Half of All FDA Approved Drugs are Quietly Withdrawn Within 5 Years of Approval
“FDA approved” drugs means “safe”, right? Clinical trials show that drugs and vaccines are safe or they wouldn’t be allowed to be marketed, right? Drug companies have to report what actually happens in a clinical trial, right? Once a drug is approved by the FDA for market release it stays available for a long time, right?
Lethal and potentially lethal side effects from FDA approved drugs are rare, right?
The answer to these questions is one big collective, “NO!!!!!”
Here are the facts: Drug companies are free to suppress negative clinical trial information with impunity. That is not how the system is designed to work, at least on paper, but it is the way things work in the real world.
Drugs, all drugs and vaccines, enter Phase IV clinical trials when they are released for general use. Depending on how many people they kill, maim, blind or cause to suffer once doctors start prescribing the drug for whatever the FDA has approved it for, although they can use the drug for anything they want to (called “off label prescribing”). Even the callous, corrupt and conflict-of-interest-riddled FDA withdraws approximately 50% of all approved drugs within 5 years of approval because they are just too toxic to continue on the market.
How did they get approved in the first place? Well, as you will see when you read the articles below, drug companies disregard the requirements to be honest in reporting data as they choose. Given that it can cost up to a billion dollars (yes, you read that right, a billion US dollars) to research a drug and bring it to market, there is an enormous amount of pressure to get the drug into the patients’ hands by putting it in the doctor’s mind and getting it onto his/her prescription pad – no matter what.
One of the may ways drug companies accomplish what they want – drug sales, is to lie about how many people die or drop out in drug trials.
Another way is by literally purchasing the decision-makers for stock options, research grants and other inducements plucked fresh from the abundant and ever self-replenishing FDA Corruption Tree.
The results? Pharmaceutical Mayhem. Drugs are the leading cause of death in the US and every other “developed” nation. But, not to worry, the FDA is on the job.! Oh, good. I was worried there for a moment!
You know, insultingly enough, the FDA expects you to believe that these deadly drugs released to the public to see what happens (and what happens is mayhem and murder much of the time) could possibly be an accident? Neither do I. Remember, these same drug companies are big players at Codex. They are the heirs and legatees of the German genocidalists who created Codex Alimentarius, now degrading the world’s food supply as a stepping side to “the Great Culling”, the death of 90% of the world’s population.
Bottom line, from where I stand? If you are not in an Emergency Room, there is, in my experience and belief, no reason to take drugs when inexpensive, gentle, effective and powerful natural options exist through orthomolecular medicine, homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture, Bio Acoustics, NeuroBioFeedback, Frequency Medicine, chelation, detoxification and a host of other helpful, safe techniques await your decision-making. But that is the very point, isn’t it? If you are an immensely powerful drug company and you know that your drugs are toxic, expensive, dangerous, poorly conceived and poorly tested, grossly dishonestly marketed what would you do? Jeopardize your cash bonus and tell the truth, wasting a billion bucks? Probably not. Probably you would do what the drug companies (and the BioTech companies which make GMOs and are usually one and the same as the drug companies!). You would lie, and lie big!
“These drugs are safe.” “The clinical trials show it.” “People do not get sick from our drugs.” “We followed the rules.” “You can trust us!”
Stuff and nonsense!
Yours in health and freedom,
Rima E. Laibow, MD
Ana Cantu was a Human Guinea Pig in a Drug Trial for $4,800
Vera Hassner Sharav
Monday, 26 July 2010
“The study started out with 20 subjects…For about a week there were 14 subjects. Then they started dropping…Now, we’re down to 7.”
Below, a testimonial by Ana Cantu who was one of the healthy volunteers –“a human guinea pig” as she describes herself– in a month long study that tested the effects of Norvir, an HIV drug made by Abbott Laboratories, when coupled with the antidepressant Wellbutrin, made by GlaxoSmithKline.”
Her first-hand experience provides insight about the immense “pressure for positive results in clinical trials,” the level of discomfort a human subject is expected to endure from the adverse effects of the tested drug (or combination of drugs), and the dilemma for drug manufacturers whose drug causes adverse effects so severe, the test subjects in pre-marketing trials drop out in droves. The FDA accepts study results–even if only 7 of 20 subjects complete the study. Companies are loathe to scrap a negative study: they hold on to the last 7 subjects despite severe adverse effects. The “volunteers” suffer for the payment which they would forfeit if they quit.
Ana describes how and why corporate sponsors–in her case, GSK and Abbott Labs–conceal adverse event data that may damage a drug’s chances for approval.
Despite federal law requiring companies to fully disclose to the FDA all adverse events in pre-marketing clinical trials, drug companies have repeatedly violated the law with impunity: they have failed to include in their submission of data to the FDA, the worst adverse events suffered by subjects who, as a result, dropped out of the trials.
Her observations, published in The American Statesman (below) are disturbing and insightful:
“The study started out with 20 subjects, but 6 were eliminated during the in-patient stay by the drug company sponsoring the trial for various reasons (including drinking caffeine within 24 hours of check-in). For about a week, there were 14 subjects. Then they started dropping. The first one to go was a girl with a pronounced Texas twang named Denise, who had severe jaw and tooth pain. Then extreme nausea and emesis (the clinical term for vomiting, I discovered) claimed April. Jo Kay, Paula, Amy, Alyssa and Carrie went one after another. Now we’re down to 7.”
Ana experienced severe black outs–clearly an adverse effect of the experimental drug–but she was kept in the trial against her best interest:
“The day got off to a bumpy start when I started to black out while reporting my side effects. Darkness closed in from my peripheral vision and then I saw nothing but big colored spots.
“That morning, we were standing around in the cafeteria waiting to dose. All of a sudden, I couldn’t see and lost the ability to balance. If I hadn’t been standing between two of my fellow subjects, who grabbed me and held me up, I would’ve slammed into the floor. I knew I hadn’t fainted; I could still hear just fine, but all I heard was chaos as everyone around me freaked out. I dropped into the nearest chair and put my head between my legs while the study coordinator called the on-site paramedics. While the coordinator frantically called the staff doctor, a paramedic checked and re-checked me. I did fine as long as I wasn’t on my feet for too long. The doctor cleared me to keep dosing.”
Ana explains why her continued “participation” in the trial–disregarding the danger the black outs posed to her well-being–was to accommodate the sponsoring company’s need to maintain a minimum of 7 subjects in the trial:
“The drug company had a dilemma. To submit trial results to the FDA, the study couldn’t fall below seven participants. But, unfortunately, one showed signs of serious side effects and if those results were submitted, approval was highly unlikely. If my results were dropped, the FDA would never know about the problem and the drug company could start fresh with a third trial. However, the first clinical trial had to be scrapped because too many subjects dropped out as a result of their side effects, and it looked like the second study could soon follow the same path. To gather enough healthy volunteers who fit the protocol for a third trial would require a lot of time and money, and it wasn’t something the sponsor was willing to do. So, in the end, my results and I stayed in the study.”
“Because the trial ended with the magic number of seven volunteers, the results could be submitted for review and the FDA had the opportunity to see the data. But what happens in the trials in which drug companies drop some of the subjects with the worst side effects?”
Ana Cantu’s first-hand experience confirms the finding reported by FDA’s safety officer, Dr. Thomas Marciniak, who analyzed the raw data from GSK’s Avandia trial, and found that the company concealed from the FDA the worst adverse event data, resulting in its approval precipitating preventable heart attacks and deaths.
An editorial in today’s New York Times, calls upon the FDA to revoke its questionable approval of Avastin for breast cancer because it failed to extend patients’ lives while it caused serious side effects. The drug had gained “accelerated approval” without adequate testing.
Cantú: Anatomy of a drug trial
By Ana Cantú
AMERICAN-STATESMAN Friday, July 23, 2010
Exactly five years ago, in exchange for the most miserable month of my life, I got paid $4,800 to test the effects of a drug made by GlaxoSmithKline.
You know where you’ve heard the name GlaxoSmithKline recently, right? That’s the company on the verge of losing the approval of the Food and Drug Administration for the diabetes medication Avandia after regulators discovered omissions in a key clinical trial report. On Wednesday, the FDA ordered Glaxo to stop enrolling people in another Avandia trial.
According to a review reassessing the drug’s safety by the FDA’s Dr. Thomas Marciniak, a number of patients taking Avandia appeared to have serious heart problems that were not counted in the study’s tally of adverse events, otherwise known as side effects.
Such repeated mistakes “should not be found even as single occurrences” and “suggest serious flaws with trial conduct,” he wrote.
It can cost hundreds of millions of dollars — in some cases, close to a billion — in research and development for a drug company to secure FDA approval.
By the time a drug gets to point where it can be tested in humans, the pressure for positive results in clinical trials is immense. And I found that out first-hand when as one of the healthy volunteers — a human guinea pig — in a study that tested the effects of Norvir, an HIV drug made by Abbott Laboratories, when coupled with the antidepressant Wellbutrin, made by GlaxoSmithKline.
In exchange for that $4,800 paycheck, I spent about a month going in and out of a blocky silver building in an office park not far from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, the site of a contract research lab that conducts medical studies.
During the lab’s second clinical trial of the Norvir-Wellbutrin combination, which I chronicled in a personal blog, I was known only subject No. 40.
July 12: I check in tomorrow for 4 days. I’ll be taking an antidepressant and an AIDS drug in combination for about a month.
July 13: The facility is freezing. We’re still waiting on blankets. I should’ve brought a hat and gloves. You can tell the people who do studies regularly by their baggage — they bring extra pillows and blankets and huge rolling suitcases. The building is pretty new and it’s painted in all kinds of “modern” colors like bile, which complement the black-and-white tiled floors nicely. Subjects sleep 8 to a room in bunk beds, though there are only 3 people in my room. …
My first dose of Wellbutrin is tomorrow. I hear it gives you crazy dreams.
July 14: I’ve been stuck so many times today I feel like a junkie. I had to be up by 6:12 a.m. to check vital signs and get a pre-dose blood draw. Then I had breakfast, which I had to finish: two potato, egg and cheese tacos with pico de gallo and a carton of 2% milk, which I don’t like. I took the Wellbutrin at 7:27, so precisely every hour after that I’ve been having blood drawn. For the rest of the day, it’s blood draws only every 2 hours. I carry around a clipboard that has all my procedures and meals scheduled — everything has to be done exactly as it says on the sheet or they can dock pay off your study-completion bonus.
Amusing sign near the toilets: Please do NOT use cellphones in urine monitoring stations.
July 15: Dinner was decent — teriyaki chicken, rice, salad with Italian dressing, a hunk of zucchini bread and a sugar cookie. I tried the cookie and didn’t like the aftertaste so I hid it in a spare napkin and arranged everything else on the tray to conceal it. The cafeteria workers check how much of our food we eat — we’re supposed to finish at least 50% of everything. Sometimes it’s hard, like with yesterday’s trail mix. I hope we get a good snack, which I will take my first bite of at precisely 9:32 p.m.
About half of the subjects have done trials before and say that ours isn’t so bad, even with all the blood draws. Apparently, there are some where you have them every 15 minutes. …The people who usually play Monopoly switched to Uno.
July 18: Yesterday I had my first bad blood draw.
July 20: Tomorrow I start my doses of Norvir, the AIDS drug. Fun, fun.
July 23: I started on the AIDS drug on Thursday — 300 mg twice a day. The dosage gets upped to 400 mg tomorrow. I don’t feel bad yet, though I’m sleeping less than normal. And today my stomach objected to the egg facsimile we had to eat.
July 25: I was pretty excited that I didn’t get sick after my dosings. … I think the secret is to not drink the milk. And not to eat more than 50% of the food. I’m becoming an expert in artfully rearranging things on my plate so it looks like I’ve eaten. They (try to) make us eat after taking the giant AIDS pills, but since we get the same few meals over and over, it’s gotten really hard to do. Plus, there’s a chance you’ll get sick after so you really don’t want to see nasty food twice, if you get my meaning.
July 28: I discovered that I feel better if I don’t eat after taking the horse pills. This morning, I refused to eat the breakfast tacos and felt fine. So I followed the same strategy at dinner — I did eat the peas and carrots and drank some caffeine-free root beer, but most of the meal was untouched.
Over the course of the trial, as a result of a near-constant state of nausea, I lost about 10 percent of my body weight.
To keep up my strength, for lunch, I’d go to a fast-food restaurant and order the heaviest combo on the menu (double bacon cheeseburger, fries and a huge non-caffeinated beverage) and eat as much as I could before I started to feel sick again.
Every night, insomnia cut my sleep to three hours.
Aug. 1: The study started out with 20 subjects, but 6 were eliminated during the in-patient stay by the drug company sponsoring the trial for various reasons (including drinking caffeine within 24 hours of check-in). For about a week, there were 14 subjects. Then they started dropping. The first one to go was a girl with a pronounced Texas twang named Denise, who had severe jaw and tooth pain. Then extreme nausea and emesis (the clinical term for vomiting, I discovered) claimed April. Jo Kay, Paula, Amy, Alyssa and Carrie went one after another. Now we’re down to 7. In what I view as biological injustice, none of the males have shown noticeable symptoms.
Aug. 2: I had to go see an opthamologist today, just for my safety, since I reported a migraine with aura a few days ago. Unfortunately, I’m fine. Curses. I was hoping I could get medically excused from the study — that way I’d still get paid. But it looks like I’m going to have to finish it. Only 10 more days of dosing to go. My current side effects include oral numbness and tingling in my extremities.
Aug. 6: It’s another day in lockup: cloudy skies (I think) and cold air conditioning. The day got off to a bumpy start when I started to black out while reporting my side effects. Darkness closed in from my peripheral vision and then I saw nothing but big colored spots.
That morning, we were standing around in the cafeteria waiting to dose. All of a sudden, I couldn’t see and lost the ability to balance. If I hadn’t been standing between two of my fellow subjects, who grabbed me and held me up, I would’ve slammed into the floor. I knew I hadn’t fainted; I could still hear just fine, but all I heard was chaos as everyone around me freaked out. I dropped into the nearest chair and put my head between my legs while the study coordinator called the on-site paramedics. While the coordinator frantically called the staff doctor, a paramedic checked and re-checked me. I did fine as long as I wasn’t on my feet for too long. The doctor cleared me to keep dosing.
A few days after my first blackout episode, during a scheduled outpatient visit, one of the study coordinators said I had to be examined by the on-staff doctor. “Why?” “The sponsor is concerned about your side effects,” she said.
The drug company had a dilemma. To submit trial results to the FDA, the study couldn’t fall below seven participants. But, unfortunately, one showed signs of serious side effects and if those results were submitted, approval was highly unlikely. If my results were dropped, the FDA would never know about the problem and the drug company could start fresh with a third trial. However, the first clinical trial had to be scrapped because too many subjects dropped out as a result of their side effects, and it looked like the second study could soon follow the same path. To gather enough healthy volunteers who fit the protocol for a third trial would require a lot of time and money, and it wasn’t something the sponsor was willing to do. So, in the end, my results and I stayed in the study.
Aug. 21: So yesterday I had the exit screening/physical for my drug study. I had to have my blood pressure checked 3 times because it was low, even for me. The paramedic checked me, but I was asymptomatic. She asked how I was feeling. “Fine, especially now that I’m off the drugs.” She said, “Well, it was for the good of mankind.” “I guess … and the money.”
Because the trial ended with the magic number of seven volunteers, the results could be submitted for review and the FDA had the opportunity to see the data. But what happens in the trials in which drug companies drop some of the subjects with the worst side effects?
Actually, we’ve seen what happens — with Avandia.
When a Drug Fails
THE NEW YORK TIMES July 25, 2010
The flameout of an enormously expensive drug to treat advanced breast cancer will pose a critical test for the Food and Drug Administration. Will the agency have the courage to reverse course when a medical treatment that it approved based on preliminary evidence flops badly in follow-up studies?
Two years ago, the F.D.A. gave Avastin, which is made by the Genentech unit of Roche, “accelerated approval” as a treatment for breast cancers that have spread to other parts of the body. Such cancers are essentially incurable so the best that current treatments can do is extend a patient’s life.
The hurry-up mechanism allows approval of a drug that has not yet been proved safe and effective in thorough clinical trials but has shown promise that it might benefit patients with life-threatening diseases. Rather than make such patients wait, they are treated with the drug while the manufacturer completes additional tests.
When Avastin was granted “accelerated approval” to treat advanced breast cancer, the primary evidence was a single clinical trial. It found that Avastin, when used with another drug, slowed progression of the disease but did not significantly extend patients’ lives.
Now two follow-up trials by the manufacturer have failed to confirm even those meager gains. In the initial trial, Avastin held tumor progression at bay for five and a half months. In the two new trials, pairing Avastin with different chemotherapy drugs, the delay in tumor worsening was much shorter: up to three months in one trial and less than a month in the other. The Avastin combinations also caused serious side effects.
Britain’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, a pace-setter in evaluating medical advances, issued draft guidance this month against using Avastin for advanced breast cancer patients in the National Health Service. It called the clinical trial data “disappointing” and the cost “too high for the limited and uncertain benefit it may offer patients.”
By a 12-to-1 vote last week, an F.D.A. advisory committee quite sensibly urged the agency to revoke Avastin’s approval for breast cancer. That would not affect its other approvals, gained through the standard regulatory process, for treating colon, lung, kidney and brain cancers. Avastin would remain available to doctors for off-label use against breast cancer. Many insurers, however, might refuse to cover an unapproved use.
The cost of Avastin has always seemed outrageously high for the medical benefits it confers. The wholesale price for a typical breast cancer patient is about $88,000 a year. Genentech has been capping annual spending at $57,000 for patients with incomes below $100,000.
The F.D.A. has rarely removed drugs that were given accelerated approval and sometimes has failed even to compel completion of follow-up studies. But there are signs it may get tougher. In June, the agency finally forced a leukemia drug off the market that had been given accelerated approval a decade ago, after a long- delayed follow-up study showed no clinical benefit and an increased risk of death. With Avastin, the follow-up studies were completed in a timely manner — with such meager results that withdrawal seems the right response.
Natural Solutions Foundation
November 16, 2009
Natural Solutions Foundation is the largest and most effective health freedom organization in the world. We are 100% supporter supported. Your tax deductible donations are essential to our work. Click here, http://drrimatruthreports.com/?page_id=189, to set up your recurring donation, large or small.
Donations ending in the number “6” are earmarked for our legal fund, allowing us to sue the FDA, for example, to stop the deployment of untested vaccines like the dangerous Swine Flu Vaccine.
Natural Solutions Foundation is working hard to end the ravages of the type of industrial agriculture you’ll read about below. Through our Valley of the Moon(TM) Eco Demonstration Project we’re reclaiming the production of food, making them eligible for Friendly Food Certification(TM) because it is friendly to the earth, friendly to the workers and friendly to the consumer. The first Friendly Food Certified(TM) food is our GMO-Free, Pesticide-Free, Toxin-Free Valley of the Moon(TM) Coffee grown in the Highlands of Panama and brought to your coffee cup so you can Wake Up to Health Freedom(TM). Click here, http://www.ValleyoftheMoonCoffee.org, to order your Valley of the Moon(TM) Coffee and support health freedom and your health. Your gift list, both personal and corporate, will appreciate it. And your accountant will appreciate it, too, because 80% of each purchase of Valley of the Moon(TM) Coffee is tax deductible!
Industrial Agriculture is now going global, with its dislocation, its toxic environments, its massive profits and its social destruction under the guise of nations looking for fresh farmland.
Food is the new oil. Corporations are the not-so-new sharks – well, that is not fair to sharks. They have a real place in the biosphere and the multinationals have made it clear over decades and decades of abuse that their place in the economic ecoshphere might be best compared to Darth Vader.
The Natural Solutions Foundation, www.GlobalHealthFreedom.org, www.HealthFreedomUSA.org, has identified food sustainable food production, and, of course, land ownership by those producing the sustainable food on it, as a key issue for health, community cohesion and economic success, social strength, freedom and, indeed, peace.
It is for that reason that we have established the remarkable, and vitally important Valley of the Moon(TM) Eco Demonstration Project in the Chiriqui Highlands of Panama. We believe that access to food, clean, unadulterated food, is a basic human right and that restricting that access is a massively powerful way to remove rights and take away basic human needs and, eventually, life.
At VotM we are practicing what we preach and are creating schools for a melding of ancient and modern techniques to reclaim the production of clean, unadulterated food for both farmers and non farmers alike.
In fact, in addition to our Intensive Urban Agriculture classes and courses with children and adults using many of the techniques you can see on our Food Freedom eJournal, www.FoodFreedomeJournal.org, we are now heavily involved in removing the dangerous chemicals from coffee and food production. Cattle production, for example, uses many different toxic chemicals for keeping pests at bay and, in some cases, increasing milk production.
Natural Solutions Foundation has been asked by the government here to help farmers break the dangerous cycle of chemical and drug inputs leading to weaker ecosystems and animals which then require more of the expensive and dangerous inputs.
Add corporate land ownership, where there is zero interest in health, sustainability or cultural cohesion and you have Monsanto’s GMO cotton farming disaster in India where tragically high numbers of farmers, having lost their land to the deceptive practices of GMO cotton companies, see no recourse but to kill themselves after they have lost their land and have no means to sustain themselves and their families.
Why is reclaiming the production of food important to you, today? If you live in the US, about 90% of the food you eat either IS GMO or contains GMO ingredients. GMO foods are now known to cause cancer, autoimmune diseases, infertility, birth defects, loss of CD-4 cells to the point that the criteria for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (yes, that’s right: HIV/AIDS) are met, and a host of serious, permanent diseases and mutations. These altered foods contain material which crosses the placental and blood brain barriers to cause permanent genetic changes, as they do in the bacteria of the GI tract and in every cell in the body.
“But I eat only certified organic food!” you may say. Well and good IF you are growing your own organic food, protected from both pesticide and genetic drift. Otherwise, the US allows 10% or more GMO contamination of organic food without any labeling. Indeed, labeling of GMO foods is actually prohibited in the US because, as Dr. Barbara Schneeman announced at a Codex Meeting in Norway on the topic, since the FDA administratively determined that genetically modified foods are “substantially equivalent” to non modified foods [in the absence of a single shred of scientific support for this concept – if they were substantially identical, they would not be patentable – REL] and since consumers would reject these genetically modified foods if they knew that they WERE genetically modified, the FDA is preventing them from making an error in rejecting them. So, instead, the FDA and USDA are carrying out the world’s largest experiment on every eater on the planet. It is an experiment carried out, of course, without any informed consent. On you. On your children. On the children that you, or others, will never have because of the sterility impact of these foods.
But that is not all, of course. Corporate agriculture pumps poisons (that is a literal description, of course, not a figurative one) into the bodies of the workers, the environment and the bodies of the consumers. If the land becomes too toxic, or the water no longer supports growth and life, the corporation moves on, like a parasite which has sucked the life out of its host and then, when the host can no longer support it, drops off and moves on to another host.
Food and freedom are intimately intertwined. This theme has been with us for a very long time. Look at the myths of the bible: remember that when Essau was hungry, he sold his birthright to Jacob. When Joseph and his brothers were hungry, they traded their freedom for the fleshpots of Egypt.
Industrial Agriculture can be, if its owners wish it, the newest form of scorched earth policy: stave those whom you do not wish to survive.
Published on Sunday, November 15, 2009 by GRAIN The New Farm Owners: Corporate Investors Lead the Rush for Control over Overseas Farmland
With all the talk about “food security,” and distorted media statements like “South Korea leases half of Madagascar’s land,”1 it may not be evident to a lot of people that the lead actors in today’s global land grab for overseas food production are not countries or governments but corporations. So much attention has been focused on the involvement of states, like Saudi Arabia, China or South Korea. But the reality is that while governments are facilitating the deals, private companies are the ones getting control of the land. And their interests are simply not the same as those of governments.
“This is going to be a private initiative.”
– Amin Abaza, Egypt’s Minister of Agriculture, explaining Egyptian farmland acquisitions in other African nations, on World Food Day 2009
Take one example. In August 2009, the government of Mauritius, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, got a long-term lease for 20,000 ha of good farmland in Mozambique to produce rice for the Mauritian market. This is outsourced food production, no question. But it is not the government of Mauritius, on behalf of the Mauritian people, that is going to farm that land and ship the rice back home. Instead, the Mauritian Minister of Agro Industry immediately sub-leased the land to two corporations, one from Singapore (which is anxious to develop the market for its proprietary hybrid rice seeds in Africa) and one from Swaziland (which specialises in cattle production, but is also involved in biofuels in southern Africa).
This is typical. And it means that we should not be blinded by the involvement of states. Because at the end of the day, what the corporations want will be decisive. And they have a war chest of legal, financial and political tools to assist them.
“What started as a government drive to secure cheap food resource has now become a viable business model and many Gulf companies are venturing into agricultural investments to diversify their portfolios.”
– Sarmad Khan, “Farmland investment fund is seeking more than Dh1bn”, The National, Dubai, 12 September 2009
Moreover, there’s a tendency to assume that private-sector involvement in the global land grab amounts to traditional agribusiness or plantation companies, like Unilever or Dole, simply expanding the contract farming model of yesterday. In fact, the high-power finance industry, with little to no experience in farming, has emerged as a crucial corporate player. So much so that the very phrase “investing in agriculture”, today’s mantra of development bureaucrats, should not be understood as automatically meaning public funds. It is more and more becoming the business of … big business.
The role of finance capital
GRAIN has tried to look more closely at who the private sector investors currently taking over farmlands around the world for offshore food production really are. From what we have gathered, the role of finance capital — investment funds and companies — is truly significant. We have therefore constructed a table to share this picture. The table outlines over 120 investment structures, most of them newly created, which are busy acquiring farmland overseas in the aftermath of the financial crisis.3 Their engagement, whether materialised or targeted, rises into the tens of billions of dollars. The table is not exhaustive, however. It provides only a sample of the kinds of firms or instruments involved, and the levels of investment they are aiming for.
Private investors are not turning to agriculture to solve world hunger or eliminate rural poverty. They want profit, pure and simple. And the world has changed in ways that now make it possible to make big money from farmland. From the investors’ perspective, global food needs are guaranteed to grow, keeping food prices up and providing a solid basis for returns on investment for those who control the necessary resource base. And that resource base, particularly land and water, is under stress as never before. In the aftermath of the financial crisis, so-called alternative investments, such as infrastructure or farmland, are all the rage. Farmland itself is touted as providing a hedge against inflation. And because its value doesn’t go up and down in sync with other assets like gold or currencies, it allows investors to successfully diversify their portfolios.
“We are not farmers. We are a large company that uses state-of-the-art technology to produce high-quality soybean. The same way you have shoemakers and computer manufacturers, we produce agricultural commodities.” Laurence Beltrão Gomes of SLC Agrícola, the largest farm company in Brazil.
But it’s not just about land, it’s about production. Investors are convinced that they can go into Africa, Asia, Latin America and the former Soviet bloc to consolidate holdings, inject a mix of technology, capital and management skills, lay down the infrastructures and transform below-potential farms into large-scale agribusiness operations. In many cases, the goal is to generate revenue streams both from the harvests and from the land itself, whose value they expect to go up. It is a totally corporate version of the Green Revolution, and their ambitions are big. “My boss wants to create the first Exxon Mobil of the farming sector,” said Joseph Carvin of Altima Partners’ One World Agriculture Fund to a gathering of global farmland investors in New York in June 2009. No wonder, then, that governments, the World Bank and the UN want to be associated with this. But it is not their show.
From rich to richer
“I’m convinced that farmland is going to be one of the best investments of our time. Eventually, of course, food prices will get high enough that the market probably will be flooded with supply through development of new land or technology or both, and the bull market will end. But that’s a long ways away yet.”
– George Soros, June 2009
Today’s emerging new farm owners are private equity fund managers, specialised farmland fund operators, hedge funds, pension funds, big banks and the like. The pace and extent of their appetite is remarkable – but unsurprising, given the scramble to recover from the financial crisis.
Consolidated data are lacking, but we can see that billions of dollars are going into farmland acquisitions for a growing number of “get rich quick” schemes. And some of those dollars are hard-earned retirement savings of teachers, civil servants and factory workers from countries such as the US or the UK. This means that a lot of ordinary citizens have a financial stake in this trend, too, whether they are aware of it or not.
It also means that a new, powerful lobby of corporate interests is coming together, which wants favourable conditions to facilitate and protect their farmland investments. They want to tear down burdensome land laws that prevent foreign ownership, remove host-country restrictions on food exports and get around any regulations on genetically modified organisms. For this, we can be sure that they will be working with their home governments, and various development banks, to push their agendas around the globe through free trade agreements, bilateral investment treaties and donor conditionalities.
“When asked whether a transfer of foreign, ‘superior’, agricultural technology would be welcome compensation for the acquisition of Philippine lands, the farmers from Negros Occidental responded with a general weariness and unequivocal retort that they were satisfied with their own knowledge and practices of sustainable, diverse and subsistence-based farming. Their experience of high-yielding variety crops, and the chemical-intensive technologies heralded by the Green Revolution, led them to the conclusion that they were better off converting to diverse, organic farming, with the support of farmer-scientist or member organizations such as MASIPAG and PDG Inc.”
– Theodora Tsentas, “Foreign state-led land acquisitions and neocolonialism: A qualitative case study of foreign agricultural development in the Philippines”, September 2009
Indeed, the global land grab is happening within the larger context of governments, both in the North and the South, anxiously supporting the expansion of their own transnational food and agribusiness corporations as the primary answer to the food crisis. The deals and programmes being promoted today all point to a restructuring and expansion of the industrial food system, based on capital-intensive large-scale monocultures for export markets. While that may sound “old hat”, several things are new and different. For one, the infrastructure needs for this model will be dealt with. (The Green Revolution never did that.) New forms of financing, as our table makes plain, are also at the base of it. Thirdly, the growing protagonism of corporations and tycoons from the South is also becoming more important. US and European transnationals like Cargill, Tyson, Danone and Nestlé, which once ruled the roost, are now being flanked by emerging conglomerates such as COFCO, Olam, Savola, Almarai and JBS.4 A recent report from the UN Conference on Trade and Development pointed out that a solid 40% of all mergers and acquisitions in the field of agricultural production last year were South-South.5 To put it bluntly, tomorrow’s food industry in Africa will be largely driven by Brazilian, ethnic Chinese and Arab Gulf capital.
Exporting food insecurity
Given the heavy role of the private sector in today’s land grabs, it is clear that these firms are not interested in the kind of agriculture that will bring us food sovereignty. And with hunger rising faster than population growth, it will not likely do much for food security, either.
One farmers’ leader from Synérgie Paysanne in Benin sees these land grabs as fundamentally “exporting food insecurity”. For they are about answering some people’s needs – for maize or money – by taking food production resources away from others. He is right, of course. In most cases, these investors are themselves not very experienced in running farms. And they are bound, as the Coordinator of MASIPAG in the Philippines sees it, to come in, deplete the soils of biological life and nutrients through intensive farming, pull out after a number of years and leave the local communities with “a desert”.
“Entire communities have been dispossessed of their lands for the benefit of foreign investors. (…) Land must remain a community heritage in Africa.”
– N’Diogou Fall, ROPPA (West African Network of Producers and Peasant Organisations), June 2009
The talk about channeling this sudden surge of dollars and dirhams into an agenda for resolving the global food crisis could be seen as quirky if it were not downright dangerous. From the United Nations headquarters in New York to the corridors of European capitals, everyone is talking about making these deals “win-win”. All we need to do, the thinking goes, is agree on a few parameters to moralise and discipline these land grab deals, so that they actually serve local communities, without scaring investors off. The World Bank even wants to create a global certification scheme and audit bureau for what could become “sustainable land grabbing”, along the lines of what’s been tried with oil palm, forestry or other extractive industries.
Before jumping on the bandwagon of “win-win”, it would be wise to ask “With whom? Who are the investors? What are their interests?” It is hard to believe that, with so much money on the line, with so much accumulated social experience in dealing with mass land concessions and conversions in the past, whether from mining or plantations, and given the central role of the finance and agribusiness industries here, these investors would suddenly play fair. Just as hard to believe is that governments or international agencies would suddenly be able to hold them to account.
“Some companies are interested in buying agricultural land for sugar cane and then selling it on the international markets. It’s business, nothing more” Sharad Pawar, India’s Minister of Agriculture, rejecting claims that his government is supporting a new colonisation of African farmland, 28 June 2009
Making these investments work is simply not the right starting point.
Supporting small farmers efforts for real food sovereignty is. Those are two highly polarised agendas and it would be mistaken to pass off one for the other. It is crucial to look more closely at who the investors are and what they really want. But it is even more important to put the search for solutions to the food crisis on its proper footing.
3 – The table covers three types of entities: specialized funds, most of them farmland funds; asset and investment managers; and participating investors. We are aware that this is a broad mixture, but it was important for us to keep the table simple: http://www.grain.org/m/?id=266
4 – COFCO is based in China, Olam is based in Singapore, Savola is based in Saudi Arabia, Almarai is based in Saudi Arabia, and JBS is based in Brazil.
5 – World Investment Report 2009, UNCTAD, Geneva, September 2009, p. xxvii. Most foreign direct investment takes place through mergers and acquisitions.
We’re here in Rome at the Codex Alimentarius Commission annual session. This report covers the first day of the meeting.
Ractopamine is a beta agonist, a drug which causes profound changes in the animal which consumes it, or the human which consumes the animal which consumes Ractopamine. As a physician (trained in nutritional medicine and environmental medicine as well) I am, of course, deeply concerned with the nutritional value of food and its toxic components. I know that toxic compounds (including drugs like Ractopamine) may be more toxic AFTER the liver has had a go at them than before. These compounds, called “metabolytes” have a toxic profile all thier own and, in the case of Ractopamine, have not been studied after their passage through animal livers, into their tissues and then into us when we consume their tissues [meat]. That is apparently of not much concern to Codex, despite the fact that their first mandate, posted on their website, www.CodexAlimentarius.net, is the protection of the health of consumers.
For the first time in history, Codex Alimentarius, the “World Food Code” is on the verge of approving a drug, and a dangerous one at that, which has no other function in pigs or cattle than to cause them to swell and get fat. Swollen, they come to market weight sooner, reducing the cost of raising them by fewer days of feed and housing costs.
JECFA, the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives, says that Ractopamine is perfectly fine to give to pigs and other animals and, hence, to people. Of course, the break down products of this pharmaceutical poison (and ALL drugs poison enzyme systems so it is, quite literally, one poison among many) either in pig tissue or in people eating that tissue (AKA “meat”) have yet to be studied.
China is the world’s largest consumer of pig meat. Not surprisingly, it is also the world’s largest producer of pig meat. At last year’s 31st Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) in Geneva, we reported that China was very upset by the pending approval of Ractopamine and said so, quite unusually for the Chinese, in no uncertain terms (after all, this time, it was their ox, er, pig, which was being gored). They were, quite literally, smacked down by the Chairman, Dr. Claude Moshe, who said that if they had concerns, they had failed to present them at the relevant committee meeting so their voice was now of no consequence on the matter.
The Chinese Delegate, in what sounded to me like fiery fury (astounding at Codex, and doubly so from the Chinese) responded, out of turn, if I recall, that the Chinese Delegation to the meeting on the topic in the US had been denied its necessary visas by the host country, which just happened to be the US, which just happens to be the second largest pig meat producer in the world and which just happens to permit Ractopamine. And, if I forgot to mention it, the US just happens to be the home of Monsanto, which just happens to be the owner of the world-wide patent on the [Ractopamine-doused] pig and every other modified pig in the world.
The anger of the Chinese Delegate apparently spurred Brazil, ordinarily one of the US’s most docile toxic ducklings, to make the point that the legitimacy of Codex was highly questionable because of this sort of disregard for both science and sense while Iran made the point that small countries have an enormous difficulty participating in the many, complex and intertwining meetings which lead to decisions in which they are disenfranchised and which thus lack legitimacy.
China, not a small country, of course, is also selectively disenfranchised… when it suits the Powers That Believe, they are the Powers That Be. While we would not presume to compare the Natural Solutions Foundation to the mighty empire of China, none the less, we, too, are selectively isolated by Codex. Click below to read the email which we just sent to the Codex Chair and Commission about the fact that we, alone of all observers, have been relegated to an un-airconditioned, uncomfortable 4th floor gallery for “lack of room” for Public Observers.
And here is the seating area in the main hall in which there is “no room” for the Natural Solutions Foundation.
Back to the pigs.
The new CAC Chairwoman, Dr. Karen Hulebeck, works for the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) of the USDA. FSIS is the home of the US Codex Contact Point. Like the US President, CAC Chairs are selected, then elected. Dr. Hulebeck is smart, forceful, savvy and nobody’s fool. She is completely in control of the Codex meeting, or believes that she is.
Yesterday, in the opening sessions of this year’s CAC, she welcomed the delegates and observers (apparently, not the only Public Observers, us, who had come to the meeting, though, since we were relegated to our hot and guarded gallery and were not given invitations to the OPEN reception held after the meeting yesterday… but not to worry, delegates are seeking us out) and introduced the welcoming remarks of the newest member of Codex, Djibuti – whose Trade Minister noted that the reason that he was there was that Codex dealt with trade – the Codex Secretariat and WHO and FAO folks.
I was delighted to note that the Natural Solutions Foundation was mentioned in the welcoming speech given by the Codex Secretariat, the organization which runs the technical and procedural details of the Codex meetings. On previous occasions we have been specifically mentioned from the Podium (sometimes in a clear breech of protocol, but that happens when your impact is unexpected and difficult to deal with) by the Chair (CAC, Geneva, 2006) and, given the “guarded” response that we get when we arrive, we are by no means unknown.
This time, however, we were not mentioned by name. Here is the direct quote from that ‘welcoming’ speech. See if you agree with me that we are the subject of this quote:
“… In addition, Codex is being challenged in the public domain in a court of public opinion that did not exist when it was founded in 1963. Science and prevention are hard sells. In today’s multimedia world, with YouTube and online blogs, Codex has new challenges from self-serving interest groups [yes- that would be us healthy eaters! – REL] that have tapped the online public to their advantage, taking the challenge of Codex well beyond the scientific debate. In answer to this, Codex has produced a series of public awareness and communication products in order to make sure that the real picture of the crucial role of Codex – what it is and what it does – reaches the public. Codex videos are now online and the new Codex website will further increase the transparency of the Codex process….” CAC/32INF/11
The Natural Solutions Foundation is Health Freedom’s New Media; we are Global Health Freedom. It would appear that we have pushed Codex into the world of new media, as well.
Back to the pigs: After numerous countries, starting with China, stated their strong dissent to the use of Ractopamine, stated their concerns and challenged both the science and the procedure by which the use of Ractopamine had come to be on the agenda today for world-wide approval.
Country after country raised grave concerns, the Chairwoman appeared frantic to get the Ractopamine standard approved but was facing major opposition.
I am writing this to you in real time. The Chairwoman is doing her level best to make sure that the comments against Ractopamine are both brief and limited. The Chair finally acknowledged the fact that consensus has not been reached. None the less, she wants to “hold Ractopamine at Step 8, the approval step. Once something reaches Step 8, it has been approved. There is actually no definition of what “Holding something at Step 8” so in this highly rule-bound environment, where everything is detailed and spelled out in obsessive detail, the Chairwoman, who has already acknowledged that she works for the USDA, which never met a drug for animals it did not like (just like the FDA), but that, whatever it means, is what she wants to do with a substance which has no reason to be fed to animals except for profit.
But, she says, that is not enough. Since there is no real meaning to holding something at Step 8, she suggests new work be taken on to “advise guidance” to tell the Commission what it means to “hold at Step 8″ to the Committee on General Principles” including a “full and complete discussion of all the issues which are blocking consensus”, that a time line be developed for working through those issues and that a deadline be established. Chairwoman Hulebek says, “I have a further suggestion: that the work be undertaken without prejudice to those items which are still under development which means that during the time that the guidance is developed, the issues of any one of those draft standards can be worked through so that it seems to knowledgeable parties that consensus can be developed, that the issues can be brought to this body at any time. I suggest that the development be done very carefully but very rapidly.” and then she asks: “Can I have the sense of this Commission on this proposal?”
I sat here shaking my head, as did General Bert. We looked at each other, shaking our heads and asking “Huh? What did she say?” Canada, perfectly happy, like the US, to dose animals with needless toxic chemicals to get them to market weight faster, regardless of toxicity, noted that any expressions of concern were about the science and that all of those expressions of concern were about pig meat (since China spoke about their research showing toxicity in pigs fed the drug), “so we recommend that the MRLs [Maximum Residue Levels) be adopted with regard to cattle since no mention was made of those levels.” Not exactly Canadian bacon! Instead, eat your beef with Ractopamine and don’t ask any questions. Good for you? Not at all. Good for the company that makes it? Sure! Good for the factory “farms”? Sure. OK with Codex? Well, as far as the official line goes, holding up the water works by refusing to accept this poison is bad form since it does not lead to “consensus”!
The Chairwoman responded, as if approving Ractopamine for cattle was fine, “For pig meat, we would propose that the CAC consider an expert consultation with respect to establishment of an MRL and that come back to the CAC next year for a decision. In framing the question to be put to the expert consultation, you might wish to consider the framing of a “Group of Interest” to articulate the question.”
Long story short?
CAC wants to use this chemical. Even China, a country staggering under astounding pollution and contamination burdens in its environment and its food, cannot tolerate the use of this drug which has, as Norway pointed out last year, no use except to fatten animals through metabolic poisoning with a toxic substance. Remember that Risperadol, an “atypical anti-psychotic” drug, and others of its class, lead to weight gain in humans. That weight gain is the result of a dangerous toxicity. It seems to me that making an animal sick to make it fat to make it profitable is a disgusting use of NOT better living through chemistry.
And what does the Observer Organization which denies us a seat at the table (as ordered to do so by the Codex Commission in 2006) have to say about this issue? Good question.
NOTHING, nothing at all.
Let’s talk about that “Voice of Health Freedom” as it recently styled itself on a major radio show, the one “health freedom organization” which has a seat at Codex as an Official Observer organization. On this radio show they called themselves “the Voice of Health Freedom”. Well, apparently the voice had sever laryngitis!
The ONLY Observer Organization which spoke in this debate was the International Food Additives Association. Guess upon which side they spoke?
Where was the “Voice of Health Freedom” when the health of billions, literally billions, of pork consumers and everyone drinking the water downstream of those pigs was under attack? What about the health of the people who will be eating the plants watered with water contaminated by the excrement of those pigs? Nowhere. Nada. Not a peep. Just the Sound of Silence, and nothing more.
Are they here? Hard to tell. The Codex Commission keeps us relegated to an upper gallery where we cannot see the delegates well. We are under guard so getting to talk to National Delegates is extremely difficult (although we have managed to do so, but with significant difficulty). Is the Voice of Health Freedom asleep? Couldn’t say. Are they “controlled opposition”? Who knows. What is for sure is that they are not speaking out for your well-being!
The fact remains that the Natural Solutions Foundation is here, but not permitted to speak, although Codex itself has directed this other organization to give us a seat at the table, and a seat at the microphone. They have not done so. Whether they are lap dogs or lazy watchdogs, they are not providing the voice that health freedom needs and are blocking us from doing so. And you know that we will speak clearly on your behalf, once we have the microphone.
Right now, the CAC is acting with outrage at the idea that their powerful dedication to the use of this chemical is being derailed.
EU says that despite what Codex does, it will continue to forbid the use of Ractopamine as it will do with MGA, debated yesterday and approved “by consensus” despite similar fervent opposition. Thus the real players know that our Codex Two Step is a viable alternative to countries submitting to Codex dictates
By the way, this “Ractopamine Mutiny” shows that Codex can be stimulated, with appropriate science and personal contact with decision-makers around the world, either to finally become a health freedom organization or be dissolved.
The multi-nationals are hard at work degrading the world’s food.
But the world’s buyers and eaters of food, you and I, who are anything BUT useless, can have their desired impact: clean, healthy foods supporting the needs, and lives, of the world’s peoples.
Right now, the worst of the worst industrialization and degradation of food is underway through the food laws which are supposed to “HARMonize” our laws with Codex standards.
Those bills MUST be defeated. Click below to take this critically important action step to protect your food and your freedom.
And, on a slightly different note, the same WHO that is a parent organization of Codex has other ways to take you out, food only being one. Another one is to create a phony pandemic and then take you out with a weaponized vaccine while international organizations take over the country. Sound OK to you? Good. In that case, please do nothing. DO NOT click below to demand your right to self-shield in the event of a US Pandemic Emergency State.
Rima E. Laibow, MD
Natural Solutions Foundation
Valley of the Moon Eco Demonstration Project
HIV kills people. Sure enough. HIV “Medications” kill people, too, and make a lot of money while they do. That’s sure enough, too. But what if the rumors circulating that the “HIV Virus” is not the causative factor in HIV/AIDS are true? What if HIV is another political tool, manufactured in the biological weapon laboratories of the US and its insane allies in bio-engineered death? And what if the proof were presented to you.
What would you do?
Where would you take that information?
If you continue reading, you may have to confront those decisions.
I hope you do continue reading.
Then let’s talk.
Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with “HIV SCAM” in the subject line and let’s figure out collectively where to go from here.
And if you don’t think for a moment that this battle will take resources, think again.
So I am asking you to include in the email you send some suggestions for resources: human time (volunteer, research assistance, writing, website, etc.), financial resources (donations, fund raisers), dissemination strategies, resources to bring to the table (scientists, organizers, musicians, etc.).
You can donate to the Natural Solutions Foundation at http://drrimatruthreports.com/?page_id=189. All US donations are tax deductible.
Spread the word and ask everyone you know to join the Health Freedom eAlerts, http://drrimatruthreports.com/?page_id=187, for up to the minute information and Action Items.
“To overturn orthodoxy is no easier in science than in philosophy, religion,
economics, or any of the other disciplines through which we try to
comprehend the world and the society in which we live.”
Ruth Hubbard US biologist b.1924
Considering how AIDS saturates our public discourse, galvanises our
politicians, thrills our gee-whiz journalists, inspires our musicians,
worries our clergy, agitates our AIDS-activist lawyers, perturbs the judges
of even our highest court, engages the South African Law Commission’s
energies in cooking up imaginative new bills, dominates our medical research
effort, infuses exciting new relevance into tired careers in virology
departments, and siphons off our tax rands into the pockets of our condom
missionaries and ‘AIDS counselors’ proselytizing indefatigably to a stubborn
public, your regular guy might be excused for believing that our country and
the world were in the throes of a dire public health crisis, a new Black
Death, and for thinking that the fact of it was as certain as any in science
about which there obtains a universal consensus.
In fact, hundreds of scientists of the highest rank disagree with the
HIV-AIDS causation hypothesis. They think ‘AIDS’ as a medical construct is a
passing fad, a fashionable new name for age-old ills, and that boiled down,
AIDS is just money spinning political kitsch. In their most assiduous
dissents they emphasize that ‘HIV’ has never been isolated under the
well-settled rules for viral isolation, assert that ‘HIV’ has never been
shown to exist as an infectious entity of exogenous origin, and demonstrate
that every protein claimed uniquely to be constituent of ‘HIV’ is actually
cellular, not viral – in other words, that all HIV-positive test results are
false positives. In short, they consider the HIV-AIDS paradigm a scientific
blunder of biblical proportions, and its experts foolish quacks. These AIDS
dissidents include professors emeriti at the pinnacle of their specialities
in cell-biology, virology and related fields. They also include leading
mathematicians, actuaries, and law and history professors. Among them are
two exceptionally distinguished Nobel laureates in our time, Walter Gilbert
(Chemistry 1980), and the Einstein of modern biology, Kary Mullis (Chemistry
Dr Peter Duesberg, professor of cell-biology, University of California at
Berkeley, member of The National Academy of Sciences: Before Duesberg’s
wrecking-ball challenge to Gallo’s HIV-AIDS theory was published as an
invited paper in the prestigious journal Cancer Research in 1988, Gallo had
observed, “No one knows more about retroviruses than Peter Duesberg.” Once
acclaimed as a widely published and extensively cited Nobel candidate, but
now ‘delegitimated’ as a scientist, Duesberg was the recipient of the
largest annual research grant in biology for years – awarded for the pursuit
of whatever avenue of scientific enquiry took his fancy. Stripped of his
grant and his post-graduate classes, practically barred from researching and
publishing, and reduced to chairmanship of his faculty’s annual picnic
committee, he continues to point out the fundamental anomalies, deficiencies
and paradoxes of the 15 year old theory that the 29 old diseases renamed
AIDS in the presence of HIV antibodies could have any causal link to a
retrovirus. However, Duesberg finds himself increasingly alone in the AIDS
dissident camp too, eclipsed by Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos et al (below)
whose more fundamental tack in impeaching the HIV-AIDS theory is winning
over its best heterodox scientists, most recently, Kary Mullis (below),
pathology and epidemiology specialist Gordon Stewart (below), and Etienne de
Haarven, pathology professor emeritus at Toronto, renowned for his published
work in the electron photomicrography of viruses.
Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos, bio-physicist, department of medical physics,
Royal Perth Hospital, Australia: Collaborating with, among others, John
Papadimitriou, a practicing pathologist and professor at University of
Western Australia’s medical school, David Causer, senior physicist, head of
the department of medical physics and professor at Royal Perth Hospital, and
Valendar Turner, consultant emergency physician at the Royal Perth Hospital,
Papadopulos-Eleopulos has raised the most radical and dramatic challenges to
the HIV-AIDS theory, by highlighting the lack of a proper gold standard for
the HIV antibody tests, in that unlike other known viruses, HIV has never
been isolated according to the classical procedure for the isolation of
viruses, often referred to as the Pasteur Rules.
Dr Walter Gilbert, formerly molecular-biology professor at Harvard: One of
contemporary science’s most outstanding and accomplished scientists, Gilbert
won his Nobel for inventing the now foundational modern technique for DNA
sequencing. He considers Duesberg to be “absolutely correct in saying that
no one has proven that AIDS is caused by the AIDS virus. There is no animal
model for AIDS, and without an animal model, you cannot establish Koch’s
postulates (to prove the role of the suspected pathogen).” He observes, “The
community as a whole doesn’t listen patiently to critics who adopt
alternative viewpoints. Although the great lesson of history is that
knowledge develops through the conflict of viewpoints.”
Dr Kary Mullis, molecular biologist: Nobel winner Mullis’ watershed
invention of the Polymerase Chain Reaction technology for amplifying minute
DNA fragments for identification has so revolutionised biology that one
might fairly speak of two epochs, the dark ages before and the enlightenment
after it. He deplores the misapplication of his invention to measure “HIV
viral load.” He predicts that, “Years from now, people will find our
acceptance of the HIV theory of AIDS as silly as we find those who
excommunicated Galileo.” Endorsing Duesberg’s rejection of the orthodox
model of infectious AIDS, he says, “As applied, the HIV theory is
unfalsifiable, and useless as a medical hypothesis… I can’t find a single
virologist who will give me references which show HIV is the probable cause
of AIDS. If you ask…you don’t get an answer, you get fury.” The HIV-AIDS
hypothesis, he thinks, is “one hell of a mistake.”
Dr Harry Rubin, retrovirologist, professor of molecular biology, University
of California at Berkeley, member of National Academy of Sciences: “I don’t
think the cause of AIDS has been found. I think (that in) a disease as
complex as AIDS…there are likely to be multiple causes. In fact, to call it
a single disease when there are so many multiple manifestations seems to me
to be an oversimplification.”
Dr Richard Strohman, emeritus professor of cell-biology, University of
California at Berkeley: The HIV-AIDS hypothesis is “bankrupt.”
Dr Beverly Griffin, director and professor of virology, Royal Postgraduate
Medical School in London: “I do not believe HIV, in and of itself, can cause
Dr Gordon Stewart, emeritus professor of epidemiology, University of
Glasgow, and former AIDS advisor to the World Health Organisation: “AIDS is
a behavioural disease. It is multifactorial, brought on by several
simultaneous strains on the immune system – drugs, pharmaceutical and
recreational, sexually transmitted diseases, multiple viral infections…
there is no specific etiologic agent of AIDS… the disease arises as a
result of a cumulative process following a period of exposure to multiple
environmental factors… Nobody wants to look at the facts about this
disease. It’s the most extraordinary thing I’ve ever seen. I’ve sent
countless letters to medical journals pointing out the epidemiological
discrepancies and they simply ignore them. The fact is, this whole
heterosexual AIDS thing is a hoax.”
Dr Albert Sabin, discoverer of live-virus polio vaccine, National Institutes
of Health: “The basis of present action and education is that everybody who
tests positive for the virus must be regarded as a transmitter and there is
no evidence for that.”
Dr Bernard Forscher, former managing editor of the journal, Proceedings of
the National Academy of Sciences: “The HIV hypothesis ranks with the ‘bad
air’ theory for malaria and the ‘bacterial infection’ theory of beriberi and
pellagra (caused by nutritional deficiencies). It is a hoax that became a
Dr Simon Wain-Hobson, immunologist, Institut Pasteur, France: “… an
intrinsic cytopathic effect of the virus (HIV) is no longer credible…”
Dr Alfred Hassig, immunologist, former emeritus professor of immunology,
University of Bern, and former director of a Swiss blood transfusion
laboratory: “The sentences of death accompanying the medical diagnosis of
AIDS should be abolished.”
Sir John Maddox, editor, Nature Magazine: “(Luc) Montagnier said clearly
what he meant. HIV (alone) is… not… a sufficient cause of AIDS.”
Dr Fabio Franchi, specialist in infectious diseases and preventive medicine,
Trieste, Italy: “I am not an agnostic. I am well convinced HIV is harmless.”
Dr Charles Thomas, former professor of molecular biology at Harvard and
Johns Hopkins universities: “It is widely believed by the general public
that a retrovirus called HIV causes the group of diseases called AIDS. Many
biomedical scientists now question this hypothesis. We propose that a
thorough reappraisal of the existing evidence for and against this
hypothesis be conducted by a suitable independent group.” He himself has no
doubts. He rejects the HIV-AIDS hypothesis as a “fraud”.
Dr Phillip Johnson, senior professor of law, University of California at
Berkeley: “The establishment continues to doctor statistics and misrepresent
the situation to keep the public convinced that a major viral pandemic is
under way when the facts are otherwise.”
Dr Serge Lang, professor of mathematics, Yale University and member of the
National Academy of Sciences: “There does not even exist a single proper
definition of AIDS on which discourse or statistics can reliably be based…
the CDC calls these diseases AIDS only when antibodies against HIV are
confirmed or presumed to be present. If a person tests HIV negative, then
the diseases are given another name… I do not regard the causal relationship
between HIV and any disease as settled. I have seen considerable evidence
that highly improper statistics concerning HIV and AIDS have been passed off
as science, and that top members of the scientific establishment have
carelessly, if not irresponsibly, joined the media in spreading
misinformation about the nature of AIDS.”
Dr Joseph Sonnabend, South African born New York physician: “The marketing
of HIV, through press releases and statements, as a killer virus causing
AIDS without the need for any other factors, has so distorted research and
treatment that it may have caused thousands of people to suffer and die.”
Dr Harvey Bialy, editor of the science journal Nature Bio/Technology: “From
both my literature review and my personal experience over most of the AIDS –
so called AIDS centres in Africa, I can find absolutely no believable
persuasive evidence that Africa is in the midst of a new epidemic of
Dr Charles L. Geshekter, professor of African History, California State
University: … From “Cameroon to California, sex education must no longer
be distorted by terrifying, dubious misinformation that equates sex with
death… African poverty, not some extraordinary sexual behavior, is the
best predictor of AIDS-defining diseases… A 1994 report in the Journal of
Infectious Diseases concluded that HIV tests were useless in central Africa,
where the microbes responsible for tuberculosis, malaria, and leprosy were
so prevalent that they registered over 70% false positive results…in
people whose immune systems are compromised for a wide variety of reasons
other than HIV…”
Dr Hiram Caton, ethicist, head of the School of Applied Ethics at Griffith
University, Brisbane, Australia: “The AIDS epidemic was a mirage
manufactured by scientists who believed that integrity could be maintained
amidst the diverting influences of big money, prestige and politics.”
Dr Ralph Moss: author of The Cancer Industry: “The paradigm that was laid
down for how to milk the cancer problem is basically the same paradigm which
is being followed in milking the AIDS problem.”
Dr Frank Buianouckas: professor of mathematics, Bronx New York: “I suspect
everything involved in this AIDS epidemic. If HIV causes anything, it
certainly causes fund-raisers. It sells stocks. It supports dances. It sells
condoms. And it keeps the AIDS establishment going.