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October 14, 2011
Science Is Not Really Science Anymore


Those who fuel the conventional medicine engine claim that all the pharmaceutical drug approvals, vaccines, surgical procedures, cancer treatments and all other treatments are based on "science." But is it really science when the results of research must align with corporate interests and profits?


RIGGED RESEARCH
from NO GMO on Vimeo.

Jeffrey Smith, author of Seeds of Deception has put the focus of his efforts on our food supply and fraud perpetrated by the food industry. The FDA and food industry claims that genetically modified (GM) foods are safe, properly tested, and necessary to feed a hungry world. UNTRUE! Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are one of the most dangerous and radical changes to our food supply. These largely unregulated ingredients found in 60-70% of the foods in the US, are well worth the effort to avoid them.

Many consumers in the US mistakenly believe that the FDA approves GM foods through rigorous, in-depth, long-term studies. In reality, the agency has absolutely no safety testing requirements. Instead the agency relies on research from companies like Monsanto, research that is meticulously designed to avoid finding problems.

Donald M. Epstein, author of Healing Myths, says that even if the dangers of a drug or medical procedure were to be included in a respected medical journal, often the "religious" belief that doctors, and even patients, have in conventional medicine overrides their decision-making process.

People believe that if a drug is FDA-approved and on the market, it must be okay. If a drug proves fatal to 10 or even 10,000 patients, doctors will still staunchly defend it, claiming the benefits outweigh the risks. Epstein's feelings are that anyone with a little common sense should be enraged by the fact that the entire industry is operating with self-imposed blinders -- from the pharmaceutical companies that hawk unsafe drugs to the medical journals that publish doctored clinical studies and misleading ads.

The editors of the New England Journal of Medicine added another chapter to this story when disgraced Norwegian researcher Dr. Jon Sudbo, was made to formally retract reports on oral cancer his team published in the journal in 2001 and 2004.

By his own admission, much of Sudbo's published data was fabricated. A report from an investigative commission formed by Sudbo's former employers, the Rikshospitalet-Radiumhospitalet Medical Center and the University of Oslo, confirmed the fraud. The NEJM editors based their retraction largely on the report's findings.

On average, one out of every three highly cited studies published in influential medical journals is either refuted or seriously weakened by subsequent research.

A common theme in most journals is their tendency to publish "positive" findings (where a therapy was proven to be effective) over "negative" ones (where a therapy's effectiveness was cast in doubt).

It is now well known after a plethora of evidence that many of the articles that appear in scientific journals under the bylines of prominent academics are actually written by ghostwriters in the pay of drug companies. These seemingly objective articles, which doctors around the world use to guide their care of patients, are often part of a marketing campaign by companies to promote a product or play up the condition it treats. Medical journals are facing unprecedented scrutiny of their role as gatekeeper for scientific information.

Hundreds of editors and some academics are stepping forward to criticize the practice, saying it could hurt patients by giving doctors biased information. "Scientific research is not public relations," says Robert Califf, vice chancellor of clinical research at Duke University Medical Center. "If you're a firm hired by a company trying to sell a product, it's an entirely different thing than having an open mind for scientific inquiry. ... What would happen to a PR firm that wrote a paper that said this product stinks? Do you think their contract would be renewed?"

Deception in research means that you lie (or fail to tell the whole truth) to a specific participant or audience about important parts of the research. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found over 40 percent of the best designed, peer-reviewed scientific papers published in the world's top medical journals misrepresented the actual findings of the research.

What most physicians and consumers don't recognize is that science is now for sale; published data often misrepresents the truth, academic medical research has become corrupted by pharmaceutical money and special interests, and government regulators more often protect industry than the public. Increasingly, academic medical researchers are for hire, and research, once a pure activity of inquiry, is now a tool for promoting products.

Business interests and the incestuous relationship between scientists and industry have corrupted the landscape of medical research. The media doesn't do a good job of investigative journalism. But there are things you can to do change protect yourself.

Ever wonder how the manufacturer of aspartame convinced scientists and physicians that it is "safe" to be exposed regularly to low levels of an exceptionally toxic poison? Answer: Deceptive research and deceptive statements!

How to Protect Yourself From the Spin Doctors

1. Follow the money: Be a detective and look up the articles mentioned in the news. Find the study, see who wrote it, and determine what financial conflicts of interest they have. Also check who funded the research.

2. Do your homework: Be suspicious of media reports of scientific findings. Does the finding make sense in the context of other studies and is it the best possible approach. Educate yourself by learning to use PUBMED (the National Library of Medicine) and reviewing different perspectives.

3. Does it pass the "sniff test": Is the treatment suggested just a "me too" drug that has not been proven to be any better than existing treatments? Does it make sense to you or does something smell rotten? Trust your intuition.

4. Advocate for an arm's length relationship between industry and academia. Write your Senators and Congressmen to develop new regulations and legislation that will build a fire-wall to protect us. Grants are fine, but Pharma should have no participation in study design and should not be allowed to interpret or publish results.

5. Demand a no revolving door policy between industry and government regulators. Former drug company executives should not be on FDA committees or involved in regulation or legislation.

6. Advocate for comparative effectiveness research. Preventing this research allows Pharma not to play fair.

7. Campaign for finance reform: If done effectively, can limit the influence of industry on government.


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