- Jenner’s son suffered brain damage and died after smallpox vaccination
- Renowned Expert: GMOs Pose More Risk Than We Think
- Good Citizens Don’t Question Vaccines
- Is US Health Really the Best in the World? Barbara Starfield, MD, MPH
- How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations
- brad roon on CDC forced to release documents showing they knew vaccine preservative causes autism
- cia parker on CDC forced to release documents showing they knew vaccine preservative causes autism
- cia parker on CDC forced to release documents showing they knew vaccine preservative causes autism
- chemfreemom on Renowned Expert: GMOs Pose More Risk Than We Think
- cia parker on What happens if you decide not to vaccinate your child?
Author Archives: The Refusers
By Martha Rosenberg AlterNet
Big pharma uses celebrities and other sneaky ways to sell diseases that may not exist.
Most of us have our guard up when it comes to direct-to-consumer drug advertising. We know the butterflies, sunsets and puppies in the TV ads are designed to distract us from terms like “blood clot,” “heart attack,” “stroke,” “seizure,” “life-threatening allergic reaction” and “death.” We are aware that more than half the ads tell us why we don’t actually want to ask our doctor about the new wonder drug.
Unbranded advertising, however, is much more insidious. Instead of selling a drug, it sells the disease driving the drug sales and sometimes doesn’t mention the drug at all.
Unbranded advertising often appears to be from the CDC and can even run free as a public service announcement thanks to its apparently altruistic message. The hallmark of unbranded advertising is it calls the disease it’s hawking (whether depression, bipolar disorder or restless legs) “under-diagnosed,” and “underreported” and cites “barriers” and “stigmas to treatment” which of course means sales. Sometimes it calls the disease a “silent killer” to scare people who think they’re fine. (Before drug advertising it was the opposite: the medical establishment said you were probably fine despite how you felt.)
Do You Have Undiagnosed Hypothyroidism?
From Joan Lunden and Mike Piazza selling Claritin, to Dorothy Hamill and Bruce Jenner selling Vioxx, celebrity drug advertising is often phenomenally successful. No wonder the drug company AbbVie has selected actress Sofia Vergara to lead its hypothyroidism campaign.
“Emmy-nominated actress Sofia Vergara is helping to raise awareness about the importance of diagnosing and treating hypothyroidism,” read a press release last spring, “a thyroid condition that affects millions of Americans.” Her campaign, called “Follow the Script,” funded by AbbVie, “aims to educate individuals with hypothyroidism about the importance of being consistent with the treatment their doctor prescribes, and provides a ‘script’ to ensure they consistently receive the medication prescribed by their doctor when they visit the pharmacy.” Ka-ching.
While hypothyroidism certainly exists (as do other kinds of thyroid disorders) Vergara’s campaign capitalizes on the gray areas in its diagnosis and the well-documented human tendency to self-diagnosis, by planting fear and doubt. For example, the AbbVie press release says, “Thyroid conditions affect an estimated 30 million individuals in the U.S.” and “one in every eight women will develop a thyroid condition in her lifetime.” Yet Harvard Health Publications at Harvard Medical School places the figure at 12 million.
Commensurate with unbranded advertising—aka “disease mongering”—Vergara’s “Follow the Script” campaign websitefeatures “interactive polls, symptom and treatment information,” “stories and videos from other individuals with hypothyroidism,” and a chance for visitors to “share their own experiences.” In classic unbranded pill marketing, the site also provides “helpful ‘scripts’ for speaking with your doctor and pharmacist” — so patients don’t go all the way to the doctor and fail to ring the cash register.
AbbVie was formed in early 2013 when Abbott, located near Chicago, split into two companies, with AbbVie to concentrate on the blockbuster Humira, which made it $2 billion in one quarter of 2013. But Synthroid, the thyroid supplement drug behind Vergara’s campaign, enjoyed almost 25 percent growth last year and accounted for $153 million during the same quarter. Synthroid is the nation’s leading thyroid supplement drug despite going off patent decade ago, because it is widely perceived as more stable than competitor and generic versions of the drug.
Lest no potential customers miss the fact that hypothyroidism is an under-diagnosed, underreported major health problem with barriers and stigmas to treatment,a ”National Academy of Hypothyroidism” has been set up.
The first thing visitors to the site will see is a slide of an overweight woman on a scale with the brazen headline “Is Your Thyroid Making You Fat?” Visitors will also learn that hypothyroidism could be causing their stress, depression and chronic pain just as lack of hormones or antidepressants caused them problems 10 years ago. There is even a perk for sufferers of hypothyroidism. The Academy tells them how to apply for disability benefits for their hypothyroidism. Just trying to help!
Do You Have Non-24 Hour Sleep Wake Disorder?
“You can’t see me because of radio… and I can’t see you because I’m totally blind.”
So begins a high-saturation radio campaign that launched late last year to boost “awareness” of an obscure circadian rhythm disorder called Non-24 Hour Sleep Wake Disorder in typical unbranded drug marketing fashion. How obscure is Non-24? There are only 146 citations for the disorder in the entire U.S. National Library of Medicine. By comparison, there are 8,463 citations for the plague.
The narrator says his blindness doesn’t “hold me back” but he often “struggles to keep up” because he is not “sleeping through the night.” He then says, “Sound familiar? You’re not alone!” The ads are from the Washington, DC-based drug company Vanda whose drug candidate for people who are blind and have Non-24, Hetlioz, received an FDA Advisory Committeerecommendation for approval in January which means the FDA will likely approve it. Hetlioz is said to be chemically related to the sleeping pill marketed as Rozerem (Ramelteon).
Developing “orphan drugs” that treat such a small part of the population (like the blind) they are not commercially viable is laudable. But orphan drugs are not usually accompanied by multi-million-dollar ad campaigns and slick websites. (Nor are important messages for the blind usually on the Web.) Is there something disingenuous going on? Under “Could You Have Non-24?” on the site, it says “The key symptoms of Non-24 are the inability to sleep or stay asleep and a powerful urge to sleep during the day” with no mention of blindness. A longer list on the site mentions waking up “groggy,” being “less productive than usual at work or at school,” relationships that “are strained,” “sluggishness and forgetfulness,” mood that is “affected” and frustration “because no one seems to understand what you’re going through,” and also doesn’t mention blindness.
You don’t have to be a cynic to wonder if the new disease — and the drug that will treat it if approved — is actually being marketed to the hundreds of millions of adults with sleep problems. When I called the phone number and asked the “health educator” if I could have Non-24 even though I am not blind, I was told “you don’t have to be blind to have Non-24″ though it is more common in blind people. When I asked if there was a pill I could take if I had symptoms, my educator said he was unable to answer that because, “I am not a doctor,” and promised to send me more information.
Getting a pill approved by the FDA so it can be legally sold and then widening its apparent uses through ad campaigns is called off-label marketing and it is strictly illegal. Since the lab tests and clinical trials that would establish safety for a new condition haven’t been done, patients are guinea pigs. Almost all recent major settlements with drug companies revolve around off-label marketing of drugs including Johnson & Johnson’s Risperdal, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Abilify, Eli Lilly’s Zyprexa, GlaxoSmithKline’s Paxil, Pfizer’s Neurontin, Bextra, Geodon and Lyrica, AstraZeneca’s Seroquel, Ortho-McNeil-Janssen’s Topamax, Forest Laboratories’ Celexa and Lexapro and Abbott’s Depakote.
“15,000 elderly people in nursing homes [are] dying each year from the off-label use of antipsychotic medications,” testiﬁed FDA drug reviewer David Graham, during congressional hearings, adding that Pharma is “laughing all the way to the bank.”
Selling the “disease” of Non-24 is reminiscent of the campaign to sell Shift Work Sleep Disorder two years ago. “Do you work a nontraditional work schedule?” asked the ads for Cephalon’s stimulant Nuvigil. “Do you struggle to stay awake?” You may be suffering from Shift Work Sleep Disorder! Soon there was a unbranded website called the Wake-Up Squad to sell the disease without ever mentioning the drug. The Wake-Up Squad is “on a mission to lead the fight against Shift Work Disorder,” it announced, offering facts and myths about the disease and a big red headline asking, “Are You At Risk?”
Both the hypothyroidism and Non-24 unbranded ad campaigns are so general, they apply to almost everyone. They bring us closer to what comedian Chris Rock predicted drug advertising would become, in a TV special: “Do you fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning? You may be suffering from ….”
Politico Jan 30, 2014 by Jason Edward Harrington (Former TSA Agent)
‘We knew the full-body scanners didn’t work before they were even installed. Not long after the Underwear Bomber incident, all TSA officers at O’Hare were informed that training for the Rapiscan Systems full-body scanners would soon begin. The machines cost about $150,000 a pop … At the conclusion of our crash course, one of the officers in our class asked him to tell us, off the record, what he really thought about the machines. “They’re shit,” he said, shrugging. He said we wouldn’t be able to distinguish plastic explosives from body fat and that guns were practically invisible if they were turned sideways in a pocket …
When concerned passengers—usually pregnant women—asked how much radiation the machines emitted and whether they were safe, we were instructed by our superiors to assure them everything was fine. We were also ordered to tell the public that the machines were 100 percent effective, security-wise, in the event that any citizens caught wind of rumors to the contrary. Then, in March 2012, a blogger named Jonathan Corbett published a video on YouTube, titled “How to Get Anything Past the Full Body Scanners.” In it, Corbett revealed one of the greatest weaknesses of the scanners, known to everyone I talked to within the agency: A metal object hidden on the side of the body was invisible to an image operator. Corbett showed how a passenger could bring a pistol to the airport and get it past the full-body scanners and onto a plane. More than a million people saw the video within a few days of its being posted. Finally, the public had a hint of what my colleagues and I already knew. The scanners were useless. The TSA was compelling toddlers, pregnant women, cancer survivors—everyone—to stand inside radiation-emitting machines that didn’t work …
Behind closed doors, supervisors instructed us to begin patting down the sides of every fifth passenger as a clumsy workaround to the scanners’ embarrassing vulnerability. I remember one passenger coming through the checkpoint just after the video’s release. He declined to pass through the full-body scanner, choosing instead to receive a full-body pat-down. I asked him why he was opting out. “Because those things don’t work,” he said, “And I don’t want to be dosed with radiation by a thing that doesn’t work.’
A new study shows GMO food treated with Roundup herbicide is up to 1000 times more toxic (100,000%) than Monsanto claims, because Monsanto doesn’t include the toxicity of so-called inert ingredients, which this new study shows are extremely toxic themselves.
BioMed Research International Journal 11 December 2013
‘Adjuvants in pesticides are generally declared as inerts, and for this reason they are not tested in long-term regulatory experiments. It is thus very surprising that they amplify up to 1000 times the toxicity of their AP in 100% of the cases where they are indicated to be present by the manufacturer (Table 1). In fact, the differential toxicity between formulations of pesticides and their AP now appears to be a general feature of pesticide toxicology. As we have seen, the role of adjuvants is to increase AP solubility and to protect it from degradation, increasing its half-life, helping cell penetration, thus enhancing its pesticidal activity , and consequently side effects. They can even add their own toxicity . The definition of adjuvants as “inerts” is thus nonsense; even if the US Environmental Protection Agency has recently changed the appellation for “other ingredients”, pesticide adjuvants should be considered as the first toxic “active” compounds.’
Major pesticides are more toxic to human cells than their declared active principles
BioMed Research International Journal 11 December 2013
Robin Mesnage, Nicolas Defarge, Joël Spiroux de Vendômois, and Gilles-Eric Séralini
Pesticides are used throughout the world as mixtures called formulations. They contain adjuvants, which are often kept confidential and are called inerts by the manufacturing companies, plus a declared active principle (AP), which is usually tested alone. This is true even in the longest toxicological regulatory tests performed on mammals. We tested the toxicity of 9 pesticides, comparing active principles and their formulations, on three human cell lines (HepG2, HEK293 and JEG3). We measured mitochondrial activities, membrane degradations, and caspases 3/7 activities. Glyphosate, isoproturon, fluroxypyr, pi rimicarb, imidacloprid, acetamiprid, tebuconazole, epoxiconazole and prochloraz constitute respectively the active principles of 3 major herbicides, 3 insecticides and 3 fungicides. Fungicides were the most toxic from concentrations 300-600 times lower than agricultural dilutions, followed by herbicides, and then insecticides, with very similar profiles in all cell types. The human placental JEG3 cells appeared to be the most sensitive. Despite its relatively benign reputation, Roundup was by far the most toxic among the herbicides and insecticides tested. Most importantly, 8 formulations out of 9 were several hundred times more toxic than their active principle. Our results challenge the relevance of the Acceptable Daily Intake for pesticides because this norm is calculated from the toxicity of the active principle alone. The study of combinatorial effects of several APs together may be of only secondary importance if the toxicity of the combinations of each AP with its adjuvants is neglected or unknown. Chronic tests on pesticides may not reflect relevant environmental exposures if only one ingredient of these mixtures is tested alone.
AlterNet / By Martha Rosenberg January 23, 2014
Pharma can entice doctors to prescribe its expensive patent drugs, even when they are dangerous.
Until 2010, when the Physician Payments Sunshine Act passed, requiring doctors to disclose payments, the only thing better than working for Pharma was being a doctor wined and dined by Pharma.
Pfizer jetted 5,000 doctors to Caribbean resorts where they enjoyed massages, golf and $2,000 honoraria charges to sell its painkiller Bextra (withdrawn from the market in 2005 for heart risks). GSK sent doctors to lavish resorts to promote Wellbutrin, the Justice Department charged. Johnson & Johnson bestowed trips, perks and honoraria on Texas Medicaid officials to get its drug Risperdal preferred on the formulary, a state lawsuit charged. Bristol-Myers Squibb enticed doctors to prescribe its drugs with access to the Los Angeles Lakers and luxury box suites for their games, California regulators say. In China GSK is charged with using a network of 700 middlemen and travel agencies to bribe doctors with cash and sexual favors, and Victory Pharma, an opioid drugs maker, was charged with treating doctors to strip shows. Nice.
Of course, Pharma reps did as well as the doctors. Thanks to their Barbie and Ken doll looks and the free samples, gifts and lunches they would bring medical staff, they would often waltz in to see the doctor before the sick and waiting patients. Some had their own lounges at medical offices. Since the 2010 sunshine law, part of the Affordable Care Act, went into effect in 2013, drug companies must display the doctors and groups they pay on their websites. That includes their payments to faux grassroots groups like Go Red For Women and the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, which are widely seen as Pharma fronts. But will it make a difference? For years, doctors have also begun presentations with slides detailing their Pharma funding but it doesn’t seem to alter their credibility or audience cynicism.
When it comes to acknowledging the influence of gifts and money on behavior, doctors, like everyone else, suffer from self-delusion. Most say they believe it affects the other guy, not them, and many become offended at the idea that they are “for sale.”
“My prescribing never changes because once a month a drug rep brings in a tray of sandwiches,” Maria Carmen Wilson told the Tampa Bay Times. (Wilson was Eli Lilly’s number-two earner in Florida in 2009, the paper reports.) It’s tempting to ask such doctors that if the largesse doesn’t affect them, when was the last time they prescribed the competitor’s pill? Would anyone believe or even read the journalism of a reporter who accepted an honorarium or speaker’s fee from the subject she reported on? Even if she claimed it didn’t influence her?
Trips to resorts and strip clubs will likely continue to diminish under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, but there are many other ways, often sneaky, that Pharma can entice doctors to prescribe its expensive, patent drugs.
1. Spying on Prescribing
Like the NSA spying program, shameless spying on doctors’ prescribing habits spares almost no one. Recently, the full sweep of IMS Health Holdings’ prescription data mining was revealed by ProPublica, which reported that its collection includes over 85 percent of the world’s prescriptions and “comprehensive, anonymous medical records for 400 million patients.” In 2007, there was a backlash against another seller of medical information: the AMA itself. By selling the names, office addresses and practice types of almost every doctor in the US to marketing firms the AMA netted almost $50 million a year, the American Medical Student Association and the National Physicians Alliance charged at the AMA’s convention. The database of 900,000 doctors does not violate privacy, counters the AMA, since doctors can opt out.
Psychiatrist Dan Carlat wrote in the New York Times that he was “astonished at the level of detail that drug companies were able to acquire about doctors’ prescribing habits” and that his drug reps told him “they received printouts tracking local doctors’ prescriptions every week.” A 2011 Supreme Court ruling found the collection and dissemination of prescribing behavior was “speech” and protected by the First Amendment. (See: a corporation is a person.)
2. Continuing Medical Education Courses
In order to keep their state licenses and satisfy insurance regulations, doctors must enroll in a certain amount of CMEs—continuing medical education courses. Not surprisingly, these classes are often “taught” for free by Pharma-funded specialists, sparing doctors from having to pay for them but providing the objectivity of a time-share presentation.
One such class, “Atypical Antipsychotics in Major Depressive Disorder: When Current Treatments Are Not Enough,” funded by Seroquel maker AstraZeneca was taught by former Emory University psychiatrist Charles Nemeroff, who lost his department chairmanship due to unreported Pharma income. Another CME called “Bipolar Disorder: Individualizing Treatment to Improve Patient Outcomes,” was “taught” by Trisha Suppes, who admits to funding by Abbott, AstraZeneca; GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen, Novartis, Pfizer, Wyeth, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Shire and four more Pharma companies. Another CME, “Individualizing ADHD Pharmacotherapy with Disruptive Behavioral Disorders” was taught by the Johnson & Johnson-funded Robert L. Findling and refers to Risperdal or its generic version, risperdone, 13 times. Many CMEs teach doctors about the lucrative new disease category of Adult ADHD and how to keep kids from going off their ADHD meds when they get to college. Ka-ching.
Being published in medical journals is essential to academic doctors but researching, writing and reworking papers is a formidable job. Luckily for doctors, Pharma is willing to help—as long as they write what Pharma wants. In just three years, medical writers associated with Parke-Davis, which became Pfizer, wrote 13 papers extolling the benefits of Neurontin, including in the prestigious Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, in the names of the “author” doctors. Medical writers at Wyeth, also now Pfizer, wrote more than 50 papers pushing the now discredited Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) in the names of doctor “authors.”
“Is There an Association Between Hormone Replacement Therapy and Breast Cancer?” asked one article in the Journal of Women’s Health. Guess what it concludes? “The Role of Hormone Replacement Therapy in the Prevention of Postmenopausal Heart Disease,” another ghostwritten paper is titled, despite HRT’s established heart risks, appearing in the Archives of Internal Medicine. And despite HRT’s links to dementia, another paper, which also ran in the Archives of Internal Medicine, was titled “The Role of Hormone Therapy in the Prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.”
4. Speakers Bureaus
Few things combine the ego stroking and fast cash of being paid to speak—and Pharma has no trouble finding takers at $750, $1000 and more per pop. Psychiatrist Dan Carlat wrote in theNew York Times that his experience speaking about Wyeth’s Effexor degenerated as he sensed skepticism and contempt in the audience. “I feared I had become—a drug rep with an M.D.” A district manager soon expressed reservations (“My reps told me that you weren’t as enthusiastic about our product at your last talk”) and Carlat ended his speaking career.
In her book, The Truth About Statins, cardiologist Barbara Roberts echoes Carlat’s experience. She agreed to speak about Pfizer’s Lipitor and gender-specific aspects of heart disease in women, but told Pfizer “that I wasn’t interested in just getting up in front of a bunch of doctors and plugging one or another of Pfizer’s medicines.” Declining to use Pfizer-supplied slides, she created her own slides for the speeches “until one night a regional manager attended one of my talks—and suddenly I was no longer invited by Pfizer to give lectures.”
Carlat and Roberts are in the minority. Despite academic restrictions, faculty at many top institutions including division chiefs “stay on the industry lecture circuit, where they can net tens of thousands in additional income,” reported ProPublica in 2010. Even at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic where the chairman of cardiovascular medicine, Steven E. Nissen, calls industry-paid speakers “whores,” the practice flourishes, ProPublica reported.
5. Clinical Trials
Pharma-funded clinical trials can be paydirt to doctors, yielding as much as $10,000 per patient in some cases. In 2010, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) addressed the frequent conflict of interest of doctors accepting major Pharma revenue while also accepting NIH money, our tax dollars. The medical institutions where the doctors work also are swimming in Pharma money. It is a situation exacerbated by the “technology-transferring” Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 which dangled the riches of “industry” before medical institutions just as the former were floundering and the latter was booming, says Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine. ”Harvard’s Clinical Research Institute (HCRI), for example, originally advertised itself as led by people whose ‘experience gives HCRI an intimate understanding of industry’s needs, and knowledge of how best to meet them,’” writes Angell, “as though meeting industry’s needs is a legitimate purpose of an academic institution.”
Not all clinical trials are kosher. Another sneaky way Pharma gets doctors to prescribe its drugs is to set up faux clinical trials to influence doctors. A 1995 study billed as assessing the safety, efficacy and tolerability of Neurontin was nothing but a ruse to get the 772 participating doctors to prescribe the drug, said an article in the Archives of Internal Medicine, because it gave them familiarity and experience with the drug. (This indirect sales job parallels what is said to happen with speaker’s bureaus: the speakers may not convince anyone else, but they begin prescribing the drug themselves.) In addition to misleading the doctors who thought the trials were valid, the study also misled the patients who did not know it was a marketing, or “seeding” study, and whose participation was overseen by investigators with insufficient training and clinical experience. Eleven of the 2,759 patients in the trials died, 73 suffered severe adverse events and 997 experienced less serious side-effects.
The Refusers don hazmat suits and corn suits in this guerrilla theater protest song against Monsanto GMOs.
International Business Times January 22, 2014
Taking fever-reducing pills when sick is one way to get a little relief, but it may have unintended consequences for others. According to researchers in Canada, popping acetaminophen, ibuprofen or other pain relievers can actually help spread the flu to others.
A new study, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, suggests that, based on factors like the quantity of pain relievers sold and the reproduction rate of the flu virus, using these drugs leads to an additional 700 flu deaths and several thousand more infections a year.
“We’re not saying to avoid these drugs,” David J.D. Earn, a professor of mathematics at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and senior author of the study, told The New York Times. “But if you take them, there’s this effect that’s not obvious.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, thousands – and even tens of thousands – of people die every year in the U.S. as a result of the flu virus.
Fever-relieving medicine can certainly lower one’s body temperature, and alleviate some of the symptoms of the flu, but it can also encourage the virus to continue thriving in the body. Health experts believe a fever is the body’s way of killing the virus, so getting rid of the body’s mechanism for combatting the flu can, in principle, increase the amount of virus we can pass on to others.
Also, symptom relievers can give flu sufferers a false sense of feeling better, thereby increasing their chances of interacting with others.
As New Scientist noted, researchers studied the effect lowering a fever has on the prevalence of a virus by turning to a 1982 study of fever in ferrets. According to the study, ferrets react to the flu similarly to humans. When researchers lowered the ferrets’ fevers either by giving them medication or shaving off their fur, their bodies produced more seasonal flu virus.
Applying this model to the U.S. population, researchers estimated that fever-reducing pills may lead to a 5 percent increase in seasonal flu infections.
“Because fever can actually help lower the amount of virus in a sick person’s body and reduce the chance of transmitting disease to others, taking drugs that reduce fever can increase transmission,” study researcher David Earn, a professor of mathematics at McMaster University, said in a statement. “We’ve discovered that this increase has significant effects when we scale up to the level of the whole population.”
The research comes on the heels of a body of research that suggests overmedication, such as the overuse of antibiotics, can lead to unintended consequences, like the emergence of drug-resistant “superbugs.”
An “Everyday” Drug Causes Acute Liver Damage Alliance for Natural Health January 21, 2014
According to the FDA, acetaminophen—the active ingredient in Tylenol—was the leading cause of acute liver failure in Americans between 1998 and 2003. There is no reason to think this has changed since.
Every year, 78,000 people go to the emergency room from intentional or accidental acetaminophen overdose; 33,000 are hospitalized, at last count 458 die (2006 data). The problem has gotten so bad that the FDA has asked doctors to stop prescribing any medication that has more than 325 mg of acetaminophen per dose.
Acetaminophen is dangerous because just a small extra amount can create a dangerous overdose: twice the maximum safe dose taken over just several days could cause severe liver damage. Sometimes, according to the former head of the Drug Information Center at the Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania, “the difference between a safe dose and a dangerous dose is two Extra Strength Tylenol tablets.”
The FDA has been aware of the acetaminophen problem since 1977, when an expert advisory panel recommended that drugs like Tylenol carry a warning label about liver damage. Yet the agency refused to implement the warning label until a full thirty-two years later, in 2009.
Given the lack of FDA action, it would make sense for the media to publicize the dangers of such a common and ubiquitously available over-the-counter product. But when the New York Times published an article on liver damage and health products, they said not one word about Tylenol or acetaminophen. They instead put the blame solely on nutritional supplements!
What has happened to the New York Times? It was once our national “newspaper of record.” Now it seems to be engaging in cover-ups for the drug industry.
The article, “Spike in Harm to Liver Is Tied to Dietary Aids,” cites some seemingly alarming statistics: based on a recent study presented by the Drug-Induced Liver Injury Network at a November 2013 conference, “nearly 20% of drug-related liver injuries” that require a hospital visit can be attributed to dietary supplements.
First, note that the above quote mistakenly equates dietary supplements with drugs. How can “drug-related liver injuries” be attributable to supplements? This could be either sloppy journalism (dietary supplements are in a different regulatory category—if they were drugs, then they’d be regulated as drugs!), or a deliberate political statement: after all, the aim of anti-supplement politicians and entities like Senator Durbin is to regulate supplements like drugs.
Second, the article fails even to mention what caused the remaining 80% of liver-damage hospital visits—drugs, especially acetaminophen. And once you look at the complete data from 2004 to 2012, the percent of visits attributable to supplements falls to 15%.
What’s going on here? With drugs causing the most liver damage (and let’s not forget that prescription drugs in general are the fourth leading cause of death in America, based on hospital data alone), why is the New York Times attacking dietary supplements? After all, at the very same conference where the cited study was presented, there were eighteen sessions on liver damage due to acetaminophen—and only two presentations on dietary supplements and liver damage.
We are sorry to say that it may be linked to the pharmaceutical industry’s advertising clout, which the NYT depends upon. In its 2012 annual report, the NYT stated the obvious fact that it depends for its survival on advertising revenue. In 2012, Big Pharma spent $90 million on print advertising. The dietary supplement industry spends far less: $20 million on print advertising in 2010. Due to the FDA and FTC’s overzealous regulation of health claims and gag orders on dietary supplement advertising, there’s little incentive for supplement companies to advertise their products and anyway they have far less money with which to do so.
Given the rapid decline of the industry, newspapers are facing increasing competition for advertising dollars; a pharmaceutical company miffed by an anti-drug NYT article could take their massive advertising budget elsewhere, whereas an article that bashes dietary supplements would be looked upon favorably. After all, drug companies are so scared of “competition” from dietary supplements that they’re beginning to swallow up small supplement companies!
For the NYT, the choice between attacking dietary supplements or dangerous drugs is easy.
The Influenza Deception
Brandon Turbeville Activist Post January 20, 2014
With the latest round of hysteria regarding the prevalence of the annual flu season and the “need” for the flu vaccine in full swing, one unaccustomed to reading the details of government statistics and the arguments for or against vaccination might justifiably be terrorized into running to their local vaccine dispensary and rolling up their sleeves. Indeed, the average person encountering the reports of infection, hospitalization, and death will justifiably be stirred into a frenzied state of panic.
The vaccine makers, pharmaceutical companies, and their representatives also known as medical doctors, are, of course, waiting with open arms and needles locked and loaded. With statistics such as “hundreds of thousands” of infections and “tens of thousands of deaths” by the flu virus being repeated ad nauseam, it is understandable why many hapless individuals rush to take toxic vaccines unaware of the hazardous ingredients they contain.
Do You Want a Flu Shot? The Refusers live at the Crocodile Seattle.
However, what is scarcely examined is whether or not these numbers quoted by mainstream media outlets and the medical industry are, in fact, accurate. Indeed, in most cases, these numbers are simply repeated by various players with little or no adequate challenge ever mounted against them.
Yet, upon closer examination, the statistics being repeated by these outlets are revealed to be nothing more than propaganda. While the flu virus might not be something to ignore, the truth is that the apocalyptic predictions and bio-panic reports constantly shoveled out to the American population are much smaller both in terms of infection and mortality rates.
These vastly reduced amounts of infection are clearly evident when one evaluates the actual numbers of infection confirmed to be caused by the flu virus itself.
First, it is important to point out the difference between Influenza (Flu) and Influenza-like illness. Both the flu and flu-like illnesses reveal themselves by the manifestation of the same symptoms, i.e. fever, runny nose, headache, body aches, etc. Both are caused by viruses. However, the flu is caused, logically, by the influenza virus of which there are three different types (A,B, and C) while flu-like illness is caused by a variety of other viruses.
Unfortunately, the majority of individuals who manifest these symptoms and who make a trip to their medical doctor are diagnosed with the flu, with no further testing to confirm this diagnosis. Thus, while medical doctors and their patients might believe they are witnessing an influx of flu patients, the reality may be that none of these individuals actually have the flu, but, instead, they may be infected with a flu-like illness.
For instance, one need only take a look at the statistics compiled by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to understand that the flu is not the culprit of an annual genocide lurking behind every corner and on the hands of every sniffling person.
The following data lists the year, the number of tested cases of sickness, and the percentage of those tested that turned up positive for the flu, respectively.
1997-1998 99,072 13.05%
1998-1999 102,105 14.21%
1999-2000 106,768 15%
2000-2001 88,598 11%
2001-2002 100,815 15.5%
2002-2003 96,871 11%
2003-2004 130,577 18.9%
2004-2005 157,759 14.9%
2005-2006 179,772 12.1%
2006-2007 179,268 13.2%
2007-2008 225,329 18%
2008-2009 195,744 14%
2009-2010 157,449 21%
2010-2011 256,399 22%
2011-2012 234,456 12%
The average percentage rate of flu virus infection during the 15 years between 1997 and 2012 is 15.05%.*
Clearly, as one can see from the data above, the hype surrounding the flu virus is hyperbolic to say the least. The worst flu season in 15 years yielded just a 22% infection rate, while many of the other years yielded significantly below that. 2002-2003, for instance, only had an 11% infection rate.
Thus, for the last fifteen years, the flu infection rate hovers around 15%; meaning that approximately 85% of the people who believe they have the flu or are diagnosed with the flu, do not have it at all. These statistics mean simply that 85% of the population diagnosed with the flu actually have a flu-like illness, not the flu itself.
Also note that the years with the highest rate of infection (2009-2011) were the two years of and immediately following the H1N1 Swine Flu panic that resulted in the mass vaccination of millions of people the world over. Considering that the potential for the seasonal flu vaccine was demonstrated to actually increase susceptibility to the H1N1 Swine flu, one would be justified in wondering whether or not it was actually the vaccine that caused the slight uptick in infection rates for those years.
Nevertheless, since the virulence and spread of infection of the flu is vastly lower than what is claimed by the medical industry and media outlets, the question then becomes whether or not the virus is particularly deadly when one is actually infected by it. Thus, it is once again important to look at the numbers.
The official statements coming from the CDC claim that, on average, 36,000 people die each year from the flu. 36,000 is indeed a frighteningly large number, despite the fact that they themselves strike a stunningly low number of the population as a whole.
However, there are once again issues with the actual numbers of flu deaths when those numbers are broken down. First, it is important to remember that flu deaths are lumped together with pneumonia deaths every year. Second, it is also known that flu deaths are often statistically combined with flu-related deaths for propaganda purposes. Much like intentionally confusing the cases of the flu with cases of flu-like illness, compounding flu deaths with flu-related deaths or pneumonia deaths, serves only the purpose of causing panicked stampedes toward vaccination by the general public are being assaulted with the massaged and manipulated numbers.
By lumping flu and pneumonia deaths together, the propagandists in the medical and pharmaceutical industries as well as in corporate media outlets are able to provide a number in the realm of staggering proportions, somewhere in the range of 50,000 to 60,000 depending on the year. Yet, in order to determine how many individuals were killed by the flu as opposed to pneumonia, a separation of the numbers must take place.
Thus, if the medical industry’s claims of approximately 36,000 dead from the flu each year are true, that would mean that slightly to well over half of the initial total of 50,000 to 60,000 provided would have been caused by the flu itself. This assumption, however, is wholly incorrect as it rests on the factual accuracy of the CDC’s claims of 36,000 dead from the flu every year.
To be fair, medical researchers claim the reason they lump flu and pneumonia deaths together in their final reports is due to the possibility of secondary pneumonia infection as a result of the flu. However, as mentioned above, it is quite possible to tell whether or not the deaths recorded were due to pneumonia as well as whether or not they were flu or flu-related.
Interestingly enough, the CDC itself admits that even influenza-related deaths (not only deaths that were caused solely by influenza), are drastically lower than the amounts paraded in front of the public. On its own website the CDC states, “only a small proportion of deaths in either of these two categories are estimated to be influenza-related. CDC estimated that only 8.5% of all pneumonia and influenza deaths and only 2.1% of all respiratory and circulatory deaths were influenza-related.”
With these numbers in mind, if we take the 60,000 deaths estimated to have been caused by Pneumonia and Influenza, the death rate would hover at or around only 5100 (slightly more or slightly less), not 36,000. Keep in mind, even the term “influenza-related” is a very loose and statistically generous term. The CDC defines “influenza-related” by stating the following: “Seasonal influenza-related deaths are deaths that occur in people for whom seasonal influenza infection was likely a contributor to the cause of death, but not necessarily the primary cause of death.” This definition allows for the attribution of death to be labeled as “influenza-related” even when influenza is not the cause or even a contributing factor simply because of its presence in a terminally ill or dying person.
Because the CDC has been much less forthcoming with the data regarding flu deaths or even influenza-related deaths, the exact numbers of influenza-related deaths are difficult to determine. From searching the CDC website, the only readily available set of numbers that directly referenced the number of influenza-related deaths came from the year 2009-2010 which listed the number of deaths at 2,125.
However, the National Vaccine Information Center compiled a chart of Pneumonia and Influenza deaths dating back from 1940 and ending in 2010. The deaths are separated by those attributed to Pneumonia and those attributed to Influenza. Nevertheless, it should be pointed out that the deaths attributed to the flu are in fact influenza-related deaths, not deaths directly attributed to the flu virus. The numbers for the years 1998 – 2010 are listed below.
With this in mind, when examining the confirmed cases of death confirmed to have been caused by the flu, the average number is generally much lower than 36,000 flu deaths per year cited by medical “experts.” Yet the numbers listed above include “Influenza-related” deaths, not flu deaths directly traced back to the flu itself. In fact, the real numbers of flu death are vastly lower than even 1,000 people per year. In the last fifteen years, not one flu season has been recorded as having contained even 100 flu deaths during the course of one year.
Indeed, in the last fifteen flu seasons, only 216 people have died as a result of the confirmed flu.
This is quite a different breakdown of flu deaths than that which is presented in media reports. For this reason, it is important to note that either pneumonia or some other illness is responsible for the other deaths included in the calculations. A drop from 36,000 dead to, in some cases, single digit figures is the result of an overwhelming misrepresentation of the facts to say the very least.
Thus, with the above information in mind, it is important to take a closer look at the statistics. Below are listed the last 15 flu seasons with the number of dead who are tied directly back to the flu. As you can see, the numbers are hardly cause for panic.
2010-2013 Data unavailable
Very little can be added to the statistics as presented above beyond pointing out the misleading and false nature of the propaganda machine operated by the pharmaceutical, vaccine, and medical industries via their mouthpieces in the mainstream corporate media , particularly regarding the nature of the dangers of the flu virus and the need to vaccinate.
For too many years, the American people as well as the people of the rest of the world have been stampeded into to taking toxic injections and dangerous vaccines in order to protect them from a highly inflated bogeyman.
While the flu is no laughing matter, the projection of it as the new Black Plague that will kill us all is the opposite of what is needed to improve public health. The overwhelming majority of people who are diagnosed with the flu only have a flu-like illness to begin with. Regardless, even if you contract the flu, it is important to remember that well below 100 people die of the virus every year.
Thus, as the hype and hysteria ramp up at the beginning of flu season and continue throughout the subsequent months, it is helpful to remember the numbers and statistics provided in this article, so as to avoid succumbing to the panic such propaganda is attempting to produce.
To an unvaccinated person, Flu season does not equal imminent death, a justification for panic, or even a reason to be overly concerned (assuming that person has a healthy immune system and other commonsense health precautions have been taken).
To a vaccinated person, however, the dangers from lurking viruses may be the least of their worries.
 Tenpenny, Sherri. “Flu And Flu Vaccines: What’s Coming Through That Needle?”
 Tenpenny, Sherri. “Flu And Flu Vaccines: What’s Coming Through That Needle?”
 Please note: These numbers were a result of the calculations of the figures provided by the CDC and two sets of numbers as calculated by Dr. Sherri Tenpenny. These numbers, although accurate, should be taken as an approximation. The actual numbers may be slightly higher or lower by a measure of hundredths or tenths of decimal points. These numbers, however, can be confidently used as a representation of the amount of flu infections during these years.
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