diabetes

Paula Deen exposed as Big Pharma sellout for profiting from the diabetes disease her recipes promote

Thursday, January 19, 2012 by: Tara Green
Tags: Paula Deen, diabetes, drug companies

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(NaturalNews) Do you wish you could have a share of the billions in profits raked in by pharmaceutical companies peddling dubious drugs? If you are unencumbered by integrity, you may want to follow the lead of celebrity chef Paula Deen to gain a chunk of the plentiful prescription drug dollars.

Paula Deen's Ethics-Free 4-Step Path to Big Pharma Cash

1. Attain some sort of minor celebrity status. In Paula's case, she started as a restauranteur and then self-published cookbooks. These books led to appearances on QVC and Oprah's show. She subsequently had her own Food Network shows. She was widely known for her liberal use of butter and her preference for deep-frying anything and everything -- one of her signature dishes is deep-fried stuffing on a stick. Another recipe she demonstrated on her show was a burger inside a split doughnut, topped by an egg and bacon. She has also long been affiliated with Smithfield, the industrial meat company, creating a recipe collection using their products.

2. Become sick from practicing the lifestyle choices you teach others to make. Paula Deen was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes three years ago. While it is sad when anyone is diagnosed with a serious illness, what makes Paula Deen worthy of ridicule rather than sympathy is how she handled this situation.

3. Tell no one about the diagnosis you have received, and continue to promote the unhealthy lifestyle which led to the disease. In the meantime, have your agent work on the next step.

4. Find a pharmaceutical company willing to pay you money to be a spokesperson for one of its drugs designed to squash the symptoms of your disease. Paula Deen now appears in advertisements for Novo Nordisk's diabetes treatment Victoza.

"Cures" that cause other diseases -- and don't cure

It is difficult to determine which of Paula Deen's endorsed products holds more health dangers -- the processed meats or the drug. In 2011, the FDA ordered Novo Nordisk to print a "black box" warning on the drug's label. This is the federal agency's strongest warning, used to alert consumers that grave health consequences are involved. The warning says that Victoza "causes thyroid C-cell tumors at clinically relevant exposures in rodents." Other side-effects associated with the drug include headache, nausea, and diarrhea. Ads for the cancer-causing drug now feature a smiling Deen along with the caption "live a life that's delicious."

The cynicism of both Deen and Nova Nordisk is amazing. Both essentially endorse the idea that people should eat whatever they want, regardless of the health consequences. Then, when diagnosed with a disease, simply pop a pill and make the symptoms disappear. Until another disease appears as a consequence of the pill -- but then you can take another pill for that, or perhaps undergo surgery or a round of radiation. Another celebrity chef, Anthony Bourdain commented via Twitter about the Deen-drug company alliance: "Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches later." (Although, Bourdain himself is not exactly an advocate for good health. He is known for making anti-vegetarian statements, calling people who do not eat meat "a persistent irritant to any chef worth a damn." He has also said of cigarette smoking, "it really does make you cool. Chicks love it".)

The Deen-endorsed drug not only has the potential to cause cancer, it also does not deliver any health benefits in return for its health risks. Like most pharmaceuticals prescribed for diabetics, the drug treats symptoms but not the disease. In a 2008 issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, University of North Carolina professor of medicine Nortin Hadler noted that anti-diabetes drugs are ineffective because lowering patient's blood-sugar levels does not cure the disease.

Maybe Deen can persuade her sponsors Smithfield and Nova Nordisk to create some coop ads. They could run spots in which Deen cooks and eats Smithfield processed meats, seasoning them with a powdered form of Victoza. Or perhaps Smithfield and Nova could have a partnership in which anti-diabetic and anti-cancer drugs are injected into the industrial meat. These may sound like outrageous suggestions but they really aren't any more far-fetched and cynical than Deen's affiliation with the drug company.

Sources:

http://motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/01/paula-deen-promotes-dubious-diabetes-drug

http://www.salon.com/2012/01/17/paula_deen_cashes_in_on_diabetes/

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