Yellow Journalism Mar 18/16

image yellow journalismPBS’s FRONTLINE CALLED OUT BY NHP ADVOCATES AND PRACTITIONERS FOR ERRONEOUS REPORTING

“Yellow journalism” is thriving in mainstream media on topics related to Natural Health Products (NHPs).

Most sources define it is as, “A type of journalism that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers [or drive traffic to online media].” “Unprincipled journalism where little real research is done.” “Techniques may include exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering or sensationalism. By extension, the term yellow journalism is used today as a pejorative to decry any journalism that treats news in an unprofessional or unethical fashion.”

Yellow refers to the colour of ink used at two rival New York City newspapers when the battle for readership was fought through exploitative, and even fabricated, news.

We shared with you CBC’s the Fifth Estate’s episode “Magic Pills” debacle over the past couple of months, and their eventual retraction. Read Shawn Buckley’s rebuttal.

We’d consider what the CBC did yellow journalism.

PBS’s programming is questioned from the use of yellow journalism in a Frontline episode that aired January 19, 2016. Watch the full “Supplements and Safety” episode.

Several natural health advocates and practitioners were quick to call them out on perpetuating the misconceptions and myths surrounding NHPs and their lack of safety and effectiveness.

Dr. Andrew Saul, Editor of the Orthomolecular News Service, wrote an excellent article on January 17, “Supplement Bashing on PBS”, pre-dating Frontline’s episode to dispel the four “legends” around the NHP and pharmaceutical drug industries. These include:

1. Supplements are unregulated

2. Supplements are untested and unproven! They reach the market without being tested and without proof of safety and effectiveness!

3. With pharmaceuticals, it is different! FDA thoroughly tests drugs before they are marketed!

4. Supplements are dangerous, even deadly!

Our friends at Alliance for Natural Health (ANH USA) published an article on January 26, 2016, “Has PBS Become a Front for Big Pharma?” calling out several of their erroneous and misleading statements as well.

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Something Any Activist Engaged In Seeking Changes Understands Mar 15/16

Nelson Mandela quote Impossible til its done 500 x 280

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MedEffect e-Notice from Health Canada On Updated Drug Warnings Mar 8/16

Med Effect postSERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS ARE BEING UPDATED ON DRUG LABELS

After reading Dr. Rona’s recent article in Vitality Magazine, we took a look at a few of Health Canada’s MedEffect e-Notices for drugs with severe risks from last fall. They indicate serious side effects that are being updated on labels. These are all good reminders that personal choice in how we want to treat our health conditions, needs to be an overarching principle. As a supporter of NHPPA, it’s likely you have discovered Natural Health Products that work for you. Do any of them come with these kinds of warnings?

Clinical trials, the standard to which mainstream medicine proponents hold their position, are used to generate data on “safety and efficacy” to get drugs to market. Trials don’t represent all outcomes. Many are unknown.

The antipsychotic drug Abilify, made by Otsuka America and Bristol-Myers Squibb, has had to update their label with a warning of “increased risk of impulsive behaviours of pathological gambling and hypersexuality”.

Vincristine Sulfate Injection USP, used to treat cancer, currently being distributed by Hospira, had incorrect labeling that was missing, “Vincristine sulfate administered by any other route (other than through IV) can be fatal”

The multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya, made by Novartis, has new safety information on the “risk of skin cancer, as well as a rare brain infection known as progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML)”

We are reminded of an article published in HANS Magazine Fall 2011 by Shawn Buckley, LLB: “Federal Double Standard – If we cannot harm people without legal consequences, why are Health Canada employees allowed to?” It points out that Health Canada can remove natural health products from the shelves for various reasons with no regard for people who depend on them for their health and well-being. Yet some of the most dangerous pharmaceutical drugs are sold and used with known serious risks including death.

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Vitality Magazine March 2016 Drugs You May Not Need Mar 4/16

Dr Rona“DEATHS FROM PRESCRIPTION OPIOID PAINKILLERS HIT AN ALL-TIME HIGH”

“The mainstream media is increasingly reporting on the tragedy of escalating drug deaths, especially those from opiate prescriptions. Recent statistics published in the February 9th, 2016 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) are alarming: “Fatal drug overdoses in the United States reached an all-time high in 2014, driven largely by heroin and prescription opioid pain reliever abuse. The CDC’s recent analysis of mortality data found that, of the 47,055 drug overdose deaths in 2014, 61% involved opioids, a 14% increase from the previous year.” Had this been a vitamin or a natural health product, it would have made front-page news everywhere, and the offending product would have been taken off the market in Canada in the blink of an eye. Compare these death-by-opioid figures to death-by-vitamins, minerals, herbs, and all other natural health products which, in 2014, was zero.”

Read the full article by Dr. Zoltan Rona in this month’s Vitality.

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Vitality Magazine March 2016 Health News Round-up Mar 4/16

Helke Ferrie 500 x280“LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN THE WORLD OF NUTRITION, POLITICS, AND MEDICAL FRAUD: HOW THE MIGHTY ARE FALLING!”

“The latest developments in medicine are conjuring up images of bastions collapsing into a heap of rubble. Medicine is supposed to be a science. That means looking for disproof of any new hypothesis, not manufacturing supportive evidence. Doubt of one’s own judgment is the chief characteristic of scientific thinking. Unfortunately medicine is a science that creates big business – and doubt delays or interferes with making big bucks fast, so the garbage gets a chance to pile up.”

Read the full article by Helke Ferrie in this month’s Vitality.

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Canadian Agency Given Deadline By U.S. Body To Clean Up Food Safety Mar 1/16

food-safety500 x 280U.S. AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT HAS GIVEN CFIA UNTIL MID-MARCH

Read the full article, “Canadian agency given deadline by U.S. body to clean up food safety”  by Robert Fife, Ottawa Bureau Chief published in The Globe and Mail online March 1, 2016.

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Risk of Dementia 44% More Likely With PPI Use In Elderly Feb 16/16

Elderly_people_who_take_proton_pump_inhibitor_drugs_or_PPIs_ 500 x 280DRUGS USED TO TREAT GASTROESOPHAGEAL REFLUX AND PEPTIC ULCERS MAY INCREASE RISK OF DEMENTIA AND ALZHEIMER’S

Read the full article, “Ingestion pills taken by millions could raise the risk of dementia by 50%” by Ben Spencer, Medical Correspondent for the Daily Mail published on February 16, 2016.

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8 Reasons To Avoid Doing Business With Monsanto Jan 29/16

Monsanto Twin-row-maize 500 x 280JEFFREY SMITH WARNS COMPANIES AND INVESTORS ABOUT FINANCIAL TIES TO MONSANTO

Read the full article in The Huffington Post by Alexander C. Kaufman, Senior Business Editor.

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Health Action Magazine Fall 2015 Jan 28/16

Health Action Fall 2015 cover“HEALTH CANADA AND THE DRUG-IFICATION OF NATURAL HEALTH PRODUCTS”

Almost missed this one! From the Fall issue of Health Action magazine, an excellent article by Rick DeSylva, RH, “Health Canada and the Drug-ification of Natural Health Products” on page 17/35.

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CBC Retracts Supplement Report Jan 21/16

supplements CBC 500 x 280“SOME MARKETPLACE REPORTS ABOUT VITAMINS AND SUPPLEMENTS PUBLISHED IN NOVEMBER CONTAINED INCORRECT INFORMATION”

CBC News. “Some Marketplace reports about vitamins and supplements published in November contained incorrect information, CBC has learned. In response to the discovery, Marketplace is evaluating its protocols around the use of lab testing. In a report to be broadcast on Marketplace on Friday at 8 p.m., (8:30 p.m. NT), host Erica Johnson said, “We regret giving you incorrect information and any harm it may have caused the companies in our report.” Read the full article published on the CBC News website on January 21, 2016.

Learn more about lab testing and journalism gone wrong in Shawn Buckley’s response to CBC’s exceedingly flawed episode, “Vitamins and Supplements: Magic Pills“.

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