Pharma, FDA & “Institutional Corruption”

The FDA was founded to protect consumers from bogus medicines and other problem food and drug products. To this day, it defines it’s core mission as one of defending “public health.” But what if the proverbial fox is left to guard the proverbial henhouse? The tenure of departing FDA Margaret Hamburg was marked by conflict […]

On the Latest “Is Organic Healthier?” Research

Occasionally, we write about research findings that seem counter-intuitive or just too good to be true or otherwise just a little “off” – findings that often seem a little suspect due to their being funded by industry. (See this and this and this and this, for instance.) Last week on her Food Politics blog, Marion […]

Drug Dealer Dials Down the Dollars

Some good news to end the week on (via ProPublica): In a major departure from industry practice, GlaxoSmithKline, the sixth-largest global drug maker, announced Tuesday that it will no longer hire doctors to promote its drugs. The company also will stop tying compensation for sales representatives to the number of prescriptions written for drugs they […]

Devil’s in the Details, Theobromine Edition

As we’ve noted several times before, it pays to read beyond the headline, especially if it’s surprising, shocking or sensational. To wit: So before you grab that Hershey bar, know that the study in question – published in Caries Research – actually didn’t involve chocolate at all. What it did involve is a compound called […]

Devil in the Details

The headline seems full of good news! But which sources of monounsaturated fats? Olive oil? Avocado? Sunflower? Maybe. Maybe not. You see, although the study compared the effects of 5 different oils on abdominal fat, three were oil blends not especially high in monosaturated fats. Only the two non-blends had a significantly positive effect. Those […]

News That Should Surprise Exactly No One

Via emailed media release: Industry Sponsorship Leads to Bias in Reported Findings of Clinical Trials Studies reporting the results of industry sponsored clinical trials present a more favourable picture of the effects of drugs and medical devices than those reporting on non-industry sponsored trials, according to a new Cochrane systematic review. The researchers call for […]

Making the Good Look Bad (& the Worse Look Better)

Fruit juice is tasty stuff – but did you know that many juices contain more sugar than soda? Really and truly. For instance, 12 ounces of Coke contain 40 grams of sugar; 12 ounces of apple juice, 42 grams. Grape juice is even higher: 60 grams of sugar. This is why nutritionists say to get […]

Raw Veggies’ Impact on Genes, & Other News of Note

Eating Your Greens Can Change the Effect of Your Genes on Heart Disease, Say Researchers (MedicalXpress) A long-held mantra suggests that you can’t change your family, the genes they pass on, or the effect of these genes. Now, an international team of scientists, led by researchers at McMaster and McGill universities, is attacking that belief. […]

FDA Conflict-of-Interest Rules Apt to Loosen, & Other News of Note

Lawmakers May Relax FDA Drug Conflict Rules (Reuters) U.S. lawmakers likely will change the criteria for advisers reviewing new medicines next year because of complaints that the rules meant to prevent conflicts of interest make it harder to find real experts. * * * Others say that the agency is not looking hard enough. A […]