Everyone knows about “Tobacco Science”– industry backed studies conducted in ways to give the illusion that their product is safe. If this was the only unethical and perilous claim, it would be extremely disingenuous. However, they took it to another level with their advertising that used doctors to promote their brands and claim they had actual medical applications as well!
The other Big Industries would like you to believe these industry-backed studies (conducted in extremely unethical ways to get results that benefit their product) died with the exposure of “Tobacco Science”.
However, the reality is this was just the beginning of what I call “Corporate Studies”. Sure, the use of Doctors in advertising is not allowed, but these modern industries still conduct their studies in the same ways as the tobacco industry before them.
The Pharmaceutical Industry
No other industry has a bigger history of getting caught conducting unethical scientific studies more so than the pharmaceutical industry– appropriately called Big Pharma.
A big one used by Big Pharma is the use of Ghostwriters. A Ghostwriter is someone who writes material for someone else who is the named author. This technique regarding scientific studies looks like this: Someone writes a scientific paper (often a meti-analysis or biometric review of many studies on the subject) then they pay an actual doctor (or respected scientist) to put their name on the paper as their own research. This practice is unethical, unscientific and illegal, it has no business in the scientific research. Nevertheless, over the years many companies have ended up in court and been found guilty of using this type of scientific fraud.
This New York Times article explains how Wyeth pharmaceutical paid a medical communications company to ghostwrite scientific papers promoting the use of hormone replacement therapy while downplaying the dangers associated with it. Wyeth then slapped a willing doctors name on the papers and the ghostwriting was complete. In all, the ghostwriter’s produced 26 papers on two hormone therapies called Premarin and Prempro. These papers ended up in 18 peer-reviewed journals from 1998-2005. The sales of these two therapies soared to close to two billion dollars in 2001! However, the sales plummeted after a federal study in 2002 found that menopausal woman who took the therapies increased their risk of getting breast cancer, heart disease, and stroke. The ghostwriting was later discovered by lawyers suing the pharmaceutical corporation.
Sadly, Wyeth was not the only Big Pharma member caught doing the this. Vioxx, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and a prescription painkiller, hit the market in 1999. The drugs multiple uses allowed it to quickly become a best seller for Big Pharma giant Merk, making over 2.5 billion in 2003. The next year, the pharmaceutical giant pulled the drug off the market before a study showing the drug more than doubled the risk of heart attack and stroke was published later that year. Considering an estimated 25 million Americans were on the drug at the time, this was not good news. However, the New York Times once again showed us this was not by accident and that they also used ghostwriter’s to draft dozens of research studies to make it seem the drug was safe and effective. Merk later plead guilty to one misdemeanor count of illegally introducing a drug into interstate commerce in a court case that ended with a $320 million dollar fine, $426 million paid to the federal government, and $202 million to state Medicare agencies. In addition, Merk has also been hit with a 50,000 person class action lawsuits which cost the Pharmaceutical giant 4.85 BILLION!
Merk being hit with around $6 billion in commutative charges between the fines and civil lawsuits may seem like justice being served. However, I do not think it is.
They plead guilty to committing scientific fraud that resulted in the deaths of an estimated 60,000 people!
Yet, this is somehow only a misdemeanor?
Unfortunately, the insanity doesn’t stop there. Since corporation’s have been given personhood, no one responsible for committing the scientific fraud received jail time. In the eyes of the court, the corporation (and not its executives nor any employee) were on trail and plead guilty. The Corporation paid its fine, but you can’t exactly put a corporation in jail because, after all, it is a man-made construct and not a living breathing human being. So, not only were none of the executives who gave the green light for the ghostwriting fraud that resulted 60,000 deaths charged with a single crime, the corporation was still allowed to continue business as usual after paying its fine.
Lets talk about its fine a little here. I know $6 Billion seems a lot, but honestly they most likely still made a profit on Vioxx. I say most likely because if you look at the links above you will see one trend– no one seems to know how much Merk made on Vioxx because Merk has only revealed Vioxx revenue from 2003 and 2004, which amounted to $3.8 billion in those two years. It is not outside the realm of possibility for the other 3 years it was on the market to make the $4 billion or so needed to break a profit. (6 billion on fines and civil lawsuits and another billion in lawyer fees).
So, to review:
- Merk committed scientific fraud, which they plead guilty to.
- That action lead to an estimated 60,000 lives lost.
- Merk plead guilty to said fraud and paid $6 Billion.
- Merk might have actually made more than $6 billion on said drug.
- No one was sent to jail for their involvement in a crime that lead to 60,000 deaths.
- Merk is still allowed to operate today.
Now, I ask you, does that seem like justice being served?
I could go on and show more examples of the industry acting unethically while conducting studies, but I don’t really see the point. They had entire meti-analysis studies fabricated to show their product was safe when it was not. If they are going to do this, it becomes clear that none of their studies are reliable.
While we are on the subject of the unreliability of pharmaceutical industry backed studies, I want to talk a little about vaccines. More specifically, I want to talk about the push for forced vaccination. Let me start with the obvious: the government has no constitutional authority to force medicate anyone. This is a fundamental principle of freedom. If you don’t have the ability to choose what goes in your body, you simply are not free. With that being said, you will hear people constantly spew industry propaganda along the lines of “yeah, you get to choose what goes in your body, unless you choose to not take something and that puts others in danger.” This would have more merit if not vaccinating put other people in harm’s way. The idea of not vaccinating being dangerous is blatant propaganda that is not backed by science– not even corporate science. The industry and their puppets have repeated it enough that people believe it without even needing their unethical science to “prove” it to them. What I am talking about here is a theory called herd immunity, which states if enough people in a community get a disease and become immune from it the members of the community who have not had the disease gain protection because the likelihood of coming into contact with said disease becomes small. However, the industry has never conducted experiments on vaccine induced herd immunity, so the basic tenet for justifying forced vaccination is just a theory with zero science backing it. The second half of the fear mongering equation that gets people to support force vaccination is the idea that without vaccination, the deadly diseases of the past will come back. However, in the The Claim of Eradication I show incidences and mortality graphs for most diseases show the decline of these diseases happened before the vaccination programs for the particular diseases started. Big Pharma just took credit for it.
Additionally, booster shots are needed because the immunity from vaccination (the vaccine industry has not actually proven that vaccines give you immunity, they have proven they cause the body to produce antibodies which does not mean you are immune) has a life span (unlike natural immunity, which lasts our lifetime) and that life span for “vaccine-induced immunity” is under ten years. What this means is that we had a whole generation of baby boomers that got one shot when they were young and no boosters after. So, we went a few decades with the vast majority of the populace unvaccinated because they never received the booster shots needed to continue to be immune. However, not one single pandemic happened, despite the fear mongering from the industry.
Then there are the multiple problems with the industry backed safe and effectiveness vaccine studies. Take this biometric study on aluminum called Aluminum vaccine adjuvants: are they safe? that comprises page after page of mistakes, bad methodologies and outright lies inside corporate backed safety and effectiveness studies. This may just be one meti-analysis on one toxin found in vaccine, but it is very well researched and shows that the vaccine branch of Big Pharma is just like the rest of Big Pharma.
Simply put, we can not start forcing medical treatment on people because of information claimed by Big Pharma. The idea is just madness!
As a stated before, Big Pharma is the king of Corporate Studies (or at least getting caught conducting them) and I probably could stop right here. However, the food we eat is equally important to the medicine we use, so not addressing biotech’s corporate science would be a mistake.
Before GMO seeds were invented, biotech giants like Monsanto only had their chemicals to perform corporate studies on. Whether it was chemical pesticides, herbicides or chemicals used for war (agent orange, anyone?), their products were deemed safe via corporate science studies. Similar to Merk, they would get sued and during the lawsuit opposing lawyers would uncover proof that they knew the products were deadly but fudge the science and keep it under wraps. Also, like Merk, their punishment was the equivalent to a slap on the wrist and they were allowed to stay open. This had a lot to do with why Monsanto has been deemed the “Most Evil Corporation on Earth”.
Throughout this article there are a few obvious question and the last paragraph leads to yet one more. Why would we ever entrust our food supply to a corporation that has made nothing but products that kill people?
It seems like something that we should avoid, but here we are… living in a world where this exact situation has occurred.
As I wrote in my last article, GMOs are deemed the same as its organic counterpart because they share basic nutritional components and this has allowed them on the Generally Recognized as Safe list. Members on this list do not need pre-market safety studies before they hit the marketplace. Nevertheless, Monsanto has flooded us with enough corporate studies to make their corporate science forefather, the tobacco industry, jealous. Industry propagandist or shills will have you believe GMOs are among the most studied product in the history of mankind. However, the reality is the industry has saturated the market with corporate science that produces nothing but 90 day safety studies that they are laughably calling “long-term” studies. Unsurprisingly, when independent studies conduct actual long term studies they start seeing problems around the 100 day mark.
I am sure the corporate science studies ending just before the independent studies start seeing systemic problems is just coincidental.
I mean, no way a corporation like Monsanto, with a history ensuring their products were safe, could hide something like this, right??
The one thing that Monsanto and other biotech corporations have become very good at is suppressing any study that finds their GMOs or chemical herbicides to be exactly what they are– poison. The good news is biotech can’t suppress all of these studies. The bad news is that they have a network of former employees or scientist with financial conflicts of interest who are editors in various peer-reviewed journals that discredit the study with bunk science or discredit the authors of the studies with ad hominem personal attacks until it is withdrawn. (You can read about in more detail in my final article in my Monsanto series)
Sadly, if you look into any big business that needs to conduct safety studies on their product, you will find that this is not isolated to these to industries. The hard truth is we are living in the age of corporate studies. However, as silver lining, I believe we are at the tail end of this age, as can be seen by all the resent studies questioning the findings of corporate science.