Friday, December 27, 2013

Public isn't buying lamestream media's contrived attack on multivitamins

(NaturalNews) Once again, the lamestream media habit of completely accepting commentary from mainstream medical "authorities" has resurfaced as part of an anti-supplement campaign. Recently, they've take a fistful of press releases from medical mafia agents to attack multivitamins, most other vitamins, herbs and Dr. Linus Pauling.

The smear campaign's major contributors were The Week, Time Magazine, The New York Times and England's The Guardian. Here's the title from The Week: "How the vitamin industrial complex swindled America: Blame money, politics, and a flawed genius named Linus Pauling."

This title is very interesting. Using the phrase "vitamin industrial complex" with money and politics is an example of "psychological projection," accusing others with what they're actually guilty of, or attacking others who are innocent of what the attackers actually practice.

It's Big Pharma and the medical monopoly with support from the FDA and bought politicians who have the largest medical-industrial complex going. The smear campaign hit pieces cite a 12 billion-dollar supplement industry without statistical sourcing. But what is the revenue from combined medical monopoly efforts?

Investigative journalist Maggie Mahar wrote a book titled Money Driven Medicine, which is described as a look behind the scenes of America's 2 trillion-dollar medical-industrial complex. So, how many billions make a trillion?

It takes 1,000 billions to make an American trillion. The vitamin hit pieces neglected to compare a 12 billion-dollar vitamin industry, if that figure is accurate, to the 2,000 billion-dollar medical system that doesn't want diseases prevented, because disease care is their business.

PBS journalist Bill Moyer presents a documentary of the same name based on Maggie's discoveries here (

Crazy statements from crazy people that the MSM honor

Dr. Paul Offit is quoted liberally by these articles involved in the smear campaign against Linus Pauling and vitamins. Remember Offit? He's the one who publicly asserted that a newborn could tolerate 1,000, (reduced from 10,000), vaccinations in the same time frame while the mainstream prestitutes simply jotted down and reported that claim, as they do with his accusations of money and politics behind the demand for vitamins.

The absurdly outspoken Offit has had a vested interest with his part in developing the pediatric rotavirus vaccines, one of which had to be withdrawn because it was turning babies' guts inside out.

And he has been endowed generously by Merck, adding to his vaccine patent royalties, for speaking engagements and appearances on behalf of the vaccine industry, all adding to millions for Paul.

Here's an interesting, outrageous exchange with Offit reported by Age of Autism some years ago (

Offit has also been accurately accused of fraudulently hiding pharmaceutical financial ties while he falsely accused Dr. Andrew Wakefield of the same thing. Projection again.

Offit is not a clean character, and he constantly projects his dirty work and financial motives onto others who have integrity, courage and compassion for children and humanity (

But his anti-supplement tirades are quoted without question by the MSM, as you can see in the articles sourced below.
Attacking Linus Pauling

This has been going on for years now from various sectors of the medical mafia using the lamestream media platform. Here's a current example written by Offit: "a man [Pauling] who was so spectacularly right that he won two Nobel prizes and so spectacularly wrong that he was arguably the world's greatest quack."

Pauling had some books published, and he worked as a professor of chemistry, but he never had a direct vested financial interest in the vitamin industry the way Offit has with the vaccine industry. And he never recommended having infants receive 1,000 vaccinations at once, nor did he recommend pediatricians not care for children whose parents refused vaccinations. But the flawed Dr. Offit has done just that.

Offit is so outrageous and public that he is the perfect principle attack dog for Big Pharma against the supplement industry, which threatens their disease care racket. And the MSM swallows and regurgitates everything he asserts without question. That's balanced journalism?
Other factoids gleaned from this smear campaign:
Dr. Edgar Miller and a couple of his colleagues were featured in the hit pieces because they wrote editorial opinions that were recorded in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine where they urged people to stop wasting money on multivitamins that caused more harm than good. More projection.

Three unfavorable supplement studies were offered to support their editorial opinions, three out of easily over 1,000 that have been favorable. If you've read Natural News even occasionally, you will have seen some of those cited. If not, go here (

Another Time article commented, "The possibility of harm caused by natural products sold in health food stores isn't theoretical." Yet here's a conclusion from a study linked in that same article: Patients who are taking a daily multivitamin should understand that doing so may not help prevent dementia; however, they may experience other health benefits previously demonstrated in this trial.

That's supposed to warn folks away from multivitamins? Of course, the close to 800,000 annual deaths linked to iatrogenic causes (from medical interventions), including the correctly prescribed pharmaceuticals' annual death rate of over 100,000, are ignored once again.

Those statistics are from Dr. Carolyn Dean's book Death by Modern Medicine, which doesn't include iatrogenic disability, disease or worsened health, or over-the-counter drugs' adverse reactions.

Supplement death toll in 2009 was zero, zip, nada, as reported by Mike Adams with sources in 2010

Learn more:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Stress Test Chemicals Could Cause Heart Attacks And Death, FDA Warns

Nov 20 (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned physicians on Wednesday that two chemicals used to conduct cardiovascular stress tests can cause heart attacks and death, and it suggested resuscitation equipment and trained staff be available when the tests are conducted.

The injectable products, Lexiscan and Adenoscan, are marketed by Astellas Pharma US Inc. They work by stressing the heart, allowing physicians to take images that can show areas of low blood flow and damaged heart muscle. The tests are given to patients who are physically unable to exercise.

The FDA said heart attacks may be triggered by the tests because the chemicals dilate the heart's arteries and increase blood flow to help identify obstructions. Blood flows more easily to unblocked arteries, which can reduce blood flow to an obstructed artery. In some cases, that can lead to a heart attack, the agency said.

The FDA advised physicians not to use the products in patients with signs of acute myocardial ischemia, which occurs when blood flow to the heart muscle is decreased. Some cases of heart attack and death have occurred in patients with unstable angina, or chest pain, and other heart problems.

The FDA said it analyzed its safety database for Lexiscan for side effects reported between June 24, 2008, and April 10, 2013, and for Adenoscan from May 18, 1995, to April 10, 2013, correlating with the start of marketing for each drug.

The database contained 26 heart attacks and 29 deaths following administration with Lexiscan, and six heart attacks and 27 deaths following administration with Adenoscan. The reports did not always specify when the events occurred, but when the timing was specified, they tended to occur within six hours of a stress test, the FDA said.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

New heart guidelines could put more Americans on statins

The updated recommendations for treating cholesterol are "a huge, huge departure" from doctors' usual procedure.

Twice as many Americans will be eligible for cholesterol-lowering drugs, based on controversial new heart guidelines from two of the USA's leading cardiovascular associations.

The number of adults considered likely to benefit from statins will rise from about 15.5% today to 31%, according to the new criteria, developed by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, in collaboration with the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. While statins have been widely prescribed to reduce the risk of heart attacks, the new guidelines recommend that they also be considered for people at high risk of stroke.

That advice could lead doctors to prescribe statins to millions more people, says Steven Nissen, chair of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, who wasn't involved in the new guidelines.
"It's going to cause a huge conversation," says Mariell Jessup, president of the heart association. "It may be very controversial — which is fine. Controversy means discussion."

Authors of the new guidelines say they hope to get statins to more patients who need them, while avoiding unnecessary prescriptions for people unlikely to benefit.
The guidelines also call for doctors to work closely with patients to improve their diets and increase exercise.

Rita Redberg, a professor at the University of California-San Francisco, says she is concerned about exposing more patients to statins' side effects, which include an increased risk of diabetes, as well as muscle pain.

The average patient is likely to notice two major changes in the way that doctors manage their cholesterol, experts say.
For years, doctors often prescribed statins based on patients' cholesterol levels, especially their LDL, known as "bad" cholesterol. The new guidelines advise doctors to base their decisions on a patient's overall risk, rather than just their cholesterol. Nissen notes that even patients with normal cholesterol can have heart attacks.

"It's a huge, huge departure from the way that people have been thinking about cholesterol and heart disease," says Harlan Krumholz, a professor at the Yale School of Medicine. "Doctors today are obsessed with numbers."

The guidelines identify four high-risk groups who could benefit from statins: people with pre-existing heart disease, such as those who have had a heart attack; people ages 40 to 75 who have diabetes; patients ages 40 to 75 with at least a 7.5% risk of developing cardiovascular disease over the next decade, according to a formula described in the guidelines; and patients with the sort of super-high cholesterol that sometimes runs in families, as evidenced by an LDL of 190 milligrams per deciliter or higher.

These changes will help doctors to focus not just on "lab values," but on the whole patient, including a patient's weight, blood pressure, use of tobacco, diet, physical activity and other considerations, Krumholz says.

Doctors have focused heavily in recent years on using drugs to reduce LDL to certain benchmark levels: under 130 for most people; 100 for people at high-risk; under 70 for those at the highest risk, such as those who have just survived a heart attack. Doctors have raised or lowered medication doses to help patients meet these targets, Nissen says.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Johnson & Johnson To Pay $2.2 Billion To Resolve Drug Marketing Allegations

WASHINGTON (AP) — Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay over $2.2 billion to resolve criminal and civil allegations that the company promoted powerful psychiatric drugs for unapproved uses in children, seniors and disabled patients, the Department of Justice announced on Monday.

The agreement is the third-largest settlement with a drugmaker in U.S. history, and the latest in a string of actions against drug companies allegedly putting profits ahead of patients.
Justice Department officials alleged that J&J used illegal marketing tactics and kickbacks to persuade physicians and pharmacists to prescribe Risperdal and Invega, both antipsychotic drugs, and Natrecor, which is used to treat heart failure.

"J&J's promotion of Risperdal for unapproved uses threatened the most vulnerable populations of our society — children, the elderly and those with developmental disabilities," said Zane Memeger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The settlement amount includes $1.72 billion in civil payments to federal and state governments as well as $485 million in criminal fines and forfeited profits.

Monday's action is the latest example of regulators cracking down on aggressive pharmaceutical marketing tactics, namely trying to increase sales by pushing medicines for unapproved, or "off-label," uses. While doctors are allowed to prescribe medicines for any use, drugmakers cannot promote them in any way that is not approved by FDA.

"Every time pharmaceutical companies engage in this type of conduct, they corrupt medical decisions by health care providers, jeopardize the public health, and take money out of taxpayers' pockets," said Attorney General Eric Holder.  J&J said in a statement, "This resolution allows us to move forward."

The FDA first approved Risperdal tablets for schizophrenia in 1993, but prosecutors say J&J began promoting the drug for unrelated uses by the end of the decade. Risperdal then grew to become J&J's top product by 2005, with sales over $3.5 billion.

In its plea agreement, J&J subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals admitted to promoting Risperdal as a way to control erratic behavior in seniors with dementia. Today that use is explicitly barred in the drug's warning label because it can increase the risk of stroke and death in elderly patients.
Janssen agreed to plead guilty to violating drug marketing laws and will pay $400 million in fines and forfeited sales.

In a separate civil complaint, the government alleged that J&J and Janssen promoted Risperdal and a similar drug, Invega, to control numerous behavioral problems in seniors, children and the mentally disabled between 1999 and 2005.

Documents filed in the case show the government raised objections about the company's marketing approach for years. In a 1999 letter, the FDA warned Janssen that "disseminating materials that state or imply that Risperdal has been determined to be safe and effective for the elderly population" would be "misleading."

Despite such warnings, the company's marketing plan targeted nursing homes and doctors who treated the elderly. Marketing materials distributed by an "ElderCare sales force" emphasized Risperdal as a treatment for seniors suffering from everything from agitation to depression to hostility. The company also downplayed the drug's risks, including diabetes and weight gain.

At the same time the drugmaker was allegedly paying kickbacks to the nation's largest nursing home pharmacy, Omnicare. J&J paid millions in bogus grants and education payments to persuade the company's hundreds of pharmacists to recommend Risperdal to nursing homes. The government said the payments amounted to kickbacks.

The company also set business goals to increase drug sales to children and adolescents. Janssen instructed its sales representatives to call on child psychiatrists and to market Risperdal as a treatment for common childhood disorders, such as attention deficit disorder and autism.
Prosecutors said Monday the off-label prescribing contributed to millions of dollars of wasteful federal and state spending by health programs like Medicare, Medicaid and the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

"Through these alleged actions, these companies lined their pockets at the expense of American taxpayers, patients and the private insurance industry," Holder said.
In a separate civil complaint, the government alleged that J&J and its subsidiary Scios promoted its heart failure drug Natrecor as a weekly treatment for patients, despite no scientific evidence to support this approach.

J&J and Scios agreed to pay $184 million to settle civil allegations surrounding the drug.
Both state and federal governments are spending more than ever on prescription drugs, as Medicare and Medicaid swell with aging baby boomers. That increased spending has attracted scrutiny from prosecutors looking to recover taxpayer dollars.

Last year British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline paid a record $3 billion in fines to settle criminal and civil violations involving 10 of its drugs. Prior to that, the record settlement involved Pfizer Inc., which paid $2.3 billion in criminal and civil fines.
In its most recent quarterly filing, New Brunswick, N.J.-based J&J reported $17.3 billion in cash on hand.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Multiple sclerosis rates two times higher among dairy workers than other occupations

(dailyRx News) Scientists still don't know what causes multiple sclerosis (MS). It could be viruses, genetics or environmental factors, or a combination of all three. One new study suggests it could be the kind of work people do.

The results of that study showed that dairy workers in a certain Danish population had higher rates of MS than people in other lines of work.
This research is the first to show an increased risk of MS in dairy workers.
While the researchers could not explain what caused this increased risk, they did mention previous studies that have linked cow's milk to MS.

This study, led by Henrik Horwitz, MD, of Bispebjerg Hospital at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, was sparked by a finding that Dr. Horwitz and colleagues made some years back.
In 2006, while looking at critical illness insurance claims from a Danish pension fund, these researchers noted a high number of claims made by patients diagnosed with MS who worked in agriculture.

Critical illness insurance is an insurance plan that pays policyholders in a lump sum when they are diagnosed with a critical illness.
According to the researchers, these agricultural workers — made up of dairy workers, gardeners and agricultural assistants — had the lowest rates of critical illness in general. So why did MS seem to pop up so often?

Previous research has suggested that vitamin D, which most people get from being exposed to the sun's UV light, may protect against MS. Other research has shown an association between cow's milk and risk of MS.

For this current study, Dr. Horwitz and colleagues set out to see if gardeners or dairy workers had a higher risk of developing MS compared to other workers in PensionDenmark, a pension fund that insures more than 300,000 Danish workers.

Over the course of 10 years, 389 people were diagnosed with MS. The rate of MS among men was 10.2 per 100,000 men. Among women, that rate was 16.1 per 100,000.
The highest rate of MS was found among agricultural workers.
After looking a little deeper, the researchers found that this high rate of MS among agricultural workers could be tracked more specifically to dairy workers, who were two times more likely to develop MS than any of the other workers.

"Interestingly, dairy operators had the highest risk of developing MS, and the tendency was found both among men and women," the study authors wrote. "We were puzzled by the finding of an increased risk of MS among members of the agricultural segment of the pension fund, because this would seem to go against the vitamin D and sun exposure hypothesis. However, it became clear that dairy operators constituted one-third of this cohort, and this seemed to explain our findings."

Simply put, the researchers were surprised at first to find the increased risk of MS in agricultural workers, since many of these workers are typically outside getting that protective vitamin D from the sun. But then they saw that so many of the agricultural workers in this pension fund worked in the dairy sector, which doesn't require as much outdoor activity.

"No previous research has identified an increased risk of MS in dairy operators, so is this a coincidence? Or is it a clue to etiology (the origin or causes of disease)?" the researchers asked.
They went on to cite past research that has linked cow's milk to MS risk but concluded that this question should be studied further.

This study was published June 25 in BMJ Open

Monday, October 21, 2013

Dr. Murphy Presents: "The Healthcare Crisis in America"

Dr. Joseph J. Murphy was presented with a Kiwanis Legion of Honor award at the October 15 Kiwanis luncheon meeting held at Charlie Brown’s in Chatham Township. Past President Joan May (left in photo) announced that Joe has been a member of the club for 28 years.

Joe spoke to the club about “The Health Care Crisis in America.” Joe serves the Chatham area with the Suburban Chiropractic Center. He was introduced to the audience by David Lloyd, of Stickel, Frahn & Lloyd in Chatham.

He talked about how we got to where we are in health care. There was a time when the cost of health care was very low. Then, fees and costs started to slowly but steadily climb. Then, insurance coverage was added and employers started adding coverage as a benefit to employees. Cost of coverage grew so large that employers found that they could no longer afford to give it to employees.

Managed health care came into the picture to help control cost of insurance coverage. Fees paid to physicians were reduced to low levels. However, facilities and pharmaceutical cost were allowed to grow and Joe gave examples of how high these costs have grown. He also gave examples of how payments to physicians have fallen (relative to other costs). Americans are not entering medical schools because they cannot earn a living in that field of work.

Joe suggested several actions that would reduce the cost of health care. He also commented on Obama-care. Many companies will find ways around the provisions of this legislation. Many employees will be made part-time so they won’t be covered.

After a lively Q&A session, the audience enthusiastically applauded Joe’s insightful analysis of the Health Care Crisis in America.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Girl severely damaged by Gardasil recounts horrifying medical ordeal while doctors call her a liar

(NaturalNews) Young girls everywhere are being permanently damaged by Gardasil. But instead of listening to this evidence of a shocking lack of safety in HPV vaccination shots, the doctors, vaccine pushers and drug companies insist all these young girls are lying.

That's the "compassion" of modern medicine: Harm young girls with a potentially deadly biological, then call them liars when they suffer debilitating health consequences. And Congress, for its part, has granted vaccine companies total blanket immunity from all lawsuits, just to make sure no one gets their day in court.

Read this highly emotional account of what happened to a girl named Ashley Adair from Georgia after she received the Gardasil shot. It was originally published on, a fantastic website covering the

Learn more:

Friday, July 26, 2013

Top 10 most unhealthy, cancer-causing foods - never eat these again!

(NaturalNews) The statement "everything causes cancer" has become a popular hyperbole, and one that some people use as rhetorical fodder to excuse their own dietary and lifestyle failures, particularly as they pertain to cancer risk. But the truth of the matter is that many common food items have, indeed, been scientifically shown to increase cancer risk, and some of them substantially. Here are 10 of the most unhealthy, cancer-causing foods that you should never eat again:

1) Genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). It goes without saying that GMOs have no legitimate place in any cancer-free diet, especially now that both GMOs and the chemicals used to grow them have been shown to cause rapid tumor growth. But GMOs are everywhere, including in most food derivatives made from conventional corn, soybeans, and canola. However, you can avoid them by sticking with certified organic, certified non-GMO verified, and locally-grown foods that are produced naturally without biotechnology (

2) Processed meats. Most processed meat products, including lunch meats, bacon, sausage, and hot dogs, contain chemical preservatives that make them appear fresh and appealing, but that can also cause cancer. Both sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate have been linked to significantly increasing the risk of colon and other forms of cancer, so be sure to choose only uncured meat products made without nitrates, and preferably from grass-fed sources (

3) Microwave popcorn. They might be convenient, but those bags of microwave popcorn are lined with chemicals that are linked to causing not only infertility but also liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancers. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes the perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in microwave popcorn bag linings as "likely" carcinogenic, and several independent studies have linked the chemical to causing tumors. Similarly, the diacetyl chemical used in the popcorn itself is linked to causing both lung damage and cancer (

4) Soda pop. Like processed meats, soda pop has been shown to cause cancer as well. Loaded with sugar, food chemicals, and colorings, soda pop acidifies the body and literally feeds cancer cells. Common soda pop chemicals like caramel color and its derivative 4-methylimidazole (4-MI) have also specifically been linked to causing cancer (

5) 'Diet' foods, beverages. Even worse than conventional sugar-sweetened soda pop, though, is "diet" soda pop and various other diet beverages and foods. A recent scientific review issued by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) of more than 20 separate research studies found that aspartame, one of the most common artificial sweeteners, causes a range of illnesses including birth defects and cancer. Sucralose (Splenda), saccharin and various other artificial sweeteners have also been linked to causing cancer (

6) Refined 'white' flours. Refined flour is a common ingredient in processed foods, but its excess carbohydrate content is a serious cause for concern. A study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Mile Markers, and Prevention found that regular consumption of refined carbohydrates was linked to a 220 percent increase in breast cancer among women. High-glycemic foods in general have also been shown to rapidly raise blood sugar levels in the body, which directly feeds cancer cell growth and spread (

7) Refined sugars. The same goes for refined sugars, which tend to rapidly spike insulin levels and feed the growth of cancer cells. Fructose-rich sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) are particularly offensive, as cancer cells have been shown to quickly and easily metabolize them in order to proliferate. And since cookies, cakes, pies, sodas, juices, sauces, cereals, and many other popular, mostly processed, food items are loaded with HFCS and other refined sugars, this helps explain why cancer rates are on the rise these days (

8) Conventional apples, grapes, and other 'dirty' fruits. Many people think they are eating healthy when they buy apples, grapes, or strawberries from the store. But unless these fruits are organic or verified to be pesticide-free, they could be a major cancer risk. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that up to 98 percent of all conventional produce, and particularly the type found on its "dirty" fruits list, is contaminated with cancer-causing pesticides (

9) Farmed salmon. Farmed salmon is another high-risk cancer food, according to Dr. David Carpenter, Director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University of Albany. According to his assessment, farmed salmon not only lacks vitamin D, but it is often contaminated with carcinogenic chemicals, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), flame retardants, pesticides, and antibiotics (

10) Hydrogenated oils. They are commonly used to preserve processed foods and keep them shelf-stable. But hydrogenated oils alter the structure and flexibility of cell membranes throughout the body, which can lead to a host of debilitating diseases such as cancer. Some manufacturers are phasing out the use of hydrogenated oils and replacing them with palm oil and other safer alternatives, but trans fats are still widely used in processed foods (

Learn more:

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Why Are Foods and Supplements Made for Children Packed with Hazardous Chemicals, Hidden Aspartame and GMOs?

As a parent, one of the best gifts you can give your child is a strong nutritional start. The first years of life represent a time of rapid development, during which your child's language, cognitive, social and motor skills are developed.
During the first three years of life, the brain also grows at its fastest rate, and this represents a crucial window of development during which proper nutrition is essential.
If your child does not get healthy foods (and ideally breast milk) during this time, his future intelligence could be impacted. 
A 2010 study1 revealed just how big an impact a poor nutritional start can have on your kids. Those who ate a predominantly processed food diet at age 3 had lower IQ scores at age 8.5. For each measured increase in processed foods, participants had a nearly two point decrease in IQ.

As you might suspect, the opposite also held true, with those eating healthier diets experiencing higher IQ levels.

As a parent, it is important to carefully consider the types of foods you give your child at home and in restaurants, as research has shown that repeated exposure builds taste preferences very quickly.

Potentially reduced IQ is not the only health risk your child faces if he eats a diet consisting mainly of processed foods and snacks.

A junk food diet can also set the stage for obesity, asthma, eczema, and a variety of allergies, behavioral problems—from hyperactivity to aggression—as well as inflammatory conditions and autoimmune diseases. In fact, many of the top diseases plaguing the United States are diet-related, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

The National Institutes of Health even states that four of the six leading causes of death in the US are linked to unhealthy diets.

So the importance of proper nutrition simply cannot be overstated. Yet despite all this knowledge, food and beverage companies and even supplement makers are foisting products on children that are FAR from health-promoting, making your role as an educated parent all the more important...

Absurd Lies Told By McDonald's CEO
A related article3 pointed out the many lies spouted by McDonald’s CEO during this shareholder’s meeting, including but not limited to:
  • Claiming “chicken nugget Happy Meals and fat-free milk” are healthy...
  • Chicken McNuggets contain roughly 30 ingredients, including: sodium phosphates, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate and calcium lactate. The “fat-free milk” Thompson touted numerous times is actually chocolate milk, containing 10 grams of added sugar...

  • “We provide high-quality food, we always have. It’s real beef, it’s real chicken, it’s real tomatoes, real lettuce, real fruit, real smoothies, real dairy, real eggs.”
  • Really? The “real eggs” in an Egg McMuffin are “ prepared with” the following: Liquid Margarine: Liquid Soybean Oil and Hydrogenated Cottonseed and Soybean Oils, Water, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Mono and Diglycerides, Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate (Preservatives), Artificial Flavor, Citric Acid, Vitamin A Palmitate, Beta Carotene (Color).

  • “Globally, we follow guidelines on responsible marketing to children.”
  • ... Just last month, McDonald’s was fined $1.6 million by the consumer protection agency in Sao Paulo [Brazil] for violating local laws on targeting children... A report from Yale University found that... “Although McDonald's pledged to improve food marketing to children, they increased their volume of TV advertising from 2007 to 2009.” Preschoolers saw 21 percent more McDonald's ads and older children viewed 26 percent more ads in 2009 compared to 2007...

  • “And we are not marketing food to kids.”
  • Two words: Happy Meals.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Obamacare Will Cause Medical Claims Costs To Jump 32 Percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Medical claims costs — the biggest driver of health insurance
premiums — will jump an average 32 percent for Americans' individual policies under President Barack Obama's overhaul, according to a study by the nation's leading group of financial risk analysts.
The report could turn into a big headache for the Obama administration at a time when many parts of the country remain skeptical about the Affordable Care Act. The estimates were recently released by the Society of Actuaries to its members.

While some states will see medical claims costs per person decline, the report concluded the overwhelming majority will see double-digit increases in their individual health insurance markets, where people purchase coverage directly from insurers.

The disparities are striking. By 2017, the estimated increase would be 62 percent for California, about 80 percent for Ohio, more than 20 percent for Florida and 67 percent for Maryland. Much of the reason for the higher claims costs is that sicker people are expected to join the pool, the report said.
The report did not make similar estimates for employer plans, the mainstay for workers and their families. That's because the primary impact of Obama's law is on people who don't have coverage through their jobs.

The administration questions the design of the study, saying it focused only on one piece of the puzzle and ignored cost relief strategies in the law such as tax credits to help people afford premiums and special payments to insurers who attract an outsize share of the sick. The study also doesn't take into account the potential price-cutting effect of competition in new state insurance markets that will go live on Oct. 1, administration officials said.
"It's misleading to look at only some of the provisions of the law because, taken together, the law will reduce costs," said Health and Human Services spokeswoman Erin Shields Britt.

But a prominent national expert, recently retired Medicare chief actuary Rick Foster, said the report does "a credible job" of estimating potential enrollment and costs under the law, "without trying to tilt the answers in any particular direction."
"Having said that," Foster added, "actuaries tend to be financially conservative, so the various assumptions might be more inclined to consider what might go wrong than to anticipate that everything will work beautifully." Actuaries use statistics and economic theory to make long-range cost projections for insurance and pension programs sponsored by businesses and government. The society is headquartered near Chicago.

Kristi Bohn, an actuary who worked on the study, acknowledged it did not attempt to estimate the effect of subsidies, insurer competition and other factors that could mitigate cost increases. She said the goal was to look at the underlying cost of medical care.
"Claims cost is the most important driver of health care premiums," she said.
"We don't see ourselves as a political organization," Bohn added. "We are trying to figure out what the situation at hand is."

On the plus side, the report found the law will cover more than 32 million currently uninsured Americans when fully phased in. And some states — including New York and Massachusetts — will see double-digit declines in costs for claims in the individual market.

Uncertainty over costs has been a major issue since the law passed three years ago, and remains so just months before a big push to cover the uninsured gets rolling Oct. 1. Middle-class households will be able to purchase subsidized private insurance in new marketplaces, while low-income people will be steered to Medicaid and other safety net programs. States are free to accept or reject a Medicaid expansion also offered under the law.

Obama has promised that the new law will bring costs down. That seems a stretch now. While the nation has been enjoying a lull in health care inflation the past few years, even some former administration advisers say a new round of cost-curbing legislation will be needed.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

TV Ads for Statins Drive Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment According to Study

The United States is one of only two countries, the other being New Zealand, that allows drugs to be advertised on TV, and it’s not difficult to understand why nearly every other country has given such ads the boot.

As with all commercials, the ads are intended to influence you to buy their products. In the case of prescription medications, the “product” is a potentially dangerous chemical drug that is loaded with side effects.

In a 2009 Harris Poll, 51 percent said that drug ads encourage them to ask questions when they go to their doctor, and a whopping 44 percent actually believe drug ads make them more knowledgeable about treatments for their ailments.

Now, a new study assessing the effect of direct-to-consumer drug advertising has concluded that TV ads for statins may be a driving factor of overdiagnosis of high cholesterol and overtreatment with the drugs.1

The reason is clear. People who dutifully ask their doctors about a drug advertised on TV usually end up receiving a prescription...

Is it any wonder then that one in four Americans over the age of 45 is now taking a statin drug, despite the fact that there are over 900 studies proving their adverse effects, which run the gamut from muscle problems to diabetes and increased cancer risk.

TV Ads for Statins Drive Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment
To determine the relationship between estimated exposure to direct-to-consumer advertising for statin drugs and two clinical variables: diagnosis with high cholesterol and statin use, the featured study, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine,2 used logistic regression to analyze repeated cross-sectional surveys of more than 106,000 Americans, merged with data on the frequency of ads appearing on national, cable, and local television, between 2001 and 2007. Interestingly, those who reported seeing statin ads on TV were:
  • 16-20 percent more likely to be diagnosed with high cholesterol
  • 16-22 percent more likely to be using a statin drug
That’s quite a boost in diagnosis and treatment, and proof positive that advertising works, even when you’re selling something with greater potential harms than benefits, as is the case with statins.
Tellingly, both the diagnosis of high cholesterol and increased statin use was driven almost exclusively by those who were at LOW risk for future cardiac events, indicating that overdiagnosis and unnecessary drug treatment is quite real. Conversely, those at high risk of heart disease were not more likely to be taking a statin after seeing the commercials. According to the authors:
"Our findings raise questions about the extent to which direct-to-consumer advertising may promote over-diagnosis and over-treatment for populations where risks may outweigh potential benefits. In addition, we found no evidence of favorable associations between exposure to statins in television advertisements and statin use among those at high risk for future cardiac events."

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Z-Pak May Cause Heart Attacks!

WEDNESDAY, March 13, 2013— Patients who take the antibiotic azithromycin, commonly known as Zithromax or Z-Pak, and have certain risk-factors may face life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias, the Food and Drug Administration warned Tuesday.
Patients with the preexisting conditions bradycardia, which is an abnormally slow heartbeat, QT prolongation, a condition that raises the risk for a specific type of irregular heartbeat, or with low blood levels of magnesium or potassium are at risk for the life-threatening arrhythmias, according to the FDA.
The FDA urged doctors to consider the arrythmia risk before prescribing the common antibiotic, and modified the language used to label the drug.
The warning comes after review of data published in the New England Journal of Medicine in May. Researchers at Vanderbilt University found that patients with the risk factors cited in the FDA warning who took azithromycin were at an increased risk of death.
“The study reported an increase in cardiovascular deaths, and in the risk of death from any cause, in persons treated with a 5-day course of azithromycin compared to persons treated with amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin, or no drug,” the FDA said in a statement.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Milk Alert

The dairy industry has petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to change their rules governing what is allowed to be put in milk and other dairy products. The industry's main goal is to be able to add synthetic sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose (Splenda), and other such chemicals, to dairy products without having to tell the consumer.

The articles that are coming out on this proposal have been confusing, but that's not surprising since the wording of the dairy industry's petition is vague and confusing!

The articles that are coming out on this proposal have been confusing, but that's not surprising since the wording of the dairy industry's petition is vague and confusing!

The petition discusses adding the sweeteners to flavored milks -- marketed widely to schools -- but without labeling the milk as being lower in sugar or calories because the children would not like that. (So they apparently believe that the typical student, with about 12 minutes to eat lunch, is going to actually read his milk carton!)

The dairy industry claims that this will help reduce childhood obesity, even though studies have shown that fake sweeteners actually increase the desire for sweet foods and can cause weight gain.

Moreover, the dairy industry claims consumers don't know that flavored milks are sweetened anyhow, and such changes will "promote honesty and fair dealing." What they have neglected to say is that with the sale of milk steadily declining, this is an effort to boost sales, especially in schools wanting to limit sugar.

The Federal Register says the FDA wants to know if you think this is a great idea.

To let the FDA know what you think, CLICK HERE.