Natural Cures Not Medicine: 12/08/13

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If this doesn't prove to you that the government works for Big Pharma, I don't know what will

July 7, 2013. Washington. In case readers missed it with all the coverage of the Trayvon Martin murder trial and the Supreme Court’s rulings on gay marriage and the Voting Rights Act, the US Supreme Court also made a ruling on lawsuits against drug companies for fraud, mislabeling, side effects and accidental death. From now on, 80 percent of all drugs are exempt from legal liability.

In a 5-4 vote, the US Supreme Court struck down a lower court’s ruling and award for the victim of a pharmaceutical drug’s adverse reaction. According to the victim and the state courts, the drug caused a flesh-eating side effect that left the patient permanently disfigured over most of her body. The adverse reaction was hidden by the drug maker and later forced to be included on all warning labels. But the highest court in the land ruled that the victim had no legal grounds to sue the corporation because its drugs are exempt from lawsuits.

Karen Bartlett vs. Mutual Pharmaceutical Company

In 2004, Karen Bartlett was prescribed the generic anti-inflammatory drug Sulindac, manufactured by Mutual Pharmaceutical, for her sore shoulder. Three weeks after taking the drug, Bartlett began suffering from a disease called, ‘toxic epidermal necrolysis’. The condition is extremely painful and causes the victim’s skin to peel off, exposing raw flesh in the same manner as a third degree burn victim.

Karen Bartlett sued Mutual Pharma in New Hampshire state court, arguing that the drug company included no warning about the possible side effect. A court agreed and awarded her $21 million. The FDA went on to force both Mutual, as well as the original drug manufacturer Merck & Co., to include the side effect on the two drugs’ warning labels going forward.

Now, nine years after the tragedy began, the US Supreme Court overturned the state court’s verdict and award. Justices cited the fact that all generic drugs and their manufacturers, some 80% of all drugs consumed in the United States, are exempt from liability for side effects, mislabeling or virtually any other negative reactions caused by their drugs. In short, the Court ruled that the FDA has ultimate authority over pharmaceuticals in the US. And if the FDA says a drug is safe, that takes precedent over actual facts, real victims and any and all adverse reactions.

Court ruling

The Court’s ruling a week ago on behalf of generic drug makers is actually a continuation of a ruling made by the same Court in 2011. At that time, the Justices ruled that the original inventors and manufacturers of pharmaceutical drugs, also known as ‘name brand’ drugs, are the only ones that can be sued for mislabeling, fraud or adverse drug reactions and side effects. If the generic versions of the drugs are made from the exact same formula and labeled with the exact same warnings as their brand name counterparts, the generics and their manufacturers were not liable.

The Court ruled, “Because it is impossible for Mutual and other similarly situated manufacturers to comply with both state and federal law, New Hampshire's warning-based design-defect cause of action is pre-empted with respect to FDA-approved drugs sold in interstate commerce."

And that ruling flies in the face of both common sense and justice. And as Karen Bartlett can now attest, it leaves 240 million Americans unprotected from the deadly and torturous side effects of pharmaceutical drugs. As a reminder, the number one cause of preventable or accidental death in the US is pharmaceutical drugs.

Critics react

Immediately upon the Supreme Court’s ruling, both drug manufacturers and Wall Street investors were celebrating. As one financial analyst pointed out, drug company profits should skyrocket going forward. Not only do the pharmaceutical companies no longer have to worry about safety or side effects, they are exempt from the multi-million dollar court-imposed settlements awarded to victims of their drugs.

One industry critic was quoted by Reuters after the verdict. "Today's court decision provides a disincentive for generic makers of drugs to monitor safety of their products and to make sure that they have a surveillance system in place to detect adverse events that pose a threat to patients," Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group told the news outlet.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) was quick to react to the ruling by writing a stern letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, "A consumer should not have her rights foreclosed simply because she takes the generic version of a prescription drug.”

But an attorney for the drug companies, Jay P. Lefkowitz, took the opposing position saying, “It makes much more sense to rely on the judgments of the scientific and medical experts at the FDA, who look at drug issues for the nation at large, than those of a single state court jury that only has in front of it the terribly unfortunate circumstances of an adverse drug reaction."

In other words, if the FDA says something is safe, it doesn’t matter if that decision is wrong or the result of lies, fraud or deception on the part of the world’s pharmaceutical companies. And there’s no way to sue the FDA for being wrong and costing millions of unsuspecting Americans their lives. That result leaves 240 million Americans unprotected from an industry responsible for more preventable deaths in the US than any other cause.


You Won't Believe What was Found in McDonald's New Chicken Wings

April McCarthy | Prevent Disease

If you're still not convinced you should avoid McDonald's, here is yet another reason. Katherine Ortega took her 5-year-old son to a Newport McDonald's, where they bought a box of fried chicken wings (a special promotion). As she passed them around her dinner table, she realized that one of the wings wasn't a wing at all.

I'll Have A Side Order of Chicken McNoggin Please

What happened to Katherine Ortega in a Newport McDonald's is perhaps one of the most disturbing reports after being verified by the news station WVEC-TV in Newport as well as the Washington Post.

Many McDonald's franchises sell Mighty Wings as part of their Chicken & Fish menu.

One afternoon, Katherine Ortega brought home an order of the McDonald's wings. As she passed them around her dinner table, she realized that one of the wings wasn't a wing! She called WVEC-TV, Channel 13 in Newport News. They thought it was a hoax until they dispatched a cameraman to Ortega's home.

She called WVEC-TV, Channel 13 in Newport News. They thought it was a hoax until they dispatched a cameraman to Ortega's home.

"Our cameraman called in and said, 'The batter on the chicken head is the exact match of all the rest of the pieces of chicken,' " reported WVEC news director Jim Tellus.

Actual News Clipping From Newport News

The facts: 

  • Reporters who were allowed to examine the head said that it looked real and that the fried batter matched the other wings and what would be on expected on such a product.
  • The woman allowed reporters to take video and photos of the head, which have not been discredited.
  • Ortega never went through with a lawsuit, but maintains the story to be true.

Damage Control 

The franchise owner met to discuss the situation (translation: "How much do you want?"); and issued a sober statement promising a "thorough investigation" and that Ortega didn't return a call seeking comment; that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is investigating.

The Ortegas at one point announced they had hired a lawyer and were contemplating a lawsuit against McDonald's. Legal experts didn't think the family would win an award much higher than a couple of thousand dollars because no one ate the piece or was physically harmed by it. Even in our litigious society, harm has to be demonstrated, and it's not enough just to claim "I was grossed out by this" to gain the big bucks, however any no lawsuit was pursued and no specific amount was settled or disclosed by either party

An enforcement officer at the U.S. Department of Agriculture who looked into the case was at a loss to explain how the head ended up in Ortega's order of wings. The first thing that happens in the processing of live chickens into poultry parts is their beheading, with the heads immediately being discarded. The carcasses then go on to the next stage (which is being dropped into the boiling water to de-feather them). Though the process is mostly mechanized, a plant operator helps with evisceration (the removal of the bird's internal organs) and an on-site USDA inspector is supposed to check each and every chicken. How both could have missed a chicken head going through is a mystery.

How Many More Reasons Are Needed To Stay Away From McDonald's?

Thanks to the transparency campaign initiated by McDonald's last year people are more familiar with the processing methods and ingredients that go into their menu. Recently we reported that consumers found out McDonald's french fries contain 17 ingredients.

Over a decade ago, after being plagued by health critics and flattening sales, they launched their biggest change to their menu in 30 years with a newly improved and modified salad menu. Consumers then found out that their Caesar salad with Chicken Premiere contained 18.4 grams of fat compared with 11.5 grams of fat in a standard cheeseburger. Yes, their salad had more fat than their cheeseburger.

Then of course there is the famous "pink slime" which was mostly beef containing ammonium hydroxide-treated ground connective tissue and meat scraps commonly used in dog and chicken food. Celebrity chef and safe food advocate Jamie Oliver featured the substance and called for its ban on the April 12, 2011 episode of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, which may have influenced McDonald's to stop using beef patties containing the filler.


April McCarthy is a community journalist playing an active role reporting and analyzing world events to advance our health and eco-friendly initiatives.

Drill Sergeants Heart Skipped a Beat

No words can accurately describe what you are about to see. What is very clear however, is the fact that this can move and touch your life. Perhaps this may relate to your life in some way. Remember, that we are all seeking love, but many are lost and have had bad luck. After watching this video, let us know what you think. Enjoy! And share it with your friends if you enjoyed it.

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