Originally published August 14 2007
Antioxidants, bad science and failure of the press to tell the truth
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor
Following yesterday's announcement of a new study showing the phenomenal benefits of antioxidants for preventing heart disease in women, the mainstream media rallied behind a blatantly false distortion of the study designed to convince the public that vitamins E and C are somehow useless. The popular press, which maintains an incestuous relationship with the pharmaceutical industry, once again demonstrates it is little more than a mouthpiece for the pro-pharma propaganda machine. There is no scrutiny of the study's findings, no critical thinking and absolutely no independent journalism being conducted by the mainstream media on this particular topic. It's as if these media outlets just can't wait to be spoon-fed the latest propaganda from drug company collaborators and then parrot it out to the public as fact.
The distortion in question concerns the assessment of women who participated in a nine year trial measuring the effects of vitamins E and C. According to the results published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, women who took these vitamins on a regular basis experienced a remarkable and statistically significant reduction in stroke risk (31 percent) and heart attack risk (22 percent). Not all the women in the study, of course, actually took the vitamins on a regular basis, and when you count the results of those women who never took the vitamins, the study shows no statistically significant benefits for vitamins E and C. In other words, the vitamins didn't work on those who didn't take them. (Is this surprising to anyone?)
The mainstream media has taken hold of this statistical distortion and declared that antioxidants are now useless for preventing heart disease. Utterly ignoring the fact that the vitamins worked remarkably well in those who actually took them, the media now seems to be on a crusade to discredit nutritional supplements by lying to its readers. Having abandoned all common sense or scientific scrutiny, the media is now engaged in an organized campaign of disinformation designed to boost the profits of their largest advertisers -- the drug companies -- by spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt about nutritional supplements.
Here are some of the headlines that appeared yesterday in the mainstream media. As you read these, keep in mind that these are stories based on a study that actually found significant protective benefits for those women who took the antioxidants:
Antioxidants Don't Lower Heart Risk
Study: Antioxidants Do Not Protect High-Risk Women from Heart Disease
Antioxidants cut no heart disease rate in high-risk women
Scotsman, United Kingdom
Nutrients 'do not cut heart risks among vulnerable'
Antioxidant pills don't prevent heart disease
Antioxidants Don't Cut Heart Disease Rates in High-Risk Women
Vitamins No Magic Bullet for Heart Health
Antioxidants No Magic Bullet for Heart Disease in Women
Natural Products Industry Insider
Antioxidants Don't Impact CVD Events in High-Risk Women
Common vitamins no help for women's hearts - study
Turning truth upside downOf course, the idea that antioxidants are useless for preventing disease is as absurd as thinking the Earth is the center of the universe, or that pigs can fly. Yet this is the position being promoted by the press today in blatant abandonment of all rational thought. To state that vitamins don't work on women who don't take them is classic doublespeak ripped right out of the pages of the novel 1984. You might as well say that pharmaceuticals don't work on people who don't take them, either.
I wonder why they even bothered to give antioxidants to the participating women at all. If you're going to count the results of all the women who don't take the supplements, why not simply launch the study, give vitamins to no one, then announce the conclusion that vitamins don't work? This could create a whole new way to conduct clinical research: Track the health results in people who have taken nothing! Think of what we could accomplish in medical science by following this model -- we could test thousands of different substances by simply giving them to no one, then declaring whatever results we wish to notice!
Ultimately, that's what's going on here anyway. Researchers are simply declaring whatever they want with no real regard to scientific truth or common sense. Much of medical science today has become a self-reinforcing exercise in pro-pharma dogma. Listening to drug-company funded researchers talk about nutritional science is a lot like listening to President Bush talk about peace: There is simply no connection with reality.
There is no health announcement too absurd for the mainstream media to print. If the American Medical Association declared water to be harmful to human health, the media would run the story without asking a single question. If the FDA declared all vitamins to be toxic and announced a nationwide ban on all dietary supplements, the mainstream media would fall right into step, parroting whatever scientific half-truths the FDA was spouting at that particular moment. If the American Cancer Society declared that sunlight caused cancer and that the citizens should avoid sunlight and cover their skin with toxic chemical creams to block out the sun, the press would gladly run with that story, too. Come to think of it, they already have: That's the story on sunscreen, and just about everything you read in the mainstream media about sunlight and sunscreen is blatantly false.
There are so many falsehoods routinely printed in the mainstream media these days that it has become a rarity to find any piece of truth. From fudged war casualty numbers to details about health care in America today, the media has proven itself incapable of printing anything resembling factual truth. Instead, it has become a pro-war, pro-corporation, pro-disease, pro-market, profit-minded mouthpiece for the corrupt elite who now run this country.
Keeping the population distractedAs such, the media has quite literally become the enemy of the people. Rather than informing people about things that matter in the world, the media uses its power to fill peoples' heads with falsehoods. And when it's not reporting falsehoods, it's keeping the people distracted with wall-to-wall coverage of stories that really don't matter at all, such as celebrity mishaps (does anybody really care what Paris Hilton does next?), isolated acts of violence (always with explicit footage) and fear-mongering campaigns (the terror alert is now orange again!).
It's all become bread and circuses. (Click here to read the Wikipedia explanation of this phrase "bread and circuses" in case you don't already know its historical context.)
This nation no longer has any desire to keep its people informed, educated or healthy. The effort now is to keep people disinformed, ignorant and diseased. This is accomplished precisely through actions like this antioxidant study in which researchers pretending to conduct science send fabricated stories to a press pretending to report the news. When this kind of action is repeated a few hundred times a year, it leaves the population distrusting all nutritional supplements and believing that only synthetic patented chemicals (pharmaceuticals) can solve their health problems. It is no coincidence that pharmaceuticals are allowed to be advertised everywhere, promoted with outrageously false claims of benefits, and that such advertising is in no way regulated by anyone. "Free speech" is granted to pharmaceutical companies, but not to dietary supplement companies. It is my belief that free speech is not free if it only selectively allowed.
So we have a conspiratorial trio now working in concert to keep you stupid and diseased: The mainstream media (which takes billions of dollars each year from drug companies), the drug companies (which earn billions of dollars each year selling advertised drugs), and the FDA (which enforces the monopoly and eliminates competition by censoring truthful information about dietary supplements). It is this trio which explains why Americans now pay the highest prices in the world for health care and yet are simultaneously the most diseased people of any industrialized nation in the world.
Tyranny, Inc.We have allowed our nation to be overrun by corporate interests. Once, we fought for our independence from Great Britain, freeing ourselves from the tyranny of the King who wished to impose total control over the original 13 colonies. But today, how will we free ourselves from the tyranny of the corporations?
These corporations have taken over government, regulatory bodies and the media. Corporations have become the power monopolists in this nation and now pose a threat of tyranny far more dangerous than any king or dictator. Not only are the people virtually powerless to stand up against the tyranny of corporations, but the very channel through which the people were supposed to be kept informed about such threats -- the mainstream media -- has actually become a supporter of tyranny itself. It is now part of the problem.
This is why I continue to stick with my prediction that the United States of America will fail within one generation. It is a nation with unprecedented global debt (and China just recently threatened to collapse the U.S. dollar by selling off some of their U.S. Treasury debt), an international reputation in ruins, a dysfunctional national press, a national health care system that actually promotes disease and cures no one, a mentally impaired President, a broken public education system, an irreversible addiction to oil, a drugged-up population of voters and a deeply-ingrained habit of spending itself into financial oblivion. Anyone who thinks this system is sustainable is kidding themselves. And, likewise, anyone who thinks having Hilary Clinton as the next president is going to solve all these problems is also living out some sort of fantasy delusion. These problems cannot be solved by politicians; they can only be solved by revolutionaries.
The press, for its part, is increasingly irrelevant to reality. That's why all the smart people now get their information online. They read intelligent blogs, commentary sites and independent news articles. They realize the newsstand magazines are tabloid rags, the cable news shows are mindless entertainment for the masses, and the newspapers largely just reprint whatever fictional "news" stories get faxed to them by some important-sounding group such as the American Whatever Association. Intelligent consumers have long since realized that popular information sources simply cannot be trusted and that anyone wishing to be truly informed about what's coming in the years ahead must make an effort to seek out information from the few independent, non-corporate-controlled information sources that exist only on the 'net.
The internet is the last bastion of freedom in modern society, and that's exactly why you will continue to see it attacked in the years ahead. They've already attacked sunlight, herbs and nutrition. You can fully expect the internet to be increasingly attacked and discredited by the mainstream media, which continues to lose readers and viewers by the day. It is only the internet that offers any real hope of reform or revolution in the years ahead. Intelligent people saved this country once already (from Great Britain), and I believe it is possible they may do so once again, but certainly not if they're all doped up on antidepressant drugs.
Finally, I have to wonder, what good is a free press if it's a false press? Our forefathers (and mothers) fought hard to create a nation with protections for the freedom of the press, and yet now the press has become the oppressor. There is no freedom in ignorance.
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