US FDA fails to act on its own research misconduct findings

An analysis by Charles Seife has recently been published online in the Journal of American Medical Association Internal Medicine. The analysis has identified 57 “published clinical trials in which an FDA (Food Drug Administration) inspection found significant evidence of objectionable conditions or practices”. These included “falsification or submission of false information”, “problems with adverse events reporting”, “failure to protect the safety of patients” and/or “issues with oversight or informed consent”.  Yet in all but 3 of the 78 publications from trials in which significant violations were found by the FDA, they “failed to mention the objectionable conditions or practices found during the inspection. No corrections, retractions, expressions of concern, or other comments acknowledging the key issues identified by the inspection were subsequently published”.

Mercury-containing preservative, the greatest vaccine scandal of all time, and imprisonment

Robert Kennedy Jnr has recently expressed his concern for a bill that would eliminate nonmedical exemptions from Oregon's school immunisation law by screening a documentary about a mercury-containing preservative in some vaccines. Kennedy is a longtime environmental activist and has the support of at least one senator, Tim Knopp, who said he opposes the vaccine mandate bill because it takes out parental consent from children's medical care, and is unnecessarily extreme and lacking evidence that it would bring a great public health benefit. Another concerned about vaccine safety and efficacy is former Merck physician, Dr. Bernard Dalbergue, who has spoken out saying that, “Gardasil will become the greatest medical scandal of all time because at some point in time, the evidence will add up to prove that this vaccine, technical and scientific feat that it may be, has absolutely no effect on cervical cancer and that all the very many adverse effects which destroy lives and even kill, serve no other purpose than to generate profit for the manufacturers.” Meanwhile parents in North-West Pakistan are being arrested and jailed after refusing to give their children polio vaccinations. 471 people have been imprisoned under government orders on charges of endangering public security.

Clash over WHO sugar advice

The WHO’s most recent recommendation to slash added sugar intake to 5-10% of calories has been welcomed by academics but criticised by the sugar industry who say it is misleading and based on weak evidence. The new report, “Guideline: Sugars intake for adults and children”, focuses on table sugar, honey, molasses, high-fructose corn syrup, glucose and sucrose, and reiterates the “solid evidence that keeping the intake of sugars to less then 10% of total energy intake reduces the risk of overweight, obesity and tooth decay.” The sugar industry said that sugar alone can’t be blamed for obesity and suggested the imbalance between calories and activity be looked at.

Smart meter installation project at risk of being an embarrassment

It was intended that every UK home and business would have a smart meter installed by 2020, but MPs claim that these plans are at risk of veering off track. The Energy and Climate Change Committee said the project was in danger of becoming a costly mistake, with a series of "technical, logistical and public communication issues" resulting in delays. They also said the said the government needed to get a firm grip on smart metering to avoid future embarrassment. Claire Maugham, director of communications at smart meter advocacy group Smart Energy GB, said that the rollout of smart meters needed more independent oversight. If the Canada smart meter debacle — now commonly referred to as a “catastrophe” — is anything to go by, it’s probably a good thing if the UK installation project is delayed, and we’re certainly not alone in our thinking.

NY moves forward with GMO labelling, while Ghana and The Gambia ban GMOs

On March 3, 2015, the New York State Assembly Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection voted 9 to 6, with one abstention, to pass bill A.617, which would require the labeling of food made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Any food for human consumption, seed, or seed stock offered for sale in New York that doesn’t clearly and conspicuously disclose complete, or partial, production using genetic modification on the product’s packaging will be subject to fines of up to $1000 per day, per product. In other GM news the Center for Food Safety (CFS) “is hard at work defending several county ordinances restricting genetically engineered (GE) crops in both Oregon and Hawaii; defending a county ordinance in Hawaii about pesticide spraying disclosure and buffer zones; and helping the state of Vermont defend its GE labeling law.” And following civil society group, Food Sovereignty Ghana (FSG), dragging the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to court, the production and sale of GMOs has been banned in Ghana. This comes at the same time that the President of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, announced that The Gambia "will never accept GM food."


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