Thursday, October 30, 2008

FDA Shielding Drug Companies, Lost Press Freedom

Hot Docs: Is FDA Shielding Drug Companies From Lawsuits?; Presidential Transitions

Today's selection of timely reports

Posted October 30, 2008

FDA Changed Drug Labeling Rules to Help Manufacturers Avoid Lawsuits: In recent years, the Food and Drug Administration has changed its rules for drug labeling to help shield drug companies from lawsuits, a practice that a new House report calls "a serious abuse of the agency's public health authorities." The new labeling procedures require that important new information about drug interactions or side effects be approved by the FDA before it can be added to the label. A report prepared by the Democratic staff members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform reveals that career FDA employees objected to these 2006 and 2008 changes in regulation but were overruled by Bush administration appointees. According to the House report, in at least two cases, manufacturers asked to update their labeling to warn of important, newly discovered health risks, but the changes were delayed for months by the agency's review process. The report asks "whether FDA has acted in the best interests of public health," saying, "The agency's actions have undoubtedly helped shield drug manufacturers from liability. According to the agency's own experts, however, they have done so at the cost of delaying the dissemination of important safety information to the public."

Press Freedom in the United States: The nongovernmental Freedom House praises the "strong tradition" of a free press in the United States but pauses to note that this freedom has been "under strain" over the past five years. A newly released chapter from the group's publication "Today's American: How Free" observes that "legal protections for journalists have weakened in recent years," "access to official information has been circumscribed, and reporters' ability to cover both foreign and domestic events has been, at times, curtailed." The report points to the tight restrictions placed after 9/11 as well as attempts by the administration "to control or influence news coverage" as factors that have caused this change. Freedom House also describes legal and economic challenges facing the press. Still, the report concludes that the fact that reporters continue to break important stories revealing government misdeeds "is perhaps the best evidence that the American press remains free and robust."

A "Wasted" Vote; You want "change"? I got your change

A Wasted Vote
by Chuck Baldwin
October 10, 2008
Full story

When asked why they will not vote for a third party candidate, many people will respond by saying something like, "He cannot win." Or, "I don't want to waste my vote." It is true: America has not elected a third party candidate since 1860. Does that automatically mean, however, that every vote cast for one of the two "major party" candidates is not a wasted vote? I don't think so.

In the first place, a "wasted" vote is a vote for someone you know does not represent your own beliefs and principles. A wasted vote is a vote for someone you know will not lead the country in the way it should go. A wasted vote is a vote for the "lesser of two evils." Or, in the case of John McCain and Barack Obama, what we have is a choice between the "evil of two lessers."

Albert Einstein is credited with saying that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result. For years now, Republicans and Democrats have been leading the country in the same basic direction: toward bigger and bigger government; more and more socialism, globalism, corporatism, fascism, and foreign interventionism; and the dismantling of constitutional liberties. Yet, voters continue to think that they are voting for "change" when they vote for a Republican or Democrat. This is truly insane!


"Who is this person?" you ask. Go here to find out:

http://www.baldwin08.com/

As John Quincy Adams said, "Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost."

This column is archived as http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/c2008/cbarchive_20081010.html

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Evidence Gap

The Evidence Gap

For Widely Used Drug, Question of Usefulness Is Still Lingering

By ALEX BERENSON

When the Food and Drug Administration approved a new type of cholesterol-lowering medicine in 2002, it did so on the basis of a handful of clinical trials covering a total of 3,900 patients. None of the patients took the medicine for more than 12 weeks, and the trials offered no evidence that it had reduced heart attacks or cardiovascular disease, the goal of any cholesterol drug.

“I don’t think the answer on Zetia is in,” said Dr. Robert J. Temple of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

The Evidence Gap

Cholesterol Drugs

Articles in this series will explore medical treatments used despite scant proof they work and will consider steps toward medicine based on evidence.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I do not believe congress is listening.

Susan,

I read all your notices and am a great admirer of what you try to do for our pet's health. I am so glad to see that many of your articles make their way into [YYYYYYYYY] reports, as these avenues reach so many people. Furthermore, I forward many of your postings to my blog site; (http://worthmotherearth.blogspot.com/)

I would be willing (and others more so, I am sure) to sign my name to an on-line petition, or make use of a well written form letter that could be e-mailed with individuals filling in their name, zip code or e-mail address-- like other action notices I have seen and used. "Ease of action" would, I think, be "better" for the well meaning, but unorganized, uninformed, confused or procrastinating person)... Let us all know through your notices of what can be done.

However, I have no idea what would be effective given the scope of the blatantly obvious governmental neglect and violations of not only this issue, but SO MANY others (not to mention deterioration of Constitutional rights and personal freedoms). I am on disability and can hardly afford to eat correctly or I would be funding the fight on so many levels. Perhaps this is the long standing fundamental problem in congress, indeed, America---Greed and the power of money. It is without fail, the poorest that have the least effect, and yet, the most to lose.

I do not believe congress is listening to the people. Not, at all...

My example to this... A clear and huge majority of the American people did not want this recent gambling crap shoot, "Bail-out" for the wealthy. Fact is, Congress was overwhelmingly flooded with e-mail and phone calls saying "NO",... Sen. Ron Paul tried to explain the negative economics of this disastrous idea... but they (majority vote) did it anyway. And now the "Bail-out" is failing. Who do you suppose will now have to pay for this mess??.... Certainly not the already wealthy fat cats that got "bonuses", "golden parachutes", and pension payouts from the bail-out. Not Bush or any other government official (their retirement funds are secure, by "law"!!).

I am so sorry to say, my mentor and fellow pet lover friend, Americans no longer stand up ENOUGH to fight injustice. (Bush is STILL in office, for Pete's sake). Diversity is used to separate us (rather than unite us in freedom of choice), making it easy to pick us off separately while most people think (this or that) "specifically does not effect me, so I don't care about it". I do not know if too many people are lazy, personally comfortable, afraid to say something, over-medicated, ignorantly poisoned, willfully apathetic, or just plain blindly stupid to see the way the U.S. is rotting away right in front of "We the people" who are supposed to be keeping it in line.

Still, people call me "crazy" and a "ranter",,, so what, really, is left to do?? Reason is obsolete. I am at a loss.

Sincerely,
Patrick Wood

FDA Breaks Law against Pets

Are you thinking, yet?

So how long do you really think it will be, before the government and it's agencies do something that DOES effect YOUR families LIFE? Wake up and demand they do what is right. WHAT is it going to take?

In case you are not aware, you and your family are ALREADY being effected, in more ways than one.......
Patrick

Undeniable Proof the FDA allows Pet Food to Break the Law

Susan Thixton



This time…with your help, we CAN Change Pet Food.


The FDA website, on a page regarding pet foods, proudly cites the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). With reading just a few of the FD&C Act laws, and a little reading on the FDA website, there is absolute proof that the FDA ignores Federal Law. It’s time for pet owners to take this proof to the FDA’s boss – Congress.

The United States Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act is a set of laws passed by Congress giving authority to the FDA to oversee the safety of food, drugs, and cosmetics. Quoting the FDA web page titled ‘Pet Food’: “The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) requires that pet foods, like human foods, be pure and wholesome, safe to eat, produced under sanitary conditions, contain no harmful substances, and be truthfully labeled.” http://www.fda.gov/cvm/petfoods.htm. Federal law requires it, but the FDA ignores it; choosing to protect the interests of business and industry instead of abiding by the law and protecting our pets.

Federal Law states that NO food should be adulterated; NO human or animal food can contain any part of a diseased animal or contain any part of an animal that has died other than by slaughter.


The FDA website tells pet food manufacturers they will NOT enforce this law.


To give you a complete understanding, here are the applicable quotes from the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act laws. http://www.fda.gov/opacom/laws/fdcact/fdcact3.htm

  • Section 201 (f) provides the definition of food: “The term ‘food’ means (1) articles used for food or drink for man or other animals, (2) chewing gum, and (3) articles used for components of any such article.”
  • Section 301 Prohibited Acts and Penalties: (a) “The introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of any food, drug, device, or cosmetic that is adulterated or misbranded.” (c) “The receipt in interstate commerce of any food, drug, device, or cosmetic that is adulterated or misbranded, and the delivery or proffered delivery thereof for pay or otherwise.”
  • Section 402 Adulterated food: “A food shall be deemed to be adulterated – (a) Poisonous, insanitary, or deleterious ingredients.” (a)(5) “if it is, in whole or in part, the product of a diseased animal or of an animal which has died otherwise than by slaughter;”

Now, here is what the FDA website states about Federal Law 402(a)(5):

“Pet food consisting of material from diseased animals or animals which have died otherwise than by slaughter, which is in violation of 402(a)(5) will not ordinarily be actionable, if it is not otherwise in violation of the law. It will be considered fit for animal consumption.”

http://www.fda.gov/ora/compliance_ref/cpg/cpgvet/cpg690-300.html

The FDA, despite Federal law, decided that diseased animals or animals which have died other than by slaughter, is safe for your pet to eat. In other words, the FDA is telling pet owners: ‘Yes, we realize there is a law against this, but we’re not going to do anything about it.’

From the same FDA webpage:

“The pet food canning industry utilizes undecomposed animal and marine tissues from various sources. These include products of the rendering industry such as various meat, poultry, and bone meals; meat scraps and offal from packing house waste, freshly boned-out animals; and occasionally meat from animals that may have died otherwise than by slaughter. Before processing, many of these commodities may be considered in violation of *402(a)(5)*, however, the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) is aware of no instances of disease or other hazard occurring from canned packing house offal or the tissues of animals that may have died otherwise than by slaughter.”

Just to be clear, Federal law does NOT allow into ANY food, a diseased animal or animal that has died other than by slaughter – regardless if the food or food ingredient is processed or not. Some pet food ingredients are approved for use by GRAS – Generally Recognized as Safe – standards; animals that are diseased or that have died other than by slaughter are NOT GRAS!


This is in complete violation of Federal law.


There is NO scientific evidence provided by the FDA or the CVM to substantiate the claim they are ‘not aware of disease or other hazards’ occurring from animals that consume this material.

In contradiction to the above, another page from the FDA website admits the risk of pets consuming diseased animals or animals that have died other than by slaughter.

http://www.fda.gov/ora/compliance_ref/cpg/cpgvet/cpg690-500.html


“CVM is aware of the sale of dead, dying, disabled, or diseased (4-D) animals to salvagers for use as animal food. Meat from these carcasses is boned and the meat is packaged or frozen without heat processing. The raw, frozen meat is shipped for use by several industries, including pet food manufacturers, zoos, greyhound kennels, and mink ranches. This meat may present a potential health hazard to the animals that consume it and to the people who handle it.”

The FDA’s stance on animals – Your Pet – consuming a pet food made from dead, dying, disabled, or diseased animals: ‘We know it’s a risk, we know it’s against the law, but we don’t care; we’ve got to protect industry.’

The FDA’s action to allow 4-D animals to be processed into pet food is not only against the law, it proves the FDA is looking out for the interests of big business instead of pets and pet owners. Without pet food being the dumping ground for 4-D animals and other by-products, these waste ingredients would need to be destroyed by incineration; removing a profit source for industry and turning it into an expense.

Pet Food related industries have been protected by the FDA for years. The livestock and rendering industries have complained to the FDA for many years that the expense of disposing of BSE (mad cow disease) related animal parts (brain and spinal column only) would be too costly; these industries have successfully delayed the ban of BSE materials – also known as Specified Risk Materials – from pet food since 2001. http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/dailys/01/Mar01/031501/c004175.pdf. As it stands right now, in April 2009 Specified Risk Materials from BSE suspect animals will no longer be allowed in pet food. This is the brain and spinal column only. The rest of a suspect mad cow diseased animal, or any other diseased animal, or any animal that has died other than by slaughter, will continue to be allowed in pet foods.

4-D animals – approved by the FDA for use in pet food – also can contain drugs; again, despite Federal law against this. In 2000 and 2002 the FDA, under pressure from practicing veterinarians, tested dog foods purchased directly from store shelves. They found the drug phenobarbital in many of these dog foods. Phenobarbital's is the drug used to euthanize animals; including dogs and cats. It has been rumored for many years that euthanized dogs and cats, along with other 4-D animals are rendered and become ingredients in pet food. The FDA attempted to scientifically disprove the rumor by testing for a species source of the phenobarbital euthanized animal in dog food. Their results showed NO conclusive proof of species source of the drug.

http://www.fda.gov/cvm/FOI/DFreport.htm.

Pet food ingredients that could possibly contain a 4-D animal are: ‘Meat and Bone Meal’, ‘Meat Meal’ (not meals that are meat specific such as ‘chicken meal’), ‘By-Product Meal’, ‘Animal Digest’, and ‘Animal Fat’. The two most commonly used pet food ingredients from this list would be by-product meal and animal fat. Some of the most popular pet foods available use these ingredients. According to Federal Law – specifically section 402 (a)(5) of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act – all pet foods and treats that contain the ingredients meat and bone meal, meat meal, by-product meal, animal digest, and/or animal fat, the companies that manufacture them, the companies that transport them, and the companies that sell them – are in violation of Federal law and subject to fines and penalties.

One more piece of evidence to prove the FDA ignores Federal law is under the category of misbranded food. Quoting the FD&C Act: Section 403 Misbranded food: “A food shall be deemed to be misbranded – “False or misleading label. If (1) its labeling is false or misleading in any particular, or (2) in the case of a food to which section 411 applies, its advertising is false or misleading in a material respect or its labeling is in violation of section 411(b)(2).” Pet food regulations are developed by AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials) and are completely accepted by the FDA. In complete defiance of Federal law, AAFCO regulations allow pet food manufacturers to misbrand pet foods. Regulation PF7 of the AAFCO manual, category Nutritional Adequacy: (a) “The label of a pet food or specialty pet food which is intended for all life stages of the pet or specialty pet may include an unqualified claim, directly or indirectly, such as ‘complete and balanced’, ‘perfect’, ‘scientific’ or ‘100% nutritious’…”

Federal Law states misbranding of a food is when the label provides misleading information; AAFCO and the FDA ignore the law and allow pet foods to make misleading claims. Every pet food label that has been allowed to make an “unqualified claim, directly or indirectly” is in direct violation of Federal Law.


This has to stop.

The FDA should not – Can Not – be allowed to ignore Federal law.


I have a plan to force the FDA to abide by Federal law, but I need help from a few pet owners in every state across the U.S. Here is the plan…

A bunch of little dogs and cats take on the Big Dogs!

This is an FDA compliance issue; the FDA’s compliance with Federal Law. While some pet owners might feel angst and anger against pet food manufacturers, responsibility lies firmly on the FDA. Our plan will be to force the FDA to comply with Federal law. It must be noted that the likely response from the FDA will be to blame AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials who develops the animal feed regulations accepted by the FDA). These two organizations work together; the FDA flatly accepts AAFCO regulations and ingredient definitions. Regardless of AAFCO’s role in ignoring Federal law, ultimate responsibility to protect food in the U.S. – human and pet food – lies within the FDA.

Petitioning the FDA would be futile. The FDA website provides information for consumers regarding “Making your Voice Heard at FDA”; including how to submit a petition to the FDA. http://www.fda.gov/opacom/backgrounders/voice.html This webpage clearly states that “FDA management decides whether to grant a petition” and that the process “may take several weeks to more than a year”. We can assume FDA management would not take a petition from pet owners seriously (especially since they don’t even take Federal law seriously).

Instead, our efforts will be directed to the FDA’s boss, Congress; the elected Officials in Washington working for you (and who don’t want bad press when they don’t do their job). I need several ‘volunteers’ from every state to write a letter to your Representative in Congress (I’ll provide you with a sample letter) insisting that the FDA be forced to abide by Federal Law, AND requesting a written response from your Representative explaining what they plan to do about this issue. All of the responses from Congress will be posted on TruthaboutPetFood.com. When the letters start rolling into Washington, and when every member of Congress finds out that 74 million U.S. pet owners will be watching what they do, and reading each Congressional response to this issue (and the media, as well as pet owners all over the world), maybe, just maybe, we can force the FDA to stop this abuse of the law.


No government agency should be allowed to violate Federal law. No dog food, cat food, or pet treat should contain even the slightest bit of a diseased, dead, disabled, or dying animal; every pet food should be labeled honestly. The law provides this for our pets.


Please email me at StoptheFDA@TruthaboutPetFood.com if you are willing to contact your Representative and become a part in this effort to change pet food (please make sure to send me the state you are from). After the election, I will provide you with an example letter, basically citing the specific laws that are not being enforced by the FDA; feel free to add any and all personal touches to your letter. You write the letter and forward the response you receive back to me. It will not take much of your time, and our result could mean pets nationwide would be saved from eating pet foods and treats made from 4-D animals, and improved pet food labeling. And it could mean the satisfaction that together we held the FDA accountable.

Please consider becoming part of this effort.

Together we can change the future of pet food.

This effort will not begin until after the up-coming election. Hopefully, we can reach some newly elected members of Congress who wish to properly represent those that elected them. If this effort is to be successful, we need letters and emails from pet owners from each state to every Representative in Congress. And we need the response from and action plan to stop the FDA from ignoring the law from every member in Congress. After the election I will develop a webpage on TruthaboutPetFood.com listing the volunteers we have for each state; only your name will be listed on TruthaboutPetFood.com, I will NOT publish your email or any other personal information (everyone who helps in this deserves a credit). This same page will eventually contain all the responses we receive from Congress. Please become a part of this, we need every state represented. And please, forward this request to other pet owners you feel will want to help.

Wishing you and your pet the best,

Susan Thixton

Truth about Pet Food

Petsumer Report

www.TruthaboutPetFood.com

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Naomi Wolf; "THE END OF AMERICA"


http://www.myamericaproject.org/

    center for constitutional rights    
   

Dear CCR Supporter,

Today is the online premiere of the movie "THE END OF AMERICA" - a feature-length documentary based on Naomi Wolf's bestselling book of the same name. You can watch the web stream of it now by going to the MyAmericaProject website.

CCR's Michael Ratner and Maria LaHood as well as our client Maher Arar are featured in "THE END OF AMERICA," and CCR is privileged to partner in this online premiere.

screenshot of The End of America

Watch THE END OF AMERICA online now

You can also screen THE END OF AMERICA for your friends and neighbors one of two ways - you have a unique opportunity to get a copy of the film now before it hits stores in early 2009. Host a free public screening of the film before November 4, 2008 and they'll provide you with a free DVD. Show it at school, work or place of worship; take it to your local coffee shop or bar; urge organizations you're a member of to host a free screening. They'll send you posters and postcards to promote your event. For more information contact info@myamericaproject.org. You can also support the project by purchasing a special Election Edition DVD, available to Center for Constitutional Rights members through this indiepix films on-line store link.

Naomi Wolf, a long-time supporter and ally of CCR, set out on a national tour over the past year to discuss the evolution of America from a functional democracy into a closed, fear-driven society with a terrifying absence of due process. She lays out what she calls the 10 steps necessary to end a democracy and shows us just how close we are to completing them:

  1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy.
  2. Create secret prisons where torture takes place.
  3. Develop a thug caste or paramilitary force not answerable to citizens.
  4. Set up an internal surveillance system.
  5. Harass citizens' groups.
  6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release.
  7. Target key individuals.
  8. Control the press.
  9. Treat all political dissents as traitors.
  10. Suspend the rule of law.

In her film, Naomi Wolf makes a plea for Americans to stand up and fight for our most cherished rights. One thing you can do is check out our new 100 Days Campaign (with this link) and stay tuned for ways to get involved in telling the next administration what they must to do to restore, protect and expand our constitutional rights.

Sincerely,

Annette Warren-Dickerson
Director of Education and Outreach

   
 

This email was sent to the address: flyntofdallas@sbcglobal.net.
Click here to unsubscribe from CCR Emails.

 
  Center for Constitutional Rights ll 666 Broadway 7th floor NY, NY 10012 ll 212-614-6464 ll www.ccrjustice.org  
     


Sunday, October 26, 2008

[Fwd: Nancy Pelosi, M.I.A.]


Nancy Pelosi, M.I.A
The coward is hiding....

Cindy [Sheehan] for Congress demanded that Nancy Pelosi debate her opponents in a face to face debate. As of today, of course, her campaign has ignored our requests. When we have run into her staff out in the city (twice), the response has been: "no answer, yet." When we call her office, as hundreds of people have, we get the run around. Nancy Pelosi has not held a town hall meeting here in the district since 2006. She did come here once a few months ago to hawk her book, but since then: nothing. Nancy Pelosi is obviously running out the clock on debate like she ran out the clock on impeachment. We feel that it is imperative for her to publicly answer for her record and show some respect for her constituents and the democratic process. We believe that leadership takes the courage to face challenges, not run from them like Nancy Pelosi has.

Cindy sat for an Editorial Review Board at the SF Chronicle (that either coddles Pelosi, ignores our campaign, or ridicules it), and talked at length about economics and peace. So far, there has been no intelligent, thoughtful or non-biased reporting of that meeting. Cindy for Congress has been forced to buy our own mainstream media spots to get our message out. Recent polls show that 86% of people in this district feel "worse off" then they did two years ago and according to a recent California Field Poll, Pelosi has only a 32% approval rating here in San Francisco.

Don't you agree that Pelosi needs to answer for her record on important issues that are compromising our lives and our district? Non-impeachment, Constitutional debasement, torture, war, spying, offshore drilling, corporate welfare, economic emergencies, ethics questions, privatization, gentrification, affordable housing, education, mass transit, energy costs, etc are some of the many challenges and crises facing us today.

Cindy is always on the side of the people.

Nancy is always on the side of the people who are corporate elitists.

We have 10 days left until the election. Please help us get our message out. Please donate. We also need canvassers, phone callers, envelope stuffers, or anything else you can help with. http://cindyforcongress.org/ to volunteer to help.

Friday, October 24, 2008

"IN THE NAME OF THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD", Thank God!


Good news, very good news!

Thank God, the "powers that be" and Dr. Matthias Rath!!! Thank you; that someone is finally DOING SOMETHING!!! This is a must see pdf file, specifically naming and charging those puppets that initiate or allow crimes against humanity to continue....


Patrick

http://www4.dr-rath-foundation.org/pdf-files/hague_complaint.pdf

Complaint Against Genocide and Other Crimes Against Humanity Committed in Connection With The Pharmaceutical 'Business With Disease' And The Recent War Against Iraq



http://www4.dr-rath-foundation.org/The_Hague/complaint/index.html

This complaint is submitted to the International Criminal Court by Matthias Rath MD and others on behalf of the people of the world
The Hague, June 14, 2003

To the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court,
Senator Louis Moreno-Ocampo,
c/o International Court, Maanweg 174
NL-2516 AB Den Haag/The Hague

This complaint brings before the International Court of Justice (ICC) the greatest crimes ever committed in the course of human history. The accused are charged with causing injury to and the death of millions of people through the ‘business with disease’, war crimes and other crimes against humanity. These crimes fall under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.

The accused know that they will be held accountable for these crimes and they have therefore embarked on a global campaign to undermine the authority of the ICC in order to put themselves above international law and continue their crimes to the detriment of all mankind.

Therefore, the current complaint must be considered by the ICC with utmost urgency. Moreover, every natural person and every government is hereby called upon to join this complaint with the goal to once and for all terminate these crimes.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Why are we allowing the insane to rule?

U.S.: Female immigrants must get cancer vaccine

Safety, costs for 11- to 26-year-olds are questioned, but CDC supports rule
By MARY ENGEL Los Angeles Times
Oct. 22, 2008, 7:20PM
Full story

• Americans: About a quarter of U.S. teens — roughly 2.5 million girls — received at least one of the three-shot series in the vaccine's first full year of distribution, says the CDC.

• One state: Only Virginia has made Gardasil mandatory.

A cervical cancer vaccine that has been recommended only for U.S. residents has become a requirement for all new female immigrants ages 11 to 26, sparking an outcry over the order's safety and cost.

"It's outrageous," said Sara Sadhwani, project director for the Asian Pacific American Legal Center in Los Angeles. "It seems absolutely premature to mandate this for immigrant women."

Deaths and serious injuries from prescription drugs at record levels

Annual deaths by drug Reaction or interaction
Injuryboard

"The U.S. Government’s Center for Disease Control has reported that drug use, including prescription drugs, may actually account for as many fatal auto accidents as drunk driving. And in U.S. courts, thousands of injuries or deaths linked to defective FDA drugs are being settled or awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in damages each year."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Prescription drug injuries and deaths reach record levels
Los Angeles Times

By Thomas H. Maugh II
October 23, 2008
Full story

[This study does not include Vaccines]

"A watchdog group reports that 4,825 deaths and nearly 21,000 injuries occurred in the first three months of 2008. The drugs heparin and varenicline are cited as the most dangerous.

The number of deaths and serious injuries associated with prescription drug use rose to record levels in the first quarter of this year, with 4,825 deaths and nearly 21,000 injuries, a watchdog group said Wednesday.

Those numbers represent a nearly threefold increase in deaths from the previous quarter and a 38% increase in injuries from last year's quarterly average, according to the Horsham, Pa.-based Institute for Safe Medication Practices.


The increase in deaths during the first quarter was not dominated by any one drug. Instead, 10 drugs each caused more than 100 deaths, compared with an average of one to three drugs in previous quarters.

Many of the reports were linked to powerful painkillers or narcotics such as oxycodone, fentanyl, morphine, methadone and hydrocodone, all of which have a high potential for abuse.

Acetaminophen and ibuprofen were among the top 10 drugs causing both injuries and deaths. The drugs are often used in suicide attempts because they are easily accessible. Overdosing or prolonged usage of either of the over-the-counter medications can cause side effects including gastrointestinal damage and heart attacks."

Maugh is a Times staff writer.

thomas.maugh@latimes.com

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dangers of Cell Phones and Wi-Fi

European Governments Warn of Dangers of Cell Phones and Wi-Fi

Health Freedom Foundation and American Association for Health Freedom
http://www.healthfreedom.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12&Itemid=41
http://www.healthfreedom.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=563&Itemid=

The Alliance for Natural Health (ANH), our partner organization, recently posted an excellent article and accompanying commentary entitled "Electro-Spin." It summarized recent findings from both the US and Europe, such as:

• The 2007 Bio-Initiative Report from SUNY at Albany, which raised great concerns about the growing presence of radio frequency radiation;
• Germany’s official warnings to its citizens to reduce their exposure to cell phones, cell towers, and Wi-Fi because of the risk to their health from these sources of radiation;
• Sir William Stewart of Britain’s official protection watchdog, the Health Protection Agency, producing two reports that call for caution in the use of mobile phones. Sir Stewart also called for a review of the use of Wi-Fi in schools;
• Dr. Ronald Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, calling for caution in the use of cell phones by children.

The science behind this issue is sobering. Oram Miller, a building biologist in Minneapolis, has published his concern that the damage from cell phones, cordless phones, and Wi-Fi is cumulative: “There is no safe exposure.” And Dr. Helmut Ziehe of the International Institute for Bau-Biologie and Ecology, who helped introduce healthy building principles to the US, advocates sheltering one’s bedroom from electromagnetic radiation. Cellphone

George Carlo, MD, PhD, has posted a mandate in the form of an article entitled "Medical Alert: Cell Phones, Cordless & Wi-Fi Wireless Communication Produces Dangerous Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR)." His findings indicate that the use of cell phones in someone of a particular genetic predisposition can effectively “close" cell membranes, preventing the detoxification of deadly heavy metals including mercury. The effects of cell phones, cordless, and Wi-Fi communication devices on the cell membrane have spawned the growing diagnosis of Electromagnetic Sensitivity in the worldwide medical community. Moreover, Dr. Carlo eloquently connects the dots between the collapse of bee colonies and problems experienced with dairy cattle under high voltage wires. As Dr. Carlo points out, free Internet access is being sold to city officials as a boon to low-income individuals when the consequences to one’s health are only now unfolding.

While no one yet has the full picture on the short-term and long-term effects of cell phones, cordless, and Wi-Fi communication on human health, doctors of environmental medicine have been on the forefront both in research and clinical practice for the past five decades. And Europe is leading the way: ANH's "Electro-Spin" article notes that a major international conference on Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and Electro-Hypersensitivity is being hosted this November by ANH’s partner organization, the British Society for Ecological Medicine. Yet only recently has the American Medical Association even embraced the concept of environmental medicine.

The World Health Organization reported last year that more than one-third of all diseases in children under the age of five are directly caused by environmental exposure. That estimate may be very low now that the use of cell phones in third world countries is exploding. Scientific American calls the use of cell phones “the new cigarettes." In an earlier article, they published color photographs showing the penetration of cell phone radiation into human skulls, clearly illustrating that the skulls of children were much more adversely affected that the skulls of adults.

Dr. Damien Downing, ANH's medical director, says it best: “Once again we see industry profits being put before the health and welfare of the individual.” In the minds of many noted experts, there is irrefutable evidence that electromagnetic radiation has an adverse effect on health. Please support the physicians on the front line of environmental medicine who risk loss of their medical licenses to help those who are affected, and be sure to seek out a knowledgeable integrative physician in your area who can help you protect your exposure to environmental damage.

FDA Racket

Dear Friends,

I have been
personally affected by these forms of persecution, limiting my choice to use natural herbal supplements. The FDA has confiscated shipments of the supplements I choose to use to benefit my health. Then, they sent me a letter claiming "because they do not know what is in the bottles (even though they are clearly marked "Herbal Supplements"), they are "detained". Furthermore, they claim that "It appears like medicine" and because a United States Medical puppet (I mean, Dr.) did not "prescribe" them to me, I can not have them. The crown on top of the ass-hat that wrote the letter claimed that it was "in my best interest" and "for my safety"!!!!

Given all the FDA approved drugs that are KILLING people, I find this act of trying to prevent me from taking an all natural Chinese herb, enraging. I say to the FDA; "This is my body, stay out of my personal business of caring for it!!"

Please sign the petition at;
www.ReformFDA.org and spread the word........

As note to the side... I find it very interesting "Blumberg" is
currently Deputy Chief Counsel, Litigation.

Sincerely,
Patrick

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Big Pharma's Crimes Against Humanity

Big Pharma's Crimes Against Humanity
http://www4.dr-rath-foundation.org/The_Hague/complaint/complaint04.htm

See this link to the International Treaties supporting this complaint. Furthermore see the Accused; persons from the political and military, pharmaceutical companies, petrochemical corporations, financial groups, corporate lobbying and interest groups, members of international media, and other miscellaneous individuals.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Big Pharma Pushing Pet Drugs

Higher Profits for Big Pharma Selling Drugs to Pets

Within the last few years, large Pharmaceutical companies have introduced several ‘people’ drugs into the pet field. Many new drugs from doggie Prozac to weight loss drugs are already approved by the FDA. For pharmaceutical companies to gain FDA approval for animal drugs, the costs are greater than 250 times less than that to obtain FDA approval of a human drug. Pet owners can safely assume many more ‘people’ drugs will soon be pushed to their pets.


------------------------------------------------------


Are Vets Next to be pressured by Big Pharma?


by Susan Thixton

Full story

To a drug company, our pets are the perfect customer. They can’t complain about side effects, veterinarians are not familiar with Big Pharma’s high pressure tactics to get them to prescribe, prescribe, prescribe; and, drug makers don’t have to worry about any $1.4 billion settlement. The legal system doesn’t place any monetary value on our pets.


www.TruthaboutPetFood.com

DOING something, ANYTHING!

Dear friends,

I have long heard, seen and studied the problems with our nation and the Constitution which was written to protect us from the very things that have for eight years, and are happening now. My efforts have turned to DOING something, ANYTHING! Some believe the problems are insurmountable. I believe that would be the case if most of the average American just sits back and does nothing (DEFEATIST, STUPID OR IGNORANT) or expects "someone else" to DO something (LAZY, COMPLACENT). Here is one example of what we CAN do. This link contains issues and resolutions that we can demand the next puppet in the white house do. We must begin to DO everything we can... no matter how "small" it may seem. If anyone else has any ideas, please share... Patrick

http://ccrjustice.org/100days


Furthermore, this is from part of one of my blog posts.

I still think this is valuable information to use to vote those mother-F#$%ers out of office, no matter what you think your "political side" is. Truth is (and for a long time already), there is no longer any difference in "party". Only whether or not "We the People" wake up to the reality of what is happening and as a group stand up to the small few that we are allowing to commit these criminal behaviors against the rest of us.

How Congress Voted
Here is the list of those Congressional representatives who surrendered your economic future to "King Henry". A "Y" means a "Yes" vote (in favor of the financial bailout legislation).

This is, in essence, a list of those who have betrayed the People by conspiring to instigate acts of economic warfare against "We the People". Look for the "Y" ones that represent your area and vote them OUT OF OFFICE. Then spread this message to all you know and encourage them to do the same. This is one thing that we can do.

Surveys have proven the large majority of the American people did NOT want a bail out for the wealthy and flooded congress
with messages telling them so.

MAKE THEM JOBLESS AS EXAMPLE OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF WHAT THEY HAVE DONE TO US.


("N" means they voted No. "Y" means they voted "Yes",-FOR THE BILL TO PASS.)

ALABAMA
Democrats - Cramer, Y; Davis, Y.
Republicans - Aderholt, N; Bachus, Y; Bonner, Y; Everett, Y; Rogers, Y.

ALASKA
Republicans - Young, N.

ARIZONA
Democrats - Giffords, Y; Grijalva, N; Mitchell, Y; Pastor, Y.
Republicans - Flake, N; Franks, N; Renzi, N; Shadegg, Y.

ARKANSAS
Democrats - Berry, Y; Ross, Y; Snyder, Y.
Republicans - Boozman, Y.

CALIFORNIA
Democrats - Baca, Y; Becerra, N; Berman, Y; Capps, Y; Cardoza, Y; Costa, Y; Davis, Y; Eshoo, Y; Farr, Y; Filner, N; Harman, Y; Honda, Y; Lee, Y; Lofgren, Zoe, Y; Matsui, Y; McNerney, Y; Miller, George, Y; Napolitano, N; Pelosi, Y; Richardson, Y; Roybal-Allard, N; Sanchez, Linda T., N; Sanchez, Loretta, N; Schiff, Y; Sherman, N; Solis, Y; Speier, Y; Stark, N; Tauscher, Y; Thompson, Y; Waters, Y; Watson, Y; Waxman, Y; Woolsey, Y.

Republicans - Bilbray, N; Bono Mack, Y; Calvert, Y; Campbell, Y; Doolittle, N; Dreier, Y; Gallegly, N; Herger, Y; Hunter, N; Issa, N; Lewis, Y; Lungren, Daniel E., Y; McCarthy, N; McKeon, Y; Miller, Gary, Y; Nunes, N; Radanovich, Y; Rohrabacher, N; Royce, N.

COLORADO
Democrats - DeGette, Y; Perlmutter, Y; Salazar, N; Udall, N.
Republicans - Lamborn, N; Musgrave, N; Tancredo, Y.

CONNECTICUT
Democrats - Courtney, N; DeLauro, Y; Larson, Y; Murphy, Y.
Republicans - Shays, Y.

DELAWARE
Republicans - Castle, Y.

FLORIDA
Democrats - Boyd, Y; Brown, Corrine, Y; Castor, N; Hastings, Y; Klein, Y; Mahoney, Y; Meek, Y; Wasserman Schultz, Y; Wexler, Y.
Republicans - Bilirakis, N; Brown-Waite, Ginny, N; Buchanan, Y; Crenshaw, Y; Diaz-Balart, L., N; Diaz-Balart, M., N; Feeney, N; Keller, N; Mack, N; Mica, N; Miller, N; Putnam, Y; Ros-Lehtinen, Y; Stearns, N; Weldon, Y; Young, N.

GEORGIA
Democrats - Barrow, N; Bishop, Y; Johnson, N; Lewis, Y; Marshall, Y; Scott, Y.
Republicans - Broun, N; Deal, N; Gingrey, N; Kingston, N; Linder, N; Price, N; Westmoreland, N.

HAWAII
Democrats - Abercrombie, Y; Hirono, Y.

IDAHO
Republicans - Sali, N; Simpson, Y.

ILLINOIS
Democrats - Bean, Y; Costello, N; Davis, Y; Emanuel, Y; Foster, Y; Gutierrez, Y; Hare, Y; Jackson, Y; Lipinski, N; Rush, Y; Schakowsky, Y.
Republicans - Biggert, Y; Johnson, N; Kirk, Y; LaHood, Y; Manzullo, N; Roskam, N; Shimkus, N; Weller, Y.

INDIANA
Democrats - Carson, Y; Donnelly, Y; Ellsworth, Y; Hill, N; Visclosky, N.
Republicans - Burton, N; Buyer, N; Pence, N; Souder, Y.

IOWA
Democrats - Boswell, Y; Braley, Y; Loebsack, Y.
Republicans - King, N; Latham, N.

KANSAS
Democrats - Boyda, N; Moore, Y.
Republicans - Moran, N; Tiahrt, N.

KENTUCKY
Democrats - Chandler, N; Yarmuth, Y.
Republicans - Davis, N; Lewis, Y; Rogers, Y; Whitfield, N.

LOUISIANA
Democrats - Cazayoux, N; Jefferson, N; Melancon, Y.
Republicans - Alexander, Y; Boustany, Y; McCrery, Y; Scalise, N.

MAINE
Democrats - Allen, Y; Michaud, N.

MARYLAND
Democrats - Cummings, Y; Edwards, Y; Hoyer, Y; Ruppersberger, Y; Sarbanes, Y; Van Hollen, Y.
Republicans - Bartlett, N; Gilchrest, Y.

MASSACHUSETTS
Democrats - Capuano, Y; Delahunt, N; Frank, Y; Lynch, N; Markey, Y; McGovern, Y; Neal, Y; Olver, Y; Tierney, Y; Tsongas, Y.

MICHIGAN
Democrats - Conyers, N; Dingell, Y; Kildee, Y; Kilpatrick, Y; Levin, Y; Stupak, N.
Republicans - Camp, Y; Ehlers, Y; Hoekstra, Y; Knollenberg, Y; McCotter, N; Miller, N; Rogers, N; Upton, Y; Walberg, N.

MINNESOTA
Democrats - Ellison, Y; McCollum, Y; Oberstar, Y; Peterson, N; Walz, N.
Republicans - Bachmann, N; Kline, Y; Ramstad, Y.

MISSISSIPPI
Democrats - Childers, N; Taylor, N; Thompson, N.
Republicans - Pickering, Y.

MISSOURI
Democrats - Carnahan, Y; Clay, N; Cleaver, Y; Skelton, Y.
Republicans - Akin, N; Blunt, Y; Emerson, Y; Graves, N; Hulshof, N.

MONTANA
Republicans - Rehberg, N.

NEBRASKA
Republicans - Fortenberry, N; Smith, N; Terry, Y.

NEVADA
Democrats - Berkley, Y.
Republicans - Heller, N; Porter, Y.

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Democrats - Hodes, N; Shea-Porter, N.

NEW JERSEY
Democrats - Andrews, Y; Holt, Y; Pallone, Y; Pascrell, Y; Payne, N; Rothman, N; Sires, Y.
Republicans - Ferguson, Y; Frelinghuysen, Y; Garrett, N; LoBiondo, N; Saxton, Y; Smith, N.

NEW MEXICO
Democrats - Udall, N.
Republicans - Pearce, N; Wilson, Y.

NEW YORK
Democrats - Ackerman, Y; Arcuri, Y; Bishop, Y; Clarke, Y; Crowley, Y; Engel, Y; Gillibrand, N; Hall, Y; Higgins, Y; Hinchey, N; Israel, Y; Lowey, Y; Maloney, Y; McCarthy, Y; McNulty, Y; Meeks, Y; Nadler, Y; Rangel, Y; Serrano, N; Slaughter, Y; Towns, Y; Velazquez, Y; Weiner, Y.
Republicans - Fossella, Y; King, Y; Kuhl, Y; McHugh, Y; Reynolds, Y; Walsh, Y.

NORTH CAROLINA
Democrats - Butterfield, N; Etheridge, Y; McIntyre, N; Miller, Y; Price, Y; Shuler, N; Watt, Y.
Republicans - Coble, Y; Foxx, N; Hayes, N; Jones, N; McHenry, N; Myrick, Y.

NORTH DAKOTA
Democrats - Pomeroy, Y.

OHIO
Democrats - Kaptur, N; Kucinich, N; Ryan, Y; Space, Y; Sutton, Y; Wilson, Y.
Republicans - Boehner, Y; Chabot, N; Hobson, Y; Jordan, N; LaTourette, N; Latta, N; Pryce, Y; Regula, Y; Schmidt, Y; Tiberi, Y; Turner, N.

OKLAHOMA
Democrats - Boren, Y.
Republicans - Cole, Y; Fallin, Y; Lucas, N; Sullivan, Y.

OREGON
Democrats - Blumenauer, N; DeFazio, N; Hooley, Y; Wu, Y.
Republicans - Walden, Y.

PENNSYLVANIA
Democrats - Altmire, N; Brady, Y; Carney, N; Doyle, Y; Fattah, Y; Holden, N; Kanjorski, Y; Murphy, Patrick, Y; Murtha, Y; Schwartz, Y; Sestak, Y.
Republicans - Dent, Y; English, N; Gerlach, Y; Murphy, Tim, N; Peterson, Y; Pitts, N; Platts, N; Shuster, Y.

RHODE ISLAND
Democrats - Kennedy, Y; Langevin, Y.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Democrats - Clyburn, Y; Spratt, Y.
Republicans - Barrett, Y; Brown, Y; Inglis, Y; Wilson, Y.

SOUTH DAKOTA
Democrats - Herseth Sandlin, N.

TENNESSEE
Democrats - Cohen, Y; Cooper, Y; Davis, Lincoln, N; Gordon, Y; Tanner, Y.
Republicans - Blackburn, N; Davis, David, N; Duncan, N; Wamp, Y.

TEXAS
Democrats - Cuellar, Y; Doggett, N; Edwards, Y; Gonzalez, Y; Green, Al, Y; Green, Gene, N; Hinojosa, Y; Jackson-Lee, Y; Johnson, E. B., Y; Lampson, N; Ortiz, Y; Reyes, Y; Rodriguez, N.
Republicans - Barton, N; Brady, Y; Burgess, N; Carter, N; Conaway, Y; Culberson, N; Gohmert, N; Granger, Y; Hall, N; Hensarling, N; Johnson, Sam, N; Marchant, N; McCaul, N; Neugebauer, N; Paul, N; Poe, N; Sessions, Y; Smith, Y; Thornberry, Y.

UTAH
Democrats - Matheson, N.
Republicans - Bishop, N; Cannon, Y.

VERMONT
Democrats - Welch, Y.

VIRGINIA
Democrats - Boucher, Y; Moran, Y; Scott, N.
Republicans - Cantor, Y; Davis, Tom, Y; Drake, N; Forbes, N; Goode, N; Goodlatte, N; Wittman, N; Wolf, Y.

WASHINGTON
Democrats - Baird, Y; Dicks, Y; Inslee, N; Larsen, Y; McDermott, N; Smith, Y.
Republicans - Hastings, N; McMorris Rodgers, N; Reichert, N.

WEST VIRGINIA
Democrats - Mollohan, Y; Rahall, Y.
Republicans - Capito, N.

WISCONSIN
Democrats - Baldwin, Y; Kagen, N; Kind, Y; Moore, Y; Obey, Y.
Republicans - Petri, N; Ryan, Y; Sensenbrenner, N.

WYOMING
Republicans - Cubin, Y.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Iodine Deficiency, and what it is worth

FAQs about Iodine Nutrition
ICCIDD Home

Iodine is an essential part of the chemical structure of thyroid hormones. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the front part of the neck. It produces two hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), that are released into the bloodstream and carried to target organs, particularly the liver, kidneys, muscles, heart, and developing brain.

We need iodine because thyroid hormones are essential to life. The thyroid hormones act in target organs by influencing many different chemical reactions, usually involving manufacture of key proteins. The body must have proper levels of thyroid hormone to function well.


International Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Iodine Deficiency and Its Link to Diseases in the Body

Friday, April 25, 2008
by: Mary Laredo
Full story

"A toxic body is unable to absorb and utilize enough iodine from diet alone, and a deficiency usually requires supplementation. When the deficit is resolved, the body will gradually displace the toxic halides from tissues throughout the body, especially the thyroid and other major storage sites. Iodine's detoxifying effect also strengthens the immune system and helps balance hormones."


-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Listed here in strategies to combat breast cancer

Iodine Deficiency Growing Worse

  • Iodine consumption by Americans has dropped 50% since the 1970s as breast
    cancer rates have risen (1). In the US Goiter Belt, where iodine in the soil is
    lower, breast cancer is higher (2).

  • By contrast, the incidence and severity of breast cancer are less in Japan than
    in Europe and the US, attributable to the diet (3). Japanese women consume 25
    times more dietary iodine than North American women and have lower breast
    cancer rates (4).

  • Meanwhile, since the 1970s, in the US and several other countries, iodine-
    blocking bromides have been added to flour, some sodas, and medications,
    exacerbating the iodine deficiency.

  • Flouridated drinking water also depletes iodine absorption. Thus, as women
    consume less iodine and excrete more due to toxic elements, our risk for breast
    cancer grows(5).

------------------------------------------------------------------------

How iodine accelerates weight loss by supporting the thyroid gland

Dani Veracity
Full story

"If adjusting your diet and exercising more hasn't helped you reach a healthy body weight, you may have hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid gland. In addition to weight gain, other symptoms of hypothyroidism include a bad complexion, fatigue, forgetfulness, loss of sex drive, impotence, irritability and unhealthy hair, nails and teeth. Fortunately, you can help normalize an underactive thyroid gland by increasing your intake of the mineral iodine.

Deficiency of thyroid hormones really slows you down. Symptoms include chronic fatigue, apathy, dry skin, intolerance to cold, weight gain and enlargement of the thyroid (goiter)."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pharmaceutical Companies Immunity

Approved Pharmaceutical Drugs Cause Death

Full story

"The FDA's financial ties to "Big-Pharma" have caused millions of preventable deaths over the last 30 years."


Exposing Conflicts of Interest at the FDA

Full story

The FDA reveals when financial conflicts exist, but it has kept details secret since 1992, so it is not possible to determine the amount of money or the drug company involved.

A USA TODAY analysis of financial conflicts at 159 FDA advisory committee meetings from Jan. 1, 1998, through last June 30 found:

At 92% of the meetings, at least one member had a financial conflict of interest.

At 55% of meetings, half or more of the FDA advisers had conflicts of interest.

Conflicts were most frequent at the 57 meetings when broader issues were discussed: 92% of members had conflicts.

At the 102 meetings dealing with the fate of a specific drug, 33% of the experts had a financial conflict.

Federal Reserve

Things You must understand about the privately owned "Federal" Reserve, or we all will continue down the same path we have trodden for years ... I am ready for a REAL difference. Are you?

Abolish the Fed

by Rep. Ron Paul, MD

"Since the creation of the Federal Reserve, middle and working-class Americans have been victimized by a boom-and-bust monetary policy. In addition, most Americans have suffered a steadily eroding purchasing power because of the Federal Reserve's inflationary policies. This represents a real, if hidden, tax imposed on the American people.

From the Great Depression, to the stagflation of the seventies, to the burst of the dotcom bubble last year, every economic downturn suffered by the country over the last 80 years can be traced to Federal Reserve policy. The Fed has followed a consistent policy of flooding the economy with easy money, leading to a misallocation of resources and an artificial "boom" followed by a recession or depression when the Fed-created bubble bursts."



Ron Paul video 01/17/2007

Ron Paul video 02/19/2007


Doctors and Drug Firms

Under the Influence — Doctors and Prescription Drug Firms

American Association for Health Freedom, October 14, 2008.

Today's news, both political and financial, is filled with tales of greed and corruption. Vested interests ensure that earmarks litter important legislation. The lust for a quick profit and lax regulation have led to bank closures. Wall Street and Capitol Hill are now awash in finger-pointing by consumers whose investments are worth a fraction of their previous value.

It should come as no surprise, then, that congressional hearings have focused lately on drug manufacturers' conflicts of interest. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), the ranking minority member of the Senate Finance Committee, is leading an investigation into the financial relationships between pharmaceutical companies and the scientists who research their products.

Additionally, Sen. Grassley has pointedly asked questions of the FDA regarding drug approval in the wake of concern that vested interests compromise the safety of Americans who use these drugs. As you know, AAHF is actively involved in a campaign to reform the FDA.

Drug companies spend $29.9 billion annually to promote prescription drugs. Fourteen percent of that astronomical figure comprises direct-to-consumer drug ads. The remaining 86%, or $25.7 billion, is spent on influencing the prescribing habits of physicians. Studies from the Kaiser Foundation indicate that a 10% increase in advertising is tied to a 1% increase in sales.

Sen. Grassley is now pressing the National Institutes of Health to get tougher on universities that don't disclose financial ties to industry. He raised particular concerns about Harvard, Stanford, the University of Cincinnati, and the University of Texas, where researchers working on NIH-funded studies are also on the payroll of drug companies.

The flack around this issue created a stir within NIH itself with the revelation that NIH scientists had failed to acknowledge financial ties to drug companies. And now twenty universities have been contacted by the Senate Finance Committee regarding questions of potential conflict of interest with drug companies.

According to author Dick Morris in his book Outrage, 90% of continuing medical education is paid for by prescription drug firms. Jerome Kassirer, M.D., former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, speaks passionately of his disdain for his colleagues who "become paid prostitutes for drug companies." His book On the Take offers facts and figures on how the drug companies' dollars have tainted clinical practice.

And John Abramson, M.D., in his book Overdosed America, chronicles his personal decision to leave clinical practice to expose the vested interests that have colored private practice, research, medical school education, and medical journal publication. He shows how drug companies have been instrumental in creating the "new normals for cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood glucose" as well as creating "new diseases" like restless leg syndrome and social anxiety disorder.

In response, Eli Lilly has announced that beginning next year it will disclose payments of more than $500 to doctors for their roles as advisors and for speaking at educational seminars. While some states already have disclosure laws for payments from drug companies to doctors, none of them require the disclosure of payments from medical device makers.

One of this nation's biggest medical device makers, Medtronic, is the target of an investigation by Sen. Grassley regarding its spinal devices unit's relationship with doctors who use its spinal repair implants. And a lawsuit has been brought by a former Medtronic attorney alleging that Medtronic gave surgeons a variety of incentives to use or prescribe its products.

Conventional medicine shines in technology and in emergency care, particularly for injuries. But more and more consumers would rather see an integrative doctor if they are sick. AAHF supports physicians who risk their medical license to bring the very best medicine to their patients. Our mission is to ensure your health freedom and that of your physicians.

If you received this message from a friend, you can sign up for Healthfreedom.net.