NewsTarget.com
January 23 2007
by Jessica Fraser

(NewsTarget) Pfizer Inc. -- the world's top pharmaceuticals manufacturer -- announced earlier this week that it would cut 20 percent of its U.S. sales workforce as part of its plan to reduce costs and boost earnings in the coming years.

The job cuts will affect 2,200 employees at all levels of the drug giant's sales operation, from field sales representatives to upper-level management, according to Pfizer spokesman Paul Fitzhenry. While the latest workforce reduction is set to end layoffs in the U.S. sales sector, the rest of the company's operations are still under review and could possibly experience cuts, Fitzhenry said.

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How to Tame a Colicky Baby

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Dr. Joseph Mercola
www.mercola.com
January 25, 2007

A daily dose of the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri can improve the symptoms of infantile colic. In a new study, 83 infants were given either the probiotic or the pharmaceutical control simethicone (a commonly used colic medication, also called Mylanta) for a period of one month.

At the study's end, the average crying times of the probiotic group had decreased by about 75 percent, compared to only 26 percent for the control group.

A daily dose of 108 colony-forming units (CFU) of L. reuteri was given to the infants in the probiotic group 30 minutes after feeding. Mothers were asked to follow a diet free of cow's milk.

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Cholesterol Guidelines not Based on Evidence

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A Commentary in the Lancet by John Abramson, MD, of Harvard Medical School, author of Overdosed America, and James Wright, MD, University of British Columbia, challenges the validity of the U.S. clinical practice guidelines recommending the expanded use of statins by healthy people.

The authors argue that recommendations for the expanded use of statins to stave off cardiovascular disease are NOT supported by the evidence.

It should be noted that: "For adults aged between 30 and 80 years old who already have occlusive vascular disease, statins confer a total and cardiovascular mortality benefit t and are not controversial."

But the revised U.S. guidelines (2001) increased the target population to be treated with statins from 13 million to 36 million Americans. That increase offers huge economic implications for the manufacturers of statins.

The guidelines, the authors say, "are based on the assumption that cardiovascular risk is a continuum and that evidence of benefit in people with occlusive vascular disease (secondary prevention) can be extrapolated to primary prevention populations. This assumption, plus the assumption that cardiovascular risk can be accurately predicted, leads to the recommendation that a substantial proportion of the healthy population should be placed on statin therapy."

The controversy involves this question: which people without evident occlusive vascular disease (true primary prevention) should be offered statins? The authors note that in formulating recommendations for primary prevention, the authors of the guidelines did not rely on the data that already exist from the primary prevention trials. Indeed, the authors note that the guidelines cite seven and nine randomised trials, in support of statin therapy for the primary prevention of this disease in women and people aged over 65 years. Yet NOT ONE of the studies provides such evidence.

Furthermore, they note: "the absolute risk reduction of 1.5% is small and means that 67 people have to be treated for 5 years to prevent one such event. Further analysis revealed that the benefit might be limited to high-risk men aged 30-69 years.

Statins did not reduce total coronary heart disease events in 10,990 women in these primary prevention trials.

Similarly, in 3,239 men and women older than 69 years, statins did not reduce total cardiovascular events.

"Our analysis suggests that lipid-lowering statins should not be prescribed for true primary prevention in women of any age or for men older than 69 years. High-risk men aged 30-69 years should be advised that about 50 patients need to be treated for 5 years to prevent one event."


Vera Hassner Sharav

ALLIANCE FOR HUMAN RESEARCH PROTECTION
Promoting Openness, Full Disclosure, and Accountability


Here is the commentary by Abramson and Wright as published in The Lancet:

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http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/no-to-indias-crops-being-genetically-engineered.html

Already 700 people have signed it. Please add your own signature to this growing list.

To: Dr. Man Mohan Singh, Prime Minister of India

Dear Dr. Singh,

Indian rice, vegetables and feed crops are now seriously under threat of almost certain contamination from genetically engineered seeds. This is because the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee [GEAC], an inter-ministerial body charged with the responsibility of approving field trials of food and feed crops is facilitating open field trials of genetically engineered seeds of trans-national corporations. The profound truth is that:

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INDONESIA GOVT MAY BAN ASPARTAME

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Dr. Betty Martini, D.Hum,
Founder Mission Possible International
January 9, 2007

Around the world there are efforts at banning aspartame: Recall of Aspartame: A Message Congress Cannot Ignore:

Today all eyes are on New Mexico as Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino sponsors a ban aspartame bill.

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Redorbit
BREAKING NEWS:
By Jenny Hope

PATIENTS taking the cholesterol-busting drugs statins could be at a much higher risk of developing Parkinson's disease, a scientist claims.

Up to four million Britons are thought to be taking statins regularly because they are at risk of a heart attack or stroke, saving at least 7,000 lives a year.

The drugs are designed to reduce levels of low- density lipoproteins (LDLs), which carry cholesterol from the liver to cells in the body.

This 'bad' LDL cholesterol can fur up the arteries and lead to heart disease.

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The Times
January 20, 2007
Alice Miles and Helen Rumbelow

  • It's right to have worries, says expert
  • Don't buy phones for primary pupils'

If we came expecting reassurance from this bearded, 6ft 4in grandfather, the emeritus professor of physics who heads the Government’s mobile phone safety research, we are about to be a little shaken.

We begin by asking if this isn’t all a bit old hat. Haven’t we all got into an unnecessary lather about the dangers of mobiles, and wireless technology? There are all these vague concerns — “There should be,” Lawrie Challis cuts in.

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ALLIANCE FOR HUMAN RESEARCH PROTECTION (AHRP)
Promoting Openness, Full Disclosure, and Accountability
http://www.ahrp.org

The Cortland County Mental Health agency is about to invade Syracuse schools exposing "every fifth grader and ninth grader" to a mental screening program--i.e., a series of loaded questions with an 84% false-positive rate of falsely identifying healthy children as having "mental problems." Mental screening lacks even a semblance of scientific validity:

TeenScreen's developer, Dr. David Shaffer, chairman child psychiatry, Columbia University, tested his screening questionnaire on 1,729 New York City high school students. Of these, 475 students tested "positive" - as being suicidal. When the students were retested, the predictive accuracy of TeenScreen was only 16%. [1]

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NewsTarget.com
January 22 2007
by Jessica Fraser

(NewsTarget) Over-the-counter cold and cough medicines can injure or even kill children younger than 2, according to a new study appearing in the Jan. 12 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published by the CDC.

Three infants from 1 month old to 6 months old died in 2005 after being given either prescription or over-the-counter cough and cold medications -- or both -- while more than 1,500 children younger than 2 were treated in emergency rooms for health issues caused by such medicines between 2004 and 2005.

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NewsTarget.com
January 22 2007
by Jessica Fraser

(NewsTarget) Medication mistakes kill more than 7,000 people every year, largely because of doctors' often-illegible handwriting on prescriptions, according to a July 2006 report issued by the National Academies of Science's Institute of Medicine (IOM).

Part of the problem stems from doctors' failure to invest in internet-based prescribing systems that eliminate handwriting errors that can result in patients receiving the wrong medication or dosage, according to TIME.

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