Friday, June 1, 2012

Rigorous Research at Corporate-Owned Schools

I want to buy this whole article...but Mother Jones already did:

http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/05/how-agribusiness-dominates-public-ag-research

This is by way of response to a commenter at the Huffington Post who questioned the research on a psychiatric condition nicknamed "Prozac Dementia." There's no rational doubt that popular antidepressants, like Prozac, are associated with a very specific pattern of side effects that can lead to violent insanity in previously rational and nonviolent patients. The reason why we even need to emphasize that "Prozac Dementia" is merely a street nickname is that all the other medications in the same category have similar side effects.

The pharmaceutical industry hasn't actually challenged the fact that, in clinical trials, even short-term use of antidepressants has led to "Prozac Dementia" in somewhere from three to fifteen percent of test subjects. (Results have varied as each formula's been tested; Joseph Glenmullen published a list of results that were "rigorous" enough for the FDA and the Harvard Medical School, a few years ago.) Instead, the industry has tried to suppress public awareness of the facts by, among other things, urging publishers to stop mentioning what was emerging as a very strong correlation between "Prozac Dementia" and the recent phenomenon of sudden, unprovoked mass murders, sometimes of strangers, followed by suicide.

As a result, instead of seeing (1) closer supervision of previously nonviolent depressive patients who are at risk for "Prozac Dementia," and (2) a demand for research on safer treatments for depression--both of which the world badly needs--we're seeing more and more stories like this one:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/31/ian-lee-stawicki-seattle-gunman_n_1558037.html

And, similarly, we're seeing academics in denial of the claims that prolonged use of foods that have been gene-spliced with disease bacteria are starting to produce early stages of diseases formerly confined to other species, not found in the human population. And, similarly, we're seeing academics in denial of the claim that prophylactic use of statins causes diabetes, or even aggravates latent or potential diabetes. And, similarly, throughout the 1970s we saw academics in vociferous denial of the claim that there could be any link between smoking and lung cancer.

Moral: If you see it happening in the real world, but you don't see much about it in the research, follow the money...that will account for lack of research, or lack of publicity about the existing research, almost every time.