NewsGuard is a self-appointed misinformation watchdog. It seems to be just one more way Americans are not allowed to think for themselves. Co-CEOs Steven Brill and Gordon Crovitz claim it is the “librarian for the internet.” Set up specifically to rate online journalistic integrity, Brill states NewsGuard provides services that “explain to people something about the reliability and trustworthiness and background of those who are feeding them the news.” Eric Effron is the organization’s Editorial Director.
Brill is a Yale graduate and lawyer who has authored multiple best-selling books and was, among other things, CEO of Verified Identity Pass, Inc., the first U.S. biometric Voluntary Credentialing Program that went bankrupt in 2009. It was the parent company of CLEAR which went back online in 2010 and then went public in 2021.
According to MintPressNews, “Crovitz held a number of positions at Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal, eventually becoming executive vice president of the former and the publisher of the latter before both were sold to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp in 2007. He is also a board member of Business Insider, which has received over $30 million from Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos in recent years.”
Crovitz’s alliances might account for the organization’s favorable 100 ratings for WSJ and the Washington Post. He is also a contributor “to books published by the American Enterprise Institute and Heritage Foundation,” which are also favorably rated by NewsGuard.
To read the English-speaking media, you’d never know that Bayer (BAYRY) just paid “tens of millions” of dollars to end a three-decade long scandal in which the company sold HIV-contaminated blood products to haemophiliacs, thousands of whom later died of AIDS.
Ironically, Bayer’s new haemophilia iPhone app got some coverage, as did Bayer’s haemophilia research grant to the University of Florida. But you have to pick through the French and Italian news media to find out that Bayer is finally writing checks to people who got AIDS because, in the 1980s, the Cutter Biological unit of Bayer ignored federal law to recruit prisoners, intravenous drug users, and high-risk gay men as donors of the blood Cutter then used to make Factor VIII and IX, the clotting product that haemophiliacs need in order to not bleed to death. Agence France Press reported (via a Google translation):
The German group Bayer and three other labs will pay tens of millions of euros to hemophiliacs who accused them of having sold in the 1980s blood products contaminated with HIV, a source close to the deal told AFP.
The figure of tens of millions of euros in compensation “is not totally wrong,” she added. Bayer and the U.S. company Baxter are the two main parties to the agreement, she said.
A company spokesperson said:
However, “the company accepts no responsibility” in this case, and “continues to insist it has always acted responsibly and ethically.”
If your doctor suspects you might have depression, there’s a go-to questionnaire they might pull out with nine questions to answer about how you’ve been feeling over the past two weeks.
The questions touch on a range of potential issues, from sleep disturbances, to appetite changes, concentration issues, and your general enjoyment of life.
Many experts say this tool, called the PHQ-9, was never meant to be a definitive diagnostic test aimed at diagnosing mental health issues. It was designed as a first-ditch screening tool; a conversation starter between doctor and patient.
But for primary care physicians strapped for time in the exam room, it is often used as a stand-in for a more in-depth clinical evaluation — a go-to prescribing tool for antidepressants.
Critics say the issue is that it this tool was developed by Pfizer, shortly after Zoloft came on the market.
“These forms have a very low criteria for anxiety and depression,” UK-based psychotherapist James Davies, co-founder of the Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry, told the Telegraph in 2017. “It’s about getting people in and out of the door in 10 minutes,” often, with a prescription in hand.
As reporter Olivia Goldhill details in a wide-ranging Stat report out this week, the marketer who first dreamed up the idea for what later became the PHQ-9 — the quick tool that ultimately made many primary care doctors more comfortable prescribing antidepressants from exam rooms worldwide — was a “marketing man” working for Pfizer. Howard Kroplick convinced the company to invest in the pricey research required to develop the now-ubiquitous questionnaire.
The drugs that are advertised most on TV are also the least effective, according to a major analysis.
Johns Hopkins University researchers found that spending on promoting prescription drugs rose from $1.3 billion in 1996 to $6 billion in 2016. Ninety-two of 135 drugs included in the study, or nearly 70 percent, were deemed to have little health benefits.
Dr Michael DiStefano, the lead author of the study, said: ‘The findings suggest that shifting promotional dollars to direct-to-consumer advertising potentially reflects a strategy to drive patient demand for drugs that clinicians would be less likely to prescribe.’
‘When a consumer sees these advertisements on TV or social media, they should really question if it’s the best drug for them and have a conversation with their provider.’
The findings come amid lingering ethical questions regarding TV drug advertising and come just weeks after a Harvard study found a similar discrepancy between the amount spent on medical adverts and the benefit the medicines provide to patients.
Evidence has emerged casting serious doubt over the authenticity of tests carried out by BioNTech (Marketing Authorisation Holder) and Pfizer to prove the fidelity of their product by demonstrating that only the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 is expressed in cells by the nucleoside-modified mRNA Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine (BNT162b2).
Several Western Blot tests were conducted to evaluate the protein expression of the mRNA in HEK cells transfected with the vaccine taken from different lots. Using this technique, the expressed proteins showed up as highly unusual looking ‘bands.’
Certain independent scientific experts have described these Western blots as the “smoking gun” evidence (particularly the “duplication” of the results) which suggest that BioNTech and Pfizer falsified key data as part of their submissions to the European Medicines Agency and the US Food and Drug Administration for securing emergency use authorisation (conditional) and later marketing authorisation approval of their product.
The bombshell evidence was dropped without so much as a ripple in the sea of brewing scandals washing up on the shores of the behemoth pharmaceutical company and its partner, BioNTech. However, some in the scientific community have taken notice and written about this scandal, known on social media as #Blotgate.
The fact there could be actual evidence to prove that Pfizer and BioNTech engaged in fraud by fabricating critical data would have major ramifications. For instance, their indemnity status (protection from any legal liability resulting from deaths or injuries caused by their product) which was written into their purchasing contracts and signed by many countries, would cease to apply.
A terror suspect arrested during a police sweep of leftists at a police training center in Atlanta, Georgia, is the daughter of a Chinese pharmaceutical magnate and his wife, a consultant for the British Foreign Office.
Atlanta cops collared 31-year-old Teresa Yue Shen — who also worked for hate-Trump CNN — on January 18, as they swept the forested land where “Cop City” will be built.
Leftist “forest defenders” had staged protests for some time, and last week during the clearing operation, a state trooper was forced to shoot and kill one of the radicals in self-defense.
Cops also found a cache of terror tools.
Shen is a “mental health consultant” who lives in Brooklyn, New York, the Daily Mail reported, whose “parents are high-flying businesspeople, with her father running a New Jersey-based Chinese media company and her mother a former British Foreign Office consultant.”
Shen was one of seven “protesters” cops arrested after the shooting of a “non-binary” crackpot called Manuel Esteban Paez Teran.
The George Bureau of Investigation reported that Shen and the following “protesters,” none of whom are from Atlanta or even Georgia, face domestic terrorism and other felony charges:
- Geoffrey Parsons, 20, Maryland;
- Spencer Bernard Liberto, 29, Pennsylvania;
- Matthew Ernest Macar, 30, Pennsylvania;
- Timothy Murphy, age, 25, Maine;
- Christopher Reynolds, 31, Ohio; and,
- Sarah Wasilewski, 35, Pennsylvania
Shen “was charged with domestic terrorism and aggravated assault of an officer, and was previously arrested during an anti-ICE demonstration at the Bergen County Jail in 2021,” the Mail reported.
The Public Good Projects (PGP), a nonprofit that has developed several projects to fight so-called Covid “misinformation,” received $1,275,000 from the Pfizer and Moderna lobbying group, Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), to create a content moderation campaign that influenced Twitter’s Covid misinformation rules. As part of this campaign, PGP sent Twitter lobbyists and content moderators weekly emails containing lists of tweets to censor.
Journalist Lee Fang published one of the weekly emails that Twitter received from PGP as part of the latest release of the Twitter Files — collections of internal Twitter communications that have exposed the censorship relationships Twitter had with government agencies and other powerful groups before Elon Musk took over.
The email shows Todd O’Boyle, a senior manager on Twitter’s Public Policy team, sharing “this week’s misinfo report” from PGP. The February 24, 2022 email included a list of top trends the PGP had seen during the week and two attached lists. According to Fang, one of the lists contained tweets the PGP wanted Twitter to take down and the other list contained tweets that it wanted Twitter to verify.
Animal testing will no longer be a mandated part of the Food and Drug Administration’s approval process for all new drugs. Since 1938, pharmaceutical makers seeking FDA approval have had to successfully put their medications through multiple animals trials before proceeding to human tests.
Now, though, drug companies will have the option of either animal or non-animal tests—in a shift that animal rights groups and some pharma companies have long advocated for. Meanwhile, researchers’ reactions are mixed: Some say the move is unlikely to trigger immediate change, others are excited by the possibilities, while others still have safety concerns.
Despite the lack of evidence of the safety of antipsychotics in children, who are smaller in size and still rapidly developing, the number of prescriptions to English youth has doubled between 2000 to 2019, a study suggests.
The researchers from the University of Manchester examined over seven million children and adolescents aged three to 18.
They discovered that youth prescriptions of antipsychotics – drugs used to treat major mental illnesses, such as autism, schizophrenia, and ADHD – increased from 0.06 percent to 0.11 in the past two decades.
While the percentage is small, co-author and senior research fellow at the University of Manchester Matthias Pierce said that the higher prevalence of these disorders, as well as a growing trend to prescribe antipsychotics by clinicians, is concerning.
“However, [it] will help clinicians to evaluate the prescribing of antipsychotics to children more fully and will encourage them to consider better access to alternatives,” Pierce said.
Antipsychotics have been associated with long-term side effects, including sexual dysfunction, infertility, and weight gain leading to diabetes.
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