Wednesday, February 22, 2012



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1.   Pharma Fraud: withheld clinical trial data shows antidepressants no better than dummy pills

We all know about the placebo effect. But a Harvard Medical School professor has applied the same theory to antidepressants and his findings are likely to rile drugmakers. Why? He filed Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain unpublished clinical trial data and found that, when combining results with published data, the various antidepressants were no better than dummy pills. “These are the studies that show no benefit of the antidepressant over the placebo. What they did was they took more successful studies - they published most of them - and they took their unsuccessful studies, and they didn’t publish that…. If they were mildly or moderately depressed, you don’t see a difference at all." As 60 Minutes notes, Irving Kirsch is “dropping a bomb” on a big business - some $11 billion in annual sales.
Ed Silverman, Pharmalot

Panel to examine death of baby given polio vaccine

PUNE: The Adverse Effects Following Immunisation (AEFI) committee at Ratnagiri, constituted by the state health department, will analyse the death of an eight-month-old baby girl who had received oral polio vaccine (OPV) drops in Nandgaon village on Sunday. The eight-month-old baby girl who had received OPV drops at an immunisation booth at Nandgaon village in Ratnagiri district on Sunday around 11.30 am, developed convulsions around 5.30 pm and died at a private hospital at 8 pm, health officials said. Infant deaths after immunisation in Maharashtra have been steadily rising over the years, a fact admitted by the state health department itself. The department's report, released in May last year, pegs infant deaths after immunisation in 2009-10 at 33 in the state, up from 26 and 15 in 2008-09 and 2007-08 respectively. Union health ministry statistics obtained under the Right to Information Act show that 128 children died in 2010 in the country due to AEFI . That count has risen in the past three years, with 111 such deaths in 2008 and 116 in 2009. Infant deaths due to AEFI are  a well-documented fallout of vaccination.
Umesh Isalkar, The Times Of India
Related Links:
Polio Vaccines Now The #1 Cause of Polio Paralysis
Sayer Ji, Activist Post
WHO scandal: India announces polio vaccines are paralysing children
The Telegraph, Calcutta
Polio Vaccine Proven To Cause Spreading Polio Epidemics - Many Children Paralysed
Maria Cheng, Associated Press
Polio Vaccine Causes Paralysis
Donald G McNeil Jr., The New York Times
Over 78% Of Pakistan Children Struck Down With Polio Had Been Vaccinated
Sify News

Family welcomes new inquest into schoolboy’s death after MMR vaccine

Christopher Coulter.
The family of a Hillsborough schoolboy who died 10 days after receiving the combined measles and rubella (MR) vaccine 18 years ago have welcomed the news that a second inquest has been ordered into the death of their son. Christopher Coulter was 15 years old when he was found dead in bed a week before Christmas 1994. Speaking on behalf of the Coulter family their solicitor Padraig O Muirigh said the reason for Christopher’s death was a matter of public interest. “An application was made by our office under section 14 of the Coroner Act 1959 to the Attorney-General to re-open the inquest in light of the report of Dr Marcel Kinsbourne, a vaccination expert, into the circumstances of the death of Christopher. His findings were that ‘on the balance of probabilities’ Christopher’s seizure and death were caused by the MR vaccine." In addition, he concluded that there was ‘no medically reasonable evidence of an alternativ e causation’, explained Mr O Muirigh.
Jenny Monroe, Ulster Star
Related Links:
New inquest ordered into teenager's death after MMR vaccine
Kathryn Torney, The Detail

'Will anything sensible be done?' asked Gore Vidal about the drug war, 40 years ago. So far, there's no sign

Sir Paul McCartney smoked cannabis for half a century.
Last week Tom Chivers posted a blog in which he observed that Portugal has recorded a fifty per cent drop in “problem drug users”, since they decriminalised all drugs. Will the UK government take note and act accordingly? Don’t be silly. In maintaining our drug laws, the Government is in cahoots with the dealers. As Vidal put it forty years back: “Both the Bureau of Narcotics and the Mafia want strong laws against the sale and use of drugs because if drugs are sold at cost there would be no money in it for anyone. If there was no money for the Mafia, there would be no friendly playground pushers, and addicts would not commit crimes to pay for the next fix. If there was no money in it, the Bureau of Narcotics would wither away, something they are not about to do without a struggle.” Vidal asked “will anything sensible be done?”, and gave the answer, “of course not”. That’s still the answer here, a nd so the alliance between the politicians, the police, and the drug dealers still holds firm. Who benefits? Silly question. We all know the answer. One Click Note: UK Prime Minister David Cameron was punished for drug use at his exclusive Eton private boarding school. He continued his habit at Oxford University. This man is the worst type of brutal (Welfare Reform Bill) political coward.
Allan Massie, The Telegraph
Related Links:
David Cameron knows the drug laws aren't working; his failure to change them is simple cowardice
Tom Chivers, The Telegraph
It’s time to end the failed war on drugs
Richard Branson, The Telegraph
War On Drugs
Report of the Global Commission on Drug Policy
Big Government Breaks Bad in Drug War
Tom Barry, CounterPunch
Prohibition: A parallel to modern war on drugs
Norm Stamper, The Seattle Times
New FBI Numbers Reveal Failure Of 'War On Drugs'
Mark Perry, Daily Markets
Ending the War on Drugs would help to fix the budget
E.D. Kain, Forbes

Will Fraudgate now engulf Murdoch's Sunday Times?

Stephen Grey recently joined Reuters.
Channel 4 want David Connett to dish dirt on criminal activates at Sunday Times. Just when Rupert Murdoch thought he had stage-managed a ‘solution’ to corruption at News International, a new front has opened up on his flanks. The Insight Team of The Sunday Times (ST) was closed down by Murdoch in 2006 for dealing in the “black arts”. In April the same year, David Connett took the ST to an employment tribunal and won £30K in damages. At the tribunal it emerged that Insight had been buying stolen property, making deniable payments to freelance contributors, running deniable operations and committing criminal offences with impunity. Of course, committing criminal offences with impunity was stock in trade at News International. Given their payroll assets in the Met Police and British Intelligence, it comes as no surprise. Not to mention the MoD and Civil ‘Service’. In April 2006, I broached the matter of illegal front companies with Edin Hamzic of the ST. He had the temerity to threaten me with “our friends at the Met.” Former Insight editor Stephen Grey was recently taken on by Reuters. Can he survive if Fraudgate engulfs the ST? Most of the criminal activities at Insight took place on his watch. Rupert Murdoch, recently launched the Sun on Sunday to deflect attention from the growing Bribegate scandal. But now Fraudgate is erupting and what will News Corp make of another corruption scandal?
Simon Tomlin, News Alliance UK
Related Links:
Murdoch's 'wilful blindness': News Corp phone hacking USA
Kirsten Sjøvoll, Matrix Chambers, Inform's Blog
Bribegate could become the biggest corruption scandal in British history
Simon Tomlin, News Alliance UK
Bribegate: Murdoch knows closing The Sun will be the end of News Corp in Britain
Simon Tomlin, News Alliance UK
Rupert Murdoch Could Face Fresh Legal Action In US From Milly Dowler Lawyer   
PA/Huffington Post UK

Young disabled stay silent over hate crimes

80 per cent of disabled young lack faith in police to act

Nearly two in three young disabled people say they have been victims of disability hate crimes, such as being verbally or physically abused or suffering threatening behaviour, a survey by the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign found. The research, by the campaign's Trailblazers, a 400-strong group of disabled 18-to-30-year-olds, raises concerns that nationally hundreds of attacks on disabled people are going unreported. The group's new report, Under Investigation, found that up to 80 per cent of young disabled people believe that the police do not take disability hate crimes seriously enough. The Trailblazers' survey reveals that 62 per cent of young disabled people have been taunted or verbally abused because they are disabled. One Click Note: David Cameron and his mainstream media mates have been jointly conducting a disabled hate campaign to pave the way for their Welfare Reform Bill, whilst refusing to recognise the harrowing plight in which so many of the disabled reside. For this increase in disabled abuse, the government has only itself to blame. Such are the ethics of 1% privileged Bent Britain, currently enjoying the best police force that money and influence can buy.
Sarah Cassidy, The Independent
Related Links:
Benefit cuts are fuelling abuse of disabled people, say charities
Peter Walker, The Guardian
Welfare reform: capping truth, benefiting from spin
Simon Barrow, Ekklesia
A Report on the proposed changes to Disability Living Allowance
The Spartacus Report: Responsible Reform
Dr S J Campbell BSc (Hons) PhD et al

Occupy London grounds for appeal dismissed – Statement from John Cooper QC

“The five day trial and the hearing last week in front of one of the most influential courts in the country has firmly established Occupy as a leading and influential force in public debate. The legal proceedings recognised their integrity, determination and influence for good in modern Society. Of course my clients are disappointed that in accordance with the strict interpretation of domestic law, they have not prevailed today but they do not regret one second of the chance afforded to them to make their case and challenge the approach of the Corporation and the Church. My clients will now be urgently considering their next legal steps with their legal team and will, we anticipate, be bringing their case to the European Court of Human Rights to give that Court the opportunity to consider the state of public protest law in Britain.” Professor John Cooper QC will continue to advise pro bono.
John Cooper QC, Occupy London
Related Links:
Appeal Judgement, Occupy London
Court of Appeal, High Court of Justice


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