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Posts Tagged ‘corporate influence’

Monsanto Improves its Bottom Line…But Not Agriculture

The Monsanto Company is raking it in—last week they reported third quarter profits of $937 million. Yes, you read that right: Monsanto’s profit for the three-month period ending May 31 amounted to nearly a billion dollars, up a whopping 35% from the same quarter last year. That raging river of cash flowing in must make it easy for the company to finance a flurry of advertising and lobbying extolling the virtues its products. According to Monsanto’s PR, the company is feeding a growing population, protecting natural resources, and promoting biodiversity.

But the truth is decidedly less impressive, and now UCS is setting the record straight with an ad campaign of our own. Read More

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Tell Pfizer’s Board to Break with Heartland

Misinformation about climate science is a dangerous thing. Scientists have been telling policymakers for years that climate change poses serious threats to our health and economic well-being. But too many polluting corporations have pursued a strategy of delay and denial to protect their near-term bottom lines rather than the public interest. Read More

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New Executive Order Could Limit Ability of U.S. Science Agencies to Protect the Public

It is ironic that 50 years after the drug thalidomide was found to have caused serious harm to tens of thousands of babies in Europe and Great Britain, but not the U.S., both the Administration and Congress are backing efforts that could unravel the safety net and erode the power of American agencies to protect public health and safety. Read More

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How Conflicted Experts Can Sway FDA Drug Approval Decisions: A Case Study on Yaz

Experts on FDA advisory panels with financial conflicts of interest can influence the approval of a drug in multiple ways, not only by voting to approve a drug but also by dominating the discussion and pressuring other panelists. In the case of the popular contraceptive drug Yaz, four scientists with financial conflicts of interest were enough to push the vote in favor of the drug, with significant consequences for some women. Read More

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New Allegations of Political and Corporate Pressure on FDA

In today’s New York Times, Gardiner Harris describes tensions between the FDA, Congress and the White House regarding the agency’s attempts to inform and protect the public. It’s an incredible article that helps demonstrate the pervasiveness of both political and corporate pressure on the agency, and how those who do not have scientific training in public health attempt to take decision-making authority on what should be scientific issues away from those who do.

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GM Drives Away From Climate Denial, Dumps Heartland Institute

The big news today is that General Motors said they’ll no longer fund a group that regularly attacks climate science.

According to the Huffington Post, “The automaker told the Heartland Institute last week that it won’t be making further donations, spokesman Greg Martin said.” Read More

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Money Talks, and What It’s Saying May Harm the FDA

Any way you look at it, $700 million is a lot of cash. That’s the amount that industries regulated by the FDA have spent since 2009 lobbying Congress and the Executive Branch. That investment is paying off as Congress now considers must-pass legislation that governs how the FDA uses science to evaluate prescription drugs and medical devices. Read More

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Five Reasons Congress Should Support Strong Conflict-of-Interest Standards at FDA

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, we have been blogging quite a bit recently about the FDA. This corresponds to legislation that would determine how the FDA approves and monitors drugs and medical devices. But why have we been so focused on reducing the number of FDA advisory panel members who have financial conflicts-of-interest? Read More

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Vioxx shows what happens when the drug safety system breaks down

In a previous blog post, I explained the FDA’s complex process for approving drugs and medical devices. However, in many cases, pressure from commercial interests has broken down this process. The approval and subsequent recall of Vioxx took its toll on thousands of Americans, including my own father.

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How the FDA Drug Approval Process Works

Earlier this week, my colleague Michael gave some general background on the Food and Drug Administration and what Congress has to do this year to ensure that the agency can continue to ensure the safety and efficacy of prescription drugs and medical devices. Read More

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