Author Archives: Martha Rosenberg

Controversial drug ractopamine is back in the news—and still in your food

A controversial drug allowed in meat production in the U.S.—but banned in 160 other countries—is in the news again. This time, it’s because the Trump administration, as part of a trade deal, is trying to force China to allow imports of U.S. pork raised with ractopamine. Continue reading

Beware the drug industry’s lucrative GMO drugs

The drug industry is employing several tricks to stay a Wall Street darling. Drugs priced at five and six digits like the Hepatitis C drugs, genetically engineered, injected drugs from Chinese hamster ovary cells (like Humira) and convincing healthy people they are “at risk” of serious diseases. All tactics are seen with the newer bone drugs. Continue reading

Rubber and metal with your chicken? Tyson obliges

Rubber and metal are some of the recent surprise “ingredients” found in Tyson chicken. In January, 36,420 pounds of Tyson chicken nuggets were recalled due to rubber contamination. In March, a recall for possible metal contamination of ready-to-eat Tyson chicken strip products began which continues–now encompassing 12 million pounds. Tyson Foods is the world’s second largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork, operating the Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, Sara Lee, Ball Park and other well known brands. Continue reading

Ladies, got an extra $21,000 a year? Here’s Big Pharma’s latest bone nostrum

Poor Pharma. Until 15 years ago, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was a right of passage for older U.S. women and Pharma raked in billions. While HRT did prevent osteoporosis, it was also found to increase the risk of breast cancer, stroke, blood clots, hearing loss, gall bladder disease, urinary incontinence, asthma, the need for joint replacement, melanoma, ovarian, endometrial and lung cancers, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and even dementia according to medical findings. In the first year that millions of women quit HRT in 2003, U.S. breast cancer fell seven percent and 15 percent in women with estrogen fed tumors. Continue reading

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS): Will you cave to Big Pharma?

Most people realize how Big Pharma’s greedy drug pricing raises our health care costs. Fewer are aware of how the greedy drug pricing also raise our taxes. Continue reading

Corruption, mismanagement at USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service put consumers at risk, whistleblower says

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), which operates under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and employs more than 10,000 people, is tasked with ensuring the safety and proper labeling of U.S. meat, poultry and eggs. Continue reading

Consumer drug ads: 20 years of pushing expensive meds and diseases people probably don’t have

In 2015, the U.S.’ American Medical Association (AMA) called for a ban on direct-to-consumer (DTC) prescription drug advertising. The ads make patients demand expensive treatments from their doctors, said the AMA, when less costly drugs are often more effective. The AMA’s efforts were unsuccessful. Continue reading

New study confirms eggs are a stroke in a shell

For years animal agriculture apologists have tried to convince the public that “inflammation, not cholesterol, is the cause of chronic disease.” Eat all the eggs, meat and milk you want, they cajole: you won’t die from a stroke or heart attack at age 50. We promise. Continue reading

The downside of the world’s love affair with shrimp

Shrimp was once considered a treat for special occasions, but now it is a frequent mealtime staple. And that is not necessarily so good. Continue reading

Let them eat genetically engineered and cloned lab animals says US FDA commissioner

Since the first cloned mammal, Dolly the sheep, was created, cattle, horses, goats, pigs, and mice have been cloned, as well as dogs and cats, a mouflon sheep, a mule, and a racing camel. Continue reading

Humor: The rationalizations behind holiday overeating

If you drink too much during the holidays most people––including you––will soon forget about it. But if you overeat during the holidays, tomorrow holds no similar reprieve for you. It is denial or the gym–or denial and the gym. It’s sweatpants with a drawstring, sweater dresses as wide as they are long and Liz Taylor style kaftans. (Unless you still have a muumuu.) Continue reading

Big Pharma fights proposal to keep it from looting Medicare

The Trump administration has proposed that insurance plans providing drug coverage to Medicare beneficiaries will no longer be forced to cover six hitherto “protected” drug classes. The classes—which include drugs for psychiatric conditions, cancer and immune diseases—are among the priciest of all drugs and account for as much as 33 percent of total outpatient drug spending under Part D of Medicare. Continue reading

Will this new Medicare proposal be defeated as it was in 2014?

The Trump administration has proposed that insurance plans providing drug coverage to Medicare beneficiaries will no longer be forced to cover six hitherto “protected” drug classes. The classes—which include drugs for psychiatric conditions, cancer and immune diseases—are among the priciest of all drugs and account for as much as 33 percent of total outpatient drug spending under Part D of Medicare. Continue reading

Opioids for depression? Not so fast says an FDA advisory committee

The mental illness “franchise” has been very good to Pharma. While it could not “grow” the number of people with actual schizophrenia, it has successfully grown those diagnosed with amorphous “schizoaffective” and bipolar disorders and, of course, depression. Continue reading

Dangerous, expensive drugs aggressively pushed due to doctors’ conflicts of interest?

The year was 2011. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg proposed loosening conflict of interest rules for doctors sitting on advisory committees because non-compromised doctors were disappearing. The FDA could not find “knowledgeable experts who are free of financial conflicts of interest,” said news reports. Continue reading

What turkey producers don’t want you to know

As Turkey Day approaches, animal lovers cringe, food safety advocates become vigilant and industrial turkey producers hope you aren’t reading the news. Continue reading

Don’t fall for TV ads that ‘sell’ diseases

Most of us have our guard up when it comes to TV drug ads. We know the butterflies, sunsets and puppies are designed to distract us from terms like “blood clot,” “heart attack,” “stroke,” “seizure,” “life-threatening allergic reaction” and “death.” We realize the audio—if not the video—is actually telling us why we don’t want to “ask our doctor” about the advertised drug. Continue reading

The Florence death toll that factory farmers don’t want you to know about

There are roughly 9 million pigs in North Carolina—the same number as people. There are also 819 million chickens and 33.5m turkeys on a multitude of poultry farms and even fish farms. Continue reading

New mad cow case: Nothing to see here, says USDA

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a new home grown mad cow case recently in a cow raised for beef in Florida. The 6-year-old cow tested positive for atypical H-type BSE but, “never entered slaughter channels, and at no time presented a risk to the food supply, or to human health,” says USDA. Continue reading

Think obesity is caused by lack of exercise not junk food? The message is brought to you from big food donations

There are now more than 700 million obese people worldwide, 108 million of them children, reported the New York Times in 2017. In Brazil, food giant Nestle sends vendors door to door hawking its high-calorie junk food and giving customers a full month to pay for their purchases. Such a deal. Nestle calls the junk food hawkers, who are themselves obese, “micro-entrepreneurs.” Right. Continue reading

Quoting pharma-funded docs, NY Times says dosing kids with drugs is fine

An astounding 10,000 2- and 3-year-olds in the U.S. are on drugs like Ritalin and Adderall for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder it was reported in 2014. Pediatric “psychopharmacology” treating conduct disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, oppositional defiant disorder and more has become a gold mine for Pharma. Pre-school kids are even “diagnosed” with schizophrenia. Fifty percent of pediatricians prescribe kids insomnia drugs. Children are ideal patients because they have to do what their parents, teachers and doctors tell them. Continue reading

Why animals loathe zoos

In July, a 3-year-old male jaguar, Valerio, at New Orleans’ Audubon Zoo escaped and fatally mauled four trapped alpacas, one emu and one fox who were held in other displays. Valerio bit a hole in steel fencing and zoo officials vowed to install stronger materials. Continue reading

Pharma ‘screening’ is a ploy to seize more patients

There is an old saying that if you keep going into a barber shop, eventually you will get a haircut. The same can be said of Pharma’s many health “screenings.” Continue reading

Questions about a popular antibiotic class

Antibiotics, once considered benign drugs, are raising new and disturbing questions. Excessive medical and agricultural use of antibiotics is now clearly linked to antibiotic-resistant microbes or superbugs. Worse, antibiotics are now known to have negative effects on the microbiome, sometimes called the body’s second brain, contributing to obesity, diabetes and problems with mood. Continue reading

What Big Meat doesn’t want you to know about slaughterhouses

It has happened at slaughterhouses run by Smithfield Foods, Swift and Agriprocessors. Continue reading

States struggle against disease outbreak at commercial deer farms

It’s happening on commercial deer farms in Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Pennsylvania. Hundreds of captive deer stricken with the dreaded chronic wasting disease (CWD) are being euthanized. As state Departments of Natural Resources (DNR) try to contain the lethal, incurable disease which threatens their all important hunting revenues, cattle farmers now worry the disease will “jump species.” Deer on 11 farms in Wisconsin, alone, have been annihilated. Continue reading

Psychiatric drugs for kids—a Big Pharma revenue stream

How did the once modest medical specialty of child psychiatry become the aggressive “pediatric psychopharmacology” we see today? Millions of children who were once just considered too active are now diagnosed with ADHD, conduct disorders, oppositional defiant disorder, mixed manias, obsessive-compulsive disorders, pervasive development disorders, irritability, aggression and personality disorders and given drugs. Children who were once considered shy or moody are now diagnosed with depression, bipolar disorder, mood disorders, social phobia, anxiety, borderline disorders, assorted “spectrum” disorders and even schizophrenia. Continue reading

No Ambien does not make you a racist but it does a lot of other concerning things

“While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication,” tweeted Sanofi-Aventis after Roseanne Barr blamed her tweets on the sleeping drug Ambien. While the drug maker may look like the good guy now—and enjoy a boost in Ambien/zolpidem sales––12 years ago it was a different story. Continue reading

The Ambien made me do it, says Roseanne Barr

Is a side effect of Ambien racism and anti-Semitism? Or does it simply lower someone’s inhibitions so their innate racism and anti-Semitism come out? Disgraced TV star Roseanne Barr says taking Ambien explains her recent tweets which instantly moved ABC to cancel her show. Continue reading

Pharma paid and Trump delivered

How high are Pharma’s prices? Novartis wants $475,000 a patient for its new cancer therapy. Hep C drugs cost $95,000 for a course of treatment. The immune drug, Actimmune, costs $52,321.80 a month. The parasite drug Daraprim costs $45,000 a month. And the gallstone drug Chenodal costs $42,570 a month. Continue reading

Big Pharma wants people on antidepressants for years and it’s working

Antidepressants were once considered a short-term therapy to help people get over a troubled time. All that changed with the debut of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants, drug ads on TV and the promotion of the “chemical imbalance” theory of depression. Though there is almost no evidence of the theory––that SSRI antidepressants correct deficits in brain levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter––antidepressants became blockbusters for Pharma. Continue reading

Beware these health myths

An orgy of antibacterial dish, body and laundry soaps emerged in the 2000s to help people get “better than clean.” But the bacterial overkill, when soap and water work just as well, fuels antibiotic resistance and possibly childhood allergies by preventing exposure to natural microbes in the environment. But there’s a worse problem with the germ killers in such antibiotic products (called endocrine or hormone disrupters): they are the same compounds that are producing frogs with no penises in polluted streams and are actually pesticides. Continue reading