to be another attack in America and the blood of dead civilians are going to be on your hands.”
Note: Prior to condemning torture, some of the American Psychological Association’s top officials sought to curry favor with Pentagon officials by supporting the CIA's brutal interrogation methods. For more along these lines, read about how the torture program fits in with a long history of human experimentation by corrupt intelligence agencies working alongside unethical scientists. For more, see this list of programs that treated humans as guinea pigs.
Trump delegate and Gawker bankrupter Peter Thiel is no stranger to the idea of increasing his lifespan through science. On Bloomberg TV in 2014, Thiel explained that he was taking human-growth hormone pills as part of his plan to live 120 years. Given Thiel’s obsession with warding off death, it comes as no surprise that the Silicon Valley billionaire is interested in at least one radical way of doing it: injecting himself with a young person’s blood. [In] a year-old interview ... the venture-capitalist [said] that he’s interested in parabiosis, which includes the practice of getting transfusions of blood from a younger person, as a means of improving health and potentially reversing aging. “I'm looking into parabiosis stuff. This is where they did the young blood into older mice and they found that had a massive rejuvenating effect,” he said. “It’s one of these very odd things where people had done these studies in the 1950s and then it got dropped altogether. I think there are a lot of these things that have been strangely under-explored.” A Thiel Capital employee ... previously expressed interest in the technique to Jesse Karmazin, the founder of Ambrosia LLC, a company that has been looking for volunteers over the age of 35 to receive blood transfusions from individuals under the age of 25. Bercovici notes that Silicon Valley is abound with rumors of wealthy tech elites experimenting with parabiosis, and Gawker ... received a tip in June claiming that Thiel “spends $40,000 per quarter to get an infusion of blood from an 18-year-old.”
Note: One university researcher has found that many in the European royalty until the end of the 18th century practiced selective cannibalism in the belief if would keep them young. Another article goes into greater depth about the practice some elder members of the wealthy elite taking blood infusions from young people to stay young.
Decades later, it's hard to grasp what the federal government did to hundreds of black men in rural Alabama. For 40 years starting in 1932, medical workers in the segregated South withheld treatment for unsuspecting men infected with a sexually transmitted disease simply so doctors could track the ravages of the horrid illness and dissect their bodies afterward. Finally exposed in 1972, the study ended and the men sued, resulting in a $9 million settlement. Twenty years ago this May, then President Bill Clinton apologized for the U.S. government. But it did not mark the end of the study's ugly legacy. Relatives of the men still struggle with the stigma of being linked to the experiment, what's commonly known as the "Tuskegee Syphilis Study." In 1929, government doctors ... recruited 600 black men into a health program with the promise of free medical checks, free food, free transportation and burial insurance. Health workers told syphilitic fathers, grandfathers, sons, brothers and uncles only that they had "bad blood." None of the men was asked to consent to take part in a medical study, [or] told that "bad blood" actually was a euphemism for syphilis. Instead, doctors purposely hid the study's purpose from the men, subjecting them ... to painful spinal taps and blood tests. Medical workers periodically provided men with pills and tonic that made them believe they were being treated, but they weren't. And doctors never provided them with penicillin after it became the standard treatment for syphilis in the mid-1940s.
People rely on unbiased research to find out important statistics about all facets of nutrition. However, recent research from the Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney suggests there is bias in industry-funded research studies ... the full extent of which is still unknown. [Professor Lisa] Bero and her team reviewed 775 reports in the medical literature ... to determine whether nutrition studies funded by the food industry were "associated with outcomes favourable to the sponsor". "Most of the studies only looked at the [author's interpretation] of the research. If it were industry sponsored, they were more likely to have a conclusion that favoured the industry sponsor," Bero said. This latest paper [follows] Bero's previous study which found nutrition studies funded by artificial sweetener companies are more likely to lead to favourable results. So, what happens if more industry sponsored nutrition studies are proven to be biased? "If you look at other areas where the effects of industry sponsorship have been shown, like in the pharmaceutical research area and the tobacco research area, people have actually applied more consistent quality criteria," Bero said. "You'd also want to try to make sure that all the data is being published. In the nutrition area they don't have things like clinical trial registries like they do for drug studies, for example. So if you have a study that's unfavourable or parts of it are unfavourable, it's hard to tell if ... all of it has gotten published. That's a huge bias in the pharmaceutical and tobacco studies."
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is often accused of serving industry at the expense of consumers. This week, [there are reports] of an institutionalized FDA spying program on its own scientists, lawmakers, reporters and academics that included an enemies list of "actors" and collaborators. "Devicegate" dates back at least to January 2009 when scientists ... wrote President Obama that top FDA managers "committed the most outrageous misconduct by ordering, coercing and intimidating FDA physicians and scientists to recommend approval, and then retaliating when the physicians and scientists refused to go along." Unsafe [medical] devices - including those that emit excessive radiation - were approved. For reporting the safety risks, the scientists became targets. Some lost their jobs. The ... reprisals against FDA device reviewers [did not surprise former FDA drug reviewer Ronald Kavanagh]. "After FDA management learned I had gone to Congress about certain issues, I found my office had been entered and my computer physically tampered with," [said Kavanagh]. "Then, after I openly reported irregularities in an antipsychotic drug review and FDA financial collusion with outsiders to ... the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, I was threatened with prison. The threats, however, can be much worse than prison. One manager threatened my children - who had just turned 4 and 7 years old - and ... I was afraid that I could be killed for talking to Congress and criminal investigators."
Note: Read more on how the FDA spied on whistle-blowing scientists to suppress safety concerns. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the scientific community.
Next month, Dr. Iris Pear will present her groundbreaking new study at the International Conference on Atomic and Nuclear Physics. Or at least she would, if she were a real person. Iris Pear ... is the invention of Christophe Bartneck, an associate professor ... at New Zealand's University of Canterbury. The study in question is completely nonsensical, procedurally generated by iOS’s autocomplete function. Why, then, did a conference for “leading academic scientists” select it for presentation? Dr. Bartneck received an invitation to submit research for an upcoming conference on nuclear physics. With virtually no background in the subject, he decided to use autocomplete to help write his facetious submission. “I started a sentence with ‘atomic’ or ‘nuclear’ and then randomly hit the autocomplete suggestions,” Bartneck wrote. “The text really does not make any sense.” Bartneck’s abstract is both off-topic and unreadable. And yet, Bartneck received a follow-up email just three hours later – his abstract had been accepted. From there, he could pay $1,099 to register as an academic speaker at the Atlanta, Ga. convention. Many journals are slacking on peer review. In a kind of meta-study, Harvard biologist and science journalist John Bohannon submitted false studies to 304 open-access journals. More than half accepted his paper, which featured fake names and several basic chemistry errors. But the acceptance of Bartneck’s fake study may be less surprising. The conference smacks of a scam.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing science corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
In the annals of wrongful convictions, there is nothing that comes close in size to the epic drug-lab scandal that is entering its dramatic final act in Massachusetts. About 23,000 people convicted of low-level drug crimes are expected to have their cases wiped away next month en masse, the result of a five-year court fight over the work of a rogue chemist. The prosecutors didn't want the scandal to end like this. They fought for a way to preserve the convictions. The chemist, Annie Dookhan ... worked at the William A. Hinton State Laboratory Institute in Boston for nearly a decade before her misconduct was exposed in 2012. She admitted to tampering with evidence, forging test results and lying about it. She served three years in prison. [It] is not entirely clear why Dookhan ... felt compelled to change test results on such a massive scale. She was by far the lab's most prolific analyst, a record that impressed her supervisors but also worried her co-workers - a red flag that went overlooked for years. She also maintained friendly relationships with prosecutors, even though her role was to remain objective. Lab scandals have undermined thousands of convictions in eight states in the past decade. Critics say forensic chemists feel a duty to help prosecutors rather than remain neutral. Because of the system's reliance on plea bargains to keep cases moving, defendants often don't have a chance to challenge results from drug labs.
Note: The FBI was found to have faked an entire branch of forensic science. If one chemist's falsified results led to so many unjust criminal convictions, and lab scandals are known to have undermined convictions in eight states, how trustworthy is the science that feeds the extremely profitable mass incarceration industry? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing judicial corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
As an Arctic researcher, I’m used to gaps in data. Just over 1% of US Arctic waters have been surveyed to modern standards. Over the past two months though, I’ve been navigating a different type of uncharted territory: the deleting of what little data we have by the Trump administration. At first, the distress flare of lost data came as a surge of defunct links on 21 January. The US National Strategy for the Arctic, the Implementation Plan for the Strategy, and the report on our progress all gone within a matter of minutes. As I watched more and more links turned red, I frantically combed the internet for archived versions of our country’s most important polar policies. This disappearing act had just begun. Since January, the surge has transformed into a slow, incessant march of deleting datasets, webpages and policies about the Arctic. I now come to expect a weekly email request to replace invalid citations, hoping that someone had the foresight to download statistics about Arctic permafrost thaw or renewable energy in advance of the purge. Each defunct page is an effort ... to deliberately undermine our ability to make good policy decisions by limiting access to scientific evidence. In a remote region where data is already scarce, we need publicly available government guidance and records now more than ever before. It is hard enough for modern Arctic researchers to perform experiments and collect data to fill the gaps left by historic scientific expeditions. We don’t have time to fill new data gaps created by political malice.
Emails released as part of a federal lawsuit against Monsanto suggest the agriculture supplier cozied up to an EPA regulator and sought to whitewash studies to ignore potential cancer-causing effects of an herbicide found in weed-killer. NPR reports the emails show the company asked scientists to co-sign safety studies on glyphosate, an active ingredient in Roundup, after the International Agency for Research on Cancer found glyphosate may cause cancer. The emails show company representative William Heydens suggesting the company "ghost-write" a finding. He wrote, according to NPR, "we would be keeping the cost down by us doing the writing and they would just edit & sign their names so to speak." The emails ... also show EPA regulator Jess Rowland boasting in a 2015 email to Monsanto that, "If I can kill this I should get a medal," referring to a Monsanto effort to stop a government investigation into glyphosate. CBS reported another email from a Monsanto employee to an EPA director said, "I doubt EPA and Jess can kill this, but it's good to know they are going to actually make the effort." The company defended the relationship in an interview with Bloomberg. Rowland ... has left the EPA's pesticide division and is involved in about two dozen lawsuits related to the company not disclosing potential cancer-causing hazards of glyphosate.
Note: The negative health impacts of Monsanto's Roundup are well known. Major lawsuits are beginning to unfold over Monsanto's lies to regulators and the public on the dangers of glyphosate. Yet the EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.
The reputation of Roundup, whose active ingredient is the world’s most widely used weed killer, took a hit on Tuesday when a federal court unsealed documents raising questions about its safety and the research practices of its manufacturer, the chemical giant Monsanto. Monsanto’s internal emails and email traffic between the company and federal regulators ... suggested that Monsanto had ghostwritten research that was later attributed to academics and indicated that a senior official at the Environmental Protection Agency had worked to quash a review of Roundup’s main ingredient, glyphosate, that was to have been conducted by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The files were unsealed by Judge Vince Chhabria, who is presiding over litigation brought by people who claim to have developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a result of exposure to glyphosate. The litigation was touched off by a determination made nearly two years ago by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a branch of the World Health Organization, that glyphosate was a probable carcinogen. Court records show that Monsanto was tipped off to the determination by a deputy division director at the E.P.A., Jess Rowland, months beforehand. That led the company to prepare a public relations assault on the finding well in advance of its publication. Last year, a review by The New York Times showed how the [chemical] industry can manipulate academic research or misstate findings.
Note: The negative health impacts of Monsanto's Roundup are well known. Major lawsuits are beginning to unfold over Monsanto's lies to regulators and the public on the dangers of glyphosate. Yet the EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.
The oil giant Shell issued a stark warning of the catastrophic risks of climate change more than a quarter of century ago in a prescient 1991 film that has been rediscovered. Shell’s 28-minute film, called Climate of Concern ... warned of extreme weather, floods, famines and climate refugees as fossil fuel burning warmed the world. A separate 1986 report, marked “confidential” and also seen by the Guardian, notes: “The changes may be the greatest in recorded history.” The predictions in the 1991 film for temperature and sea level rises and their impacts were remarkably accurate. Shell was one of the first major oil companies to accept the reality and dangers of climate change. But, despite this early and clear-eyed view of the risks of global warming, Shell invested many billions of dollars in highly polluting tar sand operations and on exploration in the Arctic. It also cited fracking as a “future opportunity” in 2016, despite its own 1998 data showing exploitation of unconventional oil and gas was incompatible with climate goals. Shell ... is estimated to have spent $22m in 2015 lobbying against climate policies, [and] has also been a member of industry lobby groups that have fought climate action. Another oil giant, Exxon Mobil, is under investigation ... for allegedly misleading investors about the risks climate change posed to its business. In early 2016, a group of congressmen asked the Department of Justice to also “investigate whether Shell’s actions around climate change violated federal law”.
Corporate spin is nothing new. Whether it’s cigarettes or sugar-laden sodas, the companies that make billions from such products employ a variety of strategies to promote the good and bury the bad. But the tactics being unveiled by Monsanto and surrogates over glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide and the lynchpin for the success of genetically engineered crops, are noteworthy for the depths of their deception. The latest move, the formation of a group called “Campaign for Accuracy in Public Health Research”, (CAPHR) clearly promotes an agenda opposite to that which its name implies. Formed this month by the American Chemistry Council, whose membership includes Monsanto and other chemical industry titans, the group’s express purpose is to discredit the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a unit of the World Health Organization. An IARC scientific team declared in March 2015 that glyphosate was a probable human carcinogen after reviewing an extensive body of published research on the subject. Monsanto and friends have been harassing IARC ever since through a series of demands, threats and legal maneuvers, including lobbying the U.S. House of Representatives to cut funding for IARC. The new campaign takes the assault further. Embedded in the industry’s truth-twisting tactics is the characterization of anyone who gives credence to scientific research showing problems with glyphosate, or the GMOs that go with it, as “anti-science.”
Note: The negative health impacts of Monsanto's Roundup are well known. Big lawsuits are building over Monsanto's lies to regulators and the public about the safety of glyphosate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on GMOs and the corruption of science.
The Trump administration is putting a gag on the U.S. Department of Agriculture and its 2,000 scientists, with an order that forbids the public sharing of information and scientific papers produced by the USDA's main research arm. "Starting immediately and until further notice, the Agricultural Research Service will not release any public-facing documents," Sharon Drumm, chief of staff at ARS, wrote in a department-wide email. "This includes but is not limited to news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds and social media content," Drumm wrote. The Department of Agriculture gag comes at the same time as an administration-imposed media blackout at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Department of Agriculture is not in the vortex of environmental controversy, although ... its research does include genetically modified foods - subject to a nationwide labeling battle - as well as the impact of pesticides.
Donald Trump’s administration has appeared to ban at least three Government agencies from speaking to journalists, providing documents to the public or even tweeting. Department of Agriculture, Department of Health and Human Services and Environmental Protection Agency staff are all reportedly subject to gagging orders. As well as the prohibition of social media posts ... the EPA has been ordered to freeze all grants, contracts and other agreements until further notice. A memo sent to EPA staff said there should be no press releases sent to “external audiences” and that “no social media will be going out”. The letter ... also says that a digital strategist will be drafted in to oversee the agency’s social media and that “existing, individually controlled social-media accounts may become more centrally controlled”. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) ... employees were told not to publish any new documents or correspondence in any public forum, including the Federal Register, and not to discuss any documents or rules with public officials until it is reviewed by the administration. Staff at the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service received a memo on Monday telling them not to provide any documents to the public including press releases and social media. The email told employees, including about 2,000 staff scientists, that “starting immediately and until further notice”, they could not release any documents or post on social media.
Mice were turned into Walking Dead-style zombie killers by turning on a light that activated specific brain cells associated with hunting, scientists have revealed. The researchers found that firing one set of neurons prompted the mouse to pursue its prey, while doing the same to another set caused the animal to bite and kill its target. The effect was so strong that the otherwise perfectly ordinary creature would attack anything nearby, such as sticks or bottle caps, as well as more normal prey like crickets. A technique called optogenetics ... allowed [scientists] to activate specific brain cells using a laser. So one minute the mice would be behaving normally, but as soon as the laser was turned on they would aggressively attack whatever was around them. The effect was stronger in mice that were hungry, and they also did not attack other mice in the cage. Professor Ivan de Araujo, of Yale University School of Medicine, who took part in the research, said ... “The system is not just generalised aggression. It seems to be related to the animal’s interest in obtaining food.” he said. However, the effect was so powerful that the mice would attack inedible objects. The paper in Cell explained: “When a non-edible item was placed in the cage, laser activation caused the otherwise indifferent mice to immediately ... seize the object, which was then held with the forepaws and bitten. “Behaviour was interrupted immediately upon laser deactivation." It said the mice were never seen to attack inanimate objects unless the laser was used.
Note: Remember that secret military projects are often 10 to 20 years of anything being publicly announced. How far have they gone with this? Are soldier secretly being subjected to this technology? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing major media articles on secret government mind control programs.
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.
The sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to play down the link between sugar and heart disease and promote saturated fat as the culprit instead, newly released historical documents show. The internal sugar industry documents ... published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggest that five decades of research into the role of nutrition and heart disease, including many of today’s dietary recommendations, may have been largely shaped by the sugar industry. A trade group called the Sugar Research Foundation ... paid three Harvard scientists the equivalent of about $50,000 in today’s dollars to publish a 1967 review of research on sugar, fat and heart disease. The studies used in the review were handpicked by the sugar group, and the article, which was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, minimized the link between sugar and heart health and cast aspersions on the role of saturated fat. The food industry has continued to influence nutrition science. For many decades, health officials encouraged Americans to reduce their fat intake, which led many people to consume low-fat, high-sugar foods that some experts now blame for fueling the obesity crisis. Today, the saturated fat warnings remain a cornerstone of the government’s dietary guidelines, though in recent years the American Heart Association, the World Health Organization and other health authorities have also begun to warn that too much added sugar may increase cardiovascular disease risk.
On its website, Kellogg touted a distinguished-sounding "Breakfast Council" of "independent experts" who helped guide its nutritional efforts. Nowhere did it say this: The maker of Froot Loops and Frosted Flakes paid the experts and fed them talking points. The company paid the experts an average of $13,000 a year, prohibited them from offering media services for products "competitive or negative to cereal" and required them to engage in "nutrition influencer outreach" on social media or with colleagues, and report back on their efforts. For Kellogg, the breakfast council - in existence between 2011 and this year - deftly blurred the lines between cereal promotion and impartial nutrition guidance. The company used the council to teach a continuing education class for dietitians, publish an academic paper on breakfast, and try to influence the government's dietary guidelines. One of the breakfast council's most notable achievements was publishing a paper defining a "quality breakfast" in a nutrition journal. Kellogg touted the paper in its newsletter as being written by "our independent nutrition experts." Dietitians could earn continuing education credits from the publisher for taking a quiz about the paper. Kellogg didn't describe its own role in overseeing editing and providing feedback, such as asking for the removal of a line saying a recommendation that added sugar be limited to 25 percent of calories might be "too high."
Genetic modification in the United States and Canada has not accelerated increases in crop yields or led to an overall reduction in the use of chemical pesticides. The promise of genetic modification was twofold: By making crops immune to the effects of weedkillers and inherently resistant to many pests, they would grow so robustly that they would become indispensable to feeding the world’s growing population, while also requiring fewer applications of sprayed pesticides. Twenty years ago, Europe largely rejected genetic modification at the same time the United States and Canada were embracing it. Comparing results on the two continents ... shows how the technology has fallen short of the promise. The United States and Canada have gained no discernible advantage in yields - food per acre - when measured against Western Europe. Also, a recent National Academy of Sciences report found that “there was little evidence” that the introduction of genetically modified crops in the United States had led to yield gains beyond those seen in conventional crops. At the same time, herbicide use has increased in the United States. And the United States has fallen behind Europe’s biggest producer, France, in reducing the overall use of pesticides, which includes both herbicides and insecticides. Pesticides are toxic by design ... and have been linked to developmental delays and cancer. The same companies make and sell both the genetically modified plants and the poisons.
Note: Explore over 40 scientific studies that have demonstrated the health dangers of GM foods. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and the GMO controversy.
Sugar pills worked as well at preventing kids' migraines as two commonly used headache medicines, but had fewer side effects, in a study that may lead doctors to rethink how they treat a common ailment in children and teens. It's the first rigorous head-to-head test in kids of two generic prescription drugs also used for adults' migraines: topiramate, an anti-seizure medicine, and amitriptyline, an anti-depressant. The idea was to see if either drug could reduce by half the number of days kids had migraines over a month's time. Both drugs worked that well - but so did placebo sugar pills. The results "really challenge what is typical practice today by headache specialists," said study author Scott Powers, a psychologist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. "The fact that it shows that two of the most commonly used medications are no more effective than a placebo and have adverse effects makes a very clear statement," said Dr. Leon Epstein, neurology chief at Ann & Robert Lurie H. Children's Hospital of Chicago. The only government-approved migraine medication for kids is topiramate. Side effects from the drugs [included] fatigue, dry mouth and forgetfulness. Kids on topiramate also had tingling sensations in their hands, arms, legs or feet. There was one suicide attempt in the topiramate group, another known side-effect of that drug. The side effects were not unexpected, but given the risks, the results suggest the drugs shouldn't be "first-line prevention treatments" for kids' migraines, Powers said.
Note: This study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. For more, see this mercola.com article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.
Bee colonies have been dying off in high numbers, with suspicion falling on agricultural pesticides like herbicides and fungicides, as main factors behind the declines. Now, a new study out of the University of Maryland is the first to look at how a “cocktail” of all of various pesticides could be impacting bee colonies over time. “Our results fly in the face of one of the basic tenets of toxicology: that the dose makes the poison,” study senior author Dennis van Engelsdorp, an assistant professor of entomology at the University of Maryland, said. “We found that the number of different compounds was highly predictive of colony death, which suggests that the addition of more compounds somehow overwhelms the bees’ ability to detoxify themselves.” The study looked at 91 honey bee colonies that were owned by three migratory commercial beekeepers over one farming season. The research team examined 93 pesticide compounds that were found in the colonies throughout the season. These compounds were found building up in the bees’ wax in processed pollen, [as well as] in the bodies of nurse bees. The researchers ... measured three key things: the total number of pesticides, the total number of pesticides that were above a minimum level of toxicity, and each colony’s “hazard quotient,” which factors in the hazard posed by the total toxicity of all pesticides present in the colony. What did the researchers find? Unfortunately, all three measures corresponded with a higher probability of colony death or the loss of the queen bee.
Note: This study was published in Nature Scientific Reports, and found that some compounds regarded as "bee-safe" could be a major contributors to honey bee colony losses. Prior to this, neonicotinoid pesticides were found to be connected to colony collapse disorder. Bayer, a major manufacturer of this pesticide, attempted to cover up the connection between its products and the massive die off of bees.
Concerns about the inner workings of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been mounting in recent months amid disclosures of cozy corporate alliances. Now a group of more than a dozen senior scientists have reportedly lodged an ethics complaint alleging the federal agency is being influenced by corporate and political interests in ways that short-change taxpayers. A group calling itself CDC Scientists Preserving Integrity, Diligence and Ethics in Research, or CDC SPIDER, put a list of complaints in writing in a letter to the CDC Chief of Staff and provided a copy of the letter to [a] public watchdog organization. The members of the group have elected to file the complaint anonymously for fear of retribution. “It appears that our mission is being influenced and shaped by outside parties and rogue interests... and Congressional intent for our agency is being circumvented by some of our leaders. What concerns us most, is that it is becoming the norm and not the rare exception,” the letter states. The complaint cites among other things a “cover up” of the poor performance of a women’s health program called ... WISEWOMAN. The complaint alleges there was a coordinated effort within the CDC to misrepresent data given to Congress. “Definitions were changed and data ‘cooked’ to make the results look better than they were,” the complaint states. And the complaint cites as “troubling” the ties between soft drink giant Coca-Cola Co. ... and two high-ranking CDC officials.
HIV likely landed in the United States a full decade before the first AIDS reports made headlines, according to a report released Wednesday that also strongly dismisses the long-held myth that a single man, a flight attendant notoriously known as “Patient Zero,” was responsible for the domestic epidemic. The report, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, traces the lineage of HIV from Africa to Haiti to New York and, finally, San Francisco. The virus seems to have arrived in New York around 1971, and in San Francisco five years later. By the time doctors were reporting the first AIDS cases in 1981, the virus would have been deeply embedded in cities all over the country. The fact that HIV predated those first AIDS reports - and that the so-called Patient Zero could not have been responsible for the epidemic - has long been known by AIDS researchers. But the new paper ... provides perhaps the most detailed genetic history of the virus’ geographic movement. The new study, when coupled with previous work, gives a fairly clear picture of HIV’s global travel, said co-author Michael Worobey, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Arizona at Tucson. He said studies suggest the virus moved from chimpanzees to humans in the early 20th century, but languished in rural villages for decades before passing into Kinshasa, the capital of Congo. From Kinshasa it may have spread throughout sub-Saharan Africa, and finally moved to the Caribbean, including Haiti, in the mid-1960s.
Note: Watch this astounding 10-minute video where one of the world's leading vaccine experts says that AIDS was imported through "wild viruses" in vaccines. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.
It was a faustian bargain—and it certainly made editors at National Public Radio squirm. The deal was this: NPR, along with a select group of media outlets, would get a briefing about an upcoming announcement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration a day before anyone else. But in exchange for the scoop, NPR would have to abandon its reportorial independence. The FDA would dictate whom NPR's reporter could and couldn't interview. “My editors are uncomfortable with the condition that we cannot seek reaction,” NPR reporter Rob Stein wrote back to the government officials offering the deal. Stein asked for a little bit of leeway to do some independent reporting but was turned down flat. Take the deal or leave it. NPR took the deal – along with reporters from more than a dozen other top-tier media organizations, including CBS, NBC, CNN, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. This kind of deal offered by the FDA - known as a close-hold embargo - is an increasingly important tool used by scientific and government agencies to control the behavior of the science press. By using close-hold embargoes and other methods, the FDA, like other sources of scientific information, are gaining control of journalists who are supposed to keep an eye on those institutions. The watchdogs are being turned into lapdogs. It is hard to tell when a close-hold embargo is afoot because, by its very nature, it is a secret.
Note: And to see how the media is censored by big money and a corrupt judicial system, watch this incredible video of two crack reporters who had their major investigation into a public health threat shut down. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in science and the manipulation of public perception.
Unpublished field trials by pesticide manufacturers show their products cause serious harm to honeybees at high levels, leading to calls from senior scientists for the companies to end the secrecy which cloaks much of their research. The research, conducted by Syngenta and Bayer on their neonicotinoid insecticides, were submitted to the US Environmental Protection Agency and obtained by Greenpeace after a freedom of information request. Neonicotinoids are the world’s most widely used insecticides and there is clear scientific evidence that they harm bees at the levels found in fields. Neonicotinoids were banned from use on flowering crops in the EU in 2013, despite UK opposition. The newly revealed studies show Syngenta’s thiamethoxam and Bayer’s clothianidin seriously harmed colonies at high doses, but did not find significant effects below concentrations of 50 parts per billion (ppb) and 40ppb respectively. Such levels can sometimes be found in fields. However, scientists said all such research should be made public. “It is hard to see why the companies don’t make these kinds of studies available,” said Prof Dave Goulson, at the University of Sussex. “It does seem a little shady to do ... the very studies the companies say are the most important ones - and then not tell people what they find.” Syngenta had told Greenpeace in August that “none of the studies Syngenta has undertaken or commissioned for use by regulatory agencies have shown damages to the health of bee colonies”. Goulson said: “That clearly contradicts their own study.”
Note: CNN News reported in 2010 that Bayer covered up the link between its products and massive bee die-offs. Read more about how these pesticides sicken bees and harm food crops. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing food system corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
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.
Government researchers in Brazil are set to explore the country's peculiar distribution of Zika-linked microcephaly - babies born with abnormally small heads. Zika virus has spread throughout Brazil, but extremely high rates of microcephaly have been reported only in the country's northeast. Although evidence suggests that Zika can cause microcephaly, the clustering pattern hints that other environmental, socio-economic or biological factors could be at play. “We suspect that something more than Zika virus is causing the high intensity and severity of cases,” says Fatima Marinho, director of information and health analysis at Brazil’s ministry of health. If that turns out to be true, it could change researchers' assessment of the risk that Zika poses. Zika was discovered in 1947 and hadn’t been implicated in birth defects until now. The northeast was where the first reported surge in microcephaly cases in Brazil began a year ago. Health officials had expected that they would later see the same high rates in other parts of the country. But as of 20 July, almost 90% of the 1,709 confirmed cases of congenital microcephaly or birth defects of the central nervous system reported in Brazil since last November were in a relatively small area ... about the size of the United Kingdom, whereas Brazil is almost as large as the United States. There are many hypotheses about what might be going on. Marinho says that her team's data, submitted for publication, hint that socio-economic factors might be involved.
Note: The cluster of microcephaly cases in Brazil was reported in February to predate the latest Zika outbreak. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Zika virus news articles from reliable major media sources.
A controversial scientist who carried out provocative research on making influenza viruses more infectious has completed his most dangerous experiment to date by deliberately creating a pandemic strain of flu that can evade the human immune system. Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison has genetically manipulated the 2009 strain of pandemic flu in order for it to “escape” the control of the immune system’s neutralising antibodies, effectively making the human population defenceless against its reemergence. Most of the world today has developed some level of immunity to the 2009 pandemic flu virus. However ... Professor Kawaoka intentionally set out to see if it was possible to convert it to a pre-pandemic state in order to analyse the genetic changes involved. Professor Kawaoka’s work had been cleared by Wisconsin’s Institutional Biosafety Committee, but some members of the committee were not informed about details of the antibody study ... and have voiced concerns about the direction, oversight and safety of his overall research on flu viruses. “I have met Professor Kawaoka in committee and have heard his research presentations and honestly it was not re-assuring,” said Professor Tom Jeffries, a dissenting member of the 17-person biosafety committee. This is the first time that someone has taken a strain of influenza virus, called H1N1, known to have caused a global epidemic, in other words a “pandemic”, and deliberately mutated it many times over.
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.
I’m a science journalist. That keeps me busy, because, as you know, most peer-reviewed scientific claims are wrong. So I’m a skeptic, but with a small s, not capital S. “The Science Delusion” is common among Capital-S Skeptics. You don’t apply your skepticism equally. You are extremely critical of belief in God, ghosts, heaven, ESP, astrology, homeopathy and Bigfoot. Meanwhile, you neglect [many] dubious and even harmful claims promoted by major scientists and institutions. Let’s take a look at ... mainstream medicine. Over the past half-century, physicians and hospitals have introduced increasingly sophisticated, expensive tests. They assure us that early detection of disease will lead to better health. But tests often do more harm than good. For every woman whose life is extended because a mammogram detected a tumor, up to 33 receive unnecessary treatment, including biopsies, surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. For men diagnosed with prostate cancer after a PSA test, the ratio is 47 to one. Similar data are emerging on colonoscopies and other tests. Mental-health care suffers from similar problems. The biological theory that really drives me nuts is the deep-roots theory of war. According to the theory, lethal group violence is in our genes. But the evidence is overwhelming that war was a cultural innovation. I hate the deep-roots theory not only because it’s wrong, but also because it encourages fatalism toward war. War is our most urgent problem.
Note: The above was written by John Horgan, director of the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing science corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
A new study of male honeybees shows that two insecticides, banned in some European nations but still used in the United States, can significantly reduce the bees’ ability to reproduce. The study ... found that thiamethoxam and clothianidin, two chemicals from the neonicotinoid family of insecticides, reduce living sperm in male honeybees, called drones, by almost 40 percent. The effects of pesticides on honeybee populations are considered one culprit among several factors causing periodic declines. Neonicotinoids have been shown by other studies to harm the health of individual bees and the reproductive ability of female insects. The new study expanded on the dangers of the pesticides for males. The two neonicotinoids used in the study were banned in the European Union in 2013, but are used on an industrial scale in the United States. The Environmental Protection Agency ... will release risk assessments for the two chemicals, as well as another neonicotinoid, dinotefuran, in December. A significant amount of the global food supply is made up of plants that require pollinators like bees to survive. Any widespread threat to bees also constitutes a greater ecological threat. Beekeepers in the United States lost 44 percent of their honeybee colonies from April 2015 to April 2016, according to an annual survey conducted by the Bee Informed Partnership. The loss was 3.5 percent greater than that found from 2014 to 2015, when beekeepers lost 40.6 percent of colonies.
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.
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.
Dr. Fiona Godlee, editor of the BMJ [British Medical Journal], specializes in the unexpected. [A marionette puppet on her desk is] dressed as a doctor, complete with a stethoscope around its neck. Its strings represent the hidden hand of the pharmaceutical industry. Godlee keeps it ... to remind her of the dark forces at work in science and medicine. And she is blunt about the results: "I think we have to call it what it is. It is the corruption of the scientific process." Hundreds of papers are being pulled from the scientific record, for falsified data, for plagiarism, and for a variety of other reasons that are often never explained. Sometimes it's an honest mistake. But it's estimated that 70 per cent of the retractions are based on some form of scientific misconduct. As the editor of one of the oldest and most influential medical journals, Godlee is leading several campaigns to change the way science is reported, including opening up data for other scientists to review, and digging up data from old and abandoned trials for a second look. She has strong words about the overuse of drugs, and the influence of industry on the types of questions that scientists ask, and the conclusions that are drawn from the evidence. "I do have a belief in the fundamentality of science to correct itself. We can't do that under the blanket of secrecy," she says. It matters, Godlee says, because bad science can be dangerous. "We do know that patients are harmed, and we know that the health systems are harmed as a result of poor science."
Note: Retraction Watch is fascinating reading for anyone interested in what goes on behind science's closed doors. 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.
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 Rockefeller Family Fund, a charity that supports causes related to the environment, economic justice and other issues, is liquidating its investments in fossil fuel companies, including Exxon Mobil. "While the global community works to eliminate the use of fossil fuels, it makes little sense - financially or ethically - to continue holding investments in these companies," the fund said. In announcing its decision, the Rockefeller fund attacked Exxon for what it called the company's "morally reprehensible conduct," alluding to allegations that the company has hidden evidence that fossil fuels contribute to climate change. "Evidence appears to suggest that the company worked since the 1980s to confuse the public about climate change's march, while simultaneously spending millions to fortify its own infrastructure against climate change's destructive consequences and track new exploration opportunities as the Arctic's ice receded," the fund said. New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is said to have launched an investigation last fall into whether Exxon misled the public and investors about ... climate risks. California Attorney General Kamala Harris is also reportedly looking into whether Exxon lied about climate change. The probes followed a report by InsideClimate News ... claiming that Exxon sought to undermine scientific evidence that pointed to the growing threat of climate change.
Note: The Rockefeller Brothers Fund announced its fossil fuel divestment in 2014. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on climate change and the corruption of science from reliable major media sources.
A group of 22 medical experts convened by Johns Hopkins University and The Lancet have called today for the decriminalization of all nonviolent drug use and possession. The experts further encourage countries and U.S. states to "move gradually toward regulated drug markets and apply the scientific method to their assessment." Their report comes ahead of a special UN General Assembly Session on drugs to be held next month. In a lengthy review of the state of global drug policy, the Hopkins-Lancet experts conclude that the prohibitionist anti-drug policies of the past 50 years "directly and indirectly contribute to lethal violence, disease, discrimination, forced displacement, injustice and the undermining of people’s right to health. "The goal of prohibiting all use, possession, production and trafficking of illicit drugs is the basis of many of our national drug laws, but these policies are based on ideas about drug use and drug dependence that are not scientifically grounded," said Commissioner Dr. Chris Beyrer. "The idea that all drug use is necessarily 'abuse' means that immediate and complete abstinence has been seen as the only acceptable approach," commissioner Adeeba Kamarulzaman ... said. But, she added, "continued criminalization of drug use fuels HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis transmission within prisons and the community at large. There is another way. Programmes and policies aimed at reducing harm should be central to future drug policies."
Note: While the war on drugs has been called a "trillion dollar failure", and the healing potentials of mind altering drugs are starting to be investigated more openly, there remains powerful evidence that the CIA and US military are directly involved in the drug trade.
The war on drugs has failed, fuelling higher rates of infection and harming public health and human rights to such a degree that it's time to decriminalize non-violent minor drug offences, according to a new global report. The authors of the Johns Hopkins-Lancet Commission on Public Health and International Drug Policy call for minor use, possession and petty use to be decriminalized following measurably worsened human health. "We've had three decades of the war on drugs, we've had decades of zero-tolerance policy," said Dr. Chris Beyrer, a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore and the senior author of the report published Thursday in The Lancet. "It has had no measurable impact on supply or use, and so as a policy to control substance use it has arguably failed. It has evidently failed." Given that the goal of prohibiting all use, possession, production and trafficking of illicit drugs was to protect societies, the researchers evaluated the health effects and found they were overwhelmingly negative. For a role model, the authors point to Portugal, which decriminalized not only cannabis but also possession of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. HIV transmission, hepatitis C and incarcerations all decreased, Beyrer said, and there was about a 15 per cent decline in substance use by young people in Portugal.
Note: While the war on drugs has been called a "trillion dollar failure", and the healing potentials of mind altering drugs are starting to be investigated more openly, there remains powerful evidence that the CIA and US military are directly involved in the drug trade.
A lack of diversity in farming and a related over-reliance on pesticides have triggered a host of negative effects, including the decline of pollinators, such as butterflies and bees. Commercial beekeepers continue to report escalating losses of 42 percent or more, jeopardizing $30 billion in annual revenue and our health. A couple of years ago, [Jonathan] Lundgren - running a government lab, winning awards from both his agency and President Obama - occupied the right position to aid in this crisis. He says he was doing just that when the trouble started. In October, Lundgren filed a whistleblower suit alleging that he was disciplined to suppress his science. Nine additional USDA scientists have been ordered to retract studies and water-down findings, or have faced discipline in retaliation for their work. Three of those scientists, beyond Lundgren, were also working on pollinator-related research. This dynamic of government scientists claiming suppression extends across institutions. Such disputes show how complicated the intersection of government, science and industry can become when billions of dollars are at stake. Bee declines, says Lundgren, are not difficult to understand.
Note: Read an article showing how the USDA is often bought out by corporations. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing science corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
New research suggests that Splenda - an artificial sweetener recently considered safe - may contribute to serious health problems like cancer. The study, published in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, found that mice fed sucralose daily throughout their lives developed leukemia and other blood cancers. In response to the findings, the Center for Science in the Public Interest - a nutrition watchdog group that assesses the safety of food additives - has now formally recommended that consumers avoid the sweetener. That's a big deal, considering that until 2013, they'd rated the additive as "safe." This new evidence was especially powerful because it was funded without special interests in mind, explains Lisa Lefferts, MSPH, senior scientist at the CSPI. "For most food additives, the safety studies are conducted by the manufacturers who have financial incentives," Lefferts says. Even if you discount this new mouse study, you'll still find plenty of reasons to skip out on sucralose. A growing body of research shows that artificial sweeteners may actually cause weight gain, not weight loss. One study found drinking diet soda was linked to increased belly fat; in another, each daily can was associated with a 41% jump in obesity risk. Sucralose has even been shown to mess with your blood sugar and insulin levels, causing spikes and dips that could lead to cravings later on. The bottom line: the scientists at the CSPI firmly believe you should steer clear of sucralose.
Note: Food additive manufacturers use the same deceptive tactics that Big Tobacco was found guilty of. For 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.
Dr Aseem Malhotra, an NHS cardiologist and a trustee of the King’s Fund health think tank, claims there is “a systemic lack of transparency in the information being given to doctors to prescribe medication, in terms of the benefits of drugs being grossly exaggerated and their side effects under reported in studies”. Dr Malhotra said the prevalence of pharmaceutical companies, which are “profit making businesses” being able to fund studies and drug trials causes biased information to be recorded and reported on in medical journals. This is in turn “creating an epidemic of misinformed doctors,” he said. This lack of transparency ... harms patients through the adverse side effects of drugs, Dr Malhotra said, citing an FDA report that found adverse events from prescribed medications caused 123,000 deaths in the USA in 2014 and 800,000 serious patient outcomes, which include hospitalisation or potentially causing disability. The FDA report also states that the number of adverse events from prescribed medications have tripled in the past 10 years in America. While the UK does not have the same kind of data, Peter Gotze, professor of research design at the University of Copenhagen, has evidence to suggest that prescribed drugs are the third biggest killer behind heart disease and cancer. Last year the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges launched a campaign to stop doctors from ‘over-treating’ patients.
Note: The editor of The Lancet, one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world, recently wrote that half of all claims made in medical science journals may be untrue. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing big Pharma profiteering news articles from reliable major media sources.
Water authorities across the US are systematically distorting water tests to downplay the amount of lead in samples. Water boards in cities including Detroit and Philadelphia, as well as the state of Rhode Island, have distorted tests by using methods deemed misleading by the Environment Protection Agency. The revelation comes as the growing crisis in Flint, Michigan, has prompted an emergency EPA order, the condemnation of Barack Obama and the resignation of a top agency official. “Gamed” tests help ensure that water utilities don’t breach federal lead and copper rules. Dr Yanna Lambrinidou, a Virginia Tech academic, has disclosed what she considers to be evidence of deceptive practices ... after she sat on an EPA taskforce that reviewed federal rules on lead and copper poisoning. The taskforce ended its work last year, shortly before the full extent of the city of Flint’s problems with smelly, brown water hit the headlines, with Lambrinidou criticising the final report for failing to step up protections. Several cities have advised residents to use questionable methods when conducting official tests for lead content. These include encouraging testers to run taps for several minutes to flush out lead from the pipes. Such methods have been criticized by the EPA for not providing accurate results. If the water was tested directly from lead pipes, up to 96 million Americans could be found to be drinking water with unsafe levels of lead.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government 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.
A report commissioned by the College of Family Physicians of Canada to examine the relationship between doctors and the pharmaceutical industry is being criticized. The document ... was completed in 2013 and only released this month after a number of doctors challenged the college board to make it public. In one of its key findings, the report notes, "There have been instances in which marketing messages have been portrayed as education and health care and pharmaceutical industries have attempted in this way to influence physicians' behaviour or practices," it says. "Evidence suggests that there could also be significant influence on the behaviour of individuals who may be offered gifts or other forms of support, even when the recipients perceive neither obligation nor influence." The report makes 20 recommendations dealing with issues such as conflict of interest, financial relationships, marketing and other relationships with the pharmaceutical and health care industries. But they don't prevent a doctor with ties to the pharmaceutical industry from serving in leadership positions, sponsoring certain events, or even from contributing to an "unrestricted" education fund. Alan Cassels, a drug policy researcher at the University of Victoria, is critical of the college for sitting on the report as long as it did. He suspects the college held it back because it's "pretty embarrassing."
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the corruption of science and big pharma profiteering. Then read an in-depth essay titled "The Truth About Drug Companies" by acclaimed author Dr. Marcia Angell.
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.
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.
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.
In a study published in the January edition of the journal Mindfulness, psychologists ... asked 313 adults if they had helped anyone during the previous week. Eighty-five percent said they had — by, say, listening to a friend’s problems, babysitting, donating to charity, or volunteering. This small study reveals a truth that is consistently demonstrated in many domains of research: We care deeply for one other, and ... would rather help our fellow beings than not. Even more, the science shows that refusing to help others can have debilitating, long-term mental and physical consequences for ourselves. Isolation hurts, physically; so does aggression. Every angry word we utter fries neurons and wears out our hearts. Here’s an experiment you can perform right now: Think about something stressful that happened to you during the past week. Now scan your body: How does your chest, stomach, or neck feel? Then think about something good that happened during the same period, however small. Now what happens in your body? Did you feel any difference? The research predicts that the stressful memory caused you physical discomfort. Your tight chest and clenched stomach doesn’t make the world a better place. So what can you do? Science has an answer, and it starts with counting ... the good things in life. That doesn’t mean we ignore the bad. But all too often our negativity bias leads us to see only the bad, in other people as well as in ourselves. By counting the good things, we see reality more clearly.
Note: The new site Greater Good in Action offers concrete, research-tested practices for individuals to cultivate strengths like awe, gratitude, empathy, and compassion.
The integrity of research and expert opinions in Washington came into question last week, prompting the resignation of Robert Litan, an economist, from his position as a nonresident fellow at the Brookings Institution. Senator Elizabeth Warren raised the issue of a conflict of interest in Mr. Litan’s testimony before a Senate committee. The testimony was based on a paper Mr. Litan had prepared for the Capital Group, a mutual fund company. Mr. Litan disclosed that the Capital Group, which has a stake in the debate, had funded his paper, but he did not disclose that it had also commissioned it. At stake is the integrity of the research process and the trust the nation puts in experts, who advise governments and testify in Congress. Had [Litan's] conclusions not pleased the Capital Group, it would probably have found a more compliant expert. And the reputation of not being “cooperative” would have haunted Mr. Litan’s career as a consultant. The practice of bending an opinion for money is so widespread as to be the norm. By shedding light on how funding of research can affect its content, Senator Warren increased the reputational penalty for experts who bend to special interests. But we need two more changes. Congressional testimony and policy papers should be posted online at least two weeks in advance of a hearing and open for comments. And all expert witnesses should be disclosed to the public, with a time delay if needed for confidentiality.
Note: Read more about how big money buys off institutions democracy depends on. Then see these concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Survivors of CIA torture have sued the contractor psychologists who designed one of the most infamous programs of the post-9/11 era. In an extraordinary step, psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen now face a federal lawsuit for their role in convincing the CIA to subject terror suspects to mock drowning, painful bodily contortions, sleep and dietary deprivation and other methods long rejected by much of the world as torture. In practice, CIA torture meant disappearances, mock executions, anal penetration ... and at least one man who froze to death, according to a landmark Senate report last year. On behalf of torture survivors ... as well as a representative of the estate of Gul Rahman – who froze to death in a CIA black site in Afghanistan – the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed the suit against Mitchell and Jessen on Tuesday in a federal court in Washington state. The suit calls the torture program a “joint criminal enterprise” and a “war crime” in which the CIA, Mitchell and Jessen colluded and from which Mitchell and Jessen financially profited. Although numerous US government investigations have pierced the veneer of secrecy around the torture program, the program’s government architects have faced no legal reprisal. A Justice Department inquiry ended in 2012 without prosecutions. The new lawsuit, aimed not at government officials but the contractors Mitchell and Jessen, aims to break the trend.
Note: For more along these lines, read about how the torture program fits in with a long history of human experimentation by corrupt intelligence agencies working alongside unethical scientists. For more, see this list of programs that treated humans as guinea pigs.
Monsanto Co.’s undisclosed recruitment of scientists from Harvard University, Cornell University and three other schools to write about the benefits of plant biotechnology is drawing fire from opponents. Monsanto says it’s in regular contact with public-sector scientists as it tries to “elevate” public dialog on genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. U.S. Right to Know, a nonprofit group funded by the Organic Consumers Association that obtained e-mails under the Freedom of Information Act, says correspondence revealing Monsanto’s actions shows the “corporate control of science and how compliant some academics are.” The articles have become the latest flashpoint in an information war being waged over plant biotechnology. The articles in question appeared on the Genetic Literacy Project’s website in a series called “GMO - Beyond the Science.” Eric Sachs, who leads Monsanto’s scientific outreach, wrote to eight scientists to pen a series of briefs aimed at influencing “public policy, GM crop regulation and consumer acceptance.” Five of them obliged. University of Florida Professor Kevin Folta said he agreed to write “Anti-GMO Activism and Its Impact on Food Security” because communicating science to the public is his job. Folta has faced public criticism since the New York Times ... reported last month about his communications with Monsanto and a $25,000 donation to the science communication program he runs.
In 2001, a "landmark" study published in the prestigious Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry purported to show the safety and effectiveness of using a common antidepressant to treat adolescents. The original published findings were biased and misleading. Known as Study 329, the randomised controlled trial ... was funded by SmithKline Beecham – now GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) – the manufacturer of paroxetine. The research has been repeatedly criticised, and there have been numerous calls for it to be retracted. To re-analyse the evidence of effectiveness and safety of paroxetine, we used documents posted online by GSK. We also had access to other publicly available documents and individual participant data. We found that paroxetine [Paxil] was no more effective than a placebo, which is the opposite of the claim in the original paper. We also found significant increases in harms with both paroxetine and imipramine, [another antidepressant]. Compared with the placebo group, the paroxetine group had more than twice as many severe adverse events, and four times as many psychiatric adverse events, including suicidal behaviours and self-harm. And the imipramine group had significantly more heart problems. Our re-analysis ... identified ten strategies used by researchers in this clinical trial to minimise apparent harms. More importantly, our findings show influential peer-reviewed research published in leading medical journals can be seriously misleading.
Note: We all know that clinical trial are skewed when they are sponsored by drug companies, but here is undeniable proof of this published in the UK's most respected medical journal. See this key study on the website of the British Medical Journal. Then don't miss that amazing documentary "Bought" available for free viewing.
Cancer patients need to be prepared for serious side effects from chemotherapy, and hospitalization is one that happens much more often in the real world than in drug trials, according to a new study. Researchers found that people with advanced lung cancer receiving chemotherapy in real-world settings were almost eight times more likely to be hospitalized during treatment than those participating in clinical trials. What's more, very few clinical trials even report how often participants are hospitalized during the research, the study authors found. "Clinical trials should be routinely reporting their hospitalization rates so we know what to expect," said senior author Dr. Monika Krzyzanowska, a medical oncologist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Center in Toronto, Canada. Krzyzanowska and her colleagues write in JAMA Oncology that the number of times a person goes to the hospital with treatment complications is important to the patient and to the hospital. The researchers suggest several possible explanations for the differences in hospitalization rates. First, the patients in highly selective clinical trials are different from real-world patients. In this study, people receiving chemotherapy in real-world settings were also older, on average, than those in clinical trials.
Note: While big pharma profits from hiding the negative effects of their drugs, there is some promising cancer research underway, some of which is being suppressed to keep the cash cow flowing for big pharma.
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.
A painstaking yearslong effort to reproduce 100 studies published in three leading psychology journals has found that more than half of the findings did not hold up when retested. The analysis was done by research psychologists, many of whom volunteered their time to double-check what they considered important work. Their conclusions, reported Thursday in the journal Science, have confirmed the worst fears of scientists. The vetted studies were considered part of the core knowledge by which scientists understand the dynamics of personality, relationships, learning and memory. More than 60 of the studies did not hold up. The new analysis, called the Reproducibility Project, found no evidence of fraud or that any original study was definitively false. Rather, it concluded that the evidence for most published findings was not nearly as strong as originally claimed. Dr. John Ioannidis, a director of Stanford University’s Meta-Research Innovation Center ... said the problem could be even worse in other fields, including cell biology, economics, neuroscience, clinical medicine, and animal research. The report appears at a time when the number of retractions of published papers is rising sharply in a wide variety of disciplines. Scientists have pointed to a hypercompetitive culture across science that ... provides little incentive for researchers to replicate the findings of others, or for journals to publish studies that fail to find a splashy result.
Note: The editor of a top medical journal recently suggested that half all of scientific literature may simply be untrue. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in science.
Every summer we are inundated with news media reports warning that ... otherwise healthy adults and children are walking around dehydrated, even that dehydration has reached epidemic proportions. Let’s put these claims under scrutiny. I was a co-author of a paper back in 2007 in the BMJ on medical myths. The first myth was that people should drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. The source of this myth [may be] a 1945 Food and Nutrition Board recommendation that said people need about 2.5 liters of water a day. The sentence that followed closely behind ... read, “Most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods.” Water is present in fruits and vegetables. It’s in juice, it’s in beer, it’s even in tea and coffee. Before anyone writes me to tell me that coffee is going to dehydrate you, research shows that’s not true either. A significant number of advertisers and news media reports are trying to convince you otherwise. Bottled water sales continue to increase. More recent studies [continue] to declare huge numbers of children to be dehydrated. A 2012 study in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism [claimed] that almost two-thirds of French children weren’t getting enough water. Another in the journal Public Health Nutrition [declared] that almost two-thirds of children in Los Angeles and New York City weren’t getting enough water. The first study was funded by Nestlé Waters; the second by Nestec, a Nestlé subsidiary. There is no formal recommendation for a daily amount of water people need.
Note: The complete article above details how normal water consumption has been redefined by dubious science to appear insufficient. For more along these lines, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.
Peer review is supposed to be the pride of the rigorous academic publishing process. But increasingly journals are finding out that those supposedly authoritative checks are being rigged. In the latest episode of the fake peer review phenomenon, one of the world’s largest academic publishers, Springer, has retracted 64 articles from 10 of its journals after discovering that their reviews were linked to fake e-mail addresses. The announcement comes nine months after 43 studies were retracted by BioMed Central (one of Springer’s imprints) for the same reason. Retraction Watch co-founder Ivan Oransky ... said he didn’t know of any instances of retractions for faked peer reviews before 2012. In a report for the journal Nature last fall, Oransky and his colleagues told the story of a ... researcher who wrote peer reviews for 28 of his own papers. Investigations ... have also uncovered a number of services selling names and contact information for made-up experts guaranteed to give an expedited, positive review. In a statement on its Web site in February, the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) detailed these agencies’ “systematic, inappropriate attempts” to manipulate the process. COPE’s chair Ginny Barbour wrote in December, “The uncovering of companies systematically manipulating publications, by the use of fake reviewers and more, offers an alarming glimpse into what can happen if reward systems are implemented with no thought or oversight.”
Note: The editor of a top medical journal recently suggested that half all of scientific literature may simply be untrue. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in science.
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.
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 Central Intelligence Agency’s health professionals repeatedly criticized the agency’s post-Sept. 11 interrogation program, but their protests were rebuffed by prominent outside psychologists who lent credibility to the program, according to a new report. The 542-page report ... raises repeated questions about the collaboration between psychologists and officials at both the C.I.A. and the Pentagon, [and] concludes that some of the [American Psychological] Association’s top officials ... sought to curry favor with Pentagon officials by seeking to keep the association’s ethics policies in line with the Defense Department’s interrogation policies. The association’s ethics office “prioritized the protection of psychologists — even those who might have engaged in unethical behavior — above the protection of the public,” the report said. Two former presidents of the psychological association were on a C.I.A. advisory committee, the report found. One of them gave the agency an opinion that sleep deprivation did not constitute torture, and later held a small ownership stake in a consulting company founded by two men who oversaw the agency’s interrogation program. The association’s ethics director, Stephen Behnke, coordinated the group’s public policy statements on interrogations with a top military psychologist, the report said, and then received a Pentagon contract to help train interrogators while he was working at the association, without the knowledge of the association’s board.
Note: For more along these lines, read about how the torture program fits in with a long history of human experimentation by corrupt intelligence agencies working alongside unethical scientists. For more, see this list of programs that treated humans as guinea pigs.
The torture scandal consuming the US’s premiere professional association of psychologists has cost three senior officials their jobs. As the American Psychological Association copes with the damage reaped by an independent investigation that found it complicit in US torture, the group announced on Tuesday that its chief executive officer, its deputy CEO and its communications chief are no longer with the APA. All three were implicated in the 542-page report issued this month by former federal prosecutor David Hoffman, who concluded that APA leaders “colluded” with the US department of defense and aided the CIA in loosening professional ethics and other guidelines to permit psychologist participation in torture.. Despite rumors ... the APA framed the departures of longtime executive officials Norman Anderson and Michael Honaker as “retirements”. Rhea Farberman, who served as APA’s communications director for 22 years, “resigned”, the APA said in a statement. Anderson, Honaker and Farberman join Stephen Behnke, the APA’s former ethics chief also implicated in torture, in the first wave of APA departures as the organization seeks to rebuild its credibility. A call to end all psychologist participation in US interrogation and detention operations is slated for APA consideration at a major conference next month.
Note: For more along these lines, read about how the torture program fits in with a long history of human experimentation by corrupt intelligence agencies working alongside unethical scientists. For more, see this list of programs that treated humans as guinea pigs.
[A] symposium — on the reproducibility and reliability of biomedical research, held at the Wellcome Trust in London last week — touched on one of the most sensitive issues in science today: the idea that something has gone fundamentally wrong. The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness. In their quest for telling a compelling story, scientists too often sculpt data to fit their preferred theory of the world. Journal editors deserve their fair share of criticism too. We aid and abet the worst behaviours. Journals are not the only miscreants. Universities are in a perpetual struggle for money and talent, endpoints that foster reductive metrics. National assessment procedures ... incentivise bad practices. And individual scientists, including their most senior leaders, do little to alter a research culture that occasionally veers close to misconduct. Part of the problem is that no-one is incentivised to be right. Instead, scientists are incentivised to be productive. The conclusion of the symposium was that something must be done. The good news is that science is beginning to take some of its worst failings very seriously. The bad news is that nobody is ready to take the first step to clean up the system.
Note: The Lancet is considered by many to be the most prestigious medical journal in the world. If the editor-in-chief of the Lancet is making these comments, who can we trust? Read a powerfully revealing essay by former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine Marcia Angell on how the drug companies blatantly manipulate science for profit.
One brief message at a time, Lancet editor Richard Horton is tweeting his dark view of the contemporary medical establishment. If you have any interest at all in peeking behind the curtain to see what really goes on behind the scenes of top medical organizations then you need to follow Richard Horton’s Twitter feed. In sudden bursts of candor, humor, and cynicism, Horton has been tweeting thoughts that don’t often see the light of day. Here’s his unvarnished opinion of the World Health Organization, for instance: "WHO is no longer a science-based organisation. WHO believes that scientists within the agency should be anonymous bureaucrats." The thread of tweets that prompted this post [is] about an ongoing editorial battle with authors and another highly respected journal. The significance of these remarks is considerable. As Horton remarks at the end, the episode appears to lend evidence to the manipulation of journals by industry: "The mother of all authorship disputes has broken out. When papers get salami sliced and divided between NEJM and us, it gets complicated. And sometimes nasty. And today, even threatening. From Principal Investigator: “Approval [of the drug in question] has already occurred in the US, yet private insurers are slow to place it on their formulary. A major publication is typically how this occurs in the US, and it is important to be in a journal typically recognised by US-based companies. This publication is critical to (company A's) ability to “market” their product. Lancet ... will aid (company Y) quite nicely.”
Note: The Lancet is considered by many to be the most prestigious medical journal in the world. If the editor-in-chief of the Lancet readily admits to for-profit collusion between medical journals, insurers and big pharma, who can we trust for accurate health information? To learn more, read a powerfully revealing essay by former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine Marcia Angell on how the drug companies blatantly manipulate science for profit.
Many medical "facts" are simply not true. By definition, being "overweight" must be bad for your health – or we wouldn't call it overweight. But we do not define overweight as being the weight above which you are damaging your health; it has an exact definition. To be overweight means having a BMI of between 25 and 30. In 2009, a German group did a painstaking meta-analysis of all studies on overweight and obesity that they could find. As with most other researchers, they found that being overweight was good for you. Of course, they didn't phrase it in this way. They said: "The prevailing notion that overweight increases morbidity and mortality, as compared to so-called normal weight, is in need of further specification." In need of further specification? An interesting phrase, but one that hints at the terrible problems researchers have when their findings fail to match prevailing dogma; if the prevailing consensus is "if your BMI is between 25 and 29, it is damaging your health and you should lose weight", then you challenge this at your peril. Despite the fact that study after study has demonstrated quite clearly that "overweight" people live the longest, no one can bring themselves to say: "Sorry, we were wrong. A BMI between 25 and 29 is the healthiest weight of all. For those of you between 20 and 25, I say, eat more, become healthier." Who would dare say such a thing? Not anyone with tenure at a leading university, that's for sure.
Note: Don't miss the entire article to see how scientists severely manipulate the results of their data when it does not fit established norms. For more along these lines, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center and concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in science.
Many Oklahomans can still vividly recall the day they experienced their first earthquake. Ever since 2009/2010, earthquakes in the state have increased exponentially – leading to what are called “seismic swarms”. In 2000 there was not a single earthquake, but in 2014 we experienced 585 quakes of magnitude three or larger. For some time now, scientists have wondered whether fracking-related activities, such as wastewater injection, might be the source of increased seismic activity in Oklahoma. In May of last year, the Oklahoma Geological Survey, an affiliate entity of the University of Oklahoma, released a statement in conjunction with the United States Geological Survey, saying that wastewater injection was a “likely contributing factor the increase in earthquakes”. Not long after this statement, David Boren, president of the university, summoned the Oklahoma Geological Survey’s lead seismologist Austin Holland, who was also one of the authors of the statement, to a meeting with Harold Hamm, CEO of ... one of Oklahoma’s largest oil and gas exploration and production companies. Boren facilitated the meeting despite the fact that he also serves as a member of the Continental Resources board of directors. In July 2014, Continental Resources released a presentation positing an alternative theory for the seismic swarms and downplaying the influence of induced seismicity. One can only imagine the pressure this meeting must have brought upon Holland and his team of scientists.
Note: Jason W Murphey, an Oklahoma State Representative, wrote the above. For more on this, read this informative New York Times article titled "As Quakes Rattle Oklahoma, Fingers Point to Oil and Gas Industry." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in science.
Joni Mitchell, 71, was taken to a hospital in Los Angeles on Tuesday after she was found unconscious at her Los Angeles home. In recent years, the singer has complained of a number of health problems, including one particularly unusual ailment: Morgellons disease. People who believe they have the condition report lesions that don’t heal, “fibers” extruding from their skin and uncomfortable sensations like pins-and-needles tingling or stinging. Sufferers may also report fatigue and problems with short-term memory and concentration. But Morgellons is not a medically accepted diagnosis. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied 115 people who said they had the condition. In a report published in 2012, they said they were unable to identify an infectious source for the patients’ “unexplained dermopathy.” The investigators cast doubt on Morgellons as a distinct condition and said that it might be something doctors were already familiar with: delusional infestation, a psychiatric condition characterized by an unshakable but erroneous belief that one’s skin is infested with bugs or parasites. These patients have a reduced quality of life, the researchers concluded, but the cause is not clear. Science one day may find that Morgellons has a physical basis, but at the moment most experts treat it as a psychiatric disorder — to the great frustration of people, like Ms. Mitchell, who ... are afflicted with it.
A group of leading biologists on Thursday called for a worldwide moratorium on use of a new genome-editing technique that would alter human DNA in a way that can be inherited. Ethicists, for decades, have been concerned about the dangers of altering the human germline — meaning to make changes to human sperm, eggs or embryos that will last through the life of the individual and be passed on to future generations. Until now, these worries have been theoretical. But a technique invented in 2012 makes it possible to edit the genome precisely and with much greater ease. The technique has already been used to edit the genomes of mice, rats and monkeys, and few doubt that it would work the same way in people. Though such a moratorium would not be legally enforceable and might seem unlikely to exert global influence, there is a precedent. In 1975, scientists worldwide were asked to refrain from using a method for manipulating genes, the recombinant DNA technique, until rules had been established. “We asked at that time that nobody do certain experiments, and in fact nobody did, to my knowledge,” said Dr. Baltimore, who was a member of the 1975 group. The new genome-editing approach was invented by Jennifer A. Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley, and Emmanuelle Charpentier of Umea University in Sweden. Many ethicists have accepted the idea of gene therapy, changes that die with the patient, but draw a clear line at altering the germline, since these will extend to future generations.
Note: Is this voluntary moratorium enough to stay the hand of our corrupt scientific establishment?
The powerful U.S. sugar industry skewed the government's medical research on dental care. Sugar industry leaders advocated for policies that did not recommend people eat less sugar. The government listened, according to a new report published in the journal PLOS Medicine. In the 1960s, amid a national effort to boost cavity prevention, the U.S. government spearheaded a research program, known as the National Caries Program (NCP), which aimed to eradicate tooth decay. But instead of turning to an obvious solution — having people eat less sugar — the government was swayed by industry interests that pushed alternative methods, such as [using] vaccines for fighting tooth decay. [The] committee that was set up by the government to set research priorities for the NCP included many doctors and scientists who were also ... part of another group called the International Sugar Research Foundation, which was established by the sugar industry. Rather than recommending that people reduce sugar intake, government-funded research focused on interventions that wouldn't advise Americans to lower their sweets consumption. For instance, the research encouraged the wider use of fluoride. More recently, the industry attempted to influence the ongoing debate about changes to the Food and Drug Administration's nutrition facts label. One of the key changes currently being mulled is the inclusion of an "added sugar" label, which is meant to communicate how much of any given food's sugar content was added during processing. The industry is vehemently opposed.
Note: "When you take on Big Sugar, you take on a huge political money operation," Rep. Mark Steven Kirk from Illinois said while fighting Big Sugar back in 2007. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
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".
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
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.
When U.S. health regulators find serious problems with how medical researchers collect their data, the researchers’ final reports often don’t mention it, a new analysis suggests. Out of 78 published papers reporting on clinical trials in which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found very serious issues, only three mentioned any violations, the new report says. “These are major things,” said Charles Seife, a journalism professor and the study’s author. Using documents and data from 1998 to 2013, Seife and his students at New York University in New York City identified 57 clinical trials that received an “official action indicated” violation - the most serious type of violation for trials - for reasons including poor record keeping, false information and poor patient safety. The problems that weren't reported were sometimes egregious. One paper, for example, said all patients reported improvement, but in fact, the FDA found that one patient had a foot amputated two weeks after receiving the treatment. In another case, the entire clinical trial was considered unreliable by the FDA - but the published paper didn't mention that. In another, researchers falsified data, which led to one patient’s death. Data on these violations are not readily available. So it's impossible to say how often tainted data are published and how often the violations are noted, Seife said.
Note: Read an informative article with much more detail about the egregious conduct of the FDA. This article raises the question, "Why does the FDA stay silent about fraud and misconduct in scientific studies of medicine?" For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing science corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
1. Lifestyle can change genes. We have each inherited a particular set of genes, but the outcome of that inheritance is not fixed. Our environment, diet and circumstance flood our bodies with molecules that switch the genes on or off. The result can make a huge difference. What you eat, what your mother ate, the age when your grandfather started smoking, the amount of pollution in your neighbourhood – these factors have all been linked to epigenetic changes that get passed down through the generations. 2. The mind can affect the body. What used to be dismissed by science as superstition or old wives' tales ... has a palpable effect on our bodies. 3. Quantum effects exist in biology. Plants, for instance, use quantum theory to harvest energy from the sun [by] using "superposition". This trick effectively searches all possible [solar energy delivery] paths [through the organism] simultaneously, and finds the quickest and thus most energy-efficient route. That means the energy reaches the plant's storage centre before it dissipates. There are also hints that smell is a quantum sense. The fact that these things happen in the warm, wet world of biological material suggests that we are missing a trick. 4. The universe is a computer (and we are the programmers). The universe ... behaves exactly like a computer [and] we, by our conscious and unconscious actions, are playing the role of that computer's programmers. 5. Human beings are nothing special. Researchers know of only a handful of genes unique to humans; it's thought that, when the count is finished and the numbers are totted up, fewer than 20 of our 20,000 genes will be exclusively human.
Note: Read the complete article for more on these and other interesting scientific breakthroughs. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles that push the boundaries of our understanding of reality.
More than five trillion pieces of plastic, collectively weighing nearly 269,000 tonnes, are floating in the world’s oceans, causing damage throughout the food chain, new research has found. Data collected by scientists from the US, France, Chile, Australia and New Zealand suggests a minimum of 5.25tn plastic particles in the oceans, most of them “micro plastics” measuring less than 5mm. The volume of plastic pieces, largely deriving from products such as food and drink packaging and clothing, was calculated from data taken from 24 expeditions over a six-year period to 2013. The research, published in the journal PLOS One, is the first study to look at plastics of all sizes in the world’s oceans. “We saw turtles that ate plastic bags and fish that ingested fishing lines,” said Julia Reisser, a researcher based at the University of Western Australia. “But there are also chemical impacts. When plastic gets into the water it acts like a magnet for oily pollutants. It’s hard to visualise the sheer amount, but the weight of it is more than the entire biomass of humans." The research, the first of its kind to pull together data on floating plastic from around the world, will be used to chart future trends in the amount of debris in the oceans. But researchers predict the volume will increase due to rising production of throwaway plastic, with only 5% of the world’s plastic currently recycled.
Note: Ocean acidification was number one on 2014's top 25 stories subjected to press censorship.
"People ask me: why hemp? I say, why not?" said Dr David Mitlin of Clarkson University, New York, who describes his device in the journal ACS Nano. "We're making graphene-like materials for a thousandth of the price - and we're doing it with waste. ... the leftover bast fibre - the inner bark - typically ends up as landfill. "You can do really interesting things with bio-waste. We've pretty much figured out the secret sauce of it," said Dr Mitlin. The trick is to tailor the right plant fibre to the right electrical device - according to their organic structure. "With banana peels, you can turn them into a dense block of carbon - we call it pseudo-graphite - and that's great for sodium ion batteries," he explained. "But if you look at hemp fibre its structure is the opposite - it makes sheets with high surface area - and that's very conducive to supercapacitors." Mitlin's peer-reviewed journal paper ranks the device "on par with or better than commercial graphene-based devices". "They work down to 0C and display some of the best power-energy combinations reported in the literature for any carbon. Fully assembled, their energy density is 12 Wh/kg, which can be achieved at a charge time less than six seconds. "Obviously hemp can't do all the things graphene can," Dr Mitlin concedes. "But for energy storage, it works just as well. And it costs a fraction of the price – $500-1,000 a tonne."
Note: For more about the amazing properties of graphene, read this CNN News Article.
We have come to think that if something is "in our genes", it is our inevitable destiny. However, this is a gross oversimplification. We have each inherited a particular set of genes, but the outcome of that inheritance is not fixed. Our environment, diet and circumstance flood our bodies with molecules that switch the genes on or off. The result can make a huge difference to our destiny – and that of our descendants. One example of these "epigenetic" changes occurs when a bundle of carbon and hydrogen atoms known as a methyl group attaches itself to the DNA and changes the way its instructions are carried out. Methyl groups often come from what we eat. Lack of food seems to have an epigenetic effect, too. A study of Dutch women starved by the Nazis during the second world war ... found elevated levels of schizophrenia, breast cancer and heart disease. The data suggest that the alterations to which genes are turned on or off survive at least two generations: the one that suffered in the womb during the famine, and their children. They may go much further. A 2011 study published by researchers at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, demonstrated epigenetic mutations that lasted for at least 30 generations in plants. What you eat, what your mother ate, the age when your grandfather started smoking, the amount of pollution in your neighbourhood – these factors have all been linked to epigenetic changes that get passed down through the generations. Armed with this new insight, we can take far more control of our health – and the health of future generations.
Note: For a truly engaging and revolutionary book on this topic, read The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton, a top researcher in the field of cell biology. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.
American science, long a source of national power and pride, is increasingly becoming a private enterprise. In Washington, budget cuts have left the nation’s research complex reeling. Labs are closing. Scientists are being laid off. Projects are being put on the shelf, especially in the risky, freewheeling realm of basic research. Yet from Silicon Valley to Wall Street, science philanthropy is hot, as many of the richest Americans seek to reinvent themselves as patrons of social progress through science research. The result is a new calculus of influence and priorities that the scientific community views with a mix of gratitude and trepidation. “For better or worse,” said Steven A. Edwards, a policy analyst at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, “the practice of science in the 21st century is becoming shaped less by national priorities or by peer-review groups and more by the particular preferences of individuals with huge amounts of money.” This is philanthropy in the age of the new economy — financed with its outsize riches, practiced according to its individualistic, entrepreneurial creed. Yet that personal setting of priorities is precisely what troubles some in the science establishment. Many of the patrons, they say, are ignoring basic research — the kind that investigates the riddles of nature and has produced centuries of breakthroughs, even whole industries — for a jumble of popular, feel-good fields.
Note: For more on corruption in science, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
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.
An essential part of the scientific process is the critical analysis of research results by scientists with expertise in the discipline. Because of this peer-review process, mistakes are supposed to be caught before they propagate in the literature. Yet despite careful pre-publication scrutiny, some reports are later retracted or, worse, widely suspected to be erroneous but never corrected. One recent examination of 53 landmark medical studies found that further research was unable to replicate all but six of them. How can the scientific community do better at avoiding published errors and correcting them more quickly when they are discovered? A growing group of scientists are addressing this question. They suggest incentives that will reward scientists to a greater degree for producing solid, trustworthy research that others are able to replicate successfully and then extend. Paradoxically, the same qualities – trust and teamwork – that are key to a productive and harmonious laboratory environment are the same ones that can lead to an informality that allows errors to be propagated. Despite the importance of retractions in correcting the scientific record, there are few guidelines as to how they should be handled or how fast self-correction should occur. To this end medical journalists Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus created the web log Retraction Watch, which catalogs retractions as a window into the scientific process and explores the causes of each one; it has been called “one of most important recent developments in science journalism” by former Scientific American editor in chief John Rennie.
Note: For a powerful article showing how the author of the above article, Pamela Ronald, has not been truthful in her own studies, click here. For more on corruption in science, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available 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 simple idea underpins science: “trust, but verify”. Results should always be subject to challenge from experiment. [But] modern scientists are doing too much trusting and not enough verifying—to the detriment of the whole of science, and of humanity. Too many of the findings that fill the academic ether are the result of shoddy experiments or poor analysis. A rule of thumb among biotechnology venture-capitalists is that half of published research cannot be replicated. A leading computer scientist frets that three-quarters of papers in his subfield are bunk. In  roughly 80,000 patients took part in clinical trials based on research that was later retracted because of mistakes or improprieties. One reason is the competitiveness of science. As their ranks have swelled, to 6m-7m active researchers on the latest reckoning, scientists have lost their taste for self-policing and quality control. The obligation to “publish or perish” has come to rule over academic life. Competition for jobs is cut-throat. Every year six freshly minted PhDs vie for every academic post. Nowadays verification (the replication of other people’s results) does little to advance a researcher’s career. And without verification, dubious findings live on to mislead. Careerism also encourages exaggeration and the cherry-picking of results. Failures to prove a hypothesis are rarely even offered for publication, let alone accepted. “Negative results” now account for only 14% of published papers, down from 30% in 1990. Yet knowing what is false is as important to science as knowing what is true.
Note: For more on corruption in science, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
A bogus scientific paper about a new anti-cancer compound was accepted by more than half of 300 scientific journals it was submitted to in the past year, despite having obvious and serious scientific flaws. Science journalist John Bohannon reported the results of his experiment in the journal Science. Bohannon, who holds a PhD in molecular biology and is a visiting scholar at Harvard University’s program in ethics and health, ... concluded [that] “a huge proportion” of the journals were not ensuring their papers were peer reviewed. Even in cases where peer review happened, it didn’t always function correctly. For example, the Ottawa-based International Journal of Herbs and Medicinal Plants clearly sent the paper out to be reviewed by real scientists, who pointed out some flaws, Bohannon recalled. Even so, when Bohannon submitted a revised version of the paper without correcting any of the flaws, it was accepted. Bohannon said peer review is “crucial” so that readers of a scientific paper know it has “at least passed muster with a couple of experts who are in a position, hopefully, to judge. It could be the whole peer review system is just failing under the strain of the tens of thousands of journals that now exist.” He added that if peer review isn’t working, then people with what amounts to fraudulent scientific credentials and publication records “are slowly filling university departments and government offices, making important science-based policy decisions.” In addition, “terrible science” is polluting the global pool of knowledge."
Note: For more on the corruption of science, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources 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.
As auto manufacturers imagine a future of self-driving and always-connected cars, they'll need to worry about something else—electronic malfunctions and cyberattacks, according to a report released by the Transportation Research Board. "Automobiles today are literally 'computers on wheels,'" says the report. Current auto software uses more than a million lines of code. In the coming years, onboard computers will become even more important. Like a computer, a car's internal software can be infected with a virus or hacked. Last year, researchers at the University of Washington and the University of California, San Diego, proved that computers could be hacked with either physical access to the car or wirelessly using technology such as Bluetooth. A hacker could then disable the brakes, stop the engine, or worse. According to the report, "automotive manufacturers have designed their networks without giving sufficient attention to such cybersecurity vulnerabilities because automobiles have not faced adversarial pressures."
Note: A New York Times article goes into more detail. The article doesn't mention the obvious possibility that the FBI, NSA, or other intelligence agencies could hack into any car's computer system and cause an accident. There is even a term, "Boston Brakes," for staged car wrecks, allegedly because the CIA first started experimenting with this in Boston. For an article delving into this, click here. Could this be what happened to courageous reporter Michael Hastings and others? For more on intelligence agency corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Pat Guillet is a food addict. She has finally wrestled her addiction under control and now she counsels other food addicts to avoid processed food. "Yeah, just the sight of the packages will trigger cravings," she said. Craving. It doesn't just happen to food addicts. "These companies rely on deep science and pure science to understand how we're attracted to food and how they can make their foods attractive to us," Michael Moss said. The New York Times investigative reporter spent four years prying open the secrets of the food industry’s scientists. "This was like a detective story for me, getting inside the companies with thousands of pages of inside documents and getting their scientists and executives to reveal to me the secrets of how they go at this," he said. What he found became the title of his new book, Salt, Sugar Fat: How the food giants hooked us. "I spent time with the top scientists at the largest companies in this country and it's amazing how much math and science and regression analysis and energy they put into finding the very perfect amount of salt, sugar and fat in their products that will send ... their products flying off the shelves and have us buy more, eat more and …make more money for them."
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corporate corruption, click 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.
Conservative billionaires used a secretive funding route to channel nearly $120m (Ł77m) to more than 100 groups casting doubt about the science behind climate change. The funds, doled out between 2002 and 2010, helped build a vast network of thinktanks and activist groups working to a single purpose: to redefine climate change from neutral scientific fact to a highly polarising "wedge issue" for hardcore conservatives. The millions were routed through two trusts, Donors Trust and the Donors Capital Fund. Donors Capital caters to those making donations of $1m or more. By 2010, the dark money amounted to $118m distributed to 102 thinktanks or action groups which have a record of denying the existence of a human factor in climate change, or opposing environmental regulations. The money flowed to Washington thinktanks embedded in Republican party politics, obscure policy forums in Alaska and Tennessee, contrarian scientists at Harvard and lesser institutions. And it was all done with a guarantee of complete anonymity for the donors who wished to remain hidden. "The funding of the denial machine is becoming increasingly invisible to public scrutiny. It's also growing. Budgets for all these different groups are growing," said Kert Davies, research director of Greenpeace, which compiled the data on funding of the anti-climate groups using tax records. "These groups are increasingly getting money from sources that are anonymous or untraceable. There is no transparency, no accountability for the money. There is no way to tell who is funding them," Davies said.
Arguably the most prestigious medical journal in the world, the New England Journal of Medicine regularly features articles over which pharmaceutical companies and their employees can exert significant influence. Over a year-long period ending in August, NEJM published 73 articles on original studies of new drugs, encompassing drugs approved by the FDA since 2000 and experimental drugs. Of those articles, 60 were funded by a pharmaceutical company, 50 were co-written by drug company employees and 37 had a lead author, typically an academic, who had previously accepted outside compensation from the sponsoring drug company in the form of consultant pay, grants or speaker fees. The New England Journal of Medicine is not alone in featuring research sponsored in large part by drug companies — it has become a common practice that reflects the growing role of industry money in research. Years ago, the government funded a larger share of such experiments. But since about the mid-1980s, research funding by pharmaceutical firms has exceeded what the National Institutes of Health spends. Last year, the industry spent $39 billion on research in the United States while NIH spent $31 billion. When the company is footing the bill, the opportunities for bias are manifold: Company executives seeking to promote their drugs can design research that makes their products look better. They can select like-minded academics to perform the work. And they can run the statistics in ways that make their own drugs look better than they are. If troubling signs about a drug arise, they can steer clear of further exploration.
Note: To read an excellent summary of a book written by a former editor in chief of the NEJM exposing major corruption by the pharmaceuticals which poses a great threat to public health, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corruption in the pharmaceutical industry, click here.
Fraud in scientific research, while still rare, is growing at a troubling pace, a new study finds. A review of retractions in medical and biological peer-reviewed journals finds the percentage of studies withdrawn because of fraud or suspected fraud has jumped substantially since the mid-1970s. In 1976, there were fewer than 10 fraud retractions for every 1 million studies published, compared with 96 retractions per million in 2007. The study authors aren't quite sure why this is happening. But they and outside experts point to pressure to hit it big in science, both for funding and attention, and to what seems to be a subtle increase in deception in overall society that science may simply be mirroring. Fraud in life sciences research is still minuscule and committed by only a few dozen scientific scofflaws. However, it causes big problems, said Arturo Casadevall, a professor of microbiology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Casadevall is the lead author of the study which looked at the reasons for 2,047 retractions among many millions of studies published in journals and kept in a government database. Fraud was the No. 1 cause of retractions, accounting for 43 percent of them. When fraud was combined with other areas of misconduct, such as plagiarism, it explained about 2 out of 3 retractions, the study found. "Very few people are doing it, but when they do it, they are doing it in areas that are very important," Casadevall said. "And when these things come out, society loses faith in science."
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corruption in science, click here.
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.
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.
A well-known psychologist in the Netherlands whose work has been published widely in professional journals falsified data and made up entire experiments, an investigating committee has found. Experts say the case exposes deep flaws in the way science is done in a field, psychology, that has only recently earned a fragile respectability. The psychologist, Diederik Stapel, of Tilburg University, committed academic fraud in “several dozen” published papers, many accepted in respected journals and reported in the news media, according to a report released ... by the three Dutch institutions where he has worked. The journal Science, which published one of Dr. Stapel’s papers in April, posted an “editorial expression of concern” about the research online. The scandal, involving about a decade of work, is the latest in a string of embarrassments in a field that critics and statisticians say badly needs to overhaul how it treats research results. In recent years, psychologists have reported a raft of findings on race biases, brain imaging and even extrasensory perception that have not stood up to scrutiny. Outright fraud may be rare, these experts say, but they contend that Dr. Stapel took advantage of a system that allows researchers to operate in near secrecy and massage data to find what they want to find, without much fear of being challenged.
Note: For lots more from major media sources on corruption in scientific research and publication, click here.
Chemotherapy can be a tough road for people with cancer, often debilitating and even dangerous. Which is why five years ago, when Duke University announced that it had an advanced, experimental treatment that would match chemotherapy to a patient's own genetic makeup, it was hailed as the holy grail of cancer care. The scientist behind the discovery was Dr. Anil Potti, and soon Dr. Potti became the face of the future of cancer treatment at Duke, offering patients a better chance even with advanced disease. However, when other scientists set out to verify the results, they found many problems and errors. Duke's so-called breakthrough treatment wasn't just a failure -- it may end up being one of the biggest medical research frauds ever. Dr. Potti resigned from Duke. He faces an investigation into research misconduct. These days, he's working as a cancer doctor in South Carolina. And if you look online, you will see that he is celebrated for "his significant contribution to the arena of lung cancer research." The websites were created with the help of an online reputation consultant, perhaps to put the best face on the available data.
Note: For lots more from major media sources on corruption in scientific research and publication, click here.
Speakers at a major science meeting being held in Canada said communication of vital research on health and environment issues is being suppressed. Prof Thomas Pedersen, a senior scientist at the University of Victoria, said he believed there was a political motive in some cases. The Canadian government recently withdrew from the Kyoto protocol to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The allegation of "muzzling" came up at a session of the AAAS meeting to discuss the impact of a media protocol introduced by the Conservative government shortly after it was elected in 2008. The protocol requires that all interview requests for scientists employed by the government must first be cleared by officials. A decision as to whether to allow the interview can take several days, which can prevent government scientists commenting on breaking news stories. Sources say that requests are often refused and when interviews are granted, government media relations officials can and do ask for written questions to be submitted in advance and elect to sit in on the interview. Andrew Weaver, an environmental scientist at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, described the protocol as "Orwellian". Professor Weaver said that information is so tightly controlled that the public is "left in the dark"."The only information they are given is that which the government wants, which will then allow a supporting of a particular agenda," he said.
Note: For lots more from major media sources on government corruption, click here.
They're some of the most trusted voices in the defense of vaccine safety: the American Academy of Pediatrics, Every Child By Two, and pediatrician Dr. Paul Offit. But CBS News has found these three have something more in common - strong financial ties to the industry whose products they promote and defend. The vaccine industry gives millions to the Academy of Pediatrics for conferences, grants, medical education classes and even helped build their headquarters. The totals are kept secret, but public documents reveal bits and pieces. A $342,000 payment from Wyeth, maker of the pneumococcal vaccine - which makes $2 billion a year in sales. A $433,000 contribution from Merck, the same year the academy endorsed Merck's HPV vaccine - which made $1.5 billion a year in sales. Every Child By Two, a group that promotes early immunization for all children, admits the group takes money from the vaccine industry, too - but wouldn't tell us how much. Then there's Paul Offit, perhaps the most widely-quoted defender of vaccine safety. He's gone so far as to say babies can tolerate "10,000 vaccines at once." In fact, he's a vaccine industry insider. Offit holds in a $1.5 million dollar research chair at Children's Hospital, funded by Merck. He holds the patent on an anti-diarrhea vaccine he developed with Merck. And future royalties for the vaccine were just sold for $182 million cash.
Note: An excellent report endorsed by dozens of respected doctors and nurses reveals the serious risks of vaccines. Read an incisive list of questions on the usefulness of vaccines that are rarely raised by the media. This US government webpage states, "Since 1988, over 20,428 petitions have been filed with the VICP [Vaccine Injury Compensation Program] ... with 6,430 of those determined to be compensable. Total compensation paid over the life of the program is approximately $4.0 billion." Why isn't that $4 billion price tag for vaccine injuries being talked about?
Oops. That's the word that comes to mind when reading Michael Carroll's thoroughly nerve-wracking book, "Lab 257: The Disturbing Story of the Government's Secret Germ Laboratory" ... about the federal germ facility on Plum Island. The island [is] home to some of the deadliest microbes festering on the planet. According to Carroll's book, the island -- and laboratory -- are also home to slipshod construction, poor safeguards, and lax security. "Lab 257" claims errors at the facility caused Lyme disease outbreaks and health problems for the local population -- claims disputed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which ran the facility until recently. Carroll [said] that the point of the book was to expose the potential hazards of a poorly run institution; he has nothing against better-run, more secure institutions. "You have to know how things interact, germs, bacteria, etc. You [just] don't need to create millions of them to know how to create them and make them more virulent. Like other government scientific facilities, it's had an aura of mystery: Plum Island earns a mention in "The Silence of the Lambs," and thriller writer Nelson DeMille set a novel there. Much of Carroll's research was done through interviews with nearby residents, as well as documents and reports. While the government was "cooperative at the outset," Carroll said ... he was later denied access to the facility. Carroll isn't the first to offer criticism. In 2002, after a power outage on the island, New York's WABC-TV did a story on whether containment procedures worked; several employees questioned the lab's safety. In 2003, the General Accounting Office listed security problems on the island, partially prompted by a whistleblower, Jim McCoy, who protested the management of a private concern.
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.
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.
President Obama's "science czar," John Holdren, once floated the idea of forced abortions, "compulsory sterilization," and the creation of a "Planetary Regime" that would oversee human population levels and control all natural resources as a means of protecting the planet -- controversial ideas his critics say should have been brought up in his Senate confirmation hearings ... as director of the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy. It appears that the senators who scrutinized him had no knowledge of the contents of a textbook he co-authored in 1977, Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment. The 1,000-page course book, which was co-written with environmental activists Paul and Anne Ehrlich, discusses and in one passage seems to advocate totalitarian measures to curb population growth, which it says could cause an environmental catastrophe. Holdren and his co-authors spend a portion of the book discussing possible government programs that could be used to lower birth rates. Holdren's office issued a statement to FOXNews.com denying that the ecologist has ever backed any of the measures discussed in his book. Holdren's co-authors, Paul and Anne Ehrlich, said in a statement that they were "shocked at the serious mischaracterization of our views and those of John Holdren," caused by what they called misreadings of the book.
The Coalition for Mercury-free Drugs (CoMeD) exposes communications between Centers for Disease Control (CDC) personnel and vaccine researchers revealing U.S. officials apparently colluded in covering-up the decline in Denmark's autism rates following the removal of mercury from vaccines. Documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) show that CDC officials were aware of Danish data indicating a connection between removing Thimerosal (49.55% mercury) and a decline in autism rates. Despite this knowledge, these officials allowed a 2003 article to be published in Pediatrics that excluded this information, misrepresented the decline as an increase, and led to the mistaken conclusion that Thimerosal in vaccines does not cause autism. In Denmark, Thimerosal, a controversial mercury compound used as a preservative in certain vaccines, was removed from all Danish vaccines in 1992. The well-publicized Danish study published in Pediatrics 2003 claimed that autism rates actually increased after Thimerosal was phased out. This study subsequently became a cornerstone for the notion that mercury does not cause autism. However, one of the FOIA documents obtained from CDC clearly indicates that this study omitted large amounts of data showing autism rates actually dropping after mercury was removed from Danish vaccines.
Note: For the complete text of the article, which has been taken down from the Sacramento Bee website, click here. Read about a key scientific study which showed that monkeys given standard human vaccines developed autism symptoms, at this link. And an MSNBC/Associated Press report shows that the FDA rejected limits on thimerosal and that "most doses of flu vaccine still contain thimerosal."
[Abiotic oil theorists] hold that oil can be derived from hydrocarbons that existed eons ago in massive pools deep within the earth's core. That source of hydrocarbons seeps up through the earth's layers and slowly replenishes oil sources. In other words, it turns the fossil-fuel paradigm upside down. Thomas Gold, a respected astronomer and professor emeritus at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, has held for years that oil is actually a renewable, primordial syrup continually manufactured by the Earth under ultrahot conditions and tremendous pressures. As this substance migrates toward the surface, it is attacked by bacteria, making it appear to have an organic origin dating back to the dinosaurs, he says. That ... raises the tantalizing possibility that oil may not be the limited resource it is assumed to be. In 2008 ... a group of Russian and Ukrainian scientists [said] that oil and gas don't come from fossils; they're synthesized deep within the earth's mantle by heat, pressure, and other purely chemical means, before gradually rising to the surface. The idea that oil comes from fossils "is a myth" that needs changing according to petroleum engineer Vladimir Kutcherov, speaking at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. "All kinds of rocks could have oil and gas deposits." Alexander Kitchka of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences estimates that 60 percent of the content of all oil is abiotic in origin and not from fossil fuels.
It was the kind of study that made doctors around the world sit up and take notice: Two popular high-blood-pressure drugs were found to be much better in combination than either alone. Unfortunately, it wasn't true. Six and a half years later, the prestigious medical journal the Lancet retracted the paper, citing "serious concerns" about the findings. The damage was done. Doctors by then had given the drug combination to well over 100,000 patients. Instead of protecting them from kidney problems, as the study said the drug combo could do, it left them more vulnerable to potentially life-threatening side effects, later studies showed. Today, "tens of thousands" of patients are still on the dual therapy, according to research firm SDI. When a study is retracted, "it can be hard to make its effects go away," says Sheldon Tobe, a kidney-disease specialist at the University of Toronto. And that's more important today than ever because retractions of scientific studies are surging. Since 2001, while the number of papers published in research journals has risen 44%, the number retracted has leapt more than 15-fold, data compiled for The Wall Street Journal by Thomson Reuters reveal. Just 22 retraction notices appeared in 2001, but 139 in 2006 and 339 last year
Note: To learn lots more of how the medical industry puts profit above public health, click here.
Guatemala has tracked down five survivors from a shocking US government research project on sexually transmitted diseases that killed scores of its people. On [August 29], a presidential panel disclosed new details of the medical experiments done in Guatemala in the 1940s, including a decision to re-infect a dying woman in a syphilis study. The Guatemala experiments are already considered one of the darker episodes of medical research in U.S. history, but panel members say the new information indicates that the researchers were unusually unethical, even when placed into the historical context of a different era. "The researchers put their own medical advancement first and human decency a far second," said Anita Allen, a member of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. From 1946-48, the U.S. Public Health Service and the Pan American Sanitary Bureau worked with several Guatemalan government agencies to do medical research - paid for by the U.S. government - that involved deliberately exposing people to sexually transmitted diseases. The researchers apparently were trying to see if penicillin, then relatively new, could prevent infections in the 1,300 people exposed to syphilis, gonorrhea or chancroid. Those infected included soldiers, prostitutes, prisoners and mental patients with syphilis. The commission revealed ... that only about 700 of those infected received some sort of treatment. Also, 83 people died.
Note: For a long list of verifiable information on experiments where human were used a guinea pigs, click here.
U.S. government researchers who purposely infected unwitting subjects with sexually transmitted diseases in Guatemala in the 1940s had obtained consent a few years earlier before conducting similar experiments in Indiana, investigators reported [August 29]. The stark contrast between how the U.S. Public Health Service scientists experimented with Americans and Guatemalans clearly shows that researchers knew their conduct was unethical, according to members of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. “These researchers knew these were unethical experiments, and they conducted them anyway,” said Raju Kucherlapati of Harvard Medical School, a commission member. At least 5,500 prisoners, mental patients, soldiers and children were drafted into the experiments, including at least 1,300 who were exposed to the sexually transmitted diseases syphilis, gonorrhea and chancroid, the commission reported. “This is a dark chapter in our history. It is important to shine the light of day on it. We owe it to the people of Guatemala who were experimented on, and we owe it to ourselves to recognize what a dark chapter it was,” said Amy Gutmann of the University of Pennsylvania, the commission’s chairwoman.
Note: For a long list of verifiable information on experiments where human were used a guinea pigs, click here.
A dull-looking chart projected on the wall of a university office in Jerusalem displayed a revelation that would startle many readers of the Old Testament: The sacred text that people revered in the past was not the same one we study today. An ancient version of one book has an extra phrase. Another appears to have been revised to retroactively insert a prophecy after the events happened. Scholars in this out-of-the-way corner of the Hebrew University campus have been quietly at work for 53 years on one of the most ambitious projects attempted in biblical studies — publishing the authoritative edition of the Old Testament, also known as the Hebrew Bible, and tracking every single evolution of the text over centuries and millennia. The ongoing work of the academic detectives of the Bible Project, as their undertaking is known, shows that this text at the root of Judaism, Christianity and Islam was somewhat fluid for long periods of its history, and that its transmission through the ages was messier and more human than most of us imagine. The sheer volume of information makes the Bible Project's version "the most comprehensive critical edition of the Hebrew Bible in existence at the present time," said David Marcus, a Bible scholar at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, who is not involved with the project.
It's fraudulent for academics to give their names to medical articles ghostwritten by pharmaceutical industry writers, say two Canadian law professors who call for potential legal sanctions. Studies suggest that industry-driven drug trials and industry-sponsored publications are more likely to downplay a drug's harms and exaggerate a drug's virtues, said Trudo Lemmens, a law professor at the University of Toronto. The integrity of medical research is also harmed by ghostwritten articles, he said. Ghostwriting is part of marketing that can distort the evidence on a drug, Lemmens said. Industry authors are concealed to insert marketing messages and academic experts are recruited as "guest" authors to lend credibility despite not fulfilling criteria for authorship, such as participating in the design of the study, gathering data, analyzing the results and writing up of the findings. Lemmens and his colleague Prof. Simon Stern argue that legal remedies are needed for medical ghostwriting since medical journals, academic institutions and professional disciplinary bodies haven't succeeded in enforcing sanctions against the practice. Ghostwritten publications are used in court to support a manufacturer's arguments about a drug's safety and effectiveness, and academic experts who appear as witnesses for pharmaceutical and medical device companies also boost their credibility with the publications on their CV, Lemmens said.
Scientists are in danger of turning animals into monsters unless an ethical watchdog is appointed to prevent Frankenstein-like experiments, the Academy of Medical Sciences has warned. A new report into experiments which transplant human cells into animals for medical purposes said scientists may not be far from giving apes the ability to think and talk like humans. Concerns about the creation of talking apes should be taken seriously along with "what one might call the 'Frankenstein fear' that the medical research which creates 'humanised' animals is going to generate monsters", it was claimed. A regulatory body is needed to closely monitor any experiments that risk creating animals with human-like consciousness, spawning hybrid human-animal embryos, or giving animals any appearance or behavioural traits that too closely resemble humans, the report said. Scientists would, for example, be prevented from replacing a large number of an ape's brain [cells] with human cells – as has already been done in simpler animals like mice – until much more is known about the potential results.
Note: For more on this in another media article, click here.
Look at the Department of Energy's 2012 budget request for the Livermore Lab and it becomes apparent that PR has an inverse relationship to budget. Some 89 percent of the funds are for nuclear weapons activities. Yet, more than 89 percent of the press releases showcase programs like renewable energy and science that receive less than 3 percent of the spending. This has caused many to believe that Livermore Lab is converting from nuclear weapons to civilian science. A major consequence of the chasm between public perception and where the money actually goes is that science at Livermore continues to exist on the margins - underfunded, understaffed and at the mercy of the 800-pound gorilla of the nuclear weapons budget. Consider the many benefits of transitioning Livermore from nuclear-weapons design to a "green lab," focused on nonpolluting energy development, climate research, basic sciences, nonproliferation and environmental cleanup. Livermore Lab is uniquely qualified to contribute in these areas. The lab already employs the right mix of physicists, other scientists, engineers, materials specialists, and support personnel for these undertakings.
Note: To learn more about how the public is being massively deceived around war and weapons spending, read what a top U.S. general had to say about this at this link.
People who remember when tobacco advertising was a prominent part of the media landscape ... probably recollect that actors like Barbara Stanwyck and athletes like Mickey Mantle routinely endorsed cigarettes. But how about doctors and other medical professionals, proclaiming the merits of various cigarette brands? Or politicians? Or children? Even Santa Claus? Those images — some flabbergasting, even disturbing — were also used by Madison Avenue to peddle tobacco products. An exhibit ... in New York presents cigarette ads from the 1920s through the early 1950s in an effort to demonstrate what has changed since then — and what may not have. The exhibit is the brainchild of Dr. Robert K. Jackler of the Stanford School of Medicine. “The very best artists and copywriters that money could buy” would work on cigarette accounts, said Dr. Jackler. “This era of over-the-top hucksterism went on for decades,” he added, “and it was all blatantly false.” The genesis of the exhibit was an ad from around 1930 for Lucky Strike cigarettes, which shows a doctor above a headline proclaiming that “20,679 physicians say ‘Luckies are less irritating.’ ” The Luckies doctor was joined in Dr. Jackler’s collection of about 5,000 ads by scores of scientists and medical professionals — doctors, dentists, nurses — making statements that are now known to be patently untrue. Some of the claims being made in the ads, you did not have to be a scientist in a laboratory to dispute ... ads that smoking certain brands “does not cause bad breath” or “can never stain your teeth.”
Note: The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) promoted cigarette ads for 20 years "after careful consideration of the extent to which cigarettes were used by physicians in practice." Will people, even highly respected members of society, bend the truth and even lie when paid enough? This article seems to answer that with a resounding yes. Is that still true today? For excerpts from many highly revealing articles showing it's as true now as ever, click here and here.
Weren't we taught that radio was invented by an Italian named Guglielmo Marconi? And that the legendary Thomas Alva Edison devised today's electrical power system? "We were taught wrong," said Toby Grotz, president of the International Tesla Society. Two years before Marconi demonstrated his wireless radio transmission, [Nikola Tesla] performed an identical feat at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. On June 21, 1943, in the case of Marconi Wireless Telegraph Co. vs. the United States, the Supreme Court ruled that that Tesla's radio patents had predated those of the Italian genius. To be sure, Edison invented the incandesent light bulb. But he powered it and all of his other projects with inefficient direct current (DC) electricity. It was Tesla who discovered how to use the far more powerful phased form of alternating current (AC) electricity that is virtually the universal type of electricity employed by modern civilization. There are indications that Tesla also discovered many of the devices ... for the Pentagon's controversial Star Wars antimissile defense system. "Tesla dreamed of supplying limitless amounts of power freely and equally available to all persons on Earth," said Grotz. And he was convinced he could do so by broadcasting electrical power across large distances just as radio transmits far smaller amounts of energy. [Tesla's] tests ... caused lights to burn as much as 26 miles away, according to news reports of the time.
Note: Tesla was written out of history texts likely because he advocated providing methods for extremely cheap electricity available to everyone. He successfully transmitted electricity through the air to lights 26 miles away. Yet the rich energy power brokers of his time could not stand for this. Only the little known Supreme Court ruling mentioned above restored his claim as original inventor of the radio. For lots more on this most fascinating genius, click on the article link above and click here and here. For revealing major media articles showing the suppression of other energy inventions which could transform our world, click here.
Over the past three years, more than 60 institutions, including several of the world's most prestigious research centers, have been criticized by the U.S. government for failing to protect human subjects adequately. As recently as 1974 individual scientists and their financial backers could decide for themselves what constituted ethical research. Most of the time their judgment was sound, but there were plenty of appalling exceptions. In the 1950s Army doctors gave LSD to soldiers without telling them what it was. In 1963 researchers injected prisoners and terminally ill patients with live cancer cells to test their immune responses; they were told only that it was a "skin test." In the 1950s mentally retarded children at Willowbrook, a state institution in New York, were deliberately infected with hepatitis so that scientists could work on an experimental vaccine. And in perhaps the most infamous case on record, doctors at Georgia's Tuskegee Institute, starting in the 1930s, deliberately withheld treatment from syphilis-infected African-American men for 40 years to monitor the course of the disease. Financial conflicts of interest can extend not only to the institutions but also to the researchers themselves. Jesse Gelsinger's death in the University of Pennsylvania's gene-therapy trial in 1999 seemed especially scandalous [because] James Wilson, the principal investigator in the study, held a 30% equity stake in Genovo, which owned the rights to license the drug Wilson was studying; the university owned 3.2% of the company. When Targeted Genetics Corp. acquired Genovo, Wilson reportedly earned $13.5 million and Penn $1.4 million.
Note: For a powerful, reliable list of astounding incidents in which government and medical professionals used humans as guinea pigs over the past hundred years and continuing to the present, click here. Links are provided to reliable sources for verification. For key facts on government mind control programs, click here.
A bizarre spate of television presenters dissolving into on-air gibberish has sparked claims that the U.S. military could be to blame. In four high-profile cases, the latest involving fast-talking Judge Judy, the presenters have started off speaking properly but have then descended into undecipherable nonsense - looking confused and unstable. The frequency of the 'attacks' - and the fact that recorded examples of the mental meltdowns have been popular on websites - has led to conspiracy theorists pointing the finger at shadowy government experiments. A popular theory being circulated online blames the U.S. Military’s supposed research into using microwaves as a mind control weapon. America has never admitted conducting such research but proponents say the effects - produced by microwave signals stimulating the brain with fake images and voices - exactly mimic those displayed in the recent on-air breakdowns. Serene Branson's garbled Grammys report became an internet sensation, while WISCTV's Sarah Carlson suffered a similar meltdown in January. Judith Sheindlin, the fast-talking judge on Judge Judy, was taken to hospital ... after she began speaking a nonsensical string of words during a live recording of her courtroom TV show.
Note: We don't normally use the UK's Daily Mail as a reliable source, but as the video included in this article clearly demonstrate something highly unusual, we've included it here. Another video of this highly strange phemomenon is available here. There is a possibility that some kind of HAARP technologies may be used in doing this. For more, click here. For reliable, verifiable information on secret government mind control programs, see the powerful two-page summary available here.
Nine scientists from major universities and research institutions in the U.S. and Europe have reviewed a variety of UFO reports and concluded that there is no proof the reports have anything to do with extraterrestrial intelligence, but that the subject deserves far more attention. The first such review by a scientific panel in 28 years, the report ... was critical of scientists for their lack of curiosity about a subject that has attracted such widespread public interest. It also criticized scientific journals for a reluctance to publish research on the topic. But the report had high praise for the French government, which for 21 years has had a panel devoted to collecting scientific evidence related to new sightings. "Whenever there are unexplained observations, there is the possibility that scientists will learn something new by studying those observations," the panel said in its report, published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration. The journal specializes in publishing reports by legitimate scientists on topics considered too controversial for many other scientific journals. "It may be valuable to carefully evaluate UFO reports to extract information about unusual phenomena currently unknown to science," the group wrote. The panel met last fall for four days to hear various UFO investigators present their "best case" evidence. It focused on reports where there was some kind of physical evidence: photographs, radar recordings, damaged soil or plants or physical symptoms suffered by witnesses.
Note: For lots more on the excellent French report (The Cometa Report), which revealed fascinating, solid evidence of ET visitation, click here. For other key resources on UFOs, see our UFO Information Center.
Authorities in Japan have begun excavating the former site of a medical school that may contain the remains of victims of the country's wartime biological warfare programme. The school has links to Unit 731, a branch of the imperial Japanese army that conducted lethal experiments on prisoners as part of efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction. The Japanese government has previously acknowledged the unit's existence but refused to discuss its activities, despite testimony from former members and growing documentary evidence. Unit 731, based in Harbin in northern China, conducted experiments on tens of thousands of mostly Chinese and Korean prisoners, and a small number of Allied prisoners of war. Some historians estimate up to 250,000 people were subjected to experiments. According to historical accounts, male and female prisoners, named "logs" by their torturers, were subjected to vivisection without anaesthesia after they had been deliberately infected with diseases such as typhus and cholera. Some had limbs amputated or organs removed. Leading members of the unit were secretly granted immunity from prosecution in return for giving US occupation forces access to years of biological warfare research. Some went on to occupy prestigious positions in the pharmaceutical industry, health ministry and academia.
Note: The US granted immunity to both German and Japanese researchers involved in highly cruel medical experiments which tortured and murdered victims in order to perfect mind control and more. For powerful documentation on this, see our two-page summary available here, and lots more at this link.
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.
Starting in the early 1900s, hundreds of thousands of American children were warehoused in institutions by state governments. And the federal government did nothing to stop it. The justification? The kids had been labeled feeble-minded, and were put away in conditions that can only be described as unspeakable. A large proportion of the kids who were locked up were not retarded at all. They were simply poor, uneducated kids with no place to go, who ended up in institutions like the Fernald School in Waltham, Mass. The Fernald School, and others like it, was part of a popular American movement in the early 20th century called the Eugenics movement. The idea was to separate people considered to be genetically inferior from the rest of society, to prevent them from reproducing. Eugenics is usually associated with Nazi Germany, but in fact, it started in America. Not only that, it continued here long after Hitler's Germany was in ruins. Few of the attendants [at Fernald] showed any kindness. And ... there was sexual abuse. The place was tailor made for it. The school [also] allowed them to be used as human guinea pigs. In 1994 Senate hearings, it came out that scientists from MIT had been giving radioactive oatmeal to the boys ... in a nutrition study for Quaker Oats. All they knew is that they'd been asked to join a science club. The boys were recruited with special treats [like] extra milk. “But they forgot to mention the milk was radioactive,” says David White-Lief, an attorney who worked on the state task force investigating the science club. “These experiments, because of the lack of informed consent, violated the Nuremburg Code established just 10 years earlier,” says White-Lief.
Note: The extreme racism of the Nazis was quite popular among certain groups in the U.S. For lots more on how these ideas came to pervade some groups in U.S. intelligence services, click here. For a powerful list of military and government sponsored experiments on human guinea pigs with links for verification, click here.
Shocking as it may seem, U.S. government doctors once thought it was fine to experiment on disabled people and prison inmates. Such experiments included giving hepatitis to mental patients in Connecticut, squirting a pandemic flu virus up the noses of prisoners in Maryland, and injecting cancer cells into chronically ill people at a New York hospital. Much of this horrific history is 40 to 80 years old, but it is the backdrop for a meeting in Washington this week by a presidential bioethics commission. The meeting was triggered by the government's apology last fall for federal doctors infecting prisoners and mental patients in Guatemala with syphilis 65 years ago. U.S. officials also acknowledged there had been dozens of similar experiments in the United States. Inevitably, they will be compared to the well-known Tuskegee syphilis study. In that episode, U.S. health officials tracked 600 black men in Alabama who already had syphilis but didn't give them adequate treatment even after penicillin became available. Though people in the studies were usually described as volunteers, historians and ethicists have questioned how well these people understood what was to be done to them and why, or whether they were coerced. In the last 15 years, two international studies sparked outrage. U.S.-funded doctors failed to give the AIDS drug AZT to all the HIV-infected pregnant women in a study in Uganda even though it would have protected their newborns. The other study, by Pfizer Inc., gave an antibiotic named Trovan to children with meningitis in Nigeria, although there were doubts about its effectiveness. Critics blamed the experiment for the deaths of 11 children and the disabling of scores of others. Pfizer settled a lawsuit with Nigerian officials for $75 million but admitted no wrongdoing.
Note: Though it appears these highly unethical studies have stopped in the US, the article points out that many drug companies are now doing their studies in countries where ethical codes are not strong. For an astounding list of government-sponsored programs where humans were used as guinea pigs, click here. For a two-page summary of solid evidence of government involvement in mind control programs, click here.
If you follow the news about health research, you risk whiplash. First garlic lowers bad cholesterol, then—after more study—it doesn’t. Hormone replacement reduces the risk of heart disease in postmenopausal women, until a huge study finds that it doesn’t. But what if wrong answers aren’t the exception but the rule? More and more scholars who scrutinize health research are now making that claim. It isn’t just an individual study here and there that’s flawed, they charge. Instead, the very framework of medical investigation may be off-kilter, leading time and again to findings that are at best unproved and at worst dangerously wrong. The result is a system that leads patients and physicians astray—spurring often costly regimens that won’t help and may even harm you. Even a cursory glance at medical journals shows that once heralded studies keep falling by the wayside. A major study concluded there’s no good evidence that statins (drugs like Lipitor and Crestor) help people with no history of heart disease. The study ... was based on an evaluation of 14 individual trials with 34,272 patients. Cost of statins: more than $20 billion per year. “Positive” drug trials, which find that a treatment is effective, and “negative” trials, in which a drug fails, take the same amount of time to conduct. But negative trials took an extra two to four years to be published. With billions of dollars on the line, companies are loath to declare a new drug ineffective. As a result of the lag in publishing negative studies, patients receive a treatment that is actually ineffective. From clinical trials of new drugs to cutting-edge genetics, biomedical research is riddled with incorrect findings.
Note: For the good of your health, the entire article at the link above is well worth reading. For lots more on how the profit-oriented health profession puts public health at risk, click here and here.
Last year, Stanford banned its physicians from giving paid promotional talks for pharmaceutical companies. One thing it didn't do was make sure its faculty followed that rule. A ProPublica investigation ["Dollars for Docs"] found that more than a dozen of the school's doctors were paid speakers in apparent violation of Stanford policy - two of them were paid six figures since last year. Conflict-of-interest policies have become increasingly important as academic medical centers worry that promotional talks undermine the credibility not only of the physicians giving them, but also of the institutions they represent. Yet when it comes to enforcing the policies, universities have allowed permissive interpretations and relied on the honor system. That approach isn't working. Many physicians are in apparent violation, and ignorance or confusion about the rules is widespread. As a result, some faculty physicians stay on the industry lecture circuit, where they can net tens of thousands of dollars in additional income. Critics of the practice say delivering talks for drug companies is incompatible with teaching future generations of physicians. That's because drug firms typically pick the topic of the lecture, train the speakers and require them to use company-provided presentation slides.
Note: "Dollars for Docs" is an ongoing investigation into the influence of drug company marketing payments on medical providers. To search for a doctor in the database, click here.
Reversing a longstanding policy, the federal government said on [October 29] that human and other genes should not be eligible for patents because they are part of nature. The new position could have a huge impact on medicine and on the biotechnology industry. The new position was declared in a friend-of-the-court brief filed by the Department of Justice ... in a case involving two human genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer. “We acknowledge that this conclusion is contrary to the longstanding practice of the Patent and Trademark Office, as well as the practice of the National Institutes of Health and other government agencies that have in the past sought and obtained patents for isolated genomic DNA,” the brief said. The issue of gene patents has long been a controversial [one]. Opponents say that genes are products of nature, not inventions, and should be the common heritage of mankind. They say that locking up basic genetic information in patents actually impedes medical progress. Proponents say genes isolated from the body are chemicals that are different from those found in the body and therefore are eligible for patents. In its brief, the government said it now believed that the mere isolation of a gene, without further alteration or manipulation, does not change its nature.
Note: This is great news. To see how patents have been used in scary ways to promote global monopolies, watch this documentary.
Many drug trials involve a placebo, a sham drug whose results are compared with the results of the real medication. A placebo is supposed to contain a harmless substance, such as sugar or vegetable oil, which has no significant effect on the body. In [a new] study, researchers delved into 176 studies published in reputable medical journals ... from January 2008 to December 2009 to see if placebo contents were disclosed and if so, what they were. The study authors argue that placebo ingredients may not always be as inconsequential as some may think. They write: "For instance, olive oil and corn oil have been used as the placebo in trials of cholesterol-lowering drugs. This may lead to an understatement of drug benefit: The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids of these 'placebos,' and their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, can reduce lipid levels and heart disease." Certain placebos, they add, may skew results in favor of the active drug. The researchers referenced a trial for a drug used to treat anorexia linked with cancer in which a lactose placebo was used. Since lactose intolerance is common among cancer patients, the fact that some suffered stomach problems from the placebo may have made the actual drug look more beneficial. "Perfect placebo is not the aim," they write, "rather, we seek to ensure that its composition is disclosed."
Note: For key reports from major media sources on important issues related to health and medicine, click here.
The Nazi doctor Josef Mengele is responsible for the astonishing number of twins in a small Brazilian town, an Argentine historian has claimed. The steely hearted "Angel of Death", whose mission was to create a master race fit for the Third Reich, was the resident medic at Auschwitz from May 1943 until his flight in the face of the Red Army advance in January 1945. His task was to carry out experiments to discover by what method of genetic quirk twins were produced – and then to artificially increase the Aryan birthrate for his master, Adolf Hitler. Now, a historian claims, Mengele's notorious experiments may have borne fruit. For years scientists have failed to discover why as many as one in five pregnancies in a small Brazilian town have resulted in twins – most of them blond haired and blue eyed. But residents of Candido Godoi now claim that Mengele made repeated visits there in the early 1960s, posing at first as a vet but then offering medical treatment to the women of the town. Shuttling between Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil, he managed to evade justice before his death in 1979, but his dreams of a Nazi master race appeared unfulfilled. In a new book, Mengele [in Spanish], the Argentine historian Jorge Camarasa, a specialist in the post-war Nazi flight to South America, has painstakingly pieced together the Nazi doctor's mysterious later years. After speaking to the townspeople of Candido Godoi, he is convinced that Mengele continued his genetic experiments with twins – with startling results.
Note: For more about Josef Mengele, and his relationship with the CIA, click here.
Few ecological disasters have been as confounding as the massive and devastating die-off of the world's honeybees. The phenomenon of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) -- in which disoriented honeybees die far from their hives -- has kept scientists, beekeepers, and regulators desperately seeking the cause. The long list of possible suspects has included pests, viruses, fungi, and also pesticides, particularly so-called neonicotinoids, a class of neurotoxins that kills insects by attacking their nervous systems. For years, their leading manufacturer, Bayer Crop Science, a subsidiary of the German pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG (BAYRY), has tangled with regulators and fended off lawsuits from angry beekeepers who allege that the pesticides have disoriented and ultimately killed their bees. A cheer must have gone up at Bayer on Thursday when a front-page New York Times article, under the headline "Scientists and Soldiers Solve a Bee Mystery," described how a newly released study pinpoints a different cause for the die-off: "a fungus tag-teaming with a virus." The Bayer pesticides, however, go unmentioned. What the Times article did not explore -- nor did the study disclose -- was the relationship between the study's lead author, Montana bee researcher Dr. Jerry Bromenshenk, and Bayer Crop Science. In recent years Bromenshenk has received a significant research grant from Bayer to study bee pollination.
Note: Read the full, revealing article to learn how money often corrupts science. For lots more from reliable sources on corporate corruption, click here.
Youďż˝re not likely to hear about this from your doctor, but fake medical treatment can work amazingly well. For a range of ailments, from pain and nausea to depression and Parkinsonďż˝s disease, placebos--whether sugar pills, saline injections, or sham surgery--have often produced results that rival those of standard therapies. As evidence of the effectďż˝s power mounts, members of the medical community are increasingly asking an intriguing question: if the placebo effect can help patients, shouldnďż˝t we start putting it to work? In certain ways, placebos are ideal drugs: they typically have no side effects and are essentially free. And in recent years, research has confirmed that they can bring about genuine improvements in a number of conditions. An active conversation is now under way in leading medical journals, as bioethicists and researchers explore how to give people the real benefits of pretend treatment. But any attempt to harness the placebo effect immediately runs into thorny ethical and practical dilemmas. To present a dummy pill as real medicine would be, by most standards, to lie. To prescribe one openly, however, would risk undermining the effect. And even if these issues were resolved, the whole idea still might sound a little shady--offering bogus pills or procedures could seem, from the patientďż˝s perspective, hard to distinguish from skimping on care.
Note: For key reports from major media sources on important health issues, click here.
HIV tests detect footprints, never the animal itself. These footprints, antibodies ... were limited to two in 1984 ... but over the years expanded to include many proteins previously not associated with HIV. A majority of HIV-positive tests, when retested, come back indeterminate or negative. In many cases, different results emerge from the same blood tested in different labs. There are currently at least eleven different criteria for how many and what proteins at which band density signal “positive.” The most stringent criteria (four bands) are upheld in Australia and France; the least stringent (two bands), in Africa, where an HIV test is not even required as part of an AIDS diagnosis. Africa ... has become ground zero of the AIDS epidemic. The clinical definition of AIDS in Africa, however, is stunningly broad and generic, and was seemingly designed to be little other than a signal for funding. The “Bangui definition” of AIDS ... requires neither a positive HIV test nor a low T-cell count, as in the West, but only the presence of chronic diarrhea, fever, significant weight loss, and asthenia. These happen to be the symptoms of chronic malnutrition, malaria, parasitic infections, and other common African illnesses. The statistical picture of AIDS in Africa, consequently, is a communal projection based on very rough estimates ... extrapolated across the continent using computer models and highly questionable assumptions. More than 2,300 people, mostly scientists and doctors, including Nobelists in chemistry and medicine, have signed the petition of the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV-AIDS Hypothesis, which calls for a more independent and skeptical approach to the question of AIDS causality.
Note: If you want to be educated about the details of how rampant corruption has become in the medical research industry, read this well researched article. For a concise description of unbridled corruption in the health care industry by one of the most respected doctors in the world, click here.
Joyce Ann Hafford died without ever holding the son she had tried to save from contracting AIDS by taking an experimental drug regimen administered by government-funded researchers during her pregnancy. But even before her stunned family could grieve, the 33-year-old's death was reverberating among the government's top scientists in Washington. They quickly realized the drugs the HIV-positive woman from Memphis, Tenn., was taking likely caused the liver failure that killed her. Hafford's family members say they were never told NIH had concluded that the experimental drug regimen likely caused her death until the Associated Press gave them copies of NIH's internal case documents this month. They were left to believe Hafford had died from AIDS complications. "They tried to make it sound like she was just sick. They never connected it to the drug," said Rubbie King, Hafford's sister. NIH officials acknowledge that experimental drugs, most likely nevirapine, caused her death. The study during which Hafford died recently led researchers to conclude that nevirapine poses risks when taken over time by certain pregnant women. The family says Hafford seemed unaware of the liver risks. They even kept the bottle of nevirapine showing it had no safety warnings.
Note: If you want to understand just how corrupt and deceitful medical research doctors can be, read the stunning article on this case at this link. This article mentions the little-known fact that "a majority of HIV-positive tests, when retested, come back indeterminate or negative. In many cases, different results emerge from the same blood tested in different labs."
Research universities that accept millions of dollars from oil companies have failed to shield themselves from corporate influence, according to a new study that faults UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Stanford and seven others. Such cozy relationships give energy companies too much control in deciding what research to fund and what faculty should study, says the report from the Center for American Progress, "Big Oil Goes to College". The contracts ... give more control to companies that foot the bill than to researchers, argues the report's author, Jennifer Washburn. "We want to see university research translate into commercial technology, but we don't want the research itself to be directed by individual corporations," she told The Chronicle. "They shouldn't turn California's flagship universities into the research arm of a private corporation." The report found that industry control over research is "poorly defined" in UC Davis' long-term contract with Chevron Technology Ventures. It says industry shares control with faculty at UC Berkeley, and control is fully corporate at Stanford. The report also says none of the three California contracts "requires peer review when selecting faculty research projects."
Note: For lots more from major media sources on corporate corruption, click here.
Government scientists secretly removed body parts from a national serviceman who died after taking part in nerve gas experiments, a new inquest has been told. Up to 200 separate samples were taken from 20-year-old Ronald Maddison's brain, spinal cord, heart and skin - without his family's permission - days after he died at Porton Down, Wiltshire, the government top-secret chemical warfare research base, in 1953. The body parts have since been used in a number of experiments by scientists researching the effects of toxic chemical agents on human tissue. The original inquest, held in secret in 1953, found that Leading Aircraftman Maddison's death was accidental, but the new inquest will examine fresh evidence and decide whether the original verdict still stands. Mr Maddison ... was among hundreds of national servicemen who volunteered in the 1950s and '60s to take part in tests at Porton Down in the belief that they were helping scientists find a cure for the common cold. The airman died less than an hour after 200mg of the highly toxic Sarin nerve agent was placed on layers of cloth on the inside of his arm.
If you want to understand the way prescription drugs are marketed today, have a look at the 1928 book, Propaganda, by Edward Bernays, the father of public relations in America. For Bernays, the public relations business was less about selling things than about creating the conditions for things to sell themselves. When Bernays was working as a salesman for Mozart pianos, for example, he did not simply place advertisements for pianos in newspapers. That would have been too obvious. Instead, Bernays persuaded reporters to write about a new trend: Sophisticated people were putting aside a special room in the home for playing music. Once a person had a music room, Bernays believed, he would naturally think of buying a piano. As Bernays wrote, "It will come to him as his own idea." Just as Bernays sold pianos by selling the music room, pharmaceutical marketers now sell drugs by selling the diseases that they treat. The buzzword is "disease branding." To brand a disease is to shape its public perception in order to make it more palatable to potential patients. Once a branded disease has achieved a degree of cultural legitimacy, there is no need to convince anyone that a drug to treat it is necessary. It will come to him as his own idea. It is hard to brand a disease without the help of physicians, of course. So drug companies typically recruit academic "thought leaders" to write and speak about any new conditions they are trying to introduce.
Note: This key topic is discussed in great depth in the BBC's documentary "Century of the Self" available here. And for a top doctor's analysis that the cholesterol scare was largely manufactured for profit, click here.
The astounding revelation that U.S. medical researchers intentionally gave Guatemalans gonorrhea and syphilis more than 60 years ago is so horrifying that we want to believe that what happened then could never happen today. A report from the United States Department of Health and Human Services noted that roughly 80 percent of drug approvals in 2008 were based in part on data from outside the U.S. Susan Reverby, a distinguished historian at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, has ... long researched the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Study, the experiment where poor, black men in rural Alabama were deliberately left untreated for syphilis by government researchers. The study, somehow, was allowed to run from 1932 to 1972. More recently, Reverby came across documents that showed that Dr. John C. Cutler, a physician who would later be one of the researchers involved in the Tuskegee study, was involved in a completely unethical research study much earlier in Guatemala. Cutler, who went to his grave defending the Tuskegee experiment, directly inoculated unknowing prisoners in Guatemala with syphilis and also encouraged them to have sex with diseased prostitutes for his research from 1946-48. His work was sponsored by lauded organizations such as the United States Public Health Service, the National Institutes of Health with collaboration of the Pan American Health Sanitary Bureau (now the Pan American Health Organization), and the Guatemalan government.
Note: The author of this commentary is Arthur Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. For many other examples of government-sponsored experimentation on human guinea pigs, click here.
Nearly two years ago, a study known as the JUPITER [Justification for the Use of Statins in Primary Prevention] trial hinted at a new era in the use of statins -- one in which the cholesterol-busting drugs could be used to stave off heart-related death in many more people than just those with high cholesterol. Now, however, researchers behind a new review that takes a second look at the findings of the landmark study say that these results are flawed -- and that they do not support the benefits initially reported. Not only did this second look turn up no evidence of the "striking decrease in coronary heart disease complications" reported by investigators behind JUPITER, but it has also called into question drug companies' involvement in such trials, according to an article in the June 28 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine. Moreover, Dr. Michel de Lorgeril of Joseph Fourier University and the National Center of Scientific Research in Grenoble, France, and coauthors argue that major discrepancies exists between the significant reductions in nonfatal stroke and heart attacks reported in the JUPITER trial and what has been found in other research. "The JUPITER data set appears biased," Lorgeril and coauthors wrote in conclusion. De Lorgeril and coauthors point out that nine of 14 authors of the JUPITER article have financial relationships with AstraZeneca, which sponsored the trial.
Note: There is intriguing evidence that much of the fear around cholesterol was fabricated to sell drugs. For more on this, see the article by one of the most respected doctors on the Internet at this link.
One of the more controversial topics involving Nikola Tesla is what became of many of his technical and scientific papers after he died in 1943. Just before his death at the height of World War II, he claimed that he had perfected his so-called "death beam." So it was natural that the FBI and other U.S. Government agencies would be interested in any scientific ideas involving weaponry. The morning after the inventor's death, his nephew Sava Kosanovic hurried to his uncle's room at the Hotel New Yorker. By the time he arrived, Tesla's body had already been removed, and Kosanovic suspected that someone had already gone through his uncle's effects. Technical papers were missing as well as a black notebook he knew Tesla kept — a notebook with several hundred pages, some of which were marked "Government." Just after World War II, there was a renewed interest in beam weapons. Copies of Tesla's papers on particle beam weaponry were sent to Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. An operation code-named "Project Nick" was heavily funded and placed under the command of Brigadier General L. C. Craigie to test the feasibility of Tesla's concept. Details of the experiments were never published, and the project was apparently discontinued. But something peculiar happened. The copies of Tesla's papers disappeared and nobody knows what happened to them.
Medical professionals who were involved in the Central Intelligence Agencyâ€™s interrogations of terrorism suspects engaged in forms of human research and experimentation in violation of medical ethics and domestic and international law, according to a new report from a human rights organization. Doctors, psychologists and other professionals assigned to monitor the C.I.A.â€™s use of waterboarding, sleep deprivation and other â€śenhancedâ€ť interrogation techniques gathered and collected data on the impact of the interrogations on the detainees in order to refine those techniques. But, by doing so, the medical professionals turned the detainees into research subjects, according to the report ... published on [June 7] by Physicians for Human Rights. â€śThere was no therapeutic purpose or intent to monitor and collect this data,â€ť said Jonathan D. Moreno, a professor of medical ethics at the University of Pennsylvania. â€śYou canâ€™t use people as laboratories.â€ť
Note: To read the full report from Physicians for Human Rights, "Experiments in Torture: Human Subject Research and Evidence of Experimentation in the â€Enhancedâ€™ Interrogation Program", click here.
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.
Hitler and his henchmen victimized an entire continent and exterminated millions in his quest for a so-called Master Race. But the concept of a white, blond-haired, blue-eyed master Nordic race didn't originate with Hitler. The idea was created in the United States, and cultivated in California, decades before Hitler came to power. Eugenics would have been so much bizarre parlor talk had it not been for extensive financing by corporate philanthropies, specifically the Carnegie Institution, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Harriman railroad fortune. They were all in league with some of America's most respected scientists from such prestigious universities as Stanford, Yale, Harvard and Princeton. These academicians espoused race theory and race science, and then faked and twisted data to serve eugenics' racist aims. Stanford President David Starr Jordan originated the notion of "race and blood" in his 1902 racial epistle "Blood of a Nation," in which the university scholar declared that human qualities and conditions such as talent and poverty were passed through the blood. The Rockefeller Foundation helped found the German eugenics program and even funded the program that Josef Mengele worked in before he went to Auschwitz.
Note: Josef Mengele's US-funded eugenics research laid the foundation for his experimentation on human subjects before and during World War II. He went on to participate in CIA-funded mind-control experimentation after that war. For more on Mengele, 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.
The remains of what has been described as a huge lost city may force historians and archaeologists to radically reconsider their view of ancient human history. Marine scientists say archaeological remains discovered 36 metres (120 feet) underwater in the Gulf of Cambay off the western coast of India could be over 9,000 years old. The vast city - which is five miles long and two miles wide - is believed to predate the oldest known remains in the subcontinent by more than 5,000 years. Debris recovered from the site - including construction material, pottery, sections of walls, beads, sculpture and human bones and teeth has been carbon dated and found to be nearly 9,500 years old. The city is believed to be even older than the ancient Harappan civilisation, which dates back around 4,000 years. Author and film-maker Graham Hancock - who has written extensively on the uncovering of ancient civilisations [said,] "Cities on this scale are not known in the archaeological record until roughly 4,500 years ago when the first big cities begin to appear in Mesopotamia. Nothing else on the scale of the underwater cities of Cambay is known. There's a huge chronological problem in this discovery. It means that the whole model of the origins of civilisation with which archaeologists have been working will have to be remade from scratch," he said.
Note: Dozens of manmade complexes found under the ocean have been found, yet mainstream archeologists are largely ignoring these finds because they don't fit the academic consensus. For an excellent compilation of reliable, mainstream media news articles showing both the hidden history and suppressed archeology of our world, click here. For an interview with former Economist reporter Graham Hancock, who finds lots of solid, astounding evidence of a lost civilization, click here.
After five years of investigation, the Justice Department has released its findings regarding the government lawyers who authorized waterboarding and other forms of torture during the interrogation of suspected terrorists at Guantánamo Bay and elsewhere. In contrast, the government doctors and psychologists who participated in and authorized the torture of detainees have escaped discipline, accountability or even internal investigation. It is hardly news that medical staff at the C.I.A. and the Pentagon played a critical role in developing and carrying out torture procedures. Psychologists and at least one doctor designed or recommended coercive interrogation methods including sleep deprivation, stress positions, isolation and waterboarding. The military’s Behavioral Science Consultation Teams evaluated detainees, consulted their medical records to ascertain vulnerabilities and advised interrogators when to push harder for intelligence information. Psychologists designed a program for new arrivals at Guantánamo that kept them in isolation to “enhance and exploit” their “disorientation and disorganization.”
Note: To learn about top doctors and psychiatrists who abused their positions to forward secret government mind control programs, click here.
Craig Venter and his team have built the genome of a bacterium from scratch and incorporated it into a cell to make what they call the world's first synthetic life form. The world's first synthetic life form ... paves the way for designer organisms that are built rather than evolved. The controversial feat, which has occupied 20 scientists for more than 10 years at an estimated cost of $40m, was described by one researcher as "a defining moment in biology". Craig Venter, the pioneering US geneticist behind the experiment, said the achievement heralds the dawn of a new era in which new life is made to benefit humanity, starting with bacteria that churn out biofuels, soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and even manufacture vaccines. However critics, including some religious groups, condemned the work, with one organisation warning that artificial organisms could escape into the wild and cause environmental havoc or be turned into biological weapons. Others said Venter was playing God. The new organism is based on an existing bacterium... but at its core is an entirely synthetic genome that was constructed from chemicals in the laboratory. The single-celled organism has four "watermarks" written into its DNA to identify it as synthetic and help trace its descendants back to their creator, should they go astray.
Note: For a vault of key reports from reliable souces on genetic engineering, click here.
A former Pfizer scientist is suing the pharmaceuticals giant after alleging she contracted an artificial, HIV-like, virus created by a colleague. In her lawsuit, Becky McClain claims Pfizer unlawfully dismissed her while she suffered bouts of paralysis brought on by the man-made virus. Pfizer denies these accusations, and says McClain simply didn't come to work, and only linked her problems to engineered-disease exposure after she was fired. According to McClain, researchers in her lab genetically engineered an artificial lentivirus, a class of viruses that also includes HIV. McClain believes that she became infected by the virus due to faulty safety measures, resulting in complete body paralysis as often as 12 times every month. Most likely, we will never know if it is Pfizer's virus that caused McClain's health problems. The court case will focus mostly on safety procedures in the laboratory, not on what exactly from the lab caused the illness. Also, Pfizer refuses to release the genome of the suspected virus, preventing both identification of the disease, as well as the development of a possible cure.
Note: Isn't it interesting that Pfizer is involved in creating HIV-like viruses? How long has this been going on?
"The Game of Death" has all the trappings of a traditional television quiz show, with a roaring crowd and a glamorous and well-known hostess urging the players on under gaudy studio lights. But the contestants did not know they were taking part in an experiment to find out whether television could push them to outrageous lengths, and which has prompted comparisons with the atrocities of Nazi Germany. "We were amazed to find that 81 percent of the participants obeyed" the sadistic orders of the television presenter, said Christophe Nick, the maker of the documentary for the state-owned France 2 channel. "They are not equipped to disobey," he added. The game: posing questions to another "player" and punishing him with up to 460 volts of electricity when he gets them wrong -- even until his cries of "Let me go!" fall silent and he appears to have died. Not knowing that the screaming victim is really an actor, the apparently reluctant contestants yield to the orders of the presenter and chants of "Punishment!" from a studio audience who also believed the game was real. Nick said 80 percent of the contestants went all the way, zapping the victim with the maximum 460 volts until he appeared to die. Out of 80 players, just 16 walked out. "When it decides to abuse its power, television can do anything to anybody," said Nick. "It has an absolutely terrifying power."
Note: For more on this powerful and disturbing phenomenon, click here.
In the United Kingdom ... the country’s top drug adviser was recently fired for publicly criticizing his own government’s drug laws. The adviser, Dr. David Nutt, said in a lecture that alcohol is more hazardous than many outlawed substances, and that the United Kingdom might be making a mistake in throwing marijuana smokers in jail. His comments weren’t the idle musings of a reality-insulated professor in a policy job. They were based on ... a scientifically compiled ranking of drugs, assembled by specialists in chemistry, health, and enforcement, published in a prestigious medical journal two years earlier. The list, printed as a chart with the unassuming title “Mean Harm Scores for 20 Substances,” ranked a set of common drugs, both legal and illegal, in order of their harmfulness - how addictive they were, how physically damaging, and how much they threatened society. Overall, alcohol is far worse than many illegal drugs. So is tobacco. Smoking pot is less harmful than drinking, and LSD is less damaging yet. Nutt says he didn’t see himself as promoting drug use or trying to subvert the government. He was pressing the point that a government policy, especially a health-related one like a drug law, should be grounded in factual information.
Note: For lots more on key health issues, click here.
Common sense tells us that influencing the past is impossible -- what's done is done, right? Even if it were possible, think of the mind-bending paradoxes it would create. While tinkering with the past, you might change the circumstances by which your parents met, derailing the key event that led to your birth. Such are the perils of retrocausality, the idea that the present can affect the past, and the future can affect the present. Strange as it sounds, retrocausality ... has been debated for decades, mostly in the realm of philosophy and quantum physics. Trouble is, nobody has done the experiment to show it happens in the real world, so the door remains wide open for a demonstration. It might even happen soon. Researchers are on the verge of experiments that will finally hold retrocausality's feet to the fire by attempting to send a signal to the past. It should all be doable with the help of a state-of-the-art optics workbench and the bizarre yet familiar tricks of quantum particles. If retrocausality is confirmed -- and that is a huge if -- it would overturn our most cherished notions about the nature of cause and effect and how the universe works.
A lingering technical question about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks still haunts some, and it has political implications: How did 200,000 tons of steel disintegrate and drop in 11 seconds? A thousand architects and engineers want to know, and are calling on Congress to order a new investigation into the destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7 at the World Trade Center. "In order to bring down this kind of mass in such a short period of time, the material must have been artificially, exploded outwards," says Richard Gage, a San Francisco architect and founder of the nonprofit Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth. Mr. Gage, who is a member of the American Institute of Architects, managed to persuade more than 1,000 of his peers to sign a new petition requesting a formal inquiry. "The official Federal Emergency Management [Agency] and National Institute of Standards and Technology reports provide insufficient, contradictory and fraudulent accounts of the circumstances of the towers' destruction. We are therefore calling for a grand jury investigation of NIST officials," Mr. Gage adds. "The implications are enormous."
Note: To read statements questionig the official account of the events of 9/11 by hundreds of professors, government officials and professionals, click here and here. For our 9/11 Information Center, click here.
Remember the warnings of 65,000 dead? Health chiefs should admit they were wrong – yet again – about a global pandemic. Let me recap. Six months ago [the] BBC was intoning nightly statistics on what "could" happen as "the deadly virus" took hold. The happy-go-lucky virologist, John Oxford, said half the population could be infected, and that his lowest estimate was 6,000 dead. The chief medical officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, bandied about any figure that came into his head, settling on "65,000 could die", peaking at 350 corpses a day. The media went berserk. The World Health Organisation declared a "six-level alert" so as to "prepare the world for an imminent attack". If anyone dared question this drivel, they were dismissed by Donaldson as "extremists". When people started reporting swine flu to be even milder than ordinary flu, he accused them of complacency and told them to "wait for next winter". He was already buying 32m masks and spending more than Ł1bn on Tamiflu and vaccines. It was pure, systematic government-induced panic – in which I accept that the media played its joyful part.
Note: For lots more on the gross profiteering and fear mongering of swine flu scare, click here.
The nation is at risk if FDA science is at risk. In recognition of this threat, in December 2006, FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach, MD requested that the Science Board, which is the Advisory Board to the Commissioner, form a Subcommittee to assess whether science and technology at the FDA can support current and future regulatory needs. This report is the product of that assessment. The Subcommittee concluded that science at the FDA is in a precarious position: the Agency suffers from serious scientific deficiencies and is not positioned to meet current or emerging regulatory responsibilities. The FDA cannot fulfill its mission because its scientific base has eroded and its scientific organizational structure is weak. The FDA cannot fulfill its mission because its scientific workforce does not have sufficient capacity and capability. FDA does not have the capacity to ensure the safety of food for the nation. The FDA science agenda lacks a structure and vision, as well as effective coordination. The FDA has an inadequate and ineffective program for scientist performance. Recommendations of excellent FDA reviews are seldom followed.
Note: The above excerpts are all taken from the chapter headings in the initial table of contents and the second page of the initial overview.
The nation’s top scientists and spies are collaborating on an effort to use the federal government’s intelligence assets — including spy satellites and other classified sensors — to assess the hidden complexities of environmental change. The collaboration ... has the strong backing of the director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Secrecy cloaks the monitoring effort ... because the United States wants to keep foes and potential enemies in the dark about the abilities of its spy satellites and other sensors. Controversy has often dogged the use of federal intelligence gear for environmental monitoring. About 60 scientists — mainly from academia but including some from industry and federal agencies — run the effort’s scientific side. All have secret clearances. The C.I.A. runs the program and arranges for the scientists to draw on federal surveillance equipment, including highly classified satellites of the National Reconnaissance Office. Officials said the effort to restart the program originated on Capitol Hill in 2008 after former Vice President Al Gore argued for its importance with Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, who was then a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee; she became its chairwoman in early 2009.
Note: What happens to the public perception of science if research relies increasingly on secret data and collaboration with spy agencies? How could the results of important studies be verified by independent researchers? For lots more on the ever-expanding world of government secrecy, 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.
Dr. Julie Gerberding, former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was named president of Merck & Co Inc's vaccine division. Gerberding, who led the CDC from 2002 to 2009 and stepped down when President Barack Obama took office, will head up the company's $5 billion global vaccine business that includes shots to prevent chickenpox, cervical cancer and pneumonia. She had led CDC from one crisis to another, including the investigation into the anthrax attacks that killed five people in 2001, the H5N1 avian influenza, the global outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, and various outbreaks of food poisoning. She may be charged with reigniting flagging sales of Merck's Gardasil vaccine to prevent cervical cancer by protecting against human papillomavirus or HPV. After an encouraging launch Gardasil sales have been falling and were down 22 percent in the third quarter at $311 million.
Note: So the head of the CDC now is in charge of vaccines at one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Could this be considered conflict of interest? Could this possibly be payback for supporting the vaccine agenda so strongly for years? For more on the risks and dangers of vaccines, click here.
A healthcare firm is seeking to silence a Danish academic from expressing doubts about one of its products by using England’s draconian libel laws. Two years ago in a conference room in the Randolph hotel in Oxford, Henrik Thomsen ... one of Europe’s leading radiologists, revealed how patients treated at his hospital had subsequently contracted a rare and potentially fatal disease. Thomsen and other doctors at his Copenhagen University hospital were baffled as to why 20 kidney patients who had been given routine scans were afflicted by a disorder — nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) — in which the skin gradually swells, thickens and tightens. Some sufferers were confined to wheelchairs. At least one died. There was no known cure. It was confirmed that all those who had fallen ill with NSF had been given the same drug in advance of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. Omniscan was used to enhance the images produced by the scan. The product was sold around the world and was manufactured by GE Healthcare, a subsidiary of General Electric, one of the world’s largest corporations. Thomsen ... now refuses to speak anywhere in England on the possible risks of Omniscan. The reason is that he faces another kind of storm: GE Healthcare is suing him in the High Court for libel. GE has already racked up costs of more than Ł380,000 pursuing the respected academic. Thomsen will have to pay the firm’s costs if he loses the case.
Note: For lots more on corporate corruption from reliable sources, click here.
Researchers at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm have managed to prove that fossils from animals and plants are not necessary for crude oil and natural gas to be generated. The findings are revolutionary since this means, on the one hand, that it will be much easier to find these sources of energy and, on the other hand, that they can be found all over the globe. “Using our research we can even say where oil could be found in Sweden,” says Vladimir Kutcherov, a professor at the Division of Energy Technology at KTH. Together with two research colleagues, Vladimir Kutcherov has simulated the process involving pressure and heat that occurs naturally in the inner layers of the earth, the process that generates hydrocarbon, the primary component in oil and natural gas. According to Vladimir Kutcherov, the findings are a clear indication that the oil supply is not about to end, which researchers and experts in the field have long feared. He adds that there is no way that fossil oil, with the help of gravity or other forces, could have seeped down to a depth of 10.5 kilometers in the state of Texas, for example, which is rich in oil deposits. As Vladimir Kutcherov sees it, this is further proof, alongside his own research findings, of the genesis of these energy sources – that they can be created in other ways than via fossils. This has long been a matter of lively discussion among scientists. “There is no doubt that our research proves that crude oil and natural gas are generated without the involvement of fossils. All types of bedrock can serve as reservoirs of oil,” says Vladimir Kutcherov.
Note: The research work of Kutcherov and others on this topic was recently published in the scientific journal Nature Geoscience. For more reports from reliable sources on key new energy discoveries, click here.
The scientific integrity of medical research has been clouded in recent years by articles that were drafted by drug company-sponsored ghostwriters and then passed off as the work of independent academic authors. Yet the leading medical journals have continued to rely largely on an honor system of disclosure to detect such potential bias, asking authors to voluntarily report any industry ties or contributors to their manuscripts. But now, in light of recently released evidence that some drug makers have gone to great lengths to turn scientific articles into marketing vehicles for their products, some influential medical editors are cracking down on industry-financed ghostwriting. These editors are demanding that journals impose tougher disclosure policies for academic authors and that the journals enforce their own rules by actively investigating the provenance of manuscripts and by punishing authors who play down extensive contributions by ghostwriters. Calling for a zero tolerance policy, the editors of the medical journal PLoS Medicine, from the Public Library of Science, called for journals to identify and retract ghostwritten articles and banish their authors. “Authors found to have not declared such interest should be banned from any subsequent publication in the journal and their misconduct reported to their institutions.” In the past, researchers have raised allegations of ghostwriting in articles about quality-of-life drugs like antidepressants, painkillers and diet pills. But the situation has become more serious this year after a few editors said they had discovered ghostwriting in manuscripts about life-and-death products like cancer and hematology drugs.”
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 recent analysis of the 2007 financial markets of 48 countries has revealed that the world's finances are in the hands of just a few mutual funds, banks, and corporations. This is the first clear picture of the global concentration of financial power, and ... the worldwide financial system's vulnerability. A pair of physicists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich did a physics-based analysis of the world economy as it looked in early 2007. Stefano Battiston and James Glattfelder extracted the information from the tangled yarn that links 24,877 stocks and 106,141 shareholding entities in 48 countries, revealing what they called the "backbone" of each country's financial market. The most pared-down backbones exist in Anglo-Saxon countries, including the U.S., Australia, and the U.K.. The biggest fish was the Capital Group Companies, with major stakes in 36 of the 48 countries studied. The results raise questions of where and when a company could choose to exert this influence. Glattfelder added that the internationalism of these powerful companies makes it difficult to gauge their economic influence. "[With] company structures which are so big and spanning the globe, it's hard to see what they're up to and what they're doing,” he said. Large, sparse networks dominated by a few major companies could also be more vulnerable, he said. "In network speak, if those nodes fail, that has a big effect on the network." The results will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Physical Review E.
Note: For a treasure trove of revelations about the realities of the global financial structure, click here.
Scientists in Israel have demonstrated that it is possible to fabricate DNA evidence, undermining the credibility of what has been considered the gold standard of proof in criminal cases. The scientists fabricated blood and saliva samples containing DNA from a person other than the donor of the blood and saliva. They also showed that if they had access to a DNA profile in a database, they could construct a sample of DNA to match that profile without obtaining any tissue from that person. “You can just engineer a crime scene,” said Dan Frumkin, lead author of the paper, which has been published online by the journal Forensic Science International: Genetics. “Any biology undergraduate could perform this.” Dr. Frumkin is a founder of Nucleix, a company based in Tel Aviv that has developed a test to distinguish real DNA samples from fake ones that it hopes to sell to forensics laboratories. The planting of fabricated DNA evidence at a crime scene is only one implication of the findings. A potential invasion of personal privacy is another. Using some of the same techniques, it may be possible to scavenge anyone’s DNA from a discarded drinking cup or cigarette butt and turn it into a saliva sample that could be submitted to a genetic testing company that measures ancestry or the risk of getting various diseases. Tania Simoncelli, science adviser to the American Civil Liberties Union, said the findings were worrisome. “DNA is a lot easier to plant at a crime scene than fingerprints,” she said. “We’re creating a criminal justice system that is increasingly relying on this technology.”
Note: For lots more on government threats to civil liberties, click here.
Eight elderly Canadians who were victims of CIA-funded brainwashing experiments in the 1950s reached a tentative out-of-court settlement Tuesday in their multimillion-dollar damage suit against the U.S. spy agency. The Canadian plaintiffs, who say they suffered permanent mental and physical damage as a result of the bizarre experiments performed on them at a Montreal psychiatric hospital, will divide a $750,000 payment among them, according to their attorney, James Turner. The Canadians, all patients of the late Dr. Ewen Cameron at Montreal's Allan Memorial Institute in the late 1950s, were injected with repeated doses of mind-altering LSD, deprived of sleep, subjected to massive electroshock treatments and forced to listen to thousands of repetitions of taped messages taken from the most sensitive moments of their therapy sessions.
Note: Dr. Cameron was once President of the American and World Psychiatric Associations. For more on the severe abuses of doctors in serving the CIA's mind control programs, click here. For lots more reliable, verifiable information on CIA mind control experiments and programs, click here. The link above provides this abstract of the complete article, which can be accessed by payment of a small fee.
"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.
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.
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.
Britain's first human-animal hybrid embryos have been created, forming a crucial first step, scientists believe, towards a supply of stem cells that could be used to investigate debilitating and so far untreatable conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's and motor neurone disease. Lyle Armstrong, who led the work, gained permission in January from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) to create the embryos, known as "cytoplasmic hybrids". His team at Newcastle University produced the embryos by inserting human DNA from a skin cell into a hollowed-out cow egg. An electric shock then induced the hybrid embryo to grow. The embryo, 99.9% human and 0.1% other animal, grew for three days, until it had 32 cells. Eventually, scientists hope to grow such embryos for six days, and then extract stem cells from them. The researchers insisted the embryos would never be implanted into a woman and that the only reason they used cow eggs was due to the scarcity of human eggs. Cardinal Keith O'Brien used his Easter sermon to denounce what he called experiments of "Frankenstein proportion" and called the bill a "monstrous attack on human rights, human dignity and human life". Catholics object to the idea of putting human and animal DNA in the same entity and to the notion of creating what they regard as a life for the purposes of research, a life that will then be destroyed.
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In the garage of his house, Frank Sanns spends nights tinkering with one of his prized possessions: a working nuclear-fusion reactor. Mr. Sanns, 51 years old, is part of a small subculture of gearheads, amateur physicists and science-fiction fans who are trying to build fusion reactors in their basements, backyards and home laboratories. Mr. Sanns ... believes he's on track to make fusion a viable power source. "I'm a dreamer," he says. Many of these hobbyists call themselves "fusioneers," and have formed a loosely knit community that numbers more than 100 world-wide. Getting into their elite "Neutron Club" requires building a tabletop reactor that successfully fuses hydrogen isotopes and glows like a miniature star. Only 42 have qualified; some have T-shirts that read "Fusion -- been there...done that." Called fusors and based on a 1960s design first developed by Philo T. Farnsworth, an inventor of television, the reactors are typically small steel spheres with wires and tubes sticking out and a glass window for looking inside. But they won't be powering homes anytime soon -- for now, fusors use far more energy than they produce. But the allure is strong. A fusion power plant would likely be fueled by deuterium and tritium, both isotopes of hydrogen that are in plentiful supply. Fusion advocates say reactors would be relatively clean, generating virtually no air pollution and little long-lived radioactive waste. Today's nuclear power plants, in contrast, are fission-based, meaning they split atoms and create a highly radioactive waste that can take millennia to decompose.
Note: How strange that this article seems to accept table-top nuclear fusion as a fact, when mainstream science supposedly debunked this possibility two decades ago. For lots more on infinite energy posibilities, click here.
If recent scientific research on happiness -- and there has been quite a bit -- has proved anything, it's that happiness is not a goal. It's a process. Although our tendency to be happy or not is partly inborn, it's also partly within our control. And, perhaps more surprising, happiness brings success, not the other way around. Though many people think happiness is elusive, scientists have actually pinned it down and know how to get it. Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor of psychology at UC Riverside and author of The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want… led controlled studies to determine what behaviors positively affect happiness, and has come up with at least 12 strategies that measurably increase levels. For instance, one strategy she's tested is the practice of gratitude. In her gratitude study, she had a group of 57 subjects express gratitude once a week in a journal. A second group of 58 expressed gratitude in a journal three times a week. And a control group of 32 did nothing. At the end of six weeks, she retested all three groups and found a significant increase in happiness in the first one. She and other researchers also recommend practicing forgiveness, savoring positive moments and becoming more involved in your church, synagogue or religious organization. "Not every strategy fits everyone," she says. "People need to try a few to find which ones work." Although Lyubomirsky likes to let people define happiness for themselves, clinically, she describes it as "a combination of frequent positive emotions, plus the sense that your life is good."
The Pentagon's $50 million Minerva Research Initiative, named after the Roman goddess of wisdom and warriors, will fund social science research deemed crucial to national security. Initial proposals were due July 25, and the first grants are expected to be awarded by year's end. But the Network of Concerned Anthropologists ... said dependence on Pentagon funding could make universities an "instrument rather than a critic of war-making." In a May 28 letter to federal officials, the American Anthropological Association said that ... its members are "deeply concerned that funding such research through the Pentagon may pose a potential conflict of interest." David Price, an anthropologist at St. Martin's University in Lacey, Wash., and the author of a book on anthropological intelligence in World War II, [said] the Pentagon effort is flawed. "It sets up sort of a Soviet system, or top-down system," Price said. "If you look at the big picture, this will not make us smarter -- this will make us much more narrow. It will only look at problems Defense wants us to in a narrow way." Recently, the Army's Human Terrain System has embedded social scientists in military units in Iraq and Afghanistan with the aim of helping commanders understand local culture and customs. The project has drawn criticism from many academics. Two scholars have been killed. The Network of Concerned Anthropologists, which describes itself as an advocate for ethical anthropology, said the research topics could "contribute to creating more national and human insecurity by trafficking in the construction of . . . a connection between Islam and violence."
Note: For many revealing reports on government corruption from reliable sources, click here.
The Environmental Protection Agency is telling its pollution enforcement officials not to talk with congressional investigators, reporters and even the agency's own inspector general, according to an internal e-mail provided to The Associated Press. The June 16 message instructs 11 managers in the EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, the branch of the agency charged with making sure environmental laws are followed, to remind their staff members to keep quiet. "If you are contacted directly by the IG's office or GAO requesting information of any kind . . . please do not respond to questions or make any statements," reads the e-mail sent by Robbi Farrell, the division's chief of staff. Instead, staff members should forward inquiries to a designated EPA representative, the memo says. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility obtained the e-mail and provided it to the AP. The group is a nonprofit alliance of local, state and federal professionals. Jeff Ruch, its executive director, said ... the e-mail reinforces a "bunker mentality" within EPA under the Bush administration. "The clear intention behind this move is to chill the cubicles by suppressing any uncontrolled information." The Office of Inspector General said it did not approve of the language in the e-mail. "All EPA officials and employees are required to cooperate with OIG," the statement said. "This cooperation includes providing the OIG full and unrestricted access to EPA documents, records, and personnel."
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Most parents have never heard of him, but Joseph Biederman of Harvard may be the United States' most influential doctor when it comes to determining whether their children are normal or mentally ill. In 1996, for example, Biederman suggested that drugs like Ritalin might serve 10 percent of American kids for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. By 2004, one in nine 11-year-old boys was taking the drug. Biederman and his team also are more responsible than anyone for a child bipolar epidemic sweeping America (and no other country) that has 2-year-olds on three or four psychiatric drugs. The science of children's psychiatric medications is so primitive and Biederman's influence so great that when he merely mentions a drug during a presentation, tens of thousands of children within a year or two will end up taking that drug, or combination of drugs. This happens in the absence of a drug trial of any kind - instead, the decision is based upon word of mouth among the 7,000 child psychiatrists in America. That's why [the] recent revelation that Biederman did not declare $1.6 million in drug company consulting fees is so important, scary and tragic. American medicine, with psychiatry the most culpable, has fallen back to a time more than 100 years ago. Now once again, drug company money is corrupting medical practice and the maintenance of our country's health. Virtually all doctors who receive drug company money say they are not influenced, but every independent study examining the effects of such money says they are.
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It seemed an ideal marriage, a scientific partnership that would attack mental illness from all sides. Psychiatrists would bring ... their expertise and clinical experience, drug makers would provide their products and the money to run rigorous studies, and patients would get better medications, faster. But now the profession itself is under attack in Congress, accused of allowing this relationship to become too cozy. After a series of stinging investigations of individual doctors’ arrangements with drug makers, Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, is demanding that the American Psychiatric Association, the field’s premier professional organization, give an accounting of its financing. "I have come to understand that money from the pharmaceutical industry can shape the practices of nonprofit organizations that purport to be independent in their viewpoints and actions," Mr. Grassley said. In 2006 ... the drug industry accounted for about 30 percent of the association’s $62.5 million in financing. One of the doctors named by Mr. Grassley is the association’s president-elect, Dr. Alan F. Schatzberg of Stanford, whose $4.8 million stock holdings in a drug development company raised the senator’s concern. Commercial arrangements are rampant throughout medicine. In the past two decades, drug and device makers have paid tens of thousands of doctors and researchers of all specialties. Worried that this money could taint doctors’ research plans or clinical judgment, government agencies, medical journals and universities have been forced to look more closely at deal details.
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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.
After the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center and the levee failures caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the federal government paid the American Society of Civil Engineers to investigate what went wrong. Critics now accuse [ASCE] of covering up engineering mistakes ... and using the investigations to protect engineers and government agencies from lawsuits. In the World Trade Center case, critics contend the engineering society wrongly concluded skyscrapers cannot withstand getting hit by airplanes. The Federal Emergency Management Agency paid the group about $257,000 to investigate the World Trade Center collapse. In 2002, the society's report on the World Trade Center praised the buildings for remaining standing long enough to allow tens thousands of people to flee. But, the report said, skyscrapers are not typically designed to withstand airplane impacts. Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, a structural engineer and forensics expert, contends his computer simulations disprove the society's findings that skyscrapers could not be designed to withstand the impact of a jetliner. Astaneh-Asl, who received money from the National Science Foundation to investigate the collapse, insisted most New York skyscrapers built with traditional designs would survive such an impact. He also questioned the makeup of the society's investigation team. On the team were the wife of the trade center's structural engineer and a representative of the buildings' original design team. "I call this moral corruption," said Astaneh-Asl, who is on the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley.
Note: For a revealing two-page summary of many unanswered questions about 9/11 raised by major media sources, click here.
Under pressure from the chemical industry, the Environmental Protection Agency has dismissed an outspoken scientist who chaired a federal panel responsible for helping the agency determine the dangers of a flame retardant widely used in electronic equipment. Toxicologist Deborah Rice was appointed chair of an EPA scientific panel reviewing the chemical a year ago. Federal records show that she was removed from the panel in August after the American Chemistry Council, the lobbying group for chemical manufacturers, complained to a top-ranking EPA official that she was biased. The chemical, a brominated compound known as deca, is [commonly] used in the plastic housings of television sets. Rice, an award-winning former EPA scientist ... has studied low doses of deca and reported neurological effects in lab animals. The EPA is in the process of deciding how much daily exposure to deca is safe - a decision, expected next month, that could determine whether it can still be used in consumer products. The role of the expert panel was to review and comment on the scientific evidence. Sonya Lunder, a senior analyst at the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy group in Washington, said it was unprecedented for the EPA to remove an expert for expressing concerns about the potential dangers of a chemical. "It's a scary world if we create a precedent that says scientists involved in decision-making are perceived to be too biased," she said. In 2004, the EPA gave Rice and four colleagues an award for what it called "exceptionally high-quality research" for a study that linked lead exposure to premature puberty in girls.
Note: For many revealing articles on government corruption, click here.
For the last four years, two robot rovers operated from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge have been moving across the surface of Mars, taking photographs and collecting information. It's an epic event in the history of exploration, one of many for which JPL's 7,000 civilian scientists and engineers are responsible -- when they're not fending off the U.S. government's attempts to conduct an intimidating and probably illegal inquisition into the intimate details of their lives. The problem began -- as so many have -- in the security mania that gripped the Bush administration after 9/11. Presidential Directive No. 12, issued by the Department of Homeland Security, directed federal agencies to adopt a uniform badge that could be used by employees and contractors to gain access to government facilities. NASA Administrator Michael Griffin ... directed Caltech, which has a contract to run JPL for NASA, to make sure all of the lab's employees complied. The government demanded that the scientists, in order to get the badges, fill out questionnaires on their personal lives and waive the privacy of their financial, medical and psychiatric records. The government also wanted permission to gather information about them by interviewing third parties. Twenty-eight of JPL's senior scientists sued in federal court to stop the government and Caltech from forcing them to agree to the background checks as the price of keeping their jobs. They point out that Griffin is one of those who remain skeptical that human actions contribute to global warming, and that some of JPL's near-Earth science has played a critical role in establishing the empirical case to the contrary. They see the background checks as the first step toward establishing a system of intimidation that might be used to silence inconvenient science.
Note: For many disturbing reports on threats to our civil liberties, click here.
Everything that goes into Frank Pringle’s recycling machine — a piece of tire, a rock, a plastic cup — turns to oil and natural gas seconds later. “I’ve been told the oil companies might try to assassinate me,” Pringle says without sarcasm. The machine is a microwave emitter that extracts the petroleum and gas hidden inside everyday objects. Every hour, the first commercial version will turn 10 tons of auto waste — tires, plastic, vinyl — into enough natural gas to produce 17 million BTUs of energy (it will use 956,000 of those BTUs to keep itself running). Pringle created the machine about 10 years ago after he drove by a massive tire fire and thought about the energy being released. He went home and threw bits of a tire in a microwave emitter he’d been working with for another project. It turned to what looked like ash, but a few hours later, he returned and found a black puddle on the floor of the unheated workshop. Somehow, he’d struck oil. Or rather, he had extracted it. Petroleum is composed of strings of hydrocarbon molecules. When microwaves hit the tire, they crack the molecular chains and break it into its component parts: carbon black (an ash-like raw material) and hydrocarbon gases, which can be burned or condensed into liquid fuel. If the process worked on tires, he thought, it should work on anything with hydrocarbons. The trick was in finding the optimum microwave frequency for each material. In 2004 he teamed up with engineer pal Hawk Hogan to take the machine commercial. Their first order is under construction in Rockford, Illinois. It’s a $5.1-million microwave machine the size of small bus called the Hawk, bound for an auto-recycler in Long Island, New York. Oil companies are looking to the machines to gasify petroleum trapped in shale.
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Despite the protests of more than 50 scientists, including five Nobel laureates in chemistry, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday approved use of a new, highly toxic fumigant, mainly for strawberry fields. The new pesticide, methyl iodide, is designed for growers, mainly in California and Florida, who need to replace methyl bromide, which has been banned under an international treaty because it damages the Earth's ozone layer. In a letter sent last month to EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, 54 scientists, mostly chemists, warned that "pregnant women and the fetus, children, the elderly, farmworkers and other people living near application sites would be at serious risk." Methyl iodide is a neurotoxin and carcinogen that has caused thyroid tumors, neurological damage and miscarriages in lab animals. But EPA officials said Friday that they carefully evaluated the risks and decided to approve its use for one year, imposing restrictions such as buffer zones to protect farmworkers and neighbors. Growers, particularly those who grow strawberries and tomatoes, have been searching for 15 years for a new soil fumigant to replace methyl bromide. Fumigants are valuable to growers because they can be injected into the soil before planting to sterilize the field and kill a broad spectrum of insects and diseases without leaving residue on crops. But fumigants are among the most potentially dangerous pesticides in use today because the toxic gas can evaporate from the soil, exposing farmworkers and drifting into neighborhoods. Methyl iodide ... will be allowed on fields growing strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, ornamentals, turf, trees and vines.
Canada has agreed to compensate victims of psychiatric experiments carried out mainly in the 1950s and financed in part by the Central Intelligence Agency. An institute at McGill University in Montreal, headed by Dr. D. Ewen Cameron, a psychiatrist, ... was one of the centers where such experiments were carried out. Now, the Canadian Government says the 80 or so patients who underwent the so-called "psychic driving" treatment in Montreal ... can receive almost $80,000 each. The patients at the Allan Memorial Institute at McGill were put into a drugged sleep for weeks or months, subjected to electroshock therapy until they were "de-patterned," knowing neither who or where they were, and forced to listen repeatedly to recorded messages broadcast from speakers on the wall or under their pillows. Linda Macdonald, 55 years old, an employment counselor now in Vancouver, is one of those who sued for compensation. "I walked through those doors with a husband on one arm and a guitar on the other and was a healthy person and coherent," she said. She spent 86 days in the "sleep room" and was subjected to 109 shock treatments and megadoses of barbiturates and other drugs. When she got out of the experiment, she could not read or write, had to be toilet-trained and could not remember her husband, her five children or any part of the first 26 years of her life. John Marks, a former State Department official whose 1979 book, The Search For the Manchurian Candidate, called attention to the experiments, said that a C.I.A. front called the Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology funneled more than $60,000 to Dr. Cameron for the studies. Ottawa gave him more than $200,000.
Note: Dr. Cameron was once President of the American and World Psychiatric Associations. For a concise summary of the CIA's mind control experiments, click here.
Money talks -- and very loudly -- when a drug company is funding a clinical trial involving one of its products. UCSF researchers looked at nearly 200 head-to-head studies of widely prescribed cholesterol-lowering medications, or statins, and found that results were 20 times more likely to favor the drug made by the company that sponsored the trial. "We have to be really, really skeptical of these drug-company-sponsored studies," said Lisa Bero, the study's author and professor of clinical pharmacy and health policy studies. The trials typically involved comparing the effectiveness of a drug to one or two other statins. UCSF researchers also found that a study's conclusions -- not the actual research results but the trial investigators' impressions -- are more than 35 times more likely to favor the test drug when that trial is sponsored by the drug's maker. Bero said drug companies fund up to 90 percent of drug-to-drug clinical trials for certain classes of medication. The researchers found other factors that could affect trial results. For example, pharmaceutical companies could choose not to publish results of studies that fail to favor their drugs, or they could be designed in ways to skew results. The study found the most important weakness of trials was lack of true clinical outcome measures. In the case of statins, some trials focused on less-direct results such as lipid levels but failed to connect the results with key outcomes such as heart attacks or mortality. "None of us really care what our cholesterol level is. We care about having a heart attack," Gibson said. "For the drug to be worthwhile taking, it has to be directly related to prevent a heart attack."
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Edward McSweegan ... has an office in Bethesda, a job title -- health scientist administrator -- and an annual salary of about $100,000. What McSweegan says he does not have -- and has not had for the last seven years -- is any real work. He was hired by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in 1988, but says his bosses transferred the research grants he administered to other workers eight years later, leaving him with occasional tasks more suitable for a typist or "gofer." McSweegan used to be NIH's program officer for Lyme disease but was removed from the post in June 1995 after a dispute over his repeated criticism of a politically influential support group for sufferers and his allegations that NIH had been too accommodating of the group. He had publicly described the Lyme Disease Foundation as "wacko" because he disagreed with its theories about the disease. The dispute led to his suspension without pay for two weeks for insubordination. According to NIH, McSweegan is director of the U.S.-Indo Vaccine Action Program, and has traveled to countries such as Russia representing the agency. He has also "produced reports and other work products." But McSweegan said he has never been told he was director of the program. McSweegan said he struggles to fill his eight-hour workdays by reading, exercising and writing fiction. He has self-published a bioterrorism thriller and a science fiction novel. But he says his six-page job description is the ultimate work of creative writing and describes his position as "a bizarre, surreal situation -- part Orwell, part Kafka and part Dilbert."
The Bush Administration has run a systematic campaign to play down the dangers of climate change, demanding hundreds of politically motivated changes to scientific reports and muzzling a pre-eminent expert on global warming, the US Congress has been told. The testimony ... painted the Administration as determined to maintain its line on climate change even when it clashed with the findings of scientific experts. The Administration has moved to exercise control over environmental agencies by installing political appointees including a former oil industry lobbyist, Philip Cooney, as chief of staff of the Council on Environmental Quality. In 2003 Mr Cooney and other senior appointed officials made at least 181 changes to a strategic plan on climate change to play down the scientific consensus on global warming. They made a further 113 alterations to minimise the human role in climate change. "These changes must be made," a note in Mr Cooney's handwriting says. Under heated questioning, Mr Cooney admitted the changes were all intended to cast doubt on the impact of global warming. Control from the White House became the norm, [NASA's Dr. James] Hansen told the committee. "Scientific press releases were going to the White House for editing," he said. "It's very unfortunate that we developed this politicisation of science. The public relations office should be staffed by expert appointees - otherwise they become offices of propaganda." Hansen was also restrained from giving press interviews by a junior political appointee, George Deutsch. Mr Deutsch left NASA early last year after it emerged he had falsified his CV.
Scientists and economists have been offered $10,000 each by a lobby group funded by one of the world's largest oil companies to undermine the UN climate change report. Letters sent by the American Enterprise Institute, an ExxonMobil-funded think tank with close links to the Bush Administration, offered the payments for articles that emphasise the shortcomings of the report. Travel expenses and additional payments were also offered. The institute has received more than $1.6 million from ExxonMobil - which yesterday announced a $50 billion annual profit, the biggest ever by a US company - and more than 20 of its staff have worked as consultants to the Bush Administration. A former head of ExxonMobil, Lee Raymond, is the vice-chairman of the institute's board of trustees.
Scientists have discovered a way of manipulating a gene that turns animals into drones that do not become bored with repetitive tasks. The experiments, conducted on monkeys, are the first to demonstrate that animal behaviour can be permanently changed, turning the subjects from aggressive to "compliant" creatures. The genes are identical in humans and although the discovery could help to treat depression and other types of mental illness, it will raise images of the Epsilon caste from Aldous Huxley's futuristic novel Brave New World. The experiments... involved blocking the effect of a gene called D2 in a particular part of the brain. This cut off the link between the rhesus monkeys' motivation and reward. Instead of speeding up with the approach of a deadline or the prospect of a "treat," the monkeys in the experiment could be made to work just as enthusiastically for long periods. The scientists say the identical technique would apply to humans. [They] found that they could make the monkeys work their hardest and fastest all the time, without any complaint or sign of slacking, just by manipulating D2 so that they forgot about the expectation of reward. Methods of manipulating human physical and psychological traits are just around the corner, and the technology will emerge first as a lucrative add-on available from in vitro fertilization clinics. "There's no doubt we will be able to influence behaviour," said Julian Savulescu, a professor of ethics at Oxford University.
Note: For lots more reliable information on how human behavior is already being manipulated, click here.
Scientists have turned living rats into remote-controlled, pleasure-driven robots which can be guided up ladders, through ruins and into minefields at the click of a laptop key. The project ... is funded by the US military's research arm. Animals have often been used by humans in combat and in search and rescue, but not under direct computer-to-brain electronic control. The advent of surgically altered roborats marks the crossing of a new boundary in the mechanisation, and potential militarisation, of nature. In 10 sessions the rats learned that if they ran forward and turned left or right on cue, they would be "rewarded" with a buzz of electrically delivered pleasure. Once trained they would move instantaneously and accurately as directed, for up to an hour at a time. The rats could be steered up ladders, along narrow ledges and down ramps, up trees, and into collapsed piles of concrete rubble. Roborats fitted with cameras or other sensors could be used as search and rescue aids. In theory, be put to some unpleasant uses, such as assassination. [For] surveillance ... you could apply this to birds ... if you could fit birds with sensors and cameras. Michael Reiss, professor of science education at London's Institute of Education and a leading bioethics thinker ... said he was uneasy about humankind "subverting the autonomy" of animals. "There is a part of me that is not entirely happy with the idea of our subverting a sentient animal's own aspirations and wish to lead a life of its own."
Note: Remember that secret military projects are almost always at least a decade in advance of anything you read in the media. For lots more on this little-known subject, click here.
Some 10,000 US researchers have signed a statement protesting about political interference in the scientific process. The statement, which includes the backing of 52 Nobel Laureates, demands a restoration of scientific integrity in government policy. According to the American Union of Concerned Scientists, data is being misrepresented for political reasons. It claims scientists working for federal agencies have been asked to change data to fit policy initiatives. The Union has released an "A to Z" guide that ... documents dozens of recent allegations involving censorship and political interference in federal science. Campaigners say that in recent years the White House has been able to censor the work of agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration because a Republican congress has been loath to stand up for scientific integrity. Michael Halpern from the UCS said the statement of objection to political interference had been supported by researchers regardless of their political views. "This science statement that has now been signed by the 10,000 scientists is signed by science advisers to both Republican and Democratic administrations dating back to President Eisenhower, stating that this is not business as usual and calling for this practice to stop."
The Bush administration is clamping down on scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey, the latest agency subjected to controls on research that might go against official policy. New rules require screening of all facts and interpretations by agency scientists who study everything from caribou mating to global warming. The rules apply to all scientific papers and other public documents, even minor reports or prepared talks. Some agency scientists, who until now have felt free from any political interference, worry that the objectivity of their work could be compromised. The new requirements state that the USGS's communications office must be "alerted about information products containing high-visibility topics or topics of a policy-sensitive nature." The agency's director, Mark Myers, and its communications office also must be told -- prior to any submission for publication -- "of findings or data that may be especially newsworthy, have an impact on government policy, or contradict previous public understanding." In 2002, the USGS was forced to reverse course after warning that oil and gas drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would harm the Porcupine caribou herd. One week later a new report followed, this time saying the caribou would not be affected.
Between 1999 and 2001, unbeknownst to the others, each [of four scientists] made a simple but dramatic discovery that challenged the catechism of the same powerful industry -- biotechnology -- that by then had become the handmaiden of industrial agriculture and the darling of venture capitalists. When he was the principal scientific officer of the Rowett Institute in Aberdeen, Scotland, Hungarian citizen Arpad Pusztai fed transgenically modified [GMO] potatoes to rodents in one of the few experiments that have ever tested the safety of genetically modified food. Almost immediately, the rats displayed tissue and immunological damage. After he reported his findings, which eventually underwent peer review and were published in the United Kingdom's leading medical journal, Lancet, Pusztai's home was burglarized and his research files taken. Soon thereafter, he was fired from his job at Rowett, and he has since suffered an orchestrated international campaign of discreditation. [Read full article for the other three distrubing stories of scientific suppression] These four men were not attacked because of flawed or imperfect experiments but because the findings of their work have a potential economic effect. The sad part is that the academies and other allegedly independent institutions that once defended scientific freedom and protected employees like Hayes, Chapela, Losey and Pusztai are abandoning them to the wolves of commerce, the brands of which are being engraved over the entrances to a disturbing number of university labs.
Note: Big money is clearly stifling good science and keeping the public in the dark about genetic modifications in the food we eat. To educate yourself on this most important topic, click here.
In Minnesota, pigs are being born with human blood in their veins. In Nevada, there are sheep whose livers and hearts are largely human. In California, mice peer from their cages with human brain cells firing inside their skulls. Biologists call these hybrid animals chimeras, after the mythical Greek creature with a lion's head, a goat's body and a serpent's tail. Chimeras are allowing scientists to watch, for the first time, how nascent human cells and organs mature and interact ... inside the bodies of living creatures. But with no federal guidelines in place ... how human must a chimera be before more stringent research rules should kick in? Chimerism becomes a more sensitive topic when it involves growing entire human organs inside animals. And it becomes especially sensitive when it deals in brain cells. Imagine, said Robert Streiffer, a professor of philosophy and bioethics at the University of Wisconsin, a human-chimpanzee chimera endowed with speech ... what some have called a "humanzee." Perhaps the most ambitious efforts to make use of chimeras come from Irving Weissman, director of Stanford University's Institute of Cancer/Stem Cell Biology and Medicine. Weissman helped make the first mouse with a nearly complete human immune system. More recently his team injected human neural stem cells into mouse fetuses, creating mice whose brains are about 1 percent human. Now Weissman says he is thinking about making chimeric mice whose brains are 100 percent human.
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The U.S. Air Force is quietly spending millions of dollars investigating ways to use a radical power source -- antimatter, the eerie "mirror" of ordinary matter -- in future weapons. The most powerful potential energy source presently thought to be available to humanity, antimatter is a term normally heard in science-fiction films. But antimatter itself isn't fiction. During the Cold War, the Air Force funded numerous scientific studies of the basic physics of antimatter. Following an initial inquiry from The Chronicle this summer, the Air Force forbade its employees from publicly discussing the antimatter research program. Still, details on the program appear in numerous Air Force documents distributed over the Internet prior to the ban. It almost defies belief, the amount of explosive force available in a speck of antimatter. One millionth of a gram of positrons contain as much energy as 37.8 kilograms (83 pounds) of TNT. A simple calculation, then, shows that about 50-millionths of a gram could generate a blast equal to the explosion ... in Oklahoma City in 1995. Officials at Eglin Air Force Base initially agreed enthusiastically to try to arrange an interview with ... Kenneth Edwards, director of the "revolutionary munitions" team at the Munitions Directorate at Eglin. "We're all very excited about this technology," spokesman Rex Swenson [said] in late July. But Swenson backed out in August after he was overruled by higher officials in the Air Force and Pentagon. Reached by phone in late September, Edwards repeatedly declined to be interviewed. His superiors gave him "strict instructions not to give any interviews personally. "I'm sorry about that -- this (antimatter) project is sort of my grandchild."
At hundreds of screenings this year of "An Inconvenient Truth," the first thing many viewers said after the lights came up was that every student in every school in the United States needed to see this movie. The producers of former vice president Al Gore's film about global warming ... certainly agreed. So the company that made the documentary decided to offer 50,000 free DVDs to the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). It seemed like a no-brainer. In their e-mail rejection, they expressed concern that ... they didn't want to offer "political" endorsement of the film; and they saw "little, if any, benefit to NSTA or its members" in accepting the free DVDs. As for classroom benefits, the movie has been enthusiastically endorsed by leading climate scientists worldwide, and is required viewing for all students in Norway and Sweden. But there was one more curious argument in the e-mail: Accepting the DVDs, they wrote, would place "unnecessary risk upon the [NSTA] capital campaign, especially certain targeted supporters." One of those supporters, it turns out, is the Exxon Mobil Corp. That's the same Exxon Mobil that for more than a decade has done everything possible to muddle public understanding of global warming and stifle any serious effort to solve it. It has run ads in leading newspapers ... questioning the role of manmade emissions in global warming, and financed the work of a small band of scientific skeptics who have tried to challenge the consensus that heat-trapping pollution is drastically altering our atmosphere. NSTA says it has received $6 million from the company since 1996. Exxon Mobil has a representative on the group's corporate advisory board.
Schizophrenia patients do as well, or perhaps even better, on older psychiatric drugs compared with newer and far costlier medications, according to a study published yesterday that overturns conventional wisdom about antipsychotic drugs, which cost the United States $10 billion a year. The results are causing consternation. The researchers who conducted the trial were so certain they would find exactly the opposite that they went back to make sure the research data had not been recorded backward. The study was requested by Britain's National Health Service to determine whether the newer drugs -- which can cost 10 times as much as the older ones -- are worth the difference in price. While the researchers had expected a difference of five points on a quality-of-life scale -- showing the newer drugs were better -- the study found that patients' quality of life was slightly better when they took the older drugs. There has been a surge in prescriptions of the newer antipsychotic drugs in recent years, including among children. In an editorial accompanying the British study, the lead researcher in the U.S. trial asked how an entire medical field could have been misled into thinking that the expensive drugs, such as Zyprexa, Risperdal and Seroquel, were much better.
Note: Those who have read our two-page health cover-up summary know very well how the entire medical field could have been misled. For those who haven't seen it: http://www.WantToKnow.info/healthcoverup
Most of the federal scientists who improperly accepted personal money from drug or biotechnology companies walked away with reprimands or were allowed to retire unscathed. Only two of the 44 scientists found to have violated rules governing private consulting deals are being investigated for possible criminal activity, and they remain on the government payroll. NIH spokesman John Burklow said his agency wanted eight others reviewed for possible crimes, but those cases were rejected by the investigating office at the U.S. Health and Human Services Department. The two still outstanding...both committed "serious misconduct," so grave that they would be fired if they were civilians, NIH internal ethics reports contend. [A Congressional] subcommittee is expected to question NIH officials about documents showing it approved several taxpayer-paid trips for [Dr. Trey] Sunderland to attend conferences and events in places like Hawaii and Toronto, even after recommending his firing. Of the 44 alleged offenders...the majority received reprimands or warnings for failing to properly obtain approvals for their outside consulting work. NIH ethics reports allege...two scientists had unauthorized, unreported deals with drug companies -- Sunderland earning more than $600,000 over eight years for consulting and speeches and [Dr. Thomas] Walsh more than $100,000 in five years -- and that their consulting improperly overlapped with government duties.
Note: The Los Angeles Times later reported that Dr. Sunderland was the first NIH scientist in 14 years to be found guily of conflict of interest laws. For more vital information on major collusion between government and the pharmaceutical companies: http://www.WantToKnow.info/healthcoverup.
In 1972, the Tuskegee experiments on black people shocked the world. Now, a new report reveals that the official inquiry was a cover-up. The [syphilis] "trial," conducted between 1932 and 1972, involved 400 black sharecroppers. The Tuskegee "volunteers" were not to be treated, either with Salvarsan or even antibiotics after their discovery. Ignorant of the true goal of the trial, the participants were destined to be living, and dying, examples of the terrible course of the untreated illness. Tuskegee, after its exposure in the media in 1972, thus became a byword in America for racist medical experimentation. Soon after the Tuskegee revelations, fault was admitted, apologies made. Yet in time, historians of medicine, sociologists and social anthropologists began to play down the scandal. Tuskegee, they argued, was an understandable error, given the absence of viable antidotes in the 1930s. But renewed outrage over Tuskegee is about to explode with an investigation entitled Medical Apartheid, to be published in the US early next year. The public-health historian Harriet Washington will reveal ... that the Tuskegee trial was even more inhumane and morally degenerate than previously suspected. The role of Nurse Eunice Rivers became crucial. Above all, her task, aided by the study's doctors, was to ensure that the syphilitic men would receive no treatment, despite the extraordinary advances in treatment from the 1940s onwards. "By 1955," according to Washington, "nearly one-third of the autopsied men had died directly of syphilis and many of the survivors were suffering its deadliest complications."
Note: For lots more on the history humans used as guinea pigs in experiments by government: http://www.WantToKnow.info/humanguineapigs and http://www.WantToKnow.info/mindcontrollers10pg#human
Steorn has now posted a slick, five-minute video that features interviews with company CEO Sean McCarthy as well as the company's marketing director. For more background, see our earlier discussion. The video's slick, and not too heavy on scientific detail. But it's worth checking out. It does begin to explain the company's motivations for choosing to issue a challenge in the Economist. McCarthy: "The first roadblock is science. With the academic community, it might take five to seven years before being able to get to a consensus position. As a business, that makes absolutely no sense." The video explains that a "quiet" campaign was plan A. The direct marketing approach currently being taken is Plan B. McCarthy: "The claim does rail against so much thinking from ordinary people. We have to fight public opinion, we have to fight the scientific community and we have to fight the energy industry. We couldn't pick a worse battleground."
Note: For lots more on the many who have developed similar discoveries and how they have been either bought out or shut down, click here.
For the second time in two months, The Journal of the American Medical Association says it was misled by researchers who failed to reveal financial ties to drug companies. The latest incident, disclosed in letters to the editor and a correction in Wednesday's journal, involves a study showing that pregnant women who stop taking antidepressants risk slipping back into depression. Most of the 13 authors have financial ties to drug companies including antidepressant makers, but only two of them revealed their ties when the study was published in February.
Note: To understand how the drug companies manipulate results and even exert tremendous influence over the U.S. Congress, see http://www.WantToKnow.info/healthcoverup
Just how far will corporate lobbyists go to tilt governmental decisions in their favor? Last fall, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the Clean Air Act does not require regulating carbon dioxide emissions that are heating up the planet at an unprecedented rate. It turns out that two of the jurists who helped decide the case -- Chief Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg and Judge David B. Sentelle -- attended a six-day global warming seminar at Yellowstone National Park sponsored by a free-market foundation and featuring presentations from companies with a clear financial interest in limiting regulation. Exxon Mobil Corp. and other large businesses contribute to conservative think tanks to help "educate" federal judges through seminars like the one at Yellowstone. The Code of Conduct for federal judges does not prohibit attending such seminars -- as long as participation does not "cast reasonable doubt on the capacity to decide impartially issues that may come before them." Leaders of Congress and the federal courts seem to recognize that the federal judiciary ought to be out of bounds for lobbyists. Judges are appointed for life, and allowing insider access threatens the integrity of the one branch of government that should stand above politics. Court cases must be won by argument, not by influence, and that means putting a stop to judicial junkets that give one side of the debate an unfair advantage.
Fraudulent research regularly appears in the 30,000 scientific journals published worldwide, a former editor of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) said today. Even when journals discover that published research is fabricated or falsified they rarely retract the findings, according to Richard Smith, who was also chief executive of the BMJ publishing group. Writing in the latest edition of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, Dr Smith called on editors to blow the whistle on bad research and to use their clout to pressure universities into taking action against dodgy researchers. The former BMJ editor said it was likely that research fraud was "equally common" in the 30,000 plus scientific journals across the globe but was "invariably covered up". His call for action comes in the wake of several high profile cases of fraudulent research, including the Korean scientist Hwang Woo-suk who fabricated stem cell research that it was claimed would open up new ways to treat diseases like Parkinson's. Dr Smith criticised the failure of scientific institutions, including universities, to discipline dodgy researchers even when alerted to problems by journals. "Few countries have measures in place to ensure research is carried out ethically," he said. "Most cases are not publicised. They are simply not recognised, covered up altogether or the guilty researcher is urged to retrain, move to another institution or retire from research."
Note: For reliable information on the collusion of industry, government, and research facilities who place profits above advances in public health: http://www.WantToKnow.info/healthcoverup
Some of Britain’s leading scientists have accused the BBC of “quackery” by misleading viewers in an attempt to exaggerate the power of alternative medicine. The criticisms centre on Alternative Medicine, a series broadcast on BBC2 in January. The key critics include two scientific advisers to the series: Edzard Ernst, professor of complementary medicine at Exeter University; and George Lewith, director of the centre for the study of complementary medicine at Southampton University. Lewith, an expert on the effects of acupuncture, said in an interview yesterday: “The experiment was not groundbreaking; its results were sensationalised.” A [BBC] spokesman said yesterday: “We take these allegations very seriously and we strongly refute them. We used two scientific consultants for the series, Professor Ernst and Jack Tinker, dean emeritus of the Royal Society of Medicine, both of whom signed off the programme scripts. It seems extremely unusual that Professor Ernst should make these comments so long after the series has aired.” The spokesman said Tinker had indicated he remained happy with the tone and content of the films, stating: “Fellow medics at the Royal Society, including one eminent professor, said it was the best medical series they had seen on television.”
[AJ] remembers every day and almost every detail of her life. James McGaugh is one of the world's leading experts on how the human memory system works. But these days, he admits he's stumped. McGaugh's journey through an intellectual purgatory began six years ago when a woman now known only as AJ wrote him a letter detailing her astonishing ability to remember with remarkable clarity even trivial events that happened decades ago. Give her any date...and she could recall the day of the week, usually what the weather was like on that day, personal details of her life at that time, and major news events that occurred on that date. Like any good scientist, McGaugh was initially skeptical. But not anymore. "This is real," he says. "In order to explain a phenomenon you have to first understand the phenomenon," McGaugh says. "We're at the beginning."
Note: The human mind and spirit are much more powerful than many scientists might imagine.
From 1994 to 2003, medical research funded by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies steadily increased and now surpasses research funded by government or public sources, according to a review of the most frequently cited studies. In the new study, reported in the March 17th online issue of the British Medical Journal, the sponsorship of 289 articles...was determined. Overall, 60% of articles had government or public funding and 36% were funded by industry. However, this masks the dramatic rise in industry funding that occurred over time: in 1994, roughly 30% of articles were funded by industry compared with over 50% in 2001. Moreover, 65 of the 77 most cited randomized controlled trials involved industry funding. "Medical research should reflect public needs more closely and the efforts of all of those involved should be better coordinated," the authors emphasize.
Academics and the media have failed dismally to ask the crucial question of scientists' claims: who is paying you? In the 1990s, [Arise] was one of the world's most influential public-health groups. It described itself as "a worldwide association of eminent scientists who act as independent commentators". Its purpose ... was to show how "everyday pleasures, such as eating chocolate, smoking, drinking tea, coffee and alcohol, contribute to the quality of life". "Scientific studies show that enjoying the simple pleasures in life, without feeling guilty, can reduce stress and increase resistance to disease". Between September 1993 and March 1994 ... [Arise] generated 195 newspaper articles and radio and television interviews, in places such as the Wall Street Journal, the International Herald Tribune, the Independent, the Evening Standard, El País, La Repubblica, Rai and the BBC. In 1998 [tobacco] firms were obliged to place their internal documents in a public archive. Among them ... is a memo from ... Philip Morris - the world's largest tobacco company. The title is "Arise 1994-95 Activities and Funding". This showed that in the previous financial year Arise had received $373,400: ... over 99% - from Philip Morris, British American Tobacco, RJ Reynolds and Rothmans. The memo suggests Arise was run not by eminent scientists but by eminent tobacco companies. How much more science is being published in academic journals with undeclared interests like these? How many more media campaigns ... have been secretly funded and steered by corporations?
Note: If you want to understand how corporate interests secretly manipulate both scientific results and public perception, this excellent article is well worth reading.
After [a] speech and the release of data by Dr. Hansen on Dec. 15 showing that 2005 was probably the warmest year in at least a century, officials at the headquarters of the space agency repeatedly [warned] Dr. Hansen that there would be "dire consequences" if such statements continued. Hansen, longtime director of the agency's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said in an interview that officials at NASA headquarters had ordered the public affairs staff to review his coming lectures, papers, postings on the Goddard Web site and requests for interviews from journalists. Dean Acosta, deputy assistant administrator for public affairs at the space agency, said...the restrictions on Dr. Hansen applied to all [NASA] personnel. "This is not about any individual or any issue like global warming," he said. Dr. Hansen strongly disagreed...saying such procedures had already prevented the public from fully grasping recent findings. Dr. Hansen said that nothing in 30 years equaled the push made since early December to keep him from publicly discussing what he says are clear-cut dangers from further delay in curbing carbon dioxide. The fight between Dr. Hansen and administration officials echoes other recent disputes. At climate laboratories of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, for example, many scientists who routinely took calls from reporters five years ago can now do so only if the interview is approved by administration officials in Washington, and then only if a public affairs officer is present or on the phone.
The idea that measuring the properties of one particle could instantaneously change the properties of another one (or a whole bunch) far away is strange to say the least. The team that pulled off the beryllium feat...hailed it as another step toward computers that would use quantum magic to perform calculations. But it also served as another demonstration of how weird the world really is according to the rules, known as quantum mechanics. Nary a week goes by that does not bring news of another feat of quantum trickery once only dreamed of in thought experiments: particles (or at least all their properties) being teleported across the room in a microscopic version of Star Trek beaming; electrical "cat" currents that circle a loop in opposite directions at the same time; more and more particles farther and farther apart bound together in Einstein's spooky embrace now known as "entanglement." At the University of California, Santa Barbara, researchers are planning an experiment in which a small mirror will be in two places at once. Anton Zeilinger of the University of Vienna said that he thought, "The world is not as real as we think.
Note: Consider also that top secret projects are generally at least 10 years in advance of anything reported in the news or scientific magazines. We can only imagine what these projects might be doing.
Doctors accused of making up data in medical studies. Allegations of misconduct by U.S. researchers reached record highs last year as the Department of Health and Human Services received 274 complaints - 50 percent higher than 2003 and the most since 1989 when the federal government established a program to deal with scientific misconduct. Chris Pascal, director of the federal Office of Research Integrity, said its 28 staffers and $7 million annual budget haven't kept pace with the allegations. The result: Only 23 cases were closed last year. Of those, eight individuals were found guilty of research misconduct. In the past 15 years, the office has confirmed about 185 cases of scientific misconduct. Research suggests this is but a small fraction of all the incidents of fabrication, falsification and plagiarism. In a survey published June 9 in the journal Nature, about 1.5 percent of 3,247 researchers who responded admitted to falsification or plagiarism. (One in three admitted to some type of professional misbehavior.)
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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[Somender Singh] claims that his invention makes an engine cleaner, quieter and colder...while using up to 20 percent less gas. So far, all Singh’s invention has earned him is a few polite rejection letters from presidents, professors and auto manufacturers. “I am...no man with letters after his name or fancy institutions, and what I have invented is really very simple,” he admits. Remember that the internal combustion engine is itself hardly rocket science. The internal combustion engine (ICE) has been with us for about 200 years. The basic concept—the boom that turns a crank—has not really changed at all. The efficiency of that bang had stalled out at around 28 percent. The vast majority of the fuel was dissipated as engine heat or exhaust. Singh knew that ... the combustion chamber [was where] fuel was turned to bang. He modified a motorcycle, then a two-stroke, then a four-stroke, then a car, then 50 cars. Singh applied for a patent in January 1999, and the U.S. Patent Office issued him No. 6237579 in May 2001. Finally he was allowed to bring his engines and hook them to a Benz EC-70 dynamometer with a five-gas analyzer and a Benz gravimetric fuel-measuring device. At between 2,000 and 2,800 rpm, Singh’s modified engine used between 10 and 42 percent less fuel than its unmodified twin, with no appreciable losses in torque or power.
Note: After posting a message on a group of high-school students who achieved dramatic improvements in car engine efficiency two weeks ago, we received emails from more than ten people claiming to have made or know of similar inventions. The above article was sent as evidence in one case. Dozens of other cases that could be real. For Mr. Singh's website, see http://www.somender-singh.com. For lots more, click here.
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