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John Stone: AoA's Supplementary Evidence to the UK Parliament on Fake News

ParliamentNOTE: This is supplementary evidence from Age of Autism accepted and published by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee of the United Kingdom House of Commons as part of the inquiry into Fake News. It follows on evidence submitted and published by the committee in November.By John Stone

The following observations are occasioned by events too late to be considered in the original submission to the inquiry [1].In the original submission I remarked on the 2005 report by the House of Commons Health Committee which criticised the Department of Health for being too close to the pharmaceutical industry. To quote briefly from the report [2]:

The Department of Health has for too long optimistically assumed that the interests of health and of the industry are as one. This may reflect the fact that the Department sponsors the industry as well as looking after health....

The consequences of lax oversight is that the industry’s influence has expanded and a number of practices have developed which act against the public interest. The industry affects every level of healthcare provision, from the drugs that are initially discovered and developed through clinical trials, to the promotion of drugs to the prescriber and the patient groups, to the prescription of medicines and the compilation of clinical guidelines...

But even as I was writing it looks like the final boundaries between the state and the industry were being demolished with the creation of the Accelerated Access Partnership (AAP) with Sir Andrew Witty, lately CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, in charge. Of course, it is very easy to project this in the mainstream media – if it is mentioned at all - as good news. On the other hand we might wonder why having at least putative independence for pharmaceutical licensing and surveillance was thought to be good thing in the past. The mainstream media would be asking serious questions if it was alert, competent and independent. If…

About this departure two LSE professors have warned [3]:

Nonetheless, the proposal says too little on expected benefits for patients and wider society. Instead, several concrete pledges are made to industry, including a promise to establish a new commercial unit within the NHS to “immediately streamline the pathway for access discussions” and pave the way for “flexible and confidential commercial arrangements.” Why? Because innovators want it, according to the report.

Meanwhile, an international authority on infectious diseases, Tom Jefferson, queried the simultaneous appointments of Witty to head the AAP, Patrick Vallance head of R&D at GSK as Chief Government Scientist, and Jonathan van Tam – a figure with strong industry connections – as  Deputy Chief Medical Officer for emergency preparedness and pandemic planning. Jefferson writes [4]:

The lowering of regulatory and HTA [Human Tissue Act] standards is in full swing and its main driver is the pharmaceutical industry. The general rhetoric of rushing drugs and devices through to needy patients willing to accept substantial risk rests on very thin evidence of benefit and unclear public support.

Improving the quality of evidence is desperately needed as shown by the scores of examples of clinical trials that have been abandoned or distorted that have come to light in the last decade. Pandemic planning also requires some rethinking as the millions of pounds spent on a dubious pandemic with equally dubious fixes has shown. The close space of time of these “revolving doors” makes me wonder whether the government has objectively and properly overseen the decision making which has led to such important public positions being filled by senior industry figures. Can one walk away from leading industry, or rubbing shoulders with it, and perform an important public health function with impartiality? HM Government seems to think so, but if you are unsure (as I am) you may be given pause for thought.

What we have here are cosy arrangements between the government and the pharmaceutical industry which more certainly benefit the industry than the public, which completely escape serious comment in mainstream media and might easily get to be categorised as misinformation by the public relations machinery of the government and the industry if they came to be mentioned in social media. In the original response I wrote of a deal between Sir Andrew Witty as CEO of GSK and the Italian government which may have done a lot to undermine the Italian public’s trust in their government [1] and now he is to lead a body to fast track products under development when he was head of one the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers only months before.

In the light of all of this I was dismayed to see the comments of Samantha Bradshaw of the Oxford Internet Institute in the first oral hearing of the inquiry [5] talking about “undermining research” as an issue under consideration including prejudicial talk about “anti-vax campaigns” as if governments have a monopoly on truth: there may in fact be an awful lot wrong with government science which ought to be talked about. You cannot have an a priori view on that and believe seriously in freedom of speech.

It was particularly farcical to see the very day our original submission was published by the Committee the Daily Mirror run with the story Russian cyber units 'spreading false information about flu and measles jabs in the UK' [6] The article was couched in the most slippery language, spokespersons were quoted outside any clear context, and of course not a shred of evidence supporting the allegation was offered. Now this patently is “fake news” and targeted at an audience likely thought to have limited critical reading skills.

Amid all this it was encouraging to hear on Boxing Day a government minister, Jo Johnson, admonishing universities to tolerate free speech and diversity of opinions [7]. We can only hope that the government will think it through and get back to promoting a plural democracy in which dissenting voices are genuinely welcome instead of the menacing game we have at the moment.

[1] John Stone, Written evidence submitted by Age of Autism [DCMS Inquiry, Fake News], http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/digital-culture-media-and-sport-committee/fake-news/written/73097.html

[2] House of Commons Health Committee, The Influence of the Pharmaceutical Industry, 2005 p.3 https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200405/cmselect/cmhealth/42/42.pdf

[3] Naci H and Mossialos E, Accelerated access to new drugs and technologies, BMJ 2017; http://www.bmj.com/content/359/bmj.j5387 (Published 22 November 2017)

[4] Tom Jefferson, The UK turns to Witty, Vallance, and Van Tam for leadership: revolving doors?, 6 December 2017, http://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2017/12/06/tom-jefferson-the-uk-turns-to-witty-vallance-and-van-tam-for-leadership-revolving-doors/

[5] Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Oral evidence: Fake News, HC 363, 19 December 2017 Q38 http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/digital-culture-media-and-sport-committee/fake-news/oral/74926.html

[6] Russell Myers, Russian cyber units 'spreading false information about flu and measles jabs in the UK', Daily Mirror, 26 November 2017 http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/russian-cyber-units-spreading-false-11592627?service=responsive

[7] Nicola Woodcock, Universities warned over free speech by Jo Johnson, The Times, 26 December 2017 https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/universities-warned-over-free-speech-by-jo-johnson-bqp2d5np0

 

December 2017

Comments

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Morag

1957. Dr William A Horne ,the Chief Medical Officer of Health stated that "The end of TB is in sight "
Some UK local government dept's installing " anti-homeless " metal bars down the middle of public benches to make it physically impossible for people to sleep on them.
See Homeless Jesus Sculpture installed in Glasgow City Centre Dec 2017 . Nelson Mandela Place .By Canadian sculptor .Timothy Schmalz .
Progressive? disordered ,sanitised ,"Clearences Mentality" ,a creeping infestation of fractured criteria/guidelines . Pruducing fluffy "Best Interests" Public assistance governance/leadership with "Personal Opinions" swiping a pen to decide who meets Lebenswertes Leben standards and who in current chilling, clinical terminology is being described in public as "Care provision futile, burdensome ,and not in "Best Interests "to survive .
Who is going to be next in line on the health care improvers, economic drop down menu to be or not to be considered . Not viable .Too Burdensome. Deserving/Undeserving?, swipe of a pen .
The Poor, The Elderly ,The Infirm, The Disabled?

John Stone

Thank you everyone for their comments.

Hans:

"Just a suggestion for the MHRA-CDC , why don't you guys go out to the homeless and offer them all the flu vaccine ?"

I imagine they do already.

Grace Green

Tim Lundeen, that reminds me that a former child psychiatrist took part in a BBC phone in recently to say that he left his job in the NHS back in 2005 because he was no longer able to practice in the way he wanted to , with diet and lifestyle changes. We lose all the best doctors!

Hans Litten

http://www.thelibertybeacon.com/bmj-links-economic-austerity-measures-to-record-levels-of-homelessness/

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) on January 29 released research which it claims establishes a direct link between the implementation of economic austerity measures and the rapid rise of homelessness in Britain since 2010.
Among the starkest findings of the report is that the average age at death for a homeless person in Britain is just 47 years old, while for the general population the average is 77 years old.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Just a suggestion for the MHRA-CDC , why don't you guys go out to the homeless and offer them all the flu vaccine ? That will surely save all their lives .
But I suspect the truth would be, that would clear the streets of ALL the homeless in a single night !

Am I right ?


Morag

Thanks John, more hard work,great article . Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health. Fab work achieved through this Foundation but unfortunately,sadly ,the Foundation was trashed and slashed by allegations of fraud/money laundering in 2010 .
See [Official Movie] Thrive . What On Earth Will It Take ? Movie offers Fast Track kitchen tutorial covering same issues over past 100 yrs at least ,now with presentation of different haircut ,different style of shirt and shoes ,but still same old colour and pattern on the wallpaper at polital headquarters ?
See David Bowie and Mick Jagger Dancing in The Street youtube . Demonstrating the best way to make a public statment of the strongest objections about the current standards of "People Herding"
Old bones have been dug up in Orkney ,identified as middle age bones,but twisted and contorted shape , Cerebral Palsy perhaps ? Strongly indicating that people with disabilities were being cared for ,supported and looked after within their own ,well organised ,compact communities .
Slante mhath , To your very good health!

Tim Lundeen

@bob moffit You might also enjoy Dr Kelly Brogan's book, A Mind of Your Own. She is that rare psychiatrist who has stopped using psychiatric drugs, instead treating patients with nutrition and healthy lifestyle changes. She argues that the drugs are both inferior and infinitely more dangerous.

bob moffit

@ Bill

Just re-read Robert Whitaker's "Mad in America .. bad science, bad medicine and the enduring mistreatment of the mentally ill" .. in which the mistreatment of the mentally ill throughout history .. especially in the USA .. is eerily similar to the very same mistreatment of generations of children who are .. (just as those declared mentally ill decades ago) .. held captive of the "bad science, bad medicine" that drives the policies and processes that approves, recommends, administers and monitors today's childhood vaccination requirements.

I will re-read .. upon your advice .. Whitaker's "Anatomy of an epidemic" .. which I originally read somewhere around 2002 .. as I have long believed there are serious, severe, long-term consequences due to over-prescribing "psychiatric drugs" at earlier ages than safely warranted.

annie

The Stage is paid for
Which is why reality can not
Prevail over its Center


Thank You John Stone!!!
For all You do!

Reader

SSCDS: a rock guitarist just killed him self due to hearing sounds, even his own eyeballs rolling. Reminded me of the woman in the "Drug store disability" article (Dan?) wrote. Didn't know where else to put this.

Bill

Irony of Ironies!....while watching the "Black Adder" video that Angus posted a link to above, I got a Yahoo! "news alert". Seems the head of the CDC just stepped down, after it came out that she invested in tobacco stocks while CDC head....
Most parents of autistic children will be familiar with "psychiatric drugs". I suggest visiting >madinamerica.com<, and also reading Robert Whitaker's "Anatomy of an Epidemic", on that website.
PhRMA has LIED, and will continue to do so.... We ALL are victimized.

Hans Litten

"The mainstream media would be asking serious questions if it was alert, competent and independent."
The Lamestream is lost, totally compromised and now an enemy of the people.

Maybe this line should read like this :
"The general public should be asking serious questions if it was alert, competent and independent."

A gift for anyone who still doesn't know the truth of the scoundrels at the CDC.
http://beforeitsnews.com/health/2016/08/vaxxed-full-movie-from-cover-up-to-catastrophe-2659088.html

Angus Files

Great article John credit to you for picking up on this.I had the unfortunate unhealthy fascination to listen to some of the debate at the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee channel approx 10 days ago. I kept the link but when I went back it had been cut. Call me sad, but I aint sad enough to go back and listen to any of it again. The discussion was being conducted by a blond haired lady and two dark hair chaps from Google UK. They were describing without much questioning almost bragging how popular sites are not what comes up in searches 1-10 even when people put in the actual correct web address .This they explained is due to computer logarithms and they fix what comes up. They boasted and bragged their way explaining the reasoning for this -crux of it being of course, the population need saving from themselves and we all must be guided to Pharma and trustworthy sites.All totally predictable unashamedly, unbelievable, nonchalant untouchable devil may care attitude that got me. Not a worry or misplaced word, not a flicker of doubt or were being untruthful expressed. Mis-guiding people it`s the new norm – ain`t we doing a great job…Missy the opposite is correct did it ever cross your mind that your own relatives use computers as well -that obviously didn’t bother you either.

But then were all Russian spies, I`m a Russian, Your a Russian ,My wife’s a Russian, in fact anyone that speaks to me or my unvaccinated pet dog must be a Russian even my pet dogs doggy friends are Russian Whenever anyone doesn’t agree with the political pharma narrative…of course our crimes are for speaking the truth about Pharma. Nevertheless were all Russian and proud OFFIT.
One link I do have is Blackadder`s tips on Spycatching for the Pharma Phaitful who scroll over this site looking for snippets to back up the Russian narrative-don’t mention it a pleasure.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A62njA3H-4c

Pharma For Prison

MMR RIP

bob moffit

'We can only hope that the government will think it through and get back to promoting a plural democracy in which dissenting voices are genuinely welcome instead of the menacing game we have at the moment".

It is extremely discouraging to witness .. for decades now .. the UK and USA governments adopt policies and practices designed to specifically quell "dissenting voices" in BOTH countries .. while at the very same time ... the main stream media in BOTH countries .. have become willing participants in playing the "menacing game" of silencing those "dissenting voices".

As Thomas Paine once said .. "“These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman"

I thank God everyday for those who haven't shrunk from the service of their country .. fearlessly speaking "truth to power" while suffering the consequences of those powerful forces determined to "silence their truth".

Too numerous to name .. but .. we all know who they are .. God bless them all.

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