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Antidepressant drugs

Medicated in the cockpit: FAA says pilots on psych drugs can fly commercial airliners

Monday, April 05, 2010
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
Tags: antidepressant drugs, pilots, health news

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(NaturalNews) What would happen if the Columbine high school rampage shooters who were psyched out on mind-altering antidepressant drugs had been piloting a jet airliner instead? On Friday, the FAA issued a new rule that says pilots taking psychiatric medications are now allowed to pilot passenger airliners while medicated!

This "permission to fly while medicated" decision by the FAA covers pilots taking the antidepressant psychiatric drugs Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa and Lexapro. Not coincidentally, these are the same drugs that, in the minds of many industry observers, are linked to acts of aggression, suicide and mass murder. People on these drugs may simply lose touch with reality and feel like they're playing out a video game rather than acting out in the real world.

It begs the question: Why is the FAA putting medicated pilots in control of jet airliners? What happens if a psych drug medicated pilot suddenly thinks he's in a video game and aims his Boeing 767 at a civilian target "just for the fun of it?" Or what if he goes raving mad, strangles the copilot and then crashes the jet airliner nose-first into the ground?

While this kind of scenario may seem remote, you have to remember: It only takes one such event to cost the lives of hundreds of air passengers (and perhaps thousands of people on the ground).

Today, air travel is remarkably safe in terms of the number of fatalities per miles traveled. It's far safer than traveling in your car, in fact, and a fair amount of the credit for that safety belongs with the FAA. So why is the FAA now making a decision that seems, on its surface, to endanger the lives of air passengers by allowing psychiatric patients to pilot airplanes?

According to the FAA, the answer is because modern psychiatric drugs have fewer side effects. That seems like a political statement, not a medical conclusion, because the side effects that are experienced by a very small number of psychiatric medication users can be so whacked out that they can pose a very real danger to the lives of those around them. The majority of U.S. school shootings that we've seen over the last 15 years have been carried out by shooters taking psychiatric medications.

Antidepressants work no better than placebo

The other part of this story that the FAA seems to be missing is that for all but the most extreme cases of depression, antidepressant drugs have been scientifically proven -- through multiple clinical trials -- to work no better than placebo. These pilots would do just as well taking capsules filled with olive oil as they do on patented, monopoly-priced SSRI drugs. Yet despite the scientific reality that antidepressants are no better than placebo for the vast majority of patients, doctors continue to prescribe them and now the FAA has allowed these drugs into the cockpit. Er, excuse me, the "Flight Deck."

And this makes me wonder whether those pilot-narrated fly-over descriptions -- "On the left you can see Mt. St. Helens" -- will start to include hallucinogenic elements, too. "On the right, I see Santa Claus and his ten reindeer, about to pass under engine number four. Please fasten your seat belts while we take evasive action..."

Depression is a sign of another health problem

If a pilot suffers from depression, that's an indication that there's some other health problem they're dealing with: Usually cardiovascular disease of some kind.

Depression can also be brought on by vitamin D deficiencies or a diet lacking in omega-3 oils. Depression isn't simply an isolated "chemical imbalance in the brain," as the drug companies would like you to believe: It's a symptom of a much larger health challenge that almost always includes a cardiovascular component. So if a pilot suffers from depression, shouldn't that mean they need to reform their own personal health from the inside out rather than relying on a chemical agent to mask their symptoms?

I actually know a senior pilot for a major U.S. airline; a guy who flies the largest and most technical Boeing aircraft around. He's a member of the Life Extension Foundation and takes care of his health through exercise, fasting and daily nutritional supplementation. He's the kind of pilot I want behind the yoke because I believe that pilots have a special responsibility to be healthy and alert. I would not want to be a passenger on any airplane being piloted by a psychiatric patient medicated on Big Pharma's dangerous mind-altering drugs.

The difficulty, of course, is that you just don't know which pilot you're going to get on any given flight, nor what medications that person may be on. We've all seen the dangers of people who drive on the roads while medicated -- they are responsible for as many as one-third of all traffic accidents today! There's no question in my mind that allowing medicated pilots to fly commercial airliners is increasing the risk of an accident that could harm or kill the crew and passengers.

So I'm going to lay out a prediction here, and even though it may take years for this to come true, there's little doubt it's coming unless the FAA reverses its rules: There will be an airplane crash one of these days where the cause is not merely "pilot error" but actually medication-induced pilot error. Some pilot who is psyched out on antidepressant drugs might fly his plane into a building, mountain, ocean or other landscape feature, and the NTSB will recover the black boxes only to find that the pilot had gone stark raving mad minutes before impact. A little more investigation will reveal he was on psychiatric prescription medications.

Keep psych drugs out of the flight deck (and out of Congress)

It seems an obvious point: Mind-altering psychotropic drugs should have no place on the flight deck. Most people who do not have ties to the pharmaceutical industry would agree with that.

At the same time, it's not just pilots who have responsibility for the lives of the people, is it? Members of the U.S. Congress are also making decisions that impact the lives (and livelihoods) of a far greater number of people than airline pilots. So why are most members of Congress doped up, psyched out and mass-medicated with dangerous pharmaceuticals, too?

In a recent video that has become an overnight YouTube sensation, U.S. Congressman Hank Johnson from the 4th district of Georgia actually claimed that putting too many people on the island of Guam would cause the island to tip over and capsize: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNZczIgVXjg

Yes, you read that right: This former court judge who somehow got elected to Congress by Georgian voters, said flatly and without joking: "My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize." To which the steadfast Admiral Willard paused in disbelief and then replied, without even a hint of sarcasm, "We don't anticipate that."

Congressman Hank Johnson is not a stupid person. His bizarre on-camera behavior can best be explained by medication side effects. Watch the video and you can see for yourself how he's barely able to stumble through an attempted description of the geography of the island of Guam. He is displaying classic symptoms of an overly-medicated Congressman!

Now you know how the recent health care reform bill got passed. Many of those who voted for it were so over-medicated with Big Pharma's mind-altering drugs that they had no concept of what they were voting for. This is especially ironic, given that they were voting for enforcing a monopoly medical system that would ensure even more mind-altering drugs being prescribed for the American people!

This is why I have publicly called for health standards for all members of Congress. Medicated members of Congress should not be allowed to vote! And that would throw out virtually all the bastards, wouldn't it?

I was thinking we could take all those Congresspeople who no longer meet the health standards and ship them off to Guam to see if it actually does tip over.

In fact, why not make a new reality TV show featuring former U.S. Congressmen running wild on the beaches of Guam -- and call it "The Tipping Point?"

Resources and sources for this story:
Wall Street Journal:

Hank Johnson's statements about Guam:

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About the author:Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is a best selling author (#1 best selling science book on Amazon.com) and a globally recognized scientific researcher in clean foods. He serves as the founding editor of NaturalNews.com and the lab science director of an internationally accredited (ISO 17025) analytical laboratory known as CWC Labs. There, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving extremely high accuracy in the analysis of toxic elements in unknown water samples using ICP-MS instrumentation. Adams is also highly proficient in running liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and mass spectrometry time-of-flight analytical instrumentation.

Adams is a person of color whose ancestors include Africans and Native American Indians. He's also of Native American heritage, which he credits as inspiring his "Health Ranger" passion for protecting life and nature against the destruction caused by chemicals, heavy metals and other forms of pollution.

Adams is the founder and publisher of the open source science journal Natural Science Journal, the author of numerous peer-reviewed science papers published by the journal, and the author of the world's first book that published ICP-MS heavy metals analysis results for foods, dietary supplements, pet food, spices and fast food. The book is entitled Food Forensics and is published by BenBella Books.

In his laboratory research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products.

In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Through the non-profit CWC, Adams also launched Nutrition Rescue, a program that donates essential vitamins to people in need. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released over a dozen popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.

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