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Revealing News For a Better World

Health News Stories
Excerpts of Key Health News Stories in Major Media


Below are highly revealing excerpts of important health news stories reported in the media that suggest a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full stories on their major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These health news stories are listed by date posted to this webpage. You can explore the same articles listed by order of importance or by article date. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

Note: This comprehensive list of health news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


Is the US's Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System broken?
2023-11-10, The BMJ (Formerly British Medical Journal)
Posted: 2023-11-26 17:42:39
https://www.bmj.com/content/383/bmj.p2582

The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) ... collects reports of symptoms, diagnoses, hospital admissions, and deaths after vaccination. VAERS is supposed to be user friendly, responsive, and transparent. However, investigations by The BMJ have uncovered that it's not meeting its own standards. Not only have staffing levels failed to keep pace with the unprecedented number of reports since the rollout of covid vaccines but there are signs that the system is overwhelmed. In the face of an unprecedented 1.7 million reports since the rollout of covid vaccines, VAERS's staffing was likely not commensurate with the demands of reviewing the serious reports submitted, including reports of death. While other countries have acknowledged deaths that were "likely" or "probably" related to mRNA vaccination, the CDC–which says that it has reviewed nearly 20,000 preliminary reports of death using VAERS (far more than other countries)–has not acknowledged a single death linked to mRNA vaccines. In November 2022, React19, an advocacy group of some 30,000 people who have experienced prolonged illness after covid vaccination, reviewed 126 VAERS reports among its ranks. 22% had never been given a permanent VAERS ID number and 12% had disappeared from the system entirely. The BMJ has found that the FDA and CDC essentially maintain two separate VAERS databases: a public facing database, containing only initial reports; and a private, back end system containing all updates and corrections–such as a formal diagnosis, recovery, or death.

Note: Vaccine adverse event numbers on VAERS are made publically available here, and only capture a portion of the actual vaccine injuries. Albert Benavides is a VAERS researcher who recently wrote a comprehensive Substack piece investigating the corruption and dysfunction of the VAERS system, including how the VAERS system even deleted dead Pfizer Trial patients. Another excellent article explores these concerning implications from the perspective of cardiologists, physicians, and science researchers.


Common pesticides in food reducing sperm count worldwide, study says
2023-11-15, CNN News
Posted: 2023-11-26 17:37:43
https://www.cnn.com/2023/11/15/health/sperm-damage-pesticides-wellness/index....

Pesticides used in our homes, gardens and lawns and sprayed on foods we eat are contributing to a dramatic decline in sperm count among men worldwide, according to a new analysis of studies over the last 50 years. "Over the course of 50 years, sperm concentration has fallen about 50% around the world," said senior study author Melissa Perry. "While there are likely many more contributing causes, our study demonstrates a strong association between two common insecticides –organophosphates and N-methyl carbamates – and the decline of sperm concentration." Organophosphates are the main components of nerve gas, herbicides, pesticides and insecticides and are also used to create plastics and solvents. They are widely used in agriculture on the crops we eat. We use them in structural applications within homes and buildings. N-methyl carbamates are structurally and operationally similar to organophosphates, killing insects by damaging their brains and nervous systems. The study, published ... in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, examined 25 studies around the world on the two chemicals. Those studies looked at 42 different levels of impact among 1,774 men in 21 different study populations. Men who were more highly exposed to the pesticides, such as those who work in agriculture, had significantly less sperm concentration than men who had the least exposure to organophosphates and N-methyl carbamates, the study found.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Court tosses EPA ban on pesticide linked to brain damage in kids
2023-11-02, The Hill
Posted: 2023-11-26 17:35:46
https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/4291117-court-tosses-epa-ban-pe...

A federal appeals court on Thursday is tossing the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) ban on a pesticide that has been linked to brain damage in children. The decision from the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to send the rule back to the agency does not preclude the agency from reinstating the ban in the future. But it said the EPA needs to give greater consideration to whether there are cases where the pesticide, called chlorpyrifos, could be used safely. Chlorpyrifos has been used as an insecticide, protecting crops like soybeans, broccoli, cauliflower and fruit trees. The EPA banned chlorpyrifos for use in growing food in 2021. That came after a prior court ruling gave the agency just 60 days to either find a safe use for chlorpyrifos or ban it outright. The appeals court determined that this deadline contributed to a rushed decision from EPA that was ultimately "arbitrary and capricious." The ruling comes from Judges Lavenski Smith, Raymond Gruender and David Stras, two of whom were appointed by former President George W. Bush and one of whom was appointed by former President Trump. The chlorpyrifos issue has ping-ponged between administrations. The Obama administration had proposed to ban its use on food, but the Trump administration reversed course and had proposed to allow some uses of the chemical. 

Note: Did you know that chlorpyrifos was originally developed by Nazis during World War II for use as a nerve gas? Read more about the history and politics of chlorpyrifos, and how U.S. regulators relied on falsified data to allow its use for years. See other concise news articles we've summarized about the harms of chlorpyrifos.


EU Commission to extend use of glyphosate for 10 more years after member countries fail to agree
2023-11-17, Nature
Posted: 2023-11-26 17:33:50
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-023-03589-z

The European Commission says it has decided to renew the license for the weedkiller compound glyphosate, approving its use in European Union countries for ten more years. Following the decision yesterday, the Commission released a statement saying that, on the basis of comprehensive safety assessments carried out by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), it would renew the licence, "subject to certain new conditions and restrictions". These include a ban on the use of the chemical to dry crops before harvest, and "the need for certain measures to protect non-target organisms". Governments can still restrict the use of glyphosate in their own countries if they consider the risks too high. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, the world's most widely used herbicide. Some studies point to a link between glyphosate and certain cancers. Robin Mesnage, a toxicologist at King's College London, welcomes the Commission's decision to continue to allow the use of glyphosate. Others have expressed disappointment. "It is unacceptable that the Commission still plans to go ahead with its proposal, considering the amount of scientific evidence of the substance's health impacts," says Natacha Cingotti, a campaigner at the Health and Environment Alliance. "While we can't undo the decades of exposure, the Commission can still seize the opportunity to turn the tide towards more sustainable agricultural practices."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the food system from reliable major media sources.


UN hunger expert: US must recognize ‘right to food' to fix broken system
2023-11-09, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-11-26 17:32:09
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/nov/09/united-nations-right-to-f...

The US must acknowledge the right to food in order to transform its broken food system in the post-pandemic era and make it more resilient in the face of the climate crisis and biodiversity loss, according to a United Nations hunger expert. "Whether we're talking about right to food, food justice or food sovereignty, there has been growing momentum over the last 10 years to understand that food is not just something we just leave to be determined by what is available or by corporations or the status quo," said Michael Fakhri, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food. Last month, Fakhri presented a report on the right to food – which would entail that adequate food be available and accessible to all people – as a means of food system recovery and transformation to the UN general assembly. The right to food, which can also be characterized as a right to culturally appropriate nutrition that a person needs to live a healthy and active life, is recognized in the UN's 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is enshrined in the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In 2021, the US and Israel were the only countries to vote against a United Nations committee's draft that asserted food as a human right. The draft also expressed alarm that the number of people lacking access to adequate food rose by 320 million to 2.4 billion in 2020 – nearly one-third of the world's population. In 2022, 44.2 million people in the US lived in food-insecure households.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the food system from reliable major media sources.


Nearly half of American adults faced medical bill issues in last year – survey
2023-11-16, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-11-26 17:30:34
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/nov/16/hospital-bill-healthcare-cost...

High-income Americans are almost as likely to defer healthcare because of cost as people with low or average incomes in eight other developed countries, a new survey brief by the Commonwealth Fund finds. The survey findings also show that nearly half of American adults (46%) faced a problem with a medical bill in the last year, and almost half with low or average incomes (46%) skipped or delayed needed care because of price – the highest rate in any of nine countries analyzed. "In some cases, lower-income people in other countries are better off than higher-income Americans," said Munira Gunja, lead author of the study. Decades of research shows the US health system is both wildly expensive and inefficient. Internationally, it has been seen as a kind of "bogeyman" and as a way not to structure a health system, according to the late Princeton University health economist Uwe Reinhardt. A staggering 18% of US GDP goes to healthcare spending, the highest in the world, and the logical result of the highest healthcare prices of any nation. Despite runaway spending, Americans also have among the worst outcomes. Recent work by population researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University, found US life expectancy has slipped for decades and now ranks 46th among 200 nations. The US is also the only nation surveyed without guaranteed universal health coverage for every citizen.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.


Connecticut City Rejects 5G Citing Evidence of Health Risks
2023-11-20, The Defender
Posted: 2023-11-26 17:26:59
https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/stamford-connecticut-rejects-5g-h...

The Board of Representatives in Stamford, Connecticut, earlier this month voted to reject a model agreement that would have allowed AT&T and Verizon to install 5G equipment on city-owned utility poles. In a bid to get 5G swiftly installed in his state, Gov. Ned Lamont's office created a template contract between the nation's top two telecommunication carriers and the state's five major cities. Stamford, the state's second-largest city, is the only city so far to have voted against using the contract. [City] representatives were largely persuaded by presentations by six independent experts on the scientific evidence of harm from radiofrequency (RF) radiation, including 5G. The experts, including toxicologist and epidemiologist Devra Davis, Ph.D., MPH, said there were many documented health and environmental impacts of wireless radiation, including brain damage, memory loss, decline in reproductive function, DNA damage and harm to insects. "Confronted with overwhelming, independent scientific information about the real and present dangers of bringing electromagnetic fields closer to humans than ever before, Stamford voted to protect people," [said Davis]. Some representatives, like City Rep. Don Mays, worried that rejecting the pact would mean AT&T and Verizon would sue the city. A 2018 ruling by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) blocks states and municipalities from taking actions that would impede or delay the rollout of 5G technology.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the risks and dangers of wireless technologies from reliable major media sources.


US regulator cracks down on food industry for paid dietitian ‘influencer' posts
2023-11-15, The Examination
Posted: 2023-11-26 17:25:16
https://www.theexamination.org/articles/ftc-crackdown

Federal regulators announced warnings against two major food and beverage industry groups and a dozen nutrition influencers on Wednesday, as part of a broad action to enforce stricter standards for how companies and social media creators disclose paid advertising. The Federal Trade Commission sent warning letters on Monday to American Beverage, a lobbying group whose members include Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, as well as the Canadian Sugar Institute and a dozen health influencers who collectively have over 6 million followers on TikTok and Instagram. The agency flagged nearly three dozen social media posts that it said failed to clearly disclose who was paying the influencers to promote artificial sweeteners or sugary foods. The action follows a months-long investigation by The Examination and The Washington Post that revealed how the food and beverage industry had enlisted popular dietitians to promote industry-friendly messages on social media posts that often failed to disclose the names of sponsors. Social media marketing ... has been described as the Wild West of advertising. Over $6 billion is expected to be spent on influencer marketing in the United States in 2023. The enforcement action is the first the FTC has taken against major food and beverage industry groups for social media marketing. The agency urged the trade groups and nutrition influencers to remove posts or add proper disclosures and noted that future failures could trigger fines of more than $50,000 for each violation.

Note: Read how cereal giant Kellogg used fake experts to sell its sugary cereals. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Insurance Industry Execs ‘Alarmed' by Surge in Deaths Among Young People – But Stop Short of Blaming COVID Shots
2023-11-06, The Defender
Posted: 2023-11-12 19:30:52
https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/surge-young-people-deaths-insuran...

Executives at the largest insurance companies in the United States are alarmed that teenagers, young and white-collar Americans in the prime of life are inexplicably dying at a record pace, causing a "monumental outflow" of death claims. According to an Oct. 26 report in InsuranceNewsNet, U.S. insurance companies expected higher-than-normal payouts from excess deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic. Insurers saw death benefits rise 15.4% in 2020, the biggest one-year increase since the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, followed by a record $100.28 billion – nearly double the historic norm – in total death benefits paid out by the industry in 2021. CDC numbers ... show the death rate for Americans ages 15-45 rose 20-24% above normal in 2020, and soared in 2021, to a nearly 30% death increase for 15-year-olds and a more than 45% increase for 45-year-olds. CDC data reported in August showed that Americans in the period January-May 2023 were still dying at abnormally high rates with the pandemic long over. Dr. Pierre Kory ... who treats long COVID and vaccine-injured patients in his practice, called on insurance companies to work with media and governments and investigate the powerful evidence that countless deaths and disabilities are temporally linked to the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. Kory cited the more than 1 million COVID-19 vaccine-linked injuries, disabilities and more than 30,000 deaths reported ... to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).

Note: Mentioned in this article is critical care physician Dr. Pierre Kory, who recently published an in-depth explanation on the link between COVID-19 mRNA vaccines and excess death among American youth. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.


Food Industry Influence Could Cloud the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, a New Report Says
2023-10-04, New York Times
Posted: 2023-11-07 16:25:37
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/10/04/well/eat/dietary-guidelines-food-industry....

Some of the experts responsible for helping to craft the U.S. dietary guidelines also take money from big food and drug companies. A report ... by the nonprofit U.S. Right to Know makes those concerns plain. Nine of the 20 experts on the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee have had conflicts of interest in the food, beverage, pharmaceutical or weight loss industries in the last five years, the report found. Gary Ruskin, the executive director of the nonprofit, said the finding "erodes confidence in the dietary guidelines," which provide recommendations on how people can eat a healthier diet. The guidelines are widely used by policymakers to set priorities in federal food programs, health care and education. Questions about industry influence could damage the public's trust that the recommendations are based in science. When committee members receive funding from certain industry groups or organizations, it raises the concern that they may be biased, Dr. [Marion] Nestle said. "Part of the problem is the influence is unconscious," she said. "People don't recognize it," she added, and will often deny it. Even if such relationships do not influence the experts, Mr. Ruskin said, they can create the appearance that they do – which can seed doubt about how independent the committee's recommendations actually are. Industry influence can [also] creep in later in the process ... when the U.S.D.A. and the H.H.S. produce the final guidelines based on the committee's advice.

Note: U.S. Right to Know is an excellent resource for investigating how the food industry shapes science, policy and public opinion. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Food additive or carcinogen? The growing list of chemicals banned by EU but used in US
2022-06-23, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-11-07 16:18:05
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jun/23/titanium-dioxide-banned-c...

There's a hidden ingredient used as a whitener in an array of foods. It's called titanium dioxide, and while commonly used in the US, it's being banned in the EU as a possible carcinogen. The additive, also known as E171, joins a host of other chemicals that are banned in foods in the European Union but allowed in the US. These include Azodicarbonamide, a whitening agent found in food such as breads, bagels, pizza, and pastries in the US, which has been banned in the EU for more than a decade. The additive has been linked to asthma and respiratory issues in exposed workers and, when baked, to cancer in mice studies. The Food and Drug Administration classifies these food chemicals, and many others prohibited by the EU, as "generally recognized as safe". Chemical safety processes in the EU and US work in starkly different ways. Where European policy tends to take a precautionary approach – trying to prevent harm before it happens – the US is usually more reactive. And while the EU has consistently updated its methods and processes for evaluating new chemicals, some experts say the US system, set up more than half a century ago, needs updating. In the case of additives like titanium dioxide, manufacturers petition the FDA for its approval by submitting evidence that the substance is safe for its intended use. The FDA evaluates the application, and will authorize the additive if it concludes the data provided demonstrates that the substance is safe to use.

Note: Unlike other countries, the U.S. is known to raise objections to the regulation of toxic chemicals in our food, with its regulatory agencies having deep financial ties to powerful food and agrichemical industries. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


The growing case for doing less: How harmless cancers are being overdiagnosed in America
2023-10-02, Fortune
Posted: 2023-11-07 16:13:05
https://fortune.com/2023/10/02/growing-case-for-doing-less-harmless-cancers-o...

In 2009, Laura Esserman, a breast cancer surgeon and oncology specialist in San Francisco, co-published an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggesting that it was time to rethink routine screening for breast and prostate cancer. The current approach, she wrote, wasn't reducing aggressive or late-stage disease as much as had been hoped. Instead, it was leading to overdiagnosis. Ductal carcinoma in situ, a condition sometimes called non-invasive or stage-zero breast cancer, is a very early finding of disease in the cells that line the milk ducts of the breast. For decades, the diagnosis of DCIS has routinely led to surgery–a mastectomy or a lumpectomy (a partial breast resection) that's often combined with radiation treatment. The issue? In a study of 100,000 women who were followed for two decades, patients who'd been diagnosed with and treated for DCIS ultimately had about the same chance of dying from breast cancer as those in the general population. In August, a meta-analysis of 18 randomized clinical trials involving 2.1 million people, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, concluded that "current evidence does not substantiate the claim" that common cancer screens (mammography, colonoscopy, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing, etc) save lives. "In our exuberance to find these cancers, we have basically turned a lot of healthy people who are not destined to die from the cancers into patients," says Ade Adamson, a cancer screening expert.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.


As Ozempic use grows, so do reports of possible mental health side effects
2023-09-21, NPR
Posted: 2023-11-07 16:11:43
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2023/09/21/1200201186/as-ozempic-us...

Nearly three months into taking Ozempic for diabetes, Jenny Kent had already lost 12 pounds, and her blood sugar numbers were looking better than they had in a while. Ozempic, the injectable drug approved for Type 2 diabetes, has taken the world by storm. Despite not being approved by the Food and Drug Administration for weight loss, Ozempic has prompted people on TikTok and Instagram to speculate about which stars have used it to shed pounds seemingly overnight. But for Kent something else changed after she started taking Ozempic. "I was just constantly in a state of being overwhelmed," says Kent. "So my response to that was just I was just crying all the time. Sobbing, crying ... I still didn't put it together, so I kept ... taking my injections." She's one of many people taking Ozempic and related drugs who describe mental health problems. But that side effect isn't mentioned in Ozempic's instructions for use, or drug label. In July, the European Medicines Agency said that it was looking into the risk of thoughts of self-harm and suicidal thoughts with the use of Ozempic and similar drugs. The FDA hasn't taken that step. NPR analyzed the FDA's adverse event reporting system, or FAERS, and learned that the agency has received 489 reports of patients experiencing anxiety, depression or suicidal thoughts while taking semaglutide drugs, including Ozempic, Wegovy and Rybelsus. In 96 of those reports, the patient had suicidal thoughts. Five of them died.

Note: A deeper investigation explores the concerning scope of health issues related to weight-loss drug side effects. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


Ozempic, Mounjaro manufacturers testing weight loss drugs for kids
2023-10-22, MSN News
Posted: 2023-11-07 16:10:04
https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/other/ozempic-mounjaro-manufacturers-testing...

Companies that make popular weight loss shots like Ozempic and Mounjaro are starting to test a version for kids as young as six years old who suffer from obesity. Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly signaled its plans to start clinical trials with Mounjaro for kids ages 6-11, over the weekend. Novo Nordisk, the company that makes Ozempic, reported it is in phase three of testing Saxenda, a version of its drug for children ages 6-12. The rates of obesity for children in the U.S. have tripled since the 1980s, affecting close to 15 million children nationwide, according to the CDC. This is nearly one in five kids. "It's unlikely it's going to do much if you just give them the medication. You need to instill all these behavior changes, lifestyle changes, talk about the diet, nutrition consults, the exercise," said pediatrician Dr. Alison Mitzner. The concern for possible long-term impacts and side effects is one nutritionist Carrie Lupoli echoes. Both drug companies were sued earlier this year after a plaintiff said she suffered stomach paralysis. "It's scary to me that we are going down that path instead of actually working on the root cause because we know weight gain is a symptom of health and hormones," Lupoli said. CDC data shows kids may have gained weight twice as fast during the pandemic. Earlier this year, the American Academy of Pediatrics came out with new guidance that includes medication and surgery as suggestions for patients 12 and up suffering from obesity.

Note: The pharmaceutical companies behind these weight loss drugs are raking it in despite significant efficacy and safety concerns. Sales of Ozempic generated revenue of $3.2 billion in the second quarter (up from $2.1 billion during the same period in 2022) and Mounjaro generated $980 million in sales for the company during the second quarter (a 72% increase compared to the first quarter). For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


‘Very little yield': has genetically targeted medicine really made us healthier?
2023-09-09, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-11-07 16:08:28
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2023/sep/09/precision-medicine-targeted-p...

After spending 13 years and $2.7bn, the Human Genome Project announced in 2003 that it had successfully mapped our DNA, paving the way for a new era of medicine that would deliver "the right treatment, for the right patient, at the right time". Twenty years later, some say the "era of precision medicine" has arrived. But others disagree. They argue that the gains have been small, and pursuing them may have diverted attention from the preventable causes of common diseases. Some doctors and academics say that too much emphasis is placed on our genes, and not enough on environment and lifestyle. "There's this paradox where the more we learn about the human genome, the less we should expect it to actually have significant impacts for most patients," [Prof. James] Tabery says. "There's plenty of information to suggest that if we really wanted to combat common diseases, we should be focusing on environmental causes." In countries with insurance-based healthcare systems such as the US, expensive drugs can take an enormous toll on individuals, leading some clinicians to identify a new side-effect: "financial toxicity". "A new drug offers some health benefits to those patients that receive it," explains Mark Sculpher ... at the University of York. "But depending on the cost of that drug, you may end up with other patients losing more health, because that's resources taken from them. So you can have this negative overall population health effect if you pay too much for a drug."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


Americans Are Fools for Pharma
2023-10-24, The DisInformation Chronicle on Substack
Posted: 2023-11-07 16:06:44
https://disinformationchronicle.substack.com/p/americans-are-fools-for-pharma

While I was out of town on business, I got a call from my dad who told me my husband Woody had been found hanging–dead at age 37. Woody wasn't depressed and he hadn't had a history of depression nor any other mental illness. His doctor had prescribed the antidepressant Zoloft to take the edge off. In the following weeks, I started to investigate, to try and understand why my perfectly normal husband had decided to end his life. The only thing that made sense ... Zoloft. Figuring out Zoloft's dangers completely altered my life's trajectory, absorbing years of my time. Today, I sit on one of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committees that reviews new drugs coming to market. I initially thought that what I was learning about Zoloft was just an isolated issue with antidepressants. But I soon realized it was part of a much bigger, systemic problem with our nation's drug safety system. The pharmaceutical industry is driven by commercial interests, not public health, and this problem is compounded by a lack of transparency, conflicts of interests, manipulation of clinical trials, and undue corporate influence across the government. Marketing companies ghostwrite pharmaceutical studies for academics who sometimes barely read the papers that get submitted to medical journals, and drug makers then cite these ghostwritten studies as peer-reviewed proof of their products' safety and efficacy. The revolving door between Big Pharma and the FDA spins faster than the one between the Pentagon and the defense industry.

Note: This guest essay is written by Kim Witczak, a globally renowned advocate for pharmaceutical drug safety and FDA reform. Antidepressants have been found to increase the risk of suicide in some patients. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


Eighty Percent of the Population Will Get Treated for Mental Illness in their Lifetime–and They're Worse Off Afterward
2023-10-23,
Posted: 2023-11-07 16:05:13
https://www.madinamerica.com/2023/10/eighty-percent-of-the-population-will-ge...

A new study published in JAMA Psychiatry finds that almost everyone will be treated for mental illness at some point in their lives and that their lives are worse in many ways after receiving diagnosis and treatment. About 80% of the population will be hospitalized or receive psychiatric drugs. After treatment, they are more likely to end up poor, unemployed, and receiving disability benefits, and they have worsening social connections. According to the researchers, the likelihood of getting prescribed psychiatric drugs during your lifetime was 82.6% (87.5% for women and 76.7% for men). The likelihood of being hospitalized for mental illness was 29.0% (31.8% for women and 26.1% for men). On average, the 80% who were treated for mental illness were already struggling before treatment. But after treatment, things only got worse. After treatment, "individuals with any mental health disorder were more likely to experience new socioeconomic difficulties, compared with control individuals from the general population," the researchers write. "During follow-up, they were more likely to become unemployed or receive a disability benefit, to earn lower income, to be living alone, and to be unmarried." There is copious evidence that antidepressant use leads to worse outcomes in the long term, even after controlling for the severity of depression and other factors. The adverse effects of the drugs lead to worse health outcomes for those taking them, and withdrawal symptoms prevent people from being able to discontinue.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.


‘This feels more like spin-the-bottle than science': my mission to find a proper diagnosis – and treatment – for my son's psychosis
2023-02-25, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-10-29 17:12:33
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2023/feb/25/this-feels-more-like-spin-the...

Psychosis is often thought to be genetic, or a symptom of brain chemistry gone awry, which is what I was led to believe for much of my journey through the traditional mental health system. [My son] Zach's first diagnosis was psychosis NOS (Not Otherwise Specified). Later ... he was classified with either schizophrenia, paranoid schizophrenia, depression with psychotic symptoms or, more recently, schizoaffective disorder. I craved solutions, and the more I searched the more confused I became. First, I discovered that no disease markers show up in brain scans or blood tests for any of these so-called disorders. Nobody seems to know for sure what is really going on, which feels more like a spin-the-bottle game than science. The effects of the antipsychotic drugs were intolerable for Zach, far worse than the symptoms that they were meant to alleviate. In Finland, a more radical understanding of extreme distress led to a programme called Open Dialogue which aims to avoid hospitalisation and medication with therapy that revolves around families and other networks, and involves contact, preferably in the person's home. It has contributed to lowering the suicide rate in Finland; one of the highest in the world in the 1990s, it has dropped by 50% since Open Dialogue began. Despite a quarter of a trillion pounds spent on mental health in Britain since the 1980s, it is the only area of medicine where outcomes have stalled, and by some measures are even going backwards.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Popular ‘Benzo' drugs linked to suicide, brain damage – even if you stop taking them: study
2023-06-30, New York Post
Posted: 2023-10-16 01:34:07
https://nypost.com/2023/06/30/popular-benzo-drugs-linked-to-suicide-brain-dam...

Over 30 million Americans a year use benzodiazepines, or "benzos," including Xanax, Valium, Ativan and Klonopin. Benzodiazepines are prescribed to treat anxiety disorders, insomnia, muscle spasms, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, seizures and epilepsy. But this widely used class of drugs is linked to severe side effects and life impacts that can last for years – even after people have stopped taking the drugs – a new study finds. "Patients have been reporting long-term effects from benzodiazepines for over 60 years. I am one of those patients," Dr. Christy Huff, a cardiologist and co-author of the study, said in a news release. The new research, published in PLOS One, includes a lengthy list of side effects that a majority of benzo users experienced more than a year after they stopped taking the drugs. Those long-lasting symptoms include low energy, difficulty focusing, memory loss, anxiety, insomnia, sensitivity to light and sounds, digestive problems, symptoms triggered by food and drink, muscle weakness and body pain. Alarmingly, users also struggled with severe life impacts: 54.7% reported suicide attempts or suicidal thoughts, for example. Health experts noted numerous other problems with benzos, including an increased risk of suicide and dependence on the drug, among other adverse side effects. Withdrawal from benzos can produce troubling symptoms as soon as within 24 hours, and these adverse effects can last for months.

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J&J unit, P&G, Walgreens misled consumers about decongestants, lawsuits say
2023-09-15, Reuters
Posted: 2023-10-16 01:28:08
https://www.reuters.com/legal/jj-pg-sued-after-fda-panel-ruling-cold-medicine...

Procter & Gamble (PG.N), Walgreens (WBA.O) and Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ.N) former consumer business are among several companies accused in lawsuits of deceiving consumers about cold medicines containing an ingredient that a unanimous U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel declared ineffective. Proposed class actions were filed on Wednesday and Thursday, after the panel reviewed several studies and concluded this week that the ingredient phenylephrine marketed as a decongestant was essentially no better than a placebo. According to an agency presentation, about 242 million products with phenylephrine were sold in the United States last year, generating $1.76 billion of sales and accounting for about four-fifths of the market for oral decongestants. The first lawsuit appeared to have been filed in Pensacola, Florida, federal court. It said Johnson & Johnson Consumer and Procter & Gamble should have known by 2018 that their marketing claims about products with phenylephrine were "false and deceptive." That year was when new FDA guidance for evaluating symptoms related to nasal congestion demonstrated that earlier data about phenylephrine's effectiveness could no longer be relied upon, the complaint said. The plaintiff Steve Audelo, a Florida resident, said he bought Johnson & Johnson's Sudafed PE and Benadryl Allergy Plus, and Procter & Gamble's Vicks NyQuil, based on the companies' claims that the products worked.

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