Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fukushima: Bad and Getting Worse

© Courtesy Popular Resistance
Popular Resistance | Jul 21, 2014 | John LaForge


Global Physicians Issue Scathing Critique of UN Report on Fukushima


There is broad disagreement over the amounts and effects of radiation exposure due to the triple reactor meltdowns after the 2011 Great East-Japan Earthquake and tsunami. The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) joined the controversy June 4, with a 27-page “Critical Analysis of the UNSCEAR Report ‘Levels and effects of radiation exposures due to the nuclear accident after the 2011 Great East-Japan Earthquake and tsunami.’”

IPPNW is the Nobel Peace Prize winning global federation of doctors working for “a healthier, safer and more peaceful world.” The group has adopted a highly critical view of nuclear power because as it says, “A world without nuclear weapons will only be possible if we also phase out nuclear energy.”

UNSCEAR, the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, published its deeply flawed report April 2. Its accompanying press release summed up its findings this way: “No discernible changes in future cancer rates and hereditary diseases are expected due to exposure to radiation as a result of the Fukushima nuclear accident.” The word “discernable” is a crucial disclaimer here.

Cancer, and the inexorable increase in cancer cases in Japan and around the world, is mostly caused by toxic pollution, including radiation exposure according to the National Cancer Institute.[1] But distinguishing a particular cancer case as having been caused by Fukushima rather than by other toxins, or combination of them, may be impossible – leading to UNSCEAR’s deceptive summation. As the IPPNW report says, “A cancer does not carry a label of origin…”

UNSCEAR’s use of the phrase “are expected” is also heavily nuanced. The increase in childhood leukemia cases near Germany’s operating nuclear reactors, compared to elsewhere, was not “expected,” but was proved in 1997. The findings, along with Chernobyl’s lingering consequences, led to the country’s federally mandated reactor phase-out. The plummeting of official childhood mortality rates around five US nuclear reactors after they were shut down was also “unexpected,” but shown by Joe Mangano and the Project on Radiation and Human Health.

The International Physicians’ analysis is severely critical of UNSCEAR’s current report which echoes its 2013 Fukushima review and press release that said, “It is unlikely to be able to attribute any health effects in the future among the general public and the vast majority of workers.”

“No justification for optimistic presumptions”

The IPPNW’s report says flatly, “Publications and current research give no justification for such apparently optimistic presumptions.” UNSCEAR, the physicians complain, “draws mainly on data from the nuclear industry’s publications rather than from independent sources and omits or misinterprets crucial aspects of radiation exposure”, and “does not reveal the true extent of the consequences” of the disaster. As a result, the doctors say the UN report is “over-optimistic and misleading.” The UN’s “systematic underestimations and questionable interpretations,” the physicians warn, “will be used by the nuclear industry to downplay the expected health effects of the catastrophe” and will likely but mistakenly be considered by public authorities as reliable and scientifically sound. Dozens of independent experts report that radiation attributable health effects are highly likely.

Points of agreement: Fukushima is worse than reported and worsening still

Before detailing the multiple inaccuracies in the UNSCEAR report, the doctors list four major points of agreement. First, UNSCEAR improved on the World Health Organization’s health assessment of the disaster’s on-going radioactive contamination. UNSCEAR also professionally “rejects the use of a threshold for radiation effects of 100 mSv [millisieverts], used by the International Atomic Energy Agency in the past.” Like most health physicists, both groups agree that there is no radiation dose so small that it can’t cause negative health effects. There are exposures allowed by governments, but none of them are safe.

Second, the UN and the physicians agree that  areas of Japan that were not evacuated were seriously contaminated with iodine-132, iodine-131 and tellurium-132, the worst reported instance being Iwaki City which had 52 times the annual absorbed dose to infants’ thyroid than from natural background radiation. UNSCEAR also admitted that “people all over Japan” were affected by radioactive fallout (not just in Fukushima Prefecture) through contact with airborne or ingested radioactive materials. And while the UNSCEAR acknowledged that “contaminated rice, beef, seafood, milk, milk powder, green tea, vegetables, fruits and tap water were found all over mainland Japan”, it neglected “estimating doses for Tokyo …  which also received a significant fallout both on March 15 and 21, 2011.”

Third, UNSCEAR agrees that the nuclear industry’s and the government’s estimates of the total radioactive contamination of the Pacific Ocean are “far too low.” Still, the IPPNW reports shows, UNSCEAR’s use of totally unreliable assumptions results in a grossly understated final estimate. For example, the UN report ignores all radioactive discharges to the ocean after April 30, 2011, even though roughly 300 tons of highly contaminated water has been pouring into the Pacific every day for 3-and-1/2 years, about 346,500 tons in the first 38 months.

Fourth, the Fukushima catastrophe is understood by both groups as an ongoing disaster, not the singular event portrayed by industry and commercial media. UNSCEAR even warns that ongoing radioactive pollution of the Pacific “may warrant further follow-up of exposures in the coming years,” and “further releases could not be excluded in the future,” from forests and fields during rainy and typhoon seasons when winds spread long-lived radioactive particles – a and from waste management plans that now include incineration.

As the global doctors say, in their unhappy agreement with UNSCAR, “In the long run, this may lead to an increase in internal exposure in the general population through radioactive isotopes from ground water supplies and the food chain.”

Physicians find ten grave failures in UN report

The majority of the IPPNW’s report details 10 major errors, flaws or discrepancies in the UNSCEAR paper and explains study’s omissions, underestimates, inept comparisons, misinterpretations and unwarranted conclusions.

1. The total amount of radioactivity released by the disaster was underestimated by UNSCEAR and its estimate was based on disreputable sources of information. UNSCEAR ignored 3.5 years of nonstop emissions of radioactive materials “that continue unabated,” and only dealt with releases during the first weeks of the disaster. UNSCEAR relied on a study by the Japanese Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) which, the IPPNW points out, “was severely criticized by the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission … for its collusion with the nuclear industry.” The independent Norwegian Institute for Air Research’s estimate of cesium-137 released (available to UNSCEAR) was four times higher than the JAEA/UNSCEAR figure (37 PBq instead of 9 PBq). Even Tokyo Electric Power Co. itself estimated that iodine-131 releases were over four times higher than what JAEA/UNSCEAR) reported (500 PBq vs. 120 BPq). The UNSCEAR inexplicably chose to ignore large releases of strontium isotopes and 24 other radionuclides when estimating radiation doses to the public. (A PBq or petabecquerel is a quadrillion or 1015 Becquerels. Put another way, a PBq equals 27,000 curies, and one curie makes 37 billion atomic disintegrations per second.)

2. Internal radiation taken up with food and drink “significantly influences the total radiation dose an individual is exposed to,” the doctors note, and their critique warns pointedly, “UNSCEAR uses as its one and only source, the still unpublished database of the International Atomic Energy Association and the Food and Agriculture Organization. The IAEA was founded … to ‘accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world.’ It therefore has a profound conflict of interest.” Food sample data from the IAEA should not be relied on, “as it discredits the assessment of internal radiation doses and makes the findings vulnerable to claims of manipulation.” As with its radiation release estimates, IAEA/UNSCEAR ignored the presence of strontium in food and water. Internal radiation dose estimates made by the Japanese Ministry for Science and Technology were 20, 40 and even 60 times higher than the highest numbers used in the IAEA/UNSCEAR reports.

3. To gauge radiation doses endured by over 24,000 workers on site at Fukushima, UNSCEAR relied solely on figures from Tokyo Electric Power Co., the severely compromised owners of the destroyed reactors. The IPPNW report dismisses all the conclusions drawn from Tepco, saying, “There is no meaningful control or oversight of the nuclear industry in Japan and data from Tepco has in the past frequently been found to be tampered with and falsified.”

4. The UNSCEAR report disregards current scientific fieldwork on actual radiation effects on plant and animal populations. Peer reviewed ecological and genetic studies from Chernobyl and Fukushima find evidence that low dose radiation exposures cause, the doctors point out, “genetic damage such as increased mutation rates, as well as developmental abnormalities, cataracts, tumors, smaller brain sizes in birds and mammals and further injuries to populations, biological communities and ecosystems.” Ignoring these studies, IPPNW says “gives [UNSCEAR] the appearance of bias or lack of rigor.”

5. The special vulnerability of the embryo and fetus to radiation was completely discounted by the UNSCEAR, the physicians note. UNSCEAR shockingly said that doses to the fetus or breast-fed infants “would have been similar to those of other age groups,” a claim that, the IPPNW says, “goes against basic principles of neonatal physiology and radiobiology.”  By dismissing the differences between an unborn and an infant, the UNSCEAR “underestimates the health risks of this particularly vulnerable population.” The doctors quote a 2010 report from American Family Physician that, “in utero exposure can be teratogenic, carcinogenic or mutagenic.”

6. Non-cancerous diseases associated with radiation doses — such as cardiovascular diseases, endocrinological and gastrointestinal disorders, infertility, genetic mutations in offspring and miscarriages — have been documented in medical journals, but ate totally dismissed by the UNSCEAR. The physicians remind us that large epidemiological studies have shown undeniable associations of low dose ionizing radiation to non-cancer health effects and “have not been scientifically challenged.”

7. The UNSCEAR report downplays the health impact of low-doses of radiation by misleadingly comparing radioactive fallout to “annual background exposure.” The IPPNW scolds the UNSCEAR saying it is, “not scientific to argue that natural background radiation is safe or that excess radiation from nuclear fallout that stays within the dose range of natural background radiation is harmless.” In particular, ingested or inhaled radioactive materials, “deliver their radioactive dose directly and continuously to the surrounding tissue” — in the thyroid, bone or muscles, etc. — “and therefore pose a much larger danger to internal organs than external background radiation.”

8. Although UNSCEAR’s April 2 Press Release and Executive Summary give the direct and mistaken impression that there will be no radiation health effects from Fukushima, the report itself states that the Committee “does not rule out the possibility of future excess cases or disregard the suffering associated…” Indeed, UNSCEAR admits to “incomplete knowledge about the release rates of radionuclides over time and the weather conditions during the releases.” UNSCEAR concedes that “there were insufficient measurements of gamma dose rate…” and that, “relatively few measurements of foodstuff were made in the first months.” IPPNW warns that these glaring uncertainties completely negate the level of certainty implied in UNSCEAR’s Exec. Summary.

9. UNSCEAR often praises the protective measures taken by Japanese authorities, but the IPPNW finds it “odd that a scientific body like UNSCEAR would turn a blind eye to the many grave mistakes of the Japanese disaster management…” The central government was slow to inform local governments and “failed to convey the severity of the accident,” according to the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission. “Crisis management ‘did not function correctly,’ the Commission said, and its failure to distribute stable iodine, “caused thousands of children to become irradiated with iodine-131,” IPPNW reports.

10. The UNSCEAR report lists “collective” radiation doses “but does not explain the expected cancer cases that would result from these doses.” This long chapter of IPPNW’s report can’t be summarized easily. The doctors offer conservative estimates, “keeping in mind that these most probably represent underestimations for the reasons listed above.” The IPPNW estimates that 4,300 to 16,800 excess cases of cancer due to the Fukushima catastrophe in Japan in the coming decades. Cancer deaths will range between 2,400 and 9,100. UNSCEAR may call these numbers insignificant, the doctors archly point out, but individual cancers are debilitating and terrifying and they “represent preventable and man-made diseases” and fatalities.

IPPNW concludes that Fukushima’s radiation disaster is “far from over”: the destroyed reactors are still unstable; radioactive liquids and gases continuously leak from the complex wreckage; melted fuel and used fuel in quake-damaged cooling pools hold enormous quantities of radioactivity “and are highly vulnerable to further earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons and human error.” Catastrophic releases of radioactivity “could occur at any time and eliminating this risk will take many decades.”

IPPNW finally recommends urgent actions that governments should take, because the UNSCEAR report, “does not adhere to scientific standards of neutrality,” “represents a systematic underestimation,” “conjures up an illusion of scientific certainty that obscures the true impact of the nuclear catastrophe on health and the environment,” and its conclusion is phrased “in such a way that would most likely be misunderstood by most people…”

John LaForge works for Nukewatch, a nuclear watchdog and anti-war group in Wisconsin, and edits its Quarterly.
Notes.

[1] Nancy Wilson, National Cancer Institute, “The Majority of Cancers Are Linked to the Environment, NCI Benchmarks, Vol. 4, Issue 3, June 17, 2004

Source: 

Pesticide Exposure Linked to Autism Spectrum Disorder


Activist Post | Jul 21, 2014 | Heather Callaghan

Based on the sheer amount of research studies available dating back to the 1950s on the association between industrial chemicals and neurobehavioral disorders - it makes sense that more recent studies are finally starting to emphasize the chemical/neurodevelopmental disorder connection. That is, additional links to keynotes seen in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and ADHD symptomology.

Many agricultural pesticides are, after all, neurotoxic - that's how they work on eradicating the intended pest. While regulatory and corporate entities continue to espouse their safety, and while farmers are encouraged to wear protective gear - how are levels of chemical plume to be regulated for individuals who live right near application sites? What about the effects on the developing fetus?

UC Davis researchers in tandem with MIND Institute found a connection between pregnant women living in close proximity of California pesticide applications and later diagnoses of ASD and other developmental delays.

The large, multi-site California-based study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, examined associations between specific classes of pesticides like organophosphates, pyrethroids and carbamates that were applied during the study participants' pregnancies and later diagnoses of autism and developmental delay in their offspring. The associations were stronger when the exposures occurred during the second and third trimesters of the women's pregnancies.

Researchers focused on areas with the heaviest pesticide applications - Sacramento Valley, Central Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay Area. They examined commercial pesticide application using the California Pesticide Use Report and linked the data to the residential addresses of approximately 1,000 participants in the Northern California-based Childhood Risk of Autism from Genetics and the Environment (CHARGE) Study. The study includes families with children between 2 and 5 diagnosed with autism or developmental delay or with typical development.

 In the duration of this study, it was determined that one-third of CHARGE Study participants lived within one mile of commercial pesticide application sites. The ASD associations were greater for mothers living closer to application sites, and lessened the farther away they lived.

Organophosphates applied during the full course of pregnancy signaled greater risk of a child's ASD diagnosis - especially for chlorpyrifos applications in the second trimester; Pyrethroids were moderately associated with autism spectrum disorder immediately before conception and in the third trimester; and Carbamates applied during pregnancy were associated with developmental delay.

They found that because the pesticides are neurotoxic, in utero exposures during early development could distort the complex processes of structural development and neuronal signaling, producing alterations to the excitation and inhibition mechanisms that govern mood, learning, social interactions and behavior - keynotes of ASD and those associated with ADHD symptomology.

Hertz-Picciotto added:

In that early developmental gestational period, the brain is developing synapses, the spaces between neurons, where electrical impulses are turned into neurotransmitting chemicals that leap from one neuron to another to pass messages along. The formation of these junctions is really important and may well be where these pesticides are operating and affecting neurotransmission.
She notes the difficulty in reducing this type of risk, wishing for the open dialogue of ASD-risk and chemical exposures at both the societal and individual level, and emphasizing pre-natal nutrition. Her name appears on a lot of similar studies - perhaps this is what prompted her to say that she herself would not want her family to live near where pesticides are applied.

Heather Callaghan is a natural health blogger and food freedom activist. You can see her work at NaturalBlaze.com and ActivistPost.com. Like at Facebook.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Study Explains How Edible Plants Communicate with Animal Cells and Promote Healing

© Natural Society
Natural Society | Jul 21, 2014 | Elizabeth Renter

If you know anything about food medicine or even nutrition, you know the foods you eat affect your body through various mechanisms and processes. But have you ever stopped to think about how the ginger knows to stop your upset stomach? Or what garlic does once it’s in your digestive system to boost your immune function and reduce inflammation? A new study delved into these questions and found some remarkable evidence for interspecies communication at a cellular level.

Published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, the study looked at the role of exosomes, “small vesicles secreted by plant and animal cells that participate in intercellular communication.” These are the words, if you will, shared between cells who need to communicate with one another.

As GreenMedInfo reports, the researchers explained the term as such:

“Exosomes are produced by a variety of mammalian cells including immune, epithelial, and tumor cells [11–15]. Exosomes play a role in intercellular communication and can transport mRNA, miRNA, bioactive lipids, and proteins between cells [16–19]. Upon contact, exosomes transfer molecules that can render new properties and/or reprogram their recipient cells.”
In order to look at how plant and animal cells communicated, the scientists isolated exosome-like nanoparticles from foods like ginger, grapefruit, carrot, and grapes, then observed their actions in mice cells.

They chose foods that were known to have a range of health benefits, as they suspected the likelihood of identifying communication modes would be greater.

The scientists found these isolated food nanoparticles to have similar structure and size to mammalian-derived exosomes. They also found the mammalian intestinal macrophages and stem cells to take up these exosome-like nanoparticles, and as a result, those mammalian cells underwent biological changes.

Read: Bioelectromagnetics: Bees & Flowers Communicate Using Electrical Fields

Those changes included:
  • “Ginger exosome-like nanoparticles strongly induced heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and IL-10 expressed in macrophages, an indication of anti-inflammatory and antoxidant properties.”
  • “Fruit-derived exosome-like nanoparticles including grape and grapefruit induced Wnt/TCF4 activation, which is a key component of the anti-inflammatory response.”
  • “All tested foods activated nuclear translocation of Nrf2, a key regulator of the HO1 gene, which has an important role in anti-inflammation and antioxidation; ginger was found to be most potent, followed by grapefruit, carrot and grape.”
In applying their findings to the knowledge that a varied plant-derived diet is healthier, the researchers had this to say:
“It has been known for decades that people eating a variety of edible plants daily are the recipients of many beneficial health effects when compared to subjects that ingest fewer types of edible plants. Ingesting EPDENs from a variety of fruits and vegetables daily would be expected to provide greater beneficial effects for maintaining gut homeostasis than ingesting EPDENs from single edible plant.”

GM golden rice paper to be retracted amid ethics scandal

Children were fed GM rice without
the informed consent of parents
© GMWatch
GM Watch | Jul 18, 2014

AT LONG LAST, the serious breaches of medical and scientific ethics of the GM golden rice trials on Chinese children appear to have been recognised – in this case, by the journal that published the research paper reporting the experiments.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is reportedly retracting the paper. The main concerns appear to be lack of informed consent on the part of the human subjects – neither the children nor their parents were told the rice was GM, nor were they informed of the possible risks. Ethical breaches are among the valid reasons for retracting a study, according to COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics).

While the blame for the fiasco is being placed on the lead researcher, Guangwen Tang of Tufts University, a large part of the responsibility should lie with the Tufts University ethics board that was supposed to be supervising the trial.

International scientists denounced the GM golden rice trials for breaching medical ethics back in 2009. No toxicity tests had been carried out in animals prior to the human trials, or at least none had been published. The scientists said the trials contravened the Nuremberg Code, set up after World War II to prevent a repeat of unethical and inhumane Nazi experiments on humans.

The IRRI, the body responsible for the rollout of GM golden rice, has admitted that no efficacy trials have been carried out to see if GM golden rice actually works in helping solve vitamin A deficiency.

GM golden rice doesn't even perform well in the field. In May 2013 the IRRI reported it had failed in field trials.

Meantime, the Philippines, where GM golden rice was field trialled, has all but solved its vitamin A deficiency problems by applying time-tested, commonsense non-GM solutions.

(Comment by Claire Robinson)

Rice researcher in ethics scrape threatens journal with lawsuit over coming retraction


Cat Ferguson
RetractionWatch, 17 Jul 2014
http://retractionwatch.com/2014/07/17/rice-researcher-in-ethics-scrape-threatens-journal-with-lawsuit-over-coming-retraction/

Guangwen Tang, a rice researcher at Tufts University, landed in hot water in 2012 after her team was accused of feeding Chinese children genetically modified Golden Rice without having obtained informed consent from the parents.

Now, she’s suing both Tufts and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which reportedly is retracting a paper, “ß-carotene in Golden Rice is as good as p-carotene in oil at providing vitamin A to children,” based on the federally funded research, claiming that the retraction would constitute defamation. (That retraction hasn’t happened yet.)

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard the retraction = defamation line. Readers might remember Ariel Fernandez, who threatened to sue us for writing about an expression of concern. Maybe a course on the Streisand Effect should be mandatory for PhD students?

According to a 2012 Nature report, the trial was chock-full of ethical missteps. Tang brought the rice into China illegally, and one of her Chinese partners faked ethics approval documents. During the study, a Chinese official emailed Tang saying he was taking mention of GMO off the consent forms, because it was “too sensitive,” according to reporters on China’s state television channel. Three Chinese officials ended up being dismissed for violating ethics laws, and Tang received a two-year suspension from conducting human research. From Nature:

"The trial was designed to test how efficiently the β-carotene is converted to the vitamin once ingested. The US study team was led by Guangwen Tang, a nutrition scientist at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, and was part-funded by the US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and the US Department of Agriculture.

"According to a paper published online by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on 1 August, each group of two dozen or so children aged six to eight ate meals containing Golden Rice, spinach or β-carotene capsules for lunch every week day during the three-week trial.

"But none of the children, their parents or school teachers was aware that Golden Rice was involved, according to a 45-minute investigative news programme broadcast on 8 December on CCTV, China’s state television channel.

"The informed-consent form said that the rice contained β-carotene, but not that it was genetically modified or that it was Golden Rice. Nor did it highlight uncertainty around any potential risks of ingesting such rice."

After a year-long investigation, Tufts concluded that Tang had breached ethical regulations. In addition the two year human studies ban, any future research she conducts will take place under the watchful eye of a supervising scientist. From NPR:

"But Tufts, after spending more than a year carrying out its own review, now says that the study was not “conducted in full compliance with … policy or federal regulations.” According to the Tufts report, the researchers did not adequately explain the nature of golden rice and made some changes in the study without getting approval from the committee at Tufts that is supposed to review all research involving human subjects."

Here are details of the complaint, from Courthouse News Service:

"After completing the research, Tang wrote a scientific article titled “ß-carotene in Golden Rice is as good as p-carotene in oil at providing vitamin A to children.” The American Society for Nutrition published the article in its journal in 2012.

"'The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition' has thousands of subscribers and more than 3 million hits to its online journal site per month, according to the complaint.

"Tang says the article got a lot of attention in the scientific community and has been downloaded more than 32,000 times.

"Nevertheless, she claims, the American Society for Nutrition, which owns the journal and holds the copyright, told Tang that it planned to retract her article due to an investigation into her research protocol.…

"The university last year suspended Tang’s human-subject research 'pending further analysis,' according to the lawsuit.

"Although it found no evidence of research misconduct with respect to the study, and no health or safety problems, the university told Tang she would be subject to disciplinary actions regarding future research, she claims in the complaint.…

"She seeks an injunction and damages for defamation, breach of contract and interference with business relations."

We can’t verify Tang’s claims about the popularity of her article. But it has been cited 12 times, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science.

It’s unclear if any lawsuits have been served yet, and the retraction doesn’t seem to be out yet. AJCN editor Dennis Bier declined to comment, citing legal sensitivity. We’ve reached out to Tang’s lawyer for a copy of the lawsuit, and will update with anything new we learn.

Irrefutable proof that Big Pharma is a criminal racket: Bribery, scientific fraud, felony crimes and more

© Politifake.org
Natural News | Jul 20, 2014 | Mike Adams

Those of us who have long been describing the pharmaceutical industry as a "criminal racket" over the last few years have been wholly vindicated by recent news. Drug and vaccine manufacturer Merck was caught red-handed by two of its own scientists faking vaccine efficacy data by spiking blood samples with animal antibodies. GlaxoSmithKline has just been fined a whopping $3 billion for bribing doctors, lying to the FDA, hiding clinical trial data and fraudulent marketing. Pfizer, meanwhile has been sued by the nation's pharmacy retailers for what is alleged as an "overarching anticompetitive scheme" to keep generic cholesterol drugs off the market and thereby boost its own profits.

The picture that's emerging is one of a criminal drug industry that has turned to mafia tactics in the absence of any real science that would prove their products to be safe or effective. The emergence of this extraordinary evidence of bribery, scientific fraud, lying to regulators and monopolistic practices that harm consumers is also making all those doctors and "skeptics" who defended Big Pharma and vaccines eat their words.

To defend Big Pharma today is to defend a cabal of criminal corporations that have proven they will do anything -- absolutely anything -- to keep their profits rolling in. It makes no difference who they have to bribe, what studies they have to falsify, or who has to be threatened into silence. They will stop at nothing to expand their profit base, even if it means harming (or killing) countless innocents.

Let's take a look at recent revelations:

GlaxoSmithKline pleads guilty to bribery, fraud and other crimes 

In what is now the largest criminal fraud settlement ever to come out of the pharmaceutical industry, GlaxoSmithKline has pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $1 billion in criminal fines and $2 billion in civil fines following a nine-year federal investigation into its activities.

According to U.S. federal investigators, GlaxoSmithKline (http://www.naturalnews.com/036416_GlaxoSmith...):

• Routinely bribed doctors with luxury vacations and paid speaking gigs
• Fabricated drug safety data and lied to the FDA
• Defrauded Medicare and Medicaid out of billions
• Deceived regulators about the effectiveness of its drugs
• Relied on its deceptive practices to earn billions of dollars selling potentially dangerous drugs to unsuspecting consumers and medical patients

And this is just the part they got caught doing. GSK doesn't even deny any of this. The company simply paid the $3 billion fine, apologized to its customers, and continued conducting business as usual.

By the way, in addition to bribing physicians, GSK has plenty of money to spread around bribing celebrities and others who pimps its products. The company reportedly paid $275,000 to the celebrity doctor known as "Dr. Drew," who promoted Glaxo's mind-altering antidepressant drug Wellbutrin (http://naturalsociety.com/top-radio-doctor-p...).

As the Wall Street Journal reports:

In June 1999, popular radio personality Dr. Drew Pinsky used the airwaves to extol the virtues of GlaxoSmithKline PLC's antidepressant Wellbutrin, telling listeners he prescribes it and other medications to depressed patients because it "may enhance or at least not suppress sexual arousal" as much as other antidepressants do. But one thing listeners didn't know was that, two months before the program aired, Dr. Pinsky -- who gained fame as "Dr. Drew" during years co-hosting a popular radio sex-advice show "Loveline" -- received the second of two payments from Glaxo totaling $275,000 for "services for Wellbutrin."
(http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100014240527...)

Merck falsified vaccine data, spiked blood samples and more, say former employees 

According to former Merck virologists Stephen Krahling and Joan Wlochowski, the company: (http://www.naturalnews.com/036328_Merck_mump...)

• "Falsified test data to fabricate a vaccine efficacy rate of 95 percent or higher."

• Spiked the blood test with animal antibodies in order to artificially inflate the appearance of immune system antibodies.

• Pressured the two virologists to "participate in the fraud and subsequent cover-up."

• Used the falsified trial results to swindle the U.S. government out of "hundreds of millions of dollars for a vaccine that does not provide adequate immunization."

• Intimidated the scientists, threatening them with going to jail unless they stayed silent.

This is all documented in a 2010 False Claims Act which NaturalNews has acquired and posted here:
http://www.naturalnews.com/gallery/documents...

Millions of children put at risk by Merck 

In that document the two virologists say they, "witnessed firsthand the improper testing and data falsification in which Merck engaged to artificially inflate the vaccine's efficacy findings."

They also claim that because of the faked vaccine results, "the United States has over the last decade paid Merck hundreds of millions of dollars for a vaccine that does not provide adequate immunization... The United States is by far the largest financial victim of Merck's fraud."

They go on to point out that children are the real victims, however:

"But the ultimate victims here are the millions of children who every year are being injected with a mumps vaccine that is not providing them with an adequate level of protection. ...The failure in Merck's vaccine has allowed this disease to linger with significant outbreaks continuing to occur."

Merck's mumps viral strain is 45 years old 

According to the complaint, Merck has been using the same mumps strain -- weakened from generations of being "passaged" -- for the last 45 years! The complaint reads:

"For more than thirty years, Merck has had an exclusive license from the FDA to manufacture and sell a mumps vaccine in the U.S. The FDA first approved the vaccine in 1967. It was developed by Dr. Maurice Hilleman, at Merck's West Point research facility, from the mumps virus that infected his five year-old daughter Jeryl Lynn. Merck continues to use this 'Jeryl Lynn' strain of the virus for its vaccine today."

A complete medical farce 

This information appears to show Merck's mumps vaccine to be a complete medical farce. Those who blindly backed Merck's vaccines -- the science bloggers, "skeptics," doctors, CDC and even the FDA -- have been shown to be utter fools who have now destroyed their reputations by siding with an industry now known to be dominated by scientific fraud and unbounded criminality.

That's the really hilarious part in all this: After decades of doctors, scientists and government authorities blindly and brainlessly repeating the mantra of "95% effectiveness," it all turns out to be total quackery hogwash. Utterly fabricated. Quackety-quack quack. And all those hundreds of millions of Americans who lined up to be injected with MMR vaccines were all repeatedly and utterly conned into potentially harming themselves while receiving no medical benefit.

Intelligent, informed Natural News readers, home school parents, and "awakened" people who said "No!" to vaccines are now emerging as the victors in all this. By refusing to be injected with Merck's vaccines, they avoided being assaulted with a fraudulent cocktail of adjuvant chemicals and all-but-useless mumps strains over four decades old. They protected their time, money and health. Those who refuse to be physically violated by vaccines are, once again, turning out to be the smartest people in society. No wonder they also tend to be healthier than the clueless fools who line up to get vaccinated every year.

Merck fraudulently misrepresented the efficacy of its vaccine and contributed to the spread of infectious disease, says lawsuit 

The faked vaccine efficacy numbers aren't the only troubles Merck is now facing. Shortly after the above False Claims Act was made public, Chatom Primary Care filed suit against Merck. That document is available from NaturalNews at:
http://www.naturalnews.com/gallery/documents...

It alleges that:

• [Merck engaged in] ...a decade-long scheme to falsify and misrepresent the true efficacy of its vaccine.

• Merck fraudulently represented and continues to falsely represent in its labeling and elsewhere that its Mumps Vaccine has an efficacy rate of 95 percent of higher.

• Merck knows and has taken affirmative steps to conceal -- by using improper testing techniques and falsifying test data -- that its Mumps Vaccine is, and has been since at least 1999, far less than 95 percent effective.

• Merck designed a testing methodology that evaluated its vaccine against a less virulent strain of the mumps virus. After the results failed to yield Merck's desired efficacy, Merck abandoned the methodology and concealed the study's findings.

• Merck also engaged in "incorporating the use of animal antibodies to artificially inflate the results... destroying evidence of the falsified data and then lying to an FDA investigator... threatened a virologist in Merck's vaccine division with jail if he reported the fraud to the FDA."

• "Merck designed a testing methodology that evaluated its vaccine against a less virulent strain of the mumps virus. After the results failed to yield Merck's desired efficacy, Merck abandoned the methodology and concealed the study's findings. [Then] Merck designed even more scientifically flawed methodology, this time incorporating the use of animal antibodies to artificially inflate the results, but it too failed to achieve Merck's fabricated efficacy rate. Confronted with two failed methodologies, Merck then falsified the test data to guarantee the results it desired. Having achieved the desired, albeit falsified, efficacy threshold, Merck submitted these fraudulent results to the FDA and European Medicines Agency."

• "Merck took steps to cover up the tracks of its fraudulent testing by destroying evidence of the falsified data and then lying to an FDA investigator... Merck also attempted to buy the silence and cooperation of its staff by offering them financial incentives to follow the direction of Merck personnel overseeing the fraudulent testing process. Merck also threatened... Stephen Krahling, a virologist in Merck's vaccine division from 1999 to 2001, with jail if he reported fraud to the FDA."

• "Merck continued to conceal what it knew about the diminished efficacy of its Mumps Vaccine even after significant mumps outbreaks in 2006 and 2009."

Obama administration has zero interest in actual justice 

Another interesting note in all this is that under President Obama, the U.S. Dept. of Justice showed no interest whatsoever in investigating Merck over the False Claims Act filed by two of its former virologists. Despite the convincing evidence of fraud described in detail by insider whistleblowers, the Obama Department of Justice, led by gun-running Attorney General Eric Holder who is already facing serious questions over Operation Fast and Furious, simply chose to ignore the False Claims Act complaint.

When evidence of criminal fraud was brought before the U.S. Department of Justice, in other words, the DoJ looked the other way with a wink and a nod to the medical crimes taking place right under their noses. Who cares if tens of millions of children are being injected year after year with a fraudulent mumps vaccine? There's money to be made, after all, and exploiting the bodies of little children for profit is just business as usual in a fascist nation dominated by corporate interests.

Pfizer sued by retailers over anticompetitive scheme Adding to all this, Pfizer has now been sued by five U.S. retailers (pharmacies) who accuse the company of monopolistic market practices. According to the lawsuit, Pfizer conspired to prevent generic versions of its blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor from entering the market. This was done to protect billions in profits while making sure patients did not have access to more affordable cholesterol drugs. Pfizer sells nearly $10 billion worth of Lipitor each year.

According to the Reuters report on this lawsuit, Pfizer is being accused of (http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/05/us...):

• Obtaining a fraudulent patent
• Engaging in sham litigation
• Entering a price-fixing agreement to delay cheaper generics
• Entering arrangements with pharmacy benefit managers to force retailers to buy more Lipitor (chemical name is atorvastatin calcium)

No arrests or prosecution of Big Pharma executives 

One of the most astonishing realizations in all this is that given all the criminal fraud, bribery, misrepresentation, lying to the FDA, price fixing and other crimes that are going on in the pharmaceutical industry, you'd think somebody somewhere might be arrested and charged with a crime, right?

Nope.

To date, not a single pharmaceutical CEO, marketing employee or drug rep has been charged with anything related to all this fraud. In America, drug company employees are "above the law" just like top mafia bosses of a bygone era.

How insane is this, exactly? Consider this:

Imagine if YOU, an individual, went around town bribing doctors, falsifying data, selling a fraudulent product to the government, lying to regulators, engaging in anti-trade price-fixing and threatening your employees into silence. What would happen to you?

You'd probably wind up rotting in prison, the subject of an FBI investigation and a DoJ prosecution.

So why is it okay for a multi-billion-dollar corporation to carry out these same crimes and get away with it? Why are the CEOs of top drug companies given a free pass to commit felony crimes and endless fraud?

I'll tell you why, and you're not gonna like the answer: Because America has become a nation run by crooks for the benefit of crooks. It's one big country club, and as comedian George Carlin used to say, "YOU ain't in it!"

If Big Pharma would falsify data on vaccines, what else would the industry do? I hope you're getting the bigger picture in all this, friends. If these drug companies routinely bribe doctors, falsify data, defraud the government and commit felony crimes without remorse, what else would they be willing to do for profit?

Would they:

• Falsify efficacy data on other prescription drugs?
• Exploit children for deadly vaccine trials?
• Invent fictitious diseases to sell more drugs?
• Unleash bioweapons to cause a profitable pandemic?
• Conspire with the CDC to spread fear to promote vaccinations?
• Silence whistleblowers who try to go public with the truth?
• Give people cancer via stealth viruses in vaccines?
• Destroy the careers of medical scientists who question Big Pharma?
• Force a medical monopoly on the entire U.S. population via socialist health care legislation?

But of course they would. In fact, the industry is doing all those things right now. And if you don't believe me, just remember that five years ago, no one believed me when I said drug companies were engaged in criminal conspiracies to defraud the nation -- something that has now been proven over a nine-year investigation.