Conflict of Interest Rampant in Child Drug Prescriptions
December 06, 2008
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Focus has been placed on alleged financial conflicts of interest of psychiatrists involved in the Children’s Medication Algorithm Project (CMAP). The CMAP protocol has been “quietly shelved” after objections were raised by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.
The state of Texas is suing a pharmaceutical company that allegedly used false advertising and improper influence to get its products on the now-mandatory adult protocol, the Texas Medication Algorithm Project (TMAP).
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) stated that three Harvard experts whose research contributed to an explosion of antipsychotic drug use in children failed to report a combined $3.2 million in company consulting fees, in violation of Harvard’s rules.
Controversy about promotion of psychotropics in children is breaking out in other states also. New Jersey state assemblyman Michael Coherty wrote to the state department of health on Aug 20, asking about the policy that permitted the NJ Medicaid program to spend $73 million between 2000 and 2007 on antipsychotic drugs for children under the age of 18 although the drugs are not FDA approved for pediatric use. Lawsuits are pending in several states.
Issues include improper marketing and failure to disclose serious side effects, which prompted state programs to overpay for olanzapine (Zyprexa), quetiapine (Seroquel), and risperidone (Risperdal).
Particularly in children, it is not just the drugs prescribed, but the diagnoses that are in question. Six million children have been diagnosed with serious psychiatric disorders warranting drug treatment -- 1 million with bipolar disorder, long believed to occur only in adults.
What Are GMOs?
From April 19th through April 25th we launch GMO Awareness Week. We set aside an entire week dedicated to providing you with information on GMOs and labeling initiatives.
GMOs are a product of genetic engineering, meaning their genetic makeup has been altered to induce a variety of “unique” traits to crops, such as making them drought-resistant or giving them “more nutrients.” GMO proponents claim that genetic engineering is “safe and beneficial,” and that it advances the agricultural industry. They also say that GMOs help ensure the global food supply and sustainability. But is there any truth to these claims? I believe not. For years, I've stated the belief that GMOs pose one of the greatest threats to life on the planet. Genetic engineering is NOT the safe and beneficial technology that it is touted to be.
Help Support GMO Labeling
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)—Monsanto’s Evil Twin—is pulling out all the stops to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food. For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture. For example, Monsanto has made many claims that glyphosate in Roundup is harmless to animals and humans. However, recently the World Health Organization (WHO) had their research team test glyphosate and have labeled it a probable carcinogen.
Public opinion around the biotech industry's contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We're fighting back. That's why I was the first to push for GMO labeling. I donated a significant sum to the first ballot initiative in California in 2012, which inspired others to donate to the campaign as well. We technically "lost the vote, but we are winning the war, as these labeling initiatives have raised a considerable amount of public awareness.
The insanity has gone far enough, which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands. More than 80 percent of our support comes from individual consumers like you, who understand that real change comes from the grassroots.
Thankfully, we have organizations like the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to fight back against these junk food manufacturers, pesticide producers, and corporate giants.
Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More
Together, Let's Help OCA Get The Funding They Deserve
Let’s Help OCA get the funding it deserves. I have found very few organizations who are as effective and efficient as OCA. It’s a public interest organization dedicated to promoting health justice and sustainability. A central focus of the OCA is building a healthy, equitable, and sustainable system of food production and consumption. That's why I'm proud to announce I will be matching donations up to $250,000 this week.
Please make a donation to help OCA fight for GMO labeling.