Big Pharma gains control of the World Health Organization…

As covered at wikileaks, some internal documents from WHO have been leaked.  Apparently WHO has gone out of the public health business and has become a lobbying agency for big pharma:

Analysis of unreleased WHO Expert Working Group draft reports

This is a confidential pharmaceutical industry trade association dossier about the WHO Expert Working Group (EWG) on R&D Financing.

The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA; “Big Pharma”) gave its members 4 documents: a non-public draft report of the WHO EWG and a non-public Comparative Analysis done by the working group, the IFPMA Overview of the EWG Comparative Analysis, and IFPMA summary slide on the EWG Draft Report.

The compilation of documents shows the influence of “Big Pharma” on the policy making decisions of the WHO, the UN body safeguarding public health. These confidential documents were obtained by the drug industry before their public release to WHO member states (scheduled to be released May 2010). The document also illustrates that the WHO expert group was highly responsive to industry lobbying — a result that public health groups had feared since early 2009, when the expert group met with the industry, but refused to meet with public health groups known to be industry critics.

The likely audience for these documents include countries, public health policy makers, civil society, industry, academia, media, patients and the general public.

Journalists can contact Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO: chanm@who.int and Malebona Precious Matsoso, WHO Director, Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property: matsosom@who.int

According to our source, the English version of the final report of the EWG with its recommendations is expected to be released to member state countries this week.

Now the critical question: Will this story be covered by the media, or will this be yet another manipulation by IFPMA, be swept under the rug again…?

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Big Pharma gains control of the World Health Organization…

Blogroll add: Nieman Watchdog

The Nieman Watchdog’s slogan “Questions the press should ask” tells what they do rather well. Here’s one example of a story the Nieman Center has highlighted, showing how the media has mislead the American public, leading them to think that the rich have been hurt by the financial crises disproportionately, when in fact the opposite has happened: the poor have shouldered more than their fair share of the recent economic losses, while rich are doing relatively better than they were before the crisis. Good luck figuring that out from reading the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times, whose business apparently is: lie to protect the rich.

The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University was founded in 1938 “to promote and elevate the standards of journalism in the United States.” I suggest you add it to the sites you visit and judge for yourself.

Heres a summary of the story, original at the Columbia Journalism Review:

Selective and misleading reporting on incomes
“The bottom 90 percent of Americans…earned incomes in 2007 that were 1.7 percent less than in 2000, the equivalent of working fifty-two weeks but getting paid for only fifty-one…while the top 1 percent during the same period saw their incomes rise 12 percent,” writes David Cay Johnston. But you wouldn’t know it by reading The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, whose coverage has exaggerated the negative effects of the economic crisis on the rich.

Blogroll add: Nieman Watchdog

The Media, ignoring the real stories

Two stories that were ignored by the media the last year.

First, there is the stolen election of 2004, which Greg Palast has done a convincing job documenting that, yes, indeed the 2004 election was won by John Kerry. See his book Armed Madhouse. But now, Karl Rove’s special IT consultant who had apparently engineered a Man in the Middle attack on the Ohio polling infrastructure, has died in mysterious circumstances, in a plane crash.

Second would be the rash of murders that occurred during Hurricane Katrina. Of course since these were white people killing black people, there weren’t any investigations or coverage by the mainstream press:

While the national and international media were working themselves and much of the public into a frenzy about imaginary hordes of murderers, rapists, snipers, marauders, and general rampagers among the stranded crowds of mostly poor, mostly black people in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, a group of white men went on a shooting spree across the river.

Their criminal acts were no secret but they never became part of the official story. The media demonized the city’s black population for crimes that turned out not to have happened, and the retractions were, as always, too little too late. At one point FEMA sent a refrigerated 18-wheeler to pick up what a colonel in the National Guard expected to be 200 bodies in New Orleans’s Superdome, only to find six, including four who died naturally and a suicide. Meanwhile, the media never paid attention to the real rampage that took place openly across the river, even though there were corpses lying in unflooded streets and testimony everywhere you looked – or I looked, anyway.

The Media, ignoring the real stories

Maybe Economists should listen to Anarchists, Artists and Architects more often

Well, I am glad Harvard economists are finally getting around to saying something about the death of the globalization consensus. One of the things I think about when I read this is: finally! But it’s very bittersweet as the economic future does not look at all too bright. So even though others have been questioning what’s going on, including the art department of the Economist (way ahead of the writers BTW), I have to ask: What is their program for the future?

Of course, after reading Dani’s article, a logical question would be: Is there a violent anarchist over at work in the Economist’s Art department? I’d very much like the hear from her or him.

Another side note: as much as I like Project Syndicate, it is driving me crazy that they do not date their articles. HELP! Apparently, their commentary has risen above time and space, into an inter-dimensional limbo, in which just pure commentary can exist, outside of any context. Even a a year, or season (e.g.: Spring 2006) would help quite a lot IMHO.

Dani Rodrik states the obvious over at Project Syndicate:

The death of the globalization consensus
That is the title of my new column for Project Syndicate. Here is an extract:

There was a time when global elites could comfort themselves with the thought that opposition to the world trading regime consisted of violent anarchists, self-serving protectionists, trade unionists, and ignorant, if idealistic youth. Meanwhile, they regarded themselves as the true progressives, because they understood that safeguarding and advancing globalization was the best remedy against poverty and insecurity.

But that self-assured attitude has all but disappeared, replaced by doubts, questions, and scepticism. Gone also are the violent street protests and mass movements against globalisation.* What makes news nowadays is the growing list of mainstream economists who are questioning globalisation’s supposedly unmitigated virtues.

* Oh really–perhaps someone forgot to translate that memo into Pakistani? or Italian for that matter.

Maybe Economists should listen to Anarchists, Artists and Architects more often

Iraq, as El Salvador, rather than Vietnam

An interesting post over at wikileaks, which is the United States Counter Insurgency Manual, officially the US Special Forces doctrine for Foreign Internal Defense. There are perhaps some other titles for this book, which is basically a HOW-TO for the institution of a fascist police state. Some excerpts suggest that the present template for success in Iraq is based on the experience in El Salvador. Of course, although the U.S. did not lose El Salvador in a straight-forward military sense, in the civil war there from 1980 to about 1992 about 70,000 civilians were killed, including Archbishop Romero and several Jesuit Priests, which e_f has covered here. So, in a moral sense, the dirty war in El Salvador did great damage to the U.S.A., but here is the proof that those in power consider a War where many innocent civilans are needlessly slaughtered as a victory. The manual advocates accusing those who oppose the regime in any way with terrorism, and immediately charging them and any of their supporters with terrorism. Unbelievable, but brought to you courtesy of Web 2.0. It also tells the U.S. military how to do those all-important things like: concealing human rights abuses from journalists. Which just leaves me asking: Who are the real terrorists?

Of course, the other question is: If this manual has been leaked, and available since at least Monday, why hasn’t it been covered by the mainstream US media yet? What’s going on here?

More and links to the manual below…

Continue reading “Iraq, as El Salvador, rather than Vietnam”

Iraq, as El Salvador, rather than Vietnam

Scientific American News Site/Blog

There have been quite a few good news postings on the Scientific American website recently, especially on environmental issues, and where policy and Science intersect. Here are two:

May 30, 2008
Which U.S. Cities Contribute Most to Global Warming?
New study ranks U.S. metropolitan areas based on their climate change-causing pollution
By David Biello

If you care about reducing your emissions of greenhouse gases, then you might want to move to Honolulu, Los Angeles or Portland, Ore., according to a new study from The Brookings Institution. These three metropolises boast, respectively, the lowest three per capita levels of world warming pollution (read: carbon dioxide) in the nation’s top 100 metro areas.

“Large metropolitan areas give their inhabitants smaller carbon footprints,” says energy policy expert Marilyn Brown of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta (ranked 67th), lead author of the study. “Footprints are the smallest in areas with high density and good rail transit.”

The report authors say the goal of the study is to show cities how to reduce emissions by taking a page from those already keeping a lid on them. The research also demonstrates that city dwellers in general are faring better than their country (or suburban) cousins, because of mass transit and densely packed populations in smaller areas.

And the link to the Brookings Institute paper mentioned in the article.

And’s here’s a story about the stormy weather ahead (again):

May 30, 2008
Stormy Weather: Weather Service Predicts Active Hurricane Season
Forecasters call for more than 11 tropical cyclones

The U.S. National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center forecasts six to nine hurricanes—including as many as five major hurricanes with wind speeds above 111 miles (179 kilometers) per hour—this six-month season in the Atlantic, which officially begins on Sunday and ends November 30. Independent experts at Colorado State University in Fort Collins foresee much the same, making this a more active year than most for tropical cyclones in the Atlantic and Caribbean.
The total prediction calls for as many as 16 “named” storms, those whose winds reach more than 74 miles (119 kilometers) per hour. If one is born in the Atlantic Ocean or east of the international date line in the Pacific, it is called a hurricane; in the northwest Pacific, a typhoon; in the southwest Pacific and southeastern Indian oceans, such a storm is dubbed a severe tropical cyclone; in the north Indian, a severe cyclonic storm; and in the southwest Indian, a tropical cyclone. By any name, one of these storms can carry as much energy as 10,000 nuclear bombs—making them nature’s most destructive meteorologic phenomenon.

Scientific American News Site/Blog

On the decreasing connectivity of the anti-environment disinformation machine

Or Environmental news round-up

Here are several news stories. One is about the boost that green industries have given the German economy, another is about a share holder movement at Exxon to make that company more responsible for the environmental destruction that company causes. The shareholders also wanted to remove Exxon from funding the noise machine denying anthropogenic Global Warming. I’d written about that here, and there is excellent coverage of that web of deceit here at exxonsecrets.org. Another story notes the neologism ‘envirogee’, meaning a refugee from environmental disaster, is becoming, unfortunately, a very useful word. And a story that shows that not all of these ‘envirogees are in Burma–some are right here in USA. Speaking of the USA, what about a green initiative to give a boost to the economy?

Taken apart these stories tell a picture of changes underway, but taken together there is certainly a common theme here: the network of those who are denying Global Warming and its consequences is very rapidly losing its moral connectivity, and although the shareholder initiative at Exxon failed this year, they will be back again and again. There is just too much news out there for anyone to maintain that something doesn’t need to be done.

Note that some of these stories are from the news site truthout, which has just re-designed its website. It looks great. I wonder who designed it.

Continue reading “On the decreasing connectivity of the anti-environment disinformation machine”

On the decreasing connectivity of the anti-environment disinformation machine