Author Archives: Martha Rosenberg

Connecting the dots: big meat, big pharma, big vaccines and big pandemics

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is surely the worst in recent memory, but prehistory is full of records of plagues and pandemics. Continue reading

Pharma tries to cash in on COVID shutdowns with its best-selling drug

Stuck at home? Watching a lot of TV? Pharma’s way ahead of you. Continue reading

As slaughterhouses close, a new novel coronavirus from pigs looms

Smithfield Foods, the nation’s largest pork producer has closed its Sioux Falls, SD, slaughterhouse after 238 Smithfield employees grew sick, according to South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem. Continue reading

Pharma discovers ‘geriatric ADHD’

Pharma has already discovered the huge profits in labeling school children, toddlers and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Now, according to some reports, it has discovered “geriatric ADHD.” Continue reading

Why does Generation Z require so many workplace accommodations?

Recently the Wall Street Journal reported on how many young people are now seeking “accommodations” at work for their anxiety, PTSD, depression, and other mental conditions. Continue reading

Unbranded disease awareness TV ads are a goldmine for Pharma

Two years ago, the FDA approved two drugs for Tardive Dyskinesia (TD), Ingrezza and Austedo, which explains the unbranded TV ads and web sites. Like other unbranded marketing, TD ads and websites omit mention of any drug names but urge people to see their doctors and describe all their symptoms, as unpaid Pharma salesmen. Web sites even offer a “discussion guide” to make sure the patient says the right things and sells the drug for Pharma. Continue reading

A Trump sentence commutation attorneys general liked

The year was 2008. Hundreds of ICE officers swooped down on Agriprocessors, the nation’s largest kosher slaughterhouse located in Postville, Iowa, in the largest single-site raid to date in U.S. history. Half of the 800-person workforce was arrested. Continue reading

Yes, these drugs are in US meat

Thanks to animal welfare groups, most people are now aware of “factory farms.” Concentrated animal feeding operations or CAFOs abuse workers, animals, the environment, human consumers and even our tax dollars. (How? Price supports and government bailouts when diseases occur.) Thanks to greedy CAFOs crowding, diseases killed one-tenth of all US pigs and millions of chickens and turkeys a few years ago. Continue reading

Black boxes: health warning or profit warning?

“Boxed warnings” or “black boxes” are the strictest FDA label warnings. They appear on cigarettes, fluoroquinolones (for tendon rupture), Lamictal (for SJS and TEN), Accutane (birth defects), and other products with well-known risks. Continue reading

SARS-like disease could become a pandemic

Do you remember SARS? Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) was so contagious; a SARS-afflicted man on an Air China flight in 2003 infected 20 passengers sitting at a distance away from him and two crew members. The simple act of flushing the toilet spread the deadly lung disease and health care workers had to wear HazMat suits to treat patients. Eight hundred people died including Pekka Aro, a senior official with the United Nations. Continue reading

Two meat-related diseases that could become epidemics

Do you remember SARS? Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) was so contagious, a SARS-afflicted man on an Air China flight in 2003 infected 20 passengers sitting at a distance away from him and two crew members. The simple act of flushing the toilet spread the deadly lung disease and health care workers had to wear HazMat suits to treat patients. Eight hundred people died including Pekka Aro, a senior official with the United Nations. Continue reading

The latest livestock pandemic that Big Meat doesn’t want you to know about

There’s a lot the industrial factory farm industry prefers to keep consumers in the dark about, including what happens when millions of confined, stressed out animals with weakened immune systems are exposed to disease. Continue reading

Hormone replacement therapy is still linked to cancer

It is a fluke of the news cycle that if we don’t hear a product warning frequently, we can “forgive” that product and think it has somehow become safe. While no one would “forgive” cigarettes, lead in drinking water or mercury in tuna, the public has definitely softened on the danger of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopause. So it is noteworthy that a recently released follow-up of subjects in the federal Women’s Health Initiative found that “breast cancer risk from menopause hormones may last decades.” Specifically, women prescribed HRT had a 29% greater incidence of breast cancer 19 years after using the drugs than those who never used the drugs, said the analysis. Continue reading

New Year’s resolutions Big Pharma should be forced to make

Our Reps Will Wait Their Turn to See the Doctor
They will not be dressed to star in music videos. Prior experience at Hooters or Work Out World will not be sufficient for hiring. They will not call the doctor dude. We understand others waiting to see the doctor are sick.
Continue reading

Humor: Remembering ‘businessmen’ and ‘hippies’

Who remembers brief cases, carried by dads everywhere? Eight-pound, spit-shined, Mahogany-colored leather cases, they sometimes had gold plated combination locks and even “feet” so they could stand up on their own. Some expanded, accordion style, to accommodate extra papers from the office. Continue reading

Big Food is behind the obesity epidemic

With the holidays approaching, few want to think about their weight. It will certainly go up not down before 2020 arrives. People will probably start thinking about their weight on January 2—and joining gyms. Continue reading

How does one of the most hated industries stay profitable?

Pharma is one of the public’s most detested industries. But despite its low approval ratings and a plethora of government lawsuits, Pharma continues to thrive. Here are some of the tricks up its sleeve that enable its continued profiteering. Continue reading

Drug makers discover profit in a new disease

Before direct-to-consumer ads, physicians tried to reassure patients they were probably fine. Today, drug ads and online symptom checkers do just the opposite. The most insidious are “unbranded” ads that scare people about a disease without mentioning the drug they are trying to sell. Notable unbranded disease campaigns sell the obscure exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, shift work sleep disorder, and non-24-hour sleep-wake disorder. Unbranded advertising is designed to appear like a public health message from the CDC and some even run free on TV and radio as “public service announcements.” Continue reading

A new disease Big Meat doesn’t want you to know about

Have you ever heard of African swine fever (ASF) caused by the African swine fever virus (ASFV)? A fourth of the world’s pigs have died from it just this year—half of all of China’s pigs—but like previous food animal pandemics, Big Meat has managed to keep it out of the news. Continue reading

Pharma wants you to be sick and celebrities help

Do you have gas, bloating and frequent diarrhea? Pharma hopes so. If you have the rare digestive/intestinal condition exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI)—mostly limited to those with chronic pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis and diabetes—AbbVie can sell you its expensive drug Creon. Pharma wants you to be sick. Continue reading

How animal researchers stay out of the news

If you are like most people, you know a lot more about how farm animals are treated on factory farms than dogs, primates and other animals are treated in US labs. It is no coincidence. Continue reading

Catch and hang live chickens for slaughter: $11 an hour possible!

Koch Foods, a giant chicken processor that supplies Burger King, Kroger and Walmart (not affiliated with the Koch brothers) lost no time in replacing the five busloads of undocumented workers taken from its Mississippi plants this month due to an ICE raid. It is already holding “job fairs” to replace the workers. Continue reading

Big Meat is one of the biggest abusers of undocumented immigrants

Last week’s ICE raids on chicken slaughter plants in Mississippi raise an issue that traditional media like to ignore. Undocumented immigrants keep the US in cheap meat. Continue reading

How slick consulting firms get us on drugs

Ninety-one people a day die from opioids and 1,000 visit ERs in the US, according to the CDC. How did opioid makers get such a deathly grip on the US population? Recently, the New York Times reported that the global consulting firm McKinsey & Company had a big hand in these morbid figures. Continue reading

Are your frequent UTIs from food you’re eating?

It is no secret that many bacteria causing human infections are developing resistance to the antibiotics that used to kill them. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) calls antibiotic resistance “one of the biggest public health challenges of our time.” In the U.S., at least 2 million people get an antibiotic-resistant infection every year, and at least 23,000 of those people die. Continue reading

Pathologizing kids, Pharma-style

Millions of kids today are on meds for conduct disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, mood disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, mixed manias, social phobia and, of course, ADHD. Continue reading

Consumers losing the war against antibiotics in meat

Farmers continue to use antibiotics on animals, which is not good for people who eat that meat. A war is in progress, and consumers are losing the war against meat antibiotics. Continue reading

Unlabeled ingredients in meat raise questions

Most people know that antibiotics are part of the diet of conventionally raised livestock in the US and elsewhere to make them grow faster (feed is metabolized more efficiently) and prevent disease outbreaks in cramped conditions. But they’d be surprised at how many animals destined for the dinner table have drug residues that exceed legal limits. In the US, each week the Agriculture Department Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) finds dangerous antibiotic levels in animals raised for human food which include penicillin, neomycin, “sulfa” drugs and fluoroquinolones like Cipro. Many of the meat producers are repeat violators. Continue reading

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