OpEdNews.com
July 17, 2006

By Evelyn Pringle

The TeenScreen survey is being used to screen students for mental illness in the nation's public school system reportedly to prevent suicide. However, critics adamantly disagree with its stated purpose and say its a marketing scheme invented by the pharmaceutical industry to recruit prescription drug customers.

The goal is to promote the patently false idea that we have a nation of children with undiagnosed mental disorders crying out for treatment, according to Republican Texas Congressman and physician, Ron Paul, in "Forcing Kids Into a Mental Health Ghetto."

Implementing such a blatant marketing scheme in schools would be impossible without a lot of help from key politicians and policy makers. But when it comes to gaining influence over government officials, Big Pharma knows when and where to be generous. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, in his 2 bids for the presidency, George W Bush, has been the number one recipient of campaign donations from the industry.

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By Evelyn Pringle
Lawyers and Settlements
Justice for Everyone
July 9, 2006

The tax dollar funded mental health screening programs popping up in every corner of the nation represent an enormous gift to Big Pharma from the Bush administration.

After all, drug companies can't push drugs without a lucrative customer base, so the screening programs are a great solution for that little problem.

On April 29, 2002, Bush kicked off the whole mental health screening scheme when he announced the establishment of the New Freedom Commission (NFC) during a speech in in New Mexico where he told the audience that mental health centers and hospitals, homeless shelters, and the justice and school systems, have contact with individuals suffering from mental disorders but that too many Americans are falling through the cracks, and so he created the NFC to ensure “that the cracks are closed.”

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The Australian
Roy Eccleston
July 11 2006

Doctors are likely to be allowed to prescribe Ritalin to preschoolers under new national ADHD guidelines to be drawn up next year, despite federal Government concerns.

Ritalin's manufacturer, Novartis, currently advises against giving the drug to children under six, saying its usefulness and safety are not known.

But preliminary findings from a US health review have given Australian pediatricians confidence they are right to prescribe the stimulant drug to pre-schoolers with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The practice of prescribing Ritalin to preschoolers against drug company advice was revealed in The Weekend Australian.

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China To Restrict Aspartame Production

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An interesting item from the food ingredients press: China is restricting production and sale of Aspartame, the controversial sweetener that has recently been declared to be innocuous by both the FDA and the European Food Safety Administration.

China to Restrict Aspartame Production and Sale

(original here)

12/07/06 - By controlling production and banning the launch of new projects, China will exert more efforts to restrict the production and sale of aspartame, press reports said.

A circular issued by The National Development and Reform Commission (NDR), the State Administration for Industry and Commerce and the State Environmental Protection Administration highlighted their further strengthening of China’s work on restricting the sale and production of the widely-used sweetener.

State-designated aspartame producers shall in principle shift production to other products when moving to a new place, according to the circular. In addition, their reconstruction will not exceed the state designated one, if they decide to pursue their aspartame operations.

A clamp-down on aspartame production by the Chinese authorities. What do the Chinese know that the US FDA and the European Agency for the Safety of Foods are completely missing?

Only recently, the European Commission moved its Food Safety Agency to discredit the Italian study by the European Ramazzini Foundation's Cancer Research Institute which had found that in a long time experiment, rats had developed cancers and leukemias when given aspartame at dosages comparable to those that humans could be expected to consume.

No wonder the Chinese economy is the most vibrant economy, together with India, growing by about 10 % a year. They actually take care to eliminate losing business propositions and concentrate on what has a promising future, and there is no override of decisions of the government by industrial giants.

Not so here in the West. Since Donald Rumsfeld called in his markers to override the FDA scientific advisory board's decision to not approve the sweetener, the FDA has been looking the other way every time it got an adverse event report. Now such reports are openly discouraged because ... well, it just can't be that a sweetener that is on the market with regulatory approval is causing your nausea, your headache, your vision going bad, and any of a number of some 92 adverse reactions listed in an early FDA report, then removed from public view.

The situation is similar with the European Union. The scientific data were re-examined several times, and each time aspartame was given a clean bill of health. At its latest aspartame-defense press conference, the EU representative was bold enough to state that "no further research is needed". Translation: Aspartame will stay on the market, whether you like it or not.

Perhaps the only conclusion one can come to by looking at all the data available is: Our health authorities are in bed with an industry that is concentrating on shareholder profit rather than on eliminating problems their products cause for our health.

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DOCTORS SAY VITAMINS ARE SAFE

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Orthomolecular Medicine News Service,
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 11, 2006

Follow-Up Report by the Independent Vitamin Safety Review Panel

(OMNS July 11, 2006) More and more practicing physicians are coming forward in support of vitamins. Drawing on decades of actual experience with many thousands of patients, family doctors and specialists assert that vitamin supplements are safe and effective even in high doses.

Peter H. Lauda, M.D., of Vienna, Austria writes:
"Over all the years I have prescribed vitamins for prevention and treatment, for a huge number of patients including both adults and children. I have never seen any serious problems or dangerous side effects caused by vitamin supplements. Furthermore, routinely performed lab analyses did not show any impairments or objective signs of liver, renal and other organ damage caused by vitamin supplements."

Robert F. Cathcart, M.D., of California says:
"Vitamin supplements are safe. I have never seen a serious reaction to vitamin supplements. Since 1969 I have taken over 2 tons of ascorbic acid myself. I have put over 20,000 patients on bowel tolerance doses of ascorbic acid without any serious problems, and with great benefit."

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CBS News
HOUSTON, July 10, 2006

(AP) A widely prescribed antidepressant that Andrea Yates took in the months before she drowned her five children in 2001 had homicidal thoughts added recently to its list of rare adverse events. But the drug's manufacturer says it believes Effexor doesn't cause such phenomena.

Wyeth spokeswoman Gwen Fisher said that while Effexor was being studied for use in treating panic disorder, the company found one person reported having homicidal thoughts in its clinical trial.

"Homicidal ideation" was added last year as one of Effexor's rare adverse events, defined as something not proven to be caused by the drug. The Madison, N.J.-based company never notified doctors or issued warning labels because it found no causal link between its drug and homicidal thoughts, Fisher said.

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SSRI-Research
July 8, 2006

1. PSYCHIATRIC "DISORDERS" ARE NOT MEDICAL DISEASES.

In medicine, strict criteria exist for calling a condition a disease: a predictable group of symptoms and the cause of the symptoms or an understanding of their physiology (function) must be proven and established. Chills and fever are symptoms. Malaria and typhoid are diseases. Diseases are proven to exist by objective evidence and physical tests. Yet, no mental "diseases" have ever been proven to medically exist.

2. PSYCHIATRISTS DEAL EXCLUSIVELY WITH MENTAL "DISORDERS," NOT PROVEN DISEASES.

While mainstream physical medicine treats diseases, psychiatry can only deal with "disorders." In the absence of a known cause or physiology a group of symptoms seen in many different patients is called a disorder or syndrome. Harvard Medical School's Joseph Glenmullen, M.D., says that in psychiatry, "all of its diagnoses are merely syndromes [or disorders], clusters of symptoms presumed to be related, not diseases." As Dr. Thomas Szasz, professor of psychiatry emeritus, observes, "There is no blood or other biological test to ascertain the presence or absence of a mental illness, as there is for most bodily diseases."

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June 27, 2006
BBC News
Drug trial victim's 'hell' months

A young trainee plumber left critically ill when a drug trial went dramatically wrong has told the BBC of the "four months of hell" he has endured.

Ryan Wilson, 20, from London, was the most seriously ill of the six men whose heads and bodies swelled up following injections of TGN1412 in March.

Mr Wilson, who has left hospital, spoke of his anger at the companies involved, during an exclusive BBC interview.

He may lose all of his toes and parts of three fingers.

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July 10, 2006
Sharon Kirkey
CanWest News Service

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Health Canada has issued new warnings of rare heart risks for all drugs used for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, including a risk of sudden death.

A public advisory issued Friday cautions that any child or adult with high blood pressure, heart disease or heart abnormalities, hardening of the arteries or an overactive thyroid gland should not use Ritalin or seven other ADHD medications.

The pills - among the most widely prescribed drugs to Canadian children - increase heart rate and blood pressure.

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By JAIME J. HENNESSEY
ABC News

Scientists Fear Chemical in Plastic Could Be Harmful

July 6, 2006 — - From food-storage containers to disposable silverware, plastic products are such a part of our lives that it's easy to forget they contain chemicals that could harm us.

But last month, San Francisco banned a type of sturdy, hard plastic made with a molecule known as bisphenol A , or BPA. Any toys, bottles and pacifiers made with BPA must be replaced, according to the law the mayor signed in June.

Why did the city take such drastic action? BPA, like many other man-made chemicals, is now detectable in most people's bloodstreams and could cause dangerous hormonal changes in children.

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