Thursday, December 30, 2010

Summit Medical Group Doctor Rocco Martino Arrested on Child Porn Charges

Summit Medical Group Doctor Rocco Martino Arrested on Child Porn Charges
Wednesday, December 29 2010

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - South Orange resident and Summit Medical Group doctor Rocco Martino was arrested this morning on charges of possessing child pornography, according to federal officials. Martino, who specializes in sports and internal medicine in Berkeley Heights, is accused of downloading and posting child porn images and videos.

Martino was released from custody this afternoon in Newark after appearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Falk.

Martino could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, if found guilty, according to prosecutors.

The Newark Division of the FBI encourages anyone who has information which may be relevant to this case to contact them at (973) 792-3000.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

H1N1 vaccine linked to 700 percent increase in miscarriages

(NaturalNews) Recent data presented to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Advisory Committee on Children's Vaccines has revealed some shocking information about the effects of the H1N1 / swine flu vaccine on pregnant women. According to the report, the rate of miscarriage among pregnant women during the 2009 H1N1 / swine flu pandemic soared by over 700 percent compared to previous years, pointing directly to the vaccine as the culprit -- but the CDC denies the truth and continues to insist nobody has been harmed.

According to the CDC, nearly 50 percent of all pregnant women were vaccinated with the H1N1 vaccine during the 2009 / 2010 influenza season. Those whose physicians instructed them to get a seasonal flu shot were three times more likely to get it, while those instructed specifically to get the H1N1 shot were ten times more likely to get it. And the numbers clearly show that along with the rise in vaccinations due to the H1N1 scare came the sharp increase in miscarriages, including a slew of actual reported adverse events.

But the CDC does not seem to care about the facts, as numerous reports indicate the agency has failed to report any of this vital information to vaccine suppliers. In fact, when presented with the data for the third time, Dr. Marie McCormick, chair of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Vaccine Risk and Assessment Working Group, actually had the audacity to claim that there were no vaccine-related adverse events in pregnant women caused by the vaccine.

"This baseless and fallacious assessment by the CDC assessment group has given the green light to the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to continue their recommendation to give the 2010/11 flu shot to all people, including pregnant women," explained Eileen Dannemann, director of the National Coalition of Organized Women, presenter of the information.

"This upcoming 2010/11 flu vaccine contains the same elements that are implicated in the killing of these fetuses, the H1N1 viral component and the neurotoxin mercury (Thimerosal). Additionally, it contains two other viral strains -- a three-in-one shot for all people."

Overall, the number of vaccine-related "fetal demise" reports increased by 2,440 percent in 2009 compared to previous years, which is even more shocking than the miscarriage statistic. Meanwhile, the CDC continues to lie to the public about the vaccine, urging everyone, including pregnant women, to get it.

To read the report for yourself, visit:

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Seasonal flu vaccine banned in Australia, N.Z. after kids fall ill

(NaturalNews) Although it's still Fall in North America, it is of course the end of winter in Australia, and the flu season is well under way there. As usual, Australian health authorities have been urging parents there to vaccinate their children against the flu, propagating the mythology that flu vaccines are both safe and effective. But this time around, many Australian parents found out the hard way that they were being lied to.

It didn't take long to realize the truth after their children start going into convulsions following the flu vaccine injections. Other children began vomiting or exhibiting dangerously high levels of fever. One child has gone into a coma and may never recover.

As reported in WA Today (

"Perth mother of two Bea Flint said her 11-month-old boy Avery had a seizure after receiving the first dose of the two-dose flu vaccination on Saturday. Mrs Flint said that after the 9am vaccination she noticed Avery had a minor temperature about 2pm. At 7.45pm, Avery started whimpering and moaning. When Mrs Flint got to his cot the baby had vomited and was lying on his side having a seizure. 'He couldn't cry - his head was hanging down in the car seat and he couldn't move. I was petrified - it was one of the worst experiences of my life."

The story goes on to say, "The doctor who treated Avery told Mrs Flint her baby was the fifth child with similar symptoms admitted to the hospital that day."

In other words, this was no rare event. Vaccinated children suffering severe convulsions were piling up in hospital emergency rooms across the country.

The real kicker, though, is that children started having convulsions two weeks ago but Australian health authorities ignored them, insisting that the vaccine was safe and causing it to be injected in yet more babies. Two weeks later, with dozens more children experiencing convulsions (and who knows how many thousands actually being harmed in less obvious ways), Commonwealth chief health officer Professor Jim Bishop finally announced the vaccination ban.

Remember: Health authorities in Australia, UK, the United States and everywhere else have relentlessly insisted that flu vaccines are perfectly safe and can't possibly harm anyone. In the U.S., the FDA has given its approval to the very same flu vaccine that's harming children in Australia, and the CDC has insisted that all children in the USA -- regardless of age -- should now be injected with this very same flu vaccine.

So now we've got a vaccine that Australia has banned but the USA somehow says is safe enough to inject into a six-month-old infant. How many convulsing babies will it take in the U.S. before American parents realize the truth about flu vaccines?

Chemically induced convulsions
As you're reading this, you may find yourself wonder, "Well, what could cause such convulsions in children?"

The answer is more terrifying than you might think, because it's not "weakened flu viruses" that vaccine manufacturer claim they put into the vaccines. A weakened flu virus doesn't send children into convulsions. Only a chemical can do that.

The chemical in question is one that's routinely added to most vaccines as a way to aggravate the immune system to respond to the presence of the weakened virus. It's called an "adjuvant" and consists of a highly inflammatory chemical that we now know may damage brain tissues and the nervous system. It is this adjuvant that most likely caused the convulsions in children.

Even in children who don't experience convulsions, there is speculation that this adjuvant may lead to future Alzheimer's disease or other neurological disorders. Vaccine manufacturers always attempt to downplay their use of adjuvant chemicals, and few media outlets focus on this important point, but it is the adjuvant that is most likely responsible for sending these Australian children into hospitals with convulsions.

Seasonal flu vaccine banned in Australia, N.Z. after kids fall ill

SYDNEY, October 27 (AP) - (Kyodo)—A seasonal influenza vaccine used in Australia and New Zealand has been suspended after a recent spike in the number of young children suffering adverse reactions to it.
On Friday last week, Australia's Chief Medical Officer Jim Bishop warned doctors to stop giving the Fluvax seasonal influenza vaccine to children aged 5 and under until a cause for the reactions is discovered.

With the Southern Hemisphere heading into the winter season, both Australia and New Zealand have been vaccinating against the common cold since March.

Western Australia has seen the bulk of the cases, with 55 children aged 5 and younger suffering febrile convulsions after receiving the vaccination and 196 children also reportedly experiencing vomiting and fever.

New Zealand's Health Ministry confirmed that three children had also experienced febrile convulsions there.

The Fluvax vaccine contains two strains of seasonal flu and one strain of the H1N1 virus, with a spokeswoman from the Western Australian Department of Health confirming this is the first time the swine flu strain has been included in the vaccine.

Australia's Therapeutic Goods Association, which regulates therapeutic goods in the country, is now investigating whether the reactions in Western Australia relate to the vaccine itself, or the program delivery.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Seasonal flu death estimates grossly overestimated

by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Every year as flu season approaches, health authorities begin their chorus of warnings about the dangers of getting the flu. As part of their campaign to drum up support for the annual flu vaccine, it is common to hear about the 36,000 people who die every year from flu-related illness. But is this statistic even accurate? According to a recent announcement from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), no.

According to the CDC, there is no average number of people who die from the flu because the actual count varies significantly from year to year. Published in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the CDC announcement explains that the actual death count from flu-related illness has been as low as 3,300 in some years, which is far lower than the statistics used in media talking points.

The vast majority of flu-related deaths occur in people over the age of 65. Typically it is not even the flu that kills them, but other illnesses that result at some point after having the flu. But this fact has not stopped the CDC from now recommending that every person over the age of six months get a flu vaccine.

But do flu vaccines even work in the first place? According to two reviews recently published by the Cochrane Foundation, flu vaccinations are not effective at preventing the flu. In fact, they do virtually nothing to prevent the flu-related illnesses that are actually responsible for causing death primarily in the elderly.

According to Dr. Tom Jefferson from the Cochrane Vaccines Field, flu vaccines "show only modest or no effect against influenza and hospitalization from pneumonia." He goes on to say in a podcast that "we have no reliable evidence on the effects of influenza vaccines on the elderly and health care workers who work with the elderly. What we do have evidence of is widespread manipulation of conclusions and spurious notoriety of the studies."

So in summary, all the hoopla over flu deaths and the need for a flu vaccine are grounded in junk science and faulty statistics.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Spinal Sugery Complications Severely Underestimated

Retrospective reviews significantly underestimate the overall incidence of complications in spine surgery. This analysis is the first to critically assess differing complication incidences reported in prospective and retrospective cervical and thoracolumbar spine surgery studies.

J Neurosurg Spine. 2010 Aug;13(2):144-57.

Complications in spine surgery.
Nasser R, Yadla S, Maltenfort MG, Harrop JS, Anderson DG, Vaccaro AR, Sharan AD, Ratliff JK.

Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.


OBJECT: The overall incidence of complications or adverse events in spinal surgery is unknown. Both prospective and retrospective analyses have been performed, but the results have not been critically assessed. Procedures for different regions of the spine (cervical and thoracolumbar) and the incidence of complications for each have been reported but not compared. Authors of previous reports have concentrated on complications in terms of their incidence relevant to healthcare providers: medical versus surgical etiology and the relevance of perioperative complications to perioperative events. Few authors have assessed complication incidence from the patient's perspective. In this report the authors summarize the spine surgery complications literature and address the effect of study design on reported complication incidence.

A systematic evidence-based review was completed to identify within the published literature complication rates in spinal surgery. The MEDLINE database was queried using the key words "spine surgery" and "complications." This initial search revealed more than 700 articles, which were further limited through an exclusion process. Each abstract was reviewed and papers were obtained. The authors gathered 105 relevant articles detailing 80 thoracolumbar and 25 cervical studies. Among the 105 articles were 84 retrospective studies and 21 prospective studies. The authors evaluated the study designs and compared cervical, thoracolumbar, prospective, and retrospective studies as well as the durations of follow-up for each study.

RESULTS: In the 105 articles reviewed, there were 79,471 patients with 13,067 reported complications for an overall complication incidence of 16.4% per patient. Complications were more common in thoracolumbar (17.8%) than cervical procedures

CONCLUSIONS:Retrospective reviews significantly underestimate the overall incidence of complications in spine surgery. This analysis is the first to critically assess differing complication incidences reported in prospective and retrospective cervical and thoracolumbar spine surgery studies.

J Neurosurg Spine. 2010 Aug;13(2):141-2; discussion 142-3.

Monday, September 27, 2010

CDC-Gate Exposes A Trail of Fraud Behind Vaccine-Autism Studies

The US Center For Disease Control suddenly finds itself at the center of a huge media storm, rocked by a recent scandal implicating Dr. Paul Thorsen, chief co-author of a 2003 Danish Study financed by the CDC (which is now recognized as THE flagship model ostensibly disproving the vaccine-mercury-autism link). It seems Thorsen has illegally confiscated $2 million of CDC supplied grant money intended for research on the study.

The incident also raises red flags now calling into question the legitimacy of any & all CDC sponsored studies of this kind; most of which fall under management of Thorsen’s own Danish Research group.

‘A Danish scientist involved in two major studies that debunked any linkage of vaccines to autism is suspected of misappropriating $2 million in U.S. grants at his university in Denmark.’“Questions about Thorsen’s scientific integrity may finally force CDC to rethink the vaccine protocols since most of the other key pro-vaccine studies cited by CDC rely on the findings of Thorsen’s research group,” Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

The 2003 Danish Study in question was sqeuwed with manipulated data to such an extent that its legitimacy in the overall autism/vaccine debate can no longer be considered valid. Essentially what Thorsen did was to double Autism levels by covertly adding Outclinic Registries – where 93% of autism cases are reported. Denmark removed Thimerosal from vaccines in 1992; therefore by suddenly opening the floodgates on reported cases of autism the actual numbers tracked within the framework of the study increased considerably based on this unique method of census taking.

The entire Industry fueled justification for vaccine uptake depends 100% on this data to verify its conclusions as the penultimate truth; discounting any ‘autism-mercury in vaccines’ relationship (limiting claims for compensation from vaccine related trauma/resulting autism in vaccine court) while further justifying the use of Thimerosal in vaccines. This year, in fact, Australia, the United States & Canada are introducing a flu vaccine laced with 50 micrograms of Mercury – by EPA standards a safe level for a 1100 pound adult. Australia has been hit hard with hundreds of flu vaccine triggered cases of febrile convulsions, 1 death, 1 coma & a suspension of the entire program for children under 5. The US will be distributing the same toxic formula in the weeks & months to come.

Why this is such an important issue? The Danish study represents the primary rule-stick being flaunted routinely by the APP, CDC, WHO, CNN, Frontline, Fox News, Health Canada, Britain’s NHS, the entire vaccine lobby & major gov’ts around the world to sell the lie that mercury in vaccines & autism are somehow not related whatsoever. Systematically cherry picking data, applying statistics out of context while magnifying their importance they trumped up an otherwise irrelevant thesis and set to task applying it as scientific fact within a broader worldwide context.

The pro vaccine movement, a juggernaut of financial worth, is clearly trying to cover up its tracks by silencing the anti-vaccine researchers such as Dr. Andrew Wakefield & others; while sending us down a myriad of never-ending rabbit holes, citing genetic & environmental factors etc. for autism whilst continually adding to the branches of the Autism Spectrum Disorder tree. They have unwisely determined the public will never catch on to the cover-up, that we’ll never identify the real culprit since the evidence has thus been removed. This boils down to huge profits for cutthroat Big Pharma companies, increased reliance on the booming Medical System & skyrocketing stock shares for GSK, Merck & other giants of the Vaccine Industry; their underlying purpose to destroy all competition, …meaning us.

‘As a SafeMinds critique of the study noted, “Therefore, their purported increase after 1994 can be explained entirely by the registration of an existing autism population that did not require hospitalization.” To compound the problem, Denmark also changed the diagnostic code they used, to the more universal ICD10 code, beginning in 1993, which would have further raised the rates. Danish children receive 75% less Thimerosal than American children, they receive immunizations when they are older, and the U.S. autism rate is TEN TIMES the rate of Denmark (Denmark is 1 in 1,600, U.S. is 1 in 166).

It is the equivalent of doing a study on “Divorce Rates in North America” and counting Mexico and Canada only for the first few years, then adding in the United States, and noting that divorce rates went up.’

Ongoing criminal investigations in Denmark of Dr. Poul Thorsen, co-author of a pivotal study dismissing the link between mercury in vaccines and autism, suggest that he may have, in conjunction with staff from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), embezzled multi-millions of dollars. Further investigations also raise the specter that CDC staff inappropriately influenced the design, conclusions, and publication of that study and others.
Parents, researchers, and advocates from more than 10 countries, today, bombarded the Office of the Inspector General (IG) for Health and Human Services (HHS) with a unified call for congressional investigations into this matter.

Citing the known dangers of mercury, Rev. Lisa K. Sykes, President of CoMeD, Inc. stated:
“Injecting mercury into pregnant women and children is absurd. Examine studies which suggest otherwise, and you will find the funding for the study came from those who directly or indirectly profit from, or fear liability from, the use of mercury-containing vaccines.” CoMed on ongoing criminal investigations of Dr. Poul Thorsen, co-author of 2003 Danish study dismissing link between mercury in vaccines & autism.

“Key studies purporting to show no evidence of harm for Thimerosal, the mercury-based compound still used as a “preservative” in flu shots, are characterized by fraud and manipulation, according to vaccine safety advocates.”‘

‘Police in Denmark investigating a case of fraud involving the scientist Poul Thorsen, a key author of a controversial study that appears to show mercury in vaccines are safe, have been denied documents by US police authorities. Danish police were told that they would have to make a request to the US Justice Department through the Danish Ministry of Justice before they could access documents on Thorsen, who was the recipient of research grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and who is believed to have defrauded the University of Aarhaus of 10 million Danish crowns.

The police of Eastern Jutland have been criticised for failing to question Thorsen about the case even though more than half a year has elapsed since Aarhaus university publicised the fraud. Thorsen is believed to be currently living in the USA.

The fraud came to public attention after the University of Aarhus issued an official warning at the beginning of 2010 to scientists working with Thorsen. In a statement, the university distanced itself from a former main investigator, Poul Thorsen, who was the leader of the research center, the North Atlantic Neuro-Epidemiology Alliances (NANEA).

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Walgreens announces flu shot gift card; give the "gift" of a vaccine

(NaturalNews) Summer isn't even over yet and the big push for the mass vaccination of the entire population is already under way. The CDC started the push by recently urging vaccine shots for everyone -- including infants, pregnant women and immune-compromised people. Adding to the vaccination hoopla, Walgreens has announced something quite bizarre: A flu shot gift card.Available for $29.99 at your nearest Walgreens retailer, this gift card is, as Walgreens explains on their website, "a way to help more Americans stay well throughout the upcoming flu season by giving the gift of a flu shot

Of course, if you gave your friends the gift of vitamin D supplements, they wouldn't need a flu shot or a jab in the arm with a sharp needle. Vitamin D has been proven again and again to work better than vaccines at preventing influenza yet it remains all but ignored by the conventional medical establishment which just happens to be dominated by the financial interests of vaccine manufacturers (pharma companies).

Swine flu again?

As Walgreens admits on its own website this year's seasonal flu shot only protects against last year's viruses. In particular, this year's flu shot contains DNA fragments from H1N1 swine flu -- yep, the very same virus that fizzled out last year after the WHO hilariously declared a stage six global pandemic. This whole charade turned out to be engineered by WHO advisors who had financial ties to the vaccine companies (

Now they're trying to jab you again with the same viral fragments. But this year they're playing mind games with the public by packaging these flu shots as "gifts." Walgreens must think this is clever, but it's actually a bit of a farce.Usually a gift is something you actually want; something that's uplifting or health enhancing in some way. Vaccines, on the other hand, have been widely linked to convulsions and neurological disorders.

Just recently, Australia actually banned its seasonal flu vaccine for children after dozens of children went into convulsions from receiving the flu shot.Why do flu shots cause convulsions? Because flu shots contain neurological inflammation agents designed to elicit an immune response for building antibodies. The problem is that these chemicals can also cause neurological damage leading to symptoms you just can't ignore... such as convulsions. Some teens have even been paralyzed by flu shots.

Western doctors routinely ignore this evidence and simply declare vaccines to be "safe for everyone!" even when they clearly aren't.So anyone who buys a flu shot gift card and hands it to a child or teenager might actually be giving the gift of convulsions. Happy Birthday, Bobby! Here, have some convulsions and go get yourself jabbed in the arm with a sharp needle...

Sending the wrong messageIn my opinion, buying a Walgreens flu shot gift card sends a powerful, two-part message. First, it announces that you're a complete idiot when it comes to health, and you're a total sucker for the corporate-controlled interventionist health care system that excels at convincing you to buy dangerous drugs you don't even need.

Secondly, it says that you probably hate the person you're giving it to. What kind of person buys a vaccine shot as a gift anyway? Does it include a Hallmark card that says "Every time I think of you, I wince in pain and can't stop convulsing. Enjoy this vaccine so that you can have the same experience."Or another card, "I couldn't decide what to get you for Christmas, so I thought I'd get you vaccinated instead. Merry Christmas!"Can you imagine some little kid receiving this gift from his parents? He was hoping for an X-Box or a dirt bike, but instead he gets an envelope with a red card in it. "What's this?" he asks his parents. "Oh, Bobby, it's a VACCINE gift card! To protect your health!" Bobby replies, "How does it work?" And his parents answer, "Well, using this vaccine gift card, you can get jabbed in the arm with chemicals and live viruses, and it won't even cost you a penny!""I feel really loved," answers Bobby. "No one has ever given me the gift of a vaccine shot! When can we go to Walgreens and cash in?"

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sharp Increase in Spinal Surgery Among Medicare Patients Shows Decreased Benefits

Procedures: Sharp Rise in Complex Back Surgery Among Older Adults

The percentage of older adults undergoing a complicated fusion procedure for the painful lower-back condition called spinal stenosis has increased steeply, rising fifteenfold from 2002 to 2007, a new study reports.

Researchers said the increase was leading to higher Medicare costs and more life-threatening complications. They noted that although the overall rate of all types of surgery for spinal stenosis fell slightly during the five-year period, the proportion undergoing complex fusion increased to 19.9 per 100,000 Medicare beneficiaries, up from 1.3.

In the complex surgery, more than three vertebrae are fused and both the back and the front of the vertebrae are involved. Alternative procedures are decompression — removal of part of the bone pressing on the nerve — and simple fusion, in which two or three vertebrae are fused and only the front or the back of the vertebrae is involved.

The complex procedure costs almost four times as much as decompression and is associated with three times the rate of life-threatening complications, according to the study.

Earlier studies have not found that the complex surgery leads to better results or greater pain relief, said Dr. Richard A. Deyo, a professor of family and internal medicine at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland and the lead author of the study, published April 7 in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

To read the entire study, go to JAMA---->

Trends, Major Medical Complications, and Charges Associated With Surgery for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis in Older Adults
Richard A. Deyo, MD, MPH; Sohail K. Mirza, MD, MPH; Brook I. Martin, MPH; William Kreuter, MPA; David C. Goodman, MD, MS; Jeffrey G. Jarvik, MD, MPH

JAMA. 2010;303(13):1259-1265.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Many Sunscreens May Be Accelerating Cancer

WASHINGTON (May 24) -- Almost half of the 500 most popular sunscreen products may actually increase the speed at which malignant cells develop and spread skin cancer because they contain vitamin A or its derivatives, according to an evaluation of those products released today.

AOL News also has learned through documents and interviews that the Food and Drug Administration has known of the potential danger for as long as a decade without alerting the public, which the FDA denies.

The study was released with Memorial Day weekend approaching. Store shelves throughout the country are already crammed with tubes, jars, bottles and spray cans of sunscreen.

The white goop, creams and ointments might prevent sunburn. But don't count on them to keep the ultraviolet light from destroying your skin cells and causing tumors and lesions, according to researchers at Environmental Working Group.

In their annual report to consumers on sunscreen, they say that only 39 of the 500 products they examined were considered safe and effective to use.

The report cites these problems with bogus sun protection factor (SPF) numbers:

-The use of the hormone-disrupting chemical oxybenzone, which penetrates the skin and enters the bloodstream.

-Overstated claims about performance.

-The lack of needed regulations and oversight by the Food and Drug Administration.

But the most alarming disclosure in this year's report is the finding that vitamin A and its derivatives, retinol and retinyl palmitate, may speed up the cancer that sunscreen is used to prevent.

A dangerous additive

The industry includes vitamin A in its sunscreen formulations because it is an anti-oxidant that slows skin aging.

But the EWG researchers found the initial findings of an FDA study of vitamin A's photocarcinogenic properties, meaning the possibility that it results in cancerous tumors when used on skin exposed to sunlight.

"In that yearlong study, tumors and lesions developed up to 21 percent faster in lab animals coated in a vitamin A-laced cream than animals treated with a vitamin-free cream," the report said.

The conclusion came from EWG's analysis of initial findings released last fall by the FDA and the National Toxicology Program, the federal government's principle evaluator of substances that raise public health concerns.

EWG's conclusions were subsequently scrutinized by outside toxicologists.

Based on the strength of the findings by FDA's own scientists, many in the public health community say they can't believe nor understand why the agency hasn't already notified the public of the possible danger.

"There was enough evidence 10 years ago for FDA to caution consumers against the use of vitamin A in sunscreens," Jane Houlihan, EWG's senior vice president for research, told AOL News.

"FDA launched this one-year study, completed their research and now 10 years later, they say nothing about it, just silence."

On Friday, the FDA said the allegations are not true.

"We have thoroughly checked and are not aware of any studies," an FDA spokesperson told AOL News. She said she checked with bosses throughout the agency and found no one who knew of the vitamin A sunscreen research being done by or on behalf of the agency.

But documents from the FDA and the National Toxicology Program showed that the agency had done the research.

"Retinyl palmitate was selected by (FDA's) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition for photo-toxicity and photocarcinogenicity testing based on the increasingly widespread use of this compound in cosmetic retail products for use on sun-exposed skin," said an October 2000 report by the National Toxicology Program.

FDA's own website said the animal studies were done at its National Center for Toxicological Research in Jefferson, Ark. And it was scientists from the FDA center and National Toxicology Program who posted the study data last fall.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Vertebroplasty No Better Than Sham For Painful Osteoperotic Fractures

At least that's what the New England Journal Of Medicine is reporting. This randomized double blind, placebo controlled study took participants with one or two painful osteoperotic fractures unhealed and less than 12 months old by MRI and randomized them to either vertebroplasty or sham.

For the nonmedical types out there, vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty involves the injection or balloon expansion of a compressed vertebrae, the theory being that this action will decrease the back pain associated with fractures. The only indication to have one, that I'm aware of, is to treat uncontrolled pain.

Interestingly, 5 years ago we didn't have such a procedure. Patients with compression fractures got pain meds and Miacalcin and told to wait it out. They were told that as the bone healed the pain would improve. We would use moist heat and ultrasound to hasten the healing, then soft tissue adjustments.

Today, just about every acute compression fracture with associated pain gets an MRI and then gets evaluated by either an interventional radiologist or an orthopedic spinal surgeon for evaluation for vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty.

In the study above the primary outcome being measure was pain. Using the primary outcome of pain at 1 month, 3 months and 6 months the study showed no difference between the treatment group and the sham (placebo) group.

This is huge. HUGE. Granted, the study was small, but it appears to be well designed.

This is the second clinical study showing that vertebroplasties are worthless. And the studies were performed by spinal surgeons themselves!

People believe that invasive means better. It's engrained in the American culture where you have to be a specialist that does something to be worth your time and money. Why get pain medication or chiropactic care when you can get needles and cement at 1000 times the cost..... that must work.

This study is a fascinating example of the power of special interest groups infiltrated into clinical medicine. Early studies indicated the vertobroplaties and kyphoplasties may have clinical benefit. The key word is "may". They get approved by the Medicare National Bank as showing benefit over placebo and then everything gets paid for at enourmous cost to the MNB.

I would like to know how these procedures ever made it into mainstream medicine without strong scientific evidence to its efficacy, especially considering their cost to the public Treasury. Chiropractors are constantly ridiculed as being "unscientific", yet we have more clinical studies that show what we do works than most surgical procedures do!

Situations like this tend to weaken the standards of Western medicine which are supposed to be science based, but are looking more and more like they are financial based. Get a bunch of device manufacturers to back a less than optimal study design, gain favor from the radiological and orthopedic societies, which have direct finanical interests in the matter, and spread your position statements out to the world. And make it the gold standard.

Medicine is killing us....and you are paying for it!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Drugs Are Not The Solution-They Are The Problem!

Every day Americans are subjected to a barrage of advertising by the pharmaceutical industry. Mixed in with the pitches for a particular drug—usually featuring beautiful people enjoying themselves in the great outdoors—is a more general message.

Boiled down to its essentials, it is this: “Yes, prescription drugs are expensive, but that shows how valuable they are. Besides, our research and development costs are enormous, and we need to cover them somehow. As ‘research-based’ companies, we turn out a steady stream of innovative medicines that lengthen life, enhance its quality, and avert more expensive medical care.

You are the beneficiaries of this ongoing achievement of the American free enterprise system, so be grateful, quit whining, and pay up.” More prosaically, what the industry is saying is that you get what you pay for.

Is any of this true? Well, the first part certainly is. Prescription drug costs are indeed high—and rising fast. Americans now spend a staggering $500 billion a year on prescription drugs, and that figure is growing at a rate of about 12 percent a year (down from a high of 18 percent in 1999).1 Drugs are the fastest-growing part of the health care bill—which itself is rising at an alarming rate. (And I don't mean the Obama Care Bill).

The increase in drug spending reflects, in almost equal parts, the facts that people are taking a lot more drugs than they used to, that those drugs are more likely to be expensive new ones instead of older, cheaper ones, and that the prices of the most heavily prescribed drugs are routinely jacked up, sometimes several times a year.

Over the past 3 decades the pharmaceutical industry has moved very far from its original high purpose of discovering and producing useful new drugs. Now primarily a marketing machine to sell drugs of dubious benefit, this industry uses its wealth and power to co-opt every institution that might stand in its way, including the US Congress, the FDA, academic medical centers, and the medical profession itself. (Most of its marketing efforts are focused on influencing doctors, since they must write the prescriptions.)

If prescription drugs were like ordinary consumer goods, all this might not matter very much. But drugs are different. People depend on them for their health and even their lives. In the words of Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), “It’s not like buying a car or tennis shoes or peanut butter.” People need to know that there are some checks and balances on this industry, so that its quest for profits doesn’t push every other consideration aside. But there aren’t such checks and balances.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Anoher Reason to Avoid the Cow!

Breast-feeding Could Save Lives and Money

A cost analysis published in the journal Pediatrics, estimates that the lives of 900 babies per year would be saved, along with billions of dollars, if 90 percent of U.S. women fed their babies breast milk for the first 6 months of life.

The findings suggests that there are hundreds of deaths and costly illnesses each year from health problems that breast feeding may help prevent. These include stomach viruses, ear infections, asthma, juvenile diabetes. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and even childhood leukemia.

Breast milk contains antibodies that help babies fight infections, and can affect insulin levels in the blood, which may make breast-fed babies less likely to develop diabetes and obesity.

The analysis studied 10 common childhood illnesses, costs of treating those illnesses, including hospitalization, and the level of disease protection other studies have linked with breastfeeding. The $13 billion in estimated losses due to the low breast-feeding rate includes an economists' calculation partly based on lost potential lifetime wages - $10.56 million per death.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Soy may benefit breast cancer survivors, study says

Women with breast cancer who eat more soy are less likely to die or have a recurrence of cancer than women who eat few or no soy products, according to a new study.

In the past, physicians have often warned breast cancer patients not to eat soy. The new research represents "a complete turnaround" from the previous understanding about the link between soy consumption and breast cancer, says Sally Scroggs, a registered dietician and senior health education specialist at M.D. Anderson's Cancer Prevention Center in Houston, Texas.

"We have gone from saying, 'No soy for breast cancer survivors' to, 'It's not going to hurt,'" Scroggs says. "Now it looks like we can say, 'It may help.'"

The study looked at more than 5,000 women in China who had undergone a mastectomy; they were followed for about four years. The women who consumed the most soy protein (about 15 grams or more a day) had a 29 percent lower risk of dying and a 32 percent decreased risk of breast cancer recurrence compared to the women who consumed less than about 5 grams of soy protein a day, according to the study, which appears in the December 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The National Cancer Institute and the U.S. Department of Defense's Breast Cancer Research Program funded the study.

Women who ate between 9.5 and 15 grams of soy protein saw nearly the same decrease in risk as the women who ate more than 15 grams. In fact, the researchers found no additional benefits to eating more than 11 grams of soy protein a day. (An 8-ounce glass of soy milk and a cup of shelled edamame contain about 7 and 14 grams of soy protein, respectively.)

In all, 534 women had a breast cancer recurrence or died from breast cancer during the study period.

Soy foods--such as milk, tofu, and edamame--are rich in naturally occurring estrogens (especially isoflavones) that can mimic the effects of estrogen in the female body. Because the most common types of breast cancer depend on estrogen to grow, experts once feared that soy isoflavones could stimulate the estrogen receptors in breast-cancer cells, even though the estrogens in soy are much weaker than those produced by the body

The current study suggests the exact opposite: Soy may actually reduce the amount of estrogen that's available to the body.

"Soy isoflavones may compete with estrogens produced by the body. Soy isoflavones may also reduce the body's production of estrogen, and increase clearance of these hormones from the circulation--all of which together reduce the overall amount of estrogen in the body," says the lead author of the study, Dr. Xiao Ou Shu, M.D., Ph.D., a cancer epidemiologist at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Shu says, however, that factors beyond estrogen may be at work. Other components of soy foods, such as folate, protein, calcium, or fiber (or some combination thereof) may also be responsible for the health benefits reported in the study, she says.

More studies are needed to confirm these findings, especially as they apply to women with estrogen-sensitive breast cancer or those who take drugs such as tamoxifen to keep breast cancer at bay, say Ballard-Barbash and Neuhouser. Still, they say, "Patients with breast cancer can be assured that enjoying a soy latte or indulging in pad thai with tofu causes no harm, and when consumed in plentiful amounts may reduce risk of disease recurrence."