Sunday, January 23, 2011

Captured on Tape: 60 Minutes Exposes the Maker of the #1 Most Fatal Drug of 2009

Drug company whistle-blower Cheryl Eckard talks about her experience trying to fix problems at GlaxoSmithKline. Her discoveries about the dangerous practices of the company made her a key figure in a federal lawsuit.

You may remember this story from last November when it first hit the news. But in the 60 Minutes interview above, whistleblower Cheryl Eckard opens up to reveal even more disturbing details about the gross negligence at the Cidra pharmaceutical plant, run by one of GlaxoSmithKline's subsidiaries.

They eventually pleaded guilty to the felony crime of distributing adulterated drugs, yet not one single person in charge of the debacle went to jail!

Why Should We Trust Felons?

Once you've been exposed to the seedy underbelly of the drug business—the LEGAL drug business—you can't but realize that we're dealing with a very large group of criminals and felons. There's really no nicer way to put it.

After all, companies are run by human beings. Company logos don't make decisions by themselves.

As it currently stands, the company usually gets away scot free or with a slap on the wrist. Oh, they do have to pay fines, and in this case it was three quarters of a billion dollars, but when your profits are over $100 billion, it's is not much more than a speeding ticket inconvenience and widely regarded as merely the cost of doing business.

Unless actual individuals are held accountable, what's to stop those individuals from perpetrating the same crime again and again? Nothing!

No less than 19 drug companies made's Top 100 Corporate Criminals List for the 1990s.

What does that tell you?Keeping that fact in mind, Eckard's story about the goings-on at the Cidra plant in Puerto Rico becomes less shocking. Not because it isn't bad, but because it's already quite clear that 'questionable business practice' has become 'standard practice' within the pharmaceutical business.

What Happened at the Cidra Plant?

The problems at Cidra were first revealed by an FDA inspection. Eckard's quality assurance team was then sent in by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to address those concerns, back in 2002. But when Eckard uncovered even more disturbing issues than those found by the FDA, her superiors simply ignored her.

Many may not realize this, but the FDA does NOT inspect drug manufacturing facilities at regular intervals. In between spot-checks, drug companies are left to police themselves. In the past year alone we've seen numerous instances where this self-policing has failed, as a long list of drugs have been recalled for a variety of different quality and safety issues.

At the time, the Cidra plant was making 20 patented drugs for the US market, and when Eckard saw what was happening at the plant, she was shocked, and worried about patient safety. "All the systems were broken, the facility was broken, the equipment was broken, the processes were broken. It was the worst thing I had run across in my career," she tells 60 Minutes' correspondent Scott Pelley.

Some of the problems included:

* Using water contaminated with bacteria to make tablets
* Failures on production lines that led to inconsistent dosages
* Employees contaminating products by not following procedures

As an example, Eckard claims employees would open the lid to the sealed tank containing the anti-bacterial ointment Bactroban, and stick half their bodies into the tank to scrape it out. "It saved money," she replies when asked why anyone would consider doing such a thing. But that's not even the worst of the problems Eckard uncovered.

GSK Knowingly Put Patients' Lives at Risk to Save a Buck

Due to various production line failures, powerful medications were also getting mixed up. Potent and potentially dangerous drugs were literally ending up in the wrong bottles! The antidepressant Paxil was mixed into bottles of Avandia, a diabetes drug. And Avandia was found in packages of the over-the-counter antacid Tagamet. All in all, Eckard identified nine different mix-ups of various drugs.

She urged the vice president of quality assurance for North America to stop the trucks from leaving the dock the day she discovered the mix-ups, and to shut down the factory and contact the FDA. But nothing happened… And, when one such mix-up was later discovered by a patient, GSK denied it ever happened. But "we all knew, they all knew it was real," Eckard says.

Finally, after eight months of reporting problems at the plant, Eckard sent a summary to seven executives detailing the numerous quality problems, warning that if the FDA knew of these issues, the plant would likely be seized.

Just weeks later, Eckard was out of a job. Concerned for the welfare of patients taking the affected drugs, she blew the whistle and notified the FDA. Federal agents searched the plant and seized hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of defective drugs. In the end, GSK pleaded guilty to a felony: knowingly manufacturing and selling adulterated drugs, manufactured between 2001 and 2005.

Their punishment for putting people's health at such incredible risk?

A grand total of $150 million in criminal fines and $600 million in civil penalties—little more than a slap on the wrist. None of the actual people who allowed it to happen suffered any ill consequence as a result of their actions, aside from the one who blew the whistle...

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Blockbuster Drug Now Proven Too Dangerous

Meanwhile, GSK's blockbuster diabetes drug Avandia made headlines again last year when it became clear that the drug not only had major risks, but that GSK kept the dangers of the drug under tight wraps—for a very long time.

As it turns out, GSK spent 11 years covering up trial data that showed that Avandia was a risky drug for the heart—again providing indisputable evidence that the drug paradigm is about money, not health. Avandia topped the list of drugs linked to fatal adverse events in 2009, according to an analysis of U.S. FDA records, with 1,354 deaths reported that year alone. As a result, the FDA recently decided to restrict access to the drug.

In the US, Avandia is now only available to new patients if they are unable to achieve glycemic control using other medications and, in consultation with their health care professional, decide not to take a different drug for medical reasons. Europe decided to ban the drug due to its exaggerated health risks.

What Can You Expect from GSK in the Future?

Well, considering the fact that media mogul Rupert Murdoch's son, James Murdoch, is now a member of GSK's corporate responsibility committee (a position he entered in May 2009), I predict we'll see more of the same types of cover-ups in the future.

James Murdoch, as you may know, is also the chairman and chief executive of News Corporation Europe and Asia, and chairman of BSkyB. I can only imagine the extent to which GSK can benefit from having a media mogul on their pay roll. Clearly they've thought this one through, and it makes perfect sense when you consider the clout they need to keep the media quiet about their various wrongdoings...

Having Murdoch in a role to oversee their corporate responsibilities is like having a top mobster as the god-father of your child. I think it's safe to say that if strings need to be pulled, they will be pulled—hard.

Meanwhile, Scam-Buster Efforts by States and the Feds Continue

Fortunately, states' attorneys general like Zoeller are gaining ground in gathering support for rooting out the criminal acts that Big Pharma continues to perpetuate. More and more, organizations like the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the False Claims Act Legal Center, and Politicol News are starting to investigate and publicize the illegal – and criminal – actions that these companies have been getting away with for years.

Last July, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius also announced the formation of the Healthcare Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team, which together with the Department of Justice, US Attorneys' Offices and other federal agencies will target healthcare and drug fraud.

Thanks to the federal False Claims Act, state and federal investigators have a gun that they can use to hunt down and prosecute these heinous crimes with. If you visit the False Claims Act Legal Center website, you'll get a hint of just how much this type of corporate crime has been going on. One thing should be crystal clear at this point though, and that is that the drug industry simply cannot be trusted. They have the criminal history to prove it.

A Safety Issue Even More Disturbing than that of Unsafe Drugs

One aspect that truly worries me is that while the criminal cases we've seen in the past several years are related to drugs, many of these companies, including GSK, also produce VACCINES.

And guess what?

They're typically not liable for damages from, or harm done by, contaminated or otherwise dangerous vaccines! We've recently seen evidence of "mistakes" in vaccine manufacturing as well, but vaccine makers are rarely if ever punished for these willful errors and omissions, which should provide you some further food for thought.

Remember The Dr. Oz Show Today

Last Tuesday I was in Manhattan to film The Dr. Oz Show where he actually allowed me to mention a number of these issues. I suspect some of the footage will not be aired but my guess is most will. Please be sure and tune in. You can see a trailer for the show here. You can go to this link to find out where it is aired in your area. If you want to watch it right now though you can go their site and view it. For those of you wondering about the astaxanthin I discuss on the second segment, we hope to have it available on the site in a few weeks.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

When Contending Costs Everything

By Jan Markell
Olive Tree Ministries

What on earth is Pastor Rick Warren thinking? I have avoided being harsh concerning Rick but on the issue I am about to outline, I must be blunt. A series of errors is outlined below but the zinger following them is my focus.

  • Praising Syria for its religious freedom when it is an evil, repressive regime.
  • Perfecting church-growth efforts that even include synagogues, but what is missing in the process is the proclamation of the gospel. Warren's church-growth plan focuses only on numbers.
  • Being a part of the leadership or board of advisors for questionable organizations such as the World Economic Forum, The Council on Foreign Relations, and Tony Blair's Faith Foundation which is a pagan, ecumenical outfit.
  • Speaking to the North American Islamic Society in July 2009 but withholding the gospel from his message. This was another ecumenical effort.
  • Misquoting Jesus in The Purpose Driven Life saying that He stated, "My return is none of your business" when, in fact, the Bible emphasizes that His return is our blessed hope. The Bible encourages us to watch and pray for His return. This theme consumes more than one-third of the Bible.
  • Embracing the false theology of Kingdom Now/Dominion eschatology which says the church will save the world through Pastor Warren's global P.E.A.C.E. plan, global AIDS' efforts, etc. This is raging through evangelicalism and is a delusion, as we are on a cursed planet that only Christ's return can save.
  • Underplaying the issues of hell, sin, repentance, etc., in his book and other global platforms he has been given.
Because of a new effort launched January 15 at Saddleback Church, I join the voices of vocal critics. He has put the souls and lives of his people and millions more in danger. I do not know his motive. Last Saturday he launched a year-long effort to get his congregation and himself in shape. You can hear and read about it on the Saddleback Web site:
"God's prescription for your health. Be a part of this transformational debut to be a healthier you! We'll hear from world-renowned doctors on a plan to get healthy and stay that way in the new decade."
Who are "the world-renowned doctors" who have designed this program just for Saddleback Church? Men who are blatant promoters of Eastern mystical practices. Let me elaborate.

Best-selling author Dr. Richard Amen is a professor of psychiatry and teaches Eastern religious meditation and New Age energy-based Reiki.

You can hear Rick and Dr. Amen interacting on the Saddleback Web site. On page 238 of Amen's book, Making a Good Brain Great, he states,
"I recommend an active form of Yoga meditation called Krya Kirtan. It is based on five primal sounds."
He advocates repeating these sounds daily for 12 minutes.

Dr. Mark Hyman is a four-time New York Times best-selling author who again promotes mystical meditation based on Buddhist principles. In his book, The Ultramind Solution, Hyman emphasizes meditation, saying it doesn't matter what religion one is - all will benefit from it (p. 322). He praises the practice perfected by Buddhists (p. 384).

Dr. Mehmet Oz is a promoter of Reiki and Transcendental Meditation. Oz says he is also inspired by Emmanuel Swedenborg, an 18th century cult founder who taught that all religions lead to God. Swedenborg denied all orthodox Christian beliefs. There are many followers of the cult of Swedenborgism today.

What is Pastor Warren's comment on the character of his three guests?
"I am honored to be partnering with these internationally distinguished health experts."
Has he no understanding that putting into practice the various procedures they teach will put his congregation in great jeopardy?

Is the deception that great today? And what about the tens of thousands of churches who align with Saddleback? Will they get on board as well, putting millions of Christian's souls and lives at stake? How many demons are lurking around the wicked practices of Transcendental Meditation, Reiki, Yoga, and similar Eastern traditions?

As apologist Eric Barger says,
"Among the most troubling aspects of Warren's progression are his alliances. When the most visible Christian leader of our day rubs shoulders with and aids the causes of assorted globalists, New Agers, Muslims, and now looks to one who is inspired by cultist Emanuel Swedenborg, the results are devastating. When leaders decide to reject discernment in favor of ecumenism, then innocent, unsuspecting people are, in effect, targeted by Satan's unrelenting plan to move the church away from the truth of God's Word. This is a perfect example of why following men, instead of the Bible, is a dangerous proposition."
Rick Warren says, "Americans are getting fatter and fatter and we must do something." This seems a strange cause for a man some call 'America's pastor.' Shouldn't our burden as evangelicals be the leanness of the soul and not the body? Equally perplexing is why his church leaders and members are fine with this year long effort to glorify men who promote Eastern mysticism and other practices that are ungodly.

Ministry leaders have to choose our battles. Criticizing Christian leaders causes us distress and results in the loss of supporters, donations, churches, and even friends. We are called every name imaginable so understand that contending for the faith costs everything. But contending isn't an option. It's a commandment in Jude 3. Saddleback Church is now presenting a different gospel via the three doctors who will speak into the lives of many for one full year. These men will be affirmed by Pastor Rick Warren. There will be damage.

If some do not sound a warning, millions will be swept up in a program that could cause far more damage than obesity could ever do. The gods represented by the three doctors are after souls. They are gods who lead people away from eternal life in heaven and target souls for a Godless eternity. We cannot be silent no matter what the cost is to the critics.

Pray for Pastor Rick Warren and his church leaders. The program launched last weekend could be stopped by the leadership if they would grasp the offense of this effort.
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Chuck Crismier - 10 Truths About Socialism: Will Government Replace God?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Israel Wary of Vatican Synod (Bishop Claims God's Promise To Israel Is "Cancelled")

A recent Vatican synod of bishops, called to discuss the situation in the Middle East, has stirred Israel’s fears. Although recent popes have attempted to reach out to the Jews, they are still wary. Centuries of persecution by dozens of popes are not easily forgotten. One writer in the Israel National News of October 24 focused on a statement in the final document of the synod: "Recourse to theological and biblical positions which use the Word of God to wrongly justify injustices is not acceptable."

This was in the context of admonishing Israel to commit "to a sincere, just and permanent peace." Elsewhere in the document the synod expresses "hope that the two-State-solution might become a reality and not a dream only," and, that the UN would take "the necessary legal steps to put an end to the occupation of the different Arab territories." The Israel National News reporter comments: "The Catholic church in recent years has been trying to overcome centuries of anti-Semitism and proof that it exploited the Holocaust to try to convert Jews who were saved." He is referring to recent revelations that, while the Vatican claimed to have intervened and saved many Jews from Hitler’s gas chambers, in reality, it did so to convert them to Catholicism. Babies, in particular, who were saved, were baptized and placed with Roman Catholic families and never told of their Jewish heritage.

The tenor of the final document is clearly in favor of the Palestinians as victims of "occupation" and denied "justice." Little mention is made of the relentless Palestinian attacks on Israel and their constant demand that the only "just" solution that they will accept is the elimination of Israel.

At the conclusion of the synod, one archbishop, Cyril Salim Bustros, restated the pope’s long held belief that God’s promise of an eternal homeland for the Jews, was cancelled when Jewish leaders rejected Jesus as the Messiah: "For Christians, one can no longer talk of the land promised to the Jewish people… There is no longer a favored people, a chosen people; all men and women of every country have become the chosen people."

This belief is the spark that has ignited centuries of persecution of the Jews. "Christ killers" was the cry of the crusaders who slaughtered thousands of Jews on their way to liberate Jerusalem from the Muslim infidels. Hitler’s "final solution" to the "Jewish problem" was partly inspired by this attitude.

The sordid history of the Vatican’s persecution of the Jews has been all but eliminated from modern history books. But modern Israel remembers and is not about to let the recent sweet talk from the Vatican fool them. They know that millions of Jews have died at the hands of popes and tyrants motivated by Satan’s determination to eliminate them.

They also know that the pope is an additional enemy with eyes fixed on Jerusalem. Not only is it holy to Judaism and Islam, the Vatican is also maneuvering behind the scenes to gain control of it. Rome’s expressed solution to the problem of Jerusalem is to internationalize it under UN jurisdiction. The popes’ cozy position with the UN would, presumably, give them a part in ruling the city. Many details of this history of the Vatican against the Jews have been preserved in the accounts given by ex-Jesuit Alberto Rivera. The Alberto series of Crusader Comics by Chick Publications pulls together some of the facts behind Roman Catholicism’s historic attempts to eliminate the Jews and substitute itself as the "people of God."

The Jesuits have been the Vatican’s "special forces" over the centuries in the attempt to solve the "Jewish problem." Edmund Paris’s book, The Secret History of the Jesuits, also contains a detailed account of their maneuverings over the years.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The President of the United States Is a Socialist and Some "Evangelicals" Are Helping Him

by David A. Noebel

It's official-Barack Obama is a socialist! Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly posed the question to Dick Morris: "In your heart, you believe [Obama] is a socialist?" to which Morris replied, "Yes, I do" (The O'Reilly Factor, December 15, 2010).

Dick Morris has made very few political mistakes in his life, and his opinion confirms my longstanding belief that our current president is a Fabian Socialist with a bias toward revolution! Anyone who counts among his associates and mentors Frank Marshall Davis, Saul Alinsky, Cornel West, Jim Wallis, Jeremiah Wright, Michael Klonsky, and Bill Ayers could not come away without such a bias.

Remember John C. Drew who knew Obama when they were both students at Occidental College back in the early 1980s? Drew admits that he was at one time a revolutionary Marxist and concluded that Obama was "a pure Marxist socialist." Indeed, he also said that from his perspective Obama "had a hard Marxist-Leninist point of view." (See Stanley Kurtz, Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism, page 88.)

Obama's very rhetoric gives him away! He refers to opponents in the Senate and House as "enemies." He exemplifies the typical Marxist socialist who lines up in his crosshairs for destruction whatever institution he has his eye on to socialize (nationalize) in his quest to destroy capitalism in any way possible. His move to nationalize the health care industry (which will eventually make the federal government the single payer) and the student loan industry are dead giveaways of what Marxists have in mind: ultimately all Americans will be dependent on government for their health care and only radical students will be eligible for student loans! Evangelical conservative Christians need not apply!

The confirmation that Obama is swimming in Marxist waters right up to the present time is his endorsement that allowed the Communist Party USA to participate in the October 2, 2010, "One Nation Working Together" rally in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the George Soros funded Tides Center.

Andree Seu at World magazine picked up the significance of this event when she remarked, "Once Communists in America lurked in the shadows: now the Communist Party USA is an unabashed presence at the Oct. 2 'One Nation Working Together' rally" (November 6, 2010, p. 79).

John Sweeney, former president of the AFL-CIO, also allowed Communists back into his union. David Horowitz and Richard Poe in The Shadow Party say, "Much has been made of Sweeney's political radicalism. A card-carrying member of the Democratic Socialists of America [a part of the Socialist International founded by Karl Marx], Sweeney opened the AFL-CIO's door to Communist Party organizers for the first time since the 1950s, allowing Communists to distribute literature at his conventions and recruit workers to their cause" (p. 166). President Obama plans to award Sweeney the Medal of Freedom in February.

Yes, the AFL-CIO was also one of the 400 Marxist organizations participating in the October 2 rally. In fact, the list of organizations participating in the "One Nation Working Together" rally provides a good cross section of the radical Marxist organizations operating in the United States. There were more Communists in attendance at that rally than are found in Moscow's Red Square and probably Beijing's Tiananmen Square!

Of course, Jim Wallis and his Sojourners organization were also rally goers. Wallis made recent news on another front as well. According to Newsweek's Educational Site, on November 30, 2010, Wallis was among a dozen "moderate" Christian leaders who gathered in Washington to discuss ways to "articulate a vision of Christianity that will counter a new-and newly powerful-religious-right rhetoric in advance of the 2012 election." In other words, they were plotting ways to make conservative evangelicals think of Obama as one of them. How this pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, pro-socialist president could be "one of them" is difficult to fathom. But Joel Hunter, pastor of the Northland Church in Orlando, and Tony Campolo, sociologist and advisor to former President Clinton, were among the Christian leaders at the meeting.

Campolo set the tone for the meeting by denouncing the religious right's "vision of America as God's own country, and free-market capitalism as crucial to the nation's flourishing." He went on to elaborate that what motivates religious conservatives is this distorted vision of God and country and that anyone who disagrees with them "is a socialist or a communist."

To this group and others of like mind, the "radical right" (i.e., conservative Christians) must be demeaned if not destroyed so the new guard of evangelicals, led by the Rev. Wallis and his loyal sidekicks Bill and Lynne Hybels (Lynne writes for Sojourners magazine) of Willowcreek Church in Chicago, must emerge as the new leaders.

The truth is that Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo have been part of the religious left for years (see Ron Nash's Why the Left Is Not Right), and Wallis has been swimming in Marxist waters ever since his college days at Michigan State University when he was involved with Students for a Democratic Society.

Wallis recently showed his dialectical morality when challenged by Marvin Olasky, editor of World magazine. When Olasky asked Wallis to finally admit he was "a man of the left," Wallis insisted he was a man of the center. When Olasky insisted that men of the center don't take financial help from the radical leftist George Soros and his Open Society Institute, Wallis insisted his organization (Sojourners) never took funds from Soros. When Olasky produced evidence that Sojourners has taken tens of thousands of dollars from Soros, Wallis finally had to say "uncle." Indeed, Wallis actually apologized to Olasky for calling him "a liar." (See World magazine, August 18, 2010.)

Evangelical Christians will no doubt hear how bigoted and brain dead they are if they plan to vote against the socialist Obama in 2012. America is presently at the edge of a spiritual, moral, political, and financial abyss. Congress and the president just made the military safe for a practice that every religion in the history of the world has condemned. Stay tuned to see which evangelicals line up to push America over the edge in favor of some form of global governance and socialist paradise!

David A. Noebel, President

Summit Ministries


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