European Union Mess likely to get worse

In 2012 John Dalli, the European Commissioner for Health, stepped down ‘to defend his name’. There were rumours flying around this Maltese politician that a tobacco company had been lobbying him, cash in hand. Dalli’s then boss Jose Manuel Barroso notified him that the EU’s Fraud office (OLAF) had been looking into the allegations and this was viewed as the first-ever ousting of a Euro Commissioner.

The whole affair was dubbed Dalligate. Dalli protested his innocence; OLAF said no payment was ever made. Many felt the tobacco company in question had been lying.

Fast forward to 2016 and the head of OLAF is actually in trouble over what went on. Head of OLAF is Fraud commissioner Giovanni Kessler. As head of OLAF he has complete immunity from almost everything. He is independent – and to preserve this independence his immunity means he cannot be fired.

Belgian police have three times asked for his immunity to be lifted. It seems that during the investigations of Dalli, Kessler listened to a conversation between two witnesses on a speaker phone. One of the witnesses had not been told Kessler was listening and that’s a criminal offence under Belgian law.

It seems he may well actually lose his immunity. But all is not that simple in the EU. Kessler was a former leader in the Italian Centre Left movement. His principal attacker is Ingeborg Grässle a member of the German Centre right, said by some to ‘be on a crusade’.

Investigations into Dalli concluded there was no criminal evidence on which to charge him. On the other hand many see the whole thing as a set up to discredit a man trying to bring in new, more restrictive tobacco laws in Europe. Indeed, Dalligate has almost become Barrosogate.

Lobbying, bribery, lies and fraud are felt likely to become the norm if the USA-EU Trade agreement gets going fully. Even under new President Jean-Claude Juncker.

See: http://www.euractiv.com/section/health-consumers/opinion/dalligate-exit-barroso-with-a-toxic-legacy/

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A Whistleblower stirs up a frenzy on Autism, MMR and the CDC in America

A ‘Whistleblower’, Dr William Thompson, a senior scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the USA has publicly stated that the CDC withheld data that confirmed a link between MMR and Autism.

The word ‘fraud’ is commonly used in press comment about the CDC action.

And in the last two days, there has been release of messages supposedly sent to Dr Andrew Wakefield by Thompson apologising for his ‘dishonesty’ and the effect it had on Wakefield’s life.

Let us just follow this through because the blogging press – for Wakefield, cover ups, MMR and Autism has been having a field day.

Dr Andrew Wakefield is a British former surgeon, medical researcher and honorary consultant in experimental gastroenterology at the Royal College of Pathologists, best known for his 1998 research paper claiming that there was a link between the administration of the MMR vaccine and the appearance of autism and bowel disease.

The controversy was enormous. Wakefield has continued to defend his research and conclusions, while Sunday Times reporter Brian Deer, in particular, has aggressively attacked Wakefield and produced evidence in support of his claims. On 28th January a GMC tribunal found charges (including dishonesty) proven against Wakefield and in May 2010 Wakefield was struck off the Medical Register.

Critics claim he has cost ‘countless’ lives (never seemingly quantified) because of his ‘untrue claims’ and thus parents did not vaccinate their children with MMR; while Wakefield himself has always maintained that there was a smear campaign against him, funded by Pharmaceutical Companies and often using skeptics and paid anonymous bloggers. (Ed: Surely not?)

Wakefield now lives in Austin, Texas where he has a number of business and charitable interests mainly to do with Autism.

Ten days ago a news story broke in America. Typically the headlines used phrases such as
“Whistleblower speaks out about MMR and CDC fraud”.

A second round of comments has occurred in the last two days – typically:
“Whistleblower Thompson apologises to Dr Andrew Wakefield”.

What is this all about? Read this comment from Natural News in America.

‘Whistleblower William Thompson has now gone public with a statement posted on the website of the law firm representing him, Morgan Verkamp LLC.

‘My name is William Thompson. I am a Senior Scientist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where I have worked since 1998. I regret that my co-authors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data were collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed.’

Furthermore Natural News states: The statement (above) opens with a blatant admission of scientific fraud at the CDC:

There are a few immediate comments one needs to add. A Whistleblower to me is someone who rushes off to the mainstream media to tell about dirty deeds. Thompson here held a private chat with someone he did not know was recording him, nor was going to publish along with his name. That doesn’t, of course, affect the content, which has now been verified by CNN.

Thompson also makes the point that the data suggested one group of Americans (African Americans) did seem to have an increased risk of Autism from MMR. Not that all the people in the study had an increased risk.

The fact is that incidence of gastrointestinal problems is high in children with autism. Here is an excerpt from Chris Woollams new book ‘The SECRET SOURCE of Your Good Health’:

‘In a 2013 meta-analysis of available research ‘Gastrointestinal Concerns in Children with Autism: What do we know?’ for the Autism Science Foundation in America, Doctors Barbara McElhanon of Emory School of Medicine and William Sharp of the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta observed that:

i) There has been a rapid increase in the numbers of cases to 1 in 88 children born according to the CDC, 2012). This has prompted a level of urgency amongst carers.

ii) There has been frequent reporting of gastro- intestinal symptoms (Croen et al., 2012).

iii) There has been a fivefold increase in reported cases of feeding problems (Sharp et al., 2013).

The results of the meta-analysis suggested children with ASD are at increased risk for gastrointestinal issues (1). Specifically, greater levels of gastrointestinal symptoms reported by parents compared with siblings (roughly an 8 fold increase in the risk) with areas of specific concern including abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhoea.

Certainly there is 2012 research showing that kids with autism were twice as likely as children with other types of disorders to have frequent diarrhoea or colitis (an inflammation of the large intestine).

Researchers from Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute have shown that autistic children have different gut bacteria to ‘normal’ children with one species of gut bacterium completely missing.

Research (2) into gut bacteria and autism is gathering pace.

Teams of researchers at America’s top Universities are studying the connection between your gut bacteria and your brain and specifically how they affect mood swings, attitudes and diseases from Autism to Alzheimer’s. For example, at UCLA, Professor Emeran Mayer M.D. has been studying the link between the bacteria in your gut and how your brain functions. An analysis of 60 humans showed that different regions of the brain were stimulated as a result of the dominance of different gut bacteria.

In a third study (3) there was a clear finding that the bacteria in a child’s gut affects its brain development. “The data suggests that there is a critical period early in life when gut microorganisms affect the brain and change the behavior in later life,” commented Dr. Rochellys Diaz Heijtz, lead researcher.

Of course, none of this proves that vaccines, and specifically MMR, cause autism. Indeed, one research study showed there was an increase in autism risk with mothers who had ‘unusual’ bacteria in their birth canal. The Arizona State research mentioned above stated that unusual bacteria may first enter the baby during transit of the birth canal. It also suggested that stressed mothers can have stressed babies and that the relevant bacteria are also passed during the passage through the birth canal.

But the fact is that autism levels are increasing, gut bacterial composition has been linked to brain development, and drugs and vaccines can definitely influence such bacteria.

The $173 million human microbiome project in the USA, along with its European twin shed important light on the role of the microbiome in your health – and the inconvenient truth that vaccines and drugs damage it. Research is gathering pace in this area. It won’t be long before we really do know the truth. Let’s hope it is not too long. Because autism is for life – at the moment it can be managed to a degree but not cured.

Refs:

(1) Buie T, Campbell DB, Fuchs GJ 3rd, Furuta GT, Levy J, Vandewater J, et al. Evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders in individuals with ASDs: a consensus report. Pediatrics. 2010;125(suppl 1):S1-18

(2)Mulle JG, Sharp WG, Cubells JF. The gut microbiome: a new frontier in autism research. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2013;15(2):337. doi: 10.1007/s11920-012-0337-0. Epub 2013 Feb 15

(3) Collaboaration between the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and the Genome Institute in Singapore in 2011 – looked at the effect of gut bacteria on brain development in mice (PNAS)

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GlaxoSmithKlein – an endemic culture of fraud?

GSK the UK pharmaceutical to deodorant company is fast making a name for itself with brand values that include bribery, fraud and corruption, plus a fair smattering of junk science thrown in for good measure.

You would think that one bribery case would be enough to force the board to review its whole business strategy worldwide – especially as getting caught in America was extremely serious. The criminal fraud case involved a variety of drugs and issues such as making false claims, ‘exaggerating’ research conclusions, telling lies and bribery. That case in America cost them $3 billion plus change. Well, it was the largest fraud case in medical history. At this point, most boards of companies would be looking at themselves and putting ‘best practice’ into place to avoid any chance of a repetition.

But it doesn’t seem quite like this at GSK. Over the past months allegations of fraud, bribing doctors and even sex scandals have emerged in the great frontier market of China. A whistleblower sent an e mail in January alleging that doctors were sent expensive gifts and even cash. They would be invited to attend conferences, which were really all-expenses-paid holidays. (Isn’t this exactly what happens in Europe and America?). And payments were allegedly channeled through a ‘travel agency’ business. Hardly dodgy at all, really.

After a Private detective, Peter Humphrey, hired by GSK to investigate a smear campaign against them, reported that he thought claims might well be true and he himself was jailed this week for buying and selling private information, the likely outcome in China looks not much better than it did in America. Chinese authorities have filed criminal charges of bribery, corruption and fraud against Mark Reilly, the former head of GSK operations in China with the Serious Fraud Squad crawling all over the company – the UK is now helping their Chinese counterparts.

Such allegations, if proven, would also bring the American Authorities back into play. The US Dept. of Justice is now looking into possible breaches of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Britain may also investigate as it has a new ‘Bribery Act’.

But now GSK faces new corruption claims in Syria where it is alleged to have bribed doctors and officials to drive sales. Of course, there are some that would say that GSK was just being caught up in politics, given the war and views on Britain held locally. But then GlaxoSmithKlein is also being investigated for bribery in Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Poland.

GSK has issued a statement saying that they are ‘committed to taking disciplinary actions’ if guilt is proven and that they have ‘zero tolerance’ of unethical behavior. One wonders quite who it is that has the ‘zero tolerance’?

And isn’t this all huff and puff? Par for the course? Peter C. Gotzsche, a Danish Medical researcher and leader of the prestigious Nordic Cochrane Centre has written a complete review of the atrocities that Big Pharma routinely get up to in his book, Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How Big Pharma has Corrupted Healthcare (first published 2013; ISBN 9781846198847). You can guess the atrocities he talks about. Anyone with an open mind knew them long ago.

We have covered GSK in Junk Science before – that time they had been in top medical journal, BMJ, with the finding that 80% of flu vaccine research did not hold up to proper scrutiny.

We also covered this: Just a decade ago Dr. Allen Roses the worldwide Vice President of genetics and a top executive of the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline stated simply that “The vast majority of drugs – more than 90% – only work in 30 to 50% of the people.”

Isn’t that the crux of the problem? If GSK made wonderful drugs that worked for the majority of people, why would doctors need to be bribed to use them? Maybe the drugs aren’t that wonderful; and/or maybe all the competitors are playing the same games too?

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Largest Pharmaceutical Misconduct Settlement in US History as GSK Fined Over $ 3 Billion
Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline will pay $3 billion and plead guilty to federal charges to resolve a slew of criminal and civil issues stemming from its use of kickbacks, misbranding and other misconduct to market drugs such as Paxil, Wellbutrin and Advair, the U.S. government announced.

The agreement is the largest health care fraud settlement in US history according to the Justice Department. It’s also the largest payment ever by a drug company. The settlement is “unprecedented in both size and scope,” said James M. Cole, deputy attorney general, in a statement.

“Today brings to resolution difficult, long-standing matters for GSK,” said Chief Executive Sir Andrew Witty in a statement. “Whilst these originate in a different era for the company, they cannot and will not be ignored. On behalf of GSK, I want to express our regret and reiterate that we have learnt from the mistakes that were made.”

GSK apparently promoted drugs for previously unapproved uses, including advertising Paxil for children, no matter that the antidepressant had not be approved for anyone under the age of 18.

Matt Kozar on ABC News said that GSK was “marketing the medicines for off-label uses in order to boost profits” for the company. The company also failed to report some safety problems with the diabetes drug, Avandia, including the fact it “sharply increased the risk of heart attacks and congestive heart failure” in some patients. Since 2007, the FDA has added warnings to Avandia label to alert doctors to these risks. GSK even sponsored dinners and spa programs in the drug’s name, prosecutors said.

Glaxo also used sham advisory boards and speakers at lavish resorts to promote depression drug Wellbutrin as an option for weight loss and a remedy for sexual dysfunction and substance addiction, according to the government. Customers were urged to use higher-than-approved dosages, the government added.

The health care giant was also accused by prosecutors of advertising off-label uses for asthma drug Advair, seizure medication Lamictal and nausea treatment Zofran while also making false claims about the safety and usefulness of such drugs.

The government also accused Glaxo of offering kickbacks to medical professionals, dangling cash, trips to Florida, and tickets to basketball games as incentives to promote and prescribe its drugs.

Glaxo also submitted incorrect prices for its products to the government, allowing it to underpay rebates owed to programs such as Medicaid, prosecutors said.

The company will plead guilty to three federal criminal charges, two of them for introducing misbranded Paxil and Wellbutrin drugs and one for not reporting safety data about the cardiovascular effects of diabetes drug Avandia to the Food and Drug Administration.

Two whistleblowers (Thomas Gerahty, a former senior marketing development manager and Matthew Burke, a former regional Vice President) provided the government with overwhelming evidence that was at the heart of the government’s case against GlaxoSmithKline.

Gerahty, Burke and Phillips & Cohen, who represented them, worked closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston and the Justice Department after filing their “qui tam” (whistleblower) case in early 2003 in Boston’s federal district court.

Gerahty and Burke gave the government new and detailed information about Glaxo’s nationwide improper marketing practices, including the use of financial inducements to doctors to prescribe Glaxo’s

Damages and civil penalties will account for $2 billion, while $1 billion is a criminal fine.

 

Sources: Washington Post, Natural News, Bloomberg and others

For an update on the blatant bribery and other dodgy actions of Glaxo in an exclusive interview with one of the ‘whistleblowers’ visit http://www.naturalnews.com/036499_Glaxo_whistleblower_bribery.html

 

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