By Dr. Betty Martini
Mission Possible International

Mission Possible is seeking New York and New Jersey plaintiffs for litigation on aspartame.

ATLANTA (PRWEB) April 12, 2005 -- Consumer rights advocacy group Mission Possible is leading a campaign to fill a product liability lawsuit with New York and New Jersey residents whose brain tumors may be linked to the consumption of the artificial sweetener aspartame (NutraSweet/Equal/Spoonful, etc.).

"Neither congressional hearings or repeated petitions calling for a ban have stopped aspartame manufacturers from exposing the public to this sweet poison. In fact, aspartame producers are reporting increased sales and boasting the marketplace addition of 'neotame,' a new aspartame product," explained Mission Possible International Founder Betty Martini.

For 16 years, the FDA resisted pressure to approve aspartame due to safety studies linking the artificial sweetener to numerous adverse reactions, including the development of brain tumors in animal studies. In 1977, FDA investigator Jerome Bressler released a report describing how, in clinical studies submitted to the FDA, Searle removed aspartame-induced brain tumors that developed in lab rats and placed them back into the study. If the rats died, Bressler reported, Searle would resurrect them on paper.

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Zinc Sharpens Teens' Thinking Skills

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By Kathleen Doheny
HealthDay
April 4, 2005

Study found 20 milligrams a day improved memory, attention span in seventh graders.

Zinc may give your teenager a mental edge. Researchers found that adding the mineral to the diets of middle schoolers led to improvements in their memories and attention spans. They reported the results on April 4 at the Experimental Biology 2005 meeting in San Diego.

Seventh graders given 20 milligrams of zinc five days a week for 10 to 12 weeks performed better on memory tasks and had longer attention spans than did those who did not receive zinc supplements, said James G. Penland, a research psychologist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, in North Dakota.

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by John W. Whitehead
4/18/2005
http://www.rutherford.org/articles_db/commentary.asp?record_id=335

Inevitably, when we hear about humans being experimented on, our minds turn to the Auschwitz concentration camp and the infamous Nazi Angel of Death, Josef Mengele. Seen as immoral and scientifically dubious, Mengele's work included placing human beings in pressure chambers, freezing them to death, testing drugs on them and castrating them. He also injected children with lethal germs, removed their organs and limbs and performed sex change operations on them. His primary interest was twins. The Nuremberg Code, created as a reaction to the horrors of Mengele's work, provided directives for human experimentation to protect the experimental subject from even remote possibilities of injury, disability, or death. Above all else, the Code stressed that it is necessary to obtain voluntary, informed consent from the patient.

Despite the existence of this code and subsequent medical ethics codes, Mengele's legacy lives on. This time, the culprit is none other than the United States government through its involvement in numerous questionable and immoral human research programs. Lest you think that the scientific community and government agencies would not carry out immoral experiments on humans, particularly children, think again. For example, the federal Environmental Protection Agency's forays into human experimentation recently came to light after the Washington Post reported that the EPA had approved a two-year study in which families who use pesticides in Duval County, Fla., would be paid to continue using them and to monitor their children's exposure. Each family would be paid $970 in order that scientists might discover how children's bodies absorb hazardous chemicals. Although scientists may not know the full effects of these poisonous chemicals, they do know that children are at greater risk than adults. Yet rather than advising parents to keep children away from pesticides, the government is paying them to poison their children. Thankfully, after U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (CA) and Bill Nelson (FL) threatened to block the full-time confirmation of Stephen Johnson, the EPA's acting administrator, if the experiment were not cancelled, Johnson ended the Florida pesticide program on April 8, 2005.

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Children's Services Probed In New York

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Published on : 4/24/2005 12:32:00 PM
India News Category : American News

A big scandal is brought out in New York City, but if proven true has vital implications on two fronts. The city's Administration for Children's Services has hired an outside research firm to investigate allegations that the city inappropriately put foster children into medical trials for AIDS drugs in the 1980's and 1990's and that foster parents who objected to the trials lost custody of the children.

The two-pronged allegations entail powder-keg charges that the city tested AIDS drugs on foster children and that if a foster parent objected the children was then placed elsewhere. Most of the children in the trials were African-American or Hispanic. Vera Institute of Justice articulated that it would form a panel of national health care experts to review the findings of the investigation. The agency's commissioner, John B. Mattingly, articulated that he thought that children's services had acted appropriately but that he has asked for the outside investigation to allay concerns raised by some reporters and by a minority advocacy group.

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AIDS Clinical Trials on Children Probed

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Newsday
April 25, 2005
BY GLENN THRUSH

Two City Council members are calling on the city Department of Investigation to probe a series of clinical trials that gave potentially toxic experimental AIDS drugs to 465 HIV-positive foster kids. Councilmen Bill Perkins (D-Harlem) and Charles Barron (D-East New York) made the request yesterday following the Bloomberg administration's stunning revelation Friday that the number of kids involved in trials was far greater than the 75 to 80 previously reported.

Administration for Children's Services chief John Mattingly has hired the nonprofit Vera Institute for Justice to look into whether the drugs were administered properly.

"We need a truly independent investigation - so why is DOI not investigating this?" Perkins said during a City Hall news conference. "Why is Mattingly allowed to set up his own investigation? Why is he being allowed to circumvent DOI?"

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Vitamin D aids lung cancer operations

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BBC News - Health
Friday, 22 April, 2005

Lung cancer patients who have surgery in the winter are 40% more likely to die of the disease than those operated on in the summer, a US study suggests.

A study of 456 patients found high levels of vitamin D - from sun exposure and food supplements - had a positive impact on the success of surgery.

The Harvard University team said more research was needed and patients should not expect surgery in the summer.

UK experts said it was interesting but warned sun exposure could be dangerous.

Lead researcher Wei Zhou said: "This study in no way suggests that people should try to time their cancer surgeries for a particular season - that would obviously be impossible.

Although vitamin D is made by our bodies in response to sunlight, we actually need relatively little exposure to maintain healthy levels
Dr Kat Arney, of Cancer Research UK

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By Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor
26 April 2005

Europe's drugs watchdog has banned Prozac and other modern antidepressants for under-18s because of safety fears, putting it on a collision course with Britain's drugs regulator.

Antidepressants increase suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts among children and adolescents, and should not be used to treat depression, the scientific panel of the European Medicines Agency (Emea) said. Including Prozac in the ban clashes with the stance taken by Britain's drugs regulator 16 months ago. Prozac is the only antidepressant that doctors can prescribe to children in Britain, following a safety review in 2003.

The drug was singled out by the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) as the only one of the modern generation of antidepressants that was effective and safe for children. All others were banned for children in December 2003.

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According to information forwarded by Vera Hassner Sharav of the
ALLIANCE FOR HUMAN RESEARCH PROTECTION (AHRP), the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is recommending warnings about the increased risk of suicide attempts and hostility for children and adolescents prescribed antidepressants that influence the level of serotonin in the brain and also suggests to use warnings about the increased risk of hostility and "emotional lability" for children prescribed Strattera (atomoxetine).

These warnings are based on a scientific review of the evidence by the EMA's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP), which concluded that the warnings about increased risk of suicide attempts and hostility should be included in the product information of all antidepressants:

"...a warning reflecting the increased risk of side-effects such as suicide attempt, suicidal thoughts and hostility (predominantly aggression, oppositional behaviour and anger) in children and adolescents treated with antidepressants should be included in the product information of citalopram, escitalopram, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, mianserine, milnacipran, mirtazapine, paroxetine, reboxetine, sertraline and venlafaxine containing medicinal products to warn physicians, patients and parents regarding this signal".

The justification for the inclusion of atomoxetine (Strattera) is the finding that the drug increased risk of hostility and emotional lability:

"No signal of suicide related behaviour was seen in atomoxetine studies. However, the Committee concluded that a warning reflecting the increased risk of side-effects such as hostility and emotional lability and a warning indicating the lack of efficacy in depression should be included in the product information of atomoxetine, which is only indicated in the treatment of ADHD."

 
Vera Hassner Sharav can be contacted at veracare@ahrp.org

Here is an article with more complete information:

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Health Authorities in most Western Countries see protecting the interests of Drug Companies as one of their first priorities, but hundreds of thousands are dying every year from the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs.

Covering for pharma is endemic with major health authorities in many countries. Examples range from the suppression of hyperbaric therapy to a refusal of US authorities to test for mad cow disease, from trying to keep electromedicine at bay to minimizing the very real dangers of mercury laced vaccines, from pushing antiretroviral drugs despite their deadly side effects to a refusal to acknowledge the problem of drug induced suicides.

Something's not right here, says Nuria O'Mahony, an Emergency Nurse at Cork University Hospital in Ireland. Nuria has lost her husband to an SSRI suicide, and needs help. She is campaigning for full publication of clinical trial data, for a central position for the experience of consumers in the licensing and regulation of prescription drugs, including taking proper account of reports of adverse reactions by consumers, and for regulatory authorities to be free of influence of pharmaceutical companies and to act in the public interest only.

Nuria has launched a petition and here is what she says:

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MINDFREEDOM NEWS RELEASE

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18 April 2005
http://www.MindFreedom.org - IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Advocates Protest the Drug Industry's "Take Over of the Mental Health System."

Representatives of mental health and consumer advocacy groups from throughout the USA will hold a peaceful protest and press conference in front of the headquarters of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Researchers of America (PhRMA).

Protesters allege that, "The drug industry has taken over the mental health system. And we want it back."

MindFreedom International is sponsoring the legal protest at 12 noon on Monday, May 2, 2005 at PhRMA; 1100 Fifteenth Street, NW; Washington, DC, USA.

"Join us and tell PhRMA to stop supporting forced psychiatric drugging! Tell PhRMA to be truthful about the clinical trials and side-effects of the medications that their member companies are profiting from!" said Krista Erickson, board member of MindFreedom International.

Another protest speaker, attorney Jim Gottstein of the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights in Alaska, said, "PhRMA represents the Big Lie of Big Pharma, which should be called to account for its despicable sacrifice of people on the altar of corporate profits."

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