365 Ways #105–It’s your health vs. their money

#105–I often get asked questions like “if _____ drug is so bad for you, why is their so much research supporting its efficacy/safety?” It’s a valid question. But often the answer can be found by simply looking at the details of the study. First, most studies are short term. Thus, the long term results may be completely different. Second, one cannot study health using diseased subjects. Yet studies often involve those with medical conditions. Third, and perhaps most importantly, most research is sponsored by entities with a vested interest in the outcome. In Tainted Truth, Cynthia Crossen points out the suspicious correlation between the results of the research and the financial interests of its sponsors. Dr. Richard Davidson reviewed 107 published studies and could not find a single case where a drug/treatment manufactured by the sponsoring company was found to be inferior to another protocol. Without resorting to outright fraud, the researchers can obtain these miraculous results by adjusting the length of the study, manipulating dosage levels, etc.

Money is the motivation. In the book, Trust Us, We’re Experts, D. Rennie states that “Universities and scientists are seduced by industry funding and are frightened that if they don’t go along with gag orders, the money will go to less rigorous institutions.” And The Ecologist reports that only 75 out of more than 15,000 drug and food chemical researchers could be considered independent. The others? Their pockets are being lined with industry dollars at the cost of your health.

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