In a move certain to create controversy, the American Psychiatric Association has voted to include bereavement in the definition of major depressive disorder, or MDD, that will be contained in the upcoming version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which will be known as the DSM-5, The Washington Post writes.
The decision is significant because the manual is widely considered to be a biblical-like reference tool for psychiatrists and by eliminating the so-called bereavement exclusion – which appeared in the last DSM that was published in 1994 – the APA may generate what some experts contend could be inappropriate diagnoses and treatment (back story).
When the possibility arose last year, The Lancet wrote an editorial noting this would mean “that feelings of deep sadness, loss, sleeplessness, crying, inability to concentrate, tiredness, and no appetite, which continue for more than two weeks after the death of a loved one, could be diagnosed as depression, rather than as a normal grief reaction.”
Such diagnoses could also boost the sale of antidepressants and the Post points out that the upcoming change in the DSM-5 was developed, “in large part, by people affiliated with the pharmaceutical industry,” which helps fund the APA. Moreover, most of the experts on the committee that drafted the new guideline have either ties to pharma.
Eight of 11 members of the APA committee reported financial connections to drugmakers, the Post reports, in the form of speaking or consulting fees, research grants or stock holdings, according to the disclosures filed with the APA. Six reported financial ties during the time that the committee met, and two more reported financial ties in the five years leading up to the committee assignment, according to APA records, the Post writes.
In addition, the paper adds that Sidney Zisook, a psychiatrist at the University of California, San Diego, and a key adviser to the committee, was the lead author of a 2001 study that found the Wellbutrin antidepressant could be used to treat bereavement. Glaxo, which sponsored the study, markets the Wellbutrin and Paxil antidepressants (see this).
As noted last year, he has received honoraria from Glaxo (GSK) and AstraZeneca (AZN), which sells Seroquel, an antipsychotic that is approved for adjunctive treatment of MDD, although he tells the Post that work preceded his involvement in the DSM-5 guidelines.
Such conflicts are not surprising. A paper published last year in PLos Medicine noted that 69 percent of the DSM-5 task force members have ties to drugmakers, which is up from 57 percent of the DSM-IV task force members. The paper also found gaps in the APA disclosure policy of DSM committee members (back story).
As we wrote at the time, 67 percent of the panel for mood disorders, 83 percent of the panel for psychotic disorders and all of the panel for sleep and wake disorders have ties to drugmakers that sell meds for treating these disorders or companies that somehow service the industry.
“It’s not that this is a Machiavellian plot by the pharmaceutical industry,” Lisa Cosgrove, a research fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University and a psychology professor at the University of Massachusetts, tells the Post.
“But when you have so many of these industry relationships on a committee, it creates a pro-industry bias that compromises their ability to be objective,” she adds. Cosgrove was a co-author of the PLoS Medicine paper that last year criticized the APA.
APA ceo James Scully Jr. tells the Post that the organization took steps to reduce conflicts as part of its preparation for the DSM-5. The APA, for instance, required that panel members regularly file disclosures and placed limits on their financial connections to drugmakers, the Post writes.
Each committee member was allowed to receive up toa $10,000 in annual income from drugmakers, hold as much as $50,000 in stock and receive unlimited amounts of money to conduct research. He maintains that, if no financial ties were permitted, many qualified psychiatrists would be excluded because many university studies are funded by pharma.
However, the Post notes that a survey of academic researchers found that 36 percent of full professors at medical schools report no financial connections to pharma in the previous year.
unhappy pic thx to ron bennetts on flickr
400,000 public comments, 40 Members of Congress ignored; CFS calls proposed approval of first ever GE animal “premature and misguided”
Center for Food Safety sharply criticized today’s U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) announcement releasing an Environmental Assessment (EA) on the controversial AquaBounty AquaAdvantage® transgenic salmon. The FDA action is widely viewed as confirmation that the Obama Administration is prepared to approve shortly the first genetically engineered (GE) animal intended for human consumption in the face of widespread opposition.
“It is extremely disappointing that the Obama Administration continues to push approval of this dangerous and unnecessary product,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director for Center for Food Safety. “The GE salmon has no socially redeeming value; it’s bad for the consumer, bad for the salmon industry and bad for the environment. FDA’s decision is premature and misguided.”
The FDA decision ignores calls from more than forty members of the U.S. Congress who have repeatedly urged FDA to conduct more rigorous review of environmental and health safety, and halt any approval process until concerns over risks, transparency and oversight have been fully satisfied. The public filed nearly 400,000 comments demanding FDA reject this application. Additionally, more than 300 environmental, consumer, health and animal welfare organizations, salmon and fishing groups and associations, food companies, chefs and restaurants filed joint statements with FDA opposing approval.
AquaBounty claims that the company’s process for raising GE fish is safer than traditional aquaculture, yet documents released by the Canadian government show that a new strain of Infectious Salmon Anaemia, the deadly fish flu which has been devastating fish stocks around the world, contaminated their Canadian production site. This information was not included in the FDA’s review and hidden from the public. Many additional long standing concerns regarding impacts to wild species and the environment raised during a Senate hearing last year remain unanswered in the latest FDA review documents.
“We need a robust regulatory system that puts environmental, human health, economic and animal welfare risks first,” said Kimbrell. “Putting a GE animal on the path to consumer use without proper safeguards and with no mandatory labeling requirement proves that the system FDA has in place gives us none of that.”
About Center for Food Safety
Center for Food Safety is a national, non-profit, membership organization founded in 1997 to protect human health and the environment by curbing the use of harmful food production technologies and by promoting organic and other forms of sustainable agriculture. CFS maintains offices in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, California and Portland, Oregon. More information can be found at www.centerforfoodsafety.org.
I have to begin this article with a bow in the direction of a remarkable site, SSRI Stories. There you will find a huge assembly of media articles documenting the death and destruction wrought by psychiatric drugs. In particular, read the index:
It previews the whole picture. It connects the dots.
Keep in mind that all the indicted psychiatric drugs have been approved by the FDA as safe and effective.
Over the years, I’ve written much about the the FDA. I thought I’d assemble a small fraction of it in one place, to reveal what this federal agency is really all about and why it should be dismantled, amid a blizzard of prosecutions and convictions for negligent homicide and, yes, murder.
HIDDEN IN PLAIN VIEW
by Jon Rappoport
May 18, 2012
The day of the Smoking Gun has arrived.
The discovery of a page, on the FDA’s own website, proves the FDA is fully aware that:
the drugs it certifies as safe have been killing Americans, at the rate of 100,000 per year.
The FDA website page is currently available under the heading, “Why Learn About Adverse Drug Reactions.”
The FDA takes no blame, no responsibility for its own actions, and yet it admits the death statistics are accurate.
As an investigative reporter, I have been tracking and writing about pharmaceutically-caused deaths for 10 years.I have, on numerous occasions, cited Dr. Barbara Starfield’s report in the July 26th, 2000, Journal of the American Medical Association, in which she presents the figure of 106,000 deaths per year, in America, as a direct result of these drugs. I have claimed that the federal government and, in particular, the FDA, are aware of these numbers.
And now the page on the FDA’s own website confirms the death toll. Yet, nowhere do we see the FDA taking one shred of responsibility for this ongoing holocaust.
Holocaust? Add up the figures. Medical drugs cause 100,000 deaths in America every year: that means a million Americans are killed every decade.
Understand this very clearly. No medical drug in America can be released for public use until and unless the FDA states it is safe. The FDA is the agency that makes every such decision on every drug. The buck stops there.
Yes, the FDA has a “special relationship” with the pharmaceutical industry. Yes, the FDA utilizes doctors on their drug-approval panels that have ties to the pharmaceutical industry. But, in the end, it is the FDA official seal that opens the gate and permits a drug to be prescribed by doctors and sold in the US.
In all my research on this medical-drug holocaust, I have never found a case in which any FDA employee was censured, fired, or criminally prosecuted for the killing effects of these drugs.
That is a track record Organized Crime would be proud of, and the comparison is not frivolous.
On this FDA website page that has just come to light, the FDA also readily admits that deaths from medical drugs are the fourth leading cause of death in America, ahead of pulmonary disease, diabetes, AIDS, pneumonia, accidents, and automobile fatalities.
The FDA website page also states there are 2 million serious adverse reactions (ADRs) from the ingestion of medical drugs, annually, in the US. When the FDA says “serious,” they aren’t talking about headaches or slight dizziness or temporary nausea. “Serious” means stroke, heart attack, neurological damage; destruction of that magnitude. Therefore, per decade, that adds up to 20 million ADRs. 20 million.
Examining these figures for death and debilitation, can you find any comparable crime in the American landscape? And yet the major media have been silent. This is the kind of story that could make Watergate look like a Sunday-school picnic. If a paper like the New York Times let loose their hounds to relentlessly explore the horror, I assure you that, in time, doctors and medical bureaucrats and even drug-company employees would come out of the woodwork with confessions, and the resultant explosions and outcries would shake the medical/pharmaceutical foundations of America and the planet.
But these major media outlets are an intrinsic part of the Matrix that protects and sustains the crimes and the criminals. It isn’t just drug-advertising profits that keep the leading newspapers and television networks silent. It’s collusion to protect “a revered institution”—the medical system.
Also at stake is Obamacare. The connection is vivid and unmistakable. Millions more Americans, previously uninsured, will be drawn into the system and subjected to the very drugs are killing and maiming people at such a horrific rate.
Where has the US Department of Justice been all these years? Is there any way, under the sun, that a million deaths per decade can be excused? Is there any way the FDA and the drug companies can float safely in the upper atmosphere of privilege, while the concept of justice retains any meaning? Where are criminal prosecutions?
The revelations of ongoing knowledge to be found at the FDA website page stagger the mind. Here is yet another implication: what about all the studies on drugs that are published in prestigious medical journals, month after month? These studies unequivocally claim the drugs are safe. What level of fraud must exist for such peer-reviewed studies to attain the false status of medical fact?
Perhaps this quote from Marcia Angell, former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, will clarify that aspect of the scandal:
“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.”
(Marcia Angell, MD, The New York Review of Books, January 15, 2009)
Meanwhile, the FDA pursues an agenda of attacking nutritional supplements, and the latest federal regulations classify these supplements as “potentially dangerous”—despite the fact that supplements have a record of safety that is astonishing.
It is time for these murderous government crimes to end. It is time for all responsible parties to be brought to justice, to real justice. It is time for the public to realize that 100,000 people dying every year in the US, because they take medical drugs, is the equivalent of 33 airliner crashes into the Twin Towers, every year, year after year.
It is only necessary for Department of Justice officials to climb into cars and drive down the road to the headquarters of the FDA and start making arrests, on a charge of negligent homicide. At minimum.
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