There are 3 messages in this issue.
Topics in this digest:
1. Digital General Collection
2. More 9/11 Proof + Cheney Guilty of 9/11 Proof "9/11GUILT DVD"ThePROOF
3. They're Back! - Big Pharma and Epidemics
From: "norgesen" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2006 16:03:08 -0600
Subject: Digital General Collection
[This message contained attachments]
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2006 14:18:41 -0500
Subject: More 9/11 Proof + Cheney Guilty of 9/11 Proof "9/11GUILT DVD"ThePROOF
More 9/11 Proof + Cheney Guilty of 9/11 Proof "9/11GUILT DVD"ThePROOF
9/11 GUILT - THE PROOF IS IN YOUR HANDS,
by leading researchers and authors Don Paul and Jim Hoffman.
Included in this review are key facts as presented by Don Paul and Jim
Hoffman which question the legitimacy of the "war on terror", and all
war of any kind. The movie screened in S.F. on the 9th, Berkeley on the
9/11 Truth Revealed at Movie Premiere In Auburn
By David R. Kimball
March 12, 2006
For one evening in Auburn, California, the taboo was lifted.
Members of the general public got together in a room and openly
discussed the crime that the Bush Regime uses to justify everything from
the dismantling of the U.S. Constitution, to hideous torture, to war
without end; the crime that many Americans remain in denial about - and
are too afraid to even look at closely themselves, let alone openly
discuss with others.
On March 8th, the group Sacramento 9/11 Truth presented the
premiere showing of a new
DVD, 9/11 GUILT - THE PROOF IS IN YOUR HANDS*,
by leading researchers and authors Don Paul and Jim Hoffman.
The movie was shown at the Senior Center in the DeWitt Center in Auburn,
and the Center was filled to capacity with about 75 people attending.
Don Paul and Jim Hoffman traveled out from the Bay Area, and were
present in person, fielding many questions from an audience both
concerned and engaged, following the film. Numerous copies of the new
DVD were sold, literally placing proof of the guilt of the actual
criminals behind "9/11" into the hands of the public.
Don Paul is the author of over twenty books,
including 2002's 9/11: Facing Our Fascist State. Jim Hoffman's website -
911research.wtc7.net - is considered to be one of the best 9/11 research
and analysis sites on the Web. Don Paul and Jim Hoffman co-authored
Waking up from Our Nightmare in 2004, a definitive analysis of "9/11"
which reveals many crucial facts deliberately kept hidden by the
mainstream, and most of the alternative, media.
On August 22, 2005, Jim Hoffman and Don
Paul gave recorded testimony for an event the American media has also
kept largely hidden - the second convening of the Los Angeles Citizens'
Grand Jury on the Crimes of 9/11/01. 9/11 GUILT -THE PROOF IS IN YOUR
HANDS includes their recorded presentations along with additional
documentary videography by Celestine Star.
In the DVD, Jim Hoffman presents
conclusive proof that WTC Building 7 and the Twin Towers were NOT
brought down as a result of jet-fuel fires as we've been told by the
corporate media, but rather imploded (WTC-7) and exploded (The Towers)
as controlled demolitions which would take weeks if not months to set
He also thoroughly deconstructs the media's disinformation lies
about how these massive steel and concrete buildings could come down so
proves for instance how only the use of explosives can explain how
ALL of the 90,000 tons of solid concrete in each Tower turned into
powder in 15 seconds.
Following Jim Hoffman in the DVD, Don Paul presents much evidence as to
who the true perpetrators of 9/11 really were: and it is NOT "Muslim
terrorists" as the Bush Regime and the complicit media endlessly repeat.
Rather, it is those who had both the motive and the means to commit this
horrible crime; those who BENEFITTED.
Don Paul names five specific individuals, and
shows why they are likely suspects. He demonstrates how we have to look
toward certain world elites, the financiers who profit from war and a
corrupt economic system as the guilty parties if we wish to see justice
done in regard to 9/11.
The Special Features section of the DVD, also
screened in the Auburn premiere, has interview excerpts of numerous
firefighter and E.M.S. personnel, all eyewitnesses to 9/11, and all
stating that they heard explosions within the Towers just prior to and
during their destruction; this eyewitness testimony provides further
proof of the demolition of the three skyscrapers. Also included in
Special Features is an informational segment containing many
little-known but key facts about the Federal Reserve and the Council on
Foreign Relations which further substantiate Don Paul's conclusions.
Now that we have the proof proof that would
stand up in a court of law it is vital that additional Citizens'
Grand Juries be convened, and that the public continue to be made aware
of the true nature of what we face. We ALL need to become i nvolved,
for it is only by confronting these discomforting realities and coming
out of our collective denial that we the people - will be able to
bring enough pressure to bear to see real justice in regard to "9/11".
The truth shall make us free.
*This new DVD is available at:
( PASS IT ON !)
Scholars Affirm VP CHENEY COMPLICITY in 9/11
--- In 911TruthAction@yahoogroups.com, Cathy Garger
After 9/11, like
many other Americans, I became a
supporter of the President's decisions to invade both Afghanistan and
Iraq in order to fight a "War On Terror" against those who hated our
After doing many months of research into 9/11,
realized that much of what we had been told about 9/11 was incomplete
and unsubstantiated. Now there is some evidence to suggest that our own
administration was complicit in the events of the day.
As horrible as this concept is to grasp? It is now
that the American public receive more answers - and quickly.
A petition demanding the release of additional
has been kept from the American public is located at:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/929981172. In addition, we
must all call our members of Congress and demand that 9/11 receive a
complete and thorough criminal investigation.
Permission to circulate widely.
Scholars for 9/11 Truth
SCHOLARS AFFIRM CHENEY COMPLICITY IN 9/11
Experts conclude Vice President possessed
suggest Moussaoui trial a "distraction"
(I-Newswire) - Duluth, MN: March 13, 2006 --
A society of
experts and scholars contends that the prosecution of Zacarias
Moussaoui--for willfully concealing advance knowledge of the events of
9/11 -- has the status of a Soviet-style "show trial" and functions as a
diversion from the real culprits. The nonpartisan group,
Scholars for 9/11 Truth, asserts that the evidence implicating
Vice President Dick Cheney of that very offense is more obvious and
compelling. If they are even remotely correct, then the alleged
terrorists appear to have been cast in the role of "patsies."
The experts base their conclusion on testimony presented to the
9/11 Commission by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta on May
23, 2003, which was omitted from its final report, and on related events
at the Pentagon.
Members of the society will present their findings during a press
conference to be held at 1 PM on Tuesday at the United States Courthouse
in Alexandria, VA, the location of a hearing to determine whether
Moussaoui, who is called "the 20th hijacker", should serve a life term
or receive the death sentence.
"Mineta's testimony is devastating," observed James H. Fetzer,
Ph.D., McKnight Professor at the University of Minnesota. Fetzer is the
founder and co-chair of the scholars' society, which recently joined
with Judicial Watch in calling for release of documents, films and
videos, and physical evidence withheld from the public by the
"It pulls the plug on the Commission's contention there was no
advance warning that the Pentagon was going to be hit."
According to Secretary Mineta's testimony, which is in the public
domain, when he ( Mineta ) arrived at an underground bunker at the White
House ( known as the Presidential Emergency Operations Center ), the
Vice President was in charge.
"During the time that the airplane was coming in to the Pentagon",
he stated, "there was a young man who would come in and say to the Vice
President, 'The plane is 50 miles out.' 'The plane is 30 miles out.'
"And when it got down to, 'The plane is 10 miles out,'" Mineta
"the young man also said to the Vice President,
'Do the orders still stand?' And the Vice President turned and
whipped his neck around and said,
'Of course the orders still stand. Have you heard anything to
"The only reasonable interpretation of the orders," Fetzer
observed, "is that the incoming aircraft should not be shot down".
Philip J. Berg, Esq., Former Deputy Attorney General of
Pennsylvania, added, "Those who made it happen were obviously in the
position to know that it was going to happen and therefore could have
sounded a warning alarm.
The case against Cheney is more powerful than the case against
No one is more culpable than the perpetrators. If Moussaoui
deserves the death penalty, what does our Vice President deserve?"
Other members of the society include Robert Bowman, head of
the "Star Wars" program in both Democratic and Republican
administrations; Morgan Reynolds, former Chief Economist for the
Department of Labor in the Bush administration; Andreas von Buelow,
former assistant defense minister of Germany; Steven E. Jones, a
professor of physics from Brigham Young University and the society's
co-chair; and Griffin, a noted theologian and author of The 9/11
Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions.
Documentary support for the conclusions reported here may be found
at the Scholars for 9/11 Truth web site at www.st911.org.
For Further Information:
James H. Fetzer, Ph.D.
Founder and Co-Chair
Scholars for 9/11 Truth
( 218 ) 726-7269 ( office )
( 218 ) 724-2706 ( home )
( 218 ) 726-7119 ( fax )
Philip J. Berg, Esq.
706 Ridge Pike
Lafayette Hill, PA 19444
( 800 ) 993-7445 ( office )
( 610 ) 834-7659 ( fax )
( 610 ) 662-3005 [cell]
If you have questions regarding information in this press release
contact the company listed below. I-Newswire.com is a press release
service and not the author of this press release. The information that
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and speaks only as of the particular date or dates of that information.
As some companies / PR Agencies submit their press releases once per
week/month or quarter, make sure check the official company website for
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distribution date only. We do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness
of information on or available through this site, and we are not
responsible for inaccuracies or omissions in that information or for
actions taken in reliance on that information.
More Information Scholars for 9/11
To sign Scholars Petition for Release of 9/11
The world can only be redeemed through action--movement -- motion.
Uncoerced, unbribed and unbought, humanity will move toward the light.
Alice Hubbard's introduction to An American Bible (1912)
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2006 14:05:28 -0500
From: "norgesen" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: They're Back! - Big Pharma and Epidemics
By Kathleen Deoul
Big Pharma and its allies in the medical establishment are at it again. They're playing with the rules to turn healthy people into sick ones by bureaucratic fiat, and use the phony epidemic they create to do surgery on your wallet. If you don't think they can get away with it, consider what they've already accomplished.
The Phony Obesity Epidemic
You may remember that a number of years ago, they fiddled with the so-called "body mass index, or "BMI," which is used to determine the proper weight for a given height. Depending on where you were on the index, you would be classified as having a normal weight, being underweight, or being overweight. What they did was shift the dividing lines to the left, reducing the allowable weight for a given height by ten pounds.
Now that doesn't sound like much, but the effect of the change was to transform tens of millions of Americans, who, the day before, had been judged as having acceptable weights for their heights into people who were overweight, or even obese!
So what you might say.
The trouble is that this shift in the BMI laid the groundwork for all of the fanfare about an "obesity epidemic." Once the false notion of a nation of porkers was well-established, Big Pharma was able to get obesity classified as a disease, and therefore be reimbursed by health insurance for anti-obesity drugs and surgical procedures. Indeed, in addition to those already on the market like Xenical and Meridia, at present, there are at least 35 new anti-obesity drugs in various stages of development. In addition, last year, over 140,000 gastric bypass surgeries were performed, despite the one in 200 risk of fatality. In addition, roughly 35,000 individuals opted for the less risky surgical implantation of a gastric lap band. And most of these procedures, which can cost upwards of $35,000, will be paid for by the nation's health insurers, which in the end means higher premiums for you and me.
Now this isn't to say that many of us eat more than we should, are more likely to reach for the remote than a barbell and are carrying a few extra pounds. But there's a world of difference between that and being morbidly obese (defined as more than 100 pounds overweight). Indeed, one side-effect of the constant fanfare about weight loss has been a real epidemic of eating disorders among young women who are obsessed with being thin and are falling victim to bulimia and anorexia! What makes the transformation of weight control into an "epidemic" even more disturbing is the latest move by the FDA to give tentative approval for an over-the-counter (OTC) version of the weight loss drug Xenical. Since the OTC version is the same medicine at half strength all one needs to achieve a prescription level dose of the medicine is to take twice as much of the OTC version as recommended. The trouble is that many people mistakenly believe that "more is better" and without a physician's supervision could easily overdose on the drug.
But obesity is not the only instance in which Big Pharma "cooked the books" to create an epidemic. Basking in the success of their fiddling with the BMI chart, they took on another potentially lucrative target: cholesterol.
Most people have some notion that having high cholesterol can be a bad thing. Some even know that there is a "good" cholesterol and a "bad" cholesterol. Beyond that, most people simply follow their doctor's recommendations. What they don't realize is that to a surprising degree, what their doctor recommends is not based on his own medical judgment, but rather on arbitrary guidelines established by, you guessed it, Big Medicine.
And Big Medicine, of course, is in bed with Big Pharma.
As with weight levels, what they did was to change the rules. Until the change, "high cholesterol" was defined as having a combined "good," or HDL cholesterol and "bad" or LDL cholesterol number of over 300. When your tests showed you at this level, according to the rules it was appropriate to put you on medication. Between a combined figure of 200 and 300, it was recommended that you modify your diet and increase your exercise to lower the number. What they did was to change the recommendation to introduce medication if your combined figure was over 200. All of a sudden, 65 million Americans who did not require medication the day before the change, now did. Moreover, IF A DOCTOR DID NOT FOLLOW THE RECOMMENDATIONS HE WAS COMMITTING MALPRACTICE!!!
With just these two changes, Big Pharma picked up 100 million additional customers!
But they still weren't done!
The next target was yet another common health concern: blood pressure.
For decades, high blood pressure, officially known as "hypertension," was defined as more than 140/90. The first number is what is called "systolic" pressure, which measures the pressure of blood in the arteries and veins while the left ventricle of the heart is contracting, and the second number when it is relaxed, or dilated. Generally, even at levels around 140/90, physicians would try diet and exercise to lower blood pressure before turning to medication. Blood pressures of up to 130/90 were considered within the range of "normal." But Big Pharma and Big Medicine had a "better" idea.
They decided to invent a new disease out of whole cloth.
In 1997, they created "prehypertension." In other words, you didn't have high blood pressure, but you might. They then proceeded to define "prehypertensive" as having a blood pressure between 130/85 and 130/89 - a level previously acceptable. They then changed the definition of "normal" to blood pressures of 129/84 or below.
As was the case with changing the rules to define obesity and high cholesterol, millions of healthy people were again defined as "sick" by bureaucratic fiat.
But their greed still wasn't satisfied.
In 2003, Big Pharma and Big Medicine got together to change the rules yet again, expanding the category "prehypertensive" to include those with blood pressures of 120/80 or higher - a level that had not only been viewed as "normal," but as the target patients should try to achieve!
Of course, each time the bar was lowered for what was considered "prehypertensive" it was also lowered for the introduction of medication.
Mind you, the typical blood pressure of North Americans, according to a 2003 study, was 127/77 - "prehypertensive" under the new definitions. Moreover, compared to other parts of the globe, we were doing an outstanding job of controlling hypertension. Only about 28 percent of Americans and 27 percent of Canadians had blood pressure readings of 140/90 or higher. In contrast, 55 percent of Germans, 49 percent of Finns, 47 percent of Spaniards and 42 percent of Great Britain's population had measurements exceeding 140/90! Indeed, the average blood pressure in Europe is 136/83.
But Big Pharma and Big Medicine still aren't satisfied!
Never mind that mortality rate from strokes (hypertension is a major cause) in North America is 27.6 per 100,000 population as compared to Europe's 41.2 per 100,000 population, or that North Americans fare better in most other indicators of cardio-vascular health. If Big Pharma says you're sick, you're sick!
Still, we apparently weren't sick enough. So what to do? Simple, you just start moving the bar again.
And that's what they're trying to do.
Quietly tucked away in the literature announcing the latest reduction in "normal" blood pressure readings is the assertion that an acceptable blood pressure should be 115/75 - roughly the reading for a teenager!
Now that number isn't official - yet. But statements about "normal" levels of anything are not made lightly by the medical establishment or its allies. You can be as sure that it will eventually become the "official" recommendation as you can that the sun will rise tomorrow!
And that isn't the only nugget hidden away in the official recommendations on blood pressure. Another concerns treatment.
For decades, the first therapy recommended if diet and exercise failed to lower a patients blood pressure was a course of diuretics, the most common being hydrochlorothiazide. The trouble is that this common drug has been around so long that its patent has long expired, and it is readily available in cheap generic form. The word "generic," of course, is an anathema to Big Pharma. Generic translates into less expensive and less expensive means lower profits - a concept Big Pharma finds abhorrent.
So what to do?
Simple, as with other aspects of high blood pressure treatment and diagnosis, change the rules!
Now, instead of trying a simple and inexpensive diuretic, the recommendation is for a "two drug therapy." What this means in plain English, is to give the patient a patented and therefore profitable branded prescription drug along with the diuretic. And remember, medication is generally recommended when a patient's systolic blood pressure is 20 points above what is considered "normal."
If the bar is lowered to 115/75, this means that people with a blood pressure reading of 135/85 would be put on medication. This despite the fact that these same people previously would have been treated exclusively with diet and exercise, and, before 1997, would have been viewed as having a reading within normal limits! Further, the medications themselves are not without side effects, potentially exposing large segments of the population to unnecessary risk!
But it is not just a potential change in the hypertension rules that is tucked away in the report. Another potentially more threatening change relates to cholesterol.
When Big Pharma had the bar lowered for acceptable levels of cholesterol, it reaped a bonanza in sales of the new statin drugs earning $20 billion annually. Hailed as a godsend, ads on television and in the print media trumpeted their ability to reduce "bad" cholesterol levels. What was initially hidden and later underplayed in these ads was the incidence of serious side effects, especially a form of muscle weakness called statin Myopathy. Estimates indicate as many as one in four statin drug users may experience serious side effects. In fact, up to 75 percent of patients for whom statins are prescribed discontinue them due to side effects! But this is something Big Pharma will never tell you.
This brings us to the second little nugget hidden away in the new blood pressure recommendations. In the National Committee on Prevention, Detection and Evaluation of High Blood Pressure's Seventh Report, the document outlining the new rules, there is a table on cardiac risk that indicates the acceptable level for a combined cholesterol reading is 180 - 20 points lower than the official number. As with the lower blood pressure figure, this number is not yet the "official" target, but rest assured, it will be!
The implications of lowering the bar yet again are clear. It will lower the point at which your doctor will be COMPELLED to prescribe these dangerous medications.
Don't forget that once a recommendation becomes official, a physician who fails to follow the guidelines is committing malpractice. So they really don't have a choice no matter what their personal feelings may be.
In a way it is not surprising that the stage is being set for a change. Statin drugs are among the most profitable items Big Pharma has in its product lines. Indeed, they have been pushing them for a wide range of so-called "off-label" uses.
Off-label use entails a physician prescribing a medication for some illness other than the one it was originally approved to treat. It is a common practice that takes advantage of a loophole in the way regulations work that most people don't know: once a drug is approved for any use, a doctor can prescribe it for any purpose he decides is appropriate. In one example, approximately 80 percent of the prescriptions for the drug Neurontin, a medication approved for the treatment of epilepsy, are for off-label treatments.
Today, statin drugs are being promoted as treatments for everything from Alzheimer's disease to cancer! There's even talk of having doctors give their healthy patients a "super-pill" that is a cocktail of statin drugs, blood pressure drugs and other medications as a preventative measure!
But even if such insanity doesn't take place, you can be sure that Big Pharma is going to at a minimum push to lower the acceptable level for combined cholesterol to 180. What will this do?
It will create millions of new patients, and, more important from Big Pharma's viewpoint, protect what they've already gained.
A dirty little secret Big Pharma doesn't want you to know is that Americans have been doing a terrific job of lowering their cholesterol levels all by themselves. Indeed, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association last year found that the average cholesterol among men aged 60 to 74 had dropped from 232 to 204 between the early 1960s and the 1990s. More important, "bad" cholesterol levels dropped significantly during this period.
Now if the national average dropped to near 200 - below which cholesterol levels are acceptable under current rules that would mean that tens of millions of people now required to take statin drugs would no longer need them. That, in turn would jeopardize Big Pharma's latest cash cow - something they are not about to permit.
Besides the overall drop in cholesterol levels, the study had other bad news for Big Pharma.
The decline in cholesterol levels was not limited to older Americans. In fact, all adults from age 20 to 74 experienced the same phenomenon. Even worse, while "bad" cholesterol levels declined, "good" cholesterol levels did not. As a result, the ratio of "good" to "bad" cholesterol improved something statin drugs are prescribed to accomplish.
As if this weren't enough bad news for Big Pharma, the study also reported that by 2002, the number of Americans with cholesterol readings above 240, the critical level for statins had fallen to 17 percent of the population, achieving the goal the government had set for 2010. The study also noted that deaths from heart disease dropped from nearly 800,000 in the early 1980s to 650,000 in 2002.
As for statins, one of the researchers noted " if you put statins in the water supply, cardiovascular disease would still be the leading cause of death in America."
It's enough to drive a Big Pharma executive to drink.
That's why they want to change the rules. If they can't find a legitimate reason for you to buy their product, they'll simply make one up. Sure, the side effects of the drugs you end up taking might have side effects that cause problems as bad or even worse than those they're supposed to treat, but Big Pharma has an answer to that problem: more drugs!
In the final analysis it boils down to one single fact: Big Pharma has always put profits ahead of patients and it always will - at least until the public puts pressure on its elected officials to put a stop to the abuse. There is all the more reason to do so with the new Medicare prescription drug benefit coming into effect. It's the Medicare-eligible population that is most likely to be prescribed cholesterol or blood pressure lowering medications, and most likely to be diagnosed with obesity. If we allow it, Big Pharma will turn this benefit into a new cash cow by simply changing the rules. But if that happens, and we have not spoken up, we will have no one to blame but ourselves.
Contact Kathleen Deoul, Media Matters
Big Pharma Cooks The Books Again
BY KATHLEEN B. DEOUL
They're at it again!
As previously noted in these pages, over the past several years Big Pharma and its allies in the bureaucracy, organized medicine and the research establishment's ivory towers have made millions of nominally healthy people "sick" with a stroke of the pen. Part of their scam is a matter of manipulating the rules that define the level at which certain illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes and high blood pressure require treatment or medication.
But that's not all.
They have also created a whole new category of illness, the "precondition." As a result, people are now being classified as "pre-hypertensive," "pre-diabetic" and the mouthful "pre-hypercholesterolemic" (high cholesterol). What all of these terms attempt to assert is that the possibility that someone might develop a disease or condition is, in itself, a disease or condition that requires treatment! In other words, you're not really sick, but you might be at some future date.
If these "preconditions" were merely used as a basis for screening, it might not be much of an issue, but that is not how the new classifications are being used. Rather, they are being used as an excuse to medicate vast new segments of the population who do not really require medication - despite the fact that in some instances the medications being prescribed carry significant health risks themselves.
What is really going on is nothing more than a scam promulgated by Big Pharma to fatten their already bloated coffers.
Take for example, one of the new "preconditions," "prehypertension."
Big Pharma had already manipulated the rules on high blood pressure, having the National Institutes of Health reduce the "acceptable" blood pressure reading from 140 over 90 to 130 over 80. This move in and of itself added millions Americans to the pool of those for whom blood pressure medication was recommended.
But their greed was apparently unsatisfied.
They had NIH create even more new rules to define "prehypertension" as having a blood pressure reading between 120 over 80 and 130 over 80 - a figure that previously would not just have been considered healthy, but would have been viewed as excellent. With the introduction of this new "precondition," the pool of people requiring blood pressure medication increased to 45 MILLION! That translates into as much as $4.5 billion in new sales of blood pressure drugs to HEALTHY PEOPLE!
But even this move pales in comparison to the latest boondoggle: declaring obesity a disease.
On July 15, 2004, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson issued a statement classifying obesity as a disease and therefore making various treatments for obesity eligible for reimbursement under Medicare and Medicaid. In his statement, Thompson declared"
"We're just too darn fat, ladies and gentlemen - and we're going to do something about it."
What Thompson's statement did not mention was the fact that this decision was the culmination of a seven-year long campaign by Big Pharma and Big Medicine to win such a pronouncement. More important, it is a campaign that has been largely based in manipulating the rules.
The campaign was kicked off in June of 1998 when Big Pharma managed to get the NIH bureaucrats to change the chart used to determine a person's Body Mass Index, or "BMI."
Your BMI is a simple calculation that compares your height and weight to come up with a composite figure. It is supposed to tell you if you are overweight for your height. Fair enough.
But in 1998, when NIH changed the chart, 25 million Americans who had been at acceptable weights the day before were suddenly overweight!
To illustrate, prior to the change, a five-foot four-inch woman would have to weigh more than 145 pounds to be overweight. After the change, the same woman would have to drop ten pounds to avoid being overweight!
But shifting the chart was only the beginning of the campaign.
In the months and years that followed, the media was assaulted by a barrage of stories about how overweight Americans were - much of it based on the new BMI figures.
But did they tell the whole story?
Using the BMI, tennis star Andy Roddick, film star Matt Damon and President Bush are all overweight. Actors George Clooney and Harrison Ford are obese. Actors Tom Cruise, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone are verging on being severely obese!
It's no accident that BMI, rather than more reliable measures such as the hydrostatic water tank, is the basis of the campaign, because it doesn't actually measure body fat - the real concern. As a result, vast numbers of people who are not overweight, but rather who are in fact exceptionally fit are included to create a "crisis!"
And, of course, Big Pharma has the solution to the manufactured problem: more drugs!
Indeed, according to published reports, Big Pharma has more than 100 obesity medications in the early stages of development.
Joe Maraganore, senior vice president for strategic product development at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, which is working with Abbott Laboratories on obesity drugs summed up the reason Big Pharma was so anxious for the change:
"We think obesity represents what is unquestionably the largest future market for pharmaceuticals."
The only trouble is that Big Pharma's track record in regard to weight loss drugs is anything but reassuring.
First of all, they don't work very well. Most of them deliver at best a 5 percent to 10 percent weight loss over a period of six months. To put this in perspective, this means a person weighing 250 pounds could expect to lose between 2 and 4 pounds a month - hardly an impressive result. Using a standard diet and exercise regime, the same individual could easily lose double that amount over the same period of time.
But it isn't just the unimpressive performance of most prescription weight loss drugs that are at issue. Of greater concern are the side effects that users frequently encounter.
Perhaps the most familiar example of a diet drug disaster is Fen-Phen, a drug marketed by American Home Products (AHP) under the brand name Redux. After some 123 deaths due to heart valve failure were linked to Fen-Phen it was pulled from the market. Following extensive litigation, AHP agreed to a settlement under which it made cash payments of nearly a billion dollars to over 200,000 Fen-Phen users who were at risk.
Currently, similar concerns are being expressed about Meridia Abbott Laboratory's best-selling diet drug. Meridia has been linked to 29 deaths, including 19 from cardio-vascular problems.
Abbott claims that it's impossible to tell if their drug was related to the deaths because the patients were overweight to begin with and therefore prone to heart disease. Of course similar excuses were given about Fen-Phen!
But why would the medical community support the spurious claims of an obesity epidemic and its classification as a disease?
The answer is simple: they, too, have a financial stake in such a determination.
Under the new rules not only drugs but Gastric Bypass surgery would be covered. As with diet drugs, the risks of Gastric Bypass surgery may far outweigh the benefits. Moreover, its track record is much different than the hype surrounding the procedure would lead the public to believe.
To begin with, hard as it is to believe; around 10 percent of patients who have Gastric Bypass surgery fail to lose weight!
But that's not all.
Between 10 percent and 15 percent have some complications immediately following the operation, with between 2 percent and 3 percent comprised of serious complications. About one in 300 patients die during the operation.
These figures, however, only reflect the SHORT-TERM adverse effects. Over the LONG-TERM the picture is far more bleak.
Almost 40 percent of patients who have the operation develop a vitamin B-12 deficiency. Almost 40 percent are also readmitted to the hospital for various reasons. Almost 24 percent develop depression, 13.2 percent develop gastritis 11.4 have gall bladder problems and 5.8 percent end up suffering from dehydration and malnutrition!
So much for an "EASY" solution!
Remember, because this procedure is now eligible for reimbursement under Medicare and Medicaid, any complications related to the surgery will also qualify.
But the obesity "epidemic" is not the only manufactured health care crisis Big Pharma has recently created by manipulating the rules. Another is the recent revision of the rules concerning treatment of high cholesterol.
What is even more outrageous is this is the second time the rules have been changed to accommodate Big Pharma's greed!
The first time the cholesterol rules were changed was in March of 2001. For decades before the change, as long as a patient's cholesterol level was below 300 it was not viewed as necessary to place them on medication. Changes in diet coupled with exercise were normally more than sufficient to resolve the problem.
But in March of 2001 all that changed.
After years of lobbying, Big Pharma convinced the bureaucrats at NIH to reduce the level at which cholesterol medication was required from 300 to 200. Suddenly 36 million people who previously were viewed as having acceptable or at best moderately elevated cholesterol levels were supposed to start popping pills!
Those pills, though, were hardly benign.
In most cases patients were prescribed powerful "Statin" drugs such as Zocor or Lipitor, often in combination with other drugs such as ACE inhibitors, Beta Blockers or Calcium Channel Blockers.
Ace inhibitors can cause arrhythmia - irregular heartbeats - confusion, numbness and edema to name just a few potential side effects. Beta Blockers can cause an abnormally slow heart rate, dizziness and can actually INCREASE cholesterol levels. Calcium Channel Blockers can cause slow heart rates, low blood pressure and edema.
But it is the Statin drugs that hold the largest danger.
For example, people over the age of 50 who are taking Statins run a 26 times greater risk of nerve damage that those who are not taking these medications. But this is just one of the possible adverse effects of these drugs.
One widely reported side effect is myopathy - a weakness of the muscles. This side effect can be particularly debilitating in elderly patients who may already suffer from the normal loss of strength associated with aging.
Another disturbing effect of Statins is their effect on cognitive function - that is their ability to reason. The effect was identified in five separate studies including one by Dr. Matthew Muldoon of the University of Pittsburgh, one of the nation's most prominent medical schools.
Perhaps the most unsettling report on potential Statin side effects is the possible linkage of Statins to cancer. Statins have been demonstrated to cause cancer in animals.
Despite these potentially deadly effects, millions of patients have been placed on Statins as a result of the 2001 rule change. But the problem is about to get worse.
The so-called Panel on Adult Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults has issued a report calling for an even more aggressive treatment regime for the condition, once again lowering the threshold for administering medications.
Under the new guidelines, four categories of risk have been established with differing levels of intervention assigned to each.
But there's a catch.
NIH has established a number of "risk factors" that must also be taken into account. The nature of the treatment that is deemed appropriate is therefore not just based on the actual cholesterol levels, but on the risk factors as well. That means that an individual with an otherwise unremarkable level of cholesterol might be given aggressive treatment on the basis of these risk factors. Each is assigned a 10 percent value.
Among the risk factors are included:
a.. Cigarette smoking
b.. High Blood Pressure (defined as 140/90 or greater)
c.. Low HDL cholesterol
d.. Family history of early heart disease
e.. Age: 45 for men, 55 for women
On the surface this seems reasonable, until that is, you examine what the treatment actually entails.
In the lowest category - low to moderate risk - the goal is to lower LDL cholesterol below 160. However, that is without other risk factors. Because the "optimal" level of LDL cholesterol under the guidelines is 100 or less, a physician could decide to medicate a patient with risk factors to reduce LDL cholesterol to that level.
But how would that affect relatively healthy individuals?
Take for example a 45 year-old man with a total blood cholesterol, of 190, comprised of an HDL or "good" cholesterol level of 60 or optimal and an LDL or "bad" cholesterol level of 130, and slightly elevated blood pressure of 140/90. Remember, before the hypertension guidelines were changed this blood pressure reading would have been at best marginal, and even under current guidelines not a serious problem.
Still, under the new guidelines, the man has two risk factors: his age and his blood pressure. As a result, he is automatically placed in Category II, the next to highest risk. For people in this risk group, the target for LDL cholesterol is to achieve a level of less than 130. Mind you, an LDL level of 130 is considered acceptable under the more general guidelines, so this person is being held to a higher standard. If that level is not achieved within three months through diet and exercise, he will be put on Statin drugs!
THIS DESPITE THE FACT THAT HE DOES NOT HAVE HIGH CHOLESTEROL - EVEN UNDER THE NEW GUIDELINES!
By making age a risk factor and by lowering the acceptable level of "bad" LDL cholesterol, Big Pharma has ensured that millions more healthy Americans will be forced to take dangerous and potentially cancer-causing Statin drugs!
Of course, that doesn't matter to Big Pharma and its allies. In fact, in their view, the prospect of increased cancer is just one an opportunity to sell even more products!
What makes the situation even more egregious is the fact that because these requirements are embodied in NIH guidelines, doctors who fail to follow them run the risk of being charged with malpractice! As a result, most, even many who are skeptical about the merits of the new rules, will follow them blindly!
This latest outrageous example of Big Pharma's death grip on the American healthcare system underscores the need for citizens to get involved and demand that our right to freedom of choice in medical care is restored. The one thing Big Pharma fears is an informed and active citizenry, because that is the one social force that can break their hold. Remember, while one voice can be silenced, many make a chorus that cannot be ignored.
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