Author Archives: Martha Rosenberg

Do you have hep C? Pharma hopes so

The sicker you get, the richer they become.

The campaigns are everywhere. On ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX, Animal Planet, the Game Show Network and Syfy. In People, Popular Mechanics and Better Homes and Gardens magazines. On the radio and along subway lines. If you were born between 1945 and 1965, you could have hep C, screams Gilead Sciences, which makes the hep C drug Harvoni. Continue reading

How offensive ads sell drugs for pharma

How did pharma become the third most lucrative U.S. industry? In addition to millions doled out to federal lawmakers and medical groups, it uses the world’s best ad agencies and public relations firms to “move product.” Continue reading

Will Hugh Hefner be remembered as a visionary or a flesh peddler?

Even in his golden years, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner made headlines like celebrities a quarter of his age. After his bride-to-be Crystal Harris left him at the altar in 2011, he rallied with a new show on NBC, The Playboy Club, and reduced the October issue of Playboy to its 1961 price of 60 cents to help buzz the TV show. Continue reading

Big corporations like Nestlé are aggressively making people even fatter across the globe

Developing countries are a hot market for Big Food's high-calorie junk food.

There are now more than 700 million obese people worldwide, 108 million of them children, reported the New York Times recently. 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. Nestlé calls the junk food hawkers, who are themselves obese, “micro-entrepreneurs.” Right. Continue reading

Better than statins and only $200,000 a year, says new drug hype

It is no secret that the pill profit party is over for drug companies. Best-selling pills like Lipitor, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Singular, Concerta, Cymbalta and Abilify have gone off patent and Wall Street is moving on to industries that offer better returns. Continue reading

Drug company-funded anti-suicide groups on campus raises questions

Many are baffled why the suicide rate in the United States is rising despite antidepressant use being at an all time high. Suicide has risen to 38,000 a year, says USA Today, after falling in the 1990s despite almost a quarter of the population in some age groups taking antidepressants and use of some psychiatric drugs growing by 700% in the military. Shouldn’t suicides be going down? Continue reading

How Pharma keeps health care costs astronomical

In 2009, CBS news reported that drugmakers had spent hundreds of millions of dollars to raise awareness of fibromyalgia which it called, “a murky illness, helping boost sales of pills recently approved as treatments and drowning out unresolved questions—including whether it’s a real disease at all.” Eli Lilly and Pfizer had donated more than $6 million to “nonprofit groups for medical conferences and educational campaigns,” reported CBS. While fibromyalgia, like most diseases given such “awareness” certainly exists, the timing and estimation of how many people “suffer” was totally orchestrated by Pharma and its many patient front groups. Continue reading

Stop suicide by helping Big Pharma, says shady suicide prevention group

Next month, hundreds across the country will participate in “Out of the Darkness” walks to raise awareness about suicide and to support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). Continue reading

Brave new food so safe it’s not even labeled

Almost every issue that food activists care about—unlabeled, dangerous ingredients and drug traces; crowded, polluted farms that harm workers and the environment; Agribiz cornering the food supply and destroying family farms; and animal suffering—is magnified when genetically modified (GM) or genetically engineered (GE) animals are added into the equation. Continue reading

Ritual slaughter is never humane

“Kosher” is widely interpreted as meaning pure, and many think kosher slaughter is better or more humane than traditional methods. But ritual slaughter is capable of causing great suffering, says animal expert Temple Grandin. “Some plants use cruel methods of restraint, such as suspending a conscious animal by a chain wrapped around one hind-limb. In more progressive plants, the animal is placed in a restrainer that holds it in a comfortable, upright position,” she writes. Continue reading

Antibiotics are not the only drugs used in U.S. meat

By now, most people know that antibiotics are used by the ton in the production of U.S. meat—not because animals are sick but because less food is required when animals are given the drugs so meat producers make a greater profit. Continue reading

Rotten eggs Jack and Peter DeCoster headed to jail—finally

A couple of rotten eggs finally got their due. Well, sort of. Continue reading

Once again, mainstream media does Pharma’s bidding

Taxpayers are stuck paying for the opioid crisis created by Big Pharma to make more money. Late last year, the Senate approved $1 billion of our money for “opioid prevention and treatment programs” as part of the 21st Century Cures Act. Continue reading

Book review: ‘Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives’

What if you didn’t grow up amid America’s gun culture, but are still a member of the race which suffers the most from U.S gun violence? As Gary Younge, a black reporter who grew up in England demonstrates in a moving new book titled, “Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives,” it might cause you to ask hard questions other reporters duck. Continue reading

Why isn’t Big Pharma paying for the harm it caused like Big Tobacco?

Late last year, the Senate approved $1 billion of taxpayer money for “opioid prevention and treatment programs” as part of the 21st Century Cures Act. Yes, taxpayers are stuck paying for the opioid crisis which Big Pharma created for no other reason than to make more money. Continue reading

Don’t fall for these pharma scare tactics

Long before the Internet and direct-to-consumer advertising, the medical profession tried to reassure people about their health concerns. Remember “take two aspirins and call me in the morning”? Continue reading

US beef exports to China will resume. Who remembers why they stopped?

After the first mad cow, things got worse.

US cattlemen and agriculture professionals are ecstatic over China’s willingness to accept US beef imports for the first time in 13 years. Yet few reports articulate why the beef ban occurred in the first place. Continue reading

Chronic pain patients ill served by U.S. medicine

It is estimated that up to 66 percent of U.S. women and 45 percent of U.S. men live with chronic pain from spinal disorders like disc disease, pinched nerves and neck pain, to complex regional pain syndromes, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and headaches. Low back pain alone affects eight out of 10 people worldwide and is the fifth most common reason people visit a doctor. Continue reading

How Big Pharma’s profit machine has evolved

Thanks to drug safety scandals and new methods of marketing, the bloom had fallen off the Pharma reps’ roses.

More than a decade ago, the job of pharmaceutical rep was enviable. Direct-to-consumer advertising pre-sold many drugs so doctors already knew about them. Medical offices welcomed the reps who were usually physically attractive and brought lunch. In fact, reps sometimes had their own reception rooms in medical offices and seemed to see doctors before waiting patients. Continue reading

Big Pharma profits from promoting drugs that cause harm

I recently interviewed Lawrence Golbom, author of ‘Not Safe As Prescribed.’ Continue reading

What U.S. poultry producers do not want you to know about bird flu

A bird flu outbreak exposes the unethical and deceptive practices of poultry producers.

Once again, bird flu is back in the U.S. From 2014 through mid-2015, 48 million chickens and turkeys were killed in the U.S. to prevent the disease’s spread and protect farmers’ profits. Continue reading

Pharma funded ‘patient’ groups keep drug prices astronomical

It happens with regularity during citizen open-mike sessions at FDA drug advisory committee hearings. A queue of “patients” materializes out of nowhere to testify, often in tears, about the crucial need for a new drug or new use approval. Some are flown in by Pharma. Continue reading

Big Meat’s dirty little secret: Few jobs for Americans

Slaughterhouse conditions are rarely in the news—it’s bad for Big Meat’s image. However, it is safe to say that few to no Americans work as knockers, stickers, bleeders, tail rippers, flankers, gutters, sawers and plate boners in U.S. slaughterhouses. With very few exceptions, Americans simply won’t work such dangerous slaughterhouse jobs that often pay as little as $6.25 to $7 an hour. Continue reading

There’s more to the bacon shortage than what’s been reported

By 2014, a virus had killed 7 million piglets in their first days of life.

Just as Big Pork has gotten people hooked on bacon as an added ingredient everywhere—even in gum, candy and ice cream—a shortage has been announced. USDA reported that stored pork bellies fell to 17.7 million pounds last month, the lowest December inventory since records began in 1957. Continue reading

How Big Pharma’s lust for profit turns their customers into guinea pigs

Is patient safety being compromised in the rush to approve new drugs?

There is a reason drug safety experts recommend waiting five years before taking a new prescription drug. Before new drugs are released to the public, they are tested on a shockingly small group of people for a shockingly short period of time. Risks and safety problems, therefore, often don’t emerge until millions try the drug as we saw with the withdrawn drugs Vioxx, Bextra, Baycol, Trovan, Meridia, Seldane, Hismanal, Darvon, Raxar, Redux and at least 11 others. Continue reading

Could Trump’s hair drug threaten his physical and mental health?

There can be a downside to a full head of orange hair

Last week, President Trump’s doctor disclosed that the president takes finasteride, a drug marketed as Propecia, to treat male pattern baldness. While it is tempting to make jokes about Trump’s hair, and even the sexual side effects that accompany the drug, it also has many disturbing side effects that neither the president—nor any other man—should risk. Continue reading

They aren’t all safe: Pharma is willing to look ‘unscientific’ to sell vaccines

Why do progressive news sites that expose government and corporate disinformation in other areas accept disinformation when it comes to vaccines—actually calling activists “unscientific”? Continue reading

Getting addiction treatment for free? Big Pharma can fix that!

Imagine a treatment for drug addiction and alcoholism that uses no drugs, requires no trained personnel, resources or insurance and makes no money for anyone. This “people’s program” is the anonymous Twelve Step groups—now at risk of being monetized by Pharma with the help of government agencies like the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Pharma. Increasing, government, working with Pharma, wants to make drug addiction and alcoholism “diseases” to be treated with pills and even vaccines. Ka-ching. Continue reading

Don’t believe these meat industry lies: Part Two

Since 2005 when the USDA rolled out a new food pyramid that the meat industry said reduced red meat’s place in a healthy diet to a mere “condiment,” the USDA has continued to discredit red meat as a healthful food. Then, an advisory committee developing the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for American, which are revamped every five years, said Americans should eat less red and processed meat in favor of a “diet higher in plant-based foods,” further inflaming the meat industry. Committee members even played the environment card and wrote that a red meat-based diet “has a larger environmental impact in terms of increased greenhouse gas emissions, land use, water use, and energy use,” compared to plant-based and Mediterranean-style diets. Continue reading

Don’t believe these red meat lies: Part One

Since 2005 when the USDA rolled out a new food pyramid that the meat industry said reduced red meat’s place in a healthy diet to a mere “condiment,” the USDA has continued to discredit red meat as a healthful food. Then, an advisory committee developing the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for American, which are revamped every five years, said Americans should eat less red and processed meat in favor of a “diet higher in plant-based foods,” further inflaming the meat industry. Committee members even played the environment card and wrote that a red meat-based diet “has a larger environmental impact in terms of increased greenhouse gas emissions, land use, water use, and energy use,” compared to plant-based and Mediterranean-style diets. Continue reading

Will Trump give Pharma a pass on overseas jobs?

Even before a Clinton concession speech, Pharma stocks were hopping and Wall Street saluting over a Trump administration. No pesky price regulation over drugs like EpiPen or Sovaldi. No speed bumps over the safety of drugs like the blood thinning Xarelto, linked to 500 deaths. No DOJ lawsuits about off-label marketing. Continue reading

Are cloned animals on the U.S dinner table?

It has been six years since the BBC, while reporting on a cloned cattle herd in Britain, said cloned products have been in the U.S. food supply for two years. Margaret Wittenberg, global vice-president of Whole Foods Market at the time agreed. Continue reading