Thursday, May 31, 2012

Psychiatry's Hammer

Daily Bell
by Joel F. Wade

You know the adage: When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Psychiatry has one big hammer, psychiatric medications, with which to address a nail: psychological disorders.

Without a public that believes in and accepts the use of these medications, and the diagnoses that they presume to treat, there would be no profession of psychiatry. Many (not all; this is a critique of a system, not everybody involved) psychiatrists' entire life's work would become meaningless and their livelihood would disappear.

That's quite an incentive for confirmation bias. And now there is a push by the writers of the upcoming 5th edition of the American Psychiatric Associations Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM-5, to define more and more of normal human functioning as just so many nails to be struck by psychiatry's pharmaceutical hammer.

The DSM-5 is the diagnostic manual for psychology. It lists all of the psychological disorders that can be suffered by people, all in one handy little book. I've got a copy of an earlier version, from the days when I accepted medical insurance from my counseling clients and was obliged to find for them a label with which to burden them.

I say burden because there are two purposes for identifying a diagnosis. One is very good: to identify the problem so that you can treat it. If you have a bacterial infection and you can identify that this is the problem, then a course of antibiotics will usually solve that problem.

The other reason for identifying a diagnosis is very bad: to label a person, to decide who a person is and what they should accept as their fate forevermore. Once this is accomplished, you don't have to explore the problem, or get to know that person, any further.

When you label a person as "severely depressed" or "bi-polar" it has an air of certainty, a sense of having solved the mystery of that person. Then that person gets to incorporate that diagnosis into their self-concept: "I am a person who is severely depressed" or "I am a person who is bi-polar." Then what?

Then that person is supposed to accept that this is their fate. It's no different than being labeled "stupid" or "ugly." What do you do with it? Where is the solution to the problem that you've now been cleverly identified as having?

A problem without a possible solution is not a problem, it is just life. It may be very troubling, and you may wish it better; you may want to spend your life searching for a solution and you may find one. But that is different than focusing on labeling and dwelling on the problem.

If somebody finds an actual solution to a problem, then we can reassess what normal life expectations are. We do that all the time, which is why our life expectancy in the US is decades longer than it was a hundred years ago. Medical and nutritional problems have been actually solved.

At a local elementary school, there is a woman who works as a special education instructor. Her job is to diagnose kids who have learning problems. She works as a contractor, so the more kids are diagnosed, the more work she gets and the more money she makes. Guess how many kids have "learning problems" at that school? 80%!

Of course, if 80% of kids have learning problems, those aren't problems. They are by definition the normal range of human functioning. This instructor is not comparing these kids to the normal range of human functioning; she is comparing them to an idea in her mind of how they should be.

This is just like thinking that a certain person should be smarter or more attractive.

People get depressed, and they have mood swings. Some have very severe bouts of these. We desperately need to find solutions to these problems. The common knowledge nowadays is that you simply find the right psychiatric medication, or combinations of psychiatric medications, and then you take those for the rest of your life. Problem solved!

But the problem is not solved. Psychiatry depends on the theory that psychological problems are a matter of chemical imbalances in the brain. The medications, according to this theory, serve to "re-balance" that chemical imbalance.

But that is not what happens. These medications don't "balance" anything. They shift the feedback mechanism in a certain direction, changing the structure of the brain (See Robert Whitaker's important book, Anatomy of an Epidemic).

They have also, for the most part, only been tested for short-term use among adults but they are commonly prescribed for long-term use and, increasingly, for children.

What's more disturbing is that if these medications did what they were supposed to do we should see a decrease in these problems − just like we see a decrease in people dying of bacterial infections since antibiotics have been used.

But the truth is, these problems haven't just increased, they have multiplied!

These medications may be useful for some people, particularly for short-term use, but they are now widely prescribed and often for long-term use, as though they are the solution to the problem.

But the problem is much more complicated than this. Severe depression and anxiety, bi-polar, psychosis; these are all seriously debilitating conditions and they deserve the best that professionals in the field can bring in order to bring genuine relief to those suffering from them. Medication may have some benefit for some people but it is so ridiculously overprescribed that it's hard to sort out what's useful from what's not.

Another big problem is that, like that special education instructor, some people in the fields of psychiatry and psychology have been looking for problems. They have found that the normal range of human functioning is not to their liking so they just decide to label it as a problem anyway.

This brings me back to the proposed new edition of the diagnostic manual, the DSM-5.

Here are a few of the "new" diagnoses that have been proposed:

"Attenuated Psychosis Syndrome" This would have been applied to people who were at risk of developing mental illness sometime in the future. They would be given this label and "treated" with medications to manage this problem − presumably diagnosed with the help of a crystal ball and a Ouija board.

"Mixed Anxiety Depressive Disorder" This would have lowered the threshold for diagnosing people who have a mild depression and anxiety, which could include most of us at one time or another.

Perhaps most ridiculous of all is that depression immediately after a loss would be diagnosed as depressive disorder. In the past this was only diagnosed if somebody remained depressed for a prolonged period of time. But with the proposed DSM-5, you have to be up and at 'em, feeling just great right away after losing a loved one, or suffering a severe life changing event.

All of this smacks of creating problems to diagnose so that people can be appropriately labeled and medicated; but these medications do not usually solve the problem and, used long-term, can cause grave problems of their own.

There are, I understand from this article, deep ties between the pharmaceutical industry and the DSM panel members. Like my example with the special education instructor, the more problems can be labeled, the more money they can make and the more prestige they can enjoy.

But there is good news. There has been a strong backlash against this new version of the DSM, with over 13,000 professionals (including yours truly) signing an open letter objecting to these ridiculous revisions. You can sign it, too, here.

"Stupid," "ugly," "mentally disordered"... these labels do not help people to get better. They do not search for strength and resilience with which to overcome hardship or trouble. All they do is stick people with a sentence of a dysfunctional self-concept, they hobble the natural capacity for people to overcome adversity and they pound people down further with the hammer of professional arrogance.

Joel F. Wade, Ph.D. is a Life Coach who works with people around the world via phone and e-mail. He can be reached for life coaching service at or through his website, He is the author of Mastering Happiness and A Pocket Guide to Mastering Happiness.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

How Fukushima May Show Up in Your Sushi

Hardly reassuring. Any amount of radiation in food is dangerous.-Ed.
ABC News

Those looking for evidence of the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan may need search no further than their next plate of sushi, Stanford University researchers report.

The researchers tested 15 Pacific bluefin tuna that had migrated from Japan to the California coast and found that the levels of radioactive cesium in these fish were 10 times higher than those found in bluefin tuna from the years before the disaster. Before you swear off your maguro nigiri, it’s important to realize that the levels of radiation the researchers found from the cesium in the tuna were exceedingly low — about 30 times less than the amount of radiation given off by other common, naturally occurring elements in the tuna we eat.

The findings appeared Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“The finding should be reassuring to the public,” said Timothy J. Jorgensen, associate professor of radiation medicine at Georgetown University, who was not involved with the study. “As anticipated, the tuna contained only trace levels of radioactivity that originated from Japan. These levels amounted to only a small fraction of the naturally occurring radioactivity in the tuna, and were much too small to have any impact on public health.

“Thus, there is no human health threat posed by consuming migratory tuna caught off the west coast of the United States.” Still, the fact that the researchers could trace this radioactive material back to its source in Japan could have implications for seafood monitoring methods in the future. Dr. Michael Harbut, director of the Environmental Cancer Program at Wayne State University’s Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, agreed that the findings are no cause for panic. But he said that the finding that tuna and migratory food animals could carry this radioactive material so far across the ocean deserves consideration.

“In general, when you hear the word ‘radiation’ at all, it’s cause for some alarm, and I agree always a cause for significant attention.”

Harbut, who described himself as a physician, scientist and “guy who likes sushi,” added that while the levels of radiation found should not be seen as a direct threat to human health, scientists should focus their efforts on how this extra little bit of contamination fits into the bigger picture of food safety.

“For somebody to say this is an immediate threat to large numbers of humans and their health is irresponsible,” Harbut said. “We don’t see people dying left and right all over the West Coast from radiation poisoning. But to say this is nothing to worry about is equally irresponsible, because you have radioactive material ingested by fish, which is in turn being eaten by people.”

For now, the findings may be most important as a demonstration of how migratory food animals connect different areas of the globe — and how an event in one part of the world can affect food animals in an entirely different region.

“[The findings] should be of value to both environmental studies of the marine ecosystem and to ensure that the public is not exposed to seafood contaminated with significant levels of marine radioactivity,” Jorgensen said.

Harbut said that the next step is for governments to learn more about this issue and act appropriately to ensure the seafood safety.

“I think that the appropriate government agencies have to appoint appropriately trained people to give the public an honest assessment,” Harbut said. “Not something tailor made for ignorance, like ‘This will definitely kill you,’ or ‘This poses absolutely no risk to human health.’

“We’ve gone too far in poisoning the world to settle for simple ‘yes’es and ‘no’s like that.”

Cannabis smokers show greater lung capacity and lower cancer levels than non-smokers

Natural News

For many years, the demonizing claims being made against cannabis have been crumbling as research slowly dispels them. Fifty years ago people earnestly believed that the consumption of cannabis was directly linked to the development of an array of mental illnesses, and violent and hypersexual behavior.

Medical opinion must be guided by research

But these prejudices are still hanging on. Today, an individual who responsibly informs their doctor of their marijuana use, because, as with any medicine, chemical interactions may change the resulting chemical behavior, are most frequently urged to cut back. Various reasons are given for a physicians concern. Some, who appear to have fallen behind on the research, still express concern about "brain cell damage" a remnant from the Reagan era's Just Say No campaign.

The main objection, that even the most well-informed physicians feel justified in making, is that even if cannabis itself is not particularly harmful, its most common method of ingestion, smoking, is bad for the lung tissue, regardless of the harmlessness of the substance being smoked. The belief piggybacked its way in on the back of growing opposition to tobacco, and the understanding that tobacco obstructs pulmonary flow and shortens breath.

When a chemical defined by its action doesn't act

Because some of the same chemicals, which have identifiable carcinogenic impact in cigarettes, are also found in cannabis smoke, many believe that the cancer-causing potential of cannabis is proportionate to the amount of these chemicals. The fact that cannabis contains four times more tar (or oil) than cigarettes sparked the 1990s claim that smoking a joint was as bad for the lungs as smoking four cigarettes. This extrapolation makes perfect sense at face value, but doesn't hold up when compared to actual cancer rates.

Rewriting the medical records

The results of a new government-run research program are now forcing medical authorities to overturn these beliefs. The study has been ongoing for the past twenty years, following the smoking habits of over 5000 people. Researchers found that, contrary to popular belief, smoking cannabis, does not interfere with lung function or capacity. This holds true for ongoing regular -even including daily- and long term consumption. Curiously, as a general rule, cannabis smokers had better lung function than nonsmokers, which researchers attribute to the smoking action itself, rather than the cannabis. Pot smokers inhale deeply and hold those breaths to make the most of their supply, expanding the lung's capacity.

Dr. Tashkin found that, in almost all instances, cannabis consumers had rates of cancer that were no different from those who didn't smoke cannabis. The one exception to this rule was between cannabis smokers and individuals who didn't smoke anything (including tobacco), in which marijuana smokers actually had lower levels of lung cancer.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Medical screening has over-promised and under-delivered

Evidence Network
by Alan Cassels

Medical screening over-promises and under-delivers—dragging people with no health problems into the medical system.

What could possibly be wrong with having a mammogram? Or a PSA test for prostate cancer? Even a full body CT scan? Finding the signs of illness before it strikes you down is always the best course of action — isn’t it?

You might have similar thoughts when offered a routine screening test, ultimately believing that screening for illness before it happens can only do good. So, you may be in for a shock, as I was, when I discovered how often medical screening has overpromised and under-delivered. And how frequently the “screen early, screen often” paradigm — including even simple blood tests to check for high cholesterol — can rapidly turn perfectly healthy people into patients.

Unnecessary care can be bad for your health: Prostate and breast cancer screening

Some medical screening, such as early testing for colon or cervical cancer, has a long lineage of strong evidence that it can save lives. Others, not so much.

The poster child for inappropriate and harmful screening is probably the full body CT scan, which is routinely promoted with a ‘better safe than sorry’ message that is compelling, but neither supported by independent experts or good science.

Here’s what not advertised: a full-body scan is pretty much guaranteed to find some kind of abnormality that likely won’t hurt you.

In a study published in Radiology, 86 percent of patients of 1,000 symptom-free people who underwent full body CT scans had an abnormality detected. The average person had 2.8 abnormalities revealed by the CT scan — items which appeared unusual, but either disappeared on their own or were so slow-growing that they never went on to threaten the individual.

Even for screening programs that are well-studied, such as those for breast or prostate cancers, the chances of being saved by the test are often outweighed by the possibility that the individual will be hurt by the testing or possible treatments which follow.

Yet, since most of us know someone whose life has been ‘saved’ by a test, we submit.

The PSA test, which screens a man’s blood looking for risks of prostate cancer, might seem like a no brainer for many men, especially those who have lost brothers or a father to the disease. But what most of us aren’t going to hear is that when an individual has a high PSA score (which could be caused by many things), the doctor can’t tell if the patient has the slow growing-type of prostate cancer that the majority of men eventually get (and won’t die from), or the fast-growing type that can be quickly lethal.

Here’s the data, taken from a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine: to save a single man dying from prostate cancer, 1,410 men need to be screened, and of those, 48 will undergo treatment (with chemotherapy, surgery or drugs). About 30 of the treated men will end up impotent or incontinent (a possible consequence of the treatment).

Screening can be a terribly difficult and emotional decision because many of us don’t think in terms of numbers like these. Medical screening falls under the spell of the “popularity paradox” where despite high levels of false positives for many tests (common in breast, lung and prostate cancer screening especially), people still rally behind them. We ask our friends and relatives to help raise money for ‘the cure’ and are cheerleaders for the message of early detection.

In the world of breast cancer screening, many of us know a woman who has dealt successfully with the disease, and are led to believe that early screening saved a life. The truth is that some women, even with screening, will die. And many women, without screening, will be treated successfully. What’s often not factored into the decision-making process is the potential harm incurred from the many false positives, the subsequent radiation from repeated testing, and the pain and suffering from potential biopsies and treatment.

One of the most common side effects of medical screening — the wrenching psychological impact of telling someone they may have cancer when they don’t — is rarely taken into account. And it’s significant.

The latest research for breast cancer screening, from the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care, says that you’d have to give mammograms to 2,100 women aged 40 to 49 every two years for 11 years to save one life. In the interim, screening will result in almost 700 false positives (think more testing, more x-rays and investigations) and about 75 women will have an unnecessary biopsy.

Informed decision-making the best medicine

Early screening on its own, without the evidence to back up its usefulness in saving or improving lives, is not only costly to our public health system, but may actually cause patient harm.

The principle here is that even when saving a life by screening seems the intuitive and right thing to do, it’s not a deal you should ever enter into without understanding the probabilities first — your chances of being helped or hurt by the test. Talk to your health provider, and always ask for the evidence.

Related stories:  Breast Cancer Gene Risk May Be Overstated

Flawed Pharma Study Demonizing Vitamins and Minerals Debunked

Natural Society

It seems that some people will do just about anything to get ahead, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise when a mostly falsified study is released to put down what is primarily known as a fundamentally healthy and intelligent choice. Unfortunately, people still will try to spread discord amongst their fellow man in an apparent attempt to get ahead; sacrificing the good of the people is unfortunately a small price to pay for an insurmountably large personal gain, in many cases. This dishonest act can be seen in one such case of misinformation – a ‘study’ performed in order to bring the market for multivitamins and other very respectable health supplements down a notch.

In the article Iowa Women’s Health Study, much of the piece takes many things that are widely known as beneficial within a large number of vitamin supplements, and links some of these to various deaths in which people with diseases would essentially overdose themselves on vitamins in a desperate grab to fight off the disease. The article then discounts the fact that many people do not even use vitamins except for when they are sick, wrongfully linking an absurd amount of deaths directly to the use of vitamins and other supplements. As an example, a person was diagnosed with a life threatening disease, and in a sense of sheer panic began using as much as 40 supplements all at once, going up from using literally nothing the previous day. This example was then taken out of context and used as a source of evidence that supplements are in fact potentially deadly – a completely biased and ridiculous claim!

More specifically, the amount of iron within these vitamins was under heavy fire, being dubbed the major culprit behind the high mortality rates associated with the use of supplements – not an entirely wrong accusation, but nonetheless blown vastly out of proportion compared to other very real causes of death. The article essentially throws out the fact that a great many people will attempt to reverse any disease or ailment – ranging from a common cold to stage 4 cancer – with copious amounts of supplements and vitamins and other pills that serve little purpose in the users. There are no doubts about it, using supplements and vitamins in this method is not the best or even smartest way to reap the benefits, and it is at the users fault when they misuse the vitamins themselves.

There are many discrepancies within the article itself: Many of the studied patients also used unnatural amounts of hormones found in doctor recommended supplements, as well as supplements found to have a copious amount of iron and copper in them. The study also discredited other known beneficial substances such as omega-3 fatty acids, and would instead take an absurd amount of vitamin C over just about everything else as a basis of information. This kind of bias and misinformation is what leads the public to believe in mostly anything that major ‘scientific’ studies continue to propagate.

Related stories: Why Many Vitamin Studies are Absolutely Worthless
Findings from Flawed Study Used To Discredit Multivitamin/Mineral Supplements

Media Continues Skin Cancer Scare by Vilifying Natural Sunlight, Vitamin D

Activist Post

 What is one of the biggest threats to health today according to the mainstream media? It’s not the fact that mercury is present in a wide majority of the processed food supply, or even the fact that excessive amounts of radioactive waste is now admitted to have heavily contaminated the Pacific Ocean.

No, the number one villain according to the mainstream media is natural sunlight — the very same sunlight that generates vitamin D upon coming into contact with your skin.

Vitamin D has been found to slash your risk of cancer, aid in fat loss, beat fluoride in cavity prevention, and much more. Nonetheless, it appears that the substance is quite threatening as far as the media is concerned.

The FDA continues to announce the effectiveness of sunscreen, urging consumers to get higher SPF level products — many of which contain cancer-causing chemicals that are of much greater threat than natural sunlight. In addition, sunscreen completely blocks the production of vitamin D. Is it any wonder why there has been a resurgence of the rickets?

Sun exposure, it seems, is something that is quite deadly according to the press. According to many ‘experts’ like Dr. Robin Ashinoff, chief of dermatologic and cosmetic surgery at Hackensack University Medical Center, it is important to ‘shield yourself as much as possible’ from the sun.

In fact, the doctor states that going outside with sunscreen is ‘almost as bad’ as going out without sunscreen. Surging up fear among concerned mothers worldwide (who will not allow their children out of the house without slathering them up with sunscreen and therefore causing serious childhood development problems), the doctor states:

Wearing sunscreen and then deliberately going out in the sun is almost as [bad] as going out with no sunscreen at all. You don’t get burned, but the UV rays are still getting into your skin. Sunscreen is important, but you should also wear the right clothing and shield yourself as much as possible from direct sun exposure.

Ashinoff goes on to say that when it comes to sunscreen, you should get the “highest number” you can — particularly anything above 50 SPF. Essentially, the sun is being propagated as carcinogenic threat to the entire population.

Meanwhile, the real threats lie in the sunscreen formula itself – lending reason as to why sunscreen causes cancer. Oxybenzone and other vague mystery chemicals are commonly placed in many brand-name sunscreens, with many such chemicals yet to be proven as safe to use at all. About 8 percent of all sunscreens have been quality tested by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) to be both safe and effective for the intended use, whereas the other 92 percent contain at least one (if not many more) of the ingredients designated as detrimental for human use.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Scientists Recommend Dangerous Antipsychotic Drugs to Treat Cancer

Activist Post

The Obama administration recently announced that the US government will assist pharmaceutical corporations in finding prescription drugs to treat new diseases.

The focus of this collaboration will identify new uses for drugs that have already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

"We need to speed the pace at which we are turning discoveries into better health outcomes,” said Dr. Francis Collins, of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). “NIH looks forward to working with our partners in industry and academia to tackle an urgent need that is beyond the scope of any one organization or sector.”

Obama signed Executive Order (EO), Establishing the National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council in 2010.

Now the medical journal Cell has published a research paper on using an extremely dangerous psychotropic pharmaceutical to treat cancer; one that has traditionally been used to treat schizophrenia.

Scientists are claiming that according to their extensive research, which consisted of analyzing thousands of different drugs to determine if they possessed anti-cancer effects, it is Thiroridazine -- a “last resort” drug for schizophrenics -- that is now purported to kill cancer stem cells.

Thioridazine is expected to be used to select and eradicate cancer stem cells that are found in leukemia and several other cancers such as breast, blood, brain, prostate, ovarian, lung and gastrointestinal.

Scientists claim that this hazardous pharmaceutical can be administered in cancer therapies, without the health-threatening side effects of current drugs on the market. It is being advertised as an alternative to chemotherapy and radiation.

A robotic stem cell screening system was devised by the research team to siphon through large amounts of drugs and previously unpublished data and drugs that are available on the market today. Thousands of chemical compounds were screened for potential effects on specifically breast cancer and leukemia.

“We discovered the drug by creating a new way of looking at different chemicals,” said Mick Bhatia, the principal investigator for the study and scientific director of McMaster’s Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute in the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.

In order to do that, we have to put cancer stem cells in a dish, but also have normal stem cells to also test the compounds. We were able to do this with a robotic system, fully automated, that allowed us to go through 10 or 15 compounds [at first]. Now we can do this with thousands of compounds, eventually arriving at this drug that doesn’t do anything to normal stem cells, but kills cancer stem cells.

The unusual aspect of our finding is the way this human-ready drug actually kills cancer stem cells; by changing them into cells that are non-cancerous.

The praise Thioridazine is receiving omits the dangerous effects that this drug causes in humans.

Urinary tract infections
Slowed movements
Inability to produce facial expressions
Parkinson’s disease
Irregular heart beat
Sudden death

Thioridazine is classified as a conventional antipsychotic. Its prime function is to reduce the brain’s ability to process excitement; effectively rendering the patient docile and even-tempered.

There is a strong possibility of committing suicide while on this drug.

Bhatia’s study asserts that this discovery could inspire a new frontier in cancer therapies. He stated that there are an estimated 12 existing drugs that pose a “good potential for the same response.”

The researchers are not stopping with Thioridazine; they are moving onto other possible uses for already approved drugs.

Bhatia’s team is anxious to begin human trials with plans to use this pharmaceutical on leukemia patients. By studying patients whose cancer is in remission, the researchers hope to find that thioridazine will prevent a multitude of cancers.

Currently, the vitamin industries, by order of the Codex Alimentarius (CA) are being attacked by the US government to justify the force outlawing of natural medicine use. The CA is a creation of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

The findings of this study are just the first of many “new uses” that the pharmaceutical industry will “discover” in order to utilize antipsychotic drugs to treat major diseases.

With the support of the Obama administration, soon we may all be on some kind of psychotropic drug.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


World Truth

The USDA has been under fire recently for its admitted assault against nature, after multiple investigations have uncovered its deliberate tampering with both plants and animals alike. One such investigation has put an end to the mystery surrounding the death of millions of birds, with USDA documents revealing the organization’s role in the massive slaughter. In addition to the mass bird killings, it turns out the USDA was fully aware that a highly-popular herbicide chemical was a known bee-killer, which may have aided the bee decline. The USDA has also threatened the genetic integrity of the nation’s crops. Information has surfaced regarding the USDA’s illegal approval of Monsanto’s biotech crop, sugar beets. These crimes are simply an excerpt from the long list of USDA crimes that are continually being exposed.

In December of 2010, mystery struck the world. Reports of mass fish and bird die-offs were coming in from Texas to Sweden. The first occurrence in the series of strange events started in Arkansas, where 3,000 birds fell from the sky. In the following days and weeks, similar incidents were reported with no solid explanation. The reason has now been found, thanks to documents found on the USDA’s website. Claiming to be protecting farmers from predators, the birds were victims of a little-known government program. Like millions of other animals since the Bye Bye Blackbird program was created in the 1960?s, the birds were poisoned and killed for being considered a nuisance to farmers. It is important to take note that many of these animals don’t pose any immediate threat to farmers.

In the 1960?s the USDA established a program referred to as the Bye Bye Blackbird program. This program is solely responsible for the mass killings of what could ultimately be millions of birds across the nation. In 2009 alone the USDA poisoned and killed over 4 million birds. The documents state whether or not the deaths were intentional or unintentional on the government website. You can find extremely large numbers, such as 22,276 blackbirds marked as intentionally euthanized. Here is some data from the USDA itself:

Brown-headed cowbirds: 1,046,109

European Starlings: 1,259,714

Red-winged blackbirds: 965,889

Canadian Geese : 24,519

Pigeons: 96,297

Grackles: 93,210

Starlings European: 1,259,714

These numbers are simply the top for 2009. Let us not forget about all the other years animals have been killed since the 1960?s when the program was first created.

According to Natural News :

A Nebraska farmer was apparently complaining that the starlings were defecating in his feed meal. The answer to this conundrum apparently isn’t to cover your feed meal but rather call the USDA and ask them to poison thousands of birds. The USDA complied, apparently agreeing this was a brilliant idea. So they put out a poison called DRC-1339 and allowed thousands of birds to feed on that poison.

“Cows are supposed to eat grass. If you are running a cow operation where the birds are eating your grain and you think the birds are the problem, the real problem is that you’re feeding cows the wrong food! If you raise your cows on grass, the birds don’t get into the grain and you don’t have to poison the birds.

“You see, when one ecological element gets out of balance (feeding grain to cows, for example), it then causes another problem that must be dealt with in some other destructive way (such as poisoning the birds). This cycle of disharmony continues and escalates until entire ecosystems are out of whack. Then the USDA shows up with a pickup truck full of poison bait and goes to work poisoning animals. The solution isn’t to keep poisoning animals and trying to control populations through toxic chemicals but rather to return to holistic web-of-life farming methods that work in harmony with nature rather than treating nature as the enemy.”

The government is committing what many people would call a crime. Killing mass amounts of animals via poison is a flagrant act of violence against nature that should not be tolerated or encouraged. People aren’t allowed to hunt in certain regions of the United States, but the government is allowed to kill off animals by the millions. Something is terribly wrong with this picture.


Those "picky eaters" need to straighten up before we all starve! -Ed.

Science Blog

Biologists at UC San Diego have discovered that a small dose of a commonly used crop pesticide turns honey bees into “picky eaters” and affects their ability to recruit their nestmates to otherwise good sources of food.

 The results of their experiments, detailed in this week’s issue of the Journal of Experimental Biology, have implications for what pesticides should be applied to bee-pollinated crops and shed light on one of the main culprits suspected to be behind the recent declines in honey bee colonies.

 Since 2006, beekeepers in North America and Europe have lost about one-third of their managed bee colonies each year due to “colony collapse disorder.” While the exact cause is unknown, researchers believe pesticides have contributed to this decline. One group of crop pesticides, called “neonicotinoids,” has received particular attention from beekeepers and researchers.

 The UC San Diego biologists focused their study on a specific neonicotinoid known as “imidacloprid,” which has been banned for use in certain crops in some European countries and is being increasingly scrutinized in the United States. “In 2006, it was the sixth most commonly used pesticide in California and is sold for agricultural and home garden use,” said James Nieh, a professor of biology at UC San Diego who headed the research project with graduate student Daren Eiri, the first author of the study. “It is known to affect bee learning and memory.”

The two biologists found in their experiments that honey bees treated with a small, single dose of imidacloprid, comparable to what they would receive in nectar, became “picky eaters.” “In other words, the bees preferred to only feed on sweeter nectar and refused nectars of lower sweetness that they would normally feed on and that would have provided important sustenance for the colony,” said Eiri. “In addition, bees typically recruit their nestmates to good food with waggle dances, and we discovered that the treated bees also danced less.” The two researchers point out that honey bees that prefer only very sweet foods can dramatically reduce the amount of resources brought back to the colony. Further reductions in their food stores can occur when bees no longer communicate to their kin the location of the food source.

“Exposure to amounts of pesticide formerly considered safe may negatively affect the health of honey bee colonies,” said Nieh.

To test how the preference of sugary sources changed due to imidacloprid, the scientists individually harnessed the bees so only their heads could move. By stimulating the bees’ antennae with sugar water, the researchers were able to determine at what concentrations the sugar water was rewarding enough to feed on. Using an ascending range of sugar water from 0 to 50 percent, the researchers touched the antennae of each bee to see if it extended its mouthparts. Bees that were treated with imidacloprid were less willing to feed on low concentrations of sugar water than those that were not treated.

The biologists also observed how the pesticide affected the bees’ communication system. Bees communicate to each other the location of a food source by performing waggle dances. The number of waggle dances performed indicates the attractiveness of the reward and corresponds to the number of nestmates recruited to good food.

“Remarkably, bees that fed on the pesticide reduced the number of their waggle dances between fourfold and tenfold,” said Eiri. “And in some cases, the affected bees stopped dancing completely.”

The two scientists said their discoveries not only have implications for how pesticides are applied and used in bee-pollinated crops, but provide an additional chemical tool that can be used by other researchers studying the neural control of honey bee behavior. The study was funded by the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign and the National Science Foundation.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

‘Scientists’ Say Eating Organic Food Makes You a Jerk

Activist Post

Do you eat real, organic food? If you do, you must be a jerk, according to a new ridiculous 'scientific' study that most likely has financial ties to factory farm corporations and junkfood makers across the planet.

Instead of discussing the wide variety of health benefits of eating real food — the kind made without harmful pesticides that actually make you stupid, the researchers use participants to show how ‘eating organic can make you a jerk’.

Now spanning the mainstream media headlines, the ‘scientists’ use the fact that those who eat organic are ‘stingier with their volunteering’ time as one of the reasons as to why it could ‘make you a jerk’.

What the scientists do not discuss, as it is much more serious and could potentially change the way that the public eats (and spends their money), is the serious illnesses associated with eating non-organic junk, almost always laced with pesticides and oftentimes genetically modified.

They fail to mention the fact that junk food has been found to make you infertile, that ubiquitous high-fructose corn syrup makes you ‘stupid’ through the destruction of your memory and learning capabilities, and how common food chemicals are fueling the obesity epidemic.

But it appears that to them none of these factors are as important to the study authors as the fact that those who eat organically (real food) offer 11 minutes less volunteer time than the ‘comfort food crowd’.

Perhaps a more important story covering recent research should be one entitled ‘Junk Food Makes You Fat, Stupid, and Infertile’.

In fact, the researchers could discuss the long list of issues resulting from pesticide exposure alone such as:

Immune system suppression
Parkinson’s disease
Male infertility & inhibited reproductive function
Disruption of the endocrine system
Adversely affected nervous system
Massive pollution & environmental decay

If eating real food (the kind that has not been contaminated with chemical additives) makes someone unscrupulous and rude, then perhaps our ancestors were all ‘jerks’. After all, up until modern times the word ‘organic’ was not even used to describe real food.

UK to Use Slave Labor in Hospitals

Gaia Health
by Heidi Stevenson

The next time you’re in a hospital, how would you like to have your food brought to you by a slave laborer? If you’re in the UK, you may find out, because slave labor has already been trialed in one hospital, and is about to become standard practice there.

The Guardian reports that the Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals Trust (SWBHT), a part of the National Health Service (NHS) piloted the program with six unemployed people in consultation with the union. The trust stated that the type of work included:

… general tidying, welcoming visitors, serving drinks to patients, running errands, reading to patients and assisting with feeding patients.

… and justifies it with the statement:

We are situated in a deprived area with high unemployment and we think it is important to help get people back into work. The project gave participants the opportunity to gain confidence, training and experience, under supervision.

So why don’t they simply hire them? You know, the old-fashioned way of getting employees.

Unison, the public service trade union, isn’t happy with the plan, referring to it as a “worrying glimpse of the future”. They also point out that feeding patients and helping them to drink are direct patient care, though the trust had promised not to use the program for that purpose.

So, they were less than honest. Why should they be trusted about other claims they make regarding this program?

Because of massive NHS cuts, Ravi Subramanian, the head of the SWBHT region’s Unison union, stated:

Thousands of staff are facing the prospect of losing their jobs and wards are closing. Now the hospital is making moves to deliver healthcare on the cheap, by using people on work experience to help with patient care. Patients and staff will rightly be very worried about the standard of patient care as this scheme is rolled out.

So, what’s the purpose of this so-called training, when there obviously won’t be jobs for them when they’re done?

Calling this anything but slave labor is merely an attempt to hide the reality. People will be forced to work for up to 11 weeks—2-3 weeks in training and 8 weeks in work—for no pay other than the minuscule amount paid as job search benefits, and they won’t be able to search for real work during their peonage in a hospital.

This same system is in use by corporations to coerce young jobless people into doing menial work for no pay, as reported in Both the US and the UK Governments Support Slavery of Their Own Citizens and to force the disabled into slave labor, as reported in The Disabled to Be Used for Slave Labor: UK Government Plan. It is, of course, presented as being for the benefit of the individual, but as discussed in those articles, that’s absurd on its face.

It’s also described as being voluntary, but the experience of those involved in other similar programs clearly indicates that we should question that. Though the government appears to have pulled back on forcing people into these schemes, how long will it be until they slide right back into it? A government that not only allows slave labor, but also organizes it can surely not be trusted to do the right thing—especially when the program stinks from the get-go.

The program to use job seekers for free labor in hospitals is clearly not for the benefit of the job seekers or patients:

The laborers will be severely limited in their ability to seek real, wage-paying work while slaving away in hospitals.

Since the hospitals expect to be laying people off, it’s obvious that very few of the laborers will ever have a chance to use whatever skills they develop in paid employment.

Since they have already utilized slave labor for patient care, this cannot possibly bode well for the quality of patients’ treatment.

Calling forced labor a job training program does not change the inherent fact that forced labor is slavery. What makes this particularly disheartening is that not only is government endorsing this slavery, it’s actually organizing it—and the direct representatives of the workers, the union, is not only supporting the plan, they have been instrumental in arranging it. And the minimal payment that the slaves receive, a job search benefit that’s inadequate to live on without help from family and friends, is paid by the taxpayers!

The government now considers the people to be little more than cogs in a massive system of corruption designed to squeeze every last penny and drop of sweat out of the people.

IQ Foods: Processed Food Lowers IQ in Children, Nutritious Food Raises It

Natural Society

Processed foods are the staple of far too many diets, particularly in the United States where 105 million people have either diabetes or prediabetes. These processed foods are filled with white sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, aspartame, artificial food colorings, and a wide variety of other toxic substances. Interestingly enough, research shows that these are some of the worst IQ foods. Given the makeup of processed foods, is it any wonder that children are suffering from IQ reduction upon introducing these foods into their diet.

IQ Foods: The Findings
British researchers uncovered the connection between processed foods and reduced IQ. They followed what 14,000 children ate and drank at the ages of 3, 4, 7, and 8.5 years of age, with answers submitted via parents through questionnaires. The researchers found that if children were consuming a processed diet at age 3, IQ decline could begin over the next five years. The study found that by age 8, the children had suffered the IQ decline.

On the contrary, children who ate a nutrient-rich diet were found to increase their IQ over the 3 year period. The foods considered nutrient-rich by the researchers were most likely conventional fruits and vegetables. If children were to eat a wide variety of organic produce, superfoods, mineral-rich plants, and perhaps even consume a food-based multivitamin, the researchers would most likely see a substantial IQ increase. This eating plan would also benefit the children — or even adults — in other aspects of their lives as well, such as better overall health & well-being.

Processed foods have been known to wreak havoc on the body for quite some time. One joint American and Spanish study has even found that junk food products, particularly those containing trans fats, can make healthy young men infertile by damaging their sperm. Another study, conducted by scientists from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the University of Granada, reported that both junk food and fast food consumption can bring on depression. The link was so strong, in fact, that those who consumed fast food were 51% more likely to be depressed. It isn’t surprising that some of the worst IQ foods are the same foods that cause numerous health complications.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Irradiation of Food Induces Radioactivity: Government Claims That It Doesn’t Are Lies

Gaia Health

We are routinely told that irradiation can’t possibly make food radioactive. It’s a lie.

The official stance of both the US and UK, that radiation is not induced by the process, is false. It is, in fact, an outright lie. It has been understood for decades that irradiation of food renders it radioactive. The question isn’t whether it happens. The question is how serious the health risk is.

The fact that food irradiation carries significant and well-documented danger to health should have resulted in it being stopped before it was ever implemented. That it hasn’t tells us all we need to know about the purpose of our regulatory agencies.

Ultimately, though, what’s more upsetting is learning that we’ve been outright lied to about the most fearful aspect of food irradiation. Radioactivity is induced by it.

Documentation for Irradiation-Induced Radioactivity

No less an authority than the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has clearly documented that irradiation of food induces radioactivity. Medical journals have documented it. The FDA regulates the acceptable amount of induced radiation in food packaging, all the while claiming that the food itself isn’t affected!

While documenting that irradiation induces radioactivity in food, the IAEA’s report(1) tries to diminish its significance by comparing it with background radiation. However, it isn’t a matter of one or the other, background radiation or irradiation-induced radiation. It’s the sum of both that matters—not to mention other sources that should be added in, such as medical test devices and airport scanners. They are all additive.

Another problem is that food is ingested. Foods that have become more radioactive through irradiation are taken into the body and become part of the cellular makeup. Therefore, the effects of irradiation-induced radiation in foods may be worse than other sources.

Should We Be Concerned About Irradiation-Induced Radioactivity in Food?

Exactly how bad is irradiation-induced food radioactivity? That’s a good question—one that is studiously ignored by the powers-that-be. After all, it’s rather difficult to do research on something when the official stance is that the problem doesn’t exist.

Of course, we do know that many studies documenting harm from irradiated foods have been done. Interestingly, much of that harm tends to coincide with the sort of damage done by radiation.

FDA Once Banned Irradiation

In 1968, the FDA ended the practice of irradiating bacon for military personnel after learning that lab animals fed irradiated food died early and suffered from a rare cancer, other tumors, reproductive problems and inadequate weight gain. All of these are associated with radiation exposure…yet the FDA now says that irradiation doesn’t harm foods or make them radioactive.

EPA’s Gambit

This is the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) answer to the question(2), Can irradiation make food radioactive?

No. Food does not come in contact with radioactive material during food irradiation, and cannot be contaminated this way. Radiation that is too energetic, however, can disrupt the energy balance in the nuclei of food atoms, making them unstable (radioactive). This is known as induced radioactivity.

Electron and x-ray beams can be energetic enough to induce radioactivity. To prevent induced radioactivity, FDA limits the energy of the radiation from these sources to less than 4 mega-electron volts. Radiation from cobalt-60 sources is not energetic enough to induce radioactivity.

Isn’t that cute? First, the EPA answers with an unequivocal no, stating that food “cannot be contaminated this way”. Then, they go on to describe two methods that can induce radioactivity, while claiming that the FDA’s limits prevent it from happening. But, that simply is not true. The IAEA’s report clarifies that fact.

Irradiation Methods

There are three methods of irradiating food: gamma rays, x-rays, and electron beams. At first glance, it would seem that electron beams and x-rays would be preferable, since they are not radioactive. The issue, though, isn’t whether the tool used to irradiate foods is radioactive, but whether it results in radioactivity in the food. Remarkably, there is some information to indicate that x-rays produce more radiation in food than the other methods.

Comparisons between irradiation methods can be difficult. Further complicating things is that different elements in foods react differently. Iodine, for example, is a necessary nutrient that is easily made radioactive, and is the element on which most emphasis is placed. Because different foods respond in different ways, absolute conclusions about all foods and all methods of irradiation can’t be made. However, some generalities can be drawn.

A paper entitled Report on the Safety and Wholesomeness of Irradiated Foods (The Report) was produced in 1985 by the Advisory Committee on Irradiated and Novel Foods, a UK agency. It was reviewed by the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), which concluded the following:

The Report clearly stated that gamma rays and high-speed electrons can induce radioactivity in food.

Read more here

Monsanto Buys Whole Foods: Fact or Rumor?

Natural Society

Since early 2011, there has been a lot of information circulating regarding Monsanto’s purported purchasing of the natural health food store known as Whole Foods; topics like ‘Monsanto buys whole foods‘ and others quickly became hot search terms. Interestingly enough, Monsanto was also rumored to have bought Blackwater (Xe), a private military company. While it is understandable that Monsanto would buy or at least work with Blackwater (as they are both in the same corrupt business), who would believe that Monsanto could scoop up Whole Foods? In actuality, the biotechnology giant did not buy Blackwater, and did not buy Whole Foods. Here are the details.

Monsanto Buys Whole Foods?
It all started in early 2011, when the USDA finally made the decision to deregulate genetically modified alfalfa without restrictions – a decision which caused many individuals, companies, and farmers to become very upset. Before the decision was made, the USDA was considering two options which they would present to the industry: to fully deregulate the alfalfa or to deregulate it with restrictions. Unfortunately, there was no option presented to the industry by the USDA for an outright ban on GM alfalfa, so Whole Foods went with the better option available.

“Whole Foods Market advocated strongly for deregulation with restrictions to preserve the ability of non-GE and organic growers to avoid contamination. It seemed that the USDA was finally recognizing that cross-contamination of GE alfalfa could potentially impact organic and non-GE farmers and consumers, both domestically and for our export markets…Unfortunately, the USDA’s decision fell far short of this mark, and we believe that unrestricted planting of GE alfalfa without setting any clear coexistence framework, with thresholds for contamination and providing for ongoing testing and verification, is irresponsible,” states a post on the Whole Foods website.

“Many people have asked us why we endorsed the coexistence option rather than an outright ban on GE alfalfa. That was never an option in Washington!..the option of an outright ban was not on the table,” the post on the Whole Foods website said. “Whole Foods Market — along with the National Cooperative Grocers Association, the National Organic Coalition, the Organic Trade Association, and other companies and groups — endorsed the path of deregulation with restrictions, or coexistence, not because it was a perfect path, but because it was a path to create meaningful change right now in the regulating of genetically engineered foods and the protection of non-GE foods. “

Since Whole Foods supported the USDA’s approach of coexistence, some consumer groups said the company started supporting GM foods, but along with the ‘Monsanto buys Whole Foods’ rumors, this also wasn’t true. The Organic Consumer Association’s (OCA) released a rather misleading article titled “Whole Foods Caves to Monsanto” in 2011, which was the start of ‘Monsanto buys Whole Foods’ rumors.

“No! What crazy talk! We’ve never had any affiliation with that company. We are publicly traded; our majority shareholders are listed in documents filed with the SEC and, I promise, Monsanto is not on the list and never has been…You see, Whole Foods Market and others in the organic food industry met with the US Secretary of Agriculture in support of farmers’ rights to grow Non-GMO crops. Because we did not take the exact hard-line stance that the OCA did, they accused us of ‘being in bed with Monsanto’” said a Whole Foods employee.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

How Big Pharma and the Psychiatric Establishment Drugged Up Our Kids


The following is an excerpt from Born with a Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks, and Hacks Pimp the Public Health (Prometheus Books, 2012).

In his book Psychiatryland, psychiatrist Phillip Sinaikin recounts reading a scientific article in which it was debated whether a three-year-old girl who ran out into traffic had oppositional-defiant disorder or bipolar disorder, the latter marked by “grandiose delusions" that she was special and cars could not harm her.

How did the once modest medical specialty of child psychiatry become the aggressive “pediatric psychopharmacology” that finds ADHD, pediatric conduct disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, mood disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, mixed manias, social phobia, anxiety, sleep disorders, borderline disorders, assorted “spectrum” disorders, irritability, aggression, pervasive development disorders, personality disorders, and even schizophrenia under every rock? And how did this branch of psychiatry come to find the answer to the “psychopathologies” in the name of the discipline itself: pediatric psychopharmacology? Just good marketing. Pharma is wooing the pediatric patient because that’s where the money is. Just like country and western songs about finding love where you can when there is no love to be found at home. Pharma has stopped finding “love” in the form of the new blockbuster drugs that catapulted it through the 1990s and 2000s. According to the Wall Street Journal, new drugs made Pharma only $4.3 billion in 2010 compared with $11.8 billion in 2005—a two-thirds drop.

Doctors have a “growing fear of prescribing new drugs with unknown side effects,”explains the Journal, and the government is cracking down on illegal marketing. But also, private and government insurers are less willing to “cough up money for an expensive new drug—particularly when a cheap and reliable generic is available.

It’s gotten so bad, AstraZeneca, whose controversial Seroquel® still makes $5.3 billion a year though it is no longer new, now conducts “payer excellence academies” to teach sales reps to sell insurers and state healthcare systems on its latest drugs. No wonder Pharma is finding “love” by prescribing drugs to the nation’s youngest (and oldest) patients, who are often behavior problems to their caregivers, who make few of their own drug decisions, and who are often on government health plans.

“Children are known to be compliant patients and that makes them a highly desirable market for drugs,” says former Pharma rep Gwen Olsen, author of Confessions of an Rx Drug Pusher. “Children are forced by school personnel to take their drugs, they are forced by their parents to take their drugs, and they are forced by their doctors to take their drugs. So, children are the ideal patient-type because they represent refilled prescription compliance and ‘longevity.’ In other words, they will be lifelong patients and repeat customers for Pharma.”

Just as it used to be said in obstetric circles, “Once a cesarean, always a cesarean,” it’s also true that “once a pediatric psychiatric patient, always a pediatric psychiatric patient.” Few, indeed, are kids who start out diagnosed and treated for ADHD, bipolar disorder, and other “psychopathologies” who end up on no drugs, psychologically fine, and ready to run for class president. Even if they outgrow their original diagnoses—a big “if” with a mental health history that follows them—the side effects from years of psychoactive drugs and their physical health on mental, social, and emotional development take their toll. Even children on allergy and asthma drugs, which are promoted for kids as young as age one, are now known to develop psychiatric side effects according to emerging research.

Kids who start out with psychiatric diagnoses are not only lifers—they are expensive lifers usually shuttled into government programs that will pay for psychiatric drug “cocktails” that can approach $2,000 a month. What private insurer would pay $323 for an atypical antipsychotic like Zyprexa®, Geodon®, or Risperdal®, when a “typical” antipsychotic costs only about $40?

Read more here

More than 20 percent of American adults now on psychiatric drugs for behavioral problems

Natural News

Prescription drug addiction is a very serious problem in the US, and is typified in part by the more than 20 percent of American adults that are now hooked on pharmaceuticals for conditions like anxiety and depression. A new study conducted by Medco Health Solutions Inc., a pharmacy benefits management company, has found that one in five adults -- and one in four women -- now regularly takes at least one drug for psychiatric or behavioral disorders.

The findings, which are based on data compiled of 2.5 million patients, found that the use of behavioral drugs among adults has skyrocketed by 22 percent since 2001. The majority of adults taking behavioral drugs are still women aged 45 years or older, but many men are now taking them as well -- and based on current trends, such drug use in general is expected to continue to increase.

It used to be that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drugs like Ritalin, Dexedrine, and Adderall were prescribed primarily to young children. But now middle-aged adults are apparently a primary target as well, as the use of both ADHD and antipsychotic drugs among 20- to 44-year-olds has more than tripled within the past decade.

More women than men currently take drugs for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, which include Zyprexa, Risperdal, and Abilify. But the use of these drugs among men has risen fourfold within the past ten years. On the flip side, prescriptions for ADHD drugs, which have typically been more popular among males, have risen by 250 percent among females since 2001.

It is pretty clear where all this is going. The drug lords and their army of drug dealers within the mainstream medical system are in the business of getting as many people hooked on prescription drugs as possible. Millions of Americans have already been pimped to the medical mafia, and the system is working to hook the rest by whatever means possible.

Mental health screening programs have been an effective way for Big Pharma to recruit new drug users, as these screenings often detect "problems" in younger children that are not actually problems, or at least not the kind that require medication with mind-altering drugs ( And yet these screenings have been critical in expanding the ranks of prescription drug users.

CEO Who Oversaw Mass Vioxx Deaths Now Teaching at Harvard and on Microsoft Board of Directors


Raymond Gilmartin’s landing was a soft one after leaving behind an embattled Merck. The one-time top executive of the leading pharmaceutical company, which was engulfed in the Vioxx controversy last decade, splits his time these days between teaching part-time at Harvard and serving on the boards of major corporations.

Gilmartin served as Merck’s president and CEO for 12 years (1994-2006) during troubles that stemmed from the company’s anti-arthritis medicine Vioxx. Despite knowing that Vioxx was potentially lethal, Merck put it on the market in 1999. Although a Food and Drug Administration study showed that perhaps 55,000 Americans died from heart attacks and strokes after using Vioxx, other sources indicated that upwards of 500,000 people—almost all of them older adults—may have died from the drug, which produced lawsuit after lawsuit against Merck. The company wound up settling for $4.85 billion.

Before it was pulled from the market in 2004, the drug was very profitable for Merck, earning about $2 billion per year in revenue at its peak. It also paid handsomely for Gilmartin, who reportedly made $50 million in just five of his years at the corporate helm.

After retiring from his post, Gilmartin joined the faculty of Harvard Business School, where, according to the school’s Web site, he still serves as an adjunct professor, teaching second-year MBA candidates to run businesses just like he did in a course called Building and Sustaining Successful Enterprises.

Gilmartin also serves on the boards of General Mills, Inc., and the Microsoft Corporation.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Italian court rules MMR vaccine did trigger autism

NYR Natural News

An Italian court has ruled there is a link between the MMR vaccine and autism.

In what may be a ground-breaking decision, the Italian Court of Rimini has ruled that causation between an MMR vaccine and the resulting autism in a young child “has been established.”

The unnamed child received the vaccine in March of 2004 and on returning home immediately developed adverse symptoms. During the next year the child regressed, receiving the autism diagnosis one year later and is now 100% disabled by the disease.

The Italian court ruled that the child “has been damaged by irreversible complications due to vaccination (prophylaxis trivalent MMR)” and ordered the Ministry of Health to compensate the child with a 15 year annuity and to reimburse the parents of their court cost.

The judgement can be found in full here and the original news report in Italian appears here. A rough Google translation appears here.

The case is expected to go to appeal as authorities are concerned it may set a legal precedent.

Not the first judgement against the vaccine

This, however, is the second recent judgement to come to this conclusion. Earlier this year a US court also ruled that the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine can cause autism.

In a ruling that kept very quiet in the press, the US Court of Federal Claims has conceded that the mercury-based preservative thimerosal, which was in vaccines until 2002, caused autism in the case of one child.

The ruling was just one of 4,900 cases currently being considered for compensation payments. Health officials are concerned that it could open the floodgates for even more claims.

The ruling, made by US Assistant Attorney General Peter Keisler, was made last November, and was one of three test cases into the MMR-autism link that was being considered by a three-member panel, which Keisler chaired.

The case involved a child who received nine vaccinations in July 2000, when she was 18 months old. Two of these contained thimerosal. Within days, the girl, who had previously been healthy, began to exhibit loss of language skills, no eye contact, loss of response to verbal direction, insomnia, incessant screaming, and arching.

A diagnosis of autism was confirmed seven months later.

In its defence, the US government claimed the girl had a pre-existing mitochondrial disorder that was aggravated by the vaccine. However in his conclusion, Keisler said that “compensation is appropriate”.

Too much heat, not enough light

Both findings would appear to support the controversial findings of Dr Andrew Wakefield who, in 1998 published an article in the Lancet suggesting a link between the vaccine and autism. Official reaction to the paper was of such force and such outrage that the Lancet withdrew the paper on the grounds that it was scientifically unsound.

Wakefield has been in a battle for his professional reputation ever since and the question of the proposed link between the MMR vaccine and autism has been largely sidelined (though not solved) by bitter and very public professional rows that have done little to bring clarity to concerned parents.

Read more here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Report Shows How Radiation Can Destroy DNA

Natural Society

The threat of radiation is constant and growing; too much radiation from medical testing and other sources is increasingly becoming a concern for many individuals around the world. The average child will receive more than seven radiation emitting scans for medical procedure by age 18, not to mention all of the background radiation emitted from cell phones, as well as other various electronic devices.

With the advent of the TSA body scanners, using deadly terahertz radiation only adds to the controversy. An array of DNA destroying and cancer causing devices pervade our natural lives.

A recent study conducted using THz radiation found that the radiation’s effects on genetic material are so devastating that they can actually destroy it. THz radiation effectively unzips the double helix strands, creating anomalies that would be detrimental to gene expression and replication. The report concludes by saying that TSA scanners are not only a gross invasion of privacy, but are also producing long term effects on human health that ultimately shorten the lifespan of those who are unfortunate enough to be affected by them.

Add this to the constant exposure from cell phones, cell phone towers, and other forms of radiation including x-rays from medical procedures, and you have a mega-radiation dose over time. Radiation is indeed harmful; there’s a reason why doctors leave the room after giving patients undergoing radiation a heavy lead coat.

The pervasive nature of this threat has even prompted the FDA to issue guidelines concerning radiation exposure and safety. This report notes of a proposal to create less dangerous scanners and technology in an attempt to mitigate the damage done, espically to younger individuals.

The fact that they would propose taking action shows that they know the effect of radiation is a real threat and causing damage daily. Taking this into account, you should also be aware of the dangers and necessity to protect yourself and others.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Autism Grows Up: Adult Autistic Man Asks of Autistic Boy, 'Will He Be Violent Like Me?'

Gaia Health

Autistic children grow up into autistic adults. The implications, on both society and the adults these children are becoming, are enormous. Lisa Joyce Goes gives us a taste of what's coming.

If you read Lisa Joyce Goes' first piece, Two Minutes in the Life of an Autism Mom Vs Normalization of Autismization, then you know what a day in the life of the mother of an autistic child can be. Now, Lisa has produced something powerful and explosive.

Autistic children grow into autistic adults. There are thousands—millions?—of them, and there are some hard truths that must be faced about them, their nature, and how we're going to deal with it. This is an epidemic the likes of which has never before been seen, and the implications are very nearly incomprehensible. Read of Lisa's experience with an adult autistic man, and wonder what the lives of autistic children will become when they're grown:

Three years ago I was thrown into the world of autism parenting thoroughly unprepared for the politics that came with it. At the time I didn't know that my son's school would fight me when I asked them to give him an enzyme with his lunch, despite the MD's note that accompanied my request (it wasn't listed in the FDA's 2007 book of approved drugs). I didn't know that dietary limitations are really "suggestions" unless I provided those feeding him with copious amounts of medical proof of his sensitivities. My word as his mom was simply not enough. At the time, I didn't know that we could have our younger son taken away from us for choosing not to vaccinate him. The medical reality of autism and his older brother's descent into neurological illness, bowel disease, iatrogenic central nervous system and mitochondrial damage after every "well-baby" (pharma-happy) visit--is entirely lost on government officials.

After several months of research and doctor visits we were literally drowning in contradictions. Autism, yes, no cure, metals are frightfully high, nothing to do with vaccinations, speech came after starting a gluten-free/casein-free diet, off the charts titres, clostridia, yeast, not immune to polio despite full vaccination, rubella causing sight problems. Thoroughly overwhelmed I decided to make a documentary to help myself track (what I hoped would be) the process of recovery. In hindsight this was a rather foolish endeavor as I was terribly naive about the film business. Still it's hard to regret the experience because I interviewed many parents, kids and adults with autism, doctors, industry experts and prominent members of autism non-profits. I might not have a film to show for it, but I got one hell of an education.

I recently caught up with a young man, we'll call him Carlton, who was one of the first adults with Autism I've had the privilege of interviewing. His dad is a hard-working man of humble means, who has always tried to do right by him and his neurotypical older sister. When we first met he could not believe I thought I could cure Noah of Autism. It wasn't that he found it foolish, he considered it confounding. As he puts it, "In the early 90's there was nothing. Nothing. We just walked away with a diagnosis and nothing else. We had no idea what to do for him. We just brought him home. "A lot of them grow up to be real bright," they said. We just always had real problems though. It was always hard." He and Carlton's mom divorced soon after the diagnosis. Carlton is now in his mid-twenties and his father is re-married. His second wife was under the impression that as he aged he would be less present in their lives. "This was not part of the deal" she told me. Carlton's sister, who has always been a big part of his life, recently married and started her own family. Carlton spends most of his time in a residential facility where he is medicated. Below is a snippet of our latest discourse. He met my son with Autism, Noah, only twice before this encounter.

Carlton: Hi Lisa. People call you LJ. How is Noah?

Me: Wow Carlton! You have a great memory. He is doing well. Thanks for asking.

Carlton: Will he be here today?

Me: No, he's working with his therapist today.

Carlton: You got him a therapist? Hmmm. Okay. What does the therapist do with him?

Me: Well, today she is helping him hold a pencil the right way, helping him write his name. Then she will take him to the park and teach him to follow her instructions and play on the playground equipment. She's helping him learn to go to the bathroom, too.

Carlton: That's nice. So you love Noah.

Me: Oh my gosh, yes Carlton. I love him with my whole heart and soul.

Carlton: Yeah, you love him a lot. Hmmm. That's nice. Even though he has Autism? Do you think he has emotional problems? Like me.

Me: He loves me even though I don't have Autism, so why wouldn't I love him because he does? It would be pretty awful if we had to not love people for being different. If that were true I wouldn't have anyone to love. Just thinking about it makes me sad. I don't think Noah has emotional problems. Why do you think you have emotional problems?

Carlton: Is he violent like me?

Me: What do you mean?

Carlton: Sometimes I can be bad. I hope I don't have to go to prison. If I do have to go to prison would you visit me? Because I would call you up and ask you to come because I don't think anyone would visit me. But I would still call all my friends and tell them where I was and say that I would like for them to come visit.

Me: You are not bad Carlton. I think sometimes it's just hard for you to make the right decisions. It's hard for all of us to make right decisions, sometimes. I would visit you in prison but I hope you never have to go there. It's not a nice place.

Carlton: Yeah, but you know that one time, with the the cops...I almost got tasered by the cops. Would you love him still if he got tasered by the cops and had to go to prison? That's really bad.

Me: I love Noah, no matter what--even if he had to go to prison. I am trying to get him better so we don't have to worry about that happening. Noah is not a bad boy and you are not a bad man.

Carlton: Yeah. You think you can get him better from autism?

Me: I hope so. Noah is really sick. He's got lots of viruses in his body and he doesn't feel very good a lot of the time. If you could get better and not have Autism would you want that?

Carlton: I do not want to have Autism. No. I don't.

Me: Can you tell me what it feels like to have Autism, Carlton?

Carlton: I don't know. It's hard. (He looks down, starts to fidget. I overhear his dad tell the friend I have with me that his meds don't seem to be working today. Carlton takes a step towards me, grabs my wrist and yanks off a few of my bracelets. He starts shaking them and staring at the bigger silver balls connecting the longer strands of beads) Does Noah hit you sometimes?

Me: Yes, he does. I hope when Noah can control his body better he won't hit so much. I know he knows that hitting is wrong.

Carlton: Hitting is wrong. Does it hurt?

Me: Yeah. Sometimes it hurts.

Carlton: Oh. Do you get mad?

Me: Yes, I do. I try not to get too upset though. It just makes it worse.

Carlton: Yeah, do you think Noah would like me? Since I have Autism too.

Me: I think he would think you are great. You would like him too. He can talk now. He couldn't talk the last time you saw him.

Carlton: You don't think he would want to hold me down when I get upset?

Me: I don't think so. You are so much bigger than him though--he couldn't hold you down.

Carlton: No, he probably couldn't. Okay tell him I said "hi." It would be funny if we went to prison together. Wouldn't that be funny?

Carlton is a big man. Not fat, but tall and broad. He probably would have made an outstanding football player. He has had multiple run-ins with the law. He has hurt his family members during his meltdowns. I suppose many people in Carlton's life regard him as a mental health bomb. A "bad" bomb that is programmed to go off at anytime, because of his "emotional problems". Even Carlton is scared of Carlton. I would be lying if I said I was not startled when he grabbed my wrist. I had my daughter nearby when he stepped toward me and I felt an instant compulsion to shield her. It feels terribly hypocritical being frightened of someone I believe I am ultimately trying to protect.

I thought of this discussion with Carlton when someone who'd read an old article of mine suggested I "...just love Noah and everything will be okay." I wonder how Carlton's father, after years of watching Carlton get bullied and abused would have responded to that statement. After years of bolting upright every time the phone rang in the middle of the night fearing the unthinkable, "I'm sorry sir but Carlton seems to have wandered away."

The truth that no one with a small child with autism wants to hear, is that someday, our precious children could very well be in Carlton's shoes. My precious little boy could grow into Carlton's llife. Carlton is someone's precious boy. Carlton is someone's loved, precious boy. Despite the two decades separating Noah and Carlton, many similarities exist. They both possess a charming innocence, an observant demeanor, and beguiling smiles. Except, Carlton's visage reveals a mouth full of teeth someone stopped caring for long ago. Brown spots, pits and cavities mar his otherwise perfectly straight teeth, set in a beautifully aligned jaw. I can't help but think somewhere along the lines someone stopped caring. What does it matter, anyway? Why does he need to have beautiful teeth? What is he going to do with them?

I'm sorry, but no. No. Just loving Noah will not make everything okay. It is not okay to put a great big feel good, happy-face heart stamp on the horrific tragedy that is Autism. Like the horrendously wasteful campaign for "awareness", the "love is enough" notion is a master disguise for the "avoid conflict, avoid the truth, and keep the peace at all costs" agenda. Love, awareness, and peace are simply words that feel good but are meaningless without real world application. Real peace, like recovery, has a price, and it is not paid by everyone sitting around talking about what a blessing the Autism epidemic is. It takes time, energy, resources, work, education, tireless investigation, review, and correction!

I sit in the waiting rooms of my son's therapy centers, doctors’ offices and educational facilities along side countless parents of beautiful little zombies with dark circles under their eyes and gaping eczema wounds on their arms and legs who bump into walls, furniture, and each other with no regard for their own safety or surroundings. Their moms, as they affectionately dole out sips of coke and bites of Doritos, have no idea what is happening in their own country, their own doctor's offices, their own their own children. They love their kids, as I love Noah, as you love your children. This is not nor has it ever been called into question.

Love will only make everything okay if we are afforded the opportunity to teach it as a guiding principle to OUR GOVERNMENT, whose policies favor pharmaceutical companies over damaged children. Love will make everything okay if those who refuse to accept, acknowledge, and investigate the autism epidemic will stop harming, judging, blackballing, suing, threatening, and destroying those who do. And vice versa, our community is not without fault. Our children's victimization does not exempt us from standing up for others or conducting our own investigations--quite the opposite—it compels us. Ultimately, and I guess the commentator was right on this: Love will indeed make everything okay if it provokes us to action, to set aside our differences and join together to fight for our children's lives, their health and their future. For Carlton, Noah, and all our children we must, at the very least, try.

Related stories: CDC to Announce New Autism Rate of 1 in 88, and Likely to Declare “No Public Health Emergency” and “No Epidemic”

First pink slime, now 'meat glue

Seattle Times

Every day, millions of Americans likely are putting something in their mouths that contains a substance called "meat glue" by critics of the food industry. The additive with the unappetizing nickname is used to produce meats found in supermarkets, in local delis and in restaurants ranging from fast food to fine dining. Even vegetarian food isn't exempt.

Marketing consultants and food scientists estimate — because no company will discuss sales figures — that 11 percent to 35 percent of all packaged and sliced ham, beef, chicken, fish, pizza toppings and other deli products are enhanced, restructured or molded using the meat glue, made from one of two brands of protein adhesive.

While federal laws require labeling, a spot-check of meat purveyors and restaurant suppliers found almost no companies listed the substances among their products' ingredients.

Further, 10 meat and cold-cut processors and fast-food outlets — including Tyson Food, Cargill Meats, McDonald's and Arby's — were contacted, but all declined to discuss whether they used transglutaminase or blood-extract products, saying either it was proprietary, or, if they did use them, it need not be reported because the binders were considered a "processing aid."

Like the "pink slime" used as a cheap ground-beef filler, meat glue is not considered a health risk by federal food watchdogs.

Nonetheless, consumers recently reacted with revulsion to the presence of pink-slime filler in ground meat, ultimately leading to the closing of three processing plants and the removal of the additive from some restaurants' fare.

Whether meat glue will meet the same fate, the lack of disclosure is the same in critics' eyes.

"For decades, the meat industry has conveniently operated in the dark, not sharing the dirty details of their practices with the public, while the federal government looked the other way," said Michele Simon, a policy consultant for the Center for Food Safety. "But now, consumers are demanding to know the truth about what they are."

One of the two most common forms of meat glue used in this country is Activa, a white powder form of a natural coagulantlike enzyme called transglutaminase. (The popular yogurt Activia has no connections to Activa.)

The other is Fibrimex, made of enzymes extracted from pig or beef blood by a process developed in The Netherlands.

Both products were designed and sold, their advertising says, to bond pieces of protein or irregularly shaped meat so it can be cut and cooked evenly by the food-service industry.

Truth in labeling

Food scientists say the two cold-binding agents are used to reduce use of sodium phosphate, sodium alginate, carrageenan, sodium caseinate and other chemicals that had been used for decades to form and mold meat.

Not knowing Activa and Fibrimex are in certain foods can present problems for people with religious and dietary beliefs or special needs.

How can Jews, Muslims and others who don't eat pork products know whether pig-blood extracts are holding together their chicken or fish pieces?

What about vegans and vegetarians who might not want to eat "meatless" hot dogs, sausage and luncheon meats containing bovine blood or the fermented enzymes?

"There may be economic adulteration going on here, and the (Department of Agriculture) or the (Food and Drug Administration) needs to look at whether laws are being violated," said Tony Corbo, legislative representative for the national consumer group Food & Water Watch.

"We are especially appalled that certain consumers' religious beliefs may be unknowingly violated because food manufacturers are hiding what goes into the production of these binding agents."

Cold-bonding agents

Meat glue drew attention last year when an Australian YouTube video showed a meat specialist sprinkling white powder on pieces of fat, gristle and other waste beef, covering it in plastic wrap and chilling it.

Hours later, the pieces had transformed into a long log of solid meat, which then was cut into expensive-looking tenderloins.

These cold-bonding agents are being used at the top and bottom of the food chain, from fine chefs to cut-rate meat purveyors.

Meat-glue additives also are used in thousands of other food products.

A partial list of uses for transglutaminase can be found on the website of Hela Spice Canada, a subsidiary of a major German food-additive and ingredient supplier, Hela, that exports to the U.S., and 10 other countries (

The site says different formulations of Activa can be used for fast-food chicken nuggets and boneless wings, fish sticks, boneless barbecue ribs, roast beef, pastrami, turkey roast and hams.

Major pizza chains buy the additive for toppings including pepperoni, Italian sausage, bacon crumble and salami, according to the website.

Supermarket-brand roasts, sausages, kebabs, hams, poultry pieces, pork, beef and many high-end cuts of beef and pork also contain it.

The website also emphasizes what food-design consultants say is a growing use of transglutaminase in vegetarian meat substitutes.

Walter Knecht, president of Hela Spice Canada, declined to comment.

He referred all inquiries to transglutaminase maker Ajinomoto, a Japanese company with offices in Chicago, which said in a statement that it discloses all ingredients.

Other uses

Interviews with more than 60 industry or academic food scientists, physicians and government-safety regulators revealed other, unanticipated uses for the meat-glue additives.

These include imitation seafood, gyro meat, hundreds of baked goods, tofu, pasta, vegetables, cereals and dairy products such as yogurt. That use is growing, they add.

Still, as with pink slime, you won't find meat glue on a list of ingredients.

More than 130 meats and deli products checked in Seattle, Milwaukee, Omaha and Denver in the past five months contained the adhesives mixtures, food scientists say.

Only four — all bolognas — had the word "enzymes" on the ingredient label.

But "enzymes," "transglutaminase," "thrombin" and "blood byproducts" were not listed on the labels for the remainder.

Regulations from the FDA and the USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service (USIS) list specific words that must appear on ingredient labels of products containing transglutaminase or the animal-blood extracts fibrinogen and thrombin.

In 2000, when federal officials first granted permission for Ajinomoto to market French-made transglutaminase in the United States, the USDA required the company tell consumers they were buying "beef tenderloin formed with water and transglutaminase enzyme," according to USDA and FDA documents.

Ajinomoto balked; it wanted to say that its products were "formed" or "re-formed" or made with enzymes as part of the product name, such as "formed beef tenderloin."

Ajinomoto, which in 1901 developed the sometimes-controversial flavor enhancer monosodium glutamate, or MSG, got its way.

Similar language was created for the blood-product maker Fibrimex to use on its products.

Rick Young, regional sales manager of Fibrimex maker FX Technologies in its Fremont, Neb., office, produced a copy of page 14 of USDA's labeling bible, the Food Standard and Labeling Policy Book.

The book required phrases such as "Fibrinogen and Thrombin Plasma Protein" or "Bacon Wrapped Beef Tenderloin Steak Formed with Beef Fibrinogen and Thrombin."

Both FX Technologies and Ajinomoto say they properly disclose the ingredients of their additives to their food-manufacturer customers. And they said it is their understanding that manufacturers are labeling their products correctly.

In a statement last week, the nutrition and health division of Ajinomoto said all meat to which transglutaminase has been added is labeled properly, as government regulations require.

"This is a requirement. There is no 'secret,' " the statement said.

However, at the Institute of Food Technologists conference in New Orleans last June, Ajinomoto personnel repeatedly told potential customers their company has no way of demanding or forcing users of its transglutaminase to follow FDA or USIS labeling laws.